I’m going to start with a Facebook post I shared in 2016.
Most mornings getting Jacob ready and out the door is hard. Real. Hard. He can be anywhere from just non-compliant to attacking. I am often frazzled by the time I drop him off at SON Valley. Yesterday was especially awful as his bad mood continued into the building where he was attacking everyone in his path. I am telling you; it hurts to see your child behave that way. This morning I was saying how much I loved him and to please be kind to everyone at SV. I went on to say when he hurts people it makes it hard for them to love him back and it makes them afraid of him. Usually, as I drive away, I am praying for my boy.
Just now I picked him up and got the best, biggest gift I can remember receiving in a LONG time. One of the staffers walked out with him and these are some of the things she said, “Jacob had a great day.” “He wanted me to stay in the room and watch Lion King with him.” “He held my hands.” “I saw him smile.” “I love working with him.” “People with autism are my heart.” “He is one of my very favorites.”
Y’all! Yes, I cried all the way home and still am. She had no idea how much I needed that encouragement and to hear those words.
I am not asking for pity because of my tough mornings. Everyone has hard things they deal with that are equally as overwhelming. I am saying that you never know how your words can encourage someone. She wasn’t saying anything about me—she was acknowledging the good in my child. Good, that is often hidden and hard to see. Thank you, Jesus, for answering this mom’s prayer this morning. It was the BEST!
While cleaning out a couple of weeks ago, I found a notebook that, for a short period of time in 2017, went back and forth with Jacob to his day program. A way for me to know details about his day that was hard to get otherwise. Here are some of the notes:
Jacob slept on and off most of the day.
Jacob had a really great day! He used nice, gentle hands when he wanted me to plug up the radio.
I can see so much improvement in Jacob’s behavior and his tolerance of others.
Jacob had another great day!
Jacob was very happy today and twirled a lot.
Jacob has been such a sweetheart today! He listened to country music all day.
He was really excited about the honeybun you packed for a snack.
I was able to get Jacob to participate in the art activity. He has had one of the best days I’ve seen So happy and proud of him!
Jacob ate well and had a good day. Still loving his country music.
I asked Jacob to help me clean the counters where he ate his dirty rice. Jacob walked over to me. I gave him the sponge and I hand over hand helped him clean the counter. When we were finished, I thanked him and celebrated his hard work. Jacob then grabbed the sponge with his right hand and with his left hand he grabbed my hand and placed it on top of his right hand that was holding the sponge. He truly seemed to enjoy cleaning the counters today.
Jacob has been calm and has enjoyed listening to his music the majority of the day. He’s also been resting on and off throughout the day.
Jacob seemed a bit aggravated this afternoon, but not in a physical way.
Jacob cleaned his plate today!
Jacob spent time sitting in the kitchen today.
Jacob had a good day!
Jacob motioned for me to give him some Pop Tarts. He hasn’t eaten them yet but I’m sure he’ll go back to them shortly. (When Jacob asked for the Pop-tarts, he had the sweetest smile on his face and he used very nice hands!)
Jacob had a great day! He danced with me this morning!
Jacob had a great day! He has smiled a lot today.
We tried to see whether or not Jacob would like the Glaze Pineapple Chicken, but he was not a fan of it!!
Jacob had a good day! We went on a van ride this afternoon.
Jacob was not very happy with me when I encouraged him to clean up the food dropped on the floor. But he was good at cleaning up his area.
Very often the notes would reference what he had to eat for lunch or snacks: brownies, fries, nutty buddy bars, prunes, pears, chicken nuggets, pasta, peanut butter crackers, goldfish crackers, hamburgers, etc. This helped me so much since I’d have no idea if he’d eaten or what. I did have access to a daily menu but they also kept a variety of snacks for my boy.
Can you imagine how hearing “Jacob had a great day” made me feel? It was worth more than I can even begin to explain.
Did you catch the main theme in those notes?
Looking for the good and sharing it, is where it’s at! Thank you to those who do just that!