Miss Kate, with her autism, never-ending energy, unnatural upper-body strength and penchant for refusing meals, baths, homework, bedtime or really anything she doesn't want to do, has been giving us a run lately. A run like we haven't seen since she was small(er).
It's not been easy in the behavior department, to say the least.
I've made every single version of a god-forsaken sticker chart and frankly: fuck those sticker charts.
I've tried every way to reinforce and reward. I've done social stories, and social-thinking activities and I've even made futile threats. I've pretended to cry and then, just for fun, I really cried and that little blonde spitfire doesn't respond.
She is not responding to all of the things the books are telling me to do. She doesn't respond to things that used to work, she doesn't respond to things that should work and she sure as hell doesn't respond to the damn sticker charts.
However, after each battle, as I sit down in 'my chair' and thank my husband for the abnormally large glass of wine he just handed me, I try to remind myself that she doesn't fit in, and that's because she isn't meant to.
This little girl. who prefers costumes to clothes and is aggressively social to everyone she meets, is not going to follow our rules, or the rules of 'autism' or anything else, for that matter.
She has made her own rules and she is spending a lot of time trying desperately to help us understand them. She is likely just as exhausted from our battles as we are. She must marvel at how dense we can be; what with always asking her to do things she wouldn't prefer. (Theory of Mind)
So, when I arrive home this evening ready for battle, I'll find her sitting at the kitchen island, wearing a chicken costume, holding a sword in one hand a barbie in the other, I'll give her a hug and tell her that I love her because there is nothing I would rather do.
And then we will try again.
Happy Mail to:
27 Wellington Row
Saint John, NB
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Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)