I give up, it’s official!
I was discussing some of J’s mess and dirt phobias/quirks with some of his lovely ladies at his playgroup yesterday and then I spent most of last night thinking about our conversation. J hates getting dirty in anyway at all. I think I’ve mentioned before how he got a drop of water on his dressing gown and so had to change everything, (pj’s, slippers and so on). Well, for the past couple of weeks the messy “thing” has gotten so bad that he now won’t even open the fridge door, cupboard door or any door for that matter because he’ll get dirty hands!! Let me make it clear to you all, we don’t live in a dirty house, I sweep everyday, I hoover 3 times a week, I dust once or twice a week, (depending on the need), I mop 3 times a week, I clean all the cupboards, sides etc on a regular basis…………and so on. However none of this is enough for J, he still insists that something’s dirty, (the floor, door etc).
When I arrived at his playgroup to pick him up he was playing outside in the garden ……………. wait for it…………… in the bark…………… with 2 other children!!!!! I watched him playing for quite a while, mostly because I was shocked and amazed that he was not only playing with other children but he was also playing in something “messy”. Hooray!!!! Then he spotted me and we got his bag ready to go home………………. except he refused to get his drink and lunchbox out of the fridge because he’d get dirty hands if he touched the fridge door!!! Arrgghhhhhhhhh! I felt like screaming, I tried explaining that he’d just been playing outside in the bark which was much dirtier than the fridge door, how did he respond?………. He lifted his hands to me and said “yes but I don’t have dirty hands do I?” Well I’ll be honest, I didn’t know how to respond to that so I gave in, opened the fridge for him and away we went.
Whilst I was watching him play I was chatting to some of his lovely ladies. Miss M was telling me how J had been playing outside in the bark really well, not bothered about getting dirty but when they came in wouldn’t sit on any of the chairs………. too dirty!!
J struggles to use cutlery, (well he’s never really eaten anything that requires the use of it!), he can use a spoon but he’s pretty clumsy with it, so usually he just uses his fingers to eat. Mealtimes drive me crazy, he’ll only eat certain foods, won’t/can’t possibly sit at the table, usually has to walk or bounce around whilst he’s eating, he always complains about his hands, mouth, clothes etc being dirty whilst he’s eating, quite often puts too much in his mouth, so ends up spitting lots out, but what really drives me crazy is the crumbing! He crumbs what he eats as he’s eating and it makes a huge mess. It doesn’t matter what it is, even cheese, don’t ask me how he does it but he has to crumb it. I don’t understand how a child who hates mess and dirt so much can make so much of it whilst he’s eating!
Well this morning, feeling very tired due to being woken up each and every night for very silly reasons, I reached my breaking point, There was cereal bar all over him, the floor, even a couple of cushions, (don’t ask) and all of this before I’d had chance to have my coffee! So feeling completely exhausted and fed up, I asked him this morning, whilst he was crumbing the remaining quarter of his cereal bar, “J, why can you eat it properly?” ………… he responded with “my teeth are trying to eat it!” AArrrgghhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! I give up, how do I respond to that?
Does anyone else out there have similar issues with their ASD child? If anyone has any advice I’m listening. We have our first therapy session next week, I know we have alot of issues that need dealing with but the dirty thing is driving me insane………… how can a child who hates dirt and mess so much be so messy????