Sunday, June 20, 2010

Marking time.

Those of you ex-band geeks KNOW what "marking time" is. For the uninitiated, marking time is marching in one spot, putting your feet back down on the ground exactly where you had placed it. IT takes hard work and a TON of practice. My old band director taught us a lot about marking time. I can still hear him shouting, "Mark time, MARK, 1,2,3,4" and we would march in place until we were told to move again.

Why do I mention this, well there is a good reason. Our kids need to learn to shut up, listen, follow directions without discussion. That is hard for an Aspie to do. My son knows that when I say, "No" I mean NO and don't ask me again. The more you ask the less likely it is you will get what you want. He badgers, begs and tries to wear us down. He did it today, and did earn 10 min on a favored activity ON ONE CONDITION. (You will like this) IF he dares to MENTION the favored activity to me ONCE tomorrow in ANY sequence it will be a MONTH before he can do the favored activity again.

I play hardball.

I also am tired of being badgered. The more someone bugs me the madder I get and then more annoyed I am. THink of it this way, our kids need to work, get jobs and all that. If they are argumentative, they will loose the job oportunity FASTER than you can spit a nickel. WORK is work, at work they don't want WHY you are assigned an icky project or don't like something. You do it and lump it; write the speeches, do the reports, whatever, it is your job and you have to do it with out argument. Like Marking time in marching band; it is not fun, but it is better to Mark time than be run down by the American Legion Float. (FYI- just an exaggerated example OK, keep your shirts on).

I have some pretty high expectations for my son. So does my husband. We expect him to behave maturely, we expect him to read, we want him to do well. I will tell you, my son went to a gen ed school for 3 years. After the 3 years at the gen ed school he was able to read at a 4th grade level. When he transferred to the gen ed school he was reading and COMPREHENDING at a Sophomore in HS level. The drop was dramatic, the drop was Exceedingly disappointing. The "country club" atmosphere at the gen ed school is lower standards, lower expectations and reduced ciriculum.

With that change to a gen ed school,  does it mean that he would have Gen ed friends? I hope so, I don't know for sure. Rarely is he contacted by anyone except via me. I wish I could say that I knew people that had kids his age, I know one person. Like us they are super busy, and getting kids to hang out now is extremely limited. I think the boys in his small group contact him, but I don't know for sure, as he doesn't mention it to me. I know he is lonely, I know he is bored. I don't have many options on what to do about it. In this situation, it is like marking time. There is little we can do to change it but hope that he learns by being exposed to gen ed kids. We don't really know anyone out of the special ed world, when we moved to this neighborhood there were 3 houses filled (that we knew of) and now the kids that are here are EXTREMELY younger than my son, and although he is nice to them he doesn't really want ot hang out with little kids.

In spite of this, we are still really tough on him. He is limited to the amount of things that he is allowed to do and for how long (or at all, World of Warcraft is NOT an option for him). I don't like being the meany, playing hardball is hard on the hands and you have to wear gloves. He doesn't realize now, that we need him to do well, he has expectations that are made of him and he need to keep his head int he game.The basics of what he needs to remember is just the start, the hygene, the daily vitamins, all of that is VITAL for him in his day to day existance.

Working, and marking time, means you have to keep your head int he game. Being independent, or in a teen Aspie's view, argumentative, is not helpful. or endearing to a potential employer or in a general way. My son argues with me about anything and everything. I can say that the sky is blue and he will swear that it is green. This is where we are trying to teach him to not talk, stay quiet, arguing is not going to help at work or at home. (I will ground him and send him to bed, end of story) Most work places arguing is not allowed and unless a rational example, by someone who is mature enough to have a view point or an experience is not allowed to be taken at all seriously. For example, putting the ground beef next to the ground pork at the grocery store, if viable, might be a good idea since in some dishes they are used in tangent. That could be a reasonable argument at work....make it simple.

Arguing for the sake of arguing is a waste of my time. My son does it constantly. I am not taking the bate anymore, but I am also not allowing the favored activites to happen either. This summer is gonna be a long one, cause the boy, he is 'marking time."

MARK TIME, MARK, 1, 2, 3, 4