One of the reasons I blog is to remind myself just how far my son has come since we began home education.
Only months ago he was afraid to leave the house or had a meltdown if I showed signs of leaving (even to walk the dog) all because he was afraid that a high speed jet was going to crash into the house. It sounds extreme, but when you have sensitive hearing then the sound of a jet passing up the estuary (which has a tendency to make you jump out your skin) must be like Chicken Licken and the sky falling in! That went on throughout the winter months, I was stuck in the house and my only respite was when my mum came to babysit each week so I could do the weekly supermarket shop.
This morning I have popped out to do the shopping leaving him happily at home and yesterday I went to an National Autistic Society meeting and he didn't bat an eyelid.We haven't forced him to go out, we haven't laughed at his phobia of planes, instead we've looked at why the jets need to train. Funnily enough they didn't worry him when we were on Anglesey this year because RAF Vallee was nearby and he 'expected them' so it appears to be fear of the unexpected.
It was the jets which led us to introduce ear defenders which he now takes everywhere with him, we have also set up emergency arrangements for when I'm out. My son never answers the phone or the door so we have an old mobile phone on standby and he knows if that rings it can only be me. We also have a list of important numbers next to the home phone and for additional security have programmed them into the mobile so that if he's anxious he can ring me. He has only done it once to see what time I was coming home.
All theses skills will I hope help him to live independently as an adult. I suspect he will need support but at least we will have some idea because of our observations now, of the support he needs.So many people believe that an obviously intelligent child with Aspergers can be self sufficient. To an extent they can if the right provision is in place.Sadly all too often it is not.
I am teaching my son to be aware of his difficulties and to ask for help. I've mentioned before that we currently have issues with food. He is eating enough but if I go out he just sits there until I come home rather than get himself something to eat.The other day I made up a packed lunch and put it on the side before going out. I told my son to help himself if he felt hungry. Sure enough when I came back he had eaten - a useful tip from another mum who has been there before me!
So things do change, sometimes they get better, sometimes they're just different and you have to set about learning again.One thing's for sure, if your child is happy, and your family is happy then you are using the right strategies and your child is less likely to have mental health difficulties in the future.