I finally got to sit on my arse the other night to watch some mind numbing telly and my son came in and sat down beside me. After a few moments I realised he had his socks off and I could feel my breath catching… he’s gouging his toes again.
IF you don’t know any one with autism, they can suffer with anxiety. My son’s way to deal with this is to pull the skin off the pads of his toes. He doesn’t just pull a wee tiny bit, no, he pulls it so that he has rivets in the skin. When you run your fingertip over his toes, you feel the gouges. He hasn’t done it badly enough this time to cause bleeding or effect his walking but we’re now back to the old habit where he had stopped before.
Now, I can ask him what is wrong. I can ask him what is on his mind. I can remind him till the cows come home that he can tell me what’s going on and that he is safe and respected. NONE OF THIS MATTERS!!!
Autism rips this all away from him. I will have to wait months before he feels that he can tell me. That’s months of him taking the skin off his feet.
When I go to the doctors i’m told it’s not self harm. I’m told he doesn’t need to see anybody for his anxiety like CAMHS, because he’s not suicidal. I can’t get him back to see the occupational therapist because they took him off their books and have told me that if he needs anything to go to my doctor.
Where does that leave me? It leaves me with a child who is obviously not coping and a mother who cannot help him because she doesn’t know what’s wrong in the first place.
Next week I’ll need to invest in more bath bombs. He loves them. It’s amazing that something so simple can reduce stress and anxiety so much. It’s the Epsom Salts. They are a godsend. I’ll also be kissing my sleep routine goodbye too because I’ll have to keep an eye on him till he falls asleep at night so he doesn’t end up pulling the skin off before he goes to bed.
Sometimes, Autism & Anxiety can just kiss my butt!