Unfortunately, as an autism parent you begin to naturally think negatively and assume the worst, especially when it comes to change and change that you have no control over.
After overcoming my initial anxiety, I was determined to do the best job I could at attempting to reduce any severe impact isolation may have on our kids.
We not only survived but thrived in a lot of areas.
We’ve enjoyed not being so busy. Embracing sleep ins, morning snuggles, independence and more quality time. The kids have also grown closer, playing and interacting more with each other.
Yes, there have been adjustments and explanations necessary but both kids have surprised us and coped so much better than ever expected.
I set and basically stuck to a strict home learning routine. I initially used visual schedules on chalkboards and a white board that remained parked on our dining room table, colour coded for everyone to see.
It’s been confronting and emotional at times with the clear, enormous gap of knowledge and capabilities on display daily in class zoom meetings. Again, we had to remind ourselves to remain in our own lane and focus on our individual goals.
We’ve felt fully supported by our incredible team and adjusted expectations accordingly. We’ve remained in constant contact via facetime and zoom and continued running their important ABA programs.
Madi has excelled. She’s embraced one on one zoom sessions with her therapists and aide. It’s been priceless to actually witness her success first-hand and made it an easier to transition straight into home. We’ve requested to continue with her online therapy sessions because she’s been progressing so well, it will reduce our busy schedule and also give us the option of running sessions if we go away.
Thomas has been more challenging, which I assumed he would. He’s strongly opposed any school time at home. He’s been emotional, defiant and repeatedly ran away during zoom meetings. We had to reduce the amount of facetime and our expectations but have actually been able to encourage him to pick up a pencil at home now, which is a big win in itself. We’ve been able to complete a basic daily learning routine. While not really achieving a lot of academic improvement, we’ve still broken barriers and opened up a window to attempt school work at home.
The kid’s well-being has been my main priority but I’ve also managed to continue working to a lesser degree, exercising and facetiming with family and friends, maintaining a healthy life balance for us all.
I’m looking forward to a little more me time when things settle down and hopefully come to an end. Physically attending a dance class, a respite night away with my husband or a dinner out with friends, where I’ll no doubt miss the kids, lol.
It’s lucky for us this situation occurred now and not a few years ago when they were younger and less able to adapt to change.
I’m extremely proud of how we’ve all coped during this time and am happy we’ve been forced to reassess our schedule and perspective. We’ve become more capable of producing academic achievements at home and reassured not to be so afraid of change.