CREATING A DREAM – SARINA, Five WEEKS INTO COLLEGE
Am I surprised? Yes.
Sarina’s challenges are exhausting and like herself, they don’t fit into a box. Not one diagnosis can describe her. Her strengths and challenges are way of the grid. What is a strength in one person on the autism spectrum can be a weakness for the other. And so on.
Seeing Sarina move through her day, engaging in a conversation with her you might wonder who that special person is.
Living with her and supporting her to move through her day is like the elephant on the tightrope. It’s often a struggle.
The ideal situation would be to have more people engaged, better yet to have the famous “it takes a village” situation. That’s my ultimate goal.
For now, since exactly 6 months and for a couple more I am the main and lonely supporter in her journey. My nest is full again. I’m in the process of working with a young woman to help me. And yes, dad is around and when in town is giving me a much-needed bear hug at night.
Let me bath in her strength. If you know Sarina I know you have been waiting for my story.
The first 5 weeks in college were the best ones for her in a long time.
Here are some highlights:
TIME MANAGEMENT ✅
This is the biggie. When your brain is constantly feeding you stories, time as we know it does not exist. You are always somewhere else.
I did put my foot down. She made a list for every day she goes to college: When to get up, walk, shower, have breakfast, leave and the evening routine. It hangs on the fridge. First she fought it, now she lives by it!
For a young woman who refuses to use lists – this is a win.
The biggest surprise happens every morning. It has to do with her morning walk. With the running quote in our home: “get the ducks in a row!”
Walking outside helps all of us. For a person with attention deficit it’s a survival tool. Sarina finally not only understands this, she feels it!
It’s a WIN WIN 👣
EVERY morning, yes every single morning on the day she goes to college, she gets up and out of the door for her walk!
SELF MOTIVATED…. I have nothing to do with it. 😄.
I summersault at home each time I hear the door shut. And, she times herself and keeps a log of how long it takes her (again self motivated… no not a list). When she started out it took her a bit longer then 10 minutes… look at it now!
This is why I don’t give up. This is why I’m Sarina’s mom.
Now I need to grow some more patience muscles to help with the next step:
not get lost in the shower (she now uses a timer!)
- to show up for breakfast on time
- basically, Sarina needs to remember to watch the time.
Here is a happy moment for me…found this note on her bathroom mirror!
This organizing in the background is my job. Yes, it’s pushing my limits. Yes, it’s helping. Thank God for Exhales!
No list needed. She is dead serious about it and super concentrated. “I want all A’s and 100% (refers to attendance and engagement in class)”. This is happiness pure! I truly thought we would run into an issue with this one.
I’m needed and I’m not. Reminds me of a book I once read, can’t remember the correct title… it went something like this: get out of my life but drive me to the movies first…
Boy, I’m walking on the tide rope with that one. My observations are not wanted, only yes or no.
GETTING AROUND CAMPUS ✅
Again, I’m amazed. She now knows where every building is on campus. It’s a really large campus with 22094 students to be exact. I was told that she came to her C2C office a few times and asked for help. Big win-win for her! She wants to find her own solutions when stuck. She texts me every day when I can come pick her up. Happy mama here!
Love this one:
She has to attend one extra curriculum event on campus/week. And write about her experience! I didn’t know about that. She attends EVERY event while she is at college. Received an email from one of her teachers, congratulating her! She has forgotten to write about it. But they see her. So, no problem. She is now documenting with the help of an older student.😇
SARINA’S MOST USED WORD✅
A M A Z I N G … accompanied by a huge smile. Every day when I pick her up I see it in the way she stands there. She is finally in the right place. My heart receives an answer to my struggles and to my why’s.
6 BUCKS A DAY💸
To help my overloaded #careforSarina schedule I was looking for relief. The driving back and forth to college didn’t add up. After all, Sarina is enrolled in 5 classes. About 10 hours in 4 days. I’m graving time like a smoker a cigaret. Yuck!
So I do what works for me, I sit still and relax.
Friends, only then can we listen to what our soul, our spirit has to say. I finally know that by listening to my intuition, I receive the answers. “How can I earn myself a little more time?” The answer arrived fast:
For 6 bucks/day, I buy myself about 60 minutes of extra time!. And Sarina is in heaven. She eats lunch in the cafeteria and calls it PARADISE!
🌷Documenting Sarina’s journey helps me to see her victories. It’s so easy to get discouraged in the daily grind and the suffocating feeling of “never an empty nester”.
Want to be part of our journey?
I’m creating a new mailing list for her. For now it’s going out through my Yoga with Manuela list. Will get back to you with the new sign up soon!
Sending you lot’s of special moments today!