My son wants to match his neuro-typical peers, and (even better), he knows it.
This includes “showing off” his growing independence.
He is now walking home from the bus stop by himself.
This aerial map shows his trek home.
We have been building this by backward chaining.
Initially, I practically hid in the bushes, around each corner, watching for safety, working backward toward home.
Eventually, he made it past each checkpoint.
And he can lock and unlock the door.
So far, he hasn’t chosen yet to keep the key all day.
(He gives it to me for keeping.)
We have also been practicing the “boomerang effect” out in public.
At a recent neighborhood concert in the park,
when he was on his own to play, even running off in the dark to the playground.
(We had practiced meeting up.)
And during the concert, he cycled back about every 20 minutes, to confirm I was still at the same spot.
At an outdoor-music-venue restaurant recently, he disappeared for a while.
He found me, some minutes later.
Also, as he continues to build his independence, he has strong ideas of how he wants to look to other kids.
So he makes purposeful decisions daily to carry his percussion binder and drum sticks on the bus.
So he matches the band kids who haul their musical instruments each day.
All this involves accepting risks and practicing for mastery.
All worth it.
May this help in your world.
Peace be with us,