In the last few months since becoming independent again, I have noticed benchmarks that I continue to achieve as time progresses. While they may seem little to some, for me they can mean the world because it is proof that I can adult and know how to properly take care of myself. If there is any advice, I can give to anyone raising a autistic child, it simply is that knowledge is power. The more they know, the more sound their future will be.
This week has had me thinking about the future and while I am not going go make any snap decisions, I have to realize that in the past thirteen months, I have taken a HUGE step back and am now seeming to move the momentum forward to making sure that I can be sound for the future. For some, attaining a level of understanding when one’ habitat is satisfactory to be in is a challenge many times in of itself. As long as the skills are instilled in proper care of one’s habitat specifically what is acceptable standard of living, and not to the point of which it can be a hazard for autistics or their visitors.
For me, when I am being routine in cleaning areas up and not being afraid when people stop by to visit or come in my home and not being embarrassed is the essential feeling to have. I have personally chosen in this endeavor to be as minimalist as possible. This method makes sure that I have my habitat to the level of cleanliness that acceptable, yet easy for me to maintain. I now enjoy after I clean a certain area and it looks like it is clean. It isn’t that it wasn’t previously, its just that one can take pride in their habitat.
Partially because of COVIID, compared to the last endeavor, I am cooking more this round than the last. Whilst, I am not making food from scratch, I am getting my hands in the kitchen more frequently by making foods that I normally wouldn’t that require preparation, following directions, and making certain the food is cooked to a safe temperature. Additionally, with the kitchen being of a smaller size, there is a need to dishwash more frequently, which I do. However, it is on my own terms because it isn’t my favorite thing to do.
I have learned that in performing tasks that seem unpleasant, that taking rest breaks for a short period so that I can have a break from the monotony of performing a bland task like doing the dishes. It has helped me get the task completed and while it may not seem orthodox to some, it is how I have to complete it because I know that it an essential task for daily living.
Progress is when you don’t do things that you did in the past or that you now can achieve on a more independent basis. Another sticking point for me is making certain that I take care of my body on a consistent basis. This can be a struggle for many autists, however if you make it fun and interesting (if you can), it will again, like dishes be an essential task that is completed with ease. Progress is when after living in your new home that you can temper the water and feel comfortable in the shower and can make sure that your entire body is clean, that is progress.
Progress can also be accepting the fact that you struggle with tying your shoes and years you live through the pain of having other help or guide for you to the point when the autistic becomes angry because they are called out for the consistent need to tie their shoes. This is remedied by purchasing shoes that don’t require tying them each time. Acceptance is when an autistic purchases shoes that they feel comfortable in and are proud to wear. They may be strange looking slip-ons, but we have to accept them because they are on our feet. That is all that matters as that we like them and they are comfortable.
Progress can include your ability to acquire friends and learn to be a true friend and be aware when they are being a good friend to you. It is also when you accept who you are and what you value and what you want to do in life. It is stepping sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone if you recognize that it is truly what you want to do, experimenting and acquiring skills and knowledge you can use in your life and if not, getting to a degree you can understand that you can manage with where you are.
It is all in how one sees it. Are you in crisis or continual meltdown because of not being able to see the lack of progress you are making, or are you trying new things step by step and having more comfort as you accept things for what they are and becoming more independent?
The choice is yours!