Friday, August 22, 2008

The Butcher


I have learned/figured out something about K.C. today that I couldn't figure out before. K.C. has been going to the supermarket with me more and more these days. He does a great job of waiting and seems at ease when we are in the front of the store. When we head toward the back of the store he always, ALWAYS gets anxious and walks with his fingers stuck in his ears. I could never figure it out before, I thought that maybe he was tired of shopping and wanted to go home. Today I am so happy to say that the butcher and I have solved why K.C. gets so uncomfortable at the back of the store.

As we were approaching the whole frozen chickens it started. As we walked closer to the meat he cried, covered his ears and tried to walk the other way. The butcher who was putting meat out watched K.C. as I tried to get him to stay with me as I looked at the chicken/meat. The butcher walked over to us and said, "hi mam, hi young man, are your ears hurting today?"

It hit me like a bolt of lightening, something in the meat/chicken section was killing his ears even standing 10 feet from the meat section. I walked K.C. away from the meat section and slowly his hands came off his ears. I listened as we got closer. I heard nothing but K.C. heard something. The butcher was watching us out of the corner of his eye. I walked over to the butcher and said, "yep, you are right, his ears hurt today especially when we walk toward this section. The butcher then said, "it buzzes." I said nothing because I didn't know what the heck he was talking about and he said, "the freezers make a very low buzzing." That was it. I looked down at K.C. and said, "that noise coming from the meat freezer is hurting your ears, I understand now, lets get away from the noise."

He was fine, he listened to me talk and I could see his eyes darting around so I know he was listening.

To all the Mom's and Dad's out there who have Autistic children. Sometimes what seems to be the smallest noise to us is the biggest explosion to an Autistic child's ears. I have learned that I need to be constantly alert to my environment so that I can pinpoint what is causing K.C.'s ears to hurt. It's sometimes tough to figure out but we try and do the best we can so that our children aren't hurting.

24 comments:

gretchen said...

It's kind of cool that the butcher reached out to you guys in that way- instead of just thinking that K.C. was being odd. He seems to have really understood.

Niksmom said...

God bless the butcher! Nik has that same difficulty in indoor pools. Something about the ventilation system makes a noise that he can hear which sets him off. It's better now that he's off some of his meds, too. They seem to heighten his sensitivites.

Maddy said...

For us it's the bakery section as the chilled counter for the cream cakes and ice cream cakes buzzes.

Right with you dearie.

Best wishes

Penny L. Richards said...

What a revelation! And how nice for the butcher to take the time to talk to you both about it--he probably sees this a lot, and sees the puzzled parents too.

Melissa H said...

It's called the "60 cycle hum" or the "mains hum" and it drives me insane. I used to get so distracted during tests by the hum that the flourescent lights gave off. Keep in mind that those might bother KC, too.

Good for you, for figuring it out. :-)

kristina said...

Good detective work---the very small background noises and smallest details can indeed really stand out the most.

Casdok said...

Well done! Its great when we have these moments of figuring something out! :)

kyra said...

wow. i love how tuned in you are to KC, to looking, seeing and understanding how things are from his point of view. it's so loving and affirming to read and i know it means the world to him. you're a great mom.

Mom without a manual said...

Cool story! Yes, a very smart Momma! We have to be such detectives sometimes, don't we?

But I also have to say that was a pretty wise butcher. I am impressed that he would know to tell you about the low buzz. Perhaps he has someone sensory challenged in his family?

Thanks for sharing that! I'll have to pay closer attention to JP in the meat section.

JUST A MOM said...

WOW OH MAN WHAT A GREAT GUY TOO.... good job mom

Ye'he Sh'mey Raba Mevorach said...

Oh my gosh. That's AMAZING. So simple. So elegant. So sensitive of the butcher!

Someone said, "The devil is in the details" and I find that to be as true with my borderline PDD-NOS son as it is with KC. Sometimes Akiva just loses it and when we find out why he's so upset it seems trivial to us. But it's not. To him. And it doesn't matter that he's 14 years old and extremely high functioning.

Thanks for this reminder. I am forwarding to my DH.

DMV47 said...

Hi there! So glad I found your blog - my daughter is also seven and has autism, and is on biomedical treatment. She absolutely hates LOUD noises (fireworks) but I keep saying that slow and steady wins the race:) I too am so very happy the butcher helped you out! *hi, K.C.!* Your post has been enlightening!

Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

It's amazing how sensitive KC's ears are... and wonderful how sensitive the butcher was to his plight.

Kittymama said...

Aren't aha! moments incredibly cool? With my son, it was the humming of old airconditioners. The sound of a blowdryer also made him very uncomfortable (we now avoid salons for haircuts).

When we begin to understand what makes them tick, we realize they're not so different after all. I, for one, absolutely hate the sound of a dentist's drill! ~♥Kittymama

mom2spiritedboy said...

Isn't it great when strangers reach out to us and our children instead of just staring or passing judgement. Glad you figured out what was bugging KC, I personally have excellent hearing and the hum of many things drive me crazy that other people don't even hear. Sometimes just knowing WHAT is making the noise can help alleviate how much it bothers me.

Lora said...

That butcher was cool, it was so sensitive of him to take notice and to explain what the problem was. And you, my dear friend, are so patient and understanding with all three boys. Kudos to you sweetie. Hope all is well with you guys.

Big big hugs!

Bobbi said...

How great that you took the time to figure it out. Doesn't that just make your heart sing when you can figure out a behaviour. My son is very sensative to noises and we have a hard time going certain places. The funny thing is, he can totally tolerate noises like a super loud arcade. Go figure?

http://mixedblessings4.blogspot.com/

Melinda said...

YEAH for that butcher! AND YES...this is all so very true! Noah has SUPER SENSITIVE hearing...he can hear things we cannot hear and they are amplified for him....making some things painful or distractive. He can even hear bubbles bursting from soda through the straw when inserted in a can of soda or cup of soda!

Ye'he Sh'mey Raba Mevorach said...

Hey Tina - thanks for looking at my blog!

A friend recommended this podcaster to me. I haven't listened yet, but I thought you might be interested (if you ever have the time/opportunity to listen): http://www.blogtalkradio.com/stations/flylady/sensorynanny

Regards!

Mrs. C said...

You mean you can't hear the freezers? I would go INSANE working there!!

Mom2my9 said...

Hi! This is my first time here and this post was amazing. YOU are amazing! I came because I saw your blog title on a blog roll and I thought it was wonderful! K.C. is so lucky to have the mom he does. God bless you...

mommy~dearest said...

Hoping everything's alright- blog's been awfully quiet.

jane said...

dear,
i stumble upon your blog by today and really interested with what you had written until the latest posts. they really giving me the best information towards handling my autisms students.

BT said...

Fantastic and what a great butcher you have. Most here wouldn't bother. I can empathise with his ears hurting. I wear a hearing aid and sometimes even putting a knife down on the table 'jars'.

Love to all
Gina