Insight – Sun 12th April 2015

By | April 12, 2015

When D received her autism diagnosis at aged 4.5 years, her speech was very, very stilted.  She was absolutely overwhelmed by the mainstream environment but couldn’t tell me, her body language spoke for her.

She has come a long way over the last few years, partly because she is now in the right educational environment for her (SN school, small class size, high staff ratio), partly because I’ve learned to second-guess both her and T, but mainly because she now has the words to tell me (sometimes eventually) whatever is troubling her.

There are times when she’s extremely stressed and can’t tell me what’s concerning her or what has happened, but also times when she’s relaxed enough to talk about how she feels about situations.

We had an example of this today.  We left the menfolk watching (yes) football and headed to the nearby lake to feed the ducks, swans and geese.  

On the way, we pass a playground, it’s always busy at the weekends and we pick our visits carefully as D does get worried by strangers and can’t tolerate the fun-packed environment of children rushing past her.  

We walked past, D holding onto my arm and concentrating on getting to the lake, when she said:

“That playground looks too busy for me, there’s too many children, I’d get scared”

Now I know that, any autism carer knows that a busy environment can produce any manner of emotions and actions … but it was really good to hear it from D.  She saw the situation, she recognised it wouldn’t be appropriate for her and she could tell me why.  A real insight into just how D is maturing and accepting her limitations.

Progress, eh?

Of course, there are times when I wish I didn’t have to second-guess all the time, times when it would be fantastic if we could all sit down over a roast dinner (T and D have limited food choices due to sensory issues) and times when I feel my ears will have enough of the same Minecraft YouTube video as its played over and over (and over) again.  

But, I’ve learned so much about awareness and acceptance of autism – this invisible disability – since we received her diagnosis that I’m grateful that it has opened up a new world for me.  A world where my focus has to be my children and ensuring that they flourish, even if I do neglect my needs at times. 

I used to be this commuting working mum, leaving in the dark and returning home in the dark, joining in the chit chat about whatever was new clothes-wise in the shops.  I had priorities then, of course I did, but they have greater meaning now and times when I get a little insight into how T or D are thinking are priceless.

We saw some ducklings too, which put a big smile on D’s face.  No pictures as I’d left my phone at home, to focus on just having a sunny walk with D.

I hope everyone’s day has gone well Jx

  

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2 Comments

Mamaasp on 12th April 2015 at 8:21 pm.

Good to hear things are better xx hugs from me to you x

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Jeannette on 22nd November 2015 at 10:32 pm.

Thank you and hugs back xx

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