So, Kaden's very 1st play date was the other day. It was very exciting and he was anticipating the day for like a week now. Before I share all the Great details of the Big Event I wanted to Share a bit about getting to the Big day. I know a lot of my Readers don't have a child on the Spectrum, so I wanted you to really understand the process of something so wonderful as a Play date.
Most Children I would say squeal with delight about the thought of a Friend coming over to play. They need no coaching, no check list and no Plan B or C. But, that's not Kaden's life. We have to prepare for different scenarios, have our checklists and Defiantly have a Plan B and C. Actually this has been a month of Planning and a Team of 9 people to prepare for this Important day.
I think one of the differences that I see with Kaden that I never saw with my other two Kiddos was the lack of Excitement. Kaden has different levels of what I perceive as his Excitement. He has the 1st stage were he paces the floor wondering out-loud if it will even happen. He will go over and over the probability that something will take place or not happen. This is where Our Flexibility Training comes into play. This has been a program going on for over a year now. Used to if You tried to use a Red game piece instead of your average Blue game piece it would result into World War 3.
Then he quickly turns into the Law maker, setting the rules and limits as to what can and can't be touched. Where he will be and anxiety is in Full swing by this point, which leads to the compromising. He basically wants to avoid All contact with people. That's just Kaden. As I write this right now the whole Family is out for a fun afternoon and Kaden and I sit Home alone. Do I pull him out and make him be apart of Society?
If someone has Diabetes you wouldn't force them to eat Candy and not allow them their insulin. If someone had a Broken Leg you wouldn't force them to walk. But, on the other hand I have to prepare him for the Future. I will not be here Forever to shelter him from the things that Consume him. So, we pick and choose what we are going to Compromise on. I feel like Yes, we have to go to Church. So, we sit in the very back where his back is up against the wall and he brings his tablet with a 20 minute timer that we use if he totally needs it. But, we will compromise when he doesn't want to go Black Friday shopping with the Family. We Compromise with him, that is a skill that I think will help him get by in Life, even Excel.
Kaden says, "Boundaries people, everyone needs Boundaries"!!
The next stage he is completely non emotional, it's like he has completely forgotten. This Child can make You depressed, I've seen him do it and I have even been a victim. He has this ability to be emotionless. We have a Program for that too, he has improved a ton. :) Last year for Christmas Mahala said that she was done. No more saving her Money to buy him what She thinks he would Love to death. Because he takes one look and then moves to the next. He just doesn't share the same Happy Button that we do. I tell her to Remember he has an Analytical Brain. He thinks what is the purpose for everything and then he mentally catalogs it. That's why he has a wickedly great memory. Every year for Christmas he piles up his gifts and takes them straight to his room and puts them away. Two years ago he asked if he could open them in his room by himself. A lot has changed since then he will open then right away and then takes them to his room, but at least he is with us.
Okay, back on track....If I mention an outing or in this case the Play date off and on he may have bursts of squeals and hand clapping or racing speech about rules or irrelevant gibberish flooding out like a broken dam and then silence once again. And when the day arrives we usually have some sort of meltdown, because the schedule is off. This particular time he was very violent towards himself and us. It's hard to think straight when it's actually going on, but now after the fact it's all clear as to what he was needing. He was on Sensory overload and overwhelmed by the fact that another Human being was going to be in his area and he doesn't have complete control over the outcome of the situation.
So, what happens to him during all this meltdown process. Rage, feelings of his skin tightening on his back and arms. Itchy head, jelly like feeling of his whole body. These feelings of being out of control are scary and not being able to think straight in these situations are too much to handle. Now this happens almost every time there is a change. The scale varies on the severity of the matter, but good change or bad change will cause Kaden to react to some degree. Just the other day we canceled therapy and I decided to have a FUN DAY!!! We had a yummy Lunch of his Favorites, painting pictures on the Trampoline and movie with popcorn. We were also ditching our schoolwork and planned to play games instead. I mean what Kiddo wouldn't want to do all that instead of school? It was a Day from Hell!! I actually had to call the Supervisor, I was fearful of him. After talking with my Sister I realized that even when it's a Good Change, Change is still Change.
So, what do I do then? I Prepare, I Organize and I try everyday to be Consistent. And when all else fails I flip the PlanB or C card over. :)
Sorry I've chatted on and On about the process leading up to the Play date and didn't even write about the Play date. Plan B Card being played now....I'll write about it tonight, because right now it's time to start dinner and I need to stay Consistent. Hugs to all that Pray for and Support us!!!