The power went out and the lights began to flash throughout the night on all of Brandon’s electronic gadgets. That night, Brandon was unable to sleep and found himself fixated on the flashing lights, triggering a seizure. He did not know what to do, but he does now. I told him to block the lights by using a towel, t-shirt, or something handy and in the morning he could reset everything.
Every step of the way, Brandon must learn what to do when most of us take it for granted. He often lacks practical sense and is easily stumped when presented with a new situation. I love finding solutions and ways to help Brandon. I enjoy thinking outside the box and to be as creative as I can.
Brandon does not have the ability to solve most new issues. Anything in shades of gray throws him for a loop. That is where I come in. I find I am most valuable to Brandon when I can show him the simplest ways to do things. When I do this, I often use humor and I find Brandon laughing while learning. Yesterday, we were taking a walk after having a holistic, alternative treatment. We both have these treatments because they help to rid us of negative energy. (Who couldn’t benefit from that?) Afterwards, it helps to integrate the treatment by walking and allowing your arms to flow freely with each step. I looked at Brandon and imitated his stiff arms and how it would work better if he would let them flow freely. He looked at me and laughed and thought I was funny. When using humor, I must be careful to let him know that I am not making fun of him. We both laughed together and he finally got the hang of allowing his arms to be free and not so rigid and stiff. I love to see Brandon laugh from a place of joy. It is not often, but when it happens it is truly special.
After we walked we went to eat lunch at one of Brandon’s favorite restaurants. He had ordered a veggie burger and was holding it with his left hand and was having difficulty trying to keep it from falling apart. Kindly and gently making sure not to use a scolding or judgmental voice, but more like a friend, I said, “What do you think about using both of your hands?” He liked the idea and tried it. He no longer had a problem with keeping his sandwich together.
While parenting Brandon for the past thirty-seven years I have learned how to be one step ahead of him. I work diligently to boost his self-esteem and confidence while teaching him new tools for everyday life. Once he learns the tools, he usually can access that information again. It wasn’t true when he was younger, but as an adult because the necessity of learning everyday life skills, he has managed to retain that information. He loves being independent and that keeps him growing and wanting to learn. I love being a mother and find when I am learning, changing and growing I am not only helping myself, but my entire family.