Sunday, April 20, 2014

Autism and Compartmentalization

It has been far too long since I posted anything on my blog. It has been an even longer time since I have posted anything about my son and dealing with aspects of his autism.  This post will fix both of those items.

My son has always had a way of compartmentalizing certain things.  For example, there are certain games and activities that he will do with me that he won't do with my wife and vice versa.  There will be times that she will try to get him to play one of the word game routines that he does with me and he will quickly change the conversation over to one that he does primarily with her.

Likewise, there are certain activities that he associates with school or the dorm that he refuses to do at home.  Sadly, one of those is using the toilet for his bowel movements.  The school and dorm have been getting him to use the toilet for bowel movements.  There hasn't been any progress on transferring that behavior to the home setting.

Today, we saw another example of how he compartmentalizes certain things.  This time in regards to food.  For the past few days, he has been home on spring break for school.  Originally, he was scheduled to go back to the dorm tomorrow.  Since we have been having an extremely difficult time getting him back to school after breaks, my wife came up with the idea to take him back today after having Easter dinner at her parents' house.

All weekend long, he had been talking about going to Grammy's house to have ham and mac & cheese.  We got to dinner and he refused to eat the ham.  The only thing he would eat was the mac & cheese.  We left my in-laws house and took him back to dorm where we got there in time for him to get dinner.  They had fixed a plate for him consisting of ham, mac & cheese, green beans, meat balls, potato salad and a deviled egg.  After insisting that I remove the egg and potato salad, he then proceeded to eat everything on his plate, including the green beans.

I wasn't surprised to see him eat the ham and meatballs, and of course, mac & cheese is one of his favorite dishes.  I was shocked to see him eat all of the green beans.  If we ever tried to put vegetables on his plate at home he would insist that they be removed from his plate.  Just another example of how he will do certain things at school that he won't do at home.
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