Life passes so quickly. As the nights get longer and the evening darkness creeps up, spreading from the late afternoon and lasting longer into the next morning, time can seem to pass even quicker.
Christmas in 6 weeks and with the worrying speed of time passing we headed out to make a start on picking up some Christmas bits.
Well, what a mistake. There were people everywhere. Typical for a late November Saturday afternoon but it was stifling how busy it was. Noise. Rushing. It really wasn’t pleasant.
We didn’t last long out. I mumbled to myself that we would order online and get out of the damp drizzle and head home.
Dylan was asking for a McDonald’s and in light of the nightmare afternoon that he had tolerated so well I figured that he had earnt it. There were still queues and rows of cars trying to get into the car park. Typically, no-one indicating or in the right filter lanes for where they were trying to get to.
A car came steaming around the corner heading towards us, a seemingly disgruntled driver who had had enough of waiting in line and *had* to get parked. In his haste I moved over out if the way just as the traffic began to move, thus leaving us in the incorrect lane for Mcdonalds.
‘Dylan, I’m sorry, I’ve missed the turning for Mcdonalds.
Will you have a Burger King instead?’
Now let me just explain. Theres a number of reasons why this split second change in situation could have us heading towards a small catastrophe.
Number 1: Dylan can still see McDonalds from our position on the road. He knows it’s there and he wants it. I’m now driving away from it. Thats reason number one to flip out.
Number 2: I said he could have it. Now I’m saying he can’t. That’s not fair.
Number 3: Burger King isn’t a food place Dylan is used to. He’s not sure what he should have. Hence more anxiety.
Number 4: Dylan has various eateries on his iPad to talk about. Burger King isn’t one of them.
Number 5: In the time it’s taken for Mcdonalds to be lost and Burger King suggested we are already in the queue for BK drive-through. Dylan just hasn’t had enough time to process this change of plan.
Now we are out of the chaos of the main road I have mentally acknowledged the five trigger points and turn my attention to Dylan to explain and begin the reasoning.
But Dylan’s sitting head down engrossed in his iPad. He’s typing and glancing up and then eyes back down typing again. I take a closer look to see that he is setting himself with a new food folder. Each glance up is to check the spelling as he labels the folder ‘Burger King’.
Luckily there is a wait at this drive-through and we are close enough to the menu for Dylan to diligently copy down his order from the display board to his iPad.
I can’t recall when this changed happened; When the hysteria and anxiety at unplanned changes lessened and lessened until it became just an eventuality which could be acknowledged and customised.
I can only think that it is a combination of trust, our presumption of Dylan’s ongoing progress and his ever growing self confidence. These are all combining into a beautiful pot of ability which is manifesting with Dylans confident use of his Ipad and communication programme.
I never, ever, ever thought that this situation would occur. I have been told for years that as a parent of a child with autism to expect regular meltdowns at any changes or situations that Dylan can’t control. Its part of autism.
Well, not this time.
Not for us.
Some days Dylan can work through the anxiety, he can reach out and communicate with us and things such as unplanned changes can be okay.
Today was one of those days
Good work Dylan.