Friday, June 2, 2017

Working the Puzzle #FridayReflections

Trying to advocate for my autistic brother in law, Bil, can be like putting together the pieces of a puzzle.

"Bil" is verbal (not everyone with autism talks) but is a man of few words.  You have to ask him direct questions, and you have to be careful about how you describe something.  Bil takes everything literally.  Many times, you don't know what he wants unless you know exactly how to ask.

And he resists anything new, or a change in his routine.

For example, Bil was recently deemed eligible for a program called "Community Hab".  In this program, he goes out one-on-one with a person, doing things he wants to do (like shopping, something he enjoys), but at the same time the community hab person is supposed to work on skills to make him more independent.  Bil had a big say in the skills he wanted to develop.  He also got to choose if he wanted a man or a woman (he wanted a woman) to work with him.

But, as I mentioned, Bil also doesn't do well with new situations.  This can be like working a puzzle blindfolded.  And what if the puzzle pieces move around unexpected?  Or if the puzzle changes in the middle of working it?  Life is like that.

Well, when he met with the person who agreed to work with him, Bil didn't want to work on anything!  One thing after another was suggested, with Bil turning it down.

The provider had to work on something, so Bil, finally, grudgingly decided to work on a couple of simple skills.

We decided to start him one day a week (he was eligible for up to three days a week) with the provider so that his routine wasn't that disrupted.

Within a couple of sessions, Bil had upped his Community Hab visits to twice a week, dropping a day from another program he was already attending (and which he loved).  He loved his one on one time time even more.

Surprise!

Sometimes, we get to place a piece in the puzzle, or at least understand its shape and size.

Perhaps it is no accident that the symbol of autism in our country is puzzle pieces.


Writing for #FridayReflections.  The prompt:  "Write about putting together the pieces of a puzzle."

10 comments:

  1. Hi - it is so interesting reading how you and the provider worked your way round ... so Bil did become involved - long may it last ... one on ones seem to be the way to go - with thoughts - Hilary

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    1. I hope it does last long enough for Bil to pick up some needed skills - there is a degree of turnover with the community hab people because the pay isn't the best, though.

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  2. It takes so much effort to engage those with ASD but I'm so glad they persevered. Hope this lasts and goes well.

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    1. We hope it lasts - there is a degree of turnover with those providers. But she is experienced and I hope she will stick around.

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  3. What an inspiring story! Really loved how you used the prompt. It was nice to read how your Bil made through the sessions step by step.

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    1. We'll just hope for continued progress. He needs these skills badly.

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  4. Glad the one on one sessions are working out and the pieces of the puzzle are slowly coming together. It certainly is a fitting symbol for autism.

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    1. We can only hope they can continue. Budget cuts are always a threat. We hope Bil can build on whatever he has learned, if that happens.

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  5. It's hard to deal with people who are differently ablef and it's wonderful to know how Bil is being cared for - with love and understanding.

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    1. We've been fortunate so far - but we are also realistic enough to know that could change at any time.

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