Workin’ It

Some days, life’s a beach; on others, it’s a workout, you sweat and come home muscle-tired, but with that toned feeling that carries you through. That’s us this week.  Here on Day 4 of vacation, not that I’m still counting, we SURVIVED the first relatively unstructured few days!  Yay!  Despite near-100 degree heat, thorny behaviors and too much work stress and work.  Brief lessons for this mom:

  • Ask for help – don’t know what I would have done without a most favorite, capable respite person.  The visiting behaviorist also shows promise, although like all ABA there’s a temporary increase in parental jobs associated with data collection and behavior plan implementation that adds to the To Do list.
  • Offer choices – it makes me feel so good to hear my sons say No when I offer an option, and to have them choose from among destinations for purchasing-program trips or free time pursuits.
  • Listen to the behavior-language – it talks, and as parents of the autistic we have to learn to hear it with the same listening deeply that we apply to the spoken word.  After my prohibiting access to the side of the house with the bathroom, since I was sick of his multiple disrobes, W. proceeded to have his first toileting accident in five years.  Lesson for mom:  many behaviors start from genuine bodily needs, sensory or otherwise, even if I read them as protests or simple devilment.
  • Celebrate the small stuff.  The above pic represents a blissful moment when we used a new gym membership together, helped by the above-mentioned wonderful aide.  Each guy did purposeful 5-min workouts on treadmill, eliptical and stairmaster.  To others, these would be trifling.   For us, considering the workout was done by both boys together, outside our basement, each really trying and able to block out the auditory overload of a big room and the workouts of others nearby, it’s the seed we’ve planted for more.

Some days you work it; some days it works you; and others, you endure even more because of the strength you built from sweating the small stuff – literally.