May 24, 2010

Connors World

(As stated before in my notes, Connor is my 12 year old son who has Autism.)

We have been informed of our travel plans this summer. The declaration was put forth by our 12 year old, stated in no-nonsense terms. This is what will happen...

School ends June 10th. Then we pack the suitcase, and drive to hotel called Holiday inn. We put on swim suits and swim in the pool, go to sleep. Then have waffles and drive north to Canada.

Pretty straightforward right? It does actually fit pretty well with what we are going to do, with good reason. Connor likes for things to be static, ritualistic if you will. He does not handle change. Everyone has different ways of dealing with ambiguity, some better then others. Connor has been able to see and be comforted by finding the static within the change.

He is adaptive in his reasoning. If we go to a Quality Inn, instead of Holiday Inn, he will accept the difference, because he can see that it is still a hotel. Now if the hotel does not have a pool or the waffle maker breakfast. Things are going to begin to get dicey. Yes, we can work him through the situation and he will emerge from the other side. The thing is this, we will probably have to help him through other things, so why not accommodate what we can, as it provides him a degree of comfort and control.

Communication is something most people overlook when it comes to kids. Imagine someone obviously hurting and crying. This person is not able to relate the problem. It could be physical, it could be mental, it could be emotional. As a parent it is paramount to help and without the knowing what is wrong, the knowing how to help, is nigh impossible. It can be heart wrenching. It is...

When Connor can relate to us something like vacation plans. We engage the communication fully. We will make corrections to his expectations. We have also, purposefully, altered plans in order to teach him he can deal with ambiguity. So when unforeseen events occur he has those skills.

No one is crazy about change. The more draconian the more we push back. It is our nature. Yet, our environment is one of near constant change. I suppose the human condition is one of conflict.

1 comment:

Tina said...

Connor also happens to have an excellent recollection & sense of direction. On our way home last year, I opted to just drive all the way home.

Connor got upset when I missed the OFFRAMP to the hotel we'd stopped at on the way up. Even though we'd only taken the Northbound offramp on the way up, he knew which offramp we should have taken going Southbound! *I* didn't even know it was that offramp!!