Sharing recipes, crafts and frugal living, the challenges and triumphs of parenting a neurotypical child and a child on the Autism Spectrum. Yoga Instructor said goodbye to her nightly glass of Chardonnay to give up habits that were not serving her purpose in life! The CocktailMom name remains, however with a new focus on healthy and authentic living.

4/07/2010

Responsibility

Let me start by saying, change is never good for a kid on the spectrum. Logan has never dealt with change well. Normally it takes months to prepare him for something. Lots of conversations about whatever it is that is changing in his life. We've bought the same bed twice because when we moved it was easier to buy another than deal with the breakdown that Logan would have about sleeping in a different bed. And when I say breakdown...I mean total breakdown...the kind where no one is sleeping for days!!
That being said....this past weekend we moved.
HUGE change!
Lots of new things!
I am continually surprised by the amount of change Logan can endure now that he's older. He's able to tolerate so much more than he use to, I'm sure public school has been a huge help in this area. :)
I still have to prepare him weeks in advance, we still have to have a lot of conversations about whatever it is that is changing. The biggest difference now is that he has the language to ask questions and the ability to process your answers and then ask more questions.
Last night I could tell a bit of anxiety was washing over him. His voice sounds like he's about to start crying at any second. His eyes never remain fixed on any one thing. His body seems jittery.
I stop what I'm doing and ask him, "what is bothering you, Logan?"
There is a pause.
As there often is with Autism.
He replies, "I don't know how to get out of here."
His little 6 year old voice cracking a bit as he then bites his lower lip and I get a flash in my head of my future... of teenagers and cracking male voices.
"What do you mean sweetie?"
No reply.
I follow his gaze.
He's looking at the front door.
"Do you mean the lock?"
He nods his head fiercely so that his long, blonde hair swings in his face. The lock on the front door is very different from the lock on our other house.
"If something happens, I'll have to help Zane. He depends on me to do that." His big brown eyes beginning to pool with tears.
"Ok. Let's go over and practice it", I say wiping the tears that are forming in my eyes as well.
We spend a good 15 minutes locking and unlocking the door. Logan regains his confidence. His body becomes more relaxed. When he has done it by himself without any coaching he decides that he's done.
I remain standing at the door watching the two of them play together and my heart is full. So full because a kid who at one time barely noticed when someone entered the room, he was so withdrawn into himself, now understands and believes that other people are dependent on him.
He has a responsibility to himself, to his brother, to our family.
And in the world of Autism....that's huge.

10 comments:

Dannielle said...

Oh Gretch! That was beautiful! It's so good to hear the wonderful advances that are appearing in your young man. I'm crying with you, which makes it difficult to see what I am typing. Many hugs to you, and to Logan and Zane! I cannot wait to see you again! Hopefully SOON!

Gretchen said...

yes SOON!!! I've missed you!

Nikki said...

What a wonderful post - thank you so much!

Gretchen said...

Nik did you get rid of your blog?

Madmother said...

So very beautiful, filled my heart to the brim and then over. I think we do not take any of these things for granted... How could we after the life we have lived.

xx from Oz.

Charlene said...

You are a wonderful writer, Gretchen - I so enjoyed this story. God bless you and your family.

morninglight mama said...

This is a heartwarming post, seriously. How incredible brotherly love can be for the brain, huh?

Lori + Gregg said...

beautiFULL. all of it. ☀

Gia said...

Amazing story. Wow Logan...I love his heart. Thanks again for sharing....

Anonymous said...

You have to express more your opinion to attract more readers, because just a video or plain text without any personal approach is not that valuable. But it is just form my point of view

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