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.

1 comment:

Adelaide Dupont said...

Happy birthday Lora!

And Lora's Dad.