Here’s the kind of trick you resort to to incentivize a dev-disabled autistic, gaming-obsessed kid to learn to control and contain his inner wild animal: Fortnite. If he manages to self-control his tantrums and calm himself for x number of days, he’ll get Fortnite. His fierce desire for the latter helps him to be more mindful and self-aware when the meltdown comes on, and choose a more appropriate behavior. We’ll see how that goes.
I’ve also noticed that since the kids have come to expect Fridays to be the day I spend cleaning, baking and cooking for Shabbat, not spending as much time playing, S in particular has learned to manage and occupy himself better, without constantly glomming onto me for attention. Just having a routine that he can depend on and anticipate seems to benefit him, even motivate him to help. Shabbat dinner around the table seems to be working out more smoothly, as well.
Then there’s the added challenge of multiple dev-disabled sibs close in age constantly antagonizing each other into loud, dramatic altercations featuring vulgar insults and declarations of hate. Shrieking, crying, self-pity, and hostility ensue. Meanwhile, the older two just withdraw to avoid all the chaos and commotion, but it affects them adversely as well. Sometimes the instigators actually need to be separated geographically, as was the case yesterday. Y spent the afternoon with me at the apartment, which seemed to calm her down, if not bore her to death!
Then I came over theirs and we had pizza and I spent an uneventful night, while Avdi got to spend it elsewhere, which he needed badly. We all need that occasionally, which is why I’m back at my apartment taking a break. I’ve noticed it takes me longer now to wind down and just be here, not at everyone’s beck and call. I also appreciate the time outs from being assimilated and swallowed by juvenile minds!