Some weeks back I wrote about visiting a new facility that MJ can go to for various activities. In order for him to be able to participate, we had to do a parent tour, 2 intake sessions, one with MJ and one without, and fill out lots of paperwork. Last week, I was finally able to have him participate in a Social Games class. I was a little nervous when I was taking him because I didn’t fully know what to expect and I wanted him to be in a good mood for the first session. I prepared him for it by explaining that he would be meeting new people, playing games, and having fun. He had no idea that therapy would be going on while he plays. Being the overprotective mom that I am (sorry, not sorry), I asked if I could observe just for a few minutes to make sure that he was okay (in my mind I still see him as the 5-year old that used to run into oncoming traffic). They nicely told me that I could do that towards the end of the session. While waiting, a fellow autism mom showed me the parent observation room! I ran for the chance to see what he was doing. All I saw was pure JOY on MJ’s face. He was so happy playing the game. I was relieved that he wasn’t just fine, he was laughing and being silly. When the session was over he was so talkative! Telling me that he played games, had fun and “I want to come back next week!”
Just yesterday I took Morgan to a sibling support group. There were about 15 kids there. They talked, played games, made hot chocolate, had snacks, did arts and crafts, and were sent home with a bag full of goodies. I cannot begin to express how thrilled and thankful I am for this new program. They not only serve the child with special needs, they serve the entire family.
While rummaging through old files, I found this old picture of MJ. I had to gather paperwork in order to take him to the intake meeting at the new facility. My heart jumped when I came across the paperwork for Mj’s first evaluation at three years old. It brought back so many memories of how I felt at that time. I was scared, confused, angry, overwhelmed and lonely. At that same time I was hopeful and I just knew I loved and wanted to help my little boy. I call it a “hurricane of emotions.” My feelings were like a whirlwind, tossing back-and-forth and around. I sat for a moment- sitting, thinking, reflecting, about the years that have gone by. I am still on a mission to continue helping my son. At times I am still scared and even overwhelmed, but I am so thankful for how far MJ has come. So thankful that he is a happy child. So thankful that he has friends. So thankful that I see him becoming a little more independent as time passes. The intake meeting went very well. They described all of the clubs and activities that they had to offer, as well as offerings for my daughter! As for today, there is no “hurricane of emotions.” I am hopeful…let’s see what’s in store.
MJ 8 years old
I Lie to MJ way more than I’d like to admit. The primary reason for it is that I’m trying to prevent a major meltdown. It still makes me feel incredibly guilty every time I have to do it. I Lie to him when I’m taking my daughter somewhere and he cannot come. I lied to him last weekend when I wanted my daughter to celebrate her birthday with her friends. She sometimes worries about him when she’s out and about and I did not want her to have to do that on her birthday. My daughter will be going to a sleepover soon and I am already anticipating the fact that I will once again have to lie to him about where she is going. The last time she had a sleepover and he could not go, he had a major meltdown and it took about four hours for him to recover from it. It was horrible…He was yelling, “no mommy, noooooo,” over and over again and would not stop crying. It broke my heart. I know I have to stop doing this. He has to learn that he will not be able to go everywhere with his sister. He has to learn how to cope with it. Maybe I should start now. Maybe I need to prepare him now, for her upcoming sleep over…Yes I believe I will. God help me.
My daughter brought home a form about a support group for siblings of special needs kids. I was both shocked and happy as I read the form. It discussed the benefits of meeting other kids who may share similar family dynamics as they do. The group will meet once per week during the school day. I had a conversation with my daughter and asked her if this is something she’d like to do. She said “of course mommy!” She had her second session this week. She said that she had fun, talked about feelings, and made new friends. I’m very impressed that her school even has this support group. I’ve never heard of anything like this happening at a school!
We do our best to make sure she always feels special and we have our one-on-one time with her…But I know she sees a difference in how things work when it comes to herself and MJ. Often times she understands, but I know she gets frustrated as well. I’m so grateful for this support group and I pray it continues to be beneficial for her.
Blessings to everyone in this New Year!
I had “the talk” with my daughter. No not that talk! I spoke to her about how to explain autism to her friends. I began by showing her a short video about autism-What’s Up With Nick. She has seen it before but I wanted her to hear/see how the girl in the video explained it. She is a visual learner so I knew it would help. We went over a few basic responses and she came up with her own statement which basically says that, “his brain works differently so he communicates differently, plays differently, and he is really smart!” I couldn’t argue with that 😊. I told her that if her friends have more questions that she can’t answer, then she could always ask for help. I’m sure this won’t be the last “talk” that we have about this. I’m so pleased to be having this discussion with her.
I love it when they are being silly together. 💕💕
Happy Sunday Everyone!