Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Life Lessons from Jillian

I don't think one should take all life lessons from Jillian Michaels but she said something on Losing It this week that struck a chord with me:

When you give yourself credit for something and take pride in what you do, it doesn't mean you think you're better than someone less. It just means that you value who you are and you send that message to the world.

This gels and seems to be just one more confirmation in many areas of my life that are melding together. It also seems to meet up with the previous post on The Road Not Taken. It is difficult to take pride in something that you are doing when it is not apparent to others that it is the 'right' way to do things. Questions abound, people tell you that you are intimidating..when in fact they are the ones that are being intimidating whether they realize it or not. Not all the choices we have made have been easy..homeschooling, RDI, biomed, implant. And they look 'different' to outsiders. I have been trying to 'justify' RDI to quite a few folks this week. People say that I am using technical language because it is so foreign. Slow down your speech, slow down your actions, wait for the child to answer, WAIT for them to look to you. Sloooowwwww.. .slooooowwwww.... waaaaiiiiittt.....waaaaiiiittt... That's it. That is MUCH of what we do. You can do that in ANY activity. It does not matter what it is. I don't understand how that is so confusing. We don't script, we don't do charts, we do very little behaviorally. We set limits, but work with Andrew's developmental age and we use daily activities to accomplish the objectives we are working on. The activities stay the same- but the objectives change.

That is basically it. We are taking things developmentally. We are not working with Andrew at at forth grade level. When I tell people that Andrew is a 12 month old developmentally I can hear over the phone, people's eyes roll in the back of their head. Seriously. They don't GET it. Because they are constantly trying to put putty in the holes instead of breaking apart the whole stinking bridge and starting from scratch. Putty starts to leak after awhile. And breaking will happen again. Maybe not until college or real life. But when you build a life around static situations, you learn to BE static. Yet..i was told more than once today..that is what parents want. be it. We are taking the road less traveled. But we are breaking apart the bridge (and there has been some serious breakage around here over the past 6 months) and we are BUILDING ON A STRONG FOUNDATION! I mean that from a spiritual, emotional and physical sense. (I could write a whole other blog entry on my own spiritual breakage but that would be to intense I believe.)

So I don't think we are better than anyone else but I do value what we are doing. I don't mean to be flip truly but RDI, although 'hard' to DO because you have to do it yourself (as a parent with a consultant), is just basic child development. It is about being present and available. I am just tired of the uphill battle in a land where people have out their putty knives.


6kids said...

Nice post! It is hard to explain RDI. Sometimes it is not even worth it to try. :-) But, our kids reflect the amazing things that are happening.

Tim @ FamiliesAgain said...

Thanks for that post Amy. I'm so glad that you are on my mini-team. You have been a blessing already.

Marie said...

I'm not sure I know what RDI is but I believe in respecting other peoples rights to make decisions for their families, based on what they believe is right for them. My husband and I are typically the ones in our circle of friends that end up taking the road less traveled. I, personally think this is a good thing. It sort of sounds like the narrow road to me and that's definitely the road I want to be on ;-)
Keep doing what God calls you to do and don't allow bitterness to creep in when you think someone is looking down on's usually just because they don't understand. Sad :-(
BTW, I'm doing the TOS blog walk...enjoyed reading your blog!

Julie Coney said...

What is RDI? I looked for a link or something on your blog to better explain it. I am a TOS crew member that found you from a blog walk and I am just honestly curious about what it is.

Prince Andrew and the Queen Mum said...

HI Julie,
RDI is Relationship Development Intervention. It is a 'remediation' therapy based on child development for children on the autism spectrum. Happy to talk more about it if you have specific questions! Here is one article on it.

Richele said...

GREAT post! I also love that quote from Jillian.

I am no stranger to the road less traveled. In fact, I wouldn't have it any other way. I respect the strength and courage of any family that goes the way it sees matter if we are on the same path or not. :)

Fellow Crew Mate! Nice to find you on the Blog Walk!

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