A year ago Eldest Son began to be afraid in rooms by himself. Our apartment was so small that it was not much of an issue. I attributed it to an anniversary triggering his PTSD. Then he began to be afraid of public bathrooms.
I got him to go inside them and shut the door by knocking steadily on the outside of the door. I would call out that I was taking breaks from knocking, and if he needed to hear it he would tell me. It got worse, though, not better.
Earlier this week he wanted me on the same floor with him after dark, a sibling was no longer sufficient.
Tonight he wanted me to be inside the bathroom with him, at home.
When we moved to a house with two floors I was not surprised that he wanted one of us on the same floor as himself. But now it is back to being in the same room, and worse, if he cannot use the bathroom alone any longer. He had his sister knock on the outside of the door. I am lucky the children help him.
I got frustrated and told him I could not accommodate him with someone being in the bathroom, that being on the same floor has to be enough. I asked him, what had changed? Why was it worse today? What was he more afraid of? He could not say, it seemed. Surely if he recalled some incident he would have mentioned it. I told him it was okay if he did not want to tell me what it was, but he should think on it and tell his psychiatric nurse when we see her on Tuesday. I need to find some tips and tricks fast, I don’t want to add an anti-anxiety med to his new ADHD med. The boys are on one medication each. I want to avoid more.
I need to get him his own little flashlight, and ask him what other objects would make him feel safe, in case carrying things with him would be an easy cure. I wish I had that therapy dog, already, but I bet we will never get approved for one. He will age out by the time they go over my application.
I am so sorry for him. This is one part of the ASD I wish he could just skip. He has PTSD already. He doesn’t need more fear or more tension.