Adam's Journey

Homeopathic Healing of Autism

Daycare

on April 10, 2011

This week marks Adam third consecutive week of daycare in the Community Living Program.  He only goes twice a week for the morning but he has a dedicated resource worker (Kathy) who plays with him, works on his speech and helps him integrate with the other children during organized activities (snack, outdoor play, circle time, etc.). 

I’m not gonna lie; it’s been really, REALLY hard.  The first time we went to tour the daycare facility Adam had a tantrum as soon as we set foot in the door.  It must have been hard for him to be in a completely new environment with strange adults and unpredictable “little people” running about.  I COMPLETELY understand.  Of course, in my naivety, I figured it would take a couple of mornings for him to learn it was actually a fun place to be and then he would be raring and willing to go.  *Sigh*  Unforunately that was NOT the case.

Almost every daycare morning, Adam puts on the breaks.  Sometimes he starts at home (i.e. “Don’t patronize me mom!  I KNOW why you’re you getting me dressed so early!”) and other times he leaves the house in a good mood and the anxiety starts the second the car veers down the daycare street.  Every time, I end up carrying him inside wailing, back arched, eyes closed.  Thankfully, the tears only last a few minutes and he’s easily distracted by toys.  😉

I think it’s been hard for him to accept all the daycare rules and not be able to putter about according to his own agenda.  The first day he threw his snack and dumped his juice because his resource worker made him sit at a table with the other kids.  He also disliked circle time and having to sit with all the other kids and focus on the book being read or songs being sung.  Luckily, Kathy is allowing him to transition at a comfortable pace and when Adam looked up at her on the first day and said “go” during circle time she took him into the “quiet room” for some one-on-one play.  In Kathy’s words “How could I resist that sweet little ‘go’ ?”

So there’s been some ups and downs.  This week though I started to question whether it was too early for him to have his comfort zone invaded.  My fear was that he would start to withdraw from interacting with people if he started to perceive it as frightening or threatening.  A lot of the developmental literature suggests that autistic kids need an environment that is loving and trustworthy so that they feel safe enough to break out of their shell.  I was wondering if the daycare would EVER be such a place for Adam.

Thankfully this week brought some wonderful developments!  Adam has been showing progress by staying with the children at circle time and snack time.  On Wednesday, I was told that he was starting to engage in some play with other other children and by Friday he was joining them as they wriggled around on their bellies pretending to be worms.  Perhaps the most unbelievable development was that they observed Adam looking into the faces of several children!  Not just a glance but a purposeful gaze as if to say “who are you?”  SAY WHAT?!?!  I don’t think I was able to hide the fact that tears were welling up in my eyes when they told me.

I must admit that it is both wonderful and reassuring to hear all the daycare workers and Kathy boast about his progress.  As his mother I am extremely protective of Adam and I constantly worry that his behaviour will be harshly judged or that other people will place unrealistic expectations on him.  Much to my surprise the “daycare ladies” seem extremely proud of his achievements and are quick to sing his praises.  It’s music to my ears and it was just the encouragment I needed to push through my worry and hesitation.

Now if only I could get Adam excited to go.  Let’s hope that day comes next week.  🙂

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