The Matrix

I thought that I would faithfully write about the journey in raising my son. The more I wrote, the more solid I became in my convictions to organize this brain that wasn't mine, to train into it some alien pliable form that was not going to stay on track anyway, and otherwise teach what seemed unteachable. Daily writing brought too much verbal thinking into my own visually-oriented mind to allow me to grasp the world in which my son immersed himself. And so...I embraced my own scattered nature, my own visual and spatial world, and became a part of his world. We were much happier -not that the road was smooth- when I invited my son into our world, slowly enticing him into space, a tentative shared space, between his universe and ours. I hope to share insights from the past, present, and future as I continue to ease the transition of this young man into an adult world. The only proven method I use is ages old -- I honor who he is and help him find people and places who do the same... square pegs fit nicely into soft putty that molds around them...and the push into plasticity is gentle.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

First Things First

I am totally convinced that it's never too early to begin transitioning socially challenged kids into the ways of the adult world. So often I hear parents of adults on the autism spectrum wish that transitioning had more meaning and more guts than tackling the issue of continuing services. Another poignant point is that we enculturate through varying degrees of mainstreaming in schools, totally forgetting that as soon as some of these individuals learn to be kids in our society, we change the rules, and quite abruptly. Some parents are frustrated when they realize that much time was spent on teaching social skills that do not pertain to the adult world, while academics were placed on the back burner. Often these young adult gained little traction in either department. Sadly, when my teenager and I attended a recent two day workshop** on transitioning people with conditions that affect social skills, he was the only person there under age eighteen.

It was, without a doubt, the best money and best time spent in this entire process of transitioning into the adult world. And it wasn't JUST the workshop itself, but for him it was the adult setting...the chance to mingle with adults as a full participant. Braised sirloin tips were a nice touch, too. We WILL do this again, and again...or perhaps HE will.

** Michelle Garcia-Winner and Dr. Pamela Crooke -- Social Thinking

No comments:

Post a Comment