We've been having a generally lovely time with the boy lately. I can definitely see the feeling that they grow up too fast, but on the other hand he gets more and more fun and capable as he grows. We expect a reasonably stormy adolescence (which sort of started a year or two ago, really), but it seems pretty likely he'll be close to home for a while. We doubt he'll be ready to live on his own at 18, for example. But he's nothing if not surprising.
Being the remarkable parent she is, Anna has been thinking about J's obsession with computer time, which he's been getting in return for participating in his various things: occupational therapy, social skills group, etc. She realized she doesn't actually care about the computer time, she cares about his level of involvement in all the things that aren't computer time, including free play and exercise. She and J sat down--for a few hours, they both really love organizing things in a way I cannot comprehend--and now there's a big weekly schedule on the wall with Post-Its and color coding and 27 8×10 color glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining how it covers some number of concerns. Outside of those things, he can have screen time or do whatever he wants. (There is not a ton of free time, really.) Today he had his oldest friend over for most of the day, and that encompassed Socializing, Free Play, and Exercise all at once.
It's only Day 2, but this has some promise to reduce the stress and constant checking for both of them. It wouldn't have been possible even 6 months ago, but now he's capable of greater abstraction and perspective about his life and what he needs because of his non-typical brain wiring. He's had half a year of school not being awful, and for the most part he not only doesn't have to be badgered into participating in his various activities, he often enjoys at least part of them.
He's not worrying about his future much, it seems, though I think he relaxes a little every time I tell him the only things he has to do as an adult are to support himself, and love people.
Shame on you Old Man…
3 months ago