Mindfulness, a new concept for us

“Mike,” my son with Asperger’s, has come a long way, first from his supplements from the Yasko protocol (which allowed him an emotional even keel) and now from two years of NAET treatments, which seem to be helping him control his anxiety.  But he still has Asperger’s, and as part of that, he still has ADD.

He’s 20 years old, and I would love it if he learned to drive. I spend too much time driving him where he needs to go. We live in the suburbs where the bus service to anywhere but the community college is terrible.  He’s been working on learning to drive for a couple of years at least. If my autistic 55-year-old brother learned to drive as a teenager, why can’t “Mike”?

He’s not getting there. What’s holding him back? The ADD. He’s not really focusing on what he is doing, while driving or doing most other things. He’s paying attention to some other script going on in his head, I think. We nearly had a serious accident in November because of this inattention, and since then I’ve been rethinking this. Maybe he isn’t a candidate for driving.

Then I read an article that was encouraging seniors to practice “mindfulness” as a way of preventing mental lapses.  Mindfulness is consciously paying attention to what’s around you. For example, you could take a walk in your neighborhood and notice what’s different from yesterday–a new for-sale sign up in the neighbor’s yard, a kite stuck in a tree, the neighbor’s car with a dented fender, or whatever.  This sounds pretty normal to the way I operate. But I realized it’s not normal for “Mike.” The idea is to practice it consciously.

I want him to practice this for a while before we try driving again.

Phyllis Wheeler

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.