I Rock!

We had G’s best friend from school over for a playdate today.  Let me pause a minute to remark on how completely fabulous it is that G has a best friend!! 

Playdates are something we’ve been tasked with as the parents by ‘the team’ and have been coached extensively on how to structure activities to teach G how to be friends with peers.  Setting up playdates is particularly hard for me as I tend to be introverted and we are new to this town.  It usually takes a couple of beers before I feel comfortable chatting with people I don’t know.  Since school drop-off/pick-up is an inappropriate place to show up tipsy (darn it) it’s been difficult for me to approach mom’s to set up after school play times.  I’ve made myself do it for G’s sake, but we average 1 playdate per month and not all of those are at our house where I can work toward teaching G about relationships.

Which makes today simply awesome.  G’s friend was here for about 4 hours – his siblings had hockey games today so this actually helped his mom out as well.  They free-played for a little while and then I set up a scavenger hunt around the house where the boys had to work out the clues and run to find the next clue.  After running, I calmed them down with a couple different board games (“I Spy Eagle Eye” is a pretty neat game for teaching kids with visual processing difficulties how to find things if you need a holiday gift idea) and a game of catch before lunch.  After lunch, I got them outside for an hour of sledding and running.  Then we came inside for a little W.ii before we shifted gears again and worked as a team to build a marble track.  When the boy’s mother came to pick him up the they were swinging and giggling like monkeys on G’s therapy swing.

G did an amazing job today.  He was engaged and reasonably interested in what his friend had to say and and participated in activities suggested by the other boy instead of controlling every situation to the max.  He had a couple minor escalations that actually worked out to be teachable moments.  For example, during the game of catch he got over-excited and started throwing the ball wildly around the room and was lauging because he thought it was funny.  His friend was frustrated because there was no way he could catch anything.  So I was able to point out his friends feelings and coach G on cooperation.  No way to know what sunk in until later, but I have a feeling it made an impact in a way that playing with his parents on the weekends doesn’t.

Days like this make me feel good.  It makes me feel like I might know what I’m doing as a parent after all.  And in the world of autism, you never know what tomorrow will bring.  It is important to hold on to the good moments and celebrate every success.

Published in: on December 7, 2008 at 4:14 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. You DO rock! This is awesome. Completely awesome. Sounds like you did everything right and it worked. Want to have my kid over for a play date? Please? 😉

  2. P.S. Which therapy swing do you have? Where did you get it? I’d love to get LM one…

    • We went hardcore and installed a platform swing in the ceiling of our playroom. It makes us look more than a little crazy when new people come over, but it has proved to be completely worth the expense and hassle! We got ours from http://www.southpawenterprises.com.

  3. Really pleased for you all that it went so well!

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