April Is Almost Over, but…

In two days the world will focus its attention on something else as Autism Awareness (Acceptance) month will come to an end.

In our house, we are not as lucky. We cannot just turn a page and be done with it.

And, boy, was today a reminder of how hard it can be to have a child with autism.

Please, understand, it’s not the child that is hard. It’s the autism. And this is not always the case in our house.

We had a rough start to the day but thought we’d take advantage of the warm spring weather. Rob headed over to Green Lakes to get a bike ride in. I rounded up the triplets and took them to the playground at the park.

We explored the swinging items, the slides, the kiddie playground and the big kid playground. The girls ran from slide to slide and were racing each other down to the end.

Theo just continued to be restless. He seemed to wander up and down the steps to and from the big slides, but couldn’t seem to muster the guts to actually go down the slide. Which is rare for him…

And then, just as we stopped to have snacks, the meltdown began…and proceeded to wreak havoc on poor Theo. The kids on the playground just looked as Theo hit his head, bounced off the grass up in the air and back down again, and headed for the overgrown patches of weeds and thorns (of course).

So while dad gathered the girls and our things together, I had to carry Mr. Theodore out of the park back to our car.

If you were in the vicinity of Green Lakes you probably heard us.

He lashed out. And was screaming, crying, hitting his head, kicking himself and me…

And he bit me.

OH Theodore. Because of autism we had to hurry back home. We’re not sure why it happened. Was it too hot? Was he dressed too warmly? Was he overwhelmed with all the activity? Was he mad there were no swings for him? Was he mad because he couldn’t go to the beach? Was he mad he didn’t have something to drink? Why didn’t I give him something to drink?! I had the cooler right there…yadda, yadda, yadda.

I don’t know. I can’t focus on that now.

What I CAN focus on are two things:

1) He has the best sisters in the world. Who said, when they saw I was tearful after I apologized to them about having to leave early, they said “that’s OK mom. At least we had fun before Theo got upset.”

(Truly, how wonderful is that?!!)

and

2) Theodore was much happier at home. He even gave me plenty of hugs and examined my mouth as I spoke to him. Laughing and giggling. He seemed to be making up. Like he knew he didn’t want to do those things. Then tonight he got upset again and was crying in his bedroom. When I came into his room, I asked what was the matter, and I just — for some reason — placed my hands in his tent. He folded himself in half as he often does, took his favorite blankie in one hand, and with his other hand stroked my hand. He then, finally content, put one thumb in his mouth and fell asleep in my arms.

That is my loving boy.

So, while I may not be able to solve all the problems, or even handle one problem during the a particularly hard day… if I can provide you comfort just being here with you, then I will do so for as long as I can.

Until next time.

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