Thursday, September 5, 2013

I am a Rock

My son goes through a lot of obsessions (most kids do). A television show, or book, or video game, or song that dominate their life and thoughts.

As Jack gets older, the length of time of these obsessions become shorter and shorter.

Here's a list of a few things, because of my son, I wish I knew less about:

The Incredible Hulk
Harry Potter
Gangam Style
Minecraft parody songs
The Avengers
Collecting Rocks
Collecting garbage
Flipping book pages
Angry birds
Jurassic Park

Those are all in the last year.

Some are healthy, some are not. Some of the more "violent" obsessions had to be taken away (namely the incredible hulk) because aggression and rage became a little too much for us and/or the school to handle. I wrote perhaps my most insightful blog ever about the incredible hulk, my son, and an OT assignment about a year ago... worth a read HERE.

Collecting rocks was an interesting one. Jack really wanted to be a scientist, so he would gather rocks around the schoolyard and bring them home to "study". It became clear to me that this was a coping technique. He gathered the rocks to ground him. If he was nervous, intimidated, scared or anxious, he would find a rock... something that stayed constant over hundreds of years. Something that was unchanged in the face of adversity. Something that was the result of time and pressure.

The tougher the day, the more rocks came home.

But he grew out of that one, too.

Right now, we're on Star Wars (the first trilogy, thank you very much). But ever so briefly, and possibly still around, Jack has taken an interest in My Little Pony.

We have a 3 1/2 year-old daughter, Jade, who is a big time My Little Pony fan. She has a crapload of toys and watches all the videos she can find. Jade idolizes her brother... sure there are a lot of "don't touch my shit!" arguments, and the such, but she adores him. He rarely seeks her out to play... and if so, it's usually through something destructive (Like chasing the cat, or jumping on the couch)... but he does dig her.

We went on a quick family getaway this past weekend to San Diego and paid the extra money for a suite at the hotel... Jack and Jade got their own room! And I came out to find this in the morning.

And Jack asking Jade questions about who was who in "Canterlot" or "The Crystal Empire" (or wherever the hell those ponies live).

The rest of the trip was fine... the expected fighting and meltdowns. The zoo was nice. Dinner was fine. But I wanted to capture this moment. I don't want this moment to end. This is an obsession I hope hangs around a very, very long time.

We're going through some major changes. We're phasing out in-home behavior therapy, moving into social groups, starting a new school, and becoming more and more aware of meeting the attention needs of our daughter.

Jack has been a champ through it all. Few behaviors at the new school. Doing his homework. Even playing with a friend or two. Couldn't be more proud of all his hard work.

I hope Jack can see how much his sister adores him. I hope he is using her as his "rock" to transition. I hope he is trying to find a common ground (My Little Pony) to reach out to her. I have all these high hopes that their relationship can blossom into something mutually beneficial. I hope she can become his "rock"... something unchanging in the face of adversity.


Things are quiet and I'm doing laundry this morning.

And I found this.

A rock in the pocket.

Has he been gathering rocks again? I went to his nightstand (his "treasure chest") of his most favored items.

Yep. He's been collecting rocks again. A few strings, a few bottle caps, his JPL tour nametag... and Pinkie Pie.

Jack, a jade is a kind of rock... and she will be there for you.

Thank you for reading.

*** On a side note... I've spent about 4 days looking for that fucking Pinkie Pie doll to the wailing of my daughter who insisted it was somewhere in the house.


  1. It takes great strength and insight to do what you and other dads do for their autistic kids. I TO AM A PARENT OF TWO Autistic kids , one boy, one girl. They seem to feed off of each other in their play, and their meltdowns. My husband and I try very hard to not treat them differently. One is very loving, and the other is very standoffish. The best we can do is love them the same.

  2. My boys are giving Jack a brony "bro-hoof" in solidarity. :)We are pretty big MLP fans around here, too.

  3. My daughter is non-verbal but you can definitely tell her brothers are her rock as well. if it weren't for them I think she would lose her mind.