The best, most valuable lesson I have learned from having a child on the autism spectrum is: be flexible.
I don’t get it right every time, but over the last several years, I have learned to get it right the majority of the time. And when I forget. When I forget….that’s when a whole heap of pain is headed my way and quick.
This morning I picked out an outfit for Riley (choices are sometimes overwhelming, if time is of the essence and today it is). She balked. I was frustrated and in a hurry, but instead of digging in my heels dictator style and insisting she just get dressed, I took a breath and asked her why she didn’t like the outfit I picked out. One of her favorite shirts. Pants with no stains. It all matched, which is important to her.
“I like it, but the last time I saw M. (whom she’s seeing today), I was wearing that.”
There is always a reason behind the behavior. Even if she doesn’t articulate it.
We could have had a really crappy morning had I “been more firm.”
“Being more firm” ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.
“Being more firm” is often a recipe for disaster.
Being fluid is what has saved our mother/daughter relationship.
And as I’ve learned it, she’s learned it.
Recently she’s taken to debating with me, instead of having a meltdown when we disagree. A huge and wonderful step. And beyond that, she’s listening and sometimes even saying,
“I see your point.”
When you’re willing to see someone else’s point, they’ll often be willing to see yours.
My girl taught me that.
She’s dressed, and ready to go, and I even had time to write this post.
It could have been a very different morning.