Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Good Thoughts vs. Garbage Thoughts

A local coffee shop near our house has some great art camps this summer. I had signed Ethan up for camp last week...the theme was "It's a Small World." He had a lot of fun, surprisingly enough. We've done our share of "special needs" camps and he usually does better in regular camps, assuming that the instructor/teacher understands about his "needs." Luckily, the instructor of this camp is a high school art teacher, so she has plenty of experience with Asperger's.

We almost made it through the whole week without a single meltdown. I came in the last day...Friday afternoon at 5 pm. Ethan was over in the corner with one of the instructors, just crying his eyes out. Apparently, something happened between two other children (absolutely NOTHING to do with him!) and it made him so upset that he cried and started calling one of the kids a bully (which actually made HIM the bully!) It was a big misunderstanding on his part, but a learning lesson...unless someone asks for your help, your help is not needed! 
This is obviously a hard lesson for an Asperger kiddo to learn, as we've been working on it for years! So since today was our weekly appointment with the psychologist, I brought it up to her. Ethan quickly inserted his point that I wasn't a "real mom" because I didn't take care of the bully. So, I made my exit...knowing that the psychologist had the idea and would take it from there.

When the appointment was over and they came out, she told me how they had discussed "good thoughts/garbage thoughts." A "garbage thought" would be something like...everyone in the pool is talking about me. Yes, they are all talking...but how logical is it that they are talking about you? If you are crying, they might be looking at you...and then they might be talking about why is he crying. But otherwise, no...most likely everyone at the pool is not talking about you. It does no one any good to think that thought. It is not helpful so throw it in the garbage.

Thinking this process over, I thought about how often we all have these "garbage thoughts." I'm constantly having doubts or second thoughts about things I should be more self assured of. So, it's not that unusual to think that our special kiddos might have "garbage thoughts" when us "typical mom's" have the same issue! I will definitely be more aware of voicing those thoughts outloud and at the very least, work those problems through in a logical way, so he can learn from me, how to soothe himself. 

Does anyone else have a kiddo that has "garbage thought" or suffer from them yourself?

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