Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sometimes there are rainbows!

Thank you so much for the supportive and sympathetic comments after my last rant about life! I am so grateful for the kindness of so many people. It really does mean a lot to me.

I have to say that I am feeling a bit better in the days following my little breakdown! I have come to some simple realizations. One - which kind of came to me in my sleep, is rather profound to me. I realized that life can be hard for Asher too. Mind you, I am not trying to justify or make excuses for poor behavior but, I did have a moment where I actually (*gasp*) considered what life is like from Asher's perspective.

Children with autism often have very set/rigid expectations of how things are going to happen in life. Any change in their routine or schedule can be very upsetting for them. Part of this effects transitioning. Asher has actually become quite good at transitioning between activities, when given the right prompts, etc. I think that because of this, I overlooked the fact that in the excitement of summertime, Asher is going to have some ideas about how our days should be spent.

So, I didn't ever consider how hard it is in his little head to be told "no - we can't do it that way . . . " or "no - we are not going to stay here . . . " etc. This was very hard for him at the community pool where we just started up with the first session of summer swimming lessons. Asher wants to stay and swim after his lessons but the pool doesn't open until later in the day. Or, Asher wants a donut from the snack bar. However, Mommy will not give little boys who throw a fit a donut.

Well, I am happy to say that today, being our third day of this routine, actually went really well! From the time he woke up this morning, Asher was on his best behavior. He listened to me and he even helped out with Myles. (Of course, he established several times that he was hoping to be rewarded with a donut!)

After swimming lessons, Asher promptly got out of the pool (yippee) and then, he actually asked if he could go into the locker room to change out of his bathing suit!! (This almost knocked me over!! That was another bit of the drama that we had on Monday as Asher is now 7 and too big to change with Mommy in the girl's locker room . . . and I didn't want to wrestle my double wide stroller into the small family restrooms . . . etc., etc. )

I was sooooo pleased with Asher that I tried to give him a big hug (which he shrugged off) and then we ran to the snack bar to get a big donut!! It was a nice day. It was a treat for all of us.

So, I am realizing that I need to be more understanding of Asher's expectations and remember to help him cope when they cannot be met. I also realize that I need to remember the times when Asher does behave appropriately and he is happy. I need to acknowledge the rainbows that sometimes come after the storms.


Shionge said...

Now I can see the rainbow with you too Zoe :)

Thank you for sharing this with us as this has certainly raised my awareness.

Hugs to you my dear pal :D

Brenda said...

Zoe I am so glad that things were good today. I think it is really good that you have put your self in your son's shoes. It must be difficult like you said for him to deal with changes. It was very motherly of you to think how he might be feeling. And it looks like he is getting use to the new summer routine.

kirsten said...

once i started reading more about autism/sensory integration i really started looking at things (church!) from a new perspective. a lot of behavior is really understandable, i think.

right now i'm reading 'born on a blue day' which is an autobiography of an autistic savant - so far just his childhood is interesting, it's good to hear an autistic individual describe how they think/feel! 'the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime', while fiction, was enlightening as well.
and then there's the non-fiction...

Tee said...

Zoe - it's always a happy thing when we take that tiny moment to even bother to peak out and seek the rainbow you speak of. Too many of us don't even bother.

I apprecite reading your posts on Autism. I think you're doing a great service to educate other people.

If I'm out in public and hear/see a child "misbehaving" it's tempting to judge or to look a little too long... That is unfair because nobody should judge - especially without knowing the circumstances.

Because of some of your posts and my increased awareness of Autism, when I see a Mother strugging with a child in public I am much more likely to give her a sympathetic smile.

You're a great Mother and I'm glad Asher is rewarding you for it :)

gloria said...

I'm glad you're feeling better today. And I'm glad you're trying to see things from Asher's perspective. Not a lot of mother would want to do that. I admit not knowing a lot about autism, but I'm made aware of it from reading your blog. I better educate myself on it if I want to understand better what you're going through.

P.S: On a different note, anytime you're ironing, pretend your practicing for the sport, hahaha!

randi said...

I think that reading your posts has helped me to be more understanding. I tend to think that life can be very black and white, and what works for one person should work for everyone, but the older I get, the more I see that this is not so.

There are no clear cut answers and both you and your son are learning about this process every day. Thanks for sharing!

Irene said...

My little nephew has what some are diagnosing as sensory disorder as well. I can't imagine how hard it must be to constantly try to think of things from their perspective. I can see my sister wanting him to be different and embrace things as others do, but he simply can't.
I went off on a lady the other day who was trying to tell me how to parent my children. I think we expect too much from ourselves at times and need to speak out from time to time otherwise our frustrations will get the better of us.
Asher sounds like a magnificent boy so thank you for sharing.

Lei said...

You see? You. are. awesome.