Yes, I have been silent (on my blog) for quite a while. Not that I haven’t had anything to say, but work, school, parenting, and all of those other grown up responsibilities have had me exhausted and I haven’t been making it a priority.
Today is April 1st, however, and the start to Autism Awareness month. This month my goal is to write a blog post (however brief) every day and hope to reach new readers to share awareness and support.
What better day to start Autism Awareness month? Here it is not only the day after Easter, but also spring break. So yeah, even though we’re ALWAYS aware of Autism at my house, on these kinds of days we are extra aware. I am one of those parents who have always loved winter, spring & summer break. Yes, I still have to work but it does still enable me to spend more time with my kids, and I’ll take all the minutes I can get. For M, however, any break is a change in routine, and more reason to be anxious and confused and upset. Bring on the meltdowns & the stimming! Add the fact that A has not been feeling great and has been really fatigued and it is a recipe for chaos.
M stims, A yells and hollers at M for her “annoying” behavior. M becomes over stimulated (since she can’t effectively shut out A when she is screaming at her) and starts yelling that she is going to kill us (which we have been working very hard to change to a different phrase/threat so she doesn’t say it at school & get suspended) and becomes physically aggressive with A and/or me. A cries as if she wasn’t warned it was coming and then attacks M back. It’s a fun cycle. The girls have to go to work with me this week (I work at a daycare, makes that easy) but M’s anxiety and social problems make that difficult for her, since she is usually in school when I am at work. This girl who complains every morning that she doesn’t want to go to school…is asking to go to school.
M has been working hard. The medication & supplements she is on are helping along with maturity she hasn’t had in the past (much of which I attribute to her psychologist, teacher & para pro). Saturday we were all going to go to a local egg hunt, and M decided she did not want to go because she couldn’t handle all of the people, noise and excitement. Today we told her about an event coming up where one of her favorite book characters (Pete the Cat) will be coming to the library and she calmly said she does not want to go because she is afraid of people dressed up in costumes & she is afraid there will be too many people there. The fact that she can process this information & communicate it is huge! This is the biggest way the Risperdone has helped her, it slows her down just enough so she can think, and she is much much more verbal. This alone prevents a huge amount of meltdowns.
So look forward to my posts this week (or hopefully you at least don’t dread them) and make an effort to get to know someone (child or adult) with autism. They are pretty awesome, and as varied (and beautiful) as snowflakes.