Last night I discovered someone else's lunchkit hidden in Chef's room. The lunchkit contained over 20 full-sized candy bar wrappers.
This morning, I discovered odd lumps in Chef's mattress and discovered he's been using it for stashing. Again. He's been taking his mattress apart for weeks and it is now serving as more of a stashing area than anything else. Chef's been removing the foam and making it into small squares which he's then been piling along the baseboard in his bedroom. Thread is being formed into balls. There was at least one book inside the mattress; Chef lied about there being anything in the mattress and wasn't participating in removing anything else from inside after he'd pulled out the book - and I'm just not brave enough to reach my hand inside there! This morning, I told Chef it was time to take the mattress out of his room. Out of all of Chef's mattresses over the years, this one has lasted the longest - but it met the same end as all the others; taken apart and used for stashing.
(When Chef has had books in his room, he has been quite happy to drag out chores so he can go to his room and read or has said he is too tired to do anything then goes to his room to read. There have also been many mornings when he isn't functioning well at all because he's been reading instead of sleeping; it's just not worth the morning stresses/raging of Chef being overtired. Oftentimes, the books end up being wrecked or end up disappearing, though not always; this would be fine if they are Chef's books but the ones he usually takes to his room usually belong to someone else or occasionally are now books of his that have been put away for a period of time because he's been reading instead of doing a chore or getting dressed, etc. For awhile, Chef was able to have magazines in his room with the idea that he'd read the magazine and be done with it then go to sleep; that didn't happen. He was still up in the night reading and rereading and/or making magazine pages into paper airplanes or spitballs. So now the books are on the main floor and Chef has complete access to them when he leaves himself time in the morning, after his chore in the evening, when we are going somewhere and he wants to bring a book along, etc. Chef's bedroom is reserved for quiet time/sleeping. To me, this is less than ideal because it doesn't feel "most normal and least restrictive" yet it seems to be what "works best" when it comes to Chef being out of his room in the evening and Chef sleeping at night.)
Chef was out of sorts this morning and used his "getting ready to go out" time this morning to grump around the house and show his displeasure. When it was time to go, Chef walked out wearing his pyjamas, a pair of shoes, and a jacket. We met a friend for lunch (Chef brought some vegetables along after I told him he needed to bring a lunch because I wouldn't be buying lunch for someone who'd taken what didn't belong to him and had lied and grumped about what he'd done) then ran some errands. When we were walking home, I talked with Chef about honesty and responsibility and dignity.
It continues to amaze me that Chef's body can physically handle what he occasionally puts into it. 20+ candy bars?? This one rates up there with the jar of peanut butter he speedily emptied then washed down with a bottle of pancake syrup. I don't know how his body does it.
At any rate, there haven't been any meltdowns today; I'm hoping the rest of the weekend remains the same, and that Chef gets his chores done and leaves himself time to enjoy some weekend activities.
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.