behavior and how to replace it
My son has autism and he has an issue when he's at his day program. He likes to wet his shirt in the sink. I believe it's sensory related but have asked the day program to not let him do it. They didn't listen and continued to let him play in the sink, to the point he soaked his shirt, pants, and underwear. He does not do this at home. Now, he's become so obsessed with it, he's getting upset if they don't let him do it. Problem is, he was bounced between different providers and there was no consistently or follow through with him not being able to play in the sink. Because of this, and the fact that he's done this for months, he gets super frustrated when someone doesn't let him. Any ideas on why he's doing this and what I could possibly work on to replace this with a more appropriate behavior? One of the main reasons I told them not to let him do it is because it's not constructive, he doesn't know the difference between hot and cold water, and he could end up flooding the bathroom or burning his hands. Any advice would be great. Thanks!
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I don’t have much information about your son, so I would be crawling way out on a limb with advice. A few things popped out though, why oh why would the people at a day program let someone wander around wet? This is a recipe for skin issues. The second thing is that he does not do it at home, so this is more than just a schedule change issue. It isn’t like he decided that he has to do this every day in the afternoon.
Do you feel like you could have a frank conversation with the day program?
Thanks for the response. My son is 24 years old. He absolutely loves water but I have spoken to the supervisor of the DTA as well as the staff and told them to absolutely not let him play in the sink. He doesn't do it at home or anywhere else. I've had this same conversation with the staff too many times to count. I finally had enough and moved him last Friday to a different location. I again had the same conversation with the new staff (some of who already know him from the other location). Our previous OT thought it was sensory related (something that maybe calms him) but since he doesn't do it anywhere else, I don't see why he would only need to do it there.
A sibling's autistic son enjoys water too much among other things like certain plants. He attended a public school for special needs students from the get go. The school allowed his parents to provide a "Shadow" for him there. His parent's had felt the need to hire a person to stay with him, because he was the only student in his class that spoke at all. His parents wanted to insure he maintained adequate verbal interactions. It didn't sound as if my sibling received any financial assistance from the school for their Shadow, but I don't know if they did from other sources. If the school staff is too preoccupied to redirect your son you might consider hiring a Shadow (if the school and your budget allows) long enough for them to break his sink behavior there (and hopefully model to the staff how to successfully do this in the process!).
I give my sibling's son books and games that are often related to water so that he can learn about what holds his interest without getting soaked! We gave many activities to his school over the years.