Saturday, April 23, 2016

Teachable Moment and Riddle...

When is 3rd place bronze way more precious than 1st place gold?  When you work super hard for the bronze and you get the gold just for showing up.  Today was the karate tournament that James dreads every year.  He HATES them, and he tells me I am the worst mom on the planet for signing him up for it without asking him.  I just tell him it is part of karate and until he is an adult, he follows the karate schedule.
We got to the venue at 9:15 and it took 30 minutes to get him to go into the building. Three hours later, when he still hadn't done any karate, he shut down again and flopped on the pavement just outside the building again.  Shutting down is his fabulous behavior that is so endearing!!! It is like trying to move dead weight through quicksand.  Anyway, off to the riddle.
After about hour 4.5, James was finally called for flag sparring.  He likes the flag sparring because it is gentler and more fun for him.  As we watched him take his place, my husband and I mentioned to each other how gigantic he looked compared to the slew of 4-6 year olds who were going to flag spar. After a short period of time, James was called over to the judges and presented with a gold medal because there was no one else in his age group who was going to do flag sparring.  He was elated that he had gotten a gold medal basically for showing up and breathing. He was so happy that all of the waiting seemed worth it.  This to me was kind of like forgetting about the pain of childbirth the moment the doctor handed me the two most beautiful babies I had ever seen.
I know, RIDDLE...  bear with me, it has been a veeeeeery long day.  James went on to do his Bo routine with such precision.  This was at hour 5 or so and he was soooooo done.  He didn't forget any of the routine, treated the judges with the respect they deserve and off he went.  He got a bronze metal and was sad with a "poor showing".  I decided it would be great to use this as a teachable moment.  I sat with my sullen son and started spinning my best mom lesson.  "James, which metal did you work hard for?  Which one means more to you?"  He thought for a second and quietly answered, "the bronze one because I had to do a routine and the gold one I got because no one else my age showed up." Love teachable moments!!!!!!!!!!  >>click here for wonderful video of Bronze moment<<

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Autism Awareness, FINALLY, but not exactly the way I anticipated.

It has been a difficult decision for our family to figure out if we should talk to James about Autism. We have never hid it from him, it is after all, one of the defining factors that makes him who he is.  In the past, we have talked about it as a different way of interacting with and experiencing the world. He never really has seemed that interested in owning this part of his life.  I figured he would talk to us about it when he is ready.  He is finally able to list the 3 main components that are underlying in the diagnosis.  Today, not unlike every other day, James was complaining about practicing his guitar.  He feels that if he plays through the song once, he is done.  I have a different idea on practice techniques. Anyway, he shutdown and got really upset when we tried to negotiate him back into the chair with the guitar and pic.  He yelled and I stood my ground.  Eventually, he got through the practice.  All of a sudden, he apologized and looked at me and stated, "I guess this is because of my Autism.  It is a different way interacting with my environment." (It actually is because he hates to practice and he was being pre-teen difficult!!) James has never chosen to own his different ability. He has always gotten upset with us when we talk about it.  I guess, Autism now has something to offer him.  He is now aware like we are everyday of our lives.

                                                       >>click here for Autism pamphlet<<