Tracking

A big component of my plan to start a planner of sorts for The Boy is tracking. I would like to track several things like his diet, his moods, and the-results-of-his-digestive-system-if-you-know-what-I-mean.

In fact, I’ve already begun tracking something that has given me insights. If you’ve spent any time on this blog in the last couple of years, you know that emailing me has become a calming strategy when his anxiety gets the best of him at school. It came from a bit of self-advocacy, and it has worked well. The number of emails I get in a day also correlates to the “quality” of the day: more emails means more anxiety and less learning, fewer emails means less anxiety and more learning. It’s a loose correlation, but it’s there.

In prep for our meeting with a new therapist tomorrow, I went back through my emails since the beginning of the school year and did a simple tally, putting it in calendar form. Just that simple act allowed me to see…

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Whoa. Mondays have been a bit of a problem! I would do well to work more at home on Sundays, preparing him for the transition back to school, it seems. Wednesdays seem pretty chill, and then the anxiety comes back on Fridays, I’m guessing when parents pull his friends out of school for the weekend… Wish I had done this sooner, but at least there is benefit in the tracking, and I have high hopes for my planner.

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One of the biggest struggles I have as a parent to an autistic child is that others are not as prepared as I am. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the nine years since The Boy was diagnosed, it is that you need to do the groundwork in advance, or the likelihood of a meltdown or other avoidable issue increases. For example, when you know dad will probably cancel Spring Break, have a plan B to distract The Boy from his disappointment. Learn which restaurants only serve soda pop, so you can either avoid them or bring your own juice boxes. Half days before break are going to be hell, so find out who will be absent, prepare The Boy as much as you can, and hunker down.

hands-coffee-smartphone-technologyLast night, I got a text from The Boy’s band director. “Wear your band shirts tomorrow for pictures.” Um… The Boy wore his band shirt yesterday. If I had known, say last week, I could have prepared a bit better. No meltdown this time, because I just made him take it off as soon as I got the text to avoid spillage, but he’s basically wearing the same thing to school two days in row. *sigh*

It’s almost April, and I’m remembering why we used to have The Boy’s physical scheduled for February… camp applications. Except the local Autism Society chapter has great and exciting news (that they’re having a hard time getting the word out about) – they will be hosting an overnight camp and a day camp this summer! Great! How about some information to go along with that, like dates, and say… physical requirements? Because if it gets to June, and there are no more spaces, or we didn’t get a physical in time, I’ll have a melted kid on the sidewalk…

I know I can’t rightly expect the rest of the world to conform to our needs, but whatever happened to a little advance notice? I don’t think I’m asking too much, and I know people get busy, but seriously? IEP questionnaires that get sent home two days before they’re due, no information yet for chaperones for a trip to Washington DC in May, no word yet on when our spring IEP might be…

The Boy is not alone in his anxiety :/

As Prepared as a Boy Scout

To-do list book.

To-do list book. (Photo credit: koalazymonkey)

I have done what I can to prepare for possibilities.

  • I have prepared The Boy for the possibility of coming with me rather than going to his dad’s for spring break.  “But I’ll miss the cats!” he whimpered.  After a few minutes, he was OK.
  • I have offered the ex a way to pick The Boy up on the day he prefers, and he has not responded.  You see, I have deflated his sails, and he doesn’t know how to respond without losing face.
  • I have contacted my attorney to make sure we are as prepared as possible if (and that’s a big if) he decides to follow through.

I can’t do any more besides try to let the anxiety go. (As Grandma always said, “Do your best and that’s all you can do.“)

Today, I am back to running errands, planning to do taxes, getting an oil change.  Taking care of things that need to be taken care of before a trip, and in so doing, attempting to let the stress of the last week go, come what may.  I am as prepared as possible.