|Posted by fasd101 on August 17, 2013 at 12:05 AM|
When thinking about outside activities
I evaluate the “price” of the activity. That is, how much over stimulation and behaviors is this likely to cause and for how long.
With that information I then decide if I am willing to accept that price. I know from experience what some activities cost. Only once in awhile now, I am surprised with hidden expenses. If I am not willing to pay the price, or paying the price does not work for me right now, then we stick to routine and everyone is happy.
Timothy and Daniel proudly smiling because they
just finished a cooking lesson and now they are getting to eat their creation.
Because I have been doing this for awhile, and I know how my boys are able to process the change in routine, I am generally able to make choices pretty quickly.
I used to have much more anxiety over what was the best choice and how to prevent as much behaviors as possible. I felt guilt and pressure when we weren't as involved in outside activities as other families. I dreaded picnics, pot lucks, family functions, church, sports, or anything for that matter, that took my boys off of their daily routine and out of the home.
But I learned a few things.
For one, I do not have to accept every invitation or sign them up for every activity.
Not my schedule, thankfully
My boys don't need to have several activities a week. Really, they don't even need an activity outside the home even once a week. It's not fun for me to have to deal with the behaviors that to much activity causes AND they don't like feeling so out of control and confused by what is going to happen next.
*Yes, we have seasons where we do something outside the home (other than the grocery store and church) every week, but its planned and only for a short season. That brings me to the second point.
I know what you are thinking, you can not plan your whole life. Your right! Life happens. So plan what you will do when the unexpected happens and think of things you can do to help your child through it with the least amount of behaviors. I keep a back pack ready for events like this and I have a mental list of items I would throw in it if time allowed. I was thankful for the backpack during some long E.R. Visits.
Items I put in the back pack are breakfast bars, granola bars, or some small low sugar/ high protein snack, juice boxes or water, small toys, blank notebook paper, pens, crayons, activity books, reading books, CD player and stories on CD, small blanket, change of clothes and pull ups (if your child wets or soils himself) and wet wipes.
When you can plan ahead, you are able to think of the activity and how your child might respond.
Does your child get fatigued easily?
I know with my boys, they get tired very easy (Don't think age, think ability and developmental age, because even my teen boys get tired), which causes cranky behaviors in them and me.
So let's say I have signed them up for soccer. On the days they play or practice, I make sure they have gotten plenty of rest the night before. My little boys take a nap the day of the soccer event and my big boys either nap or have quiet time for an hour or two. Quiet time means NO TV or video games. I find it best to listen to a story on the CD or read. No talking, just resting.
The extra time it takes for the quiet time and naps is a cost. Are you willing to pay it?
Take a look at this video of Morgan Fawcett, he has FASD.
He talks about needing down time.
continued in Part 3 of "How We Handle Outside Activities".
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