Thursday, 29 March 2012

Learned Helplessness

One of the things I have to be careful with Elliot is not allowing him to develop a learned helplessness.  This is not a unique concern for those with NLD, a nonverbal learning disorder, but probably true for most people with a disability or some form of limitation.  As loving family members, we do not want to see them struggle with anything so we are quick to do it for them, but this is the worst thing we can do.  We have to encourage them and teach them how to overcome their challenges to enable them to develop a sense of independence and self worth.  The rule is that once they have learnt something on their own, you stop doing it for them.  And so, I got to work.

Lately, Elliot has been fascinated with cooking and preparing meals so I taught him how to do a few simple things around the kitchen from heating up soup to making Kraft Dinner.  Mr. Level-Headed figures with these two tricks up his sleeve, Elliot is now ready for University . . . tee hee

One week, Elliot was egg crazy, and I taught him how to make hard-boiled eggs and scrambled eggs.  Here is one of the breakfasts he made for himself.  Pretty impressive!

We have had a lot of success in the kitchen, but, unfortunately, this is the only area.  Last week I fell, unknowingly, into a huge trap and have had to spend all my time since working my way out of it.  It went down like this:  Elliot was having a rough morning (don't all of my stories start out like this?) so I threw him in the shower (not literally, I promise).  After his shower, he got out and dried himself off.  Then the meltdown began.  

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!   It's cold! . . . too cold! . . . I can't go on! . . . 

and so and so on.

To help him move out of this funk and get on with the rest of his day, I rushed in and made a deal with him.  I told him to hold the towel around himself, while I put his clothes on really quickly.  This way he wouldn't feel the cold.  BIG MISTAKE!  For the rest of the week, Elliot all of a sudden was unable to dress himself after getting out of the shower, and I, like his trained servant, would rush in and take care of it.  Then one morning, Mr. Level-Headed was home when Elliot had finished his shower and called out to me:

MOM, I'm cold . . . .

As I was about to sprint into action, Mr. Level-Headed looked at me and asked:

What's this all about?

So, I told him, and as the words were coming out of my mouth, I froze . . .

What have I done?  

And now I am spending my week trying to break Elliot from this habit . . . ugh!  What's that saying, something about taking one step forward and two steps back?

And since we are on the topic of my mistakes this week, here's another goody. 

I am loving Elliot's independence in the kitchen so much that one of our favourite lunches has become Make-Your-Own-Sub.  I simply lay out all the ingredients on the counter, and voila lunch is made and the boys are happy because everything is made just as they like it.  Yesterday, after school was finished for the morning, I sat down to finally write a blog post for the week, when all of a sudden that all-to-familiar sound erupted from the basement:  Mom, when is lunch?  We are starving! 

Not wanting to break my writing stride, I quickly threw the sub ingredients out on the counter and called:

Come and get it!  

Which totally worked with our cowboy theme yesterday . . . tee hee!

As I was finishing up my post, I heard a whole lot of giggling going on, so I looked up from my computer and saw this:

Leave it to Avery to find my chocolate chip stash and think: mmmmm chocolate and salami would go nicely together . . ..

He is so much like his mama.

Well, if I don't anything else for those two boys, at least they will be able to feed themselves during their university years, and, as for Elliot, I am sure there will be a long line of lovely ladies willing to dress him after his shower . . . 

tee hee!

Hmmmm . . . maybe he is smarter than I give him credit for.

1 comment:

  1. Chocolate chip sandwich....yum.... and Kraft Dinner and Eggs? You're right, they are ready to for university! :)