It started like a regular Tuesday. Steve took Josh to school for the last time for at least 2 1/2 weeks. Alex was up getting ready. Steve let me sleep in just a tad and got Brandon up and ready. That extra 15 minutes of sleep did me good.
Brandon was sitting in his spot at the kitchen table. He was wearing a purple and gray striped shirt. Apparently, Steve forgot today is St. Patrick’s Day. I found a green shirt and Brandon changed after I explained why he shouldn’t wear the purple one.
Steve left for work and Brandon, Alex, and I were still hanging out in the kitchen. Brandon looked at me and said “sad”. I asked why he is sad and he said “cry”. I asked why he wanted to cry and he said “sad”. He then shut his eyes tight, like he was trying to cry.
This is one of the hardest things for me with Brandon’s autism. He is limited verbally and has never been good at communicating his feelings with words. We know when he is angry because of the angry jumping. We know when he is happy, because he laughs. But we may not understand WHY he is angry or happy. I hate when he is upset and I can’t figure out why.
We went in the same circle of conversation…”sad”, “why?”, “cry”, eyes shut tight…for a bit. I asked him if someone made him sad. He said yes. I asked who. He said cry. Ugh. He looked sad. He looked like he was upset.
He can’t tell me. I asked if he wanted to go to day program. “Yes”. I asked if he is mad at someone. “No”. I am trying to understand and help him. I told Brandon it is okay to be sad, that it is okay to cry occasionally when feeling sad. I also told him that he can always come to me when he is feeling sad.
Brandon and I went to the front room to sit on the couch and wait for the day program van. He touched my face, which he usually does and said “happy”. And then he smiled at me while making eye contact. That always makes my heart happy.
Was he sad that Steve got him up and did the morning routine of dressing and medicine? Was he sad that I asked him to change into a green shirt? Was he sad that I said I am making ham and beans for supper? Ugh. I have no idea.
When the van pulled up, Brandon ran out the door. He was smiling. I’m glad he was no longer sad, but I sure wish I knew what made him feel that way.
That truly is one of the hardest things about autism in our house.
Stay well friends and wash those hands!