Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Autism Educational Series—Four Kids on the Spectrum—Brianna A.

Brianna has four kids: Jack (8 and in 3rd grade), Joseph (soon to be 7 {my halloween baby} and in 1st grade), James (4 and in preschool) and a step-daughter, Tyla (11 and in 6th grade, who we usually don't have during the week). You can find her at her blog, AutismHowWeRoll.

I thought I would give a little insight into what a typical morning looks like in a house with four kids on the autism spectrum. Quite interesting is an understatement, to say the least.

A typical morning in our house looks something like this:
5:00-5:30---I hear one or more boys playing angry birds or constructing random creations with all the colored construction paper known to man (don't forget the tape, glue and any other possible craft item in the house), or even someone (usually the 7 and 4 year old) sawing the kitchen table with steak and butcher knives. Sometimes, only if I'm super lucky, this starts as early as 4:30...
5:30-6:00---Consists of me lovingly shouting in my best morning voice that the "sun is not awake- so neither should they be" (cursing under my breath and praying that this is all a dream) and even maybe convincing Dad he should get up since he has to get ready to go to work anyway and reminding him how much of a morning person I am NOT!!
6:00-7:00---Now it's time to "feed" the boys breakfast, which by the way is a daily battle. Having to convince the 4 yr old he can NOT have mashed potatoes or Doritos for breakfast or cooking the exact same Eggo chocolate chip pancakes with chocolate almond milk for the 8 year old is an every day occurrence. Every.Single.Day. Bribing the 7-year-old (who weighs as much as my toe soaking wet on a good day) to PLEASE at least eat a pop tart or two is also a morning ritual.
7:00-7:30---Now it's time to tell boys to get dressed 3,982.5 times. Guess what happens? Yup, we dress the kids. Did I mention my 4 year old loathes clothes? Oh yeah, and school. He claims sickness every day. Luckily, Dad stays on task while I pack the same lunch every single day.
7:30-7:50---This consists of finding that one shoe that somehow got up and walked away times three. My 8 year old has been working on tying his own shoes for the last three years. So we "encourage" him to do it all on his own. (I *might* get impatient but try to remain encouraging.) Then we celebrate when he actually "ties" his shoes but we have to help him "fix" it so it will stay (which is the equivalent to actually re-tying it). It's a long process before even getting everyone in the car (which is equivalent to herding cats, uphill, in the rain)
7:50-8:00---I patiently wait for everyone to buckle "themselves" all the while I try like crazy to contain myself in the front seat and not just do it myself to get it done faster.
8:00-8:10--- I navigate through the CRAZY parking lot at the elementary school to drop off the 8 year old. I also enjoy honking the horn at the 8 year old every day as he forgets his backpack/water bottle/chewy necklace or whatever other critical item he needs that helps him get through his day.
8:10-8:40--- I now get to enjoy more drive time as I take the 7 and 4 year olds to their autism school (yes it's a 30 min drive one way- some days the longest 30 minutes ever). Listening to fart noises, singing made up songs, the 4-year-old telling his brother "that's not funny," "stop looking at me," "we keep our hands to ourselves, Joe," "I HATE school! I need to stay in the car," "Mom, I'm sick and I need to stay home with you," and of course the "STOP SINGING!!" battle cries luckily take up most of the 30-minute ride.
8:40-8:55--- I try to unload boys from car quickly (epic fail daily) realizing we are late once again since school started at 8:30. I walk them to their classrooms while constantly telling the 7-yr-old to stay out of the puddles, don't pull the flowers off the bushes, and KEEP UP! I finally drop off 4 yr old first and take the "long cut" to 7 year olds classroom because he "doesn't take short cuts on Wednesdays" while also watching the ants walk in a straight line. And, did I mention, him being totally amazed by it EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
9:00-9:30---I sit in the QUIET car on the nice long drive home!! I try not to think about what needs to be done, then of course I ….
LATHER, RINSE AND REPEAT the rest of the week...



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