Saturday, June 2, 2012

One Hand Clapping

There was a time when Little A would clap to say he was sorry, as well as when he was happy. Lately though, and we have no idea why, he can't tolerate any form of applause at all.

When there is cheering on tv for a sports event, he changes the channel. When anyone in his immediate vicinity claps for whatever reason - to call attention, to show approval - he rushes up to them, takes their hands, brings them together quietly, and then proceeds to throw an almighty tantrum. Kicking, screaming, banging his head on the floor, throwing things, hitting and slapping anyone who tries to restrain him.

As anyone can imagine, this makes things quite hard. I'm not sure if being home all summer gave him the sense that he could control his environment, but this sudden development has meant everything is fraught with peril - trips to the supermarket or the high street included. During our recent trip to the farm, there were a number of outbursts - at the farmhouse, in the garden, in a park and at the airport, to name a few. And with school starting soon and his teachers constantly clapping to get the kids' attention, oh boy are we in trouble.

I've spoken to his teachers and we're trying to work on the issue. Thankfully, after the worst of it in late May, Little A seems to be getting used to the fact that there will be applause in the world that he cannot control. His father sat him down and made him watch the American Idol finals show, and lately he's stopped with the wild tantrums and been content with just approaching the clapper and bringing their hands together several times, silently, before he walks away.

Repeated applause though, from someone he's already "chastised," will eventually trigger another outburst, as we witnessed recently at my grandmother's 85th birthday party. Still, we're working on it, and hopefully soon this irrational fear will be gone altogether. When it does, we will cheer with our hands together.

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