I’m sure most people and parents in particular, second guess their decisions. As an autism parent, we’re constantly thinking about all the possibilities and repercussions of every decision we make. Every decision made takes careful consideration, even something as simple as popping down the street.
As much as our kids have progressed and as confident as we’ve become, we still question our decisions, but we’re determined to make the most of every opportunity.
At times, and especially over the school holidays, we debate whether the kids need a break or whether we should be doing more.
The verbal barrier remains a major obstacle. We never actually receive any requests but we continue to offer a variety of activities to do.
Madi finds it difficult to voice her opinions or relax for an extended period of time.
We know she loves signing, dancing, movies and The Wiggles. So, when an opportunity to attend a three day all abilities drama work shop arose, we thought it sounded like something she might like to do.
We weren’t exactly sure how the week would pan out but were pleasantly surprised!
She actively participated in all the activities, embraced the whole experience and was excited to return each day.
She was in a class with people she’d never met before, all a few years older than her, at a brand new venue, an hour drive away. Most of the kids appeared to be more advanced than Madi and attended these regular classes there together.
As confronting as it still can be to attend sessions for all abilities, it was also extremely comforting to see her be accepted and supported by her peers.
All the teens and teachers were so welcoming. They respected their variety of interests, personalities, strengths and weaknesses. It was honest, encouraging and inspirational.
To see our once non-speaking little girl, stand confidently in front of her peers and read lines aloud unprompted in front of a camera, was absolutely priceless!
Our expectations weren’t overly high but we remained hopeful. Both Super Dad and I are bursting with pride, she took everything in her stride.
We’re now exposing both kids to a combination of all abilities and mainstream situations, which appears to be working well.
Yes, it is still hard to know what the right things are to do. We attempt to read the signs, go with our gut and hope for the best. If things don’t work out, we tried. If things go well, it’s amazing!
You never know…