Monday, June 06, 2005

Always something to think about or worry about:

Okay....I live here Colorado but all my extended family is back in Ohio. Noah is autistic and of course we don't have a social life to speak of out here. My husband's extended family we only see maybe 1-2 times per year or is not like we go to someone's house for dinner every week or every other week or to visit a relative. He is not close to his family and I am but mine are 1200 miles away. I worry about Noah. We are currently home schooling him as the public school setting did not work out for him in Kindergarten. So he is not getting any socialization there. We take him to parks and play areas all the time but you see different kids all the time at those places and lately he freaks out if he sees anyone else coming to the park and has been preferring to play alone with us or leave if other kids come to the park. We go to church every Sunday but we have been hesitant about letting him participate in Kid's Church or Sunday school because of the prior events that happened at the regular school. I guess as a mother I am afraid he will not do well and run away and out of the room and come up missing or push/shove another kid when something happens that might set him off. I imagine one of us would have to be present with him everywhere he goes which is what we have basically done his entire life so far. He is 6 years old now. We do everything together. I would never dream of letting him go anywhere yet by himself or with other kids. He is extremely naive about any social skills and strangers..etc. It is just simpler to keep him with us at all times. BUT I am starting to worry I am making him a social misfit. AM I? I need to protect him but also allow him the opportunity to meet and play with other kids on a regular basis where he can actually "make" a friend. While we go to places all the time he is not making any friends he will ever see again unless by chance we happen across them again at the park one day. I don't mind always having Noah with us. I am used to it and prefer it and love it. My husband I know would like to be able to just go out sometimes just the two of us. We have never let Noah alone with a babysitter. We have never done anything without Noah. Not in his entire life. I cannot even fathom that idea right now. Not with his history of running away at school or around strangers, etc.

Does anyone have any advice to offer to a mother of a 6 year old austic boy as far as what I can do to help him make some friends or play with friends on a regular basis? I did hear about a social group that might get together for the summer for the area we live in. It sounds nice and I guess we could try that. But I would be interested in hearing about anything else any of you have done in the past for yourself or for someone else with autism? I just worry I am not doing nearly enough for Noah. I worry I am not providing him with all he needs. He will be restarting physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy soon. I guess he will make some friends there. But I think that is different. And I don't know how much he will get to do with other kids or just the therapists. I also don't like to make Noah attend social situations he does not want to attend. Many argue with me on this point. They say he "needs it". That "it is the only way he will learn to be more social and like social outings etc". I think that is a load of crap. I don't care how many social outings I have taken him on his entire life he has not changed in that regard. He likes to have outings and do social things most of the time. But there are times he does not want anything to do with them and I don't make him. I cannot see how forcing him to do so would make him learn anything. In fact I think it would have just the opposite effect.

Anyway...I my ears are open...

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