Yesterday was our library/art museum field trip. Sometimes these activities are more overwhelming for me than for Logan because I can see other kids his age doing great things and I get sad for him. Then all I can see is autism. It may not be there but it’s all I can see at that moment. Logan isn’t doing anything different. My vision gets clouded so I forget that it’s irrelevant what the other kids are doing. Plain and simple, I need to keep my focus on Logan and his strengths and needs not on his weakness compared to others. I need to see Logan as I see Madison. I don’t let it get to me when other children Madison’s age do things that she can’t. I just say oh well,she will get it. The same thing should apply to Logan.
So, after the field trip, I had a monster headache (see what happens when one gets worked up about nothing). We went back into the library to check out books. Logan immediately went to get the magazine that he had been wanting to look at all morning. We sat and relaxed for a little while then I sent him off to pick books. Our family rule is that the children can pick as many books as their age. This means that Logan can get 11 books since he is 11. He had a hard time picking books because we were at a new library. I scaffolded it a bit (just a bit remember the monster headache) by showing him where to find the animal books. Then I went off to try and find a book that we needed for our history lesson. Of course, I couldn’t find what I needed (who knew that there were 2 libraries in Lakeland? not me!).
While gathering JoJo and Madison, I noticed that Logan was looking around. I inquired as to what he was doing and he appropriately responded looking for books. I gently reminded him that he has to finish Eragon this month for school reading too. Logan processed this as I stood there trying to will my body to move. Then he did something so appropriate that it almost made me glad that I had a headache. He said I only have 8 books but that’s enough this time. I don’t need to get 11 if I don’t want to . Then he looked at me for confirmation that it was an appropriate reaction. I smiled at him and motioned for us to leave. No other words were necessary.
Because I paused and gave him time to think it out, he was able to process it, come up with a response and act on it. I could have rushed him and made that decision for him. It was so much better for him to do it. I inadvertently transferred the responsibility to him because I had a headache. The lesson in this is that I need to slow down way more often and be patient. He can work it out if given the chance. If not, then I also need to be willing to scaffold it until he is successful. Either way, I need to continue to go slow!!!!! Imagine how competent he felt by making that decision himself. This will build into more decisions until he gets to the point that he does it effortlessly. Then I will be out of a job! That is a whole other post all together! 🙂