Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Taking Care of Myself

This is the title of my new favorite book by Mary Wrobel. I just received it a few weeks ago via UPS. I found it on the internet at several different sites, but I bought it through A1 books for the plain and simple reason that it was less expensive. I think I paid $16 including shipping. If you have a child on the autism spectrum I suggest you buy it! If you have a child with special needs who likes things in social story format, buy it. This is a wonderful book. I found it because I was surfing the web looking for something that would help explain to Daniel, on his level, about puberty. He is 12 now and we are going down that road. I've been dreading this road. I have heard stories! I regularly read blogs of other parents of autistic boys who are older than us. I am trying to go into this with my eyes open. Why is it that as soon as you are really rolling along well, something has to change? It's maddening! But this book is wonderful for boys or girls. There is a much larger section on puberty for girls that I skimmed through and I have to say if you have a girl, I'm so so sorry! I would not want to deal with menstruation in a girl with special needs. NOT EASY.

I have brought his book with me to several professionals that we deal with and HAVE dealt with for years! Some for 8 years. Let me say that again, 8 years. And each one has said. "Oh that is a fantastic book!" Hmmmm, why do they do this? I know that it is hard to remember to tell everyone everything, but I am a book reader. I LOVE information. The more the better, you can't be over prepared, you get it! Why do they not share this stuff with us?? I have to spend a few hours searching the internet with all sorts of different phrases in Google, trying to find what I'm looking for. The time. That's what gets to me. Because I would have loved this book 8 years ago. It is not just about puberty. . .

Unit 1 is Hygiene. Examples of topics, Washing hands, bathing, washing hair, GETTING A HAIR CUT, blowing my nose, going to the bathroom, and more. Do you know how many hours I have spent writing my own social stories on these issues? How many hours I've spent calling people and asking about it? And here it is, written out in easy to use and understand language all together in one place.

Unit 2 is about Health. Examples of topics, Eating Fruits and Vegetables, SLEEPING AT NIGHT, Going to the Doctor, Going to the Dentist, feeling sick (and the importance of admitting this and not saying "I'm fine" as Daniel does, since in his head it is not OK to be sick)

Unit 3 is Modesty. Enough said?

Unit 4 Growth and Development. Shaving my face, wearing deodorant. Our bodies are growing and developing etc. Daniel started reading this, with such ferocity. He LOVES social stories. It explains the world to him which he finds confusing. (Again, why has no one told me about this when everyone knows this? It's a mystery. ) He was very annoyed that he had to grow into an adult. He read it and then said, with disgust in his voice, "do I have to grow from a kid into an adult?" He wasn't happy. But it helped him. Of course I have told him these things but it needs to be written for him. He loves to read. He has ALWAYS been able to read. I remember when he was 3 and he'd read billboards to me!

Unit 5 Menstruation enough said

Unit 6 Touching and Personal Safety. Touching other people, where people can touch you etc. Very important stuff!

Unit 7 Masturbation. Lord help me.

And an additional story on using a urinal in public. My husband thought this was a good one. I never thought about it actually. Why would I. I DON'T USE A URINAL. Nor have I ever. Nor will I ever. Why would I think about teaching him this? Has anyone else? (By anyone I mean Todd) I don't know.

I brought this book to someone last night to show her (a professional). She said it is her favorite book and hers is tattered and worn (that's not exactly what she said, but that's the phrase Daniel likes to use when something is old. It's Oscar from Sesame street's song. "I Love Trash") When I mentioned that I wished that I had had this book 8 years ago she said, "I'm glad you said that, it will remind me to tell others about it". Thank you! Please tell me. Whatever else you are keeping from me. Please tell me. I need all the help that I can get!!! So I am telling you. Go get this book if it sounds like something that would be helpful! Hope this, well, helps!


annie said...

Interestingly enough, many of these issues and tough lessons are not tough only for kids with special needs - getting Sam to go to bed at night and brush his teeth and wear clean underwear, and stop running around naked when my mother in law is here are ALL things I struggle with. You might just want to keep that book handy until Zachary hits puberty...:)

aem said...

When I saw the title of this post, I thought, "Oh good, Shelly got a book about treating herself!" Um, yeah, scratch that. Still, I'm really glad you found it and wish you could have had it eight years ago too.

Michelle S. said...

Ann- they are tough for everyone and when your world is much more confusing than it is for everyone else, it is magnified. It's never a fun time!

AEM- you are the second person in two days to talk about me taking care of myself! Obviously I'm in need lol! Funny I never even would have thought that the title would refer to me. . . what does that tell ya?!