There are many bridges to cross as an autie family.
There is the fickle Bridge of Trying Food That Is Not Pureed, which I'm beginning to believe is a hallucinatory side-effect of surviving on caffeine and raspberry jam. Every time I think I've found it, it seems to sneakily change it's co-ordinates.
Damn you, raspberry jam.
There is the difficult-to-locate Bridge of Not Bolting From Your Mother In Public While She Is Wearing Heels. When I try to cross this bridge I can never tell if it is the wind whistling through the floor boards I hear, or the distant sound of mocking laughter.
My favourite is the Bridge of Continence, which we crossed with the assistance of dogged tenacity, Sherpa Tenzing and the sale of my soul to Beelzebub. I burned that one as soon as we crossed it because we are never , ever going back.
But for Finian, the ultimate Bridge of Death has to be toenail cutting
My son was looking less like a 7 year old boy and more like an untrimmed (but surprisingly handsome) mountain goat.
It was fast approaching that time when I had to muster all the able-bodied males in our house to pin him down while I clipped his blades of glory.
You may have gathered, that Finian is less than co-operative when it comes to personal grooming.
I really wanted to approach the toe-nail shearing armed with something other than staple guns, buffalo sedatives and a cattle crush, so my trusty adviser Google was prayed to for enlightenment.
A quick search showed that Finian is in excellent company.
What is laughingly referred to as issues with nail trimming, goes together with autism like napalm and warfare.
Many excellent ideas were suggested (sensory distraction, involvement in the process, rewarding), attempted and discarded.
The distraction thing categorically Did Not Work.
I tried promising him "cut toe nails first, then coke" (just about his favourite thing on earth) and what killed me is that he really tried. He repeated what I said, he made eye contact and inched his toes towards me...only to snatch them away at the last second. It was just to awful for him to bear.
Temple Grandin said that even though most of us don't find nail cutting painful, that the autisitc person may perceive it that way.
But short of access to an anaesthetist and some propofol, we had to once again resort to muscle (us) and screaming (him). I wish evolution would catch up with autism with the proviso that if you have autism, you also get pretty, self-manicuring nails. It only seems fair.
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Toxic Free Blog - by Brittany Glynn
Brittany is a director of the Toxic Free Foundation and created the first ever Toxic Free Certification Program. Weekly, Brittany publishes the Toxic Free Blog and provides coaching to over 10,000 families in the United States alone. She is the author of a Toxic Free educational series and co-author of several Toxic Free learning programs. Brittany is also an award winning author.