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Autism Understanding: Day 3

Posted Apr 03 2013 9:53pm
I can hear him scream
My heart shatters, my feet run
Please help keep him safe.


Spring break sucks.

I love my sons, and I love having them home. I love having them to cuddle late into the morning. I love listening to them play, and having their wild feet race through the house.

What I don't love is Joey getting completely overwhelmed by the total schedule upheaval, and melting down.

Trying to mitigate the situation, I usually stat our day by printing out a schedule for the day, which Joey is permitted to carry with him. However, there is absolutely no way that schedule can be anything remotely like, "7:15, Get on the bus. 8:05, Arrive at school. 9 am, math class..." See, they have a break, but like so many other working parents, I do not. On top of that, I don't do regular work. I can't just drop them off at a daycare or other structured situation, or even a corner of an office. I work 2-3 jobs every day, with varying schedule from day-to-day; so I can't even set a schedule today and have Joey understand that will be the schedule tomorrow, because it won't be.

This piecework income production does very well in working around therapy appointments and bus schedules, but isn't very conducive to consistency when Joey is home and needs a regular schedule. We can't just stay at home and be quiet and still, as we can on winter break, when most of my jobs are also on hiatus. Running about to Grandma's is even a bit of a strain on his nerves, as the only solid warning he gets to anticipate when he will be going is basically that piece of paper he wakes up to, even when I tell him the day before and go over the schedule as best I can. Often, i don't even know where I will be until the morning. Sudden grocery stops and Walmart runs are simple when the boys are in school; these things are require huge amounts of planning and prep when they are home on break.

I also can't say he didn't need the break from work; to just keep sending him to school right now would also not really work. There have been far too many changes there, and his anxiety levels are through the roof. The sudden-para-switcheroo has also lead to a change his academic schedule, which has him thoroughly unbalanced. Now he's not only overwhelmed at home, school is also a mass of confusion and surprises.

I would love nothing better than to spend a day at home, letting both boys breathe and play in the yard as they felt the urge to jump around. I'd like to give Joey a day when he felt some semblance of control over his own life and his own time. But that just doesn't happen on these little-but-just-too-long breaks, such as Spring Break.
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