Friday, December 4, 2015

Thanksgiving in Our Autism Home

Thanksgiving is different for us in that there's a major--and I mean MAJOR--change of routine. And when you live life on the spectrum, routine is vital.

Normally in Our Autism Home, Isaac is at school and Dad is at work FIVE days a week. Last week they were only there THREE. 

Which could also be said that Isaac and Dad are normally only home TWO days a week and not FOUR. 

Then there's the fact that for whatever reason, I feel compelled to cook a huge meal, over the course of three days. Which is a cool idea if you don't have a kid with Sensory Processing Disorder. It's part of who Nathan is.

We all have SPD to a certain extent. I've been known to unlace my 8-hole Doc Marten's, change my socks because the nubby on the seam near my toe is making me crazy.

But the smells, the textures of the foods, the fluctuations in temperature in the house because of the oven being on and off, combined with the fact that we had below freezing temperatures for a week as a high (very uncommon in November) and the sun being out and being super bright and shining off the ice equals major sensory overload for him. 

And for me. 

Last week was rough. 

We were coming down from Mom being done with radiation. 

We're shifting into Mommy in recovery mode. And I'm still doing the saline soaks 2-4 times a day. I'll be doing those for another week or two. 

We had Daddy in Seattle last Sunday for a Monday morning appointment to see the ENT who specializes in voice issues. (Good news--it's treatable! But that's a post for another time!) 

And we had Thanksgiving weekend, which is stressful for probably 99% of Americans. 

We had our first Thanksgiving without Randy's Dad. We were able to FaceTime with Mom, and supported her the best that we could. 

It was a shit ton of stress. 

There was fighting. And yelling. And crying. And not enough sleep. 

And they whined that they didn't play Wii enough. When we all know they did play Wii enough. 

And they hardly ate the food I made. But they ate the best they could. Because really, You Have to Fucking Eat. 

And they got to learn about privileges. But they don't quite get it. Wii is a privilege. Food is a right. 

Being a pain in my ass about food is not a right or a privilege. It's being a pain in the ass. 

So we had a family meeting. I took notes (lookout, bitches!). They're working towards earning the privilege of going to watch a movie at the theater. Because they've never been. 

For reals. 

And the theater is 2 miles from our house. We cannot really go anywhere without driving past it. They do not know what is inside. 
But as much as Thanksgiving weekend absolutely sucked for us, it is over. It took us two days to recover. It took us three days to move forward from it.

This week has been better. 

On Monday, Isaac received a Student of the Month Award for all of his hard work at school. On his certificate, his teacher Mrs. L said, "Isaac is a mathematician wizard! He has passed many levels in his math timings this month. Way to go Isaac!" I am so thankful that Mrs. L gets my kid. That she supports him and meets him where he's at.

He earned it.

Randy, Nathan and I were able to attend the assembly and watched Isaac receive his award. We are all so excited for him! Because it felt like we all received an award for making it through and surviving Thanksgiving Weekend 2015. 

On Thursday, Nathan received a purple stripe on his belt at Hapkido. He is 9, and so the requirement that Mrs. V has of any kids older than 9 is that in order for them to level up to the next belt, they are to know an adult technique. Nathan's been working on "sticks" which is also known as Doce Pares.  

My kid can do that! My kid who has autism, epilepsy, sensory processing disorder, and ADHD can do stick work. But I haven't seen him. When I sit on the side, while he's in class, he has challenges focusing. But I know he would not receive the purple stripe had he not earned it. 

He earned it.

So, Thanksgiving 2015, I bid you goodbye. I am thankful you are gone. I am thankful we are moving forward as a family. 

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