The summer holidays are over, you got through this.
I know it’s been hard, really bloody hard. I see the look on your face, the look of complete and utter exhaustion you’re trying your hardest to mask with a smile.I know how many hours you’ve spent researching & planning days out and activities that might be even slightly appropriate for your child.
I know how you’ve sat there, going over things in your head, questioning yourself.
Will the park be too busy? Will the play centre be too noisy? Will the zoo be too overwhelming? Will this day result in a meltdown? Will the other parents stare & tut? Will the other children be too much for my child? Will my child be too much for the other children?
I know you can’t just jump in the car or catch a bus. I know how you have to plan & prepare. I know how the journey can be just as hard work as the day out with the lashing out, the trying to escape from the car seat or sensory overload on public transport.
I feel your pain when you see your friends pictures on Facebook. When they have a brilliant family day out that you can only dream of.
I know the frustration you feel when the special needs activities your child loves going to in term time are cancelled throughout the holidays.
I know this was your safe space, your happy place. The place where your child can just be themselves with everyone around understanding their quirks or behaviours. Where the other parents smile at you, rather than roll their eyes, as they know exactly what you’re going through.
I know the change of routine has thrown your family life into chaos. That in the holidays everything has changed, everything is different, which your child struggles to cope with.
I know you’ve probably been managing on a few hours broken sleep a night that is even more exaggerated as you don’t get get a break during the day. Hell, you probably don’t even get a break in the evening or even through the night as your child just doesn’t settle and doesn’t sleep.
And I know you hate feeling like this. You hate to complain about your child as they are amazing & beautiful.
I know you hate to say you’re struggling, that you are beyond exhausted.
But I also know that you’re not alone. You’re not the only one feeling like this.
There’s a whole army of us autism parents out there battling with you, thinking of you. Trying to do our best for our kids.