Thursday, October 15, 2009

A place to live - 7: The key

October 15

Today my second son got the key to his new apartment.
It's a place for protected living, which means that he's boss in his own little house, but there's always someone on call to support him.

He's got PDD-NOS.
PDD-NOS is just one word for many different problems people with an autism spectrum disorder have to face.

My son is lucky.
He's very social, likes to smile and to talk, and he can solve problems which interest him very well.

But he also ignores things that need his attention when he thinks he can't deal with them.
Which results in important letters put aside, for instance.

When he can't ignore problems anymore, his stress levels start to rise and most of the times he's unaware of that.
Others can see it, and they can help him.

When the stress level is too high he can't think straight anymore and gets angry.. mainly at himself. And because he can't deal with that he has the tendency to blame others or other things.

Last weekend he was very unhappy with his room.
He suddenly started to undo all he'd built up with much effort and decided it was time for a change.
He was unhappy, because he was stressed about whether or not he would accept the new apartment, stressed about a bill he didn't understand, stressed about the sudden change of weather.

Adolescents, also those with autism spectrum disorder can learn a lot about themselves, the people around them and the world. But they don't always want to learn it from their parents.
Sometimes it's difficult to acknowledge that special needs create a boundary to ones ability to deal with the world.

At home we know how to deal with him, and we consciously and unconsciously avoid situations which may cause problems.
It's OK, to protect the whole family from outbursts (the serious ones are called meltdowns in autism and autism spectrum disorders).
But doing so, it also prevents the person from facing them and dealing with them.

That's one of the reasons he's moving out.
The main reason is however that he wanted a place of his own, wanted to step into the world and move on, with his family more and more at the background.

It's the natural process of life, and even though I'll miss him, I'm very happy for him that he's full of enthousiasm creating his own home.

Because one of my other children is not able to do so it makes me even more aware of the importance of him receiving the key of his new home in his hands.

Congratulations son!

Image with the key made with scrap materials/tubes © Lady Nickitta's World


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