Autism is a roller coaster ride. Some times it is smooth sailing and other times it can be the bumpiest ride of one's life. My evening and nights are never easy. They don't even come close to being "normal". Andrew goes through different stages just like Trenton and just like any other child in the world. However, due to their special needs, it can really make for a wild ride at nights.
For the past several months Trenton has been great to leave me alone when he would see me taking care of Andrew. However, for the past few weeks Trenton has wanted me by his side in the evenings. What am I suppose to do when I have two boys crying for me? Let me remind you that they can't settle down like a neurotypical child. Once the crying starts then the meltdown and/or tantrum starts. When one boy is having a meltdown, the other is completely bothered by it and can not go to sleep or relax.
My nights have been beyond crazy lately. Even when Daddy was home last week on Tuesday and Wednesday night, it didn't matter. Both boys wanted only me. They cried and hit Daddy away when he tried to help one of them. This normally happens at bed time with Andrew but this time it was both boys. I listened to Trenton scream, pound on his door, and actually cry my name on Tuesday night because he wanted me to help him go to sleep. I was trying to get Andrew to sleep but he couldn't settle down for sleep from listening to the terrible cries coming from Trenton's room.
Trenton settled down and was a tad better on Wednesday night and the rest of the week with his Daddy and his Nana. They always want me in the evenings time and regardless of who I am with, I am always the one who manages the evenings and bed time. However, I do hope and pray that the madness in both boys when they can't have me goes away soon.
Trenton has been very hyper with a lot of sensory problems lately. When it all comes at the same time, it makes for a very stressful time. Almost every night for the past week he has cried to sleep. When I would be available to lay in bed and rub his body to help him, he would cry silent tears. It pains me to see him in such pain every night. I just can't imagine living in a body like his where his mind never stops and lets his body relax to go to sleep. It is amazing the difference in Trenton when he is on medicine that works for him. It is amazing when his body accepts his medicine. The difference is mind-blowing when his body rejects the medicine and does not let it work. Absolutely mind blowing in the difference that it makes on him and the stress level in this house.
Another thing that makes a huge difference is Andrew's behavior. Wow...when he is in a bad phase it is amazing the difference in everything!!! It is pure panic in his screams and cries when we wants me and when I am not around him. A neurotypical child you can talk to and calm them down. There is nothing that will help Andrew other than the person that is on his mind who he wants to help and that is normally Mommy. I am not sure if it is this way with him because Mommy has been the one who takes care of him in the night, takes to school, therapy, etc. Therefore in his "autistic" mind it has to be Mommy because his brain is controlled by repetitive behavior. His brain has a hard time of "allowing" other ways and other things to happen outside of what Andrew wants or outside of his repetitive behavior.
As Andrew gets older, he is most definitely changing or just in a very difficult phase right now. The amount of stares, looks, and comments that I have received from people in public with Andrew lately is enormous. I would not even know where to begin to explain what I have went through with him in public. Don't get me wrong, he can be very good at times but very difficult at times. The thing that controls Andrew's behavior in public is whether or not he has something on his mind. If he does and if can't happen like Andrew wants then it is all downhill. THIS IS NOT A DIFFICULT CHILD! It is autism.
I have no idea what it would be like to tell my child something and they do it. HAVE NO IDEA! For most parents they can put their child in time out, ground their child, spank their child, etc. None of that works on Trenton and Andrew. None! I can't imagine what it would be like to tell my child something and they do it! What is it like?!?!? I would love to know. I am amazed every time I am around a parent who tells their child something and they do it. It is just another thing that most people take for granted. Yes, I know there are many kids who just don't listen to their parents out of defiance or maybe a bad home life. However, many kids can't follow commands because of their brain and something that is called, autism!
Better yet, I have no idea what it would be like to tell my child that it is bedtime and they go to bed. I would do anything for just one night to put my boys in bed, read them a story, kiss them good night, and leave their room knowing that they will be asleep soon. That has never happened here and probably will never happen in the future. Andrew still has to be rocked and cuddled to sleep and this takes a good two hours on some nights. Trenton takes a good 4 hours to fall asleep almost every night. By the time I get both boys to bed, 80% of the time it is already after ten o'clock. Normally, this is the time I finally get to clean up the supper mess, take a shower, and get ready for the next day. Absolutely no down time or free time in the evenings and nights whatsoever. What would it be like to put my kids to bed so easily?!?!?!? Wow...just the simple things that many parents take for granted.
I spoke with a lady last week who has a teenager with autism. She told me what most parents tell me, "It doesn't get easier. If anything it gets harder as they get older." I believe it. Sadly, once a child with autism hits puberty, is when a lot more trials come on board with their autism. So yes, this life can be amazing...can be very hard....it is nothing but a roller coaster ride!