Hello my dear readers how are you all today? My life has been a series of changes and relocations. My family and I moved out to the prairies in the middle of Canada 4 months ago. We’ve been adapting to the climate (it’s drier and colder here) so the cold and flu season has been wrecking havoc on our immune systems. We’ve had an early snowfall and it just keeps coming by the bucketfuls.
As I’ve been making my house a home I’ve also been advocating for educational services for my youngest son with autism. That has been a journey I’ve been on since he was a toddler and one that can leave me elated and depleted all at once. The intervention therapists in this school district do more assessments then hands on work with children. Which is something I’m not used to as my son had a wonderful team at his previous schools.
My son has a wonderful teacher, educational aide and special needs education resource teacher. The Occupational, Speech and Language Pathologist and Physio therapists all work on a consultative basis. They put together a written plan and then the aide and the resource teacher implement it.
They’ve started using visuals in the classroom which are a great support for my son. He needs to see those pictures in order to process what he needs to do for his school day. He’s been doing well as he’s a more visual than auditory learner. There’s also been a few hiccups which means I stay at school and help him and his aide work through it.
He will become overstimulated in an environment that is noisy and will react by stimming (running, yelling, spinning to get sensory input) His central nervous system will go into sensory overload as his Sensory Processing Disorder causes a traffic jam inside his brain and nerves while he’s processing all the input. Then he needs help immediately to help him cope while nerve impulses are firing off inside his brain.
I’m a team player I will do what I can to assess and alleviate the situation and then tag his aide to carry on. It’s so hard to leave my sweet boy when he’s in conflict with his environment and senses yet I know he’s in great hands. I will be relieved after the consultations are done with the professionals and he can start his therapies. He’s been working with his resource teacher and aide on an ongoing basis but to have a Individual Intervention Plan (IIP) will help us all.
I continue to support my oldest son with his school and hockey. He loves his new teacher and is making friends and fitting in well with his student led classroom. I’ve had an opportunity to meet with his teacher and attend some games and practices and meet some of the other parents. I take my hockey Mom role to heart and cheer my son and his team on and off the ice. Yet I’m split in the middle as I have to be aware of how his little brother is reacting to his environment. If it’s too loud, busy and confusing then a sensory meltdown is forthcoming.
I call it the Mom pie syndrome everyone gets a piece then I bake a new one for the next day. Lately I’ve been finding that I don’t have a piece left for me so I need to take my self care into account. I want to be more social yet I deal with my anxiety and tend to shy away from initiating that.
As someone who has both the mobsters of self worth and self esteem knocking on my mind’s door depression and anxiety take the drivers seat while I’m the passenger along for the ride. It’s a vicious cycle I live with and keep on persevering through it. Taking steps slowly and surely is the key to my social success. I’ve done the opposite and have crashed on through like a proverbial bull in a China shop and suffered the after affects.
We spent our first Halloween in our community and I got to meet a lot of my new neighbours. Everyone was kind and welcoming and I felt a surge of feelings of relief when I engaged with them. It’s amazing what cute kids and all of us in costumes will do to raise my confidence.
This year I was a pirate, my oldest a Pumpkin man complete with a suit, top hat, sunglasses and a cane. My youngest was a skeleton complete with a head mask and my husband was a Spider man complete with a suit and a skull top hat. We take turns every year one to stay home and hand out candy and the other to go trick or treating. It was my turn to go out with our sons, even though it was cold they collected quite a haul of candy as we introduced ourselves to our neighbourhood.
Every year we decorate our house and yard as we’re big fans of Halloween and fun ensues as my family tries to out scare each other . The day after the snowfall happened and I was rushing to get decorations inside the garage before they fell apart! I accomplished my task and then shovelled snow until I couldn’t feel my hands and feet then I spent the afternoon underneath my electric blanket till school was out.
As I continue to unpack and organize I also have been decluttering. This is not an easy task for me yet a necessary one. I’ve given away more boxes to the thrift store that I’ve made a new friend there! I’ve thrown away broken toys, picture frames, paperwork and junk in the last two months than I have in my whole life! I want to live my life more simply and being clutter free is the first step to that happiness.
When I can live with this simplicity I’m better off for it. I do better, react better, and feel freer. It’s taken me 5 relocations with 4 being job transfers, to come to this moment of clarity. I’m grateful for it and my family who have lived through it with me and my many “I may need it one day boxes.”
Family is my cornerstone in life- they guide and teach me as much as I do with them. With each move, new home and the changes of scenery the one thing that’s constant is our loving bond.