Sunday, July 22, 2007

Getting Alan Used to New Things

Sometimes it is a surprise and a struggle to get Alan used to something new. Some things he accepts readily, like his braces. Others, he resists.

We have heard quite a lot of verbal stimming lately. Repetitive phrases get on everyone's nerves.

Dana, his elder sister, had the bright idea that getting Alan an iPod would do a couple of positive things for him. It would broaden his interests in music. It would possibly give him some new verbal stims that are more acceptable. And, he would look cool to other teens. I also thought that some calming music would be helpful when he is upset about something. Getting him to relax and regroup is often difficult. Maybe he would listen to soothing music.

So, we got him an iPod. Don began to set it up for Alan today. We tried to prepare him a bit by Kal wearing his iPod and downloading some new songs. He showed Alan that he had his on. Then, Don brought Alan's new one downstairs. Alan expressed that he was afraid that someone would shoot him for it. Apparently, he read a news story in which someone got shot for his iPod. We explained that they are everywhere now and that chances are nobody would shoot him or even try to steal it, especially here where it is very safe. We explained that he has a cell phone and carries it everywhere without worries that it will cause him harm. After what we thought was reassuring talk, Don tried to put it on Alan's arm. Alan definitely did not want it on. I think Dana was most surprised at his refusal to wear it. She promised to do her best to get him used to it while she is still here.

I think it would really be useful when we are taking the car trips we plan in August. We are going to drive down to a conference in San Diego in early August. After a few days at home, we will leave on our vacation. We will have several day trips in a rental car. Having music or a downloaded book in the car could be enjoyable for Alan.



Blogger Junosmom said...

At Walmart, they sell docking stations for iPods, so that it is just like a stereo with speakers. Maybe he could get used to it without wearing it.

I understand a little - not that Alan is like my brother, but George doesn't like change. He likes best the old audio tapes on a flat old black tape recorder/player. We've tried DVDs, CDs etc that are to us easier to operate, but not to him. He wants constancy, things that he knows, which brings him comfort.

5:00 AM  
Blogger LAA and Family said...

Hello, I found your blog on the Aut-2B-Home Blogring. I have an 8 year old autistic son. I was wondering if Alan has accepted his iPod yet, maybe he came to like it while you were on your vacation? We may try getting our son an iPod one of these days. We got him a Gameboy over a year ago, but that was when he was into throwing things when he got frustrated. Not a good idea then, but if I ever find it I may try giving it to him again.

3:24 AM  

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