This blog was initially set up as a means of communicating with my son's team. Since then, I've heard from other parents with similar stories. If you are living with challenges or journeying alongside someone who is, you are not alone. There are many of us. I'm a single adoptive Mom ( of a young man who lives with many abilities and many diagnoses. We have journeyed together through many challenges and a few adventures over the years as my son has tried to find space in this world that makes him feel more comfortable, an attempt made especially difficult when living with Attachment Disorder, PDD-NOS (Autism), Developmental Coordination Disorder, ADHD, prenatal substance exposure, etc. Some of the strongest elements used in this journey have been music, visual arts, therapeutic parenting, team-connection, boundary-setting, boundary-setting, boundary-setting, communication skills, community-building, continual lifeskills training, and elements of Theraplay. (Click here for some written resources.) On this journey, there is laughter and tears and growth and hope. The greatest of these is hope.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's 11:30am. My son has been up to use the washroom a couple of times, but has otherwise been quiet in his room all morning until a few minutes ago when he started doing what sounds like jumping jacks. Sounds good to me!

2:17pm We're doing chores before heading out to run errands. I'm cleaning upstairs and listening to my son singing while he cleans up the kitchen. He decided to do up a hummous lunch; plain hummous for me and "not as spicy as I wanted" hummous for him (with half a can of chick peas, he'd put in 2 tablespoons of crushed chillis, five jalapeno pepper slices, and a chopped clove of garlic but says he'll need to add more next time!), cucumber slices, baby carrots, and corn tortilla chips. He made himself a mango smoothie and talked a LOT about how cool it was that he found one of the curly straws and how cool it was going to be to use it, then every time he took a sip he talked about how cool it was to use it; every time. He talked about what he knew about the Queen coming to Canada and about what he'd seen on the G8/G20 reports on tv on the weekend and then the "what if's" started.

"What if the Queen comes here? Where will she go?"
"She's not coming here."
"I know, but what if she decides to? What places will she go to and where will she stay?"

Similar conversation ensued. The topic then moved on to camping. The conversation went something like this:

"What are we going to eat when we go camping?"
"Well, we'll make a plan together but probably like other times when we've gone camping; we'll eat similar to what we eat at home and bring a few treats along."
"One time we had chilli. And we made rice in the big pot over the fire. Will we do that?"
"We could probably do that but we'll figure it out on the day we sit down and make our plans for camping. Today we have other things to do."
"Will we bring apples? I remember we brought apple sauce and those bars I like. I didn't bring the apple juice though so I had to drink water. Will there be eggs?"
"We can talk about what fruit we want to bring and all those plans on another day. Today we have other things to do. Remember our plan for today?"
"Yeah, the thrift store and the other errands and get my prescription. Will we bring tents for camping?"
"We'll be in a trailer but we'll bring a tent for you and your friend in case you decide to sleep outside."
"Is there a fridge in the trailer? Where would we put eggs?"
"I don't know. Look at my eyes and listen. We're not going to do our camping planning today."
"Ok. {pause} Do you think the Queen knew about all the riots in Toronto? How much does a police car cost? How many police cars can you buy with a billion dollars?"
"I'm sure the Queen has heard all about what happened in Toronto. Your other questions would be good for you to look up sometime, but we need to get to our plan for today. You go get the dishes done and I'm going to get some other cleaning done."

And with that, we started chores.
We spent just over 2 hours at the thrift store so my son could stock up on a batch of clothes for summer. When the store was ready to close and I was ready to pay, he had 2 shirts and 1 pair of shorts. As I was paying, he quickly raced around the store, suddenly motivated to get clothes. After I finished paying, he appeared in line with a few more shirts.

For the first few seconds when we came home, my son just didn't seem to be focussing on anything and whatever he did seemed to be done in a rush; left the door wide open when he came in, took a container out of the fridge then put it back in the fridge on the edge of the shelf and didn't close the fridge door all the way, plunked his bag of clothing onto a chair, then looked at me blankly and asked what he should do. I told him to close the back door then asked him if it was a good idea to leave something on the edge of a shelf in the fridge. He slowly closed the back door, then opened the fridge and put the container further back and closed the fridge. He looked back at me and opened his eyes wide then blinked them a few times. I asked if he was tired and he said he was. He napped for just over an hour while I made supper, then he came down and ate, we chatted for awhile, then he did dishes, went for a run, and went up to this room around 8pm; he was snoring shortly thereafter.

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