For now…

Last night I took Josh in to his therapist, usually I drop him off, they do their thing, and I pick him up a short time later. But last night Josh wasn’t having any of it, and even if he did stay, he wouldn’t have done anything because sometimes that’s just how it goes. As a result, instead of doing much, they talked. About him, and progress, or lack there of. And pointed out a few more things. Things that while in reality, should be fairly simple easy fixes…just arent. Because well, nothing is simple or easy, especially when Im the one suppose to be doing it.

Basically he mentioned that Josh needs to do more things on his own, that it would benefit him more to push him harder to do the things that he can do, instead of giving in every time and just doing it. It sounds easy enough, and really probably should be…but its not really THAT simple.

Im not saying that I don’t think this is a good idea, because I do. I think it would be beneficial to him, in the long run, to know how, or to be able to do these things. But sometimes it just cant be done.

For instance, in the morning. Getting him dressed. He may or may not be able to dress himself, but if left to it, he wont. If attempted, it takes more than twice as long, and by that time there are so many other things that need to be done – well – it just doesn’t work that well. And as a result, I end up helping him out, because while I know at 5 ½ he should be dressing himself…it just takes longer than we have to give.

“So what about at night” they ask. Does he dress himself at night? Does he get himself ready for bed, put his clothes away, do THOSE kind of things, and when I think about it…no, he doesn’t. Because once again, when its time for bed, its time for bed. And some things just slide, some things I would rather avoid, and some things I decide not to fight with. Stupid? Yes. Very. And not very beneficial for Josh.

They went through a list last night, of things that he should be able to do, with little trouble. Things like dressing himself, feeding himself, following commands, and so forth. Some he can do, and does. Like feeding himself. He knows how, and he does. There isn’t any problem with that. Dressing himself, like I mentioned above, is a little more difficult, and anything beyond that hasn’t really even been attempted. No he doesn’t brush his teeth, it’s a miracle if we can even get them brushed.

And I will confess, yes. I am drawn towards simple. If I can save 20 minutes by dressing him myself, then why not? If it can save an hour long melt down by doing something myself, then why not? If hes happier NOT doing something, then why make him? And then I realize that Im not being fair to him. That it isn’t fair to treat him this way. That while it may be difficult, and yes it will take longer, and yes many days are going to be spent with melt downs (from both him and I) its better. Its best. Its beneficial to HIM to do these things.

Using the bathroom is something that shouldn’t be an issue either, and while he will usually use it here at home (which has been a GIANT step for him) he wont go in public, and instead will result to his old ways, which either means he just goes when he feels the need, or he waits until we get home.

Things like following directions, walking, running, throwing have never been an issue with him, and as long as he isn’t distracted, he can do pretty much anything you ask or tell him to (within reason). He still hasn’t come very far with talking, although he has picked up a few words that he will say every now and then, and “No” is never too far. Last night when taking him to his therapy, he was shaking his head and saying “No” over and over.

As far as school is concerned he is somewhere between preschool and kindergarten. A little beyond preschool, but not quite ready for kindergarten. He knows everything there is to know at preschool, but kindergarten seems a little too advance still for him…in that he most likely wont gain anything from going there. There has been talk of putting him in summer school to help him adjust and maybe give him some time to “Catch up” in hopes that he will be ready this fall.

One thing he still doesn’t like (and I cant say that I really blame him) is that he prefers his feet to be on something solid. They have been attempting, I guess, to get him to do things like standing on trampolines, or sitting on a ball, riding a bike, etc. And he wont have anything to do with it.

In short, they said (and I only know this because I asked them to write it down for me) that his gross motor skills are good. His fine motor skills, can use some work as well as the day to day stuff.

Basically we need to push him to do what he already knows how to do, so we can figure out what areas really need help, and what areas he just isn’t doing because he doesn’t have to.

…and that, is where we are for now…

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2 comments

  1. Hmm. I don’t know if I agree with pushing Josh. The poor little guy brings enough scary stuff into his life all by himself, he doesn’t need others to cause more. I am not saying that he shouldn’t learn to do everyday things, I just think that kids like Josh learn their OWN ways of doing things. And they also have their own reasons for doing or not doing things. Maybe he isn’t getting himself dresses because he isn’t able to figure out what clothes to put on. Maybe he needs his clothes put away in outfits and eventually he will need his outfits in order by day of the week. Who knows… I think forcing him do dress himself if punitive too because he gets so upset. So maybe one day he puts on his shirt and everyone celebrates or he gets a couple M&M’s. I guess my point is Josh will dress himself (or talk or do whatever) when he is ready. I am with you on this one. I don’t think it will help to force him to do anything. That means everyone elses job is to figure out how to help him do things.

    (I have a little history here – My mom put us kids’s clothes in outfits after they were washed. We were required to put the clothes away by outfit and we had to wear them as outfits. I am now an adult who needs Geranimals for Adults! I can’t pick out an outfit on my own and when I have to – I freak out and end up not buying anything.)

    Can I give your email to my friend who’s son has Aspergers? They had a great therapist and I think their approach was not to make him do things the way everyone else does things – but help him find out how to do things everyone else does – but in his own way.

    Kathy U

  2. Kathy – I always appreciate your words and advice. Thanks for the ideas and pointers….I think there is a fine line between taking the advice that his therapist gives, and actually doing everything they say to do. I think your right in that Josh will do what he needs to do, in his own timing. Thanks again for your words. I also dont mind if you give my email out – it should be on the about page if you dont have it.

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