So I had planned on writing a blog this week on work/life balance while raising an autistic child. That one is almost done. However last night and tonight uncovered a new issue and I wanted to put it down in writing before I forgot. I thought it would be a perfect example of how quickly peace and order can be disturbed without even knowing what happened. Last night we came home from a day out to Dayna upset about something she called ‘Successmaker’. I had no idea what it was or what she was talking about. Obviously she wasn’t telling me what she wanted, but she did have a link pulled up on Google pointing to an educational program for schools with the Successmaker name. See, she’s capable of locating something on Google, yet is not able to explain what it is or why she wants it. Enter the art of deduction with an autistic child. We may not know exactly what she wants or why she wants it, but we can figure out enough to try and solve the problem. It seemed to me that she had used this program recently at school and now she wanted it at home. The problem was then trying to determine what part of it she was asking for, and if it was even possible to get. There are hundreds of lessons built within dozens of categories to this program. Math, Science, Language Arts….you name it they are all there. Each subject is then broken down by grade level, and I had no way of knowing what grade level Dayna is on. Besides, even if Dayna could explain which one she wanted the cost was outrageous. I was digging around the website but I wasn’t sure what I was looking for. I could tell instantly that this was going to boil over, and it did. While I was trying to figure out what to do she kept yelling “Successmaker!” and “I’ll go buy Successmaker!” (Her way of saying she wants me to buy it). Trying to explain things to her just makes it all worse, but not doing anything can spin things out of control as well. When I said “Successmaker is for school” or “I need to ask school about Successmaker”, she just focused on the word school and started screaming and jumping up and down. “NO SCHOOL, NO SCHOOL!!!” She heard school and thought I said she had to go right then and there. A 14 year old that weighs 100+ pounds having a tantrum typically seen out of a toddler is not only loud, it’s like a bull in a china shop. That’s how quickly things can get out of control, which in turn raises our stress levels as well. When little things are changed, and without knowing it, anything and everything can become hard. She doesn’t understand why she can’t have it. She doesn’t understand how it works. She doesn’t understand my explanation, or how I will attempt to fix it. But she knows she’s not happy. What makes it worse is that at that point we have no idea how long this will last. An hour, a night, a week or a month. Eventually last night, the time of night called for medications, and the medications put her to sleep. All is good…..until the next night. Tonight, straight home from work, there was Dayna screaming again for Successmaker. This may be a long night, it may not be. What I can guarantee is that there will not be any full relaxation until we figure this out or Dayna moves on to something new…..there is a time bomb upstairs. Tick…tick….tick!