Try This Tuesday #53: Looking for Your Advice

Try This Tuesday

Today I am really looking to you for your creative solutions. Things have been very up and down with my son this summer, with one day going beautifully and the next a disaster.

Although he is not what I would call a “runner”, i.e. a child who escapes at any opportunity without regard to his safety, he does sometimes run away from me when he is angry and could potentially get hurt or lost if he went too far or too fast. This happened one morning last week, and I am sharing an email I wrote to a friend asking for her advice in hopes that some of you will have ideas as well:

I’m really having a hard time figuring out whether I should take Michael to our planned outing tonight or not. He ran away from me this morning when the van came and I am still pretty upset about it.

Part of it is my fault – he turned the TV off at 8am but then asked to watch a Baby Einstein DVD in his room. I first said no but then he said he would just watch whatever he could until the van came, so I said okay. When the van came and I called him downstairs, he got very upset and was crying and refusing to come. He finally came down but when we left the house he took off down the street.

I called for him to stop but he didn’t, so I took off after him. When he saw me coming, he started running faster, so I stopped and yelled “Now” really loudly. He stopped and then burst into tears. I carried him back to the van with him crying about how I yelled at him like a monster.

I know that from now on everything has to be turned off at 8:00 no matter what, and I might even make us wait outside so he doesn’t get involved in something, but I’m not sure if I should also cancel tonight. Part of me feels like it might get his attention that he can’t run away like that.

The other part of me thinks first that I should have known better this morning, and also that he won’t really make the connection and it won’t have an impact on his behavior, except to make him angrier in general. Do you think changing the morning routine and being firm with it is enough of a response?

Looking back, I recognize my mistakes in not maintaining the structure needed in the morning and in not keeping a hand on him as we went outside, since I knew he was upset and could be unpredictable.

But I’m not really sure of the best way to handle the times when he does run off and how to get across how important it is that he stay with me, especially in more public places. I would really appreciate any thoughts on what to do in this situation.

As the host of Try This Tuesday, Trish shares some of the solutions she has found to make life easier. She blogs at Another Piece of the Puzzle or Autism Interrupted.

11 Responses to Try This Tuesday #53: Looking for Your Advice