Wow, there's sure a lot of typing under this category! It will take awhile to get this post finished. Thanks for your patience!
1. Natural Consequences: This is one of the biggest time consumers in our home. It also has been the foundation for the bulk of Chef's present successes in the area of life skills.
By "natural consequences" I mean exactly that; natural consequences - not consequences put onto someone by someone else, not "no tv for 3 weeks because you didn't take out the garbage", and not "I'll just do it for him because he didn't get it done and I can't leave it like that!" Some folks mistake natural consequences for punishment. Some folks mistakenly coddle. Allowing my son to live with the natural consequences of the choices he makes in our home has provided the type of support that has "worked" in helping him grow and develop in many areas. Does he still return to "baseline behaviours"? Sure, especially during times of transition - but not to the same degree as when he was younger.
2. TEAM, TEAM, TEAM: Being part of a strong support team is vital to Chef's successes.
4. The Arts
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 (http://richesofsimplicity.blogspot.com/) 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.