This morning made me recognize just how far Kaeden has come in the past month since we've gotten his meds regulated. He is so much easier to talk to, so much more open to listening to suggestions. A month ago, I was completely unsure what to do with my son. Today, I am only slightly on edge.
Yesterday, after agreement with his teachers, Kaeden baked cakes to bring to school for a small end of year party he planned. He made them completely on his own, frosted and decorated each with concentration and even remembered his bus driver and the bus teacher, the school director,a nd his counselor. This was all completely done on his own, and from his own initiation. He asked for permission, from both the school and at home...WOW! I corresponded with the teachers to make certain they were okay with it, and the decision was made for the party to take place today.
Kaeden wrapped his cakes in aluminum foil, put them in a box, and left them on the table to bring to school this morning.
Except, 5 minutes after he left with Papa, I saw the box of cakes sitting on the table. He had forgotten his cakes. I was in a panic...was he freaking out, was he angry, was he crying? How would he handle the disappointment of his failed party? I considered jumping on the bus to get them to him at school, but then decided I would give him a call first.
I rang the school and asked to speak to my son. He came on the line. "Hi Mama, what's up?" he asked. "Uhm, Kaeden..." "Yeah, mama, I already know. I forgot to bring my cakes to school."
"I'm so sorry Kaed. Do you want me to bring them to you?" I asked.
"I already talked to my teacher. She said we could have our party tomorrow instead. It won't be as much fun, cuz we have the soccer tournament and can't have the whole party in the class, but she's going to bring them to the soccer field and when we have break, all my friends can have a cake." he answered me. He spoke calmly, he had a new plan, he was not upset or angry. He managed to overcome a huge disappointment and make a new plan, all without tears or fights or distress.
For most people, we experience disappointments in life, and learn to live with them. For Kaeden, and many autistics, the process of working through a disappointment is BIG, way bigger than his mind can work through, resulting in a day long fight within his own mind, extending to those all around him. But today, that fight did not occur.
Today I am so very proud of my son. What seems a little inconvenience is something I have greatly feared in the past. I worry for my son and the people around him when something like this takes place. And today, I feel only relief. He has managed to take a situation and live with it, accepting the disappointment and moving forward with a new plan to still bring some harmony. He has climbed a mountain far greater than I ever expected him to be able to climb. For that, I am grateful. But even more so, I am so very proud.
Living with autism is difficult, but learning to live with autism, that's something to be treasured. Kaeden, today you get two thumbs up! You reached the top, and I am so proud of you!