Clear Choices

Be Clear

With autism nothing is ever very clear. That is why it is important to have a plan and to follow a routine. A friend and I were discussing this just the other day after both our autistic children hadn’t had an average day in our autistic worlds. The benefit in being clear with directions to our children is important in an autistic family.

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Cousins

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We had the wonderful experience to visit with a new cousin over the weekend. Our niece was home with her family and had their new baby with them. Our autistic son is the youngest in our house, so he doesn’t have much experience with younger children. Within minutes of being introduced to each other, they were chasing each other around the couch in the living room. It was nice to watch our son play with his younger cousin and to watch out for the little one too.

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The Summer Job – Part 2

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So we are into July and the summer lawn mowing has taken off in full demand. Except it is not just the lawn mowing that needs to be done, it is also the trimming that is part of the job. What do you do with a teenager when they tell you that they don’t like trimming grass? When your teenager is autistic on top of the hormones, life gets complicated.

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Report Cards

Keep it up

Report Cards came in last week. With school finished, it was the last thing to pick up on the last day of school.  School is always a challenge in our household with our autistic son, but he pulled through this semester with marks in the 80’s and we are very proud of him. We know the challenges he has with schooling, but want to impress upon him the value of completing his high school education.

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The Summer Job

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We have organized a summer job for our autistic son this year. It is a lawn mowing job in our local community. Our older son had the job previously and we have kind of inherited it for the next child. The lawns need to been mowed at least once a week and there is trimming to do. Our autistic son likes the employment, just not the work.

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End of the School Year

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We have survived the first year of high school. Exams are done, classes are over, and summer activities begin. Except, what do you DO with a teenager in the summer? There aren’t that many programs for a special needs child with autism in the summer in our rural area. How do you bring order to the long lazy days of summer as a parent?

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Anxieties and Exams

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Exam week is upon us next week and anxieties are running high. This has been expressed in short tempers at home and school. As much as we want to help our autistic son study, one can only provide the opportunities and not the osmosis of learning. Our son is not the only one anxious about the outcome of exam week.

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Responsibility

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Summer Jobs are starting up with the advent of June and my husband and I have found some paying work for our autistic son. He is finding it challenging to get in gear to do the outside work. Since it is a part-time job that needs to be attended to every couple of days, it is important to keep on top of the work load. The competing demands of video games, school finishing, and friends takes a bite out of his available work time.  Factor in the inclement weather and one can have a few unworkable days each week.

Saturdays are “Free” days


Any parent knows that Saturdays are anything but free.  It is a day to catch up on the laundry and other house hold chores.  If the weather is good, it is a good time to do outdoor jobs.  Our son doesn’t see Saturdays that way.  He sees that he has attended school Monday to Friday.  Since there is no school on Saturday, he doesn’t have to get up.  When he does grace our breakfast table, it is at a late hour.  He doesn’t think anything should be asked of him as this is “his” day to catch up with important world and universe domination on-line.

Part-time Summer Work


Our son likes to spend money.  Basically on his video game lives.  In order to obtain said money, he realizes he needs to let the real world interrupt his life now and again.  With this in mind, we discussed summer work with him early in the spring.  He was game and understood there would be new things to learn in doing a summer job. However, the actuality is different than the theoretical.  Getting in gear to do the work seems to be a problem.  Motivation to get outside to do the work is interfering with video gaming time.  To stay on top of the work load, one needs to give the job diligent attention each week.

Responsibility


So after trying and encouraging our son to get outside and do some of his work this last Saturday, my husband and packed up the truck after supper and went to do his job.  We weren’t happy about it, but a commitment is a commitment.  We didn’t want our son to lose the contract, so we went and did the work.  Our son had said that he would do the work that day, but got “stuck” at home.  He wanted to talk to a friend on-line, then had to wait for that friend to call him, and then played with that friend on-line. Suddenly, three hours had slipped by in the afternoon.  I wasn’t going to get in a fight over doing the work.  I asked again if I could drive him up after supper to work.  After receiving a negative reply, we decided to head out ourselves and do the work.

There is a happy ending to our story.  It took an hour and a half, but our son finally showed up at the worksite.  He had cooled down enough to realize that if he wanted the job, he needed to show up for it.  He came and helped us finish up the work.  He apologized and said that he would do better in the future.  Looking forward into the next week’s forecast, I have earmarked two fine days to do the work with my son.  I think it is better to just expect that this will be the activity for the day ahead of time.  When the day comes, just do the work activity.  He may not greatly enjoy the outside work, but I know he will enjoy spending the money without any hardship when payday comes .

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Prom Date

Prom Date

Prom Date

When your teen gets asked to the Prom at high school, it is usually a fun time. One gets to see their offspring all duded up in fancy formal wear and for a few hours one realizes, this is the cusp of adulthood. This is what my baby will look like as an adult. As the parent of an autistic teen, it is also a time fraught with worry that things will go well and that he will be able to deal with crowds, waiting, and protocols.

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Movies and Mom Time

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It is a struggle to get my autistic son to a movie. He may actually end up liking the movie, but one would have to leave the house to discover that. It is so much easier for him to stay home after all. He tells me that he doesn’t like going to the movies. I, however, like going to the movies. To do so, I introduce “Mom Time” and bribe my son into a shopping trip every so often.

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