In September Peyton turned 18, this was a very big deal for him and the rest of us. I wrote a blog for his birthday about how much he stressed about turning 18. http://www.awesomismmom.com/happy-birthday-peyton/ He calmed down some after several of us talked with him. Even though he calmed down some, it made me really start thinking about life from his perspective. While I can’t fully understand how he feels, being an autistic teen/adult, I can listen and try to understand. There are days I feel so overwhelmed at how much I have to do, then I look at Peyton and actually feel selfish. At times I fret over such petty things that can easily be fixed, just requires focus and time. Peyton faces obstacles I don’t always understand, yet he very rarely complains, he tries and tries until he succeeds. I deeply admire this about him.
A couple of months ago, I started thinking about how I could make Peyton’s 18th year special. I’m so proud of the person he has become. He has faced so many fears and obstacles and overcome them. When he was younger he was scared of dogs, seriously scared where he would cry, scream and have a meltdown. It wasn’t until he was about 12 he decided to overcome that fear. Now he loves our dogs and is very attached to Tex. I’ve talked about several of his “former meltdown triggers” in past blogs like new shoes, haircuts, waiting in lines etc… Too many of us take these for granted that all kids will out grow these fears, stresses etc.. that isn’t always true for autistic teens and adults. This isn’t to say Peyton doesn’t still have fears, he does. Swimming, riding a bike, mowing the lawn are just a few I can think of. I know it bothers him that at times he feels like he’s way behind his siblings. Mark and I try to encourage him to do what he feels comfortable with and to take initiative in trying new things. He sees his siblings doing so much… his sister backpacked all over Egypt, Israel and Jordan when she was 19. He knows he may never do anything like that. It isn’t even always the big things, it can also be simple things like going to a movie alone with a friend. He goes with his siblings, but he views that differently. He would like to go fishing alone etc..He has expressed to me he wants to have friends he can go places with, he wants to “feel more like an adult”
This why “The Year Of Peyton’s Awesomism” was created. He and I are working together and will share with others how he’s overcome so many obstacles, working on things that stress him and facing fears. It will be a year-long journey, where we share his struggles, strengths, bad times and good times. Peyton will be sharing this journey from his perspective as an autistic teen and I will be sharing it from mine. We will be working on his social skills, life skills and more. We would love to have you follow along! We will have many awesome adventures and some surprises! We hope we will motivate others as well! You can read our blogs here, follow my Twitter @awesomismmom, instagram @awesomismmom.. Flipboard AwesomismMom and Pinterest Awesomismmom. Peyton has set up a twitter @PeytonAwesomism….an Instagram Peytonsyearofawesomism and a flipboard Magazine http://flip.it/fzQMgn