Monday, October 11, 2010

Social skills - who needs them?

World of Jenks is a new series on MTV. I stumbled across it while channel suffering for some music to clean by. At first I blew it off as another MTV waste of time but I was drawn in by the subject matter. Andrew Jenks spends a week with a 20yr old autistic adult. I knew immediately that this was something I had to watch. I was hooked. I cried, I reflected, I felt waves of emotion similar to when we had Jackson diagnosed with ADHD. It was a struggle to watch but I really felt like I got some insight to how Jack feels on occasion. High sensitivity to stimulation, his inability to get over something that just isn't that important (ie: forgetting a book at home). Quick changing emotions and wide ranges of thoughts with focus just as wide.

Jackson and ADHD has sort of rested on my mind recently due to the weekly social skills therapy group we as a family have been attending. 8 weeks of therapy that will hopefully teach Jackson and us the skills needed to adapt better in social environments. Really this therapy is something that every child should go through and a few adults too. The classes begin with adults split from the kids and we go over our individual struggles with the skills being taught. Then we are brought together with our children to discuss what was learned. It is comforting to hear other parents who are experiencing the exact same things you are and disturbing to hear stories that you can't relate too. I wonder if there are some symptoms that haven't manifested yet. It does feel like we ride these waves of change with him so often. First it was the OCD, then the ticks and now the verbal skills diminishing. Waves of change.

So we work on skills and we work on encouraging the good behavior and re-directing the bad. We work on cool down techniques and boundaries. Ways to speak to get our thoughts across in a proper manor. See what I mean. I am sure you know a few adults who could be helped with some social skills therapy. Every week we work, whose kidding every hour we work. I am thankful that Jackson is healthy and that his ADHD hasn't kept him from having a basically "normal" life. But I do think about how it would be if he didn't have to take meds and didn't have the 6:00pm crash ever night. How his body would be if it had the ability to just rest. His little muscles know nothing but movement. His brain knows nothing but rapid fire messages. How tired he must be. I just wish he could rest.

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