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

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Teen "Survival Skills"

We knew the time was coming.  We just didn’t think it would be here so soon.  In just over a year Riley will be considered an adult.  All the questions that we have been putting off are here now…staring us right in the face.  Will Riley be able to get a job after he finishes high school?  Will he attend some type of post secondary program to work towards that?  Will he be ever able to live semi-independently?  All questions regarding R’s “survival skills”.

Well…as luck would have it, I had recently been told about a Rec Centre program called “Teen Survival Skills”.  It is a social club of sorts for teens with special needs.  Some background information about R and “clubs”.  In the past R was not interested in  was not particularly fond of  did not enjoy  OK let’s be honest here…R totally hated going to these types of “clubs”.

He absolutely dreaded arts and crafts (tactile thing) and making snacks like pizza or rice krispie squares were not an incentive at all for Riley.  Remember he is a very “particular” eater.  He would tolerate the sports activities but again it was generally way too noisy and unstructured.  Usually about 10 minutes into the class he was ready to go but damn it, all the other kids seemed to be having a good time, we were going to persevere and have fun too!  You can stop laughing any time.  That would last about another 10 minutes before I was so stressed out trying to make it “fun” for him that we would gather our things and head for the door.  Outside I would be deflated.  R, on the other hand, was ecstatic to be going home.  So who exactly was I doing this for???

What’s different this time?  I mean this is hardly the answer to our questions.  Well the way I look at it, it is more about trying to expose Riley to the “real world” on his own yet within a safe environment.  Is he excited about going?  Excited would definitely be an overstatement however he seems to be “OK” about going which is a positive.  Lucky for R, I don’t think there will be anything of an arts and crafts nature and I’ve been told they are going to be making things like pizza and rice krispie squares.  :) 

Another question I have been getting asked a lot lately is about the kinds of “chores” Riley (and J2 for that matter) do around the house.  I look at them dazed and confused.  Chores?  What are they???  Ever the inquisitive mind, I go look it up.  The definition: “the everyday work around a house or farm”.  Ohhhh…no wonder…we don’t live on a farm and any or all of “the everyday work around the house” surely isn’t their responsibility!  I know, I know…we haven’t done either of the boys any favours.  I could try and justify it but why bother.  *sigh*

So I am gearing myself up to teach R how to do laundry and perhaps a few other chores around the house over the summer.  Feel free to call me on it in September if you are so inclined to make a grown woman cry.


  1. Oi! Tommy's been out of ALL things that include peers for over a year now. There's a camp he MAY be attending this summer. We are already getting him "excited" for this. I so fear that he'll either refuse at the last minute or refuse any participation once he's there.

    You bring up a good point though that I ask myself ALL the time. Who are we doing this for? That helps me keep things in perspective a lot.

    Chores, I'm lucky. Tommy loves all the cleaning supplies lol. We have every swiffer item available! Vacuuming is another story. Unles you just want a 4x2 area vacuumed lol "vacuuming makes me too sleepy!" he says. In other words, if his lazy body breaks a sweat, he thinks he needs a nap lol

    1. I am so glad that we have connected. :) I had to laugh when I read "we are already getting him excited"...OMG can I relate to that one AND the anxiety of whether or not he'll go, etc. etc. It really is a crap shoot a lot of the time isn't it?

      Trying to keep things in perspective isn't easy is it? If we didn't push them what seems like all.the.time, I know R would never try anything new and where would that leave us? I find it takes a LOT of energy and anxiety on both R and my part when it comes to something new but again, what's the alternative. *heavy sigh*

      You lucky duck indeed (with the chores). G would agree with Tommy...gotta love those swiffer products! I'm already getting stressed just thinking about the summer. HA!