Yesterday when we left therapy, Timothy lost it.
Usually after an IBI session, there is a protocol. It involves a checklist, a visual board and two therapists that have faded out to just one and myself. You see, visual boards have become a major piece of my pie of life in every aspect. Nevertheless, yesterday was no different. We left his cubby area, one of his hands in one of each of ours. He was dressed, singing one of his usual tunes. Through one set of doors and then the next. Something changed when I opened the car door. To me, the interior looked the same as it always does, his booster seat in its right place by the child-locked door and a small white basket of books beside it. The usual powder from his jelly donuts and scuffs from boots on the back of the passenger side seat. For Timothy, something inside him became unhinged.
Fight or flight kicked in and he leapt towards the door. Prior experiences have quickened my reflexes and luckily I grabbed him by the back of his pants and held as he tried to pull away. The therapist went to stand at the other door in case he got away from me. In the meantime, I calmly coached him to sit down and offered quiet reassurance. He lashed out. Hard. Head butted me in the temple and for a second I saw stars. Hot tears sprung to my eyes as I continued to hold him in his chair. I kept talking. It was only yesterday but for the death of me I have no idea what I said to him....
I noticed several onlookers outside my car. You have to realize at this point it was quite a scene because all the while young sir was screaming "no no no" at the top of his lungs and trying to hit his own head off of the car door. Then the clothes came off. First coat and hat, then boots, then pants and he was in my car in the dead of winter in his ninja turtle underwear cool as a cucumber.
The gawkers were still gawking, I had tears running down my face and sweat on my brow. But we had made it through the weeds and he was safely in his seat. I smiled through my tears and waved out my window as I drove off. I don't know when it was that I stopped caring about how others saw me or my son. All that matters is how we see ourselves. Perfectly imperfect. My life has become so unorthodox because of autism and my confidence so great in myself and in my children. I have faith in all of us that we can get through just about anything these days and we will.........fully dressed or not.
tHe BoOk Of TiMoThY oN fAcEbOoK