Thursday, May 10, 2007

Dear Noah...

Today was an especially trying day for well as me I suppose. It amazes me sometimes how events in our lives parallel each other.

Today you heard your "girls" out next door and decided you wanted to go out and play. You were extremely anxious to get outside and play so finally about 3:00 or so I turned you loose in the backyard. The girls soon heard you outside and came running out yelling "NOAH!, NOAH!" all excited. You all played together very well. I provided some new bubbles and water misters and books and Popsicles. I took school papers out to sort and had you take a break from playing to work on a few things.

I went inside for a few minutes and came back and there you sat alone and crying. When I asked you what was wrong you sobbed "the girls aren't my friends anymore!"

For the past hour I have been trying to get out of you exactly what happened. You say you did not throw anything at them or do anything to hurt anyone. They did not you. You were playing construction with the younger girl and the neighbor's bigger dog came up and you are a little afraid of the dog. They were petting it and he barked at all three of you. You said you were playing and the girls had to go in and you did not want them to so you screamed really loud. You then said they told you they were not going to be your friends anymore. Of course your reaction was over-the-top and you were sobbing by this point. I told you I felt you had enough for the day. I mean your cheeks were fire-red and you were hot and had mud and dirt in streaks on your face and arms and legs. I said it was time to go in, take a break and bath and cool off.

While in the tub I tried some more to get you to let me know what happened. You said the girls said they were only "pretending" to no longer be your friends....but then changed and said they never said they were pretending." You told me you screamed AFTER they were inside but then changed it to before they went in only after they said they had to go in. SO I am still not completely sure other than the fact you ended it by telling me that when they told you they had to go in and were not going to be your friends said in your "mind" you thought to yourself you would not have any more friends again to play with and this made you scream. I imagine that is what happened. I bet they had to go in for supper or something and you did not like it and got upset and they may have freaked out by your reaction and may have even said they were not going to be your friend. BUT with no clue how devastating that can be for any child let alone an autistic child. We reviewed what you could do next time to not have a reaction of screaming which might scare another child off. When I asked you what you might do next time that would be a better choice than screaming your unhappiness with the situation you said "I could say NO!"

We have worked hard to get you to learn how to be social with other kids and play well. You CRAVE the attention and time. I now have to try to teach you that part of life means those you like or even love may not always be able to be with you, even if they want to. Sometimes they will have other things to do. THAT is very hard to learn let alone accept even for someone my age!

SO you are cooler.....tear-streaked face clean. You smell and look better and you have stopped crying for the moment. I told you tomorrow is another day and maybe you can all try playing together again. If not that it would be okay. There would be more days and more ways to find kids to play with.

Which brings me to feeling so inadequate. I mean you cannot really handle being in school all the time and yet you need more than what I probably give you here at home. I can take you to parks and such but I still think you will be lacking. I could involve you in some groups or something but still wonder if that is enough. Many times like today I just feel I am totally failing you as a mother and caretaker.

SO tomorrow we will BOTH try to have a better cry-free day. I love you more than you will likely ever know or understand Noah. Sometimes I do not always understand it myself.


Noah loves Peanuts and Charlie Brown and often checks books out from the library and reads them and laughs. He has started to draw his version of his favorite portions of some of the cartoon is what he drew recently. It is Schroeder and Lucy. I find it interesting the parts he "saw" and chose to include. The parts he did include are actually very good considering a couple of years ago he could not even draw a simple circle face, two eyes, and smile. He even put in the word bubbles and words. The story had Schroeder screaming "SAUCE" or "SAUCEPANS" to Lucy who said "IF" back to him. I have no idea what the rest said but he re-read it and laughed for hours.


Melissa said...

Audrey gets upset too when a friend tells her they don't want to be friends with her anymore. It's hard for any child to understand.

That drawing is great Noah! You did a wonderful job. AUdrey and I can't wait to see you this weekend! :)

Grandma said...

Noah did a great job on his Charlie Brown cartoon. Perhaps Greenville might have a play place for austic children, I don't know how you could find out. If they have a WMCA, you might call them and ask, perhaps if they do, once a week you could take him there and stay and watch.

Also you might talk with your neighbor lady and explain how Noah gets upset easily over things most wouldn't even think twice about. I know like Melissa said, even Audrey gets upset when she thinks someone no longer likes her. I think all kids do, it's just more devastating to some then others.

Love you both, will see you two tomorrow. Don't forget to pick up Mom. You might want to drop her off at the end of the drive and then back up at the curb.

Good job Noah on your drawing. Love you to the moon and back.

Kindness said...

Got the tears rolling down my face on this one... oh melinda... nver doubt that you are a fantastic mommy.

Noah... you are a fantastic artist and a fine young man.

nq said...

that's a great charlie brown!
social skills are hard for everyone, sigh... if only people understood how hard they can be...

Melinda, mom of Noah said...

aw thanks Kindness......did not mean to make you cry. I am seriously considering finding out what I can do for Noah this summer and fall. I am going to have to contact the schools and see. He needs so much more than I can ever offer him here secluded at home.

as always...thanks so much for your kind words!

Melinda, mom of Noah said...

Hey NQ! Thanks...where have you been?