So we are trying our best to keep things spontaneous and predictable for Michael, and give him the best mix of the bunch. For the winter, he wanted a break from structured winter activities, so other than swimming lessons during the week, the weekend is unstructured time that we and Michael have structured together. Michael has his favorite shopping mall that he likes to frequent on Saturday and Sunday mornings, then he usually goes sledding with Dad on Saturday afternoon, runs an errand or has recently started watching movies or playing video games. Sunday I am doing my best to convince Michael to come back regularly to church with me, and then in the pm it is skating in the public arena and the library and or impromptu musical concerts. Dad and I try to go with his energy and interests, along with some limits. We have been successful most of the time.
What really impressed me today, was the fact that Michael was excited to call up his classmates to join him and his Dad for a movie date next Saturday. He took the initiative to dial their numbers and have a phone conversation. At first, I thought we could manage it without practice, but it was hard. We then did a few more practice runs then Michael did an amazing job. It was stressful and exciting for me as his Mom to watch him reach another milestone. This means a lot when we see him struggling with anxiety and defiance with us. It is comforting to see the positives and remind ourselves of it.
Exceptional Parents, how do your Exceptional Children do with structure and unstructured time? What are their interests and strengths? Play to that. When we speak and pay attention to our children’s strengths, we encourage them to do the same in their own life. Until next time.
I am a writer and parent coach who is passionate about empowering parents to trust their own instinct when raising their exceptional children with autism, and remembering that parenthood is as much a journey for us as childhood is for our children. For more information on my parent coaching programs, and to book a FREE 30 Minute Consultation Session, see my website: http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.
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