Friday, May 30, 2014

PWS Awareness Day 30: On Friends and Social Thinking

I picked Oscar up from school today after the camping trip.  His class had just returned, and I spotted him outside in the middle of a group of friends under the trees by the picnic tables, chatting.  One girl was wearing Oscar's new Oakland A's hat, in that way that teenage girls borrow cute boys' clothes.  Another raced off when her mom pulled up, but ran back to hug Oscar goodbye.  Oscar's tone changed and turned all cool-guy-confident when he called after her "See you Monday, Molly!"  And I about peed my pants laughing when I noticed he was still wearing his fleece pajamas, long underwear and a sweatshirt.  "It was COLD in Bolinas, Mom, like 50 or 60 degrees!" he argued.  But no one else seemed to give a hoot. Oscar's school somehow manages to provide these kids with somewhat typical experiences while still maintaining a wide range of acceptable.  "No one cared," Oscar said when I asked if anyone noticed he was still in pjs.  Same with the stuffed giraffe he'd insisted on bringing along.

When Oscar was born I grieved that he would never go to a good college, that he wouldn't have children, that he would never live independently.  I thought these accomplishments were important, the components of a worthwhile life.  But, slowly, really slowly, the standard by which I measured "worth" and "success" started shifting.  

What I hope for Oscar is simple in expression though not necessarily in realization.  I want him to live a happy, fulfilled life.  I hope that he will always have friends and family that love and appreciate him, and work and interests (paid or not) that engage and sustain him.  And, of course, I hope he will be safe.

We are heading in the right direction, but today, seeing him so happy and in the mix socially, I started to wonder how will we be able to keep providing him with these types of accepting (fleece pjs? stuffed giraffes?) yet stimulating (teenage flirting?) environments.  Most of the kids he goes to school with will go on to college, live independently, hold jobs, have families.  At some point Oscar will be left behind. 

"But I can't think about that now," I told myself on the drive home. As I listened to Oscar chat on about the walk to the beach, the chasing of chickens, the sheer outdoorsy fun of the trip, my mind drifted to the early conferences we went to, when all the PWS experts kept hammering the importance of social skills training.  He's finally in a place where that's happening consistently and I can tell. 

(Oscar's school uses a few programs, but the predominant one is the Social Thinking curriculum that Michelle Garcia Winner developed.  Social Thinking helps kids learn to think about others in social situations, and in turn, consider how others think about them....when they speak, interact, even dress.  The curriculum is rich and tangible and we use much of the vocabulary at home to help reinforce the concepts.)


 Oscar with his first giraffe, now one of the fourteen or so he sleeps with each night. 

5 comments:

  1. Such deep and interesting, albeit conflicted thoughts arise in me, reading this post. I can relate in so many ways to the worry about the future, although my own worries for Sophie are very different. I think about my boys, their schooling, their needs and what it means to be successful, to be educated and whole. While Oscar might be "left behind," we really can't know what paths any of these children -- both typical and non -- of ours will take -- what sorrows will befall them, what disease, what sort of relationships they will forge and lose, what their choices will be. What stands out, though, is that notion that they are on their own journey and that we as their mothers have to release them in whatever capacity to that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree with you completely Elizabeth. I almost took out that "Oscar will be left behind" because it was misleading. (I was thinking of the fact that he would "lose" these particular friends, the ones with whom, for the first time, he truly fits in.) But I think often about how we don't know, really, what path any of our kids will take...and how in so many ways that is a relief, to know our job is to support but not control. Or as you say, to release them to their own journey.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "But, slowly, really slowly, the standard by which I measured "worth" and "success" started shifting. "

    I could read a whole book about a mother who learns how to do that. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, wow, just as I was typing that I didn't yet know how I was going to do that...I remembered some key moments along the slowly, slowly path.

      Delete


  4. My Name is Carol williams ..I never believed in Love Spells or Magics until I metthis special spell caster when i contact this man called Dr.jartospellcaster@gmail.com Execute some business..He is really powerful..My wife divorce me with no reason for almost 4 years and i tried all i could to have her back cos i really love her so much but all my effort did not work out.. we met at our early age at the college and we both have feelings for each other and we got married happily for 5 years with no kid and she woke up one morning and she told me she’s going on a divorce..i thought it was a joke and when she came back from work she tender to me a divorce letter and she packed all her loads from my house..i ran mad and i tried all i could to have her back but all did not work out..i was lonely for almost 4 years...So when i told the spell caster what happened he said he will help me and he asked for her full name and her picture..i gave him that..At first i was skeptical but i gave it a try cos have tried so many spell casters and there is no solution...so when he finished with the readings,he got back to me that she’s with a man and that man is the reason why she left me...The spell caster said he will help me with a spell that will surely bring her back.but i never believe all this...he told me i will see a positive result within 3 days..3 days later,she called me herself and came to me apologizing and she told me she will come back to me..I cant believe this,it was like a dream cos i never believe this will work out after trying many spell casters and there is no solution..The spell caster is so powerful and after that he helped me with a pregnancy spell and my wife got pregnant a month later..we are now happy been together again and with lovely kid..This spell caster has really changed my life and i will forever thankful to him..he has helped many friends too with similar problem too and they are happy and thankful to him..This man is indeed the most powerful spell caster have ever experienced in life..Am Posting this to the Forum in case there is anyone who has similar problem and still looking for a way out..you can reach him here:Dr.jartospellcaster@gmail.com... CONTACT THIS GREAT AND POWERFUL SPELL CASTER CALLED Dr.jartospellcaster@gmail.com ... HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS :Dr.jartospellcaster@gmail.com.. CONTACT HIM NOW AND BE FAST ABOUT IT SO HE CAN ALSO ATTEND TO YOU BECAUSE THE EARLIER YOU CONTACT HIM NOW THE BETTER FOR YOU TO GET QUICK SOLUTION TO ALL YOUR PROBLEMS.

    ReplyDelete