This time last week we were preparing to go on vacation, to spend Thanksgiving with family in New Jersey. And that got me thinking about my box which, in reality, is a series of boxes.
With all the gear that we have to pack to keep the Boss occupied while on the road we have found that a few boxes do the trick and help keep gear from shifting forward or spilling all over the back of the van.
The girls have their girlie luggage. Theo has luggage too. But he needs more, so much more. So out comes his box and in goes:
• Theo’s various medications — prescriptions to help him sleep and to help him manage his moods as well as over the counter meds which we may need such as pain meds.
• Smoothie ingredients that can travel with us such as peanut butter and protein powder.
• My immersion blender and container.
• Theo’s preferred vessels for carrying said smoothies from blender to mouth.
• His plastic spoons.
• His oral syringes.
• His self-care items — wipes, pull-ups, diaper cream.
• Extra spoons just in case.
• His preferred green beverage cup.
Obviously this box is huge and yes it weighs a ton. And there were extra supplies because we were away from home (and, boy, we needed the self-care items thanks to the unfortunate arrival of a 24-hour stomach bug). But, in reality, this box travels with Theo everywhere.
These items may seem trivial to those unfamiliar with autism but as we were pushing his limits with this vacation as we were with a huge change of schedule, you better HAVE that favorite cup, spoon, or smoothie ingredient.
My girls, they can add and take away things from their luggage — their box — and adjust.
Theo can’t. Well, he could substitute a few of the items for a little bit but it does catch up with him. A substitution combined with a new schedule can bring him to a complete halt and cause a meltdown of epic proportions.
So, this box, it travels with him. IN one form or another. He needs his things. Autism makes sure we realize this as well.
Until next time.