Monday, April 16, 2007

Alan is getting more and more adamant that he has certain times to do certain things. He says he likes to plan his days. Well, ok, who doesn't? The thing is, he wants to name a certain time, such as 5:22 p. m. to get on the treadmill. I told him to get on at 5 p. m. today when we got home. He kept stalling, trying to do it at precisely 5:22 p. m. I made him wait until 5:25. He was fairly angry with me. I had to tell him I would not do something he wants if he didn't get on. He kept insisting that the time was missed and he wasn't going to go on the treadmill at all. He finally did get on, only because I told him I would not do what he wanted if he did not use the treadmill then.
He keeps saying that I am trying to break up his rigidity. Yes, that's right. I don't think it will serve him well to have a particular time to do something and if that time is missed, he can't decide not to do it that day.
He also says he wants to be a demagogue dictator. Despite the redundancy, I think he is using both words for emphasis. This kind of control, making other people bend to his will and to work around him, will not serve him well in life.
Here is another instance. Previously, he said he could not get on the treadmill until after the mail arrived. It happened to arrive today while I was at home for a few minutes between going to the post office and going to Curves while he was at the Teen Center. I deliberately brought the mail in and set it on the table. When we got home and he discovered I had brought it in, he tried to get past me to sort through it first. I made sure I got to it first and I sorted it in front of him. The mail does not belong to him, nor does the chore of bringing it in. While allowing him to get the mail in was cute when he was smaller, it somehow has given him the idea that he controls the receipt of the mail.
There are some times he can control and that is fine for him to do so. For example, he announced recently that he wakes himself up at 5:55:55. Yes, down to the second. This is a handy skill, waking oneself at a precise time without an alarm clock. He likes to go to bed at 9:15. Why 9:15 when it used to be 9:16? Now he wants to go to sleep fifteen minutes before half past the hour. He is fifteen. He used to go to sleep at fourteen minutes past the hour when he was fourteen. At least he can be flexible about that going to sleep time when he is out of the house. He recently went with the family to Wicked at the Pantages Theater. It didn't begin until 8 p. m. and he was sanguine about that.
Finding ways to help him with his rigid thinking is challenging. Don and I are addressing it as best we can through RDI. We also need to be able to convince Alan of the usefulness of flexibility in certain areas even before he gets to the stage in RDI where he will be more flexible due to the emphasis at the time.


Blogger The Glasers said...

I feel your pain! We lovingly refer to Pamela as the little dictator or the boss of the family!

She does not conceptualize our attempts to keep her flexible as trying to thwart her rigidity. That is highly advanced thinking beyond her ability to verbalize. Pamela is quietly insistent on things that are really important to her.


7:25 PM  

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