One of the purposes of this blog is to increase awareness about autism. As much as I love to share the positive experiences, the reality is that there are some difficult times. I have no desire to use this as a platform for complaining, but I believe sharing the reality of autism will help people to understand what parents go through.
We just made a major change in how our visits with Logan and Abby go (they live in a group home 1.5 hours away). Previously, the group home brought them to our house Friday nights and I brought them back Saturday mornings.
Starting today, I went early in the morning to get them, with the plan that the group home would come and pick them up in the evening. That is two major changes for Logan and Abby. They are no longer staying overnight and I am now bringing them here instead of taking them back.
They actually did very well. Our visit was fine, with lots of laughter. Even when the van pulled up to get them, Logan and Abby got there stuff together and went out to the vehicle. Everything was going smoothly.
Then the van door got stuck.
The worker tried to compensate by putting Logan in a different seat than normal. That was one too many changes for Abby (she was already stretched pretty bad). Abby got upset, which got Logan upset, which made Abby more upset and on it went. There was a lot of crying and shouting. They were both in meltdown mode and they were feeding off each other.
There was no getting them both in the van. The only thing we could do was for me to take Abby into the backyard and jump with her on the trampoline, while Amanda got Logan into the van. They then took off, while I got Abby into our car with the promise of a stop at Tim Horton’s. Then off we went for my second round-trip today.
This is what autism is like. Changes in routine can easily lead to meltdowns. People with autism can feed off each other when upset.
Amanda and I were able to work as a team to deal with the situation. Not every parent is able to do this.
Again, none of this is meant as complaining. This is simply the life of autism parents. But of you want to support families such as ours, you need to know what life looks like.