Joining the Family

I know that you think this post will be something sappy about a baby or a wedding. Ha! If you do then you don’t have a child with autism. Or you know something that I don’t since I currently don’t know anyone that is preggers or getting married (but that did not keep me from scoring congratulations cards free from Publix

Often children with autism will prefer to be alone. If you think about it, why wouldn’t they? When you are alone, you don’t have to reference anyone or navigate anything socially. You don’t have to worry about anything sensory related or anything else. All things that are difficult for a child with autism. So, they retreat into their own world where it is safe and easy. For Logan , this means staying in his room for extended periods of time.

As a parent, it is easier if the child is alone. They can be quiet and less work that way. Let’ s face it. A child with autism is a lot of work. All children are a lot of work but multiply that by 100 and you get a child with autism. Sometime you just need a break and it is easier to let them go into their own world. Dinner for everyone still has to be made and someone has to clean up the mess that permeates the house.

My parents come over every Sunday to watch a sport of some kind, usually football or Nascar. The scenario usually goes like this: we all sit in the living room watching and Logan sits in his room, reading or watching tv. Madison comes in and out each room as she plays with Swae and JoJo. Logan stays in his room. Now to be fair, he does need a break. It is emotionally draining for him to keep it together all morning at church. It is a little easier for him now that we have tweaked it and made it successful for him but that is another post. And he does have Awana later that evening. So, he does need a break to relax and recharge. It’s important for me to recognize that when I am thinking if ways to encourage him to join us more .

Enter Super Bowl Sunday. Now, there is a disclaimer here. Michael and I were out of town for the night before at the Nascar race in Daytona. Logan and Madison had spent the night with Michael’s parents. Hence, no one made it to church that morning and we weren’t going to Awana that night. I decided to press my luck and try to bargain with Logan. I would let him partake of all the yummy food at the Super Bowl party that he could given his allergies and he would come out for part of the game. He reasoned out loud that he could join us for a quarter so I agreed. The game started and he came out for the first quarter and participated well with us. After the quarter, he went back to his room. Mission accomplished.

On the everyday front, we do a variety of things. We require the children to eat at the table. I purposely teach several subjects to them together like Bible and history. Chores must be completed together. I plan activities to be accomplished together.

In all honesty, it is something that has to be worked on daily. We can not afford to let our guard down on this one. I remember the dark days of his early autism when he was lost to us. I don’t care to revisit them. As we progress through the RDI stages, he is beginning to join us more on his own accord. He feels confident and trusts us as his guides. He has even picked out a Nascar driver to route for and it wasn’t Jeff Gordon. Yes, I still let him live here. lol I’ve waited a long time for him to be remotely interested in something that I like too. Now, I draw the line on routing for the Yankees.