Autism & waiting for a scream
the above picture was taken after benedict smashed his arm through a glass window. he’s done this twice now, both during a meltdown. the result is scars all up and down his left arm. when benedict gets angry, he doesnt hide it. he wants everything and everyone around him to feel it. it once took three of us to hold him down, and that was just his arms, his legs still swung and kicked.
the older benedict gets, the harder its getting to restrain him. its getting harder to keep him, and ourselves, safe. he’s not the tallest of boys, but he’s built like a rugby player, he’s very stocky. as he got older, he matched my dad’s strength, and now he’s far past it. the moment i hear a scream, or a slight angry sound from him, my heart drops. i dont know if its going to be a short cry about what food he wants, or if its going to result in him trying to fight us. we recently invested in some rubber arm protectors, to stop him from hurting our arms in any way with his teeth or pinching. they’ve recently been tore apart by his teeth. the picture below is what he did to my dad’s arm while they were away in cornwall.
he’s such a strong boy. he can create holes in walls using only his head, and will still be up for a fight after. he’s torn countless t-shirts and caused countless bruises, and when he’s in that zone i am scared of him. but the moment when he smashes his arm through a glass window, it goes from being scared of him, to being scared for him. no matter what he does, i will never stop being frightened for his own safety when he’s in that position. on both occasions benedict has been lucky. both times he’s narrowly missed major arteries, and got away with just dissolvable stitches and casts (which he rips off anyway).
my parents are firm believers that benedict will stay with us, and not go into residential care. he’s too much a part of our daily life, and while for some it is the only option, its just something that we wouldnt choose. his lack of speech would make it difficult to know how he is being treated, and if he is happy, and thats something my parents wouldnt like to take a risk on.
as he gets older and stronger i dont know how we’ll keep protecting him and ourselves. its an on-going battle and one we’ll have to live with forever, or until his behaviour gets better. we’re going to love him whatever, and while i know his behaviour might get worse as he ages, i cant wait to see the man he’ll grow into. he’s my beautiful baby brother, punches and all, and i’ll take him as he comes.
Courtesy of Tiger in the Car