Thursday, September 26, 2013

Autism Answer: How we do Homework: Our Personal Preferences and Working Style!

Last night I watched my fifteen year old son (Shay) shove our coffee table to the side of the room and lay on the floor, throwing one leg up on the couch. He had already put a record on his record player and, while The Temptations sang Ain't no Justice, gathered a small pile of unfinished work that he'd found shoved in his backpack. I watched him take up space in the middle of the floor, going through his papers, working quietly and comfortably. 

This morning at 5:30 AM I heard my thirteen year old son (Declyn) get out of bed and warm up his chicken leftovers from last nights supper. Rummaging through the fridge he found a bit of Ozarka Sparkling Spring Water, grabbed that and his plate of food, and headed back to the room where he sleeps. He sat sipping and eating while he finished working on his journal entry and a bit of algebra homework. Afterwards, he put his dishes in the sink and played a little XBox. That's when I got out of bed and put on the coffee.

While I was roaming around and struggling to rouse his brother, he got dressed and brushed his teeth. Put his shoes on and went outside to jump on the trampoline and play with the dogs. *Playing with the dogs is Declyn's favorite way to wake up his social side. School, with all of it's social opportunities and challenges, is often exhausting for my two youngest boys. Spending time playing outside with the dogs is one of the ways Declyn has found to step into the social world comfortably!*

Right now, as I work on my computer, I have the radio in the other room tuned to my favorite rock station. It's quiet enough not to distract me, and loud enough that I'll recognize any awesome songs that come on and make me want to dance! That way I am encouraged to get off my butt every so often to move my body and feed my music-lovin'-soul!

My boys have all discovered different ways that they enjoy working. Not one way is better than the other, and none of our ways work for us always! As we grow and change, so does the way we work. 

I love to make suggestions. I point out to my fifteen year old that if he were a bit more organized, he wouldn't be finding unfinished school work partying at the bottom of his wild backpack, crying for attention at the last minute! And I remind my youngest son that getting his homework done in the evening would allow him to sleep in. Also, video games in the morning?? Seriously? It just feels... wrong!

And when my own work is slipping, I give myself all kinds of pep talks over coffee!! I get new habits or re-visit old ones.

At the end of the day, we all have our own ways we like to work and play. It's important to encourage getting it done, while allowing for personalized preferences and styles. 

Even if that means stepping over your six foot tall fifteen year old son while he's sprawled out on the living room floor, listening to 70's Soul!!

Hugs, smiles and love!!!!

For any of you who also like to work while listening to 70's soul... here's my son's favorite!!
Now, get to work!! Tee hee!!