Wednesday, July 25, 2012

helping your child with autism make friends: matt & max.

One of the best parts of this summer has been watching Max and his respite worker, Matt, get to know each other and bond. The bonding happened very quickly. Max took to Matt like a house a fire. The first week Matt had a bunch of questions for me, which I expected, so I stayed front and centre so he wouldn't feel like I had thrown him to the wolves. The second week I started to back off - I even ran a quick errand to the grocery store to see how the fellas would do without me. By the third week, Matt had the whole Max thing down pat - even giving him bathes and helping him go to the washroom. I could not be more pleased with how Matt is caring for Max. It's actually a bit mind blowing that he is 13 years old. He has the patience of a saint and really gets how to work with Max. I asked Matt to write a weekly blog post on how he sees his relationship with Max developing so that I could share it here. We're playing a bit of catch up, so here are the first three weeks.

Weeks 1 & 2: 
The first two weeks have been interesting. We were still getting used to each other so the first week it felt as if he were testing me to see what he could get away with doing and what I would not allow him to do. Also the change of pace to the mornings seemed to change his bathroom regularity so their were a few accidents. But as we both got more used to the schedule, things leveled out and became more normal. Max's physical and mental development has improved greatly over the past two weeks. He's begun to use his words far more often and he has begun to become more independent especially with bike riding. Also the first time setting him up with the bath was not as hard as I had thought because he knew what to do. If he didn't want something like the water level or temperature he would voice his opinion and I would change it. Overall the first two weeks were good.

Week 3: 
This week was interesting because with Max beginning to trust me even more we are able to do more. He is now able to ride his bike by himself with only a few minor stumbles. With this there is also some trouble because if he falls he does not let me help him up or help him on the bike again. This is part of him becoming more independent. Also, he was beginning to get sick this week which triggered more of an easily upset Max than I was used to. I hate seeing a child upset but it's also my job to make sure he is not doing what he's not supposed to so I had to stay patient through this. With all this it was a challenging but very good week.

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