Field Trips

It’s been a couple of crazy weeks… May is here and we are counting down the days until summer vacation. Well, the boys are. I’m a little panicked as I need to get some things on the schedule to keep Tony’s routine steady. He’ll be in summer school, but that’s just a couple of hours per day. I’m looking for affordable things. There are many wonderful camps for kids with autism, but between you and me, they are outrageously priced. I’m sure it costs a ton to hire staffing that is one to one with enrollment. I’ll keep looking.

Lately, Tony’s new ‘entertainment’ has been to go on daily field trips (car rides). We have been hitting just about every little city in the southwest suburbs of the Cities. He loves the old buildings, the small towns, the country fields, and hills. And I must say, I’ve discovered a lot too. I’ve never really been able to venture out and just “go for a drive”. Our schedule was always so routine — there was NO deviation allowed. Is this a sign that Tony’s becoming more independent? or that he wants to explore the world around him more? Or is it related to the fact that he’s memorized his State Farm map that my Dad gave him? Is he studying the roads? counting miles? or mile markers?

I remember clearly one weekend we were driving home to my parent’s house in LC. Dave took a different way (I think there was construction)and Tony had a melt down for 2 hours. It was a very stressful drive. I think he was around 5 or 6 yrs old… now we have learned that everything is pre-planned. We warn Tony of all construction and all unexpected stops. It’s become natural for us to do that. Sometimes I look at my sibling’s families and notice just how ‘flexible’ everyone is. I noticed that they can change plans at the drop of a hat or that they can actually take 3 hours to make a plan. Everyone’s ok with that and everyone’s onboard when a decision is finally made. Not so in our house. We could never do that.

I don’t mean to sound negative, I just wanted to point out how everyone in the house has adapted to this disease. And why are we adapting? Why can’t we just fix it? Why can’t we just discipline him like we could our other two sons? Those are the million dollar questions… Those are the things that we’ve learned are so much deeper than just ‘discipline’. It’s a neurological disorder. It’s frustrating. It’s maddening. And I’m just one of millions of Mom’s and Dad’s out there who are dealing with the same things — day in and day out. We don’t have meetings about it and we don’t talk about it. We’ve all just adapted. Why? To avoid a meltdown. To avoid stress. To avoid pain.

I think I was better at pushing him when he was younger. These teenage years are tough REGARDLESS if a child has a disease or not, right? Hormones and autism… not a pretty site. 🙂

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I think about you often Becky. I am glad he has you for a mother. You have worked hard in finding out all about this autism.I am sure it takes a lot of time, and patience, and love. Keep up the good work. send my love, Dar

    • Thank you so much, Dar… that means a lot to me. Miss you. Give my love to all the “Iowa girls”. 🙂

  2. Becki, I was directed to your website by someone in our (extended) family. My oldest son has (mild) autism also. We’re lucky in so many ways but we deal with his tantrums, etc from time-to-time. You’re an amazing mom to keep doing what just needs to be done. You’re son is so lucky to have you, your husband, and his brothers. Wishing you the best.


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