Noah swam up to another child, one he didn't know, and asked if he wanted to join a splash fight he was having with Owen. I was on the side lines, pretending to read a book, and trying to keep myself from jumping up
Setting agendas is the secret to success when parenting a child on the autism spectrum (and probably other special needs children). If you forgot to include running to the store for milk, then you might as well serve the family dry cereal because you are NOT getting the milk unless you're willing to weather the tantrum. This has been my reality for years. Last week, however, I assured Owen he was not going to get a needle at the doctor's office. Then, once there, I realized that I had been wrong. He was scheduled for one. Oh no....
"Owen, I made a mistake. You're getting a needle today." I saw fear flash in his eyes and could actually see the building tantrum. Then. He. Stopped. He took a deep breath, told me he was very afraid, and jumped up on the table. When it was over, he laughed and said, "I was so silly. That didn't hurt at all."
My Owen had a busy day: shopping, physical therapy, and then karaoke night. I set the agenda for him in the morning, but what I didn't count on was how much he would want to play with his brand new Skylanders. Since he bought the Skylanders at 3:45, the thought of not playing with them for almost FIVE HOURS was torturous. Although he grudgingly relented, I called Greg and suggested he just meet us at the house, pick up Noah, and go. Owen knew he was off the hook. Then he realized that Dad wanted to go. His response? "[SIGH] I need to be fair about this. I can't be so rough about a toy" (which I think means he can't feel so strongly about it), "and I'm going to go to karaoke tonight no matter what."
So...if your kid climbed Everest or K2 today, you might have an idea of how proud I feel of my son for toppling another mountain.