Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sensory Peace

It’s almost noon and collegeman is still asleep. Ok that is my fault, I let him sleep but he is on vacation for now. I truly am not quite sure what to do with him though. His Italian class got canceled so there will be no school for him this summer. He didn't want to take a subsitute class. I think he was happy not to. There is something for him to do soon though. He will have his wisdom teeth out in two weeks, so that is going to be an experience, an entirely different type of adventure.

We had been looking for things for him to do. We were supposed to go to an event for autism service dogs so he could meet the director to do volunteer work for them, but I got lost and ended up in a rock quarry (don’t ask). His father found two jobs on the employment website at his school that he emailed, but collegeman is studiously refusing to look at them. He is really liking doing nothing right now.

Well, it’s not nothing. He cleans the bathrooms, does the laundry, dusts and polishes, vacuums and mops. Yeah he is doing all of my housework for me. No it is not out of altruism, it is purely mercenary on his part. He gets paid. Of course, it’s not a bad thing that he learns these skills and he does free me up to do, absolutely nothing. I am totally obsessed with writing right now. He is also going to help outside. Hubby has gotten him started on repainting the garage door and putting down mulch. That should go well (not so much). When he is done, hubby will have to redo it. But only when collegeman is sleeping so he doesn’t know. Don’t want to hurt his feelings. You think that won’t happen. Last year after collegeman mulched the lawn, hubby redid it and had to replace some plants too. Collegeman would put down 3 and 5 inches of much all over the lawn. Luckily the town gives mulch away for free or he would have spent his college tuition in mulch last summer. This year hubby is making collegeman carry a ruler so he can measure how high the mulch is, so he doesn't put down too much. Also, when collegeman first learned to mow the lawn, hubby would wait till collegeman was busy doing something else and then re-mow the lawn so it looked like it was done properly.

Collegeman does eventually wake up, with my help and eats lunch. Sits and hangs out, watches television and then goes and works out. He then takes a several hour bath in which he plays his handheld games. Then he comes downstairs, hungry again and wants food. He takes that food and watches his Yugiyoh cartoons on You Tube. I think he is just really happy right now. There are no assignments, no worries and no stress.

I did tell him that if he doesn’t find a job I was going to have him take a class during summer session 2. He really didn't do cartwheels over that idea. But, he can’t just sit around and not be really productive till the fall. That would be four months of being a total teenager. I know where is the harm? Personally I am not really sure that there is any real harm. This child has never had a long period of time to do nothing. He has always been “on” either in school or working. Now he is supposed to go help out the track coach for a little this summer, for a few weeks in June, so that is something for him to do.Of course now with the wisdom teeth surgery coming up not really sure how much time he will be able to help out the coach. He does get all cranky when you mention helping out the coach to him though. Not sure he is happy about the idea.

Society always teaches us that we must be busy, we must be accomplishing something, we must be proactive in our lives. But when does it become ok to just be a little bit of a bum? When he has his own bills to pay he is going to have to always be on. When he has his own bills to pay he will not be able to hangout and do nothing. Is it so terrible that he does nothing now? Ok, what will he put on his law school applications for this summer? I am not worried, we’ll think of something.

I think that sometimes we forget that even when he is supposed to be doing a fun project, like bowling with his social skills group or even when he was younger and went to summer camp, that these activities are work for him. We forget that he is constantly bombarded with stimuli and feeling out of joint. It is overwhelming. Right now, collegeman doesn’t even want to leave the house. I think he really likes the quiet. However, I do make him run some errands with me. Isolation all the time is not healthy for anyone. But I know he needs the time out from stimuli. Most of the time I find him in his office, with the lights off, in his comfy chair watching his favorite You Tube videos. Total sensory peace.

I think I’ll let him have it for a little while longer. He obviously needs it.

Until next time,