Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Right Motivation

Asher is capable of doing a lot of things . . . if he feels like it. He loves to show his new skills as he develops, he feel so proud of himself. The smile is priceless.

The adventure begins after he has shown himself to be proficient at something and decides he's bored with it and doesn't want to do it anymore.

It happened with eating with utensils. 'Yeah, I know this Mom. I'm not interested anymore. You do it for me.'

It happened with picking up . . . anything. 'Yeah, your songs aren't doing it for me anymore. I'll sit over here and read a book while you pick up the gazillion cars I just dumped out everywhere.'

And now, it's happening with toilet training.

Two months, TWO, he had been completely dry. Night and day. He would go nearly every time we sat him on the toilet. It had been amazing and beautiful and so cost effective. Then, all of a sudden, we would set him on the potty and he would sign 'all done' about 2.9 seconds later. We would sit and we would wait. We would sing the potty song, we would cheer for the pee pee to come out, all things that used to work to get him to actually do the business we are there for. But, nothing.

We needed new motivation.

So, we started standing up to go, something new! That worked for about two weeks.

We started getting him excited about what he would do after he went to the bathroom, 'Do you want to watch a video?', 'Would you like a cookie?', 'How about going to the park?', 'Do you want to swing?' . . . 'Let's go potty first and then we will!' That worked for about three weeks.

There are days where we have to make-do with the bath treatment. It's impossible to continue holding it in when you are sitting in warm water, right? Yet, somehow he still does!

What is truly impressive is his determination and strength of will!

Does it frustrate me sometimes, that he is so set to do what he wants to do?

Oh yes!

But it is also a lesson to me. Kids' opinions in general often get overlooked. But I have noticed that children with mental disabilities are stereotyped into a category of 'easy' meaning they just go along with what you want them to do and don't express their own wishes. They are happy to do what others tell them to. They don't have the mental capacity to have thoughts of their own.

This is such a simplistic view! I am happy to say it is false. And I am happy to recognize the individuality of my own son. He is not a robot or a drone, he is himself. He has thoughts, opinions and preferences. He is a beautifully made human with all the uniqueness that comes with that territory. Please remember that the next time you see someone you think is just being difficult. Perhaps they are communicating and learning to control their own little corner of the world in the best way they know how.

1 comment:

  1. Thank You for this I needed it after yesterday's drama in my complex.