Menopausal mom to 2 young adult sons (one with ASD, ADHD, tic/seizure disorders and the other with attitude).

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

An Aspiring Michelangelo???

Both boys have a history of being less than enthusiastic about doing art projects. When they were little (pre-Pinterest days) we never did anything crafty or artsy in our house. I suppose if I had any interest in doing arts and crafts…that would’ve been a different story.

Part of the resistance to arts and crafts for Riley is that does not like to get his hands dirty. At. All. Yes, it’s a part of his autism…a sensory thing. The other part…well if you know G…it is definitely the G gene…no doubt about it.

The other day when I picked R up, he handed me a bag with 3 wrapped pieces of pottery.

Me:  What have you got there?
R:  Hedgehogs! 

Later at home, I unwrapped the pieces and found these…

I...I...I could be wrong but I’m pretty sure hedgehogs have those spiky things all over their body.  ;)

OR...just maybe...they were newborn hedgehogs. Could be. Right?? Well I was not right. Apparently even newborn hedgehogs have those spiky things all over their body. I looked it up. 

The third piece?  Lucky for you…I asked.

Me:  Riley, nice art!  What did you make??
R:  Hedgehogs.
Me:  What’s the third one?
R:  I don’t know.
Me:  Is it a…… *pausing to let him answer*
R:  *gives me the side-eye* 
Me:  …………
R:  I don’t know! *getting annoyed*
Me:  Is it a mouse?
R:  NO! It’s an animal!
Me:  What kind of animal?
Me:  Is it a pig??  *if you look closely you’ll notice a ‘P’ on the side*
R:  NO!
Me:  Then what kind of animal is it?
R:  *pauses*  It’s a mouse. YOU’RE TALKING!!!

When we decided to do an art class as part of the IWNS (InclusionWorks! North Shore) program, I knew this would not be a huge hit in Riley World. Especially the pottery section. But for Riley, it is all about exposing him to different activities whether he likes them or not. One never knows when he will actually take to something.

Make no mistake, whether Riley sees me opening the bag he hands me or not…when he brings home an art project or anything else he makes, you’d better believe I am all over it!

As for Riley…does he enjoy/like art any better these days??  I’ll let you be the judge.  :D

Monday, 1 February 2016

Let's Be Honest...
Transitioning to Adulthood is Scary

A year ago I wrote a post Phase 2: Adulthood…“In Progress” and was excited to start sharing with you some of the plans we had brewing for Riley World: Adulthood.

And then…

I got all overwhelmed and did the old rocking in the corner, breathing into a paper bag thing.

That was a year ago.

Now before I lose any more of you, at least watch this video clip of R's fitness class (part of his new program). Guaranteed to make you smile! 

Feel better??  Good.  

*Pats seat*  Come sit by me. I’ll even share my wine with you.

If you have a teen or are fast approaching the teen years, you are probably getting asked those “I-don’t-want-to-think-about-it” questions while plugging your ears and humming incoherently to yourself.

What happens when your son/daughter finishes high school and may not be ready or want to go on to a post-secondary institute? 

What happens if your son/daughter may not be ready for a paying job?

Am I right???  

*Grabs wine bottle*  Here…let me fill your glass up again.

I remember hearing “There is NOTHING out there!”

I remember thinking surely these people were exaggerating. There had to be something out there. Right?  RIGHT??

Well…there are programs out there. Only…the sad truth is there are not enough programs out there. And…what is available may or may not be appropriate, suitable or a good fit for your son/daughter.

So then what?!??!  

*Opens new bottle*  More wine???

Quick recap for you…

Four years ago this September Riley World started school for the last time.

Two years ago at a Transition Committee meeting I attended, another parent found a program on the Island that sounded like a good fit for Riley. The program is a family governance model called InclusionWorks! It is an individualized, age appro­pri­ate, community-based pro­gram started by a group of parents for their young adults with developmental disabilities.

In September 2015, after over a year of planning, organizing and an enormous liquor bill…we (a group of parents) formed an InclusionWorks! “grouping or pod” in our community.  

We all had the same goals in mind for our young adults…

Being a part of their community
Getting to know people in their community
Becoming involved in their community.

We started our 2nd semester in January. It’s been stressful and exhausting to say the least. But to see our young adults getting out there in their community in a meaningful way……keeps us motivated and the liquor stores in business.  

Coming soon...programming and the partnerships we have formed.