Jan 02, 2012 2 Share

New Year, New Resolutions

Calendar of January. Note saying: "My New Year Resolution: Stick to Resolutions"

Happy New Year! It's time for resolutions. I'm going to attempt to branch out from my usual eat and drink less/exercise more standing resolutions. This year I'm going to put together a special set of Transition resolutions. 

I resolve to start attending those seminars and workshops I get constant emails about. You know the ones: those seminars about SSI, Transition roadmaps, and the like. It's high time I find out what's out there, apply for services where applicable, and make sure Cameron and I pursue every opportunity available. It's so much easier to just kick back and think that there's plenty of time ahead of us before any of that nasty administrative stuff will be necessary. I'm not kicking back in 2012. I'm getting my Transition on, along with my running shoes. 

I resolve to keep Cameron on his toes. He has developed some less than desirable coping skills of late, which have essentially been shortcuts to completing a task. He is not doing himself any favors by choosing the path of least resistance, and I am doing him no favors by allowing him that path. One problem with addressing this situation is that Cameron has gotten quite adept at masking his effort, or lack thereof. As an example of this cop out coping skill, Cameron was asked to walk the dogs and give them water during a holiday road trip gas stop. My husband realized he had forgotten to pack the dogs' water bottle, and we decided to see what Cameron's solution would be. Sadly, Cameron's solution was to lie and tell us he had given the dogs water. When confronted, he apologized and said he had become frustrated when looking for the bottle. But had we not known that the water bottle was not in the car, Cameron would have just lied his way through the task, instead of asking for help in finding another solution. When I think of this type of scenario playing itself out in the classroom, I wonder how many classes is Cameron faking his way through? How many times does he say he gets it just for the sake of ending the pressure of the conversation? I resolve to cut down on those instances, and not overlook them, just because that's MY path of least resistance.  

I resolve to keep the short term in sight, as well as the long term. As I begin to project, and maybe obsess a little, about Cameron's future, I need to remember the here and now. I need to keep in mind that as anxious as I may be to chart his future, I shouldn’t create anxiety for Cameron. Cameron's father asked him what he wanted for Christmas, and Cameron responded that he didn't want anything. He said he would be moving out soon, and he would be selling all his stuff. Um … Okay, maybe I need to dial it down a notch or two. All my prompting for becoming more independent doesn't need to be interpreted as "Pack your bags buddy, you're outta here." 

It looks like 2012 will be quite a year. Cameron will be turning 17, and another year closer to adulthood. I'm going to get our Transition ducks in a row, keep him on his toes, and keep my own toes on the ground. Watch this space to see our progress. Happy New Year, and good luck with your own resolutions. 

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Merope Pavlides, Editor


keep your head up

My wishes to you as you continue the journey of transitional services. Transitional Services for individuals with Autism is actually my full time job. There are the barriers and joys. Strength to you and success!