Monday, 1 August 2016

Summer Holiday Blues

This is a post that's been rumbling around my head for a while.  Since maybe the 27th of June, the first day of the Scottish summer holidays!  It's a hard one to write, I feel disloyal to my girl.

ASD is a bitch in many ways but she bites us the hardest during the summer holidays.  Smudge adores school, the routine and structure it brings to her world, the carefully monitored social interaction with her peers and the stimulation.  Smudge is clever, far more so than she yet realises.  The loss and structure and routine means the summer holidays are far from the relaxed lazy affair I envisioned pre-kids.

This is far from a cry for the summer holidays to be shortened.  By the time June rolls around smudge is exhausted.  She manages to keep a lid on her ASD for the main in school.  Presenting as socially awkward, more comfortable with adults and very rule focused.  Which in some ways makes her a model pupil.  Unfortunately, the trade off for these wonderful report cards is a home life that sounds like we react mediaeval battles in our living room.

We accept the inevitability of meltdowns.  Meltdowns are put simply ASD tempter tantrums.  Understanding and navigating life is hard for smudge, her anxiety levels are constantly through the roof and she takes out her frustrations where she feels safest and most secure.

These meltdowns involve a lot of screaming, insults, threats and occasional violence.  They can last for hours and we are yet to find any reliable method of brining her back out of it.  Distraction can work.  Loud music is a double edged sword, it can push her further over the edge or have her dancing and laughing.  Giving her a drink with a straw was a wonderfully effective method until she realised what we were doing and now it's a great way of getting juice thrown at me.

The summer holidays unsettling her further means an increase in meltdowns, as good as daily.  Instead of using the break from school to go off on grand adventures we are forced to make life very small, very secure and very easy for smudge to predict and navigate.

I am exhausted.  Counting the days until she goes back to school.  Pretending that I've forgotten it will get worse before it gets better, settling back into school and adjusting to a new teacher is far from pain free.  Felling guilty as hell that it seems like I want rid of my darling girl.

All I really want for her to be calm and happy.  To not be sat in tears wondering when I last heard her gorgeous wee laugh.  

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