Tic, Tic, Tic….BOOM!!

This is the sound of Ronan’s  brain exploding!!!  So amazing, but always with a little trade off…lemme ‘splain…

Major developments have been going on here during this vacation week!  We are seeing vocabulary, conversation skills and question asking at a level that is just unbelievable! 

I never imagined that I would cry when my 6 year-old child asked me a “why” question, but I did.  I caught Ro rifling through the bathroom cabinet while he was going potty.  If I don’t hear anything in the bathroom for more than a second, I know Senor Scientist is up to something! 

Sure enough, he had found an old bottle of blue nail polish that I had under the sink.  It escapes me exactly why Mama has blue nail polish, but I think it was from painting an American flag on my big toe for the 4th of July.   Don’t ask.  Okay, I’ll tell anyway. 

This one time, at band camp…no, actually, this one time, while getting a pedicure, the technician told me that she loved painting decorative designs on my big toe…”because there is SO much room to create!” 

Yes.  Mama has Sasquatch toe.  Not pretty, but once this was brought to my attention,  as a lover of painting, Mama had to decorate her new canvas in every possible way!

Anyway, after I cleaned him up and informed him that using polishes or paints required Mama’s help, he asked me if he could paint his nails for school tomorrow.

Hmm.  While Mama doesn’t gender discriminate, it’s probably not a good idea to wear blue nail polish to school, at least for Ro -too distracting, and he bites his nails.  I say no, which leads to the “why” question…

Ronan:     “Mom, why I can’t do polish before school?”  

Mom:     (pauses, then begins to cry) sniff, sniff…”Um, because you bite your nails, and I don’t think it would be good to bite them at school with blue nail polish on them.”  Sniff, sniff.  Cry, cry.   Cry.  Cry again.

Wow.  this was a hurdle that I have waited YEARS for Ronan to jump.  “Why” just opens up so many doors to understanding, and the fact that he gets that abstract concept,  enough to ask it now…I am just so excited for him.  I know it will lessen so much frustration and anxiety to be able to communicate with this simple word. 

Now, for the Debbie Downer…wah, wah, wahhhh…

Unfortunately, whenever Ro has a growth in development, he also has a huge rise in self-stimulatory behaviour – or “stims” as they call them.  These stims usually manifest as hyperactivity or repetitive thoughts or actions for Ro.  Opening and closing doors, turning light switches on and off, repeatedly worrying or talking about a certain subject – all the norm for him when he is “exploding”. 

This time was different. 

There is a certain Baby Einstein movie that Ro got when he was an infant.  In the movie, a dragon puppet stares at the screen and then surprisingly grunts “BLAH!”

You cannot imagine the horror that washed over Ro!

Ever since, he has been terrified of all things Baby Einstein.  He still won’t even walk by the Dragon Puppet character that he sees at Target on the baby toy shelf!  

Imagine my surprise when he started repeating “BLAH” over and over again during his growth spurt.  Blah here, blah there, blah everywhere.  At first we were shocked that he wasn’t afraid of saying it!  Then, we got intensely aggravated listening to blah over and over and over again.

Another stim?  No, a tic.  An uncontrollable tic, interspersed with grunting and bearing down of his stomach muscles.  Oh, lovely. 

What was particularly awful, was that he was so bothered by doing it.  He wasn’t so much afraid of the word anymore, he was afraid of not being in control of his tics.  He’d say “BLAH” about 20 times, and then he’d say, “Mom.  I’m alright, right?”  And he’d whine a little bit.  So completely painful for Mama to watch.

I think downplaying it makes it seems less nerve-wracking for him, so I take the “no big deal” approach.  “When you’re ready to stop saying ‘blah’, you will, Ro.”  This seems to help, but he goes and goes and goes with the blah, for days on end.

Mama does what Mama does best.  Research!  It seems that surpressing tics mostly makes it worse, so I allow blah times.  You can say blah for 30 minutes before bed, but not in the Aquarium.  You can say blah while bathing, but not at school, etc.  Sometimes, I ignore the in between blahs, and sometimes I call it to his attention that it’s bothering Loudon (it drives the Lowie crazy!). 

My brave Ro.  Not only does he have to weather the anxieties of Autism, but now do we have to add Tourette’s to the mix? .  When I think of my last post about “curing” or not “curing” Autism, I just have to say…WTF??!!!  I see my baby in pain, and it’s not society not accepting him as an idividual, or me wanting him to conform or change him…It’s TAKE AWAY PAIN CAUSED BY MY CHILD’S MISFIRING NERVOUS SYSTEM!!!!  Any Ro pain saved is happiness all around – and not for us, not to save us “blah” aggravation, but to see my child not suffer.  Cure, shmure, call it what you want!  I don’t care if you call it 3 baboons asses and a can of beer! 

ANYTHING to see my child not suffer for one second more than he has to. 

Okay, stepping off my soapbox now.  Blue nail polish pilfering, blah repeating, whatever, let me just say that I am so interested to see what other new developments this recent brain explosion brings!!

You go, Ro!  Blah!

 Here are my babies at the Aquarium today…


Listen parents!  These are the things you take for granted when your 4 year-old drills you with the “WHY” over and over again!