The other night I went to the Autism Support Group meeting. It was a wonderful meeting. There was only myself and another mother as well as two brothers who are young adults and on the spectrum. They attend the meetings as support for themselves as well as to help explain to the parents at the meeting how things might be from a kids’ point of view.
This small group gave lots of time for me to vent and complain about Jakes and everything going on. I was able to ask about the therapies the center offers and get some referrals and ideas. Both of Jakes therapists are recommending he be involved in things with his peers.
Some of the options from the Center are:
• Equine therapy. They participate with a horse farm in the area that works with the kids as part of their therapies. Since Jakes has never been on a horse (other than the little pony rides) I’m going to pursue this first.
• Music therapy. There is a therapist who comes to the center to work with the kids musically. I will ask Jakes if this is something he wants to do.
• Karate. There is a place nearby that the Centers kids go to once per week for karate lessons. If I can get my therapy appointment changed to another day of the week, we will start doing this as well.
• Bowling. The Center goes to a local bowling alley once per month for an afternoon. Refreshments are provided and they say it’s a fun time for all.
• Lego Group. The kids come and are assigned “jobs” in order to work together to build the project. Each week they will get different “job.” Jakes started with this but then I pulled him out because we started cognitive behavioral therapy. I offered to take him back for this but he is not interested in this.
• Every month, the Center offers a fund raising activity that also allows the families to get together and there is usually babysitting services for the kids.
The biggest reason Nancy was listing all this is because she understands that mom’s need time for themselves. Most of these activities allow the child to go do the activity and the parent gets that time free. Time for ME.
Nancy also invited me to her church. She said they have a wonderful congregation as well as youth ministry. This would allow Jakes to hang with peers and the people who are in charge of Jakes age group “get autism” and would be able to deal with Jakes. And I would have time with people outside my normal social circle.
I have never been very religious. I don’t know how I feel about going to church. I am spiritual and am working on my relationship with God but……… I’ll have to ponder this for a while.
It just doesn’t seem like a good reason to go to church, for socialization. I guess we’d get more than just socialization out of it but for that to be the main reason to start going to church services seems hypocritical to me.
Nancy is also going to check at her church to see if there is a man who would like to mentor Jakes as well. She said she would check with the Youth Ministers, who all have background checks completed before they can work with the kids in the church.
Nancy was adamant that I find time for me. In addition to the times that he’s with his dad, I am to take time to recharge my batteries and patience levels. Of course, Albert has been saying the same thing! I am also upping my therapy sessions with Val to weekly instead of every other week.
I am so close to burnout with Jakes. Yesterday, if I’d been able to see the keyboard on my phone through my tears, I would have texted his father to come and get him forever. I just want to run away and hide. But I can’t. That’s not what mom’s get to do.