My son is almost 10 and has higher functioning autism. As in, he will be 10 in less than 2 weeks and lately, he has had this habit of questioning or making excuses toward everything I say. He is not very open to criticism or learning new ways of doing things, even if his way makes it harder. So, after weeks of him questioning everything that I say to him, I told my son to take care of himself.
That’s right. If he doesn’t like the way I do things or doesn’t want to follow my rules, then he can do things for himself.
Yesterday, he made his own dinner because he didn’t want what I cooked. He microwaved a hot dog, had a piece of string cheese and a fruit pouch, but you know what happened? He was proud of himself!!! Yes, he was proud of an accomplishment. He was proud that HE did something for himself. It was amazing to watch.
Last night, he made his own bed for the first time and went to bed without being tucked in. Yes, his bed was a little messy, but he did it himself and again, he was proud.
This morning, I told him what time he had to be ready to go and to have himself ready by that time and you know what? HE did it. He got dressed, he brushed his hair and he was ready to go.
Today, at Caribou, he ordered his own drink and paid for it with his own money. He said he felt like he was taking responsibility and it felt good. He also wanted an apple fritter, but did not have enough money. I told him, I would buy his fritter, if he cleaned his room when we got home. Guess what, he cleaned his room as soon as we got home.
I don’t know how long this will last. Sometimes, these things start out well and then, they go downhill faster than a speeding truck, but for right now, he is proud of himself and that makes me proud.
Temple Grandin says that children with higher functioning autism need to be pushed, so they can do great things. I agree which is why I always try to push my son in the right direction.