June 10, 2011
This evening we were grocery shopping - one of the most consistently pleasant activities with Chef. I really enjoy grocery shopping with Chef. He eagerly engages in every aspect of grocery shopping and successfully completes any and all tasks associated with it. He also is quite chatty while he is checking nutritional labels and prices, asking me whether or not I like certain foods and comparing to his own likes and occasionally the likes of friends at school (yes, the word "friends" seems very accurate this year!), points out if he spots a problem in the store and easily interacts with staff as needed. As we returned to the parking lot, I asked him if he just didn't like the stew anymore and that's why he wasn't taking it for lunches (thinking that maybe he doesn't take lunches when the primary item is something I've made rather than something he's made, and thinking that maybe that's something I'll need to sort of keep an eye on as a possibility). I was wrong.
"No. I just don't like it frozen."
"You've eaten it frozen??"
"No. I meant. Um, I can't think of what I mean. I need it to be thawed up because it's not thawed up at lunchtime."
"I thought you use the microwave at school."
"No. Well I do, but the EA who's with me then doesn't like me using it because I take too long and she's the only EA in the room then and needs to be with the other kids so she doesn't like me using the microwave."
"Did she tell you that, or did you just think that she thinks that way because of something that happened?"
"No, she told me a long time ago so I try not to bring anything that needs the microwave."
"But the main part of your lunches have almost always been cooked food that needs to be microwaved. Why didn't you say something a long time ago when that EA told you that?"
"I didn't want to get her in trouble. Plus I understand, cuz it's alot of other kids too and she's the only EA."
"It has nothing to do with anyone getting in trouble. If you needed a change in the lunches you were bringing, then there needed to be a change."
"K. I wasn't sure what to do when she told me. Besides, I just get full on the fruit I've been bringing anyway, except (Chef's regular EA) says the rash I've sometimes been getting around my mouth might be from the mango I eat every day."
So, one mystery solved - maybe even two! And with that, goodnight!
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.