Throughout the day – with Kamp - there always seems to be an air of tension that never goes away. During the day, I’m not even aware I’m so tense until he’s beautifully asleep and the tension disappears; I can actually feel my body relax. Part of that is because children with autism become very obsessed over seemingly random things, which explains why I have a bald spot in my carpet. Kamp noticed that the carpet wasn’t perfectly lined up, so he made the only logical choice and picked out the piece that was longer, which of course pulled another one up. He couldn’t let that happen so he picked out another and so on, and so on, and on, and on! Now I have a patch of carpet missing. So whatever it is, whether it’s slamming doors over and over again, or pushing out window screens, or making holes in our walls – he’s always fixated on something.
I think his favorite fixation has ALWAYS been woodchips. The boy loves those damn woodchips! If we are in our yard he has to dump them all over our hose box, or throw them down the window well. Everytime we go to the park and there are wood chips he has a ritual of making a line of woodchips around the entire playground before he can go play.
Last week we were at the park, and he was doing what he always does, making the line with those woodchips. He was so content and focused on his little ritual when a little boy came up and decided it looked fun and wanted to help. Kamp got a look of pure panic and he started moving faster and faster to get his job done. The little boy went to the middle of Kamp’s line and wiped a bunch of wood chips off. Kamp saw him and …….LOST IT! He starts screaming, shoved the little boy and frantically tried to fix the horrible injustice! He realized it was beyond repair and started scraping off the woodchips while screaming his lungs out.
I helped the little boy up, made sure he was okay and took him back to his Dad, all the while recieving evil glares from other parents around the playgound. I helped Kamp up and then did what Jesse and I call “the walk of shame.” It’s where we walk away after an awkward situation with Kamp and feel stabbing glares at our back. It feels horrible and I wish everyone just knew, but I can’t control what other people think, just like I can’t control the fact that my son won’t eat meat, won’t wear a regular swim suit (he has to wear a speedo), or the fact that he LOVES those damn wood chips!