The house is usually in turmoil because he's barging into someone's room, harassing the cat, or banging his older brother's bedroom door with his feet. And then there's that unique guilt every parent of a special needs child feels. I worry about the other children, wondering if their entire childhood is marred by the ripple effects of having to focus on that one child who simply can't be controlled.
Children with autism can't just hang out and amuse themselves. At least that's my experience with Peter. I'll suggest coloring, drawing with sidewalk chalk, swinging, playing with his army men, or riding his bike. More often than not he tells me those things are for "babies" and he'll wallow at my feet not knowing what to do with himself. And when none of those things work, I find myself wishing he was more like his siblings. I continually mourn for my old life.
I think that handicap was the cause of my early frustrations with Peter. I never understood why he couldn't, at the very least, just play with the plethora of toys at his fingertips. I had milk crates full of hand-me-down trains and tracks that just didn't interest him. Instead he made huge piles of the pieces in his room and pretended it was a fire. And years later he's still obsessed with fires even waking up with nightmares that he's been lit on fire.
Peter debunks the proverb, "And this too shall pass." I worry that this might only be the beginning.