Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sibling Rivalry

I should really just consider myself lucky that with my children being 9 and 8 that this is the first time that I've had to deal with them fighting.

A lot of people ask me how the boys get along, how Corbin does with his little brother, what their relationship is like and honestly I have always had positive things to say about it.  They don't have the typical sort-of arguments.  They don't fight over toys because the only toys Brian has ever given any real love towards are trains.  They don't fight about who sits where because everything is SO routine around here that they have the same seats.  They don't fight because Brian doesn't know how to call his brother names and so Corbin follows his lead.

However, lately they have begun to fight.

Actually, I don't really know if it can be categorized as fighting.

But Corbin is becoming annoyed.

Brian has had a large increase in his OCD-like behaviors lately.  So much so that I am really leaning towards now saying Brian has Autism and OCD.  I don't even feel like his behaviors can fit under the umbrella of Autism anymore.  One of the gazillion things he is doing relating to this is tapping people.

He'll approach you and have to tap your right arm then your left arm, right arm, left arm.  He'll then turn and tap your left foot with his foot, then right foot.  If you're a lady he might tap your breasts, which is soooooo appropriate.  He'll do it to your cheeks, fingertip to fingertip, your knees, and so on.  He might do it only twice but it also might take him 12 times before he feels satisfied.

This annoys Corbin.

Corbin does not see this as part of Brian's disability.  He sees this as his little brother purposefully trying to annoy him.

So, Corbin has decided he'll run away from his brother every time his brother tries to do a tapping routine on him.

What happens when Brian is unable to follow his routines?

A variety of things at different extremes depending on the day and on the "necessity" of the routine.  He could scream bloody murder, lock his legs and fall backwards to the floor, bite his wrists, and/or cry real tears.  This will persist until he can carry out his routine.  We have not found a way to get him out of this tantrum mode until he can finish the routine.  We are hoping to get some answers soon from different specialists but for now, that's all I got.

I have tried to sit down with Corbin and tell him that we are all upset with the intensity and severity Brian's routines have become.  I try to explain that Brian can't control them.  I try to explain that if you just let him finish it out then we won't have to hear the screaming and Brian won't have to be so sad.   But I think Corbin is sick and tired of letting his brother do what he wants and he's gonna do what he wants instead.

Corbin seems to understand why Brian can't talk, why Brian needs a special diet, why Brian doesn't know how to make new friends, and why Brian only wants to play trains.  However I can not get it through his head why Brian needs to tap.  Honestly, I don't even really know for sure why Brian needs to tap.  I just know he needs to because the anxiety that comes out of that boy when he can't is so intense you can not deny that it is not a "need" for him at this point.

I hate when I don't have the answers and I hate seeing both of my boys upset over this.  I'd  rather them be fighting over toys.


Lana Rush said...

I can't imagine how frustrating this must be for all of you. Praying that the tapping moves on to something a little less intrusive for Corbin - and until then, patience and understanding.

(Single)Mommy said...

I have a little girl that I work with that knocks walls constantly throughout the day so much so that her knuckles are all swollen. I hope you find the answers...until then deep breaths and patience

Steph Curtis said...

This must be so difficult for Corbin... and you, and Brian, everybody! I am currently in the process of getting my 7 year old some counselling so she can talk about her little sister and how annoying she is to someone outside the family. Feels a little extreme in a way, but I just hope it'll help to get it off her chest. Could you do something for Corbin as a treat to balance out the extra annoyance perhaps? x