Today was a really hard day.
It was the ending to something that I created on my own to help my son.
He was there getting support for over eight years.
Now it is done.
When my son was about four years old and was struggling to use his words transitions were absolutely painful. Painful for him and painful for us all. He would scream, cover his ears, flop on the floor, bang his head on the ground or wall, and stomp and kick. Charlie's face would get so red and he would start sweating underneath that light blond hair. His blue eyes would become bloodshot and snot would run down his nose.
Parents are you with me here?
It could be mentally draining for us all.
This would happen just telling Charlie:
"Ok time to go to school!" or
"Let's go to church!" or
"Time to take a bath!"
Sometimes when I tried to take his sister to an activity (she was six years older) he would have a meltdown so bad we weren't able to leave the house. I was always nervous for years our neighbors would call the police thinking we were beating him up or something. Finally we went to both of them and explained Charlie's struggles so they were aware and show him grace.
Transitions became for us a challenge but also a goal of trying to help Charlie do better with them too.
We used these supports over the years to help (and still use some of them today):
- First Then Board
- Reminder of What is Coming Next
- Schedule Pecs Board
I then learned to not avoid the change but hit it head on so that we could help him work through those struggles so it could not be as uncomfortable. I made several laminated signs for his room, the bathroom, the car, and one for his desk at school.
The sign said, "Sometimes things change and change is good!"
This became what we repeated out loud daily. He helped us to be reminded that change is going to happen. Change is a part of life. Change is going to be ok.
I then realized after our challenging day that I needed to hear those words: "Sometimes things change, and change is good." I realized while I was teaching Charlie this over thirteen years ago, it came back and helped me in the here and now. Now he's telling me, "Mom it will be ok."
I am so honored to be Charlie's mom. He teaches me more every single day, way more than I have ever taught him. I love you, son!
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.