Breakfast To Go
I’ve had the great honor of starting the journey that is Autism with a great family.
When we first met, mom had so many questions, and was clearly scared of an unpredicatable future.
She asked me questions like: “Why does he flap? Is that what they call a ‘stim’?” and “What is ‘low functioning’ autism” because the doctor used that term? I explained to her that ‘low functioning’ is NOT a diagnosis and it’s not even a label I agree with. It has no value. Nobody calls your son low functioning. We’re here to find his strengths, celebrate them and use them to build skills. We’re here to shoot for the stars and re-evaluate every step along the way. We’re here to make him feel safe and supported, and when he feels that way, we can challenge him.
Fast forward a few months. Mom comes in with a success story every week. Some are small, some are huge. All are celebrated. She listens to every word, tries every strategy and still asks a ton of questions.
I was completely blown away by a story she told me about their morning routine. It was a brilliant idea and I made sure mom understood just how much of a superhero she is for her son.
He started school this summer. Mom was worried about the transition, so she came up with an idea that she thought would work.
Make him feel safe, support him, then challenge him.
They arrive at school about an hour before it opens everyday. They sit in the car, in the school parking lot, and have breakfast together!
Mom and her son watch all the teachers walk in to start their day as they wait for his turn to walk in. They wave hi to the teachers and mom will add some dialogue: “There’s Miss Cathy going to school! Here comes Miss Jennifer, she’s ready for school!” They made an arrangement with the school that he can go in a few minutes early, but while they wait, they eat breakfast.
His schedule is very busy now with school. Mom went back to work, so she’s busy, too. But everyday, like clockwork, she has breakfast with her son. And every day, without hesitation, he walks into school, ready to start his day. No difficulties with tranistions. No meltdowns. Just a happy kid excited to be at school.
My heart is full, and when I wake up tomorrow, I’ll be smiling knowing that in a school parking lot somewhere, there’s an amazing mom having a breakfast date with her little boy.
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