Just a real quick funny from this morning. It falls into the category of: should we spend a ton of time teaching perfect manners when reading, writing, and living safely are a priority?
Well, we do spend lots of time on manners, when all the stars are aligned, I think to soften the blow of harsh public perception. Regardless, today I was glad we did.
I had to bring Jake to work with me today since school is still out. So as we enter the WEG home office, the smell of a scrumptious breakfast and sounds of a sizzling skillet envelop both of us, but totally debilitate Jake. I watched him literally go weak in the knees.
I had promised Jake we would stop and get some food on the way home, but this temptation was just too much for his sensitive nose, eyes and STOMACH.
He asked the young man there if he "was cooking the eggs for you?" (meaning Jake)
He smiled and giggled a nervous laugh and said no... I was slightly embarrassed at Jake's presumption, but just laughed it off. This was the our first time meeting this 20-something, very nice man and I'm not too sure he was keen to Jake's super powers.
A few minutes later, Jake came into the office and asked me if he could ask his new-found friend again for some of his eggs. I said "no you cannot eat his breakfast, unless he offers to make you some. Don't ask him, it's not polite."
Feeling still very tempted and amazingly, suddenly ravenous, he left the office again looking defeated. Head down, he slinked into the kitchen and continued staring laser beams through that sizzling frying pan of eggs.
Moments later, I was rounding the corner to head downstairs for some filing and I hear Jake asking my boss' son with a sheepish sideways grin,
"Will you just offer me to have some of your eggs?"
Busted! I reminded him that was not polite.
We all laughed and Jake left the house still starving and egg-less.
Manners matter even when they don't reach the desired outcome. Life lessons last, especially when they have to do with food!
What. A. Day!
We took Jake to Kings Dominion Amusement Park with friends and though he loves the rush of the rides the excitement proves excruciating in the end.
He rode like a champ, tall swings, short swings, sky-high swings, everything that spins and nothing I can handle! Thank goodness for Chris!
We try to let him decide on which rides he wants, feels he needs and thinks he's brave enough to handle. I spend much of the day administering behavior therapy to preempt a complete crush of chaos. (Well more than usual during vacation from school)
Can we eat with friends, but not too close. Can we wait for a ride, but not too long. Can we stay just "one more ride" longer, but then blow the day and the next day for that matter.
He has a habit of planning his rides in order. First, Then, and Last type stuff -- he's well trained! But sometimes he may feel energized and excited at the time, but forgetting we still have a two hour ride home!
He was so tired when we finally did the last roller coaster, one last ice cream cone, and final pee stop, that he was begging for bed. Literally. It was so stressful.
I'm staring at tail lights backed up along my most-hated highway I-95 and he's crying "I'm so uncomfortable, I just want to sleep it's 5-O'Clock already, I need a bed, I need my bed and I can't sleep!!!"
With my fatigue-caused short fuse, sweat - sunscreen mixture making my hair stick to my face and nothing but warm water bottles in the car I can not take it.
I sharply said... "shut your eyes, shut your mouth and sleep or you will have crabby mommy for the entire ride home!"
With that being my last exchange with him, there was not a peep from the passenger seat which was reclined so far down his head was in poor Chris' lap in the backseat.
100+ miles, two detours and barely breaking 65 mph later, we arrive home, he's slept just enough in the car to be a total pain when get home. As we pulled in the driveway the montra of "I just need my bed, I just need my bed, I... Just... Need... my.... bed...." became reality and he was upstairs before mean mommy even entered the house.
Brush, wash and bed... and he's suddenly WIDE AWAKE and just snarky (get back at mommy) enough to add an extra special prayer for me. After the entire Lord's prayer (in a new adapted version to include corn dogs), we get the thank you's.
"Thank you God for the roller coasters, the swings, the other swings and the high swings, daddy, my dolls, Robin-Travis-Jeff (friends we went to the park with and all one word), cheeseburgers and this vanilla lady with the ponytail," he says while grabbing the ponytail on my bowed head.
Well I guess I deserved it, but tomorrow will be the test. Jake short on sleep is no less scary than a bear short on food!
Wish me luck. He cannot break me! He cannot break me! He cannot break me!
Oh and, Go Blackhawks!
It was an exhausting and emotional day watching Jake be promoted from 4th grade to 5th grade. I always cry when I hear Pomp and Circumstance -- don't you. My anxiety was simultaneously rising as Jake entered the ceremony where dozens of family members eagerly awaited their own graduates.
He struggles with rooms full of people and having to sit and attend to something besides him! Thankfully his class was called up first.
As he stood in front of the entire room-full of peers and parents, he started blowing kisses to me from the line. He flashed me the "sign" for I love you and waved excitedly. I was so proud of him, surely I was beaming.
When the teacher started announcing the awards for all students, my mind flashed back to last year when he won "most enthusiastic"... I couldn't imagine what he'd get this year.
Then it came -- moments after he blew kisses, he was awarded "Biggest Heart" award. While most think that kids with autism don't have the ability to show compassion, THEY ARE WRONG! (for the record many of his classmates are quite affectionate)
Love my kiddo and his big heart!
As a parent of an atypically blessed child, so much of my time is spent trying to figure out what is "age-appropriate" behavior.
I don't have another 10-year-old typical boy, not a cousin, not a typical friend that I see often, nor do I know what typical 10-year-old boys enjoy doing these days.
So yesterday, when Jake pulled out all the swear words he knew and whisper-screamed them at my back in anger, half-holding them back and half-saying them loud enough for me to hear, I started laughing.
I actually had to go in the next room and shut the door so he wouldn't see me.
Yeah, the string of expletives included a word that started with "F" (thank you dudes on the metro see Rhymes with Duck) and ended with "cracker" (thank you former bus attendant) -- I admit, I was even shocked.
But think about the amount of social-emotional awareness he needed to perform this perfect act of inappropriate, anger-induced cursing! (I thought kids with autism couldn't do that?)
Yes, I had the thought to get mad: which only gives Jake what he wants.
I had the thought to wash his mouth out with soap: but I don't believe in that for many, many reasons.
I almost yelled: which could have caused an aggressive meltdown, and I'd end up injured.
So, Chris and I decided to ignore the language in the moment and out-smart and out-logic him once everyone calmed down.
Bingo. We win.
So next time you see your spectrum child exhibiting irritating NT behaviors, think before you act. How long have you been wanting and aching for typical behavior? (good or bad)
Do you really want to punish it away?
Or correct with a frank discussion when it's done?
Then realize what it took for him to behave so typically.
I am in no way condoning the language, but just think about the smart way to handle it, before you fly off the handle.
Weigh your options folks... look for the positive... and be miracle minded!
I just re-formatted this entire blog. Now each topic has all the stories related to that topic under that specific heading. No more having to go back and click on another story and another. They're all there with just one click of the mouse.
I did notice as I was going through every story and moving it, most of the stories from 2012 to present, fall under the Typical Turnaround, Faith, and Motivational categories. All positive steps! Whoo Hoo!
2011-12 was a tough year as we struggled through public school and had dangerous meltdowns frequently. Most of the positive motivational stories have come since our placement in private school. Setting is everything folks.
Just a thought from my head that makes me smile.
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