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.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
More September 16
Chef was immediately angry when I said that the school had talked about the situation regarding lunches on the bus and were doing some planning around that. He immediately (and VERY angrily) stated he hadn't taken lunches. I reminded him that I hadn't asked if he had, and that if he needed time to cool down, he knows to do that in his room til he's ready to talk appropriately.
Chef informed me that he isn't going to do anything this evening; that he isn't coming out of his room because the school lied about him, and that he isn't going to do his chores. I reminded him that he was out of clean clothes and that he needed to get his lunch ready for tomorrow.
At suppertime, I called him. No response. I tried a different approach.
"Earlier you told me your plan was to just stay in your room and do nothing tonight."
"Are you changing that?"
He's made similar decisions in the past. Attempting to support him by reminding what he'd be missing, and other "typical parenting strategies" have historically been met with escalation, often intense.
Leaving him to his "on strike" choice generally results in two situations; either he quietly remains "on strike" as he's announced, or he becomes agitated/frustrated over what he knows he is missing/has missed and tantrums while blaming me for him missing out.
This evening, he chose to quietly remain on strike.
I emailed the school to let them know Chef wouldn't be there tomorrow and that he'd have a day at home. I knew he wasn't going to be ready in time for the bus in the morning since he hadn't done anything he needed to do to prepare this evening (lunch ready, etc), and he'd already spent the week waiting til the last minute before going out to meet the bus then hurriedly getting dressed on the front step.
Ah yes, was that me who said at one point how relieved I was at Chef's apparently easy transition back into school this year?