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.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Well, we have had a wonderful week.

This past week, Chef has been getting dressed in a different change of clothes every day, including socks! He has been wearing his boots and other appropriate outerwear outside without issue. He is eating well (still working on getting him to drink a decent amount of fluids throughout the day), and has been very pleasant to be around. Chef seems happier all-around, and didn't even have any meltdowns over having to attend a recent medical appointment.

There have been only occasional and minor blips around chores - mostly last weekend, but that all changed an hour before a friend was coming over on Sunday.

Prior to Chef returning to school after the holidays, he'd had four days of washing/dressing each morning. That all changed his first day back - he went right back to attempting to wear the same clothes he'd worn the day before, and continued his attempt for 20 minutes in the morning. Then he opened the freezer to take out his lunch, then put his lunch back into the freezer and said he didn't have time to take it to school then took two lunches out when I insisted that he take his lunch with him and had very teary eyes when I reminded him that he only needed one lunch - ah, the scattered mind on a school morning. For the past week, however, Chef has gotten up and independently ready every morning for school, with the only verbal prompts being about wearing clean socks and that it's easier if they're in pairs. I've put out breakfast for Chef but to no avail due to "scatter" so hopefully that will see a change next week. Breakfast on school days has always been a bit of a challenge. Over the years, we've tried a "breakfast first" plan which usually resulted in an undressed Chef by the time the bus arrived, an "up earlier" plan which usually resulted in the extra time being filled with what Chef referred to as "games" rather than using the extra time to get ready, etc. With such a drastic change recently, however, I am hopeful that we can focus on breakfast being the final piece in a now otherwise successful school morning. Wow, it's really amazing to look back and think of how it used to be next to impossible for Chef to even want to leave the house, then for him to go to school on a regular basis, and all of what was in involved in his attempts to stay in his room - and then to see him this past week just getting up and ready for school and waiting outside for the bus fully dressed, lunch in hand, and without issue. This past week has been a true gem.

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