Sometimes All You Need is Tape & String.

We’ve had a rough few days over here at the Casa de Nelson.

I’ve had a half dozen blog posts running through my head describing meltdowns, talking about how behavior equals communication, and how it’s so hard to figure out what that communication is.

I’ve sat down the past three nights with my computer on my lap and my fingers poised over the keys.  Frozen.  Each time I started to type about the aggression (mostly towards himself) and mood swings, I couldn’t bring myself to live it over again through my words.  It was exhausting enough getting through it during the day.

I’ve been obsessing over the spike in behaviors these past three days and trying to find out the “why” behind it it all.  Puberty?  All the changes with moving and the holidays?  Pure OCD rearing it’s ugly head?  Simply a communication break down?  Most likely, it’s a culmination of all of the above.

Tonight after a hard dinner and constant hand-over-hand assistance to prevent things from being thrown and him hurting himself, I was ready for bed.  I was ready to throw in the towel.

And then Brian picked up a roll of tape off of the coffee table.  He looked at me and raised his eyebrows like he does when he wants to know if he can get into something.  I gave him the go ahead.

Next thing I knew he had a piece of tape across his forehead.  A couple minutes later he found a piece of string that he attached to it.  He shook his head while looking in the window to watch the string fly back and forth.


Soon the string was attached to his foot by tape and he ran around the house giggling, “It’s following me!”.  Then a piece of crepe paper got attached to the string with tape.  Laughter abounded as we scripted back and forth, “Look out”, “It’s going to get me!”, “Oh no!”.


A few minutes later his forehead was attached by the string to the floor where we giggled some more and added more scripts: “I’m stuck!” and “What am I gonna do?”.


Laughter really exploded when Zeppelin, our cat, joined in and started to try to take the string from Brian as Brian pretended she was some sort of monster out to get him.


After a good 30 minutes, which can be a lifetime in the world of Brian’s attention spans, he was ready for bed.  Calm, cool, and collected.

Sometimes I pull out every trick I have from all my years of being both a parent and an occupational therapy assistant and nothing works.  But then he pulls out some tape and string, and all is right in the world.

Heather Nelson

About Heather Nelson

Heather resides in Rockland where she is busy juggling life as a newlywed, a mom to two boys (one of which who has autism), a part time job in direct sales, and a full-time job as a pediatric occupational therapy assistant. She has a love for live music, karaoke, and cheering on the underdogs.