Monday 1 October 2012

Stuck In the Middle With You

Alex is giving us a conundrum of late. 

He's smart.  Every bit of evidence we have confirms it.  He's capable of quite detailed planning and shows a diabolical brilliance for outside-the-box problem solving.

He's physically adept.  From riding to skiing, we keep having to tell his instructors he's never tackled these particular tasks before.  He shows natural talent for every physical challenge we've thrown at him and consistently displays a sense of internal balance and core strength that most Cirque de Soleil performers would sell their souls for.

There is no reason why he couldn't keep up with (and occaisionally surpass) any child his age.  I may be his mother but I don't think I'm being biased when I say this: he could do anything he wanted.

Therein squats the toad of our conundrum.

He doesn't want to.

He's not socially motivated.  He's not reward driven.  And while a child who isn't vulnerable to peer pressure and doesn't pester his parents for toys sounds like a dream, it has a distinct down side.  Without those motivations, how do you get him to do the things he doesn't want to do: like go to school, sit down quietly and do the work the teacher asks him to do?  Or go to a sports club and participate as a member of a team or even just participate under the direction of a coach?

We're really stuck right now.  As much as we want to challenge him and share all the awesome things life has to offer, he is unable to participate with neurotypical children.  And if we stick him in the special-needs programs, he's bored out of his mind and doesn't want to do it either.

I have no idea how to go about getting him motivated.  Even the behaviour intervention plans all assume at their goal that a child is motivated by either social praise or reward.  I'll have to do some research and see if there's anything out there.

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