The Great Lightbulb Mystery

The other week I dropped Tristan off at his group home.  I chatted with one of his group home staff, Benny.  I told him Tristan had a great weekend.  I asked how Tristan has been for him.  He filled me in on one of Tristan’s antics.

Benny said, “I went into the bathroom one day and there were 3 lightbulbs sitting on the bathroom sink counter!”

I chuckled as he said this.  That is definitely a Tristan thing. Over the years,  Tristan has been fixated with light bulbs at home. This is a phase that comes and goes.  Apparently, it is back!

This conversation made me think of some of the other light bulb stories tucked in the back of my mind.

At one point he wouldn’t stop unscrewing the lightbulbs in his bedroom ceiling light fixture.  I actually had to tell a new respite worker, “When it gets dark outside Tristan’s room will be dark because he has lost the privilege of having light bulbs.”  I thought to myself “Who say’s that?”  (Parents like me who work 24/7 to keep their special need child safe!)

Thankfully, the worker said “I understand and I don’t judge.” Inside I was thinkging. Whew! And a quick arrow prayer: Thank you Jesus.

For a period of time….

He would unscrew the light bulbs from the front and back porch lights.  We would wait until he was sleeping and the we would put a light bulb back into the socket.  Then in a day or two the light bulb would be gone! When we looked over the porch railing we would find it on the ground.  Broke from the fall into the mulch, but not shattered.   After replacing the porch lights a couple of dozen times with no further success, we gave up.  He won!

We finally had to tell visitors ” Wait there’s no porch light” and quickly install a lightbulb. If company was on the way we would install a light bulb 5 minutes before the arrival time.  Seriously I am not making this up.

I wish I could ask Tristan “why?” Instead I am left wondering what is his hidden message. We know he does a lot of things for attention. Does he do this to say “Look you didn’t pay attention to me for 3 minutes so this is what I can do?”  Or is trying to complete his own personal challenge like “Let’s see if I can do this before someone catches me.”  Sometimes, I like to believe these are little love notes that he leaves.  Like “Hey I’m thinking of you and I want you to know it.”

Like I often say to him, “Tristan when we get to heaven I have a lot of questions for you.”

I hope you enjoyed another healthy dose of laughter from our home!

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Straight From Tristan’s Heart

Yesterday we had a challenging day.  He was just not content the entire day, and I know he can not help this.  Lately, he has been more verbal on and off throughout the day.

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He has been repeating the same thoughts.  One of his thoughts is about wanting McDonald’s.  At the end of the day; I tucked him in bed.  I said, “Tristan what can we thank Jesus for?”  I ask questions throughout the day.  Most of the time I don’t get a response.  This time, he did respond. This was his prayer, “Dear Jesus thank you for McDonald’s.”

Now we did not have McDonald’s!  I guess I know what he is thinking about; even his prayers are about McDonald’s.

Enjoy another healthy dose of laughter from our home!

Secret Code Part 2

When our 12-year-old son, A.T., joined our family in November, it was quite an adjustment.  A.T. was not familiar with autism.  We have tried our best in teaching him what autism is and who Tristan is as a person.  We know this has not been an easy adjustment.  However, the other day A.T. shared his views, and I was laughing so hard.  A.T. was sharing how he is trying hard to understand Tristan’s communications.  Here is A.T.’s insight:

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The Secret Code Part 1

Remember the toddler stage of speech for children?  That is when close family and friends can interpret the words or phrases?  Our house is no exception!  Tristan has been in the toddler phase of speech for 11 years.

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One day when our friend was helping us with Tristan. Brian quickly gave Tristan a verbal clue to stop.  Brian said, “Bep!”  Immediately Tristan stopped and did not go into a room that he is not allowed to enter.

Our friend said, “Bep!  That is the word I needed to have for him to stop?  This information would be useful to know!”

Brian explained, “Yes that is Tristan’s version of stop.  Sorry, we didn’t fill you on it.”

We all kind of chuckled.  It made me think, “What else do we say that is code?”

Enjoy another healthy dose of laughter from our home!