Social distancing? We have been doing this for years. This wasn’t exactly our choice but kind of came with the territory. When your child isn’t typical, people naturally distance themselves from you. This natural weeding process allowed for the cream to rise to the top and that is a good thing.
To those special teachers, therapists, caseworkers, and job coaches who by luck or by chance, were drawn to us, I want to thank you. Your time and effort have been life-changing for Jessie and I am grateful. As much as you were Jessie’s champions, the skills you shared have helped me too
We are taking advantage of this time to work on her life skills beginning with dressing. Either she is independent or she isn’t. My tweaking her (sports) bra (because easily gets twisted), or pull up her pants so she didn’t leave the house with plumbers-butt has to stop. Of course, she will need to pass inspection before leaving the house, however, there’s no need for me to be hands-on. Struggling is part of the learning process and we are both up for the challenge.
The only verbal prompt needed for dressing has been, “go back to your room and don’t come out until you are dressed”. Unfortunately, upon closer inspection, I realized she didn’t put on any of her undergarments, so she had to start over. The first few times, this took at least twenty minutes, however, her best time is now around eight. We are using the backward chaining method. This begins with modeling, followed by verbal prompts, then visual cues. Jessie has been doing a lot of the work herself, however, for some reason, I didn’t complete the final step of fading back.
The rest of our day we focus on chores; walking the dogs, moving laundry, and preparing meals to name just a few. Though I prefer to get jobs done quickly, I’m not stressing about it. For Jessie, all of this seems novel. Just wait till she realizes that housework is our new normal!
When the warmer weather arrives, I’ll have Jessie make lemonade. I’d like her to enjoy the fruits of her labor. In essence, isn’t this what we are doing now while staying the distance?
Who knows, maybe margaritas will be in order, along with a side of chips and guacamole. One thing I know for sure, we will be toasting all those special people who helped us along the way.