So Edward and I have been assigned a family support worker. I’ve had a parenting assessment and areas of support have been identified. There are concerns with his behaviour and ASD traits.
At first I was outright hostile. I felt judged and I hated every second of it, even though Carla was lovely. Looking at it differently, as support to help Edward be Edward I embraced it this week with a different attitude.
With that in mind I was set home work. 10 minutes of unstructured, focus play with Edward and then record my feeling and his reactions. I quaffed. Thought the time stupidly short. I spend all day with him. We are always playing. But we’re not. I found it hard to fit in. His response to it was magical. I realised how often I am ‘doing’ rather than ‘being’ around them.
So here are our activities and reflections from what’s been a surprise eye opener of a week.
Card and garage. Lots of discussion and round where the cars could go and they lift. E loves the lift. His problem solving makes me smile. I felt proud of him and warmth from his smile. At first reluctant to let me into his game Edward blossomed and was calmer for the rest of the day.
TRAINS. We built and epic track. We raced trains. We crashed trains. I let Edward lead the play and enjoyed his story telling and insight into his world. I felt we were able to create a real sense of connection. Edward asked for me at bedtime. He was more willing to be directed afterwards.
I work all day Monday leaving little time for fitting in play alongside everything else. Edward joined me in the bath as I washed before work and when I got home we reconnected over some lego. he was quicker to bring me into his game and his laughter was infectious. His tower and tractor building skills are to be admired. Edward struggled at bedtime that night and wanted a lot of reassurance. I hope the play helped him feel connected.
We have group then I work on a Tuesday. Edward and I played with the lego train at group and he helped me make his lunch. We also built some lego. These were much bittier activities and I felt guilty that he hadn’t had the time.
Today the lights went on. instead of rushing to get dressed I listened to what he was trying to say. We played garages and cars before we went to get dressed with the promise of trains once we were dressed. he dressed without protest. Engaging with me. Not beating up his sister. He napped. I felt good. It’s working.
Today we painted (and bathed) with a friend. Went to group and then instead of going to Grandma’s Edward asked to come home. We spent some time building a train track, predicting where it would stop and engineering crashes. After dinner we did some stickers and be made and be general mess with the craft box. I feel we are starting to get somewhere. Edward is climbing on me less, I believe because he realises he is getting my time.
I am proud of us. It’s not been easy to accept help. It’s not been easy to realise I need it. Small things are working. I look forward to the next session.