23 Apr 2006

So close to giving this up

It’s been another bad day. We all went to the zoo and it didn’t work out so well. Perhaps I should have learnt my lesson at the aquarium last week, but when I saw it was a sunny day, I suggested we all go out again. We’ve visited the zoo before, and although it has involved lots of running after Duncan and some crying from him about buying ice-cream from the shop, it was OK. Not so today.

Firstly, it was very crowded and then there was a bloody ice-cream van right by the playground. We decided right away to split up, I was to stay with Duncan for half an hour while Gordon went with Lady and Thomas, then we were to swap. But it was all I could do to keep my boy away from the ice-cream van. I didn’t want to buy one right away (I didn’t have any money left either) but so many other people were eating ice-cream that he just couldn’t get it out of his mind. He wasn’t interested in the playground or the animals. When we all met up again, we walked about together for a bit. Duncan was unhappy and I had to carry him on my back most of the time. Then Thomas was in a really whiney mood too and I didn’t have the physical or emotional energy to help him while dealing with Duncan. So we split up again. I was going to just go back to the car with Duncan and let Gordon take the others around to see the animals. Then Duncan started to notice what was around him and was really enjoying the animals. We spent ages looking at the sea-lions and penguins. He kept running from one enclosure to the other; they’re adjacent and there’s quite a steep slope on the path between them. I marvelled at his energy as he raced up and down this path. He was singing a penguin song he’d heard on the computer. He splashed about for a bit in a mucky puddle (before I caught up with him) and was saying ‘Dr Foster went to Gloucester’! We saw the bears next; there was Daddy bear, Mummy bear and baby bear, so he was looking in the enclosure to find Goldilocks! After a while we went back to the car to wait for the others. I was exhausted as I was always either running after him or carrying him on my back and the zoo is very hilly, and he’s getting heavier. He’s skinny, but not that skinny!

Lady had a wonderful time and Gordon told me they’d seen so much together and he was really impressed at how much she knew about the different animals. Duncan cried and shouted the whole way home for ice-cream. Gordon was really fed up and wanted to ask about my ‘plans’ for Duncan, now that I’ve decided to educate him myself. He thinks I give in to Duncan’s crying requests too easily. I probably do. He said that I’ve become too accepting of Duncan’s condition and says I need to train him up somehow to cope better in more situations. He reckons that Duncan is a virtual prisoner and he’s just getting worse and he doesn’t know how to react to anyone but me- and the same for Thomas.

He suggested again that Lady and Thomas would be better off at school getting an ‘ordinary’ education. We have this same talk all the time. I have to talk about the benefits of what we’re doing for everyone so many times. He has always concluded by agreeing with me.
But perhaps ordinary will have to do.


Anonymous said...

Home educating Autist spectrum kids is one of the hardest things to do and I am sorry to hear you don't have total support. There are days when I am ready to give up, when N has refused to leave the house and we are held ‘prisoner’ at home, or when we are out and he walks along knocking things off shelves and running around ‘fighting’ orcs(think LOTR). It is a hard thing but still I try and remeber why I took them out of school and why I put myself through it day after day after day. In the end it will pay off. I cant remember how long your children have been out of school but it took N 14 months to settle down and then 4mth later he wanted to go back to school(not my choice but still)
I think you a doing a great job and bending to his needs isnt bad, its understanding him. I forget how old he is but there will be time enough for ‘training’ him for social situations.
I’m probably not helping so ((((((((((hugs)))))))))), thinking of you.

Sharon McDaid said...

Hi Carol and thanks for your kind thoughts. I really like your blog but couldn’t remember which one it was so now I’ve re-discovered it!
As always on this rollercoaster, we go up and down a good bit but we’re definitely on an up again. Gordon cooked dinner, then went out to PC World for a while then came back feeling all apologetic for what he’d said. (Some men go to the pub and have a few pints in that situation, not my man!) We had a good chat about it all last night. He knows he says the wrong thing when he’s stressed. Well, we all do. I’m not sure why he has to go over the same points so often. We’ve decided to plan a bit better before we go out. Timing and planning are so important with our family.

Anonymous said...

I also have days when I wonder if I’m doing the right thing and whether I should send them back to school. Life would certainly be easier that way. But then the good days for me often outway the bad days and I know Im doing the right thing. Fortunately my husband is certain that they are better off at home so thats a great help. When my self confidence has taken a knock he is there to tell me its all working out. I dont really know what to say to make it better, but Im enjoying your blog. Keep up the good work. I must return Lady’s jumper to you ;)