May 31, 2011
Today is Day #2 of the new chore plan: Wake Chef up early to take care of his responsibilities/chores because he doesn't want to do any at all in the evenings or on the weekends.
This morning's task was to wash/dry 10 dishes and put items from the fridge/table into a lunchbag. I woke Chef 45 minutes early to allow for plenty of time.
Chef washed/dried 1 item, attempted whining when reminded that a dish needs to be placed into the sink to be washed, and didn't put any food into a lunch bag.
Of course, this morning plan isn't going to "work" in the sense that Chef is going to be in good spirits to accomplish any tasks, and it certainly isn't going to help his already-challenged mornings (though last week I switched the morning plan to Chef getting up and dressed and out the door with his lunch and a piece of fruit for breakfast waiting for him on the front porch - that "worked" well), but the hope/goal is that Chef will learn/realize that all these attempts he makes at doing everything he can think of to avoid anything he views as being connected to work just aren't worthwhile, and that all the effort and time he puts into avoiding is more effort and time than would have been needed to just do the work.
Some view this area as Chef continually trying to power struggle. I view it as an area that is challenging for Chef for many reasons but that is a basic part of successful, healthy living, and a life lesson that will serve Chef well in various areas. What has "worked" for Chef is letting him live with and learn from his choices and for me to be open to living outside the box to allow Chef to learn those life lessons.
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.