You know how skills and self-help normally comes naturally for most children? Or they at least want to do things for themselves so practise and practise until they are independent enough to put on their own shoes, tie their laces, do up a t shirt, etc. Well, that isn’t the case for Jude. I think it’s largely because of his lack of confidence and in some areas he has made a bit of a backwards lunge in self-sufficiency. For example, he can’t put his school shoes on and I’m sure about a year ago he could. They’re only fastened with velcro but he won’t use his fingers to pull the back of his shoe up whilst sliding his foot in so he basically breaks the back of every pair he owns and then is doomed to successfully fitting them himself. Is it time I invented something simpler for him or is that just detrimental?
I’m going to whinge on about it again but I really feel like I’ve failed Jude.
If I look back at pictures from when Jude was about five years old, I can’t think of many things he can do now that he couldn’t do then. Or at least things he would try then. And I know the paediatrician said they couldn’t put an age on when Jude would stop having the capacity to learn but surely it isn’t yet? I know there is more in that brain of his than he gives expresses, I just need to try and eek it out of him.
So, I’m setting a few targets for Jude to aim for by the end of this year.
- Put his shoes on PROPERLY so the back is up and the velcro is fastened.
- Pull up his trousers and fasten the buckle (though I’m going to have a look at the autism friendly range of clothing that M&S have brought out for children) as I am SICK to death of telling him to pull up his trousers.
- Pedal his bike. There is a man locally who is renowned for his amazing ability to help children learn how to cycle. Shall I set him the challenge of a lifetime?! Jude won’t even put his feet on the pedals for me.
- Write his full name legibly. I know he works on this at home but I really need to help him with his letter formation at home more often. He has shown an interest in writing for a while now so I need to capitalise on this unusual enthusiasm displayed by Mr. Lazy.
- Am I being overly ambitious if I say I’d like him to stop having so many tantrums? I’m going to print a list of questions to ask Jude or sentences to say to Jude when he’s having one of his moments as I know we all need to be calmer and more proactive during these episodes. Also found THIS article really interesting and reassuring so will read this regularly as a bit of self-therapy.
So there we have it. These goals are going on Jude’s wall in big writing, I’ll get Elsa to make the poster this weekend. She loves a challenge so I can enrol her as Chief Handwriting Officer or something. I will show you the poster once it’s displayed in its full glory.