Continuing on, and why sometimes it's harder...

He's the one with the six pack...When we lived in crisis because of my son's out of control ASD behaviours and anxiety, it was really difficult. We did therapy because we had to. There was no option. If we didn't do something, we wouldn't have any kind of life. His needs were overpoweringly urgent and we needed to get him help as soon as possible.

Six years on and the crisis has abated. Most of the time he lives a 'normal' life for a 9 year old; that is to say, he goes to school, he fulfils his obligations around the house, he can look after himself age appropriately and so on. 

It's easy now to just forget that he still needs help, and it's easy to let life take over and succumb to letting 'jobs that need to be done' be the urgent need each day.

Because if you scratch below the surface of my son's interpersonal communication and his anxiety levels, he still needs help.

He communicates effectively to get what he wants or needs, but he still falls down when it comes to sharing experiences, wondering about other people and taking turns to listen. The computer is still waaay more important than people in his life and he has trouble finding anything constructive to do a lot of the time.

I began re-reading my RDI book this week and realised, again, that I need to continually remember to slow my communication down and give him meaningful opportunities to participate in a shared experience with me. I need to focus less on making sure he's done his jobs and take the opportunity to build our relationship in these cirucmstances. I need to be an effective 'guide' in our RDI-named 'guiding participation relationship'. 

(Interestingly, having a two year old is helpful for his communication skills. I notice that when the two of them are alone, they play beautifully. Bright Eyes takes the role of the guide or leader, but he really works to accommodate his sister, who certainly doesn't do everything she's told to do. She definitely has a mind of her own!)

Having no crisis means it's easy to forget what I need to do every day. Looking ahead though, I can see that if I don't do this now, he might hit another crisis patch in adolescence ... and that one's going to be harder to get out of.