Posted by: Jenny | June 27, 2010

The Week in Jack (I like to call this ‘the most boring thing ever written’)

He just did this because he was pissed off at me for being pissed off at him for doing something really crummy.

Jack breaks all our stuff.  Many autistic children display a range of self-injurious behaviors, Jack’s is head-banging.  Mainly when he’s angry or frustrated, he bangs his forehead against the hardest object he can find.  When he first started doing it we chalked it up to being an extreme temper tantrum.  We’ve gotten used to it now, but, yes, watching your child do something like that to themselves is quite disturbing. 

By the time Jack was diagnosed he already had a permanent lump on the top of his head.  We didn’t know he had autism yet, but we knew something was up.  The last thing I needed was whatever was wrong with his brain to cause him to hurt his brain more.  Well over a year later the lump is still there.  His doctor examines it at every appointment, but it seems to be fine.  The giant lump is a callous, and it’s actually protecting his brain.  She said softness would be a sign of a fracture.  So don’t worry too much about wrapping your coffee table in bubble wrap.  Our skulls are tougher than we give them credit for.

However, the last month he’s gotten really proficient at banging his head.  He breaks, or at least dimples, the sheet rock every time now.  EVERY F****** TIME!  And if we don’t know about it right away he picks at it and makes it bigger, kind of like a bored hobo with a scab.  This week he made matching holes on each side of the wall between his sister’s bedroom and is.  Like a window.  Oh neat!  I went down there and the little stinkers are throwing insulation around like confetti.  Insulation isn’t a toy!  And when the holes are big like that we can’t even keep him out of the area long enough to let the thing dry.  He can’t resist writing his name is wet joint compound.

This brings me to my amazing idea, courtesy of my horrific taste.  Brady Bunch panelling.  It seemed to me like that would make for a stronger wall.  Unfortunately, that stuff is kind of hard to find these days.  We wound up going with t111, it’s a type of exterior siding.  That’s right, we’re using exterior building supplies on the interior.  Jack laughs at hail.  The t111 was Jaimie’s idea, and it was a good one.  I publicly repeat, my husband was right.    So tomorrow we (truthfully, I don’t really plan on being involved) will spend the day screwing this stuff to the walls and hoping it works.


  1. Jennifer… my friend. I started at the beginning and read all the way through to this last post. I would never be able to tell you how brave and amazing I think you are! I have always thought that people had the wrong idea about autistic kids. They are amazingly smart and creative… what a blessed little man to have a mom like you! I love you and pray for your continued strength and diligence!

  2. Had to let you know that I think you’re a wonderful mom; your love for your son is clear. I agree with Jessica that he’s blessed to have you for a mom. It’s not easy parenting, and especially not easy parenting a child with challenges. Take it easy on yourself!

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