Dustin, over-all, is doing okay. School is looking up and he is only getting a step (breaking a rule gets you a "step") or two a day. That, my fiends, is progress. But we a struggling at home with him running out of the house again. We had a brilliant streak a couple months ago that when we saw that "I'm gonna run!" gleam in his eyes, we would have him take his pants off. He certainly wouldn't run out of the house without pants off! Right?
Sure. That worked until this week when it started getting warm. yesterday afternoon, I got a call at work from Robert who told me that Dustin was down the block . . . in his underwear and no shoes. I told him not to even go outside, because we know that makes Dustin run farther and more erratically (we live on a busy street) and to wait for 20 minutes. If he didn't return call the police. I could not leave work. We were terribly short handed and I knew I would be of no help anyway.
I told him we needed to "change it up" (thanks for the phrase Lisa!). I told him to try a new approach when he came home. Instead of grabbing him and
I did the same thing when I got home. I even faked a little sob when I hugged him. (I am going to hell) I figured that punishment doesn't do a darn thing for his FAS raddled mind and all it doesn't is punish us. I HAVE to find a way to keep him safe inside the house so he does not get lost down the street or become a pancake on the road. It feels so wrong and like we are giving in to "his demands", but at this point I am far too concerned with his well-being to worry about "giving in". Am I wrong?
Am I creating a monster? (oh lord! it can'It be much worse) Also, last night was pretty darn good in the behavior category. I don't think he hollered at me once!
I look at it like this:
1. I may "look" like I am giving in to him and rewarding him, but truly I am winning. He is safe and we are not "that family" with the "mentally handicapped kid" who runs around in his underwear! In this world, the police shouldn't be knocking on my door and CPS will not come to check that we are not negligent and that he has clothing, and medication for his issues.
2. If we punish by removing TV or games or computer or simply give him timeout, we are lookin' for trouble. This is when his brain goes into overdrive thinking about what he can sneakily do, what he can destroy and who he can punish for his boredom. This is when the anger comes and the impulsivity sky-rockets. This is when he takes off out the door.
3. Is the punish making a difference anyway? NO! His brain is broken! If something isn't working why are we still doing it?
4. The "littles" already know Dustin plays by a different set of rules. I think we have a done a good job informing them that our expectations for Dustin's behavior is lower than theirs. I don't believe they feel slighted or will attempt to "work the system" to get away with more. (well, anymore than a typical 5 and 6 year old would!)
I need some input ladies! Help me! Give me some comment love. . .