Today my son didn't get up til after 1pm...again...but he didn't complain about missing lunch, and stated he would have a snack. He then immediately started on dishes (he has yet to complete even one chore in the past 3 weeks, though has started on dishes a couple of times since we got home). There was much singing as he was doing dishes. I did a few check-ins to make sure there wasn't food hidden in the bathroom or under the sink or in the sink and all was clear :-) (There have been times when my son has put a jar of jelly IN the dishwater and eaten the jelly while washing dishes; has downed a bottle of corn syrup while washing dishes; has also tucked canned goods and can opener under the sink while washing dishes but was discovered with the reminder (again) that we access food appropriately and we don't hide food to eat it; etc., etc., etc.)
Over two hours and a few reminders later, my son was still happily singing but the dishes were far from being done. He was averaging about 3-4 dishes every 10 minutes. I reminded him that today was baking day and if he planned on doing any baking, the kitchen needed to be finished in 10 minutes. I went upstairs.
Shortly afterwards, I smelled something "hot"..then heard the furnace kick in. I went downstairs and checked the thermostat; it was set for 88 degrees. Dude, not cool.
It is now just past 5pm. I haven't checked them yet, but dishes are technically washed as of a few minutes ago!
Update: After supper my son put a load of laundry in the washer. While my son was clearing the table, I noticed that a case for one of my instruments was sitting in an odd place in the living room. On further investigation, I discovered a bag of cereal inside the case. My son's initial response was that he didn't know anything about it. He later stated that he'd put it in there so he could later take it up to his room so he could eat cereal in the morning without having to get up for breakfast. He is now in his room for the night - without the bag of cereal!
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.