Friday, April 22, 2011

Following your child's pace

One of the most challenging things when you start with  a home therapy program for an autistic child,  is all the stuff you are supposed to do

All the aspects  you are to work on

Sensory Regulation, Engagement, Problem Solving, Pretend Play, Peer interaction, Language - the list is endless

Though I love Floortime , one of the things that we found impossible to do was the usual Floortime recommendation of 2 play dates each week with a child

We did try

Our friends would offer to come over with their children when they learned that we were trying to get R to have play dates

R would be miserable and try his darnedest to get away from the child

The child would try a few times and then give up

And I would end up playing with the child

After a few attempts, we gave up

It was just pointless

(Yet  I felt some guilt over yet one more thing we were supposed to do and did not )

But then we  started to wonder , was ignoring this facet , such a bad thing after all

Perhaps he was not ready to learn peer interaction just yet

 Perhaps it made more sense to focus on one thing at a time ( and there were plenty of other things to choose from)

And I think we were right

For suddenly this last weekend , whave a couple visit us with their kids

Lo and behold, we  find him  for the first time ever  seeking other kids out

Wanting to be in the company of these two girls

Trying to play with their toys

Wanting to ride in their car

Wanting to stop by their house today when we are driving home today

DH and I have decided that this summer we will focus on Social Skills

I am often struck by  how R seems to develop every ability, albeit in his own time

How much we save - when we try to follow his lead - in what to work on ( For isn't there always something to work on )

 There is a time to plough the land and a time to plant the seed and so it is with raising children

Timing really is everything

And so instead of hurrying him along over the steps

We now let him take his time.

There is no rush, we say to him.

Feel that step firmly beneath your feet

We are ready when you are

This post has been written for Dr Boucher's Blog Carnival on Readiness which will be published on April 25th  

18 comments:

Tired Mom said...

You're doing the right thing! I have my daughter in floortime also, and there are some things she's ready to do and other things she's a bit skittish about. You're the mom and you know best; don't feel bad or guilty because something didn't work. Feeling out your child and doing things when he's ready will lead to much success and less anxiety. Keep it up, you're doing great!

Rachel said...

I smiled and smiled at the thought of his new friends! And what a joy they must bring him that he seeks them out!

Thankful that you are patient and sensitive to his timing... and how he is blossoming!

D. S. Walker said...

I love that you are letting him take his time and that he is learning things just at his own pace. You are a very good mom. I also love the pictures of the dogwood trees. It has been a while since I was in the south in the springtime to see them bloom.

TherExtras said...

And so it is with blogging - you write a post when you can and then it is right!

Beautiful.

As usual.

You and R and your DH give so much to us through this blog. Thank you!
Barbara

Apples and Autobots said...

That's wonderful! I am a big believer in "mommy-gut."

robin said...

You have such a talent with writing...and mothering!

Trish said...

You are doing an amazing job with R, he is so blessed to have you for his mama! I have always found arranging playdates to be difficult as well. Even though Michael wants them, he can only handle so much and you just never know what's going to set him off. Bless you!

Þorgerður said...

Awww he is sweet.

Thankfully we have homegrown play dates here.Though they are a bit older.
I did try getting someone at his own age and like you say ended up entertaining the little guest while my boy did his own stuff.

Barbara Manatee said...

I think you're right in following your child's lead. One thing at a time! Slow and steady, right? ;-)

~*~*~*~*~
April is Autism Awareness Month. My blogging all month about Autism.

bbsmum said...

Your good sense is reaping rewards. He's a lucky boy to have you letting him set the pace.

Lizbeth said...

I'm glad you're letting him go at his own pace. That was a hard one for me to get!

jazzygal said...

I was a third way through this post saying 'Don't give up! Wait 'til he's ready'!! And you did. I'm so glad :-)Our kids just do theses things at their own pace. And the reason they're able to is the work that WE put in....so well done you:-)

xx Jazzy

blackknightsbrood said...

You know your R so well. I admire your patience and approach always.

Kris said...

Sometimes we get so hung up on what we are "supposed to do" as part of a program or therapy we forget what you have described so perfectly. That each child needs to go at his or her own pace.

I think the socializing is the hardest part. It is the part Alex struggles with the most. His sensory issues really interfere and he is just unable to play with other kids unless they are running or jumping or swinging. Most boys his age are active but also enjoy a lot of pretend play with action figures, little cars, Legos, etc. These are activities Alex is totally incapable of. As such, we have had few playdates and when I do attempt them, I make sure it will be a nice day so they can play on the trampoline and other outside activiites. This is all he can handle.

You are doing a great job and how exciting R has made some friends!!

Kim said...

Everything about this is true. Love that you are ready when he is, it's a tough lesson to learn sometimes, especially at the beginning of this journey. Love this.

Julie said...

you are absolutely right on this. it's so scary as a parent to "hand over that control"... but we don't really have control over it anyway, so how good it is to let go of the pressure and follow their lead!

Rose-Marie said...

"There is no rush, we say to him.

Feel that step firmly beneath your feet

We are ready when you are."

Perfect!! You said that so elequently.

There is no rush, really. Life isn't a race to get to the finish, but to savor along the way. It's easy to get impatient (I'm raising my hand...me too!), but there is no prize for our kids zipping through their skill growth. They'll get there when they are ready...and we can relax instead of fighting to move them along before they are.

Lovely, lovely post!

danette said...

Love this, K :). So true... pushing too hard when they're not ready is just a recipe for stressing everyone out (and like you said, it's not like there aren't other things to work on in the meantime, huh?). R is blessed to have you and dh, who are so supportive of him and willing to let him develop in his own way.

I love reading about R's new friends! We kind of had built-in playdates with our twins, but it's been a little more challenging to find social opportunities for Bitty.

Floortime Lite Mama

On my life as the mother of an adorable 5 year old with Autism and Apraxia