An Autism Diary

A day in the life of David Hartley

David? Dog? or Houdini?

Today was a rather calm day considering the events of last night.  And it was a pretty good day as far as our fundraising for David’s service dog goes.  We got some more items for our upcoming auction and were also donated some free ad space for our upcoming corn maze event. : )

As far as David goes, he was pretty calm today.  A little distant but not too bad considering the surrounding events.  Overloads like what happened last night tend to have lasting side effects.  Not all of them bad though.  I actually like David’s calmer side to be honest.  I just wish he didn’t have to go through so much or be sick in order for me to see more of it.

David and I faced some mild issues today later in the afternoon though.  The first started around 3:00 pm when he suddenly decided he was a dog.  In normal circumstances and with more typical kids, this kind of thing is actually cute and definitely not really a problem usually.  With David though, when he’s a bit unstable, pretend play can quickly become real for him and it can be hard to snap him out of it.  This was the case with pretending to be a dog today.  It wasn’t long before all he was doing was barking, crawling around, and carrying things in his teeth.  Even when it came time to change his pull-up all he did was roll over on his back as if he was a puppy assuming the position for a good belly rub.  Let’s just say this made it a little interesting at first to try and change him and clean him up. *chuckle*

After we got done he didn’t get back up right away though like he usually does.  Instead he gave me one of his blank stares that are starting to become characteristic of him and then suddenly tilted his head back and started rubbing the back of it back and forth on the floor with his eyes wide (but happy) and his mouth open.   For those of you who may be wondering, no.  He wasn’t having a seizure.  I know my description can sound like that a bit but I promise that’s not what was happening.  He was simply playing and sort of starting to stim with it while seeking sensory input.

I tried to distract/shift his attention but he was back to not acknowledging my presence.  Lost in his own little world but it at least it was a happy one this time right? : )  About as quickly as he started this though he suddenly stopped, jumped up, and bolted out the door.  What a way to remind mommy she forgot to re-engage the deadbolts again huh?  I ran out after him as fast as I could get out there and proceeded the far too familiar routine of calling his name out and searching the grounds.  David has always been a fast little guy.  Thankfully a neighbor that was pulling up saw him and pointed him out to me.  He was around the side of the building stimming on some rocks and staring at bricks.  He wasn’t lost in his stimming this time though because when I rounded the corner and called his name he took off running again to which I proceeded to “chase” him back home and back inside.  One thing is for sure.  David never leaves you bored. *chuckle*

He had broken loose from the apartment earlier too when I had to go by the office for a package.  My little guy may only be 4 years old but he has already figured out every child safety device and lock I have been able to get my hands on.  Even the infamous “Door Guardian” although that one still forces him to take his time at least so he doesn’t break through it very often.  What can I say?  David has definitely well-earned his “Houdini” nick name. ; )



  1. marciakayx

    Reading of David’s quest for sensory input, I am reminded of “Short Circuit” when the robot, Number Five, was reading the encyclopedias and watching TV and demanding “more input, more input!” Sounds like David, only in desperate need of sensory input. I know you are looking forward to the time when his desperation is satiated enough to allow more communication. I hope it is soon coming.

    • I do too.

      I love the comparison story you gave. : ) That so reminds me of David too on a sensory level. And when he’s more stable and doing well, he does that on an academic level too. : )

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