Does that make sense?
What I mean is, I have no idea what I have to work on with TJ until I start working on something else.
Summer is very hard. I can't just send TJ to camp. He is a home body. Well, truth be told, he is one of the laziest kiddos I know (he gets it from me). All he wants to do is stay at home and play on his iPad. If you know anything about autism, you know that this is a bad thing to let him do all day, every day. So it's my job to shake things up for him and get him moving. I'm no autism specialist, but I am a TJ specialist. So while I can't direct him in academics, I can direct him in simple everyday life lessons.
Like walking down a sidewalk with someone.
That sounds like nothing, right? Well, in my simple desire of just wanting him to get out of the house and move, I have unearthed more things that come so easily to other people, but are difficult for TJ.
Things like sharing sidewalk space. He walks right down the middle, as if he's alone. I've had to remind him that we are supposed to be walking together, and to make room next to him for me.
Then, there's pace. He has long giraffe legs so he walks faster than I do. I've reminded him repeatedly to slow down and match pace with the person he's with.
He keeps forgetting both. I've gotten stepped on quite a bit. He's got big feet.
Then there is conversation. Waiting for responses. Listening to the other person. Asking about their interests. Listening to the other person. Listening to the other person.
It's challenging. And surprising. Surprising that he didn't already know these things. But these are the small, simple things that create connections with others. And for a kid about to start high school, these are so, so important.
So there you go. I never knew what I didn't know.
I wonder what else I don't know?....