Blog

One Day at a Time

stylish office supplies arranged on table

So, one day at a time, what does that mean to you? For me, it is a reminder to slow down and take each thing as it comes. Sometimes, it involves taking one thing at a time in each day.

In our house, the days are full, the noise can be loud and there is always something to do or to be done.

For me, its navigating and managing all the craziness of our household.

I relish in the short quiet moments of the day to have a snack, maybe drink a tea and just sometimes sit for five minutes in total silence. This is heavenly!

Our days although they are planned with things and schedules to keep, can be also unpredictable at other times. With lots of on-line school happening and all the cooking and general household duties, there is very few moments that are not filled. Sounds crazy right?

Maybe your house looks different or you can relate to some of these things. Unfortunately, there is no convenient time for autism, isn’t that right? It can change your day in a heartbeat for the worse but also for the better.

The worse in our house could be a slamming of doors, screaming, frustration or just non-compliance, but the good stuff like the laughter, the togetherness is amazing!

So we all only have today to deal with. Try to take each moment as it comes and always be grateful that you have them.

Til nextime……….

Struggles

crop doctor with stethoscope in hospital

So normally I talk about my son a lot but for this post, I would like to talk about my daughter.

She was diagnosed with ASD just over a year ago. It came as a surprise o us but then it also made a lot of sense once we started thinking about things that had transpired growing up.

It was a shock for her but also a sense of relief that some of the things that had happened to her and continue to happen finally made sense.

Last night I was in the hospital emergency room with her late into the night. It was her second time that day she was there. As I sat beside her waiting, I looked over at her and I got tears in my eyes because I felt so bad at what she was going through. She was having severe muscle spasms in her neck area. This was happening beyond her control which is why we we there. It was disturbing to watch and even harder as I knew how badly this was affecting her. I knew this was from medication as this had happened with our son many years earlier with one type of medication he was on.

As I sat there, I wondered if she ever felt cheated – cheated of attention, cheated of her diagnosis, cheated of what should have been put in place for her to cope many years earlier.

I already knew the answer to the questions because she’s made it very clear more than once that she didn’t get attention, that she didn’t have a childhood, as well as many other things that I won’t get into. Is she right? Yes and no.

Yes, because if I was in her shoes I would probably have some of the same feelings she did and no because I didn’t know what was going on.

Do I wish it was better that I could have done more? Yes, every day I wish that I only knew what was happening.

II realize though that there is absolutely nothing I can do about what happened and what did not happen. I can only move forward and try to do my very best to ensure she is cared for, has the supports in place that she needs and help her navigate through difficult moments.

Being on the spectrum can be challenging and it is hard at times, especially for her.

As I sat in the emergency room, I listed to her explaining all her diagnosis as I held the bag with all her meds and I was glad that I was there to help her in this moment no matter what happened in the past.

When she finally go a shot that help stop the spasms, I waited for it to take effect, I soon became relieved when the spasms stopped and I was able to see that her body was able to relax.

I realized how hard just getting through some days is for her and I really admire her strength and dedication to getting well both physically and mentally.

I’m thankful for these quiet moments I have with her.

School

person in white shirt with brown wooden frame

I have to talk about school because this is what has been consuming my life since Christmas, which is why I haven’t posted in awhile.

It’s hard for any parent I know to deal with all the changes with school this year. You don’t know what’s going on from one day to the next.

I know some of you who follow my blog do not live in Canada. In our area of Toronto, the kids have not been back to school since before the Christmas break. They have been doing all of their classes on-line.

I have to admit that it is very challenging for me. Our daughter is in grade 12 so trying to keep up with what she needs to have in-tact for university or college next year as well as keeping her motivated has not been easy. The easy part with her is that she can do all of the on-line classes on her own and prefers not to have my interference (go figure!)

But for our son, it is different. Although he’s really good on zoom, he still needs help or shall I say reminder that he has to get on there at a particular time. I also have to make sure with him that he has all of his items needed for the class ready to go. Sometimes I am there to help him and other times I am not. When I am not able to be with him, I actually record the class on his phone so that I can go back and scribe his notes later so that he can just focus on listening and understanding during the lessons.

It is also challenging because he is in high school as well so each “quad” they call them, they take two courses at a time. So every few weeks, I need to communicate his needs to the new teachers who have probably never met him or worked with him and make sure that they are providing his proper accomodations for his work.

Another issue is that he speaks so incredibly quiet on zoom so half the time they can’t hear what he is saying.

On the flip side, I don’t think that it is any easier for the teachers. They have their own challenges and learning and teaching in a virtual environment has pros and cons.

One thing that I really like about this type of learning is that you don’t really need to get dressed or have that time where everything has to be done in the morning before you go to school. So half the time, our son is literally just been awake for a short time before he goes on-line. Also, if he is really tired, he can just have his laptop on his lap in bed and listen to the lesson.

Anyway, I have lots more to say on the subject, but that’s it for now…….. see you soon!

Christmas

photo of christmas balls

So, it is the season! It’s definitely a different year for all of us this year. Our world is a different place and the focus for all of us is our health.

Even though things are quieter, in our house that’s not a bad thing. We are all pretty much home bodies so actually being at home is enjoyable for us. Also, we have had more time to focus on decorating, wrapping gifts and baking which sometimes can feel so rushed. This year I don’t feel the pressure that I normally do.

This year we are missing a couple of family members who have passed away since last Christmas and we will all really miss both of them this year.

This is the first year that we have put our tree up before December! The kids did the entire thing together. It was so nice to watch them working together.

We are looking forward to the school break and spending some quality time together as a family just hanging out together. Hopefully we will watch some movies, play some games and bake some yummy food!

What are your plans for the holidays? Above all, stay safe!

Communication

happy purebred dog with opened mouth

So the other day I was just thinking about communicating as this is something that we struggle with in our house.

I was walking our dog and there was another lady walking her dog on the adjacent sidewalk. She was speaking a different language to dog, but ultimately our dogs wanted the same thing. They wanted to smell each other.

I was thinking just amazing it is that dogs know what their owners say no matter what language it’s spoken in and they don’t have to guess what you want because the tone of our voice and the non verbal cues are quite clear.

I know this isn’t a revelation by any means but it just made me take a step back and realize that it’s not always what I say. Sometimes it’s my tone and my non verbal cues that can either be inviting or terrible.

Especially for our son, I sometimes have to stop and be more understanding of what exactly he is communicating so that I can help him develop these skills more. When you really stope to think about our non verbal cues on a daily basis there are so many.

Considering both of our children are on the spectrum, I have to be really aware of what I am communicating to them beyond my words. I know that it’s hard for both of them at times as communication is something that both of them struggle with in different ways.

I hope to improve my awareness on this and hopefully it will help the relationship I have with my children as I want them to be able to understand the world better.