The Easter Holidays have almost finished and it hasn’t been the easiest of holidays for our youngest son. Having five members of staff teach him in the final two weeks of term, as his teacher had gone on maternity leave and then suffering with anxiety all holiday of what to expect from his new teacher next week has caused him to go into meltdown on and off during the last two weeks. ASD children like routine and so when it changes, life becomes chaotic and their normal coping mechanisms go out of the window.
We have tried to normalise things by doing activities we know our youngest son will enjoy. With the weather being so nice, he has been out in the garden using his inline skates, bouncing on the trampoline, perfecting his bat and ball skills and we have been out for walks. Our big day out was to London to visit the Natural History Museum. It’s something our son has wanted to do for a long time. Unfortunately he only lasted an hour in the museum as after queuing for half an hour to get inside and finding it very hot and crowded when we entered the museum, it was overwhelming for him. We saw the big blue whale, which he described as being small!! He was expecting something a lot larger. We didn’t get to see the dinosaurs exhibit, apart from the initial skeleton which you see when you walk inside the museum, as an hour long queue was too long for him to contemplate waiting for. He is a huge dinosaur fan with lots of plastic/glow in the dark models, soft toy dinosaurs and dinosaur puppets and lots of books at home. However, as soon as he saw the outside of the museum his fascination for the movie, Paddington took over and he was working out what scenes had been shot where. It’s a film he has watched every day in the holidays and knows most of the lines already and loves to act out the scene where Paddington cleans his ears with a toothbrush. Fortunately he pretends with his fingers, rather than using a real toothbrush!!
Going back to school on Tuesday is not going to be easy, but hopefully once our son gets back into the routine of a school day and adjusts to a new teacher, life will become calmer again for him. As hard as it is to watch our son suffer with such high levels of anxiety, change is an important part of life and something he will come up against over and over again. Learning to deal with change won’t happen overnight, but he will get there in time with lots of support and coping strategies.