What are the things that you celebrate as a parent? It may be your child getting their driver’s licence or graduating from university. We may be looking for the big things to get excited about.
Things are different for autism parents.
Two of our children with autism live in a group home over an hour away. They come for visits every other week. While everyone with autism is different, the one thing that is likely to be common is a need for routine. Even a minor change in routine can lead to a meltdown.
We have a routine for our visits. The group home brings Logan and Abby to us and I drive them back to the group home. This is a strict routine. Our daughter can’t even handle having my wife join us for the drive. We get in the car, stop at Tim Hortons and drive back.
However, this weekend my wife was away and I had all five of our kids. There was no way for me to drive them back. Not only will Abby not let our other three children in the car with her, the car couldn’t fit us all anyway.
The plan was for the group home to drive both ways. They were willing but would Abby? I had my doubts.
Well, the van pulled up in the driveway and I went downstairs to get Logan and Abby. I said a little prayer and cheerfully brought them to the door.
There was no problem. Logan and Abby happily went into the van and drove back to the group home.
Most parents wouldn’t think twice about this but this was a big deal for us. Abby (and Logan, who has a bit more patience for change) were able to make a major change in routine.
Autism parents will understand the relief that was felt when the van drove off without incident. Thank God for small victories!