One thing about being poorly is that, sooner or later, children realise you’re not joking when you say you’re too tired. Fluff, the middle child, today made Christmas biscuits, all on her own. I supervised from the comfy kitchen chair (designated as Mummy’s Chair), only intervening when there was An Incident involving exploding curry powder. Don’t ask. I still smell like cumin.
Christmas can be difficult for people of any age with Autism Spectrum Disorders. They like to be in control, and surprises, even nice surprises, are outside that control. This can provoke massive anxiety.Yesterday, after (what felt like) thirty hours non-stop of questions about Christmas presents from Prince, I eventually told him that if I heard one more word about his Christmas presents, I would take them all and give them to charity. He knows me well enough not to continue (because, ,as he says, I am Strict) and stomped off to his bedroom, where he was later found pacing and muttering about who he thinks is buying him a DAB radio (his latest obsession).
Fluff made this one especially for me!
Merry Christmas from multicolouredsmartypants!
As anyone with experience of autism knows, having the same conversation over and over (and over and over) becomes par for the course. As does being interrupted (because the person with autism doesn’t realise they need to wait their turn). Sometimes, one just has to bite one’s tongue, pray for patience, and take a deep breath before answering. Again.
But what happens if you…
Add two other children to the mix, one with suspected Asperger’s (very clever but lacks empathy, etc.) and one with a history of anxiety (too much empathy?).
Add your own turbulent life journey with which you are trying your level best to just cope and not be depressed/anxious/suicidal… only by grace…
because all is grace…
And what happens if you then…
Add an elderly mother-in-law who has dementia and comes to stay because she can’t cope at home alone while her husband is ill in hospital.
And you shake it all up by repeating the same conversations with (what feels like) numerous people all day long who also have an inexplicable desire to all talk at once. At you.
And you gulp it all down, all at once, until you are questioning your own mental state.
Yep. Sandy says ‘time out, please’.
Oh well, it’s not the end of the world.
Ford Prefect where are you at a time like this?
It’s a week since we moved into a new area and a lovely new house, and today Prince and I visited the local special school. With its muted colour scheme, low-stimulant environment, multi-sensory room with aromatherapy, twinkly lights and music, plus hydrotherapy pool for the use of all pupils, it’s not the first time I’ve thought that I could benefit from such a place!
When we entered what will be Prince’s class, a boy immediately walked up to him, stood far too close, gave him an intense eye-to-eye gaze and said, “Hello. I’m Lenny. Will you be my friend?”
Prince was quite pleased by this response to his mere presence. His face broke into a bashful smile and he gave a quiet but emphatic nod. Then Lenny came up to me, stood far too close, gazed at me intensely and said, “When he comes, do you think he will be my very good friend?”
I replied in the affirmative.
Autism. Sometimes it’s beautiful.
“…whoever welcomes in my name
one such child as this,