Hayley has been on a "watch" kick lately. It started this summer when she wanted to buy a Snow White watch she saw in a local department store. It was totally impracticable, but cute. It was silver colored with charms all around and fit more like a bracelet. I tried to talk her out of it but she had money that she had earned, so we purchased it. What's worse was that she insisted on wearing it to work. Keep in mind she works in the dish room at the local University. By the end of the day she had shattered the face of the watch. Sure, she was disappointed but not for long because she intended to buy a new watch. When we go places she always has to look at the watches. She bought watches for Christmas presents and several for herself. The funny thing is she carries her cell phone EVERYWHERE and when she wants the time - that is where she looks. Last week she bought herself a watch we ended up taking back the next day because I couldn't figure out how to keep syncing the day - date - and time. The store set it and she kept winding the watch and messing it up. A friend of hers bought her a butterfly watch that attaches to a belt loop. It didn't work so they returned it and bought a different watch. An hour later she said she didn't like it and wanted to go back and get another one. I told her this one was a gift and it would hurt Rachel's feelings if she returned it. I tried to explain that was different than her buying one with her earnings and changing her mind. She didn't want to hear that. Perseveration is a characteristic of Autism. When Hayley was little she used to play with her toys in a unusual manner. She would line them up in long lines. When looking at books she would use her finger to circle things - turning each page and repeating the process. Rocking was another form of perseveration. People with autism do things that have an on and on quality to them. As we worked to eliminate these behaviors when she was young, we might extinguish one behavior only to see a replacement behavior crop up with the same on and on characteristic. I don't know how long the "watch" phrase will last, but a few watches never hurt anyone. I'll wait and be patient - just watch me.
Love, Susan (Mom)