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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Quizzes, Therapy, & Really Amazing Friends

On Facebook recently there was a lot of conversation about an Autism Quiz that you can take.  Several friends took it and we had some interesting discussions.  Since my hubby isn't on Facebook, I had found it online and he took it.  Then I decided to have both boys take it, and the results were enlightening.  I was shocked at how self-aware Brennan (8 1/2) is about his strengths, challenges, and preferences.

There are lots and lots of Autism Quizzes out there, but this one comes from the Cambridge University Autism Research Center - a leading authority.  It is not intended to diagnose Autism, but to have you consider your own preferences and where those might overlap (or not) with adults who have been diagnosed with Autism.

Check the test out here and let me know what you think of the results!  I'm an 11 by the way.

David and I have recently decided on a new form of therapy for Brennan.  He was diagnosed with Asperger's several years ago and has completed speech therapy and a number of social skills therapies through the school corporation, making tremendous progress.

Random kids I found on Google Images

Brennan's main challenge is growing more confident in his social skills. There is no way to improve without practice, practice, practice. He gets a lot of that practice at school, at church, in his extracurricular activities, and when we invite friends to our home. Where he needs more practice is in social interactions that are not scripted, and where I am not involved.

Really Amazing Friends
So, I reached out in an email to several families in town with kids in K-6 grades, asking if they would invite Brennan over once/month to play with their kids.  While hopefully this would seem like a playdate to all involved, it would actually be therapy for Brennan. 

I explained the situation and pressed send before I could chicken out.  We're all so busy these days.  I hated to ask for this kind of help, especially from some of the people who know me well but don't know Brennan that well.  But I had to try.

I was OVERWHELMED with the response.  Within an hour of my email I had 3 families committing to help.  Within 4 hours I had 9 families.  By today I have 14 families who have said they would love to help!  I just can't believe it.  It's fantastic and will be so great for Brennan. 

Since we live hours from our family, it's really wonderful when friends are so willing to be a part of your family's lives in such a critical way.  We are blessed and are optimistic that this new "therapy" will make a tremendous difference for Brennan.

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