Fireworks and autism’s toll on appliances

At the invitation of friends, we loaded up and went over to check out the local July 4th fireworks display from the north shore of Lake DeWeese.


The show was great, better than expected, with some interesting pyrotechnic patterns I hadn’t seen before. The bright light of the explosions reflected off the lake. However, this being a small town affair, it was probably a good thing it was held over water as a couple rockets didn’t make it very high off the ground.


It was my son Harrison’s first fireworks show. He was somewhat unfocused before the show began, running around and checking out the doors of neighboring vehicles. But once it started he settled right into the show.


Speaking of Harrison and doors, I changed out a door knob set in one of the bathrooms recently. He had locked the door and closed it so many times the unlock button was destroyed.


While I made the repair, I reflected on all the stuff we’d fixed or replaced in recent years. This was the third door knob set, and just last week the washing machine died.


Certainly all children put wear and tear on household items, but autistic children tend to be fascinated with doors, hinges and other things that open and close, not to mention buttons and controls to electronics equipment, and thus put undo strain on them. As a parent, you too simply wear out from redirecting, so sometimes you just have to let it go and hope the amusement factor wears off before something breaks or gives out.


And thus we’ve had to replace plastic racks for the condiment shelves in the fridge. There was a repair to the car CD player because a number of coins had been inserted into the slot. There’s a recurring problem with the oven door handle that is mostly due to a design flaw. We have mini-blinds that are beyond repair. The door to the CD ROM on my desktop computer is toast . . . and so on.


And there is the case of the missing kitchen cutting board. I know it must be hidden in some thin groove or slot here in the house but I can’t figure out where. I saw him playing with it one minute and the next it was gone. We’ve asked but he’s not telling where he put it.


As for the washing machine, Harrison would open and close the lid while it was agitating. The machine cut off sharply whenever the lid was opened and came back on when closed. We already had the machine repaired once within the past year. Last Sunday the washer died again and I found a small pile of parts and chewed-up rubber underneath it. I think so many abrupt stops and starts finally chewed up the clutch.


We replaced it with a new front-loading Samsung clothes washer. On this model the door will not open while the machine is running. That’s the good news.


The bad news is the new washer has a fascinating dial and a lot of buttons accompanied by lights. We’re trying really hard to keep him from playing with the new washing machine.

One thought on “Fireworks and autism’s toll on appliances

  1. Well, at least there is never a dull moment in your house.

    On the front loader washing machines. I have seen a lot of broken door latches. They are breakable. And unfortunately being Samsung, the parts are expensive, hard to get and not very many people know how to work on them. Same thing can be said for GE. They are a lot easier to work on but the parts are so expensive that many opt for new machines when they break.

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