It’s been a slow start to 2020 after winding down and actually enjoying a legitimate break away from work, school, therapies and extra-curricular activities.
The last few years have been extremely busy for our family and the entire Everyday Autism Series. Filled with appointments, advocacy and growth.
The kids are growing up, entering grade 5 and grade 3 this year at school. With their final years of primary school fast approaching, I’m once again feeling the need to continue our push for progress. Preparing them as best we can for what’s to come next, entering a more mature phase of life.
Unfortunately, the older the kids get the more noticeable the gap but we have to remain in our own lane and focus on what’s directly ahead.
There are still so many things we need to work on but I like to set 3 specific goals for us to focus on and try to achieve each year.
Most of our goals are ongoing in relation to speech, socializing and independence. We are persisting with them, exploring broader tactics and increasing expectations. We are continuing with ABA, speech therapy combined in social groups and other curricular activities.
We will attempt to add another dance class, a different style on another day into Madi’s schedule. We have set new programs in her weekend ABA therapy sessions. Continuing to work on self-care and independence including household duties, exercise, money, shopping, dates and time. We are increasing her weekly half hour speech session to one hour and combining it with cooking and social interaction with one or two other kids.
We are also increasing Thomas’s weekly speech therapy to an hour, engaging with other kids with similar interests and issues too. They will be learning to play more age appropriate games and associated rules and expectations. As well as continuing regular football and sport therapy social groups.
We have anxiously booked a couple of weekends away with close friends and their families for special events and occasions this year. They’re to places we’ve never visited before, stepping way out of our convert zones. We’ll see how we go.
I’m entering a new phase in my own personal life turning 40. Which I’m slightly freaking out about but going to celebrate accordingly! I’m aiming to focus on my own health, happiness and wellbeing.
I’m not entirely sure what’s happening next writing wise but with up-coming experiences dealing with puberty and high school on the horizon and making difficult decisions as far as they’re both concerned, I’m assuming there will be more interesting stories to come down the track…
Over the past four years I’ve written and produced 5 picture books and last year was incredibly proud to release my first chapter book, publishing our family’s journey with tips and tricks we’ve learnt along the way. It’s been a dream come true but a lot work amongst all of our challenges and other responsibilities.
Yet people still constantly ask, ‘So what’s next?’
In previous years I had goals and clear visions that I yearned to bring to life but at the beginning of 2020, I don’t have a definite professional plan that I need to achieve.
I will continue to blog, inspire, attend events, advocate and go with the flow with any opportunities that may arise.
Goals can always change and evolve but it helps to have a specific target and plan to work towards. It’s undoubtedly worth all the hard work and so rewarding to see progress and set goals achieved and gives great confidence to keep striving for more.