It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Ever since school shut down last spring and everything kinda went virtual, I ‘ve been on quite the learning journey with my son. Plenty of meltdowns from our so-called “new norm” and from the last post of struggles of changing of therapy staff. My gut was right and eventually, we had to let that staff on our therapy team go. That was the second person we had to quit services within the last 3 years, personality just wasn’t compatible. As heartbreaking as it was since services are already short-staffed, I knew it was time. At the end of it all, it was worth it.
However, even after such turbulence, we get up and try again. Try again, a common phrase we have in our house with Kyson. A phrase of warning, a phrase as a reminder, and a phrase to start over. So here we are, we try again.
As a person who is such an introvert, I’m not one that cares for small talks or to have a conversation unless there is an answer that is needed. I’ve tried many years to do so, but I can’t help but not show the “Okay, get to the point please!” face. It’s a working progress. Point being, that my son who has very limited communication should have constant conversations as much as possible or to hear it so he can pick up words and cues during social interaction, but I suck at it! It’s impossible some days to answer him right away because I’m so tired of moving my mouth. Again, like I said, it’s a working progress, I’m a working progress.
As much as I want my quiet time, I have to remember that my autistic child needs his time too. I’ve realized through the last few years of blogging, it’s not actually writing content for others to get value from, but a way for me to remind myself how far we, as a family have come together. I often scroll and reread the earliest blogs I post just to see what worked with Kyson and what hasn’t. So here’s to another listing I wanted to just have for future reference.
How To Prepare Your Child For Change
- Give a time frame as a warning before switching activities. For example, Kyson always had a hard time being outside to coming in. This is when you tell him the warning. “10 minutes, then time to go inside.” Then you repeat at the 5-minute mark, and after that 5 minutes, you must follow through. No ifs, and, or buts, you just have to do it. Consistency is key and having him know that you mean it when you give him the warning will be huge when you no longer have to chase a 6-year-old around the yard to walk him inside.
- Wind downtime, having time to wind down before starting a new activity is so important. During the summer and being outdoors most of the day, it is always difficult to transition from being out in the beautiful weather to coming indoors so you must give the time frame warning and then come in to wind down. We do this often so Kyson can wind down before therapy. If we don’t give him at least 10 minutes to wind down, the entire session will be a complete disaster. In his mind, all he sees is still being outdoors. He’s not even fully inside yet and prepared to start therapy. It’s the same during school. He would get home off the bus, and even though therapy already started, they actually don’t do anything until 15 minutes after he’s been home.
- Use your words. Another phrase that is often said in this house. When Kyson gets upset or excited, there is often just yelling, grunting, or just a negative reaction of throwing objects to get his point across. Many times, he doesn’t have the words to communicate this so he reverts to yelling, throwing items, or other odd behaviors that I don’t understand. Sometimes it works and some times it doesn’t but, at least he knows that’s the option we need to help him. Echolalia is one of his best features, I see him echoing a complete youtube video and now, he is starting to use some of the terms in the correct manner with us. This “use your words” really isn’t for him, but for everyone else in the household. The more conversations we can have in from of Kyson, the more he picks up. I’m just glad he no longer calls Daddy, Babe!
- Remember to use words. Ah, yet again I must list it. Use your words! As a mom, I can’t help but not to use words with him, because I just know him. Sometimes with gestures or his body language, I can tell what he wants so I just do it without thinking. Again, as an introvert, it’s so easy to just do it and not think about using words to question what he wants or what he’s doing. Often times when he does ask me for something, instead of just a quick yes, you have to answer,
“Sure you can have so-and-so, that was such a great way of using your words, Kyson! Thank you for asking!”
To anyone, saying this as an answer over and over again can get to be quite well, cheesy and tiresome, but I have to do it. In three weeks’ time, Kyson went from, can I have chips, to can I have sour cream and onion chips? That 4 extra words in a sentence!
- Be the example. First and foremost, you love your child do you not? And they love you and deserve everything in the world to be just given just a fair chance, so be the example. Their eyes are always watching you. Take notes, trial and error are inevitable, and patience wins it all. I recall Daddy teaching Kyson to use the MacBook. Kyson constantly pushed on the trackpad to click when he didn’t realize that all he needed to do was tap down with a finger. So Daddy shows him, but instead of tapping, Dad takes one of his fingers and quickly, from his finger at face height showing Kyson, quickly taps the trackpad. So what does Kyson do, every time he gets to something he wants to click on, Kyson brings his finger to his face and quickly taps the trackpad. LOL! Cute, but not so funny if he keeps it up and damages the trackpad. Well, be the example and show your children to do it the way you would, not the way you think they would understand.
Yet again, another list I’ve made for myself for reference. A great reminder of how far Kyson has come and I can’t wait to see where this path will take us since school will be opening virtually again this fall. So many days of inconsistency ahead for him, but he always overcomes every obstacle that has been placed before him. Every day, I wake up and try to start his day off with love and end the same way. With love.
Until next time, my lovely readers, take care of yourself with the struggles of being a parent.