Today I am keeping it short … shorter? Darn, I tried. Oops! We have been behind with school due to the evaluation tests; Daniel still has one more to go. He is quite the trooper and working so very hard – I decided that today was too much for him so I am holding off on the last test. It does need to be complete by Friday I will aim for that.
Today he had virtual speech, piano lessons in town, and his new virtual social group.
First thing, this morning we heard the rumbling and beeping of trucks outside – my heart sank because I knew anxiety would arise in Daniel. Last time it took three days for him to recover, it may have been longer it is all a blur. The beeps and vibrations hurt his body and scare him. With all the balloon popping going on I had my concerns. He amazed me with his calmness this time around, but when the trucks caused our whole house to vibrate it become too much. They were here until piano lessons, which, was at 11 am. While at piano lessons, he had already processed so much between his speech session and the unexpected trucks, noises, and vibrations in our house.
I decided that it was best to cut piano lessons short and head back home.
I asked him if he wanted to take a break from piano today since he had been working so hard, but he wanted to go. He wanted to try, mostly I think he did not want to break routine, but after 10 minutes, I knew it was going to be too much. He did not want to leave until it was his full 30 minutes, but he did not want to stay either. I explained to him the best I could that it would be better to go home. When we got home I sat with him on the couch and comforted him for a while.
I wish I had the perfect words to help him.
I wish I could ease his anxiety about not following through on his routine, but I couldn’t all I could do was hold him and reassure him. He asked to play on the computer and I let him. I had hoped he would feel better in order to do his first virtual social group today. He did feel better and he got off from his session about an hour ago. I sat here listening to him say hello and ask the other kids questions. He gets too overwhelmed to do that in “real” life. However, virtually he does not have all of the other things to process.
It is a great setting for him because there are only one or two other students and the teacher to help guide.
At first, his questions were directed at her then, a few minutes later he started speaking directly to the other kids. I caught some of it on video that I am going to share. I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to see him enjoying himself and engaging with others. Sometimes I question whether I am doing enough to “socialize” him. Sometimes, I said. I do not feel that getting Autistics socialized as a priority in the same way that others may. I do see the importance, but I also have insight being an Autistic myself.
My post yesterday, shared just how much it can take out of me.
I know that it can be even more exhausting for Daniel at times because of his sensory issues, language challenges, and frankly, Daniel does enjoy being alone quite often. He is very social he will engage with people, but mostly adults or younger children. He socializes when he feels like it – I am fine with that. When he is out and about he enjoys having the freedom to be alone and do, what he wants in his comforting solitude. Just like Ariel and Joshua like to do their thing when they are out. They need time away from each other too. They do get tired of being around each other. We are together practically all the time!
I have watched Daniel become more expressive since starting virtual sessions.
I remember when my step mom asked me last year how “virtual” social group would help him be social. It is rather difficult to explain to those who thrive on physical socializing. I can explain it in logical terms, but the reality is when you do not have the same types of challenges it can be hard to understand. Just like for me, I “get” that people like to connect and hang out or have a lot of social contact.
I simply cannot do it in the same way – there is too much for me to process.
It affects me physically, mentally, and emotionally for days sometimes weeks after – even if it is positive. The same thing happens to my children. In my experience, trying to become acclimated has made things worse causing more anxiety and stress. Personally, it made me feel worse about myself because no matter what I tried it did not work. (Not anymore now I understand.) I am witnessing the effects on my kids right now from the many social activities we have done over the last two weeks.
Even virtual socializing takes a lot to process it is much better; it is still much to take in.
That is why Daniel is finished with school for the day. Right now, he is a happy little guy, full of giggles and feeling good about himself – a great way to end the school day! I did not mention a whole lot in here about Ariel and Joshua, but I wanted to say that those two are some hard working kiddos too! They pressed through and worked double time on lessons I am very thankful for my kids.
Now they are all wild blowing balloons and dancing the “school is done for the day” dance.
Here are pics from today and Daniel’s video. Keep in mind at the start of these sessions, around the end of Oct. or Beginning of Nov. last year, he did not address anyone expect me. He would not sit at the computer for sessions without me, and I had to speak (or interpret what he meant) for him mant times. Eventually, he let me sit at the computer next to him, but I could not venture too far off. Now he does not want me too close to him unless he cannot figure something out (Or I am recording, he loves to watch videos of what we do.) and he is speaking without my intervention. Here is the video it is kind of hard to hear. My editing skills are lacking – I will work on them. Daniel’s virtual social group