I had a conversation yesterday about not doing the “thinking” for students with Autism. Allowing them to process and also look around and get clues as to what is going on. Attempting to not answer for them and creating opportunities to think and execute for themselves.
I amuse myself with my ability to know this and to train others on this concept, and yet to not practice it with my own girl.
What shadows are lurking around when I decide that it is “easier” to answer for her? Order for her? Or are they shadows? Is it the tightrope balancing act of mothering and enabling?
Last week in a fit of frustration, I admit I lost it over dirty laundry. I got upset at the (lack of) executive functioning/organization skills that seem to be another tightrope mothering/enabling issue.
After my fit, and after several (in text) apologies, my girl emerged from her cave wearing an adorable outfit that I have begged her to wear on more than one occasion which is usually quickly refused (another example of mothering/enabling to need to not have “new” clothes). So her my girl stands in clean and different clothes and says….yes she SAYS—not texts—“I love you”.
In my professional mind, I say that is joint attention; the precursor to theory of mind, the ability to attribute mental states—beliefs, intents, desires, pretending, knowledge, etc.—to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires and intentions that are different from one’s own.
In my mother’s mind I say that was victory.
In her mind, she just didn’t want me mad about the dirty laundry.