So Michael continues to amaze me. I know I say this a lot and it must sound boring to a lot of people. We have our highs and lows like any family, but what I am continuing to see from Michael more and more each day is how well he is able to articulate how he is feeling, what he is upset/confused about, and what makes his angry. The challenge, however, is how to handle these intense feelings. He will still have moments he lashes out physically with hitting and will utter angry swear words. Immediately, he apologizes though. He is beginning to understand the consequences behind his actions learning to do damage control.
At the same time he is learning to push boundaries, to see how far he can aggravate, yell, cry and what will happen. Will I give in? Will his Dad? Will we still love him? It is funny. As much as he sometimes will openly say, “You’re the better parent” to his father if I upset him and vice versa if Dad upsets him, in the next breath it’s “I’m sorry Mommy. I’m sorry Daddy. Do you forgive me?” Last night I had told him how proud I was of his academic achievements and how well he did at some social events in our community. Michael looked at me almost in shock and said, “Really Mommy? You’re really proud of me?” Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not a perfect parent. Heck, I’ve admitted that often enough in print and verbally. But I do my best to hug and tell Michael I love him very much every single day and night. I also tell him I am proud of him and want him to be safe and healthy. Still, like all kids, he needs to hear that reinforcement of the “I love you” many times. I don’t mind. I am so amazed with how far he is going. I am also beginning to understand more and more each day how to help him. He, of course, is guiding me. Most recently he shared something with me:
“Mommy, do you know why I repeat things sometimes, like at bedtime I say, “see you tomorrow morning two times?”
He pauses. “It’s because I want to make sure it happens. If I say it a few times, it will happen.”
Wow. He is able to process and understand how his brain works.And share that with me. Of course. That makes sense. I smile and feel both joy at his realization and pain that he is suffering with worry about this.
“Morning will always come Michael. No matter how many times you say it or not. Day and night will always come. It is outside of our control.”
Another incident a few days later he shared with me how he only wants to go to adapted activities where he knows the kids because he hates change. Even if it is adapted and those kids have autism like him and other things similar to mine, he doesn’t know them. Wow again. He is making those connections and bringing me along for the ride in understanding them.
Exceptional Parents, do you see your children connecting the dots emotionally in their inner and outer world? Are they able to let you in to help or meet you halfway? That is the tricky part. Until you are both able to meet at the halfway mark, communication is challenging. Be patient. Play. Interact with them at their level the games that interest them. In time you will find a way in to their world as they will to yours. That is when the next milestone will be achieved. Until next time.
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