Tonight, he had 5 separate emotional episodes between when he got home at 4 and we sent the boys to bed at 9:30. Usually, their bedtime is 10, which is the earliest we can send them to bed, or else they wake at ungodly hours of the morning.
First it was a blow-out because Lucas was smacking while chewing - which he always does. Then it was homework. Then it was that Lucas was playing his 3DS too loud, then it was about having to go to bed early, then I mentioned his past respite worker which sent him over the edge.
I'm at a loss as to what to do. Even if I lessen demands, work through his issues, and validate his feelings, it takes almost an hour each time for him to calm down enough, and then the tiniest thing sets him off. It's like walking on eggshells, and we're not even in his teens yet.
It's exhausting for both John and I, and we feel frustrated and helpless as to how to help Dylan. And then, in the back of my mind, I think of that person John worked with, whose autistic grandson hung himself at 10 years old. Dylan is 9, and I am petrified something like that could happen.
When I inquired about a program for kids with emotional issues at CPRI, intake told me that Dylan would have to be a danger to himself or others. I know he isn't a danger to others, and his self-injurious behaviours are apparently 'not severe enough'. I'm going to have to go through his doctor, because I'm pretty darn sure there has to be some sort of mental health program that could help. But last time I spoke to his doctor, she wanted him to see a private therapist, who didn't work with children with autism, but thought Dylan would be a 'new challenge' to her. Not to be offensive, but I'm not guinea pigging Dylan with something as important as his mental well being.
Sigh. It hurts me that he is hurting, and I'm not able to make him better.
Being 'high-functioning' does not mean your autism is less pervasive and serious in your life. 'High-functioning' kids have their own unique and challenging issues to deal with.