This past week MJ had homework for his Social Skills group. He had to call someone from the class and give information about himself. He also had to remember to ask the classmate about himself. I was very nervous about the call because MJ’s processing time is sometimes slow. There have been times when we’ll ask him a question and he’ll answer it in about 5 minutes. That is a long time to wait for simple answers. Anyhow, When he made the call he said, “hello” then looked at me and said, “what do I say next!” It was so difficult not to tell him exactly what to say! Prior to the phone call, I did write one question down that he could ask his classmate. I pointed to the question and he said, “what did you do today?” After that, they had a conversation on the phone. It was exciting to see him go back and forth in conversation on his own. Through the conversation, he found out that his classmate enjoyed swimming just like he did. They were on the phone for about 5 minutes which was actually great for his first time speaking to this person. With continued practice, we are hoping that this becomes easier for him.
Recently I received an email that outlined a social skills group for kids of different ages. In the past, We have found that our insurance never covered these types of programs/therapy. It was always thousands of dollars per year for this type of therapy. As MJ is getting older, we are finding that it is crucial for him to receive additional help in this area. As it stands, MJ believes EVERYONE is nice and EVERYONE is his friend. He needs help with learning what a “real” friend is, what an acquaintance is, and how to have reciprocal communication with people. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that our insurance did cover it! The sessions are for an hour and a half, once per week. MJ works on various skills with kids in his age group. He even has homework that will help reinforce the skills that he learns during the group. We just had our first session and so far he did great! He seemed to enjoy it and wants to go back! I am praying that this is beneficial for him and that he can take these skills and use them in his life.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to get MJ out of the house! Unless it’s to his favorite restaurant, we often have to drag him out of the house. Sometimes I just don’t have the energy to deal with his behavior, so lots of times we just end up staying home! Other times however, it is a situation where he has to go or we have to force him to go. Today we wanted to go out to a family breakfast but to a different restaurant than he is accustomed to. We let him know ahead of time that it was a new/different restaurant. He took forever to get dressed, brush his teeth, and do the other necessary things before leaving the house. He was in a bad mood and it immediately put me on edge because I did not want him to have a meltdown. When we got to the restaurant, to help the process, we quickly ordered his usual favorite (that he gets at the other restaurants), and set his tablet up on their free Wi-Fi. He was still grumpy, banged on his tablet a few times, and wouldn’t interact with any of us. Thankfully he began watching one of his favorite shows and then his mood got better. The food came and he immediately began to devour it. That is when I was finally able to relax and enjoy my food and our time at breakfast. I hate the anxiety that I often feel when we go out to certain places. But I understand that sometimes he will have to be forced to go where he doesn’t necessarily want to go. We don’t want him to be a child that does not go out and about and experience different things. The difficulty at times is finding the balance between that and his comfort level.
Using my phone, but still not happy 😩
He sure did clean his plate though! Hoping it will be better the next time we try it.
In the early years with MJ, I was not only afraid, but I was not sure who to call on at times. I will say that nowadays, with the prevalence of Autism, there are more people that you can call on for help. When you feel you are approaching your breaking point, be sure to talk to the people you know and trust for help. Your child’s school may also be a valuable resource for you and can put you in contact with agencies that may fulfill a need. At one time I almost reached my breaking point. I had to literally stop, take deep breaths, sit down, pray, then finally make those needed phone calls asking for help.
Hoping everyone enjoyed their 4th of July festivities! MJ was excited to see the fireworks and didn’t need his earphones! 🙌🏽🙌🏽🇱🇷💥❤️❤️