I normally don’t write about our days in detail, but this blogpost is slightly different. I’d like to give you an idea about our day today.
For those who don’t know, we’re in the process of getting our two older sons, B (15) and D (12) assessed as there are quite a few traits that are pointing towards Autistic Spectrum Disorder. And even though we didn’t see the necessity of it before we are now ready to find out. I know we’re not alone, but it might help people to understand what our days are often like.
We don’t go out an awful lot, especially not with all 5 members of our family, but today we did. Today we went swimming. The activity was already postponed a day to give B time to process the plan and save him from getting unnecessarily stressed.
Before leaving the house, B was as slow as can be with getting ready. D got very anxious before we left about who was going to help him with his goggles and his swim hat and other insecurities about the whole swimming experience.
Meanwhile, N couldn’t stop running around, which was loud so quite a sensory overload for most of us. My husband was great. He helped us all getting ready and didn’t just leave it up to me which has often happened in the past.
When we arrived in the pool, D was very nervous about the depth of the water and needed tons of reassurance, followed by a long discussion about and fiddling with his nose clip to get it all sorted just right. Then there was the moment where B had a short interaction with the staff where he was told he couldn’t take the foam noodles. He handled it well, until he was back with me where he burst out in tears. Another hugging and chatting session.
After swimming we were having some food in a pub/restaurant, which brought some new challenges. D didn’t know what to have which stressed him out. Again lots of chat, reassurance and explaining that he really didn’t have to worry if it turned out that he didn’t like the burger after receiving it. So much worry in his head. When his burger arrived he didn’t touch it because the bacon on it wasn’t crispy enough. He only ate the fries. I made him some food after we came home, which he did enjoy.
Meanwhile B was lying/hanging on the bench as if it was a bed.
Even though there was a big portion of stress and anxiety throughout the day we seemed to all enjoy it (eventually) which tells me that we, as parents, did well. It’s hard sometimes to accept the fact that control doesn’t make things go smoothly in our family. It’s the acceptance of five people having five different types of needs and then acknowledging and respecting those needs, even when you don’t understand them completely (or at all).
Today I realised once again that I have a fantastic family and even though we are all a bit crazy, we love each other loads.