"I'll do it myself!" is is pretty normal to hear at some point from most kids. In our house, however, the person who most wants to say it, is Ciaran. Only, he doesn't know how. So he shows us by taking the clothes out of our hands and dressing himself, putting his own shoes on, and trying really hard to zip up his own coat. This is a really normal phase for toddlers. But like everything else, Autism throws it's own unique spin on things.
Ciaran is not a toddler. He's four years old. At the age when most kids have mastered these skills and are preparing for the fun of starting school, my son is still trying to master using the toilet. And while most kids can say, "I'll do it, mom." Ciaran doesn't. He now has those words in his vocabulary, but when he's upset, frustrated, or anxious, he doesn't think of them. Instead he screams, or yells "No!" at us.
Even sleep has to be done Ciaran's way. You can imagine that with six kids, the youngest of whom is not sleeping through the night, that I am thrilled with Ciaran's insistence that staying in bed and going to sleep is for other children, and not him.
Tonight, I finally figured out how to keep him in his room. I put the doorknob protector on the inside knob of his door, and then I taped the seam and top of it. He's learned to pull it apart and break it off the doorknob so that he can just open his door and leave his room. He even learned how to take down the gate we put up. But with the tape on, he couldn't figure out how to break it off, and he couldn't open the door.
He'll figure it out. Probably soon. But, at least for tonight, he's right where he should be, asleep in his own bed. Just where I'd like to be. You know, until the baby needs me.