Monday, February 4, 2013

Anxiety, Perspective, and Legoland

As I wrote last week, my son had a Safe Month at school in January. But he still had to be safe for one more day to earn a special incentive for staying safe 25 consecutive school days: a trip to our local area Legoland.

My wife and I held our breath all day Friday. And when Kai came home in the taxi, my wife went out to greet him. She opened the door of the cab and saw Kai crying profusely.

Oh no! He must not have made it. He wasn’t safe. And there went the Legoland reward.

Except that wasn’t why he was upset. He had been safe at school.

But he was mad that the driver had dropped off another boy first.

And such is the life with a boy who gets upset over the seemingly smallest things.

My wife explained to Kai that Jacob deserved a turn to get dropped off first. But she also understood that this new taxi driver changed things up without the staff at school being able to prepare Kai ahead of time. Sigh. My wife made a mental note to talk to Kai’s therapist this morning.

We hit another bump in the road early the next morning. Snow plows were clearing our street for the first time this season. Kai heard the noise, and woke us up. He was scared.

I explained that it was just the trucks plowing the snow and he had nothing to be scared of. But he was scared anyway and could not sleep.

We have been working with Kai to get him to stay in his bed and not wake us in the middle of the night. He had accumulated a number of points and was on the verge of earning a desired toy. I told him that he would have to wait (at least) one more night to get his reward.

I can already hear some of you quietly expressing that I should have given it to him anyway. But if I made an exception for snow plows, the next time it would be for garbage trucks or a honking horn or whatever. I wanted to hold the line. Kai was not happy about that.


It’s only one more night.


There is nothing to be scared of. Stay in bed.


Well, then we won’t be able to go to Legoland.


This went on for quite some time. But eventually I got him calmed down by the prospect of earning a Trashie for doing exercise.

And once he had his Trash Pack Fizz Bag, he was all smiles.

We made it to Legoland later that morning.

We saw the amazing Lego figures, like Darth Vader.

We sat in on a workshop where they taught us how to build T Rex.

We watched the 3D movie, which was my favorite part.

And my wife and Kai rode on this…

Although Kai was one of the oldest kids there, he was the only one I heard screaming during the ride, “TOO HIGH!” as he clutched my wife’s arm and tried to get her not to make the ride go up.

Later, he got to pick out one new Lego set for his Safe Month, and another as an early birthday present. And when we got home, he set to work on one right away.

He finished that in less than a day, and then started on the next one as the Super Bowl was about to start.

And though he barely watched any of the game, getting to work on his Lego while eating chips and salsa made for a grand time.

“I love the Super Bowl!” he told us at bedtime.

Ha, I loved that he had a really nice time this weekend.


  1. I am glad Kai had a nice time too! I enjoy your blog. I'm new to the autism & blogging world. How old was Kai when he was diagnosed? I'd love for us to follow on the other's journey. Speaking of that can you tell me how to subscribe to someone's blog? I don't seem to be able to figure it out!

    1. Hi 1 in 88,

      Kai was diagnosed when he was a little over two years old. We started out with intense ABA therapy in the early years, soon added speech therapy that he continues to this day, and a little floortime as well. We also have been doing alternative medicine treatments through a DAN doctor from the beginning ( ), and added some conventional meds more recently.

      You can catch up a little bit on our history by reading the "Best Of" stories by clicking on the tab at the top of the page.

      As to subscribing, for my blog you can "Like" us on Facebook by clicking on the icon on the right under "Find us on Facebook". Then, on Facebook, you will notified of new posts. Or, you can "Join this site" with Google Friend Connect by clicking the button on the right further down the page. Finally, you can "Follow this blog" on NetworkedBlogs by clicking on the button on the right further down.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. That's great information. We are trying to figure out what is the best choice and what is not. It's much harder to decide that then I would like it to be! We are very open minded and I'm interested in trying a wide variety of things, the way you seem to have, my only concern is wisely choosing for financial reasons. Obviously we would spend any amount to help our daughter but I do worry about spending money that we don't have on something that doesn't work. We make enough to get by but not have a lot of excess. I'd like to pick your brain more about some of the things you mentioned with Kai, but I will read back through your blogs first to make sure I'm not asking you a repeat of what you've addressed! Thanks Yuji!

    1. I think almost all would agree that therapy is essential. Beyond that, you do what you are comfortable with, and what your finances allow. There are certainly no sure-fire remedies. Progress can sometimes be slow, with it seemingly being two steps forward and three steps back at times. But, Kai has come a long long way from when he was diagnosed.

      Please feel free to pick my brain, though I definitely don't have all the answers. :)


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