We have a son who is on the Autism Spectrum. It is a challenge. There are times, long periods of time where he is "perfectly normal" and everything is smooth then he goes through weeks or months of time where he is off kilter and almost completely unmanageable. This last time has been pretty extreme. It started in December when we were packing up our apartment to move into our house. The fits, the meltdowns, the screaming and yelling and throwing things when he asks a question and doesnt like the answer. Or gets asked to do something he doesn't want to do. Or you simply ask him to choose between chocolate and vanilla and the question is just more than he can process at the moment.
So in December we bought a house. Uprooted him from our apartment (his school stayed the same, though we weren't for sure it would at first, which was a hard thing for him, the not knowing) a new bus and new bus driver, new people on the bus a different drive, having to stop and let kids off at another school before going to his school...getting ready for Christmas vacation...
That's a lot for one kid!
Then come The return to school in January and his teacher is gone. She broke her ankle and they returned to a sub. 3 subs in the first week back to school before they settled on a long term sub.
That's a lot for one kid.
Then he started getting pushed around and hit by a kid at school.
Then his bus driver died.
How much more can one kid (and his parents and his siblings) deal with? The answer. No more. We were done after the first round.
Not being able to handle life anymore and the meltdowns weren't enough to help him blow off steam, he turned to lying and stealing.
Ya, we have had a lot to deal with since December. Besides stuff going on at the husbands work adding stress and emotions to the already volitile situation.
How do you help your kid? One that doesn't understand a lot of simple things, but can grasp a lot of deep heavy stuff, but nothing on an emotional level.
We turned to the school counselor for one.
For the other? We turned to God. At first when my husband brought it up I thought well it's not going to make that much of a difference. WE already pray as a family, we have the kids say their prayers, we read the scriptures. We are already doing that, turning to God. We are already asking for help, believing that it will come and we will get answers. how more can we turn to him?
Well what we have started doing is praying one on one with each child, morning and night. Child prays, adult prays. times 3. then we have family prayer. It is amazing the difference. Do we still have melt downs? Yes. instead of 5-8 per day we are more like 1-5 per week. Huge difference. The other huge difference? our children are now turning to God. Their prayers are changing. They are grateful for different things, they ask for different things. They THINK to pray. they don't just think to pray. There is actually though that goes into it. They are talking with God. Even the 3 year old has picked up on and started changing things.
My son started praying for his bully. Talking to him, telling him he didn't like that, talking to the teacher at school about it. Do you know the last time my son approached an adult without them talking to him first? It's been over a year. You know the last time he expressed emotion that wasn't an all out melt down? It's been over a year.
Suddenly we add in extra one on one praying and the kid starts talking. Saying I'm mad, I'm happy, I'm sad... and adding a because. He gives hugs on his terms, he says goodbye to his sisters when he leaves for school, hugging and kissing them. he says I LOVE YOU! Him and the bully? they are now friends.
Amazing what such a simple thing can do. Do we still have issues and fights and problems? Yes. We are not a perfect family, nor are we in a perfect world. Can we handle them better? YES. yes we can.
amazing what a little extra prayer can do.
It's the little things.