Issue 54: Ways to Survive ASD Parenting and Stay Thankful
Issue 58: Winning Ways to Share the Love with All of Your Children
Issue 81: When Special Education Fails to Be Special
Remember when your parents used to say that to you? Well, Jerry's been hearing an awful lot of that as of late.
We are not sure if it is the medication or just the nature of the schizophrenia, but Jerry has lost all interest in "things," all things. He could care less anymore about monster trucks or Monster Jam. He doesn't bug to plant in our garden anymore. Remember his dinosaur phase? We ran out of Pinterest dinosaur activity/game/craft ideas! Ninja Warrior, obstacle courses, Legos, board games, books...you name it. He could care less. We bought him some of his favorite things for Christmas and guess what? He unwrapped the paper from them and they are still in their store packaging under his bed! He has never even opened them! And before Christmas, we took him to Toys 'R Us and told him to pick out whatever he wanted for his gifts. He picked NOTHING! Everything we bought him was simply based on what he USED to like and obsess over.
His psychiatrist says it is a natural part of schizophrenia, the lack of interest. I see posts on my Facebook parents' group all the time of kids diagnosed with the same disorder sleeping on the couch, on their electronics, disinterested in and diengaged from the world around them.
Well, I have officially had enough. I think the breaking point was when he lost interest last season in Buddy Baseball. He played for more than 10 seasons and loved every minute of it. He would drive us batty (no pun intended) between seasons and over the summer, ready to go back. You can see how much he enjoyed it in the first picture above. Look at that smile! The picture below that first one is the first game of this season. He's a benchwarming spectator people! He is watching his friends play, his old buddy Jen be a buddy to someone else for the first time ever, and his brother coach and sister be a buddy as well. Breaks my heart! But it started last season when he wouldn't stay on the field or in the dugout for more than 15 minutes of any game. He would just walk off field and say, "I'm done." And no amount of threatening or cajoling or bribing could get him back out there. Believe me, we tried.
I refuse to let this be the rest of his life. Sometimes, you just gotta do what you've gotta do! And you may not always want to, like it, or be happy about it. But it is what it is. Suck it up buttercup. Harsh, I know. But I miss my engaging and over-the-top-excited-about-stuff son!
We have a new routine we're working on. Besides taking care of his own physical needs like teeth-brushing, butt-wiping, and showering...and doing some household chores like sweeping the stairs and taking the garbages out...,when he gets home from school and on his days off, he has to somehow engage with us. Pick a game to play, go grab a coloring book, get the Legos, get a book we can read together...you get the idea. It's not, "Do you want to...?" It's not optional. Forced fun? Maybe. But we see it as necessary to not lose him any further into the abyss of aloofness. Crazy isn't it...having to make your child have fun? Ugh!
Not forcing Buddy Baseball however. There is the rest of the team to consider at this point. The commissioner of the league said that Jerry could go out on the field anytime he wanted to to take part in all of part of a game. We have put his old team shirt on him the last two weeks, but so far, he has not been interested. We'll see what the rest of the season brings.
I am a Christian. I am a wife. I am a mom. I am an author. In that order.