Building independence in kids with autism

by beagooddad on April 28, 2009

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Pookie is an amazingly independent little man. He does pretty much anything that I let him do.

I frequently finding myself being one of the biggest things holding him back as I sometimes have trouble believing that he will be able to handle a task or even just forgetting that he probably does not need help anymore.

Just recently, I realized that he does not need my help brushing his teeth anymore. And when I backed off, he magically was able to do it without any problems.

I also recently stopped constantly holding his hand in the parking lot. He almost always stays close and he always responds when I tell him to watch out for a particular car. Sometimes he still holds my hand in parking lots, but that’s just because he likes to do it.

He’s becoming independent.

The whole family went to Sweet Tomatoes last night for dinner. BeAGoodMom took both of the big kids to the bathroom. She came back with Geetle but no Pookie. She had sent Pookie by himself into the boys room. We sat at the booth and wondered if he would wander back on his own. At one point BeAGoodMom started a 30 second countdown.

With exactly 2 seconds left, he turned the corner and marched back to the table completely proud of himself for growing up faster than we are sometimes ready for him to do.

Later, we sent Geetle and Pookie together on their own to find the water fountain and refill their glasses. They came back a few minutes later having successfully completed the mission.

Fortunately, I’m not the only parent of a child with autism that needs to be reminded to let go every once in a while. I think we all know it but sometimes need little reminders of just how many things our kids can do without our help.

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