Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Increasing Flexible Thinking
Lately, we have seen some evidence of Alan's increasingly flexible thinking. Not only is he demonstrating it, he can talk about it, and a bit about feelings.

At lunch time today, he made a rice mixture. He has been trying out different ones, mainly pilafs from different companies. Yesterday, he tried one he said he would not be buying again. Today he tried another and it seemed to be fine for him. After that, he was looking in the cupboard. He said, "I need something more to eat." We looked at what was there. My heart sank. While there were plenty of choices, they weren't the typical ones he chooses to eat. So, I said, "There's apple sauce, peanut butter you could make a sandwich with, and chicken noodle soup. Chicken noodle soup is good for getting rid of colds." Sold! I was astonished. He decided to heat up the chicken noodle soup. He even said, "Maybe this will start me eating soups." He has never eaten any soup. He was still hungry. He decided on his own to make a smoothie. He has made a few of those recently, buying some different frozen fruits to mix in. Today, he had peach slices and frozen strawberries. He added water to them in the blender, whirled them up, and drank it all. This has increased his fruit intake a lot, especially since he can't manage hard fruits with his braces. He is a growing boy, you know! His hunger is my friend.

Then, in the car on the way to the park, he talked again about how he likes to be rigid. I told him that having routines can be useful. His dad, for example, gets up at the same time every day and cheerfully goes off to work early. What I told Alan, though, on the flip side, is that sometimes his routines hurt others. For example, when he went upstairs and got onto doing his "autodidact" which is what we call his self-assigned homework, Dana and Kal felt bad that he would not even come down to say good night to them. He agreed that sometimes his routines make others feel sad. I remarked that when he is faced with the choice of doing something he plans or something someone else suggests, maybe he can make his mind up to "Do Plan B" by making the other person's choice his own plan B. I introduced the concept of Plans A, B, C years ago with the help of the Cat in the Hat to help Alan get over not always being able to do what he had in mind and to accept another sequence of events without having a meltdown, and, as a bonus, seeming to be more flexible to others. Although Alan doesn't feel comfortable to talk about feelings often, today, in the car, with both of us facing forward (isn't it often this way with any male, by the way?) he was able to talk about how he feels and how others feel when he wants to dictate choices. He could hear that others have their own point of view and that he could get along by choosing to do what the other person wants. He is a long, long way from going along to get along. He is, though, starting to think about how his actions make others feel.



Blogger The Glasers said...

Wow, this is wonderful!!!! Deliberating choosing to try new foods because he knows they are good for him. And not melting down because his usual fare is not in the cupboard!!!

What a great way to think about other people by creating Plan B related to what other people prefer!!

6:17 AM  
Blogger Junosmom said...

Hi Mary! Sounds like you're having some good conversations with Alan.

2:17 PM  

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