Preparing Children with Asperger’s for the Sacraments

I am sitting here listening to Christian music and thinking about the past weekend.  It’s been a while since I wrote here. For some reason, I just can not keep up with this blog the same way I do with my other one. I consider the Talbert Zoo my diary. Usually people update their diaries every single day, but my life is way too crazy for me to keep up with that pace. For now I will write a post here a couple of times a week.

On Saturday Parrot had his First Holy Communion. In the Catholic faith, children receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist for the first time when they are in second grade. Last year it was Kitty and this year it was Parrot’s turn. At the beginning of the school year I was worried that he would not be ready.  But, he proved me wrong and behaved like an angel on Saturday.

Boys with Asperger’s like my son need to know all the details a head of time when a big event like First Holy Communion is coming up. We prepared for the special event by creating a social story which explained how the day was going to go and the behavior we expected out of him.  But I left one critical thing out.

The morning went smoothly. He woke early like usual and ate a great breakfast. Then I dressed him up in his new suit, tie and new shoes.  My parents arrived shortly after 9 am.  We had to be at the church by 9:30.  I made sure Parrot had his social story and something to fidget with in case he got restless.

Mass begun at 10:30. Parrot lined up with the rest of the kids and processed into church. When he got to the pew he noticed a reserved sign.  Parrot decided that he must not sit there because it was reserved. It didn’t matter that we explained to him that the pew was reserved for him. He still refused to sit with the other boys.  Instead he sat on the floor in the isle.

We moved the reserved sign, but it didn’t matter to Parrot. The pew was reserved so in his little mind that meant that he could not sit there. I forgot to put in the social story that the pew would have a reserved sign on it.

The rest of mass went just fine and I am a very proud Mom. After it was all over we had a small party for him with sandwiches, snacks and cake at home.  On Sunday he was so excited about going to communion for the second time so he hurried over to the choir so he could go with his Mom.  I felt so honored I almost cried.

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