Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Chaos and Learning

School is canceled today. What fun! What chaos! Chaos is fun!

Well, not really, but I'm doing my best to tolerate it with good will and patience. We all are. We're replacing our windows today. Every room has been thrown into disorder as we've had to pull furniture away from the walls to make room for the guys doing the work. The winds are up and it is below freezing outside, too. Dust and cold are blowing in every time a window comes out. It's a real mess.

No kid likes to have chaos in his home, kids with Autism especially so. Simon's doing great. They are all doing great. The noise level is awful, what with the banging and clanging and whirring of various tools and the accompaniment of squeals from over-excited siblings.

At first Simon was giving voice to his characteristic Howl, the noise that says, "I've had enough! I'm drowning everything out until somebody fixes everything!" I had my back-up plan ready, bailing on the situation and taking him out of the maelstrom of noise and confusion to the relative peace and quiet of my mothers'. But first we had to get some stuff squared away and during the delay I noticed he was quieting. Soon his curiosity got the better of him and he began to watch the workers.

The distress soon settled into an intermittent pattern. Now, he's pacing and distracted, but he's coping. I'm proud of him. It may seem strange, but I have changed my mind about rescuing him.

Here's why: we all must learn. We learn best at the edge between the known and the unknown, between comfort and discomfort. Since my son has to learn to deal with a world that distresses him, I have for him today a mild distress for him to cut his teeth on.

If or when his tolerance and patience wanes, we'll clear out, but I don't see it happening any time soon. Whatever else happens, he is going to have a big, fat reward waiting for him at the end of it all. I'm thinking spaghetti for dinner, jumping on his trampoline, and a nice long bath are in store. Stress relief and an "atta boy" for my guy who's putting up with more than we can imagine and doing just fine.

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