Walking Away

I Got This, Mom

Other kids wait at the school bus stops in the morning.

No adults nearby.

You see it everyday, right?

I needed to be somewhere else, so I walked away.

He was the first one there.

He waved bye.

I left.

It went fine.

The longer the rope, the better he learns to take care of himself by watching the world around him.

And please know, we work daily on these skills of awareness and independence.

We have been building up to ever greater independence, riding the bus.

Another example, letting your child walk away.

Walking the dog independently.

Losing my child on Halloween Night.

And when a mis-guided John headed off across a parking lot in search of an escaping Mom.

A minute of pure panic, and then a game was born.

We are also working on independence walking home from the bus stop after school.

That’s a game now also.

John knows he has to find me hiding in the bushes somewhere way down and around the corner.

What are your intervention games for growing Independence?

Peace be with us.


Magic: Because Other Kids Do It

Intrinsic Motivation Because of Neuro-Typical Peers

Do your neuro-diverse children (let’s call them “learning differences”) pay attention to other children?

Far more than they pay attention to you as parents?

So, here is what we did for academics during the recent Hurricane Harvey school hiatus:

Photos of academic and social-emotional learning for John.

It’s magic.  Peer pressure, from the inside out.

If I had tried to get him to do this…….oh, we would have had such push-back.

Just add a few peer models, and everything changes.

Miraculous teaching moments!

Nothing gets John’s attention like another kid.

So, I use that.  Shamelessly.

Cutting his own food in the restaurant:  His happy face here because his buddies were doing it also.

First mom-free monetary transaction.

May I suggest you build your child’s village?

There are so many pro-active ways.

With huge payout.

Peace be with us.




Buying Something Without Mom

Not Always Elegant, Sometimes Awesome

I know it’s not a big deal to most families.

But to some of us, having our kids make a purchase without us is a big step forward.

We have been practicing for many days, with friends around us.

We have used cash, and John has tried to cajole me into helping him.

I walked away, pretending not to care.

A little rough with the communication exchange at the counter.

Nonetheless, eventual success.

But not elegant.

The next time, we were at a restaurant where John is well known.

Mr. Greg (red shirt) knows all the kids in our neuro-typical social group.

He is always patient in helping each child order.

You can see John getting advice on how to use his debit card.

Isn’t it awesome when kids teach their peers?

So, hope this helps in your world.

Practice constantly.

Make and keep relationships in your village—-so very valuable.

Especially if your child is intrinsically motivated by neuro-typical peers.

You can see the joint attention in the conversation over chicken.

Learning: Academic & Social-Emotional that goes into long-term memory,

and builds self-esteem!

Peace be with us,




Further and Further From the Bus

Backward Chaining, Twice a Day

First, John figured out how to accept the neuro-typical bus.

That took watching, planning and practice.

And now he is riding the big-kid bus to and from intermediate school each day.

Next, we are stretching that independence so he can walk to and from the bus stop.

We are backward chaining by my parking further and further from the bus.

Both in the morning and in the afternoon.

(His preferred bus stop with lots of peers is further away. 

We also have had a Hurricane Harvey interruption to work through.)

So, the plan is that he gets to approach his peers as he wishes, walking away from the car.

He quite easily walks away from me without a backward glance.

He is learning that social/emotional IQ of how to approach and blend in.

Sometimes the kids re-arrange themselves to scoot closer to him.

(And that is a joy to see.)

And he has figured out how to get off the bus at school, with whatever re-directs he gets from peers and school officials.

We did grease the skids on this process over the summer.

Now we are working on the homeward journey:  from the bus stop all the way to the house, out of sight.

So we start one block away.

He gets off the bus, and walks to the car.

The next day, two blocks away.

Both in the morning and in the afternoon.

Eventually, he will be able to make the treks without seeing me for reassurance.

And he will be gaining continual growth in navigation, independence and self-esteem.

(I suggested to him a different bus stop, closer to home.

He adamantly rejected that idea.

He knows exactly which bus stop he wants, because of the social connections he has made.)

I hope this gives you some courage to try with your kids.

Risks are worth it, with proper training and practice.

Consider backward chaining.

Peace be with us,