It's always the little things, it seems, with our son's Aspergers Syndrome. Once Safety Guy gets into a routine, it's really hard on him to have something change that routine. This morning we had a really good example of that phenomenon. (We call it the "who moved my cheese?" problem, based on the book, and the idea that dealing with change is harder for some people than others.)
Usually Safety Guy is up before his sister on school mornings. He gets up, gets dressed, turns on the Mac and has breakfast while watching a few YouTube videos before heading out to catch the bus. That's his routine; it happens like clockwork. This morning, though, his sister was up early and got on the Mac first. Oy vay, you'd think the whole world had conspired against Safety Guy to derail his morning. It wasn't fair, she did it on purpose, why did she do that when she knows that he uses the Mac EVERY MORNING, why couldn't she just get off and let him do his thing, didn't she know this was HIS TIME to be on there, she ALWAYS got up earlier just to get on the computer, he couldn't believe she'd do such a thing, etc. (All this fussing is going on with him sitting on the end of my bed, while I'm just waiting in my nightgown, watching him melt down. This is NOT how I like to start my day, either, I wanted to tell him.)
I told him first that I was NOT going to tell her to get off the computer, because she has just as much right to it as he has, and she did get up first today I also told him that his accusation of "she's always getting up first to get on the computer before me" was bogus, because most days he does get up earlier and get the computer first. I reminded him that life isn't going to let him go first all the time, and that sometimes our routines will be changed by other people or circumstances we can't control and we'll have to deal with it. We can't expect everything to go our way all the time - life just isn't like that. I also told him that he was NOT to say anything to his sister about the computer when he went downstairs, that he should just leave her alone and get his breakfast, and that he'd get time on the Mac later.
Now, usually this situation would continue like this: he would go downstairs and proceed to yell at his sister and demand his way, in spite of my admonition to make the right choice and leave her alone. She'd yell back, and great unhappiness and even more drama would ensue. This morning he surprised me: HE OBEYED. You have no idea how delighted I was with this outcome. He actually got his stuff, went downstairs, got his breakfast, and got ready for school without saying ANYTHING to Princess Yakyak. No provoking, no yelling, no recriminations - he simply did what I had asked. Hallelujah! There's hope!
So, the biggest drama of the morning wasn't the semi-meltdown over who got to use the Mac first - it was that he did the right thing, with only the single parental edict of "leave your sister alone." Ab-so-freaking-lutely amazing. I guess a parent has to get a win once in a while, and I'd consider that an even bigger win for him as far as his self-control goes.