Stephen has broken 3 pairs of full ear cover headphones in the last month. They all have had the wires ripped off the jack or the wire ripped in half. No idea how it is happening but I'm sure it's an accident because Stephen LOVES his headphones. Luckily, I stocked up on some very cheap, I think they were about $5 a piece, not very comfy, but are better than nothing full ear cover headphones.
He was rocking in his glider, backwards on his knees, two nights ago and tipped it over and hit his forehead on his old fashioned metal radiator. We were so concerned with his head injury of course that we didn't inspect the chair. By the way, he is fine and was left with 2 vertical lines on his forehead but no bumps, swelling or bleeding thank God! I moved the chair to a safer spot that if he continued his backwards rocking, he wouldn't be able to tip it and if he did, he would hit his cabinet with his books and not get hurt badly. So now the back of the glider is the side you see when you walk in his room and I went to get him ready for bed and noticed that one of the rungs in the back was broken in half on one side and sticking out. Thank God for packing tape. We will try to remove the rung and get a replacement dowel this weekend. If we can't fix it than we will get more grant money to replace it.
We just replaced his computer desk because he was picking off the veneer in many areas and had just worn it out.
We have come to accept over the years that Stephen is going to destroy or break things due to his Autism and just being a young boy. He either breaks things on accident, is seeking stimulation, gets really frustrated or if something has a tear or hole in it than he just can't resist picking at it or making it bigger. He also just wears out his books and DVDs from handling them so much.
He has torn apart chairs, stuffies, broken numerous blinds and curtain rods, broken several glass ceiling fixtures in our last apartment, chewed toys (some were Olivia's), chewed or ripped apart MANY earbuds and headphones, picked holes in walls and peeled off the paper on drywall in our last apartment, chewed or bit holes in clothing, broken a few disc drives on his computer, etc.
I let him know I'm not happy about it but it's hard to get mad at him when he can't tell you why he did it. We explain that what he did was wrong and why he shouldn't do it and try to figure out a way to prevent it from happening if he can't stop himself. For example, he loves to open curtains and blinds and look outside. We got rid of the blinds because he just kept breaking off pieces from pulling them apart to look outside. We replaced all our standard white curtain rods with decorative ones that seem more sturdy. We put tab top curtains in his room which slide much easier over the rods. If he needs to be shown a gentler way of doing or handling something than we do that as a way of trying to prevent something from getting broken again.
Intent is a very important factor when responding to a child who has broken or destroyed something. How can I get really upset with him if he didn't intentionally break something or he can't help doing what he did to break it?
So we adapt. We try to create or buy things that are "Stephen proof" or accept that things like books and DVD's cannot be "Stephen proofed" and will need to be replaced frequently.
Are your kids prone to destroying things? How do you respond and why?