The founder of my faith once said that all minds are 'susceptible of enlargement.' We have had substantial proof that this statement is true as we have seen our son change, evolve, and grow as we have followed the programs/therapies that we have been blessed to have for him.
My husband and I have always tried to be aware of teaching our son to be independent. This is much harder to actually do in practice than I ever thought! Especially when your child has special challenges, helping them to reach that goal of independence in those things that are within their reach is so extremely vital.
As a mom of an only child, I am the first to admit that I do too much for him. Because he is the only one, and because he did not have typical development, I have a hard time knowing what is age appropriate for him. His teachers always have to get after me for not letting him do things for himself. They have even explained to me that this even extends to helping him learn to control his emotions.
His teachers have explained that immediately hugging is not the best thing to do when a melt down happens. The issue here is that Eli cannot have more time main streaming in the regular kindergarten until he can stop having these emotional melt downs. They have told me that he needs to learn to control his emotions on his own, and I know that they are right. I am trying to learn to ask him if he needs a break, or to tell him in a neutral voice that he is ok, and letting him start to calm down on his own before I ask him if he needs a hug. What a tall order for me to fill! I am really trying though, because this is an important step for him-- an independence he needs to gain. How wonderful it is that we live in a school district that is so aware of the needs of autistic children and that is so dedicated to helping them meet these important goals.