Monday, December 17, 2012

Who Turned Out the Lights? - 2012 Blogging Advent Calendar Day 17

Breaking away from Newtown, CT posts and marveling at my son's appreciation for a top that we have now spun 1000 times without complaint from dad because I have never been so happy to do something so mundane with my child...

I am not sure if it is part of Bianca’s autistic makeup or perhaps some sort of OCD, but for some reason Bianca has really been into turning the lights off lately.

There have always been some lights in the house that upset her if they are on. The kitchen light is the most obvious and difficult one to address. Do any of you have to cook in the dark? It is easy to microwave in the dark, and that is the extent of my cooking prowess, but for my wife who likes to cook up our favorite Mexican dishes… it is difficult.

It doesn’t appear to be a sensory issue because she doesn’t mind certain lights on. It is just that others being on upset her. I have tried making her turn them on, keeping them on all day, seeing if she wanted sunglasses… nothing seems to help, except turning the light off. She has no trouble with the lights on at school or at a mall or store, but in the house… some lights really bug her.

Dinner at Rancho Melgarejo ;-)
We have eaten in the dark for the better part of 4 years now. The dining room light is another light that bothers Bianca a lot. It makes things interesting to say the least. Once Bianca is asleep, we are so used to being in the dark that we often forget to turn lights back on.

What is funny though is when Bianca gets ready for bed and goes upstairs. She turns on the light in the hallway so she doesn’t trip and then she turns the light on in her room and goes and lays down in her bed waiting for me to kiss her goodnight and turn the light out.

I am thinking about modernizing our living room (where we spend the vast majority of our time as it is baby-gated off from the rest of the house) and putting in remotely controlled recessed lights and a password protected digital thermostat along with a hardwood or laminate floor. It may be the only way. I love making things comfortable for her, but at the same time there is only so much of our lives we can live in the dark.

The problem is that since I am not 100% sure what the root behind the obsession is that whatever we do could just upset Bianca more and that is the last thing I want to do.

Anybody else struggle with this? Maybe it isn’t lights, it is something else? I would love to hear your stories and what approaches you have taken.

If you have not already, please take time to watch my videos, "Fixing" Autism and Autism Awareness with Nichole337 and share them with your friends.

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