Meltdown-free Monday

25 Feb

After the anxieties had been building up yesterday I was fully expecting the works this morning before school.

Luckily, biggest sis had phoned and left a 3 minute voice-mail yesterday evening from the O2 Arena where she was at a concert, so M was treated to the entire message while having her morning snuggle in my bed. Thus fortified with the sure knowledge that her favourite boy band were thinking about her, the usual morning struggle before school was much improved.

I had the added bonus of M now staying in school till 11.30 this week – a whole extra half an hour, which might not sound much to you but you seriously have NO idea how much I was looking forward to it.

I got plenty done, including a totally relaxed bubble bath which was bliss, and collected a chilled M on time. There had been a slight blip over her new reading book which she had refused to even look at, but I realised why. Although it was an Oxford Reading Tree book, it wasn’t a “Biff and Chip” book, and every Monday since I don’t know when she has had a Biff and Chip book.The easiest way to avoid the problem in future will be to give M her next weeks book on a Friday so she can check it out over the weekend and not have a shock on the Monday – simple.

I further tested how well the morning had gone by insisting we went straight out shopping. As it turned out we detoured via a cafe as M was starving. Another push of the button, I ordered soup for her instead of her “usual” cheesy beans on toast. She had a rant at me but didn’t lose the plot. And she ate the soup!

Made a quick dash round the supermarket (we really did need quite a lot) and back home in time for her to watch 20 minutes of calming TV before collecting her brother. Straight back in the car and the 40 mile drive to the additional needs drama class. This can be a flashpoint as obviously all the children have different needs and behaviours and it can be tense but I reminded her “kind words only” and raced downstairs for my weekly cappuccino with the other mums.

Still no tantrums or tears. Got home. Dinner wasn’t exactly what she “ordered” (it never is or she would live on pasta, cheese and sliced ham) but again she just about held it together. And ate her dinner.

We got all the way through to bedtime without raging, tears or a full-blown meltdown. I have really pushed it today – there were no really nasty surprises but in the past any one of the above could have resulted in total overload. The only real difference now is school – a school where the staff have listened to me, the OT, SALT and the other professionals, and changed M’s environment so she can learn in a way that suits her autism. They have not tried to “force” her to be something she is not, and by accepting that she has to learn in a different way she is coping well.

Finally, do you know what she said to me in the car? “I wish I could go to school for longer”. Says it all really.

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