Much to Sonny’s annoyance, I rarely underestimate his abilities.
I talk to him a lot about pretty much everything…some things he picks up (he can now cross a road and say, ‘rech ma says stoch and gree ma says GO.’
And other things I chat about probably go over his head.
I make him talk and sign as much as I can and I never do anything that he can do for himself. I feel very strongly about it because I think if I underestimated Sonny, and didn’t talk to him because he ‘wouldn’t understand’ or I never prompted him to sign or speak, then not only would I not know what he is capable of, but neither would he. Children with autism face a lot of barriers to their development and growth, and I don’t want my attitude to be another barrier for him in his learning.
This means I often challenge him, which sometimes ends in a stand-off situation, where Iwant him to do something independently, and he refuses. This weekend, it happened in the swimming pool changing rooms. I know Sonny can get dressed independently, I have seen him do it before, but today he didn’t want to. To be fair to him he was asking really nicely for help, so I helped him a little bit, but I didn’t want to do it for him because I knew that he could do it on his own. He did do it on his own, but it took literally 45 minutes.
Of course a balance needs to be made, I wouldn’t want to ask Sonny to do something on his own that he was incapable of doing, as it would reduce his confidence and could make him really frustrated.
Apart from the changing room saga, we had a lovely day, Sonny was doing LOADS of talking. He also was trying to shut me up a lot of the time!
I didn’t get to see my man this weekend, because he has a cold (sad). So I thought I would write about a terrible but hilarious event that happened last summer while working with Sonny. Having to relive the mortifying experience by blogging about it is going to be traumatic to say the least, but I feel compelled to share.
So Sonny absolutely loves swimming.(Here he is saying swimming pool!) He could stay in the pool for hours and hours, and only comes out of the pool if I coax him out with the promise of a Macdonalds after. Quite simply he cannot get enough of it. I on the other hand am less of a fan, but we go often because he gets so much out of it.
We have been to this one pool a lot, it has a wave machine and some water fountains. Anyway, I usually swim in a bikini with a t-shirt over it, and that has been absolutely fine, however today the lifeguard blew his whistle and told me that I couldn’t wear the t-shirt, as it messes with the chlorine levels in the pool. I said I have worn a t-shirt in the pool before but he wasn’t having it. I was annoyed but took it off anyway, unaware of the DIAR consequences which were about to follow.
The bikini I was wearing happened to be one that ties up at the back. I had not double knotted.
Sonny and I were having a great time, he was on my back and I was pretending to nearly drop him, so we were laughing and playing and generally loving life. I then looked back at him over my shoulder (bear in mind I had no use of my hands as they were holding him up) he was looking at the knots on the bikini. In that moment I realised my fatal error. ‘SONNY NO, DON’T TOUCH THOSE….NOOO AHHHHHHH’ It was too late. In one swift movement he had not only undone the top knot of the bikini but also the bottom one. At the same time. The bikini top fell into the pool and Sonny bolted, leaving me topless and hopeless. The water came up to my thighs. There were a LOT of people there to witness this horrific event. It didn’t help that I shrieked in horror, thus attracting more attention to ourselves. I obviously ducked down as quickly as I could into the water and retrieved said bikini top.
Sonny was practically doubled over laughing. I was still topless trying to regain some sort of dignity as he was cracking up. I then had the struggle and embarrassment of trying to do up the bikini on my own, whilst making sure Sonny didn’t swim away and cause more carnage in his wake!
Note to self: buy appropriate swimwear.