Mondays suck generally. They tend to suck a little more when autism is in the equation. But they suck even more than most when, like today, there’s a change in routine. Mondays are also the day I fire off payments to the places we will be attending in the week ahead – £14.50 for just this week, and £27.80 for next weeks activities otherwise I’ll forget and nobody will get a penny!
This morning was normal – Jack got dressed and ready for school with minimal issues, but I had a little lump in my stomach as I knew he was standing up in assembly not once, but 3 times. He came for an extra kiss, then toddled off into class like a little angel.
Assembly went well too. There were a LOT of parents there today! He stood twice but thankfully was just acknowledged as part of a group the third time. He stood up, faced the wrong way, smiled, blew kisses, sat down for no reason… but he coped amazingly.
It started to fall apart after lunch. His one-to-one support assistant brought him out when I collected him at 2pm for his dental appointment, and informed me Jack was ‘grumpy, angry and unjoyful’. UNJOYFUL. What a word! He asked me “Can we just go home?” and I gave him the choice – dentist with me, or back into school. He headed for the door in response… So I whisked him off to the dentist before things really had a chance to go wrong.
He behaved impeccably at the dentist, having used his iPad to calm down in the car. He let her poke around, he was polite, and he even put his rubbish in the bin after they gave him a sticker! He was starting to get a bit climby and was all over the dentist chair like ants on a picnic, so we curtailed as soon as we were able and came home to eat.
It was brewing. He was climbing on Bryan. He was trying to lick and sniff us (a sensory behaviour that comes out when he’s struggling), and he was generally being disagreeable. It all came to a head when he decided he wanted to fight Bryan, and I heard raised voices. I’ve handled this by sending him off for ten minutes on his iPad. This was what I call a mini-meltdown. Not quite a full blown one, but a significant event required to release the building tension.
Our final stop of the day is STARS, a multi-club run for autistic children by a local charity – Autism Northumberland. We have been involved and accessing their services for about two and a half years now, as they will allow a child to attend if an autism diagnosis is likely to be given in the future (most organisations will not accept until the diagnosis is formal). It’s a nice little group and I’ve met some wonderful people through the charity – including quite a few of my friends!
Actually can not wait for today to be over. I’m exhausted. He’s shattered. I’d cancel STARS but he would go wild at the change in routine.