Had a quick conference with Xan's teacher, and got told he's doing very well. Which isn't a surprise, but it's nice to get confirmation. He's progressing nicely on his standards and will probably start working on higher ones soon. He's been going back to some places that had been a problem for him and has been making progress in speech and OT.
Still a ways to go but at least he's making a good start.
Those are moderately easy grades to make - can he add, does he write, can he read and answer questions? At the least it's simple to tell pass/fail - a binary yes he can/no he can't division. Maybe telling how well he can do those tasks is a bit more of a challenge, but at least you can start from a good base of certainty.
Other areas are harder to judge. I still help him in the mornings to get ready, helping him shower and get dressed and all that. COULD he do it himself...maybe. A few times on weekends I've said you have to do everything by yourself, and just stood there and told him what to do. It took a while - a long while in some cases - but he did. But unless I want to wake up practically before I go to bed and get him up soon after that, we can't do that on days we have to be somewhere. And some of that may not truly be the fault of him not being able to or not wanting to - he covers his ears in the shower, and I suspect that the falling water noise in that enclosed space may have a bad sound for him. (For those of you wondering why we don't do baths instead, he's decided he doesn't like to sit down in those for some reason, which makes cleaning a bit difficult and splashy.) It's hard to tell exactly where the line here is between he can and he can't.
When we go shopping, I've been letting him buy things he wants - Milo's tea, or a Sprite - and giving him money to pay for it; making him carry it to the register; put it on the belt, pay for it; get the change. The cashiers where I shop know Xan and that he's autistic, so they're very patient and work with him. He still needs some guidance about taking the change, because generally he feels the quicker he can grab that tea or Sprite the better. But he's getting the hang of it, or at least the hang of the motions of it. I'll have to see whether or not he gets the whole idea little by little, so I can't really give him a grade there.
Those things I can handle, or at least accept. Some parts of life can't be pegged as pass/fail. But what about what I do - do I make him do too much, or too little?
I've been told - rather sharply and completely justifiably - to stop helping Xan at breakfast at his school. I would always start to open his drink carton for him and let him finish it, but finally his teacher pointed out he did that himself every lunch, so why didn't I just go ahead and let him do it at breakfast? A fair point.
The household stuff I help him with - I'm always stuck between making him do it on his own, or helping it/doing it for him. It's the balance of getting him independent vs. being able to get where we need to go when we need to be there. I'm not sure where I fall on that, or if I pass or fail.
He's made progress, but I have to look at getting him ready to act on his own more and more. This isn't easy, with all kinds of mixed feelings there - 'can he do it?'; 'can he do it right?'; 'can he do it safely?'; 'can he do it today?', on and on. Pushing him too little leads to dependency, too much leads to frustration, fits, and a refusal to do anymore.
It's a tough balancing act, and right now, I'm not sure what grade I would earn.
Don't forget - autism walk April 28th, at Oxford High stadium. We're starting to get in gear and get more stuff set up and going. If you want to help, e-mail me at BHRobin@aol.com. Hope to see you there.