Sunday, November 8, 2009
Brian and Jokers Do Not Mix
It's been awhile since I've worried about bringing Brian to a crowded event. Sure he doesn't do wonderful at most events but he does okay, he's able to hold it together for quite a while.
Yesterday we went to Jokers for Corbin's birthday party. Jokers is like a Chuck E. Cheese only bigger and better. There is laser tag, a HUGE playhouse, a ferris wheel, bounce house, arcade games, and more. And it was crowded. Extremely crowded and extremely noisy.
First thing Brian ran into the playhouse. He really enjoyed it and was able to maneuver through even the trickiest areas. After a half hour in the playhouse our hostess brought the pizza. Getting Brian out of the playhouse was a struggle, but still not a meltdown. Everyone ate pizza and then Corbin started to open his presents. That was when the meltdown started. He was done eating pizza, he wanted to back in the playhouse. It was a full angry meltdown. Screaming and I couldn't get him to calm down. Usually I can squeeze him, sing to him, rub his back, something to calm him down. It wasn't happening. Josh's neice offered to bring him back in the playhouse and then he was good.
They came back just in time for the cake. Brian stuffed in one of his cupcakes I brought for him and then again just started screaming because I wanted him to wait for everyone. I again couldn't get him to calm down. I looked around and thought, the bathroom is probably the quietest place. I bring him in and he is still screaming and wriggling out of my arms like I'm abusing him. He gets away from me and runs full speed into a stall that was occupied. I pulled him out, apologizing to the occupant. I sit on the floor and finally get him to calm and ask him if he is ready to go back, he replies, "Ready".
We go back out and he waits with me nicely for me to hand out tickets and tokens to all of the kids. I then let him go into the playhouse again. While he is in there I decide maybe I'll go around and try to play some games. I just put in my first token into a game and I see Brian running around the grounds of the building SCREAMING, tears running down his cheeks, and holding his hands over his ears.
I run after him and he doesn't even want me to touch him. I am trying and trying to calm him and he is not having it. Everyone is staring. I carry him over to the bounce house and the attendant is trying to stop him from just running in and he isn't having it. I let her know that he has autism and he is extremely overwhelmed, she immediately steps away and lets me take over. We both climb into the bounce house.
Luckily, it was empty- so it was just the two of us. He threw himself onto the floor and started rolling around, kicking his feet, and just crying, not letting go of his ears. I actually lay on top of him and whisper in his ear. I could feel the tension start to leave his body. I rolled off of him and laid next to him and we just laid there in silence for a few minutes.
We got out and held hands and walked out. He was able to hold it together for the last 45 minutes of the party, after he got over that hump, but it was definitely not a place that I plan on bringing him to again any time soon.
Posted by Heather Nelson at 3:03 PM