Understanding  – Weds 21st Oct 2015

By | October 21, 2015

For the last few weeks, I’ve been attending workshops on understanding anxiety in ASD.  It’s been interesting and something I will write further about.

The main things I have learnt from parenting T and D are that; yes, they’re both diagnosed with autism, but they are very individual albeit with similar traits and that if a “situation” arises (which it frequently does), the best way to deal with it is to keep calm, not to raise my voice (because that scares D) and almost take a step back in resolving it.

Almost risk assessment.  Something I did constantly as a child minder, something that comes naturally to me now.  I’ll walk into an unfamiliar room and notice potential trip hazards/unused sockets which don’t have covers/electrical wires where they shouldn’t be/etc.

Similarly with outings.  There’s the initial assessment of how busy it will be, which route we’ll take, what time we’ll go and whether my two sensory-overloaded children will be able to eat and drink there or (more than likely) if we have to take our own.

It’s how we roll (or don’t) and I’m not the only SN parent who thinks and thinks and thinks ahead.  It’s a constant guessing game, especially if the reasons for any adverse emotions aren’t clear, thinking back, trying to pick apart the last few minutes/hours/days looking for a trigger – no matter how insignificant it may have seemed (to me) at the time.

One of the topics of today’s workshop was the wellbeing of parents and carers, it came as quite a surprise to find that, out of all the disabilities under the SN banner, those who live with someone with autism have the most recognised stress and anxiety.  Not to play the “I’m more worried than you” card, I would NEVER do that and I’m certainly not one for hosting a pity party (more a “keep calm and carry on” gal) but it was certainly more food for thought.

Regular readers of my blog will know that I finally went to the doctor just before Christmas last year because I was tired, I didn’t feel I had any “fight” left in me as the last few years had taken their toll.   I was in tears most days about homework/everything really.   

I’m stubborn and wouldn’t have listened if someone else had said I should have gone. Much like everything else, it had to be my decision.   I don’t regret it.  I feel a trillion times better and so much stronger for asking for and accepting the assistance offered.

Another benefit of these workshops has been the knowledge that we’re all in the same boat (however rocky the metaphorical waves may be sometimes), there was no judging, just being with people who “get” how tricky but rewarding parenting our children can be.

Yes, life is full of challenges but I’ve learned more from T and D about autism than I ever thought I could, I don’t think I’ll ever stop learning.


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