We did not yet have a date to close but we knew that one thing was for sure: moving with Nolan was going to be a monster tamed only by exposure.
“Nolan” I said. “Do you want to see our new home?” I was scared to make ownership statements not having ownership status but it was a necessary evil. He didn’t respond and he didnt really have to because we were already on our way.
Nothing about the drive sparked excitement. Left turn out the driveway and down streets reminiscent of a school bus ride. He didn’t bat an eye. We were only moving a few towns over.
Crayons and markers were everywhere. In the crevices, carved into the cream leather seats, chewed and sprinkled onto the carpet with a few scattered marking on actual paper. Those all evidenced his freedom to stim and the nearby I-gave-up-years-ago expression on my face. So it was in keeping with keeping him comfortable, in his own skin, that we took off to the nearby town.
“This is the house, Noly.” I said as I bumped the curb, my eye catching the In-Contract sign. “Would you like to live here? We can move all your things here. And play in the yard.”
On and on we spoke. Not so much for the sake of dreaming but for the sake of being onsite. For the sake of touching the door handle. For the sake of feeling the newness. For the sake of seeing the physical property and hearing the sounds of his new world. All his 5 senses were present such that where one layed dificient, another would take its place.
We knew the stats. It drove us into action. Moving to a new home is listed as a life’s major stressor. It skips hand in hand with death and divorce. So, tacking on a special needs kid to those dynamics, you then understand our need to nip a melt-down in the bud months in advance.
The day came. The papers were signed. The house was ours. The shrubs, the windows, the rooms. Ours! But wait, the room. THE room. HIS room. Time stood still. It has to be duplicated, and identically, to his current room. Afterall we are risking no new behavioral outbreaks people! So off to buy paint we were. Yankees gray and Yankees blue. Brushes, pans and rollers all new. It was like we didn’t have another kid named … aaaahhhhh, as we braced for the Nolan new home horrors.
Then … Nothing.
Well, not nothing nothing. We didn’t cure his autism or anything. He still rammed us with his head and grunted like a wildhog as his pre-ram alert. And he still stims a crayon like Michael Angelo himself, but we were already all over that. #sawthedentist.
But, the dude took to the his new home so naturally, and dare I say, so excitedly, that it was as if we over did the whole exposure, exposure and identical room plan thing. Seriously. We even return to the old house, with him in the car, to retrieve more items and little-hyper-man not only remained seated in the car, he requested to go back home. Ya! “New home, please” said he – because he is quite the verbal gentleman despite having bulldozed you earlier.
It was then that we realized our transplantation success. We overdid it and it was okay. Hi Five Hon! Bring it in.
As for our daughter, #autismsibling, should you find her, drop us a note below.
Jk. Shes around here. Somewhere. Lol.