Vacation is over. School starts tomorrow. All told, the kids have been home almost 3 weeks. Three weeks with the potential for disaster. Three weeks away from our routines and schedules. Three weeks of parties and family gatherings. Three weeks of loud noises, crowds, unfamiliar food. Three weeks of late nights and strange beds (we traveled a bit).
Those of you with Autism spectrum experience know what I’m talking about (and probably some of you who don’t). The holidays (while wonderful) can be hazardous for the smalls. Really, they can be hazardous for anyone, but the smalls don’t get wine.
That said, we did just fine. Thanks to the genius of ABA and Michelle Garcia Winner, we made it through. We prepped Jett for the changes. We wrote social stories. We made a list of rules and consequences and put them on his bulletin board. And then we stuck to our guns while he tested the rules and us. For two entire days.
And our break ended up being pretty fun. It was actually, kinda, what I’ve always envisioned family life can be. Big high fives for that.
Of course, we had one major meltdown.
Don’t ever Never Ever tell a kid with Asperger’s Syndrome that he needs to go to sleep so Santa can come.
Christmas Eve night (really, technically, very early Christmas morning) Jett ended up in our bed, crying, because he couldn’t sleep, and he didn’t know if Santa was going to come because he (Jett) couldn’t fall asleep. We walked past the living room on the way back to his bed, and I showed him that indeed Santa had come. But it didn’t help. So I laid down with him, and tried all my tricks to get his mind to stop. But nothing helped. He was looping, and just couldn’t get away from worrying about getting to sleep. And worrying about oversleeping in the morning (he and Carlos had an entire plan involving waking each other Christmas morning). I suppose he did eventually fall asleep. I went back to my own bed at some point.
Anticipation can be a double-edged sword, especially for Jett. And bless him, it’s not fun to anticipate anything at 3 in the morning. Hopefully I will remember all this next Christmas, and we can devise a plan that keeps the worry at bay.
Either that, or let him have that wine after all.