(Reflections of DM)

DS will be finishing school, in couple of weeks, he will be earning certification of attendance, which does not mean nor has great value in the world right now, but it is great deal of accomplishment for DS and us. As a kid DS, gets very anxious even for the small changes, he used to be upset and have meltdowns for the moon changing it shape every day, flowers wilting, sun not to be seen on cloudy days, trees being cut for widening the roads…All these helped him to understand about phases of moon, life of flower, water cycle etc.,.

When DS is usually in a situations when he is unable to cope/handle/regulate his emotions, makes rules, which gave him a great sense of security, when DS has to face a situation if he has to do against or not follow the rule, DS will be in fight/flight mode, comes with maladaptive practices. For example, DS may not like when we share one of our beans bags to a friend,  he makes a rule in his mind, “I will never use beans bags.” suppressing all his emotions though DS is a pretty verbal. Someday, we may casually say “Let’s sit in bean bag.” the beanbag becomes a big source of anxiety and will trigger a meltdown. We will all be puzzled what is happening and why. DS had built a many walls around him and has shut many things out of his world. We knew DS had difficulty when suddenly something happens he had difficulty in accepting. We were able to get him do few things. Few very good therapist who have worked with DS, tried to help him carry a back pack, took him to a book store, buying gift for him etc., have all mentioned “The day he happily accepts gift with a smile will be his graduation day”; “The day he will buy a book from Barnes and Nobles will be his graduation day.” We went to PACE place, at Oregon,, they figured out about DS makes sense of the world and copes by making rules. Their immersion program made DS aware of him making rules, it was yet another journey for us in facilitating DS with rules he made and in overcoming them, over a period of time, DS was able to tell why he made those rules also was able to make connections to the previous rules, who and how we helped him. DS now happily accepts gifts, carries backpack, buys books etc… DS story about his rules [Middle school graduation]

DS brain is wired to avoid unpleasant situations by making rules, one of the rule, I consider mother of all the rules was made when he was 3, Colorado (not diagnosed), I usually walk to the school, and one day I picked him up in car later we moved back to India and I never drove, when we have to shift to US in 2008, DS condition to move, “Mom should not drive in US because unexpectedly she drove to playschool.” DS has grown up to where I can drive but not with him. The idea/thought of me driving him has becomes the big barrier for him to plan an outing with his friends, to talk when anyone talk about cars/mom driving, shift the house etc. DS is now in awareness stage that this rule is not helping him, makes him feel nervous, anxious and it affects other things. DS finally said, “One day I will eventually get used to mom driving the car with me. Right now I will not let it affect shifting house or my outing with my friends or anyone talking about cars.” There is lot of underlying unresolved emotions associated with the rules, which needs to be released and negative memories to be replaced with positive ones [High School Graduation]

The day I will drive the car with him to all the places happily will be his College Bachelor’s Degree Graduation!!! Mom driving car with DS will be end result, what he learns during the process of reaching the dream will becomes his lessons for life! A dream yet to be and will be conquered!!!

Rules that Ruled

DS used to tell stories about his experience as a third person. This is a story which DS wrote in August 2010, 3 months after visiting Pace Place at Oregon.

Once there was a boy called Anil he had so many rules. So his parents taught how to work on them.
One time he went to Chennai to his thatha's (grandpa’s) house there was a lift he had a rule that he won't go in the lift so his driver said now we will go in the lift so he took Anil by the lift down so he broke that rule. Then his driver said I am going to ask your appa (dad) to take in the lift in his office he said I worked on lift rule. And he broke that rule.  This is the lift here you did not go in appa's office.
Then his appa took him in lift in his office. Then he enjoyed it.
Then he had a rule that he won't go in bike so his driver had a bike then his driver said we will go for a round. So he broke the bike ride rule
Then he had a rule that he will not go in train so his driver and his amma (mom) took him in from one
Station to another station and he broke that rule.
Next he had a rule of going in auto (a three wheeler) so his amma said we will go in auto for a round so he broke that rule.
Next he had a rule of his uncle coming to Bangalore then his appa said uncle sold his fiat car and he is going to buy Uno car for you and his amma said uncle is coming to tell you that he sold his fiat car and he is buying Uno car. Then he broke that rule.
Next while he came to U.S. Then he had a rule that he won't sleep on long pillow and he will sleep on
Short pillow. Then he hugged long pillow and he broke that rule.
Then he had a rule about U.S. School then he went to the school and broke that rule. Then he had a rule about U.S. School bus then he went on the school bus and broke that rule. Then new had a rule that he won't go in U.S. buses then he went on the bus broke that rule. Then he had a rule about U.S. Trains then he went on the train broke that rule.
Then he had a rule about Chennai train then he went on the train in Chennai and broke that rule.
The he had a rule about Bombay then he went to Bombay.  In Bombay one time he went in bus to hotel in Bombay and he talked to his uncle next day he went to temple , gate way of India and to a garden and he saw Ashok pillar in Bombay and his uncle taught him nice exercise then he broke Bombay rule.
He had a rule about books then he read Tom Sawyer and King Ashoka. 

DS experiences at Pace Place,

Then he went to a place where 3 people came their names were Sam, Tom and Edward.
First day Sam came first and played with him Egyptian war. Tom came and played with him monster game he enjoyed the game. Edward came and played police robber game and he said come we will go to book store and stop at Movie Theater then he went to the book store and enjoyed.
Second day Tom came and talked about backpack he was crying and Tom said calm down.  Then he came out and he said I want a wheel backpack and Tom said if you are crying you need to calm down and he asked tom am I ready he said yes then he said I'll throw the backpack Tom said if you are being so bossy you need to calm down. Then he calmed down then he played monster game. Then Sam came took him to tennis court and Sam said let’s not talk about back pack.
Third day Sam came and said we will buy pant and his appa said what we are going to do is we are going to shop and buy a pant for you. Then Edward came and said let’s play police robber and play horse shoes and go in bridge. Then he taught him rating.
Fourth next day Tom came and said let’s buy a backpack and he bought a backpack. He was talking to his amma about Cupertino that he won't carry backpack and Tom said let’s not talk about Cupertino. Then Tom played monster and played giant swing. Edward played bowling and police robber.
Fifth day Tom came and played monster and he wear connector with him and Sam came and took him for movie Anil cried very badly.

After some time Sam came to California and took a class. Anil, his appa and his amma decided to meet
Sam and he was worried will Sam work on his rules then Anil's appa said he won't break your rules
Once when they came to the hall Sam was working then his appa showed Tom in the camera.
Then he saw Edward's name was there then his appa said one boy had a rule about rides they broke that rule.
And Sam’s name was there one boy had a rule about car container truck the broke that rule.
Once the class was over Anil talked to Sam and his appa said to Sam that he was worried that you will work on his rules then Anil shared that he had rasam (south Indian soup) and when my brother came I played Wii. Then I watched Iron man 2 .Then Sam said you don't need those rules come on.