The boys and I survived another weekend! (Well almost survived because I guess its not really over yet.)
In my life I have heard people say over the years that they have "cabin fever" during a snow storm, etc. Well, if you have ever felt that way....all I can say is picture yourself feeling that way and living that way every single day of your life. Many autism families feel this way. I sure do. The boys and I are trapped in our home every weekend, except for going to church.....we can do that only because we have an amazing church that helps us.
Many autism families may not feel that way. If it is a two parent household, then it would be a totally different story. Even with a child who is severe and isn't able to go places, it would be different because the parents could take turns getting out of the house or the parents get out together with the kids. However, I am a single mother. Therefore we are trapped in our home unless my parents are there to help us. When my parents are visiting we take full advantage of learning opportunities.
Someone said to me one time, "Oh I see from your blog that Trenton is able to go places now. I am sure it is so nice getting out of the house"
I think I need to express here that even though he is able to go into a few places now, doesn't mean it is a relaxed situation. Often it is WAY more stressful than sitting at home and that sounds much better than the stress of getting Trenton out in public for a short while. Sometimes he simply doesn't walk into the place. Sometimes he last ten minutes and sometimes he last 25 minutes in a restaurant. However, if he last 25 minutes in a restaurant I am pulling him down from standing in his chair at least 20 times......I am moving every item from the table such as salt, pepper, ketchup, etc because he just wants to dump it all out......if he sees someone at another table that has something that catches his eye it is all downhill! I am redirecting him to "stay" in his seat numerous times with the verge of a meltdown getting ready to start. I am pulling out every gadget and fidget to keep him occupied.....trying to color on paper, etc. Most of the time, I don't eat. I get my food to go because by the time the food comes, Trenton is ready to go. Then if I attempt a store after the restaurant experience, he is normally stimulated too much so he sees an item that he wants and he will push items off the counter and have a complete meltdown in the store...then it is not unusual for me to leave the store while carrying him over my shoulders. Therefore, none of this is possible without another adult to help. Thankfully, I have amazing parents that help me with this and they always have from the beginning. A lot is possible, it just takes more than a mom!
Sometimes we get lucky and if I do a store with him, he will walk through it just fine. However, we have to walk quick and not "practice" too long because that is when he will start to see something and the tantrums start.
So.....yes I talk about taking Trenton out but it is not a relaxing experience! Please understand why "cabin fever" is a non-stop everyday feeling for us.
On Friday, I introduced a new restaurant to Trenton. He did okay. He wanted to go about 5 minutes into our experience. However, through hardwork and sweat, I got him to stay for about a half hour. This is very good, especially for a new place!
Here the boys are at the new restaurant for Trenton! I had to give him his items of the day right away to try to keep him in his seat.
Even though every single thing in our life is hard, I focus on the positives and that is what gets me through!
Saturday morning Trenton gave me the best gift ever! I heard him go into the bathroom so I dropped what I was doing with Andrew and ran to the bathroom. As I walked in, Trenton was sitting on the toilet and he looked up at me and said, "Happy birthday." and got off the toilet with two arms out and hugged me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It was AMAZING!!!!!!!!
I would do anything to know what makes him have "clear" moments. What makes him able to say it three days after my birthday? What makes him able to hug me in that moment so unexpectedly? Oh how I wish I knew the puzzles to autism!
So, yes times are hard in our "cabin fever" life but I really do appreciate the most simplest of things in life such as a random hug!