Podcast Episode 11. Andy, father to a son with ASD and ADHD, takes a strategic view of independence, rather like a business plan. Because he does this, he and his wife have a clear vision of what they hope their son will be able to do age 21.
If their plan needs a little longer to be achieved, Andy is ok with this. He says, ‘Being a kid is just a 15 year period of their lives, but they are going to be adults for 50 years.’ It doesn’t matter if his son takes more time to achieve the same independence as his siblings.
But by focusing on where we want our children to be at 21, it’s a much longer plan. It relieves some of the frustrations we all feel by being in a hurry for our children to reach the same milestones as quickly as other children. Small steps with low expectations but with long term goals with high expectations is a balanced approach that we could all learn from.
[.45] – All about Andy and his son George
[1.15] – The role of siblings leading by example
[3.00] – Planning for the long term
[4.45] – Setting up challenging scenarios to learn coping behaviors
[7.25] – How independence actually decreases vulnerability
[8.15] – Using routines
[9.50] – Long term objectives come from the short term strategies
[12.20] – The dilemma of holding on or letting go
[14.00] – Explaining why you’re pushing them toward independence
[15.00] – Going at their speed
Small steps towards long term goals