It's the middle of August, and today two of our children started back to school in our home district.
I have to say, this time I was ready for the return to a schedule.
This summer has been rather difficult. The two oldest, both boys, both with autism spectrum disorders, are both reaching puberty (they are both 13), and both having problems between hormones, autism, frustrations, changes that come with summer, and so on. With many boys on the autism spectrum, the frustrations are demonstrated physically. This is especially so with middle child, who has left many many bruises, small open wounds, etc on myself and his biological dad, and had a few visits with law enforcement to help him calm himself down when he's went too far to control himself on his own. Don't worry, the officers are kind to him, yet firm, as soon as they know his autism and mental retardation, and he responds to them usually well. They simply chat with him, he listens and obeys, and all of us go on our merry way.
This has been particularly rough with public adventures, such as the library, where middle child has gotten violent or simply shut down and refused to move. It has been very difficult getting said child to appointments that he *needs* to make, to where he becomes violent. He for a while was violent to our pets, which was not tolerated. Then there's days of continual shut downs, refusals, aggression, and so on. For weeks at a time, it was every..single...day.
Now, I don't tell this to get sympathy, pity, or anything like that. Nor do I want "mom of the year" or even a cookie. Ok, maybe I'll snag a cookie.
What I want to say--this has been an exhausting summer. I've neglected a lot of things in order to somehow keep a partial lid on the children to keep the autism pot from bubbling over beyond where we could handle. I have neglected this blog, my own weight loss initiative, plans to learn new things with the kids on good days, my flower bed and herb garden, and so on, in a bid to keep sanity.
God has been good to us, helping us to keep afloat when it would be so so easy to sink. He has sent a true and faithful church family who minister to us often and help support us when we're ready to crack. He's taken care of our needs overall so that we can focus on the issues at hand. We at times wonder why now, why here, why us...but then when things play out, hubby and I both start to see that "why" turn into "ooooh I get it now".
For instance, hubby has been off work from his part time job for 2 weeks due to kidney stones and a surgery that has proven unsuccessful so far. He still has the stone. In that time he's been able to be home right when he's been needed. He's been home to do odd and end things that have been neglected, small things that seem minute until you need it done or it stays left undone until it is no longer minute. Most of all, he's been there.
For the moment I can breathe, can think, can catch up. Instead of feeling swept away by a tidal wave, I can swim a little longer. Just those few hours while at least 2 children are at school (middle one starts next week where he busses to), is a little time to breathe.
From what I've read on various blogs from parents with adults with autism and other diagnosis (usually called dual diagnosis), we are far from the end of the road. Aggression usually continues, increasing with intensity as said child ages and grows stronger and we parents grow older and weaken with age. From what I have seen working with adults with autism, it doesn't necessarily have to be, at least not as often and as intense. So we work to help teach ways to work out frustration besides hands and feet flying, fists pounding, nails embedded into someone's arm, teeth trying to locate someone's hand or arm. It's a daily practice.
So, this is where I've been this summer. I'm sorry to have neglected the blog, and I appreciate all of you who have contacted and asked about me/us as a family. Thank you all for praying for us, People have said "it's the least I could do"...no...it's the first thing I WANT people to do.
Lots of hugs from southern Kansas.....
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