June 10, 2006


Jeff needs a medication tune-up badly. He is driving me nuts. This is his break between school and summer session. I have been home with him for one week and his appointment with the doctor is still a few days away.
Jeff chatters non-stop. He can't stop talking. He says the same nonsense phrases over and over, and even if he is actually having a conversation, he'll repeat himself five, ten times. If he's alone, he'll hum or smack his lips loudly. Sometimes he'll just "chant" some bit of dialogue, like Dustin Hoffman did in Rain Man. He can't help it. I want to strangle him.

The conventional wisdom is that if you ignore undesirable behavior it will go away, but I know for a fact this is not the case. Jeff's mouth needs to be moving every waking minute.

His therapist told him yesterday, "Your brain needs to be busy." I know a few tricks . . . word games, "brain-mapping," distractions. But after a week of this, I just want to scream "GIVE YOUR MOUTH A REST," or throw myself out a window.

It is a strange irony, given how long it took for the boys to start talking. I have video of them at age three and a half. They aren't speaking at all. At age four, Jeff was beginning to make one and two word utterances, like most 24-month-olds. Now, at age twelve, I long for him to just shut up . . . just for ten minutes or so.

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