Autism. A day at home.
Bright Eyes and I negotiated him having a day off school this week. He was angling for one on Monday, and I knew he would need one after a big weekend, but I managed to put him off until Thursday.
"A day off at home means no extra TV, no extra computer time, and doing what mum does, ok?" I explained. "And no yelling at me, or you go straight back to school!"
He agreed, and we had the most marvellous day together, doing lots of coordinated tasks and jobs around the house. Thankfully the baby slept for the majority of the day so we were uninterrupted.
Here are the things we did together:
- put on three loads of washing
- made the bed
- folded quilts
- plumped cushions and opened blinds
- sorted socks
- made a cubby house together
- cooked french toast
- emptied the dishwasher
- school homework and reading
- got the mail from the post office
- looked for library books
- tidied up his room
A year ago, to do two or three of these jobs together in a day would have been a major victory for me, given all the protesting he would have done. So it was nice to see that progress, and to see his growing competence in doing things like trying to roll socks together in a pair and sweep with a broom. He definitely has more skills than he used to.
After such a good day, it was a little bit disconcerting to see how quickly his scripts re-emerged every time we stopped working together, and especially when we went over to school to pick up his brother and sister.
I did say to him that scripting is for when he's by himself - not for talking to other people. I might try to keep plugging this concept and see if it helps to stem the unceasing flow of meaningless chat. That's the stuff that makes people frustrated with him.
Anyway, it's back to school for him tomorrow.