Saturday, January 03, 2009

Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam...or does he?

I really haven't talked about Ivan and his autism for a long time. Not that it is no longer relevant, it's just that we are...well...kind of in the swing of it all. We have been used to dealing with it. Life is far from perfect with him, but he has made strides. We continue to work with him. We try things, we fail at things, and life moves on. However, tomorrow marks a new chapter in his life.

I have been dreading this day for a long time. I really have. About a month ago we started talking to Ivan about going into Sunbeams and they day that he would no longer be in the nursery. He would just say, "I go nursery." The whole idea of another class didn't phase him.

Now that it is tomorrow I am so worried about him. We can't get him to sit still for anything. How is he going to sit during a whole sharing time? What is he going to do when he can't play with toys? Or have bubbles? Am I going to have to sit with him the whole time? Primary is kind of my break from him.

I am his teacher for tomorrow. We are re-organizing our primary and so I am subbing for tomorrow. I read the lesson and...there is no way that he is going to comprehend what it is about. The lesson says to show a picture of the moon, and ask who created it? Ivan doesn't know.

I am so apprehensive. Sometimes, and please don't hate me for saying this but, I just wish he was a normal kid. With normal problems. I am just an awful Mom. I don't want everyone to look at me, like why can't she just get him under control. Almost everyone in our Branch knows, but I don't want to use that as a crutch. OK

I am so rambling.


Christy said...

In my many many years in Primary, I had more than one child with autism in my class. They manage somehow with the spirit's help to learn to participate. One of them is now passing the sacrament. He will become comfortable in the new enviroment.

Janice said...

Melanie starts Sunbeams on Sunday too! I'm not sure she would fully comprehend who made the moon either. (I teach her about it - but I'm not sure it has sunk in yet) Don't beat yourself up about it though, Marie. You probably get this a lot, but the Lord will not give you anything that you can't handle. The fact that he has made progress is HUGE!!! That means you are a FABULOUS mom!! I think the other comment is right as well, the spirit will help.

Avis La Fin said...

All is well!! Ivan will adjust--may be tough sledding, but, thankfully, you're in a small branch where he's accepted and loved. Love You. Relax!! Mom

heidigoseek said...

ok, so Ivan will NOT be the only one not sitting down through sharing time. He'll fit right in with the rest of the sunbeams and the Val. 11 boys:) As for how the year's gonna go? who knows? he may find some aspect of it that he absolutely loves and cling to that. We'll pray for you. Good luck!

Mary said...

I hope the transition goes well for him!

In our primary, for the first month or so of the year, we only have the Sunbeams come into the primary room for singing time and then closing exercises. Then the rest of the primary day for them is spent in their classroom having what is basically nursery - short lesson, play time with toys, coloring or some other activity, and a snack. As the kids get adjusted to being in the primary room, we have them stay in for sharing time (as long as they can handle it) and are flexible enough to excuse the class when they need to leave even if it is during the lesson. Sooner than I expect it, though, they are sitting as reverently as a bunch of 3 year olds can through the entire sharing time.

Also, I don't know if your branch has the ability to have 2 people called to work in sunbeams so that there is 1 to do the lesson and 1 to handle the kids - and 2 adults sitting on the row with them when they do come to sharing time helps.

Finally, we have had a few autistic kids in our primary - one very severe who cannot communicate and does the classic hand flinging and screaming when upset, a couple with aspergers who do very well, and we will have a new sunbeam with aspergers and OCD. One way they have helped the girl with very severe autism is to call a person to be her own aid, who could remove her from situations that caused her stress and to help include her in lessons with her own flip charts, pictures pages, and colored with her, etc. If I were your primary pres and you asked for something like that, I would do everything I could to make that happen so you could both have a good experience with him in primary.

(the beginning of the new year is craziness for our primary - is it just me? EEK)

(Sorry, longest comment ever. Now who is rambling?)

Brooke said...

marie--things are going to be fine. In one of my past wards, we had a sweet little boy named Tristan in primary with autism. His mom needed a break too. So, we came up with a plan that worked for everyone. A primary teacher was specifically called for little Tristan. She would sit with Tristan in Sunbeams and if he was having a rough day, she would take him on walks or take him to his own classroom and let him run around. She would teach parts of the lesson when he was ready to listen. She also brought snacks:). During sharing time and singing time, we didn't make Tristan sit in his chair the whole time. It turned out to be a positive experience for everyone involved. If you find yourself sitting with little Ivan EVERY week, maybe you could suggest a similiar plan.

The Farr's said...

Oh sweetie...he will be fine. I know it's hard for you but Heavenly Father knows Ivan and will make sure he gets what he needs from church. Love ya!

The Anglesey Family said...

Oh my gosh....Don't feel like a bad mom! I sometimes think the same thing regarding Braxton's health issues. But Kory is always the first one to tell me that I need to count my many blessings.....Which always helps! And trust me.....You have sooo many. A beautiful family, FOUR healthy children, an amazing husband, and a great hairstyle!!!! :). I got your christmas card today....You all looked great! I am just soooo happy for your family right now!!!!

becky said...

I have found that even though children with disabilities sometimes pose challenges we have been better off and have learned far more from those children's spirits and were blessed to have them in our primary. I am sure your primary will feel the same. You are an awesome mom. Remember heavenly father only gives these special spirits to the best of parents.