Yesterday we went to KFC for my son.Whilst it goes against all my ideas of healthy eating it got my son out the house and that is just as important for his well being as when we venture out we find new things to discuss and learn about.
My son sat in the car with his set of history books which I bought a few weeks ago. When I first gave them to him he gave them a cursory glance and turned back to his computer but I have learned to just STREW and watch what happens. For the second time this week he asked where they were, tucked them under his arm and got into the car. He spent the whole journey, there and back, just reading.
It took us a while but my son has learned that reading is a strategy he can use to 'block out the world' when it becomes too much for him. It's a socially acceptable way of 'not speaking to people' and it suits me too because I know he's learning.
As he walked to the car I thought he'd forgotten his ear defenders but no,they were safely tucked around his neck in case he needed them ( which as it happened, he didn't)
Whilst he sat eating his lunch I suggested that I would pop over to the pound shop to buy his sister some sweets as she was going to the cinema with a friend that evening. "Would you mind if I left you a minute ." I asked.
His face crumpled slightly and his lip began to wobble, "OR we can both go together when you've finished your lunch?" I suggested.
"I'd prefer that" he said.
So that's what we did and we managed to go into the cinema to book tickets and pick up a catalogue too.
Now whilst that may not seem like much to parents of neuro typical children we have come a long way since the days of being physically unable to get out the car, never mind go to the cinema. I've learned to follow my son's lead and instead of having a list of places I had to go (which granted was bigger when he was too young to leave at home) I choose two or three and go in the exact same order as my list. It used to take a bit of discipline on my part as I'm easily distracted and very sociable but this is far preferable than sitting in car parks trying to coax your son into the car or trying to stop him opening the car door in mid journey and throwing himself out.
I can smile about it now but it wasn't funny at the time I can tell you!
If we remove the stress from our children then they are more willing and able to comply and will in
fact do far more things that you want them to do rather than continually oppose you and fight.
The key is to remember is that they are not deliberately being naughty, they are anxious and scared and if you watch and listen to them you'll be surprised what they will teach you.