Let’s rewind to 1999 in Riley World. We would have just received R's autism diagnosis.
“What type of program are you doing?” Me: Ummmmm…what’s a program???
“Are you going to do ABA?” Me: Isn’t that the therapy that you hear about people losing their homes?
“How many hours of therapy are you doing every day?” Me: Huhhhh…Riley’s 5 years old. He can barely watch a half hour of Barney. How is he going to sit still for “hours” of therapy???
OMG!!! Are you kidding me??? I remember being so totally overwhelmed and feeling like I missed the boat because he was already 5 and “they” kept talking about the importance of “early intervention” and thinking maybe we were too late and…and…and… AUGH!!!
For years I had planned no further than a year or two (at most) ahead. Anxiety The thought of the future The Unknown and all the “What will Riley be doing?” or “Where will Riley live?” types of questions were too overwhelming for me to think about. Stress When R was little sometimes it took all my energy just to get through the day. Exhaustion
Whether it was sleeping issues Sleep Deprivation, eating issues Worry, behavioural issues Frustration… it all came down to me being in the right mindset Preparation to deal with "the stuff” in a calm Patience and productive way Strategies without having a nervous breakdown (in my case) or major Meltdown (in R’s case) before we even got started.
That was more than 10 years ago yet I can still get overwhelmed and have those ‘What if……?’ feelings today. Only these days it is because Riley will turn 19 in just under a year. Adulthood is staring me right in the face! When did THAT happen?!?
So in preparation for life beyond Riley World, I needed to wrap my head around the fact that this summer had to be THE summer to introduce Riley to some important life skills. I was ready. I was psyched. I was up for the challenge. Riley was going to be in for some “Summer Fun” whether he was ready or not. Tee hee.
Yes I know we should have started earlier. Here’s the thing…even now at 19, J2 does not do his own laundry or cook meals or take out the garbage on a regular basis. I know…shame on G!! *wink* The difference and there is a difference…when the time comes for J2 to have to do these things on his own, he will be able to “figure it out”. Sure there will probably be some burnt meals or shrunken clothes but no big deal. He will survive. Riley…uhhhh not so much.
We are three weeks into July and have completed 6 loads of laundry, numerous trips taking out the garbage and had a demonstration of washing rice. Thank you. :) Here is a little snippet of how R has progressed since his first load of laundry. Still muttering away but a lot less cussing.
At this rate Riley will be ready to move out before J2! LOL!