Well this often referred to autism expert mom (I wish) is grappling with what to do about a few of Leo's latest obsessions. Not to say he doesn't have multiple obsessions, but this first one is pretty bizarre. It is interfering with his daily life and causing issues with his speech function and acquisition.
Leo's newest talent (seen more like a glitch in the neuro-typical world) is doing everything backwards including talking. He'll do or say something forwards and then for kicks have to do or say it backwards. Obstacle courses, phrases ("I want apple juice please" and then with zero hesitation "please juice apple want I") and just plain walking are starting to rule our days with the backwards element added in because he can get pretty ticked when you try to stop him from doing it and even wait you out to accomplish it. His newest backwards talking is especially hard to get mad about because, well simply put, he's actually talking. He's still considered nonverbal and probably only speaks 5% of the time.
He's also quickly figured out that by saying "I love you" to Matt or myself pretty much renders us incapable of telling him no to just about anything...the world is his oyster for those appropriately said 3 little words. Today he came up and gave me a big hug and I heard the coveted "I love you" and then a quick "you love I" followed. :sigh: My heart still melted though..
They refer to these quirks as OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and I'm very familiar with OCD traits with a few other children in our eccentric little family, but OCD is consuming Leo. It's also difficult getting everyone who works with Leo on the same page so we can address it. If you watched the TV show "Monk" at all, then you'd understand a bit how this is taking over his life. Everyone though is encouraging us to curb or nip these OCD type behaviors in the bud as soon as we see them.
I'm warring with myself as I stop some of these behaviors all the while breaking his heart. Tonight, I put him to bed on the wrong side (he only wants to get in on the right side bed -no pun intended). I lovingly picked him up, being all silly and such, and carried him to the left side with him giggling all the way. His body had barely touched the bed before he was scrambling to get out to go to the other side.
I once again dragged him to the left side of the bed, plopped in beside him tickling and playing "little piggy" and he laughed while I did it enjoying Mommy time. Then I hopped up, threw on his blankets (there are at least 5) the way he likes them, turned on his music and literally ran from the room singing a cheerful "Goodnight baby boy! Sleep well!" as I shut the door.
Immediate sobbing ensued from inside the room as he panicked. I lasted 5 minutes before I went back in, turned the light back on and watched him leap from the bed and circle around to get in the other side with a tearful relieved smile lighting his face. I once again placed his blankets just so because that's what loving mamas do who don't like to see their sweet little boys in despair. I made it all better, but went all the way back to square one.
I have no backbone with this child. I'm so in trouble. :/