Kaeden is home for the holidays. It's so nice having him here to share his excitement over all the pleasurable things in life. But, it's also very noticeable in other ways. For instance, in his ability to break stuff.
It amazes me how easily things break in his presence. It seems that all he has to do is look at something, and oops, kapot! But the truth of the matter is that Kaeden is not careful. He doesn't look around him but focuses instead on his one goal, which results in him being unaware of his surroundings. And when he steps on something to get to the one place he wants to be, things get broken in the process.
If Kaeden had the ability to be sorry for his actions, it would be easier. Instead, he immediately puts the blame on someone else. He doesn't grasp the concept that if he tried to be more aware, he would automatically be more cautious. And grasping the concept of regret is completely foreign to his autistic mind. If something breaks in his presence, it's the objects fault for being there (where it should be), or someone's fault for putting it there.
This week alone, two zippers on two separate coats have broken. Why? Well, Kaeden wants to zip his coat, he pulls it without thinking, and wham...broken. The shower head is broken. He pulls it to make the water stream to his liking, but without regard for gently unscrewing the cap first...pull, wham...broken! Playstation...he wants to play. When his time is over, he stands to come downstairs where I called him. He makes the first leap, trips on the cords and pulls the whole unit to the floor...wham...broken!
It is because of this that we try to protect our belongings from our son. It's not nice to have everything always get broken though we've come to accept that it happens with Kaeden around. Still, when a new toy gets broken, or an item we treasure, it's not any less frustrating. So, Kaeden is often not allowed to touch things that belong to other people, which puts a damper on his mood. I can understand this. Still, he needs to first learn to be more cautious. But how?
Autism is a hard thing to deal with. Simple little accidents that most people are accustomed to bloom on the horizon larger than life. When I mention to people that something broke in Kaeden's presence, they think of it as an accident, something out of his control. And it is. An accident. But, accidents can be prevented if we are aware and careful. Sometimes. So, how do we teach Kaeden the responsibility of being more cautious, understanding that breaking things is something he has some control over if he is more aware of his surroundings, that getting from point A to point B takes more awareness than just making the steps? And most importantly, when an accident does occur, how can we teach him that to show regret, to be sorry, makes it more acceptable. That people will forgive easier when you take responsibility for your actions?
This is one of the reasons we worry about Kaeden riding a bike to Judo, or when he considers getting his driver's license we tell him that he isn't ready for that step yet. His surroundings mean nothing to him...only what is in his path is of importance. Just another little thing about autism.