DC has support staff that comes to our house for a couple of hours each day. He has had this staff since somewhere around the age of 18. One or the other is there when he arrives home from his job and they stay until 5PM – a little bit after I get home from work. His staff is there of course because I am still at work when he gets home from his program but their specific purpose is support in life-skills and community activities.
Tuesday and Friday have been designated as “Lie-ber-ary” (DC-speak = Library) days with his staff. On Tuesdays he goes to the library in town with one aide and on Friday he goes to a library in the next town over with Mrs. H. These trips to the out of town library began a few years ago when our library was closed for renovations. They started going there “temporarily” but it has now become part of his permanent schedule.
Last Sunday he came to me with his library books and asked to go to the “Cole-cot Lie-ber-ary” on Monday with Mrs. H. (He must take out his library books the day before his scheduled library visit and put them on the kitchen table – always. Even though the spot where he keeps the books are on the desk 3 steps away – they must be placed on the table the day before.) I was a little bit confused by this. He knows that Monday isn’t his library day – it wouldn’t matter to me if he wanted to change that schedule, but I knew that him changing his schedule voluntarily was highly unlikely. I asked him why he wanted to go on Monday, since he just took them out a few days before. He just stood there are stared at me.
“DC, why do you want to go tomorrow?”
” ‘Cole-cot lie-ber-ary’ with Mrs. H on Monday”
“Don’t you want to wait until Friday?”
Now he has starting to look panicked….
“DC, what’s wrong? You can go on Friday with Mrs. H”
“No! ‘Cole-cot lie-ber-ary’ with Mrs. H tomorrow!”
I was thinking that he was trying to get out of cleaning his room (Life-Skills – Monday) or worse… going for a walk, but then I realized that he was a step ahead of me in the planning of his week:
Friday was the 3rd of July. He had the day off from his program and I had the day off from work. This meant no Mrs. H that day and no Friday trip to the library.
I had never mentioned having the day off on Friday. I am not even sure that I had told him at this point that he was off as well. I’m sure he knew a holiday was coming and I suppose he heard or figured out that it was being observed on Friday. Knowing it was a holiday, he figured out that he would not be going to his program, I would not be going to work, Mrs. H. would not be there that day and as it was a holiday, and it was possible that the library would be closed. He made all of those connections in his head and came up with his own plan to return the books that he had and to take out some new ones.
This may not seem like a big thing to some but I have to say I found it quite impressive…….
The books then took their place on the kitchen table in preparation for Monday.