One of my biggest struggles with my son is his ability to understand that even though he is 21 years old he doesn’t have the mind of a 21 year old. He thinks because he is 21 he should be able to do as he pleases. He is able to see others like his sister who is able to do things that he isn’t. It is a constant struggle with him to get him to see why he isn’t allowed to do certain things. He would tell us that he was going to wait until he was 21 to drink alcohol but then my husband would tell him, no, you can’t drink until I tell you that you can. Then to have the doctor to tell him that he really doesn’t need to drink because of his seizures. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground when comes to him. We either do it for him and he just gives up or he has to do it alone. We try repeatedly to get him to understand things and why he isn’t able to do certain things. He will go outside without asking or telling someone and we are left to try to figure where he went and why he went outside.
You don’t want to lock down the house like a fort but if you aren’t watching everything he is doing he will get by on you. He is smarter than he wants people to know. He has literally fooled school staff into getting him food out of the teacher’s lounge like we hadn’t fed him. I have noticed a lot of people who really haven’t dealt with someone who is special needs they tend to count them out thinking they lack the ability to think. Don’t get me wrong there are some that have less abilities than others but the ones I have been around have more abilities than one would give them credit for.
The past week he has been so focused on one event when I said I needed to go and drop our push mower off at the service center. Everyday since then he has put on clothes like we are going somewhere. We would ask him where was he planning on going and after several attempts to get an answer out of him he would tell us to drop the lawn mower off. Today he started to do things like tomorrow was trash day. I am at a loss this past few weeks with him. He looked all over the house for the fly swatter and didn’t remember what a fly swatter was, to his continued restlessness. He has asked us to take his next dose of medication like it was time for it but it hadn’t been long enough between doses to take it. Then once we say no, he will come back in say 20 or 30 minutes and ask the same thing again.
The one thing we managed to get accomplished this week is setting up a 72 hour EEG to actually see what is going on and if those rapid movements are seizures or just a muscle spasms. He has had to adjust to being out of school and now adjusting to his sister being gone 24/7 away in college. He has gotten to the point where he expects someone else to do things for him without asking. I refuse to baby him. Yes, at times I will admit I have so-called babied him because of some reason or another but he has to understand and I know that he can understand things that we are trying to teach him. It makes no sense to me if we did everything in the world for him and he wasn’t responsible for anything. We want what is best for our children and sometimes making them work for those things is what’s best for them. If everything is handed to them, done for them, or given to them they will never learn how to truly earn it themselves. Just because you have it to give them doesn’t always mean you should give it to them. I am glad I grew up the way I did. I wasn’t just given things. I didn’t get the car on my 16th birthday, hell my first car was after I graduated high school and it cost $100. I am truly grateful for the lessons it has taught me over the years. I feel those same lessons our parents taught us should be continued to the next generation. But sometimes I think things are lost in translation. Providing for your children shouldn’t mean they should be required to have that car, the cell phone, the newest clothes, etc. They have to understand all those things come with a price. They get so used to those things and then when they leave home and can’t afford to pay for those things they end up learning the hard way.
Neither one of my children have had those things. I wanted them to learn to enjoy the simplest of things. What you could do with a rope, tire and a tree when you didn’t have that swing set. Learning to give when you didn’t really have it to give and what that actually meant.