Wednesday, August 11, 2010

One Big Step for K!

I'm quite sure that for most 13 year olds, going to the mall, and hanging out with friends on the weekend is a normal activity. This isn't so for my son K. Having  Asperger's Syndrome (AS), K has difficulty socializing. He isn't an introvert or anti-social. He is simply incapable of recognizing and responding to verbal cues from others.  A couple of years ago,  buying his own burger and fries at McDonald's was enough to make him sweat nervously and clam up.  He needs to rehearse what he needs to say to the cashier before he gets in line to order. It takes him forever to muster up the courage to get in line.  Lately, I've been "training" him to buy the stuff that he wants so he has no choice but to do it.

I was excited and nervous when he told me that his good friend A invited him to go to the nearby mall and play network games. K, got down all the details of the "play date" and relayed them to me. I was happy that he finally had the urge to go out on his own for the first time, but I was a little sad that my boy was now turning into a little adult.  

Saturday finally arrived and noticeably, K woke up earlier than normal for a weekend. I could tell he was trying not to look to eager. When I dropped him off at Starbucks, A wasn't there yet and I was so uneasy. I gave him my last instructions: to keep his cellphone handy, to text me if they changed venue, to eat lunch, to keep his money in one place, to pay only for stuff he consumed, to make sure he got the correct change, to eat a healthy lunch, to look both ways before crossing the road, to practice his eye-contact with the cashiers...Gosh, the list would have went on if A hadn't arrived. And when he did, it was time for me to let him go. 

Things didn't go so well for me from 12:30nn till 3:00pm. I tried not to worry too much and just enjoy lunch and window shopping while waiting for him to text me to meet him and go home. He did text me when they left Starbucks to play games at Timezone, and he did text me when the had lunch at Mc Donald's, and He did text me when they were done eating and moved to Netopia to play online games. BUT I didn't hear from him after that.  And that's when I started freaking out. I called him and texted him, no answer, no reply. It was past his curfew so I decided to just go to Netopia and  pick him up. When I got there he was sitting in front of a computer with a HEADSET on. That explained it. 

Should have put the phone on vibrate...
K still has a long way to go. After his first day out alone, I realized I needed to give him a crash course on street-smartness. I have to admit,though I have my ideas on what real-life activities/scenarios I have to train him on, I'm not quite sure how to guarantee success. BUT,I will not stop trying until I can get him to buy his own burger steak without breaking a sweat.   


  1. Great progress for mommy and K! Unc Jamesey is always rooting for you both!!! Xoxoxo

  2. yey!!!! im happy for K, mellow... -

  3. Thanks for the support everyone! I'm not going to stop until he can buy his own meal without batting an eyelash!

  4. I'm happy for your baby (they never stop being our babies, right?;-))...and for you! I really can't imagine what it's like given that your challenges (and his) are different. But while reading, all I can think of was how AMAZING you are at parenting!! Congratulations, Melo. You're a SUPERB parent! I hope you know that.

  5. Thanks Joy!
    I try my best as every mother does. :)

  6. a very worried mom ! but at least he hi trying to go on his own! Go K!!!!!!!! Billy and I misses you a lot! You can do it,smart boy! very protective mom,give him a chance,he might be street smarter than billy! i still accompany my billy outside while playing internet games ! hahaha!so,yoiu should also accompany him sometimes! whoa!!!!!! Congrats melloyello! and of course , to K!!!!!!!!!!! palkpakan!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Awesome progress! It's gotta feel good see you boy succeed in such a way! You're doing are great job momma!

    Following you from MBC. Come visit and follow back!

  8. Hi Sofia!
    I can't seem to find your follow button. :)