Sunday, January 30, 2011

Big Things

I registered Jared for a big scout camp coming up this summer.  His older brothers are attending and I'm hoping Sean will be able to volunteer and have Jared's back.

I am feeling really excited about it right now.  It's big.  It's super big for Jared.  Any fear that I have that it may be too much for him is being drowned out by the notion that he really could have a successful experience.

You never know until you try.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Do I Push Too Hard?

I nearly pulled my hair out tonight. Jared has an exam tomorrow. He's known about it for a few days now. He waited for the study guide. It's exam eve. No guide.

"Jared, we need to study for that exam."

"What exam?"

"Your exam tomorrow."

"Oh. I don't have a study guide."

"What is it on?"

Shrug. "I don't know."

The conversation went on with me asking probing questions to determine what we were going to study with no results but me freaking out and gouging my own eyes. Not literally. The eye gouging part.

I have high expectations of Jared. They are not unattainable, but I am a firm believer in stretching one's self and moving in a forward trajectory in life. Autism or not, Jared can move forward but if no one is helping and coaching him, it won't happen.

He's amazing. He's already accomplished so much and beyond what people expected of him. Why? Because people who cared about him gave him opportunities to grow. We started small and we worked with him every step of the way until he could do all or most of it on his own.

I want him to learn that it's important to take school seriously, even if half of his peers don't. I want him to understand that an education is more important than the latest Xbox game. I want him to learn that he needs to be responsible for himself.

Yes, I know most 11 year old typically developing boys don't get that.

It's just that it took me 6 years to get Jared to hold a pencil properly. These life lessons are so much bigger. 6 years? 10 years? 15 years? It's just a little scary sometimes.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Basketball

"Don't play team sports," they say.  Yah, I get that.  Yah, I've seen the wisdom of that advice from time to time.  

But Jared did pretty well in basketball tryouts today.  He'll make a team.  The coaches just need to evaluate all the players in order to put together evenly matched teams.  

He's not awesome but he tries hard.  When they get to game playing, I think things will get tougher.  Still, it's a good experience for him.  

I often want to protect him from everything, but I know I need to expose him to difficult situations to help him learn and grow.  It's hard to watch him struggle.  It's hard when he doesn't want to hear advice.  It's hard to see others get frustrated with him.  

So here starts basketball season.  Seat belts on.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

When Taking Pictures......

 This is the face that Jared wants to make in all photos.  Every. Single. One.
If I don't let him, this is the face I get. 

One day I hope to find a happy medium.  Good thing I think both faces are beautiful.

A Year Ago on New Years Eve.....

.......Jared and I were dancing in the den.  Why?  Because he was 10 and that meant in 4 years he would be going to a youth dance and he needed to learn how to dance appropriately.  His idea.  We had so much fun dancing.  He listened and did what I told him EVEN though everything in him wanted to go "Napoleon Dynamite to the jillienth degree".

I've tried a few times over the past year to fit in a little dance lesson here and there.  Sometimes it works, but most of the time he doesn't understand what my problem is and why I want to change the way he dances.

He needs an ultra wide perimeter and enter it at your own risk.  His arms or legs may take you out.  No joke.

This Christmas our ward party ended with a family dance.  I find they are so much fun to observe.  On this night I observed Jared dancing with a girl from his Primary class.  He was in control and doing pretty well.  My anxiety melted as I watched him interact......with a girl.

After that dance he carried on by himself, dancing in the middle of the gym.  The anxiety grew again.  Wide perimeter.  3 and 4 year old kids dancing around and getting into the perimeter.  Amazingly, no injuries.

Oh well, I know he can do it.  That's the important thing.