If you visit our home, you will see holes in the walls. You will see couches that have been reinforced with 2x4s underneath. If you go in our basement, you will see drywall starting to come off the ceiling. You will see a TV that is wired to the wall (we have learned from our mistakes).
Why? Because Brandon’s behaviors can be destructive to his environment. He isn’t intentionally putting holes in drywall. He isn’t trying to tear stuff up. It just seems to happen. Don’t get me wrong, there are things Brandon will destroy with that purpose in mind. If a shirt has even the tiniest hole, he will rip the shirt the shreds. It’s the same with socks.
Brandon jumps. A lot. Over the years, all the jumping has “shaken” the dry wall loose from the ceiling in the basement. If we ever decide to sell our house, it will get fixed then. Until that time, we just keep nailing it back up.
There are holes in the walls in his room. Some of them are from the arms of his desk chair. Some are from Brandon bouncing his head off the wall. He doesn’t head bang in the general sense of the word. It’s more of an incessant tapping of his head, which sometimes happens while he is sleeping. Brandon will also start picking at some of the holes, making them bigger.
We have tried to give him a new chair for his desk, but he refuses to accept one. He has made a hiding place for some of his beads by tearing some of the seat out and using a pillow to cover it. We just leave it alone. Everyone needs their hiding spots.
This one is in my kitchen. Like most families, we have our spots at the table. Brandon’s spot is by this wall. He tends to not be very aware of how hard he pushes his chair back when getting up. He also jumps sometimes in his chair which will slam into the wall. We have fixed this spot many many times over the years. We have also tried to get Brandon to sit in a different spot. He is not having any of that at all. His spot is his spot.
Brandon’s new favorite spot is Steve’s recliner. He sits in it with his iPod on and headphones in his ears. We can already see some spots on the wall from his headphones hitting it while he is shaking his head to the music. We could ask him to sit on the couch, but he really loves the recliner.
While our house is not in pristine condition, we know the damage is not done on purpose. This is Brandon’s home, too. He is who he is. And we love who he is, holes and all.