Summer’s Last Days

Summer's Last Days

We’re spending this long Labor Day weekend as we do most weekends: going to playgrounds and parks, running errands together, and visiting friends.

In just a few days the twins will begin attending different schools; it’s hard to imagine the boys apart, since they’ve been together since birth. Nonetheless, we know this is what’s best, and we even wonder if the time apart might bring them closer still.

C Target

Above: C hams it up in ladies’ glasses at Target

In other news, C did two things today that blew me away. Tonight in the bath, as M protested my brushing his teeth, C said, “M doesn’t want you to brush his teeth!” It was the first time I’d ever heard him reflect on the feelings or wants of his twin so directly, and it took me by surprise.

The other event involved identical train conductor hats we bought for the boys at Target yesterday. This morning C suddenly bolted upstairs saying he needed to get one of the hats; we had no idea why, since he was already wearing one. When he found it, he ran back downstairs and handed to to M, saying, “You wear it, M!” Again, I’ve never seen this kind of reciprocity from C toward his brother, so I was thrilled.

The day ended on a slightly less stellar note: C’s evening stims have gotten pretty severe. He is completely unable to settle himself, and spins around and around in his bed, thrashing and screaming at the top of his lungs (what must our neighbors think?). His screaming and thrashing is actually starting to frighten M, so we have taken to letting M fall asleep in our bed until C settles down.

We’re doing research on ways we can minimize the evening stims, but we know this is a phase and we’re just going through a rough patch. Of course with autism, every bump in the road makes you wonder if things are just going to get worse from here, but time has shown us that, overall, C is making progress. We just have to continue working on the problem areas and supporting the good stuff.


  1. Hey Michael, while I know next to nothing about Autism, I do have a few friends with twins. Most of them have decided that their kids will be either attending separate schools or at least different classes. Perhaps to give them a chance to be independent of each other for some time. So perhaps this will be a really good thing for your boys.
    Either way, they are so fortunate to have parents such as you. And they are so freakin adorable!

    Thanks for sharing your experience. While your challenges are immense, I can relate to many of your posts just as a parent… We are all in it together in some way or form.

  2. RE: Evening stims. I can definitely relate to this – we call it “the night-time crazies” or something to that effect. For us, I’m pretty sure my boy stims so much in the evening because he has been keeping it ‘in’ all day. It might get worse when he is in a structured school environment, and must behave. (Sorry!) We let it happen, to some degree. But then again, we have had MAJOR sleep problems since about 3.5 years old (he is now a little over 5) and have resorted to giving him melatonin to help him settle into sleep. It works. Email me if you want more info.

  3. We were just saying to each other tonight that, in days past, we could see where people might think a person was possessed…it can be pretty extreme. (I’m sure in some parts of the world, people may still think that!)

    We did something a little different tonight: absolutely no TV whatsoever this evening. We usually let the boys watch something mellow (Mr. Rogers, e.g.), but tonight: nothing. Seems to have helped…C stims out on the trolley and every other detail. In fact, the more he likes something, the more he stims. And, yes: new surroundings (as we experienced last week on our ‘road trip’ to his pulmonologist) definitely don’t help. Routine routine routine…