We took our son outside to show him the swing. He sat for a while and then got up and made a beeline for the backyard. I followed partly for safety reasons and partly out of curiosity to see what he was up to. He wanted to go to our next door neighbor's yard. I told him no, that is someone else's yard and we can't go there. He kept saying two words that I couldn't figure out. I redirected his attention to climbing up the stairs on the hill in the back of the house. He climbed up and right back down. He started for the neighbor's yard again and I explained again why he couldn't go there.
I took his hand and he led me to our car and put my hand on the back door were he always gets in. I kept asking him what he wanted, where he wanted to go and he just seemed to get upset that I didn't know what he wanted. I finally said,"Let's go to the playground"(at my daughter's school). So we went into the house to make potty runs, grab some water and snacks and I grabbed his emergency seizure medication. I checked something on the computer and he stood next to me repeating those two words he had said outside in the yard. I said,"Popsicle?" I make pops from juice that he never eats, but had my daughter show him anyway, he has surprised us before. He came back to me and stood there saying those two words again and finally I said, "Mother Goose?" Which he repeated back loud and clear! I told him we were not going to go to his school and get the Mother Goose book and that he has his 2 upstairs in his room.
Here's the 411 on my son's relationship with that old Mother Goose then back to my story-
That stinkin', darn Mother Goose. Who the heck was she and why the heck is my son obsessed with her books!? I believe he was given a copy by his teacher a few years ago and has picked up 2 other copies, the one with the black and white checker pattern on the cover, since then. He has located every copy in his school and at times has spent his entire day trying to break down his teacher and classroom staff so they will procure it for him, he has never succeeded (God bless them for their consistency). He is so obsessed that he even finds pictures of the book in school supply catalogs and obsesses over the catalogs because they have a "copy" of the book in them! This past week at school he has been obsessing over one of these Mother Goose books in the music room. Once he knows of a copy and where it is he can't forget about it and has so much anxiety over not possessing it. Here is the silver lining: It took him a long time to understand permanence when he was little (understanding that something still exists even though you can't see it. Like when mommy leaves the room she didn't stop existing.) They tell him all day that he can't have that one.
So I take the kids to the playground anyway, knowing that it will be a short trip. Sure enough, we get out of the car, my daughter runs to the playground and my son puts a death grip on my hand and clings to me for dear life and starts protesting by making his I'm upset vocalisations. I tell him I know he wants the Mother Goose but we are not going to his school to get it and proceed to gently wiggle out of his vice grip on my hand and get him involved on the jungle gym. We make a few rounds on the slides, climb some stuff, go through some tunnels, walk on the balance beam and he starts to drag me towards the car.
Well, at least I tried and at least he didn't have a meltdown. And his sister, who is one of the most understanding little sisters a big brother with Autism could ever have, skipped to the car without complaint. We came back to the house and he sat on the swing and watched us play Croquet. Thank you to whoever came up with the brilliant method of distraction and redirection in dealing with children who obsess over things they can't do or have at the moment!!! I guess she hasn't ruined spring break yet. Good luck trying you stinkin' Mother Goose!