Monthly Archives: July 2013

Summertime with Autism

WilloughbyChairsBlogAah, summer.   Vacations, languorous days spent poolside, and nights of warm happiness.  Or, if you’re a glass half empty type, unstructured downtime, stimming and the unsettledness borne of change.

Today I’m seeing the glass half full even though yesterday included a visit to the meds doctor for J. to address the new tendency to scratch himself until he blisters and bleeds when he’s not supervised.  This unwelcome behavior blew up in our faces about six weeks ago, and although it abated from its initial 3-4x/weekly frequency, it’s still happening once a week, which is once too many.  HATE, HATE, HATE meds – that’s my sentiment.  They make me feel like a bad parent.  But I certainly don’t want J. to hurt himself.

As I segue into IEP planning for the selfsame kiddo, and think about how to maximize J’s and W’s growth toward adulthood this summer after a very helpful side chat with the doctor yesterday about expectations of staff in adult supported living settings – I’m both hopeful and sad.  Hopeful, because I’ve seen slow but steady progress with both boys toward ADLs and general adjustedness (my spell checker says that is not a word but I like it) across settings.   Sad, because they are not at all near where they can shower, brush teeth, make a snack and do laundry independently – hallmarks that the doctor said are important for better quality adult living settings.

So, as I sneak this moment away from a busy work day and the looming exterminator visit for which I have to declutter the floors of just about every room here, I’m using the above photo as my talisman for the day.   Summertime with autism presents cooling breezes and peace, for the autistic and for their parents.   It did for us last week, and my goal for today is to enable it for my guys, even for a moment – and just as importantly, for myself.