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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Bad McDonalds Trip

Yesterday was really something, but I am hoping perhaps it gave me some insight into Janey. I took her with me to two stores Christmas shopping. Usually she loves to shop, and I have tended to stay home too much with her in the morning before school, so I felt good about taking her out. She asked me at the second store "you want chicken nuggets?" which meant SHE wanted to go to McDonalds, and we have done that before and it's gone quite well. So we went there. I think the first problem was we couldn't sit where we did the 4 or so other times we have gone. Also, there were kids at the next table, nice kids but talkative and Janey kept hearing them. But who knows what really was happening---she kept getting more and more upset. Finally she crawled under the table to me, and just FREAKED OUT---started biting the back of the chair, the table, anything within reach, and then tried her hardest to bit me. I had to hold her coat between me and her mouth, and she bit so hard on the coat her lips was bleeding. I was truly a little scared. I knew I just had to get her out of there, and talked to her as calmly as I could and got her out as quickly as I could. She didn't say a word in the car, but as we got home, she said one of her longest statements "I heard a clicking sound, and the clicking sounded like BOOM! I heard a footprints sound". I really don't know if this was about the McDs, but I think it was---she heard some kind of clicking sound that sounded really loud to her, and maybe like someone was walking over to her. She kept repeating that same phrase many times. I tried of course to ask her more about it, but to no avail.

A long time ago I read a book, I think called "The Sound of a Miracle" about a girl diagnosed with autism that is "cured" by something I think is called auditory training. I thought it was pretty foolish, but now I do wonder how much sounds and extra-sensitive hearing affect Janey. I know William also has very sensitive hearing, and Tony sometimes too. And I know Janey is very bothered by things that sound wrong---songs sung in a silly way, and even things like a burb noise. A few nights ago she went crazy because I was singing "Away in a Manger" to her and said "The stars in the BRIGHT sky" instead of how I usually say it, "The Stars in the Sky". I really don't know what to do about this all, but I might try to do some more research. I know I think the expensive "training" the book talked about is a huge scam. I actually went years ago to a talk about it and was extremely underwhelmed.

Oh, well.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

In rereading this post today (12/29/10, Janey is 6 now) I realize this was really a crucial moment. It was when I started being reluctant to take Janey out places, because of that awful McDonalds scene, which I think I actually played down in writing about it. It was also the time I often think of when she talked about hearing the sounds like footsteps or banging. Much later my pediatrician said he thought Janey might be hearing things, when she was going through a very tough period, and I remember this day vividly, and a few others when Janey mentioned sounds. I think before this point, I took Janey out a lot more, but that day I realized how hard it could be, and never again to this day felt totally good about taking her out on my own.