Back to school after the summer break. I so love having them at home. The house is so noisy, so messy, so lived in. We have seriously outgrown this house, it bulges when we are all in it together. It bulges with love, with laughter, niggly arguments and catty comments. We all adore one another.
The academic years starts quickly with targets being set and the pressure piling on. I believe the Autumn term is the hardest. So much rest and relaxation over the summer months and then there’s the looming dark evening that become cold dreary afternoons, The expectation of better behaviour, better attention, better grades ‘now you’ve come up to class X’ when really only 2 months have passed since they were in the little class below when they could watch films and make models out of cardboard and nothing really seemed to matter. It’s a lot of pressure from ones so young. They get tired and irritable and stressed and their heads hurt from trying to remember everything, new rules, new procedures, new expectations.
So I started to take the children out one by one, for dinner, to given them that little midweek boost and to allow them a small respite from some of that pressure. Its been great. They each take it in turns and we go out for dinner and a chat. The boys love it, they eat and we talk – Josh more than Dylan – but we still talk! Grace not so much, she gets upset with talking, she’s a little pressure cooker. I’d love for her to speak freely about her concerns and worries but she won’t, she hates getting upset. I have let her know that I am always here for her to talk but she always says she doesn’t want to. So for her we go and do something else. We go bowling, or to see a film or something where we don’t have to talk, we can focus on something else and enjoy each others company.
I love spending time with them, they are great people.
I love it. I really do.
I hope they do too.
Dylan’s favourite place to go is the local pub. At first people would look over at us, Dylan would order his food loudly on his iPad and with it being quite a quiet village pub people would look at him humming or stimming. After a couple of weeks of visiting the staff became very used to him. I always ensure that Dylan would order his own food and drinks using his Ipad. Some staff would still look to me for clarification for this but I would simply ignore them. I’m getting quite good at that; ignoring people. Much like people try to ignore Dylan when he talks to them.
Facilitating communication with other people in resturants at the moment comprises of the same routine at first…
- Us both being asked for our order,
- Dylan will answer with his iPad,
- The waiter will will then look to me and ask me a question about Dylans order, be it sauce, size of portion etc.
- I will then look to Dylan in silence.
- The waiter will then repeat the same question.
- Again I’ll stay silent but I will switch on Dylan IPad as a prompt for him having to answer the waiter.
- The waiter will then stand and wait while Dylan types out his response.With me smiling sweetly at them both. By this point the waiter has usually grasped the point.
This process really only needs to happen once or twice before they realise they get more response out of Dylan than they do me. Works every time!