With The Boy out of school, he's been going to The Babysitter while The Husband and I are at work. We love her, we trust her, she's taken care of The Boy since he was The Baby. The Babysitter is one of those old school abuelitas that loves every one's children. She always has a house full of kids (usually her grand kids). Any typical only child would love it there.
So yesterday when I picked him from The Babysitter, I noticed that all the kids were playing in the living room - talking, laughing, arguing over who gets the next "go" on the Wii.
The Boy was alone in another room. Playing by himself. Reciting lines from books that only make sense to him. And to us.
Reality sets in. Oh yeah, he is different.
I'm so used to The Boy's behaviors and it's always just us, that sometimes I truly forget all about autism.
I forget that The Boy is not your typical only child. And he does not love a house full of kids. It's overwhelming. Stressful. Unstructured. Overstimulating. The Boy does not understand these children. And they do not understand him.
His whole routine from now until September will be out of sorts. And while I dread the changes September will bring. I cannot wait to reestablish a routine. I cannot wait for The Boy to be surrounded by a small group of his peers. Where interaction is facilitated and structured. An environment where The Boy will always know what to expect.
Most people hate routine. But The Boy NEEDS it. He needs to know what comes next.
And I haven't really done a good job at preparing him. I seem to think that The Boy can just go with the flow.
And the reality is - he can't.
When does your reality set in?
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AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.