The Obsessions

There are times when it feels like autism has kicked me in the rear end. Last night was one of those nights. Brandon kept repeating “set timer talk about animals” over and over. And over. And over.

He had talked about animals throughout the day with both Steve and I. I have worked with Brandon the last few weeks about waiting until the timer goes off and then we will talk about the animals. He likes knowing when it will happen and I never set the timer for more than 30 minutes.

All of this had been working well until last night. I don’t know what happened, but at some point it became about saying “set timer talk about animals” only. He no longer wanted to talk about the animals, he just wanted to say it over and over.

How do I know this? Because Brandon would not talk about the animals when the timer went off. He would continue to say “set timer…”. Ugh. I wish I understood. When did it shift to just being about saying the same thing over and over as opposed to actually talking about the animals? Why didn’t I see it coming?

I do know from past experience when this happens, that Brandon needs to work through the obsession. We ignored his verbalizations. He got angry with us and there was a tantrum with a lot of angry jumping. There is a new hole in the wall.

However, there was not a meltdown. When Brandon realized we weren’t going to respond, he did stop saying those words. He finally sat down and listened to his iPod. He played Mario Kart. He sat outside for a bit.

When he went to bed, the obsession started again. We promised Brandon we would talk about animals with him when he woke up, but sleep must come first. He finally settled down and slept all night.

Brandon was in a good mood this morning and talked about animals with Steve. And then he left happily for day program.

I so wish I understood these parts of Brandon’s autism better. But we continue to do the best we can.

Stay well everyone!

4 thoughts on “The Obsessions

  1. 🐞 Ladybug 🐞|Autie with Hope says:

    Repetitive behavior: one of the top characteristics of autism. But repetitions to this extent is heartbreaking for all of us with family members with autism. My twin sister has those episodes. I do not. I do not know why she does this. At the same time, those doing it do not know why they do it either. Staying cheerful is the best solution to incidents like this 🙂

    • stlautismmom says:

      Thank you for your insight! We certainly do our best. We generally ignore and go about our business as happily as we can. It seems like once Brandon realizes it isn’t affecting us, he stops and moves on.

      • 🐞 Ladybug 🐞|Autie with Hope says:

        That’s a good habit. My twin sister is relentless. She will not stop until we tell her what she wants to hear. I generally do not know what it is she wants to hear, but we try the best we can until she stops. That can take hours!

      • stlautismmom says:

        Brandon doesn’t seem to care if we say what he wants or not. He is just hyper focused on what he wants to say. Sometimes it can be exhausting!!

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