Monday, March 11, 2013


I went to a talk tonight at Ryther, the organization that does the social skills groups that Oldest Son attends.  They had two different speakers.  One was focused on transitions for kids from high school to college or work.  The other was more focused on parents, the things we may run into during our children's transitions, and how we can cope with all the things that happen.

At many points I found myself thinking "that would make a good blog post."

I'm going to list a bunch of them now, so that I don't forget.

From the one who spoke about parents.
Survival kit for parents:

  • self-compassion
  • connection
  • practice gratitude
  • share your stories
  • humor
  • activism
I could probably do a post on each of these.

She talked about how parents are silenced, silenced in IEP meetings, doctors offices, and many other forums.  I have a couple of stories about that.

She mentioned a couple of books, including Far From the Tree, which I've been slowly working through.

She showed lists of strengths that she made for each of her three children, all of whom have learning differences.

From the one who spoke about kids and transitions:

Good social skills means being able to adapt when people don't behave the way you are expecting them to behave.  It does not mean being "nice" or polite in all circumstances.

Becoming a responsible adult means learning to be comfortable with discomfort.

The "polite" rules when teach younger kids in social skills need to be untaught as they get older.  Eye contact (which is often stressed with younger kids on the autism spectrum) can be creepy on a date.

They need to learn how to follow the thread of a conversation rather than trying to stick to the topic or stay on script.

She talked about kids she works with googling how to get a girlfriend or how to flirt with a guy and the iffy nature of what they find.  She referred to Sheldon on the Big Bang, which I got a kick out of.

She talked about the basics of independence, learning to:
  • get enough sleep
  • eat a reasonably nutritious diet
  • tend to personal hygiene
  • organize the things you need to do
  • do things you don't particularly want to do but need to be done
And once those are taken care of
  • learn new things
I talked a little to Oldest Son about that list tonight.  He agreed that it would be worth talking about and figuring out what areas he needs to work on from that list.

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