When you are on the Autism Spectrum your abilities can range from gifted to severe. This range can affect your daily living skills. Camryn needs moderate to severe assistance with her daily living skills. One area that is extremely difficult for her is showering.
We have spent countless hours working on showering with the assistance of therapists and it is one of those areas where we take a few steps forward and then move a few steps back. Here are some of the steps we have implemented to help with the showering routine.

Turn the water to Duff and Valerie for the perfect temperature.

Check off each item as you go through the steps.

A chart that reminds her of the parts she needs to wash and the products that need to be used.

Her favorites to take her through the steps.

Her fan club cheering her on after a job well done!! 

Sometimes this is all motivating, but sometimes she is in such a mood that nothing will motivate her and she will cry and make her trademark “noises” for 30 minutes straight. Think Chewbacca… 💕
Thankfully on the tough nights, that we just don’t have it in us, we are able to remain fully dressed, sit Camryn on the bench in the shower and assist her without getting wet. I don’t want to assist her at 13, but I know that if I help, she will get a better shower and she will be more likely to cooperate. Sometimes the fight just isn’t worth it, but other nights, I refuse to help and explain to her that we are being “hard”on her so she can live independently in the future. I want her to be able to complete the steps of showering with 100% accuracy all of the time so she can have the life I dream for all of my girls. I do not dream for Camryn to live with us forever. I feel that deep down inside there are bigger plans for her. Statistically though, my plans are not society’s plans. I was never one though to let statistics hold me back!  If I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my other girls will have careers, hopefully marriages and lots of kids, why can’t I align Camryn’s future to mimic their futures in SOME ways? Umm, I can and Jesus knows, I will.
Last night was a tough one, in terms of my mom-superpower energy. I just didn’t have it in me to help Camryn shower. She is now 5’5” to my 5’2” and it is physically getting more and more difficult for me. I firmly said to Camryn, “I am not helping you tonight. You can and will do this. Mommy. Just. Can’t tonight.” I heard this little “Aubrey voice” behind me say “Camryn, I can help you. Mommy, I can always help Camryn as you age.” As I age? Backup sister, but the rest was so intuitive. The girls know at a young age that this isn’t always easy, but are willing to pitch in and help when we can’t now and if we can’t in the future. This is what family is all about. Helping just because, expecting nothing in return. Camryn did shower last night and Aubrey proudly cheered for her from the floor of the bathroom. There is no such thing as privacy here. As I was cooking dinner, Aubrey would run to the kitchen and update me on Cam’s progress. If moments like this help to shape Aubrey’s life and make her more of a contributor in this world, I guess I could argue, Camryn allows for teachable moments to occur everyday. I can’t complain about that aspect of Autism.



  1. Kellyann Mitchell on April 4, 2018 at 6:13 am

    So beautiful and just another example of how Cam is such a gift to those around her.

  2. Bobbi Smisko on April 4, 2018 at 7:12 am

    What a help to be given a peek into the world of autism. Not only do I have a greater understanding of autism, I also have a deeper respect for you as a parent and for the environment you and David have provided in your home. And I know that helping too much can be enabling, but knowing from this reading that your other children are so loving and kind towards Camryn touched my heart. You are educating those of us who have never been confronted with living with autism, and I am sure you are a support and encouragement for those who have who read your blog. Keep them coming!

  3. Granny H. on April 4, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Kristi, you are an amazing Mom and your family is living the reality of what a true family is. Camryn is a blessing. She is so simplistic and yet so complicated. Her gentleness and joy speak volumes and yet Cammy can’t communicate what is really on her mind and heart. She can be challenging when she is tired (so can I!) and just doesn’t want to do what is asked of her. And on top of that she is now a teenager with raging hormones! You are navigating through with great grace and determination. God gave her to you and Dave and the girls to share with others your story. I am so glad you are telling the world the truth about autism. It isn’t going away and others need to hear the true ups and downs that you all go through. You and your family have big hearts of love! I am so proud of all of you. Much love & a grateful heart!!

  4. Patti Stem on April 4, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    Kristi, I look forward to your April blogs every year. I continue to see how amazing you are and how awesome your family is!!

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