Single Moms Raising Autistic Sons

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Success with Social Stories

It had occurred to me that if I had written a social story for the library that it would be the perfect solution for our difficulties with behavior and sure enough it did work like a charm. I kicked myself for not having done it in the first place in order to avoid situations. I am at the library or I would post a picture of what it looks like. Basically I just drew stick figures because it is not important that they have detail or look realistic as long as it gets the point across that it is a person, then I drew conversation bubbles over their heads with the words inside. The most important part is that the words are not too many in number but that they are very specific painting a picture of exactly what needs to be done...not what doesn't need to be done. Being positive is very important (to me at least). I drew the other persons involved with only the bare basics of furniture and such. The librarians were impressed not only with the social story but with the tremendous difference in Griffin after he read and understood the story following through with its instructions.

 The library staff, especially the supervisor, all have been absolute angels as far as how they have wanted to help Griffin and me as much as they possibly could. In fact, a night and day difference between this library and the other one where they said that they would call the police on him. They are different counties and it is so obvious! Tears welled up in my eyes when we were talking on the phone and Sarah the supervisor was being so kind and understanding because it touched me so deeply. It is rare that people have such hearts and acceptance of a child's differences. Usually people expect him to conform to their expectations and are totally unwilling to bend a little to help him out. Even family members are that way who do not want to understand that he has autism and that sometimes what he says and does has to be accepted and not judged. Frustrating!

Now I need to make social stories for every event and situation especially those in public such as the wandering at stores, not looking for cars in parking lots, how to conduct oneself appropriately in doctor's offices and waiting rooms etc... If only I had remembered to do this a long time ago life would be so much simpler and easier but I hate clich├ęs but, "Better late than never." I am the first to admit that I learn more everyday, more than Griffin does just by making so many mistakes which I prefer to refer to as life's lessons since I believe that we make mistakes to learn in order to progress in life. It is inevitable therefore why not accept it and not give them a negative connotation?

Another thing that I have recognized in myself is that I usually do not validate Griffin's feelings and I hate that about myself. Today I have decided that that is my new lesson to make sure that when he shows his feelings, no matter what they are, that I stop and ask how he is feeling and then validate those feelings. I have never ever had my feelings validated so I know how painful it is and I refuse to repeat that with Griffin. I want him to hear and feel that all his emotions are appropriate and perfectly normal (although I hate that word) to feel because I know myself how good it feels and how much freedom there is when one has the confidence in one's own feelings without retribution or condemnation of oneself. Griffin needs to understand that all the "bad" emotions are okay too and that the "dark" side is acceptable no need to feel like a bad person for having them because everyone does. The beauty of acceptance of one's whole self is that it gives us absolute freedom from the worry or fear of other people's judgment and criticism.

I watched Eckart Tolle last night he is a man of such wisdom,  the epitome of peace and mindfulness. His books and tapes have left such an impression on me however for me they are to be reviewed again and again in order to truly learn from them. To attempt to get his message across myself I would do him no justice therefore I shall just leave you with one of his quotes:

"By accepting what is you become bigger than what is."    I live in the NOW and accept all that is.

Tomorrow is my 52nd birthday and my dad's birthday and a couple of other people whom I have heard about. I do not make plans because the future is merely in my mind since it has not happened therefore what happens will happen. If I project happiness in the NOW then I imagine that tomorrow will be no different...but all we have is NOW.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

What a Great Summer!

We have been going to a different library in which there has absolutely no problems whatsoever and Griffin is exactly the same person that he was at the other one but the difference is that the staff here are understanding and accepting of Griffin in fact there is a sign on the door that reads: We welcome all abilities, if you have any questions please inquire within. Now that is a true welcome sign indeed.
If a patron says anything to him about him dancing in his chair or anything else I merely inform him that he is autistic and so far everyone is understanding after that. Griffin's counselor recommended that we only go back to the other library where Elizabeth the bully is, on the days that she doesn't work because no one else has a problem with him. However I am still a bit too emotional about it to speak to anyone there, I have got to distance myself from it more so that I can speak nicely and properly.

So far we have been having a great summer although we have been having a bit of car trouble. First it was the radiator then four thread bared tires and one blow out. So the universe was so kind as for my Aunt Becky to call a garage that a couple own Tammy and Glenn and they donated four brand new tires to me and my heart skipped a beat I was almost in tears. Then we went to S.C. to see my mom who had fallen and broken her hip but it was so darn hot 102 degrees, that the car overheated and we were stuck. I had called the mechanic that put in the radiator and thermostat and he scared me to death saying that it was a blown head gasket so we had to have the car towed to NC after sitting in the heat for two hours. It was over an hour's ride home. But the tow truck driver was such a sweetheart and we had a great conversation. He was young and handsome but unattached because he worked on call twenty-four seven just to support his elderly mom. You sure don't find men like that anymore.

I got brave and started driving the car little by little because I had to and I found that as long as I keep anti-freeze in the car it is perfectly fine so I don't think that the head gasket is blown and I don't think that the radiator or thermostat was bad after all or else something was not fixed at the time. Anyhow I am going to a different garage because the other one was wrong and I can't afford to have things replaced that are not helping the problem while the problem still exists. I am going back to see Tammy and Glenn because they help out single moms and are understanding. I waited until I had some money this time so that I can pay them.

Griffin is doing so well with homeschooling. We are on American history right now and he is really enjoying it. Last night he read the entire Declaration of Independence all by himself. I have found that he loves books but has difficulty focusing when reading on his own so I read to him at bedtime every night and we are about to finish Old Yeller. It is challenging to understand for him heck, for me even, but he is getting the gist of it and learning new vocabulary words and slang. We are also reading a chapter book for his age group and I think it is called ....well I forgot but it is pretty good. It takes place in the 1800s in England and is supposed to be a bit spooky.

Before the car problems we were going to SC to see his sister. She is a beautiful person. I will write more later my time is running out.