We all go through different cycles in our life. Some are really great and some are not. Some make us happy and some make us sad. Some promote growth in us and some leave us totally stagnant.
Our son has gone through a ton of different cycles in his life. Right now he is a teenager and he experiences all of the things that teenagers have to deal with and then some.
Recently there have been some truly pleasant cycles that we have seen with him.
Our son recently helped out at a camp. Although some of the things he did may not have been the same as other volunteers, nevertheless he was doing things that even a couple of years ago I thought he would never do. I have learned (at times the hard way) not to compare him or have the same expectations for him as others. This allows me to be happier and freer and to really relish in his personal accomplishments.
Sometimes our son communicates quite a lot and sometimes he is very quiet. I have discovered that even in the quiet moments things are accomplished.
I really saw his maturity at camp when he followed instructions and helped out younger kids. I also noticed that he was very calm and paying close attention to what was going on around him despite the chaos and the amount of people and transitions that were constantly happening.
Another thing that has changed for him is on the medical side. When he started biomedical 2 years ago we always took him downtown to Sick Kids Hospital to get his blood work done. We felt this was the right thing to do since they specialize in children and because this was a new experience for him we didn’t want it to be traumatic because we knew we would have to repeat this process many times.
Even though we had to make our way through lots of traffic, pay a ridiculous amount for parking and sometimes wait in line for a bit, we felt it was worth it for him to be successful. Before he started doing blood work, I created my own social story (from different resources) and I also found a very “tame” YouTube video showing what he could expect from the experience. By doing this, it took out the guesswork for him and made him feel more comfortable.
Since he has been progressing so well the last few months, we decided to take him to a local lab last week as we needed to do more blood work. We first called and asked if they could have two people available (better one too many than not enough) and we also asked if they could use a smaller needle. We went at a less busy time and we were able to make an appointment so that we wouldn’t have to wait. We didn’t know how it was going to go, but he was a real champ! No issues at all.
This is yet another cycle in his growth and development.
Sometimes its hard to know when to try something different. I think this varies from person to person but for us we have tried to watch and listen to our son’s needs and make decisions that make sense for him. We don’t compare what he can do with what someone else can do because we are all different.
I can’t wait to see the next thing we will “cycle” ahead with!