I used to have lofty ideas about what I wanted to achieve from life. Places I want to go to, and the things I want to see when I get there. Many of the places I managed to cross off my list before life changed.
Like all would be/new parents, you start to re-evaluate your life. Suddenly by design you loose a little of your self identity as you take on the new persona of care giver and protector. Your life revolves around this little person who depends on you for everything. The bucket list suddenly includes the places that you hadn’t imagined thinking about before children. The thought of going to Disneyland suddenly becomes a priority number one destination.
Then life changes again once you realise your children need the extra support and attention because of their autism and aspergers. The priority becomes getting through each school day without the teacher needing to come out and speak to me. Making their lives as easy as possible is the main function of my life now. Teaching them what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour is far more difficult than I imagine it to be with a neuro-typical child. When a NT child doesn’t follow the rules society insists upon it is because they choose to push their boundaries and see what they can get away with, but when a ASD child doesn’t follow the rules work has to start. That work is to find a way to explain a situation that means they can understand the reasoning behind what they are being told. It is not good enough to say you do something because you are being told to – although I have resorted to that on occasions to end the continual questioning. Both my boys like to know things are rules. They accept rules are important and have to be followed, but the need to know why they are in place.
M recently got himself into trouble when getting upset because the kids in the queue waiting to use the slide got out of order. Nobody had pushed in front of him but the wrong child was behind him and it totally freaked him out.
D can become a little policeman when he sees others doing things he has been told not to do. Recently during a school assembly they were told not to be doing head flips in the playgrounds, so when he saw kids doing it the next day he was on the verge of a mega meltdown.
Personally I have much smaller goals in life.
I long to go to the bathroom without company. Now before you scream at me to lock the door, I remind you that M can not cope with locked doors and they really freak him out. At the ages the boys are at it is becoming inappropriate for them to come in when I’m there, but they just feel rejected when I try to explain this to them.
I would also love to finish a sentence without somebody deciding what they have to say is more important and therefore talking over me. Old person doesn’t hear too well and refuses to do anything about it, so she has an excuse for not hearing that someone else is talking.
M is a repeater, so he constantly saying the same things again and again. Tell him you have heard and are trying to answer and he looks very sad as he says “but Mummy I like to keep saying the same thing”. There isn’t much argument to that, it is just a case of waiting for him to be ready.
D is so desperate for information, his mouth and brain don’t always work at the same speed. He goes into full babble mode and questions just seem to meld into a constant sentence. You tell him to stop after a question to give a chance for someone to answer and he says he can hear while talking! Well I can’t hear the next question while trying to formulate the answer to the first. It often ends with him getting frustrated for not getting answers to everything he asks!
Maybe I should just head quietly to the loo and hold a conversation with myself!