My reading list and what to do with a kid who says "no" all of the time.

Hubby's gotten some books for me from the library on autism and sensory integration. Here are the titles in case you're interested:

A Mind Apart: Understanding children with autism and Asperger syndrome, by Peter Szatmari (I'm half way through this one already.)
Autism: Explaining the enigma, by Uta Frith (2nd edition)
Sensory integration: Theory and practice, by Anita C. Bundy (This one's actually a text book.)

They are all due at the end of the month so I've really got to get cracking on working my way through them.

So far what I've gleaned from what I've been reading is which autistic characteristics Ethan has and which characteristics he doesn't have. Very useful stuff for making sure that he gets the kind of intervention he needs. No sense in trying to modify a behaviour that Ethan doesn't have. I can see this easily happening if we aren't constantly pestering his therapists, teachers, and evaluators about his progress.

I'm also learning a lot of the lingo that these folk use but don't always explain to parents. Someone ought to put together a dictionary of terms for parents to take with them when ever they talk with anyone involved with treating their autistic children.

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Ethan seems to have entered his "no" phase since he started school. He goes around saying "no" repeatedly, often for no apparent reason. We don't say just plain no to him all that often. We generally try to just tell him exactly what he's not supposed to do. He usually gets it, he doesn't like it, but he gets it. There's nothing like having a grouchy 3 year old frowning fiercely at you while the wheels are spinning in his head as he tries to figure out just how to get his way. Ethan may have picked up the "no" thing at school or is just going through a normal kid phase. Either way it's really annoying.

I've been trying to nip it in the bud by saying "yes" every time he says "no" as if we're playing a game. It hasn't really been working for me. Yesterday hubby came up with what seems like the perfect solution. Yesterday Ethan started up his "no" litany as we strapped him into his car seat. I rolled my eyes and thought here we go again. But hubby immediately broke out some Veggie Tales lines from the episode "Josh and the Big Wall." Specifically the scene where the French Pea guards on the Jericho wall begin taunting Larry/Josh and the Israelites in a Monty Python-esque fashion.

French Peas: What are you doing?
Larry/Josh: We're going to knock your wall down.
French Peas: By walking around in circles?
Larry/Josh: Yes.

Ethan knows every line of every song and scene in every Veggie Tales episode he has ever seen. He immediately ceased saying "no" and let loose that blinding smile of his. He was quite happy to play the part of Larry/Josh and emphatically repeat, "Yes" a few times. Then he calmed down and we had a rather quiet ride home.

I'll have to try this new trick the next time he starts with the "no" thing. Hopefully it will work as well for me as it did for hubby.

Update: Well it worked. Ethan started his "no" thing and whining when I tried to take him upstairs to get him ready for school. He was sidetracked nicely by the dialogue from "Josh and the Big wall" and had no problem with getting dressed for school.

I can't believe it took me all morning to write this. I started at 9:55 AM.

Correction: Several days after I first published this post I sat down to watch "Josh and the Big Wall" with the kids. It turns out that the exchange described above takes place between Jimmy Gourd and the French Peas not Larry/Josh and the French Peas. Just so you know.

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