It’s April! Autism Awareness Month! I have so many thoughts about this. Today though, I was very much “aware” of Jake’s autism.
It all started this morning when he did not wake up independently and I had to go wake him up for school. I was thankful that he got a few moments of extra sleep, as he is exhausted, but worried, because me waking him is always harder. Today was no exception. I woke him and was greeted with tears. Imagine waking up first thing in the morning and being so overwhelmed and out of control that you just cry.
After he calmed down and we coaxed him out of bed, allowing him to drag his blanket to the breakfast table, I realized that it was library day at school. I searched the entire house for the specific library book bag, and didn’t find it. Trying to avoid meltdowns and anxiety at school, I phoned the librarian right away and explained the situation. She was great about it. And ten minutes later my sweet husband found the bag. Crisis averted.
We managed to get him off to school without further calamity. However, I did concede to watching America’s Funniest Home Video’s while we ate breakfast, something usually reserved for the weekend.
After school I had to take him to the doctor. He has a persistent sore rash on his back. In preparation for this hopefully short appointment, I dropped off the other two kids with my mom. I waited until Jake was safely and successfully in the van, and then reminded him that we were going to the doctor. He cried. I told him that if he was awesome we could go somewhere for a treat, suggesting the library or DQ for a sundae. Instantly he turned around and started talking about sundae flavours. Until we parked. Seriously.
I reminded him of our deal and promised that the doctor wouldn’t hurt him, just look at his back. Ahhhhh… alright. Out of the car and into the office we go. The appointment was short, but would have been shorter if I could have heard what the doctor said the first time he said it. Jake kept interrupting, climbing on me, putting his hat over my face, telling us, “This is boring, I’m done.” I was frustrated, and trying to remain patient.
Ice cream was special and sweet.
We went to my parents’ place for dinner. He had a turn to play on their iPad before dinner, which was special and made him happy. But it also made him scream and cry when it was time to eat. Even though I gave him three warnings that dinner was coming up and he was going to have to put it away.
He ate as though starving, then cried again when we said that there was no further iPad play time before bed. Cried about eight times more, every time his Lego constructions fell apart. Cried at the thought of Aiden walking too close to said Lego constructions. Cried when it was time to go home.
Home. We started the bedtime routine. The same bedtime routine we have been running for about two and a half years. I was putting Penny to bed and I could hear the sobbing because he wasn’t getting enough help brushing his teeth. Apparently he had to do it alone tonight because he spit on his dad. Made sense to me. Only it lasted so long I was done with Penny. So I helped with teeth and with Aiden who was refusing to go to the bathroom.
I left for the store as they sat down to read books.
I returned, to find Jake crying, again, that he needed another story. I guess they weren’t listening to Dad, and he had taken a break. So we tagged off and in I went. I told a story, prayed with them, started to sing them a lullaby, and then… was interrupted. Jake asked, “Did you know that the grey Ninjago is the best climber?” Seriously.
“No. I do now.”
I resumed singing. I made it through. I kissed their sweet heads and came down here.
So today, I was aware of autism here. It was anxious. Worried. Scared. Frustrated. Sad. Overwhelming.
It made me frustrated. Worried. Sad. Overwhelmed.