Buddy, what are you doing up? Its 6:15.
I just can’t wait to tell you all about the Plants Vs Zombies pictures.
Ummmm… OK. But lets sleep first.
Ok…. nope, i can’t. I just LOVE these guys.
Its about then I take a deep breath and realize his perseveration is in full force this morning. Nothing will stop this conversation from happening. Even on a Saturday morning… at 6:15am when Mommy needs some rest because she is hosting a surprise party this afternoon.
Steve then proceeds to tell me one by one, each of their names, their plant food powers and what they do to help the other plants or if they are attacking plants. The amount of details he knows, has stored in that incredible brain never ceases to amaze me. He tries at times to choose words for descriptions but the words are the hard part. They do not always like to come out. This is why writing, of any kind, is so incredibly challenging for him. He chooses instead to act them out instead.
“Steve…. if you had to pick words for those actions what would you say?”
Its a safe place, just me and him, in my bed. He knows he can take his time. He does. I praise the effort, we move on to the next plant.
Then he stops, suddenly, he looks at me… “MOM, I have a GREAT idea…. I can talk to all the people at the party. I can tell each one of them all about these Plants Vs Zombies plants.”
Ummmm… I think… is this going to be a place where his behavior would be appropriate. Is this going to be a group of people that will be willing and open to supporting his need to share his joy of this new game. Will he be allowed to (I pause as I type…..) will he be allowed to be STEVE?
This is the never ending journey of a special needs mom.
Do you call a couple people and ask them to be the safe place. Do you use the opportunity to teach Steve some places and times you have to behave differently than others. Do you allow Steve to be himself undeniably? Do you… Do you… Do you… Do you… the questions are endless.
The answer is: ALL OF THE ABOVE.
Image is of “SnowPea,” Steve’s favorite Plants Vs Zombies character