Monday, January 24, 2011

What is best?

Well, followers…the weekend came and went. Leaky water pipe was repaired, laundry was washed and put away, TV shows were watched, and visit to my parents’ was made. All in all, we had a nice weekend. Yeah, there was some grumpiness and grunts and attention seeking actions that also took place, but that is all considered normal or routine in our home.

In my last posting I mentioned attending a two-day conference on autism. During the morning break an opportunity to ask questions presented itself, so I combed my hair behind my ears, ironed my blouse with my hands and went to the front of the room to seek knowledge.

My question was about something that is currently happening in our home. Puppy’s attention has been absorbed by wallets for the last year or so. He looks at it, turns it over, puts cards in their place, then removes the cards and places them in their slots again, then squeezes the edges of the wallet to make it as slim as possible, etc. There are too many actions to list here, but in my eyes, my son has an obsession with wallets. Nonetheless, I went up to one of the presenters and asked if she had any advice on obsessions as I quickly described what Puppy had been doing all this time; and in a most confident voice she told me I was wrong. It is not an obsession, but rather an action he does to keep himself isolated from his peers and others in general. This self-isolation is exactly what I should try to keep him away from doing. She even suggested that I find other kids (or relatives like nephews) to show Puppy their wallets for comparisons and as a shared interest to bring Puppy out of his isolation.

My surprise to her advice sent me to my son’s teacher the very next day to repeat what was suggested to me. I was comforted to find that my son’s teacher and I remain on the same page to continue with the practices and initiating ABA therapy as it relates to the wallet. We have been working toward having him pull away this attention from the wallet and leaving it in his pocket as long as he can focus on his daily school activities. If he is unable to concentrate, then the wallet is placed in his backpack until the end of the day.

Bottom line – sometimes you just have to follow your gut and do what you feel is best for your child.

Just one question: How does one know if they are doing what is best for their child?