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People Who Think Like Me

by Trish on February 4, 2009 · 15 comments

in Autism, Awareness, Daily Life, My Little Guy, Therapies

Monday night, Michael had his first group therapy session with the psychologist. We arrived a few minutes late, but luckily the three other boys were still in the waiting room playing with Legos.

Michael was very excited to be meeting other boys who, in his words, “think like me and are my same age too.” Makes me wonder why we all push so hard for inclusion with typical peers all the time.

Now, I’m not saying anything against inclusion—we all live in this world and need to work together and help each other—I’m just saying it doesn’t seem like a bad thing to seek opportunities to be with people who are similar to you. After all, isn’t that what we all do? We visit different churches to find the one that fits our style; we try to find common ground with people we meet to see if they have the same views or background or even hobbies.

Ideally, he can begin to have these opportunities not just as part of a therapy session, but as part of his everyday life. That reminds me, I need to email the mom of the boy he met at the last ASA meeting to arrange a playdate. :)

As an update to my frustration with the increasing meltdowns, the psychologist suggested that I may actually need to keep a tighter rein on the schedule and freedoms at home and to make sure I am giving clear and immediate feedback on both good and bad behavior. I have been somewhat relaxed at home, thinking this will allow him to focus more when he is at school, but it appears to be backfiring on me.

{ 15 comments }

Amazing_Grace February 4, 2009 at 5:45 pm

It would be nice if my son would find a friend like himself so they can compare notes so to speak. :)

Amazing_Grace´s last blog post..Sucking Up

Amazing_Grace February 4, 2009 at 12:45 pm

It would be nice if my son would find a friend like himself so they can compare notes so to speak. :)

Amazing_Grace´s last blog post..Sucking Up

rickismom February 4, 2009 at 7:17 pm

I am a fierce believer in inclusion, but I also send Ricki one day a week to two clubs with other girls with Down s. She loves it. It helps her accept the fact that she has Down syndrome.

rickismom´s last blog post..Special exposure Wednesday- Down syndrome reading

Mia February 4, 2009 at 10:43 pm

I agree. I want my son to have inclusion, but I also want him to not be the only one who’s “different”. I have been trying to have him more exposed to others like him and am thankful that he is paired with another student who has special needs similar to his while in an inclusive classroom. Other activities will be with other special needs children as they come up.

Mia´s last blog post..We Need a Team

Sage Moonstone February 5, 2009 at 11:20 pm

Hi~ I have a six year old son with autism as well. We tried inclusion, but ultimately went with a private placement at a Therapeutic School… we don’t have melt-downs at home any more. Since school is going so well, my little guy is happy almost all of the time now. When we do see a melt-down, it’s a lot shorter than they were in the past and he’s getting really good at self-calming! Best of Luck to You~ Sage

Sage Moonstone´s last blog post..Wise Witch : Herbal Hangover Remedies

Sophia February 6, 2009 at 10:01 am

Hi! I have a son with SPD, and we struggled with meltdowns for years, mostly at home, when he was “lettting it all out”. We had to get very specific with routine and behavior program, and now see some great results. I still enjoy your site and will keep you on my links!!

Sue February 7, 2009 at 7:25 am

Hi,
You are the the world expert on your little man. I’m sure that you already know that. Just take everything on advisement and make the choices you think will be best just like you always have.
As a teacher I can tell you that my ASD kids are worn out from social contact at the end of each day. There probably is an element of needing a safe place to explode when they get home, for all my kids.
Structure and routine are my two best friends and sometimes the kids in my class need to be re wrapped in structures and routines that I thought were redundant, when they are going through a challenging or new set of experiences. It does help to reduce the melt downs.
I can also say that sometimes when you are pushing through with behaviours, things get worse before they get better. Just before the pushing through is over the reaction is most severe. I call this the ‘Push Through Eve Period’. It reminds me of the transition period of childbirth, just a little more pain and then the reward.
I’m sure you already know all about that too!
I hope that’s what you are going through at the moment and things are about to get much better.
If your little fellow would like to network with some same age ASD kids online he is more than welcome to be a virtual classmate in my classroom in Victoria Australia. The kids have their own blogging area attached to the class blog. He is more than welcome to join us.

Sue´s last blog post..Stop -Drop – Roll

Danette February 7, 2009 at 5:18 pm

That’s interesting that he said that, I agree with you it’s just as important to be able to find people we feel comfortable with as it is to learn how to get along with a broader group of people. My sons have never actually come out and said it like that, but I have noticed whenever we go to functions with other ASD families that a lot of the kids (including mine) seem to be really comfortable and relaxed, like they can just be themselves. I know I always feel more relaxed too being around parents who I know will “get it” and not be judgmental :).

Danette´s last blog post..IEP page is up & morning meltdown update

Ellen February 7, 2009 at 10:30 pm

You bring up something I’ve been thinking about a lot, which is making more playdates for my son with other kids who are like him. I think it’s a very good thing for our kids.

Ellen´s last blog post..A day at Adventure Aquarium

My Autism Insights February 8, 2009 at 8:19 am

“Makes me wonder why we all push so hard for inclusion with typical peers all the time.”

I hear ya; I often wonder the same thing.

Lisa Scheid February 9, 2009 at 1:01 pm

Great post. Actually, I enjoy all of your blog. We’ve linked to it at berksparents.com and plan to mention it in in future issues of Reading Eagle newspaper.

Brenda February 13, 2009 at 1:16 am

I have a daughter with Autism. Her name is Angelina, and she will be 11 yrs old in March. And I have to agree with you on the inclusion issue. Sometimes I think we work so hard at trying to change our childrens behaviours so that they are more neurotypical, that we loose site of what wonderful, unique, and creative individuals our children really are. I really try hard to take time everyday to just enjoy the person Angelina is.

Brenda´s last blog post..Beading With Angelina

Ellen February 14, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Hi. I wanted to mention an article I thought might interest you, it’s over at glamour.com (Ok, full disclosure, I work there). It’s about two adults with autism who have such a beautiful relationship.

http://www.glamour.com/magazine/2009/02/theyre-autistic-and-theyre-in-love

Ellen´s last blog post..Welcome to my Wordle

Maddy February 18, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Both of mine have have a smattering of inclusion with what seems like the best fit available. It’s not a very good fit at the moment but we’re working on it.
Best wishes

Maddy´s last blog post..When is an Umbrella not an Umbrella?

elizabeth channel February 18, 2009 at 10:34 pm

We are going to begin a social skills class in March and I honestly don’t know what to expect. Meltdowns are our biggest issue right now, particularly in large group settings. I am hopeful this smaller setting will help work some of this out.

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