Spring break 2019 is in the books. It is done. It is over. It is finished. From this tired autism mom, I say WOO HOO!!!!!!
The last day of school before spring break is a fun time for the students at Brandon’s school. They had a talent show on that day. I had to miss this as I was wandering around the Garden District in New Orleans on that day. His teacher did send me this picture and I love it! Not sure if Brandon loved it, but I sure do.
Overall, it was a good week. Brandon and our youngest son, J, were both home from school this past week. It was a week of laziness for J and, I must admit, for me, too. At least the first couple of days. I arrived home from my girls trip early Sunday evening after a very long drive from New Orleans. Hindsight being 20/20, planning the trip the week before spring break may not have been the best decision. My almost 50 year old body was tired. And I needed time to recuperate.
But we made it!! Brandon’s support worker worked with Brandon three days during the week. They went to the zoo (Brandon loves animals), the Science Center, and Cabela’s (the stuffed animals are his favorite…and their jelly beans). The weather is getting warmer and walks in the park were taken.
Brandon and I did things together, too. He helped me fold the 8 baskets of laundry that were waiting for me. To be fair, I do NOT like anyone else folding the laundry. They all do it wrong. LOL! But Brandon likes to help sort the socks and then fold them together. He helped with dishes. This is not a chore he loves, but he will do it. We went to the local quick stop store where everyone knows him. They always encourage him to practice his social skills when making purchases (saying thank you, handing the money to the cashier, etc.) They are very patient and kind with him.
He was able to be outside more to enjoy his swing and running across the back yard. We actually saw the sun a few times! Oh how we have missed the sun! Brandon likes to be outside and spring arriving is a great thing in our house. That also means baseball season is almost here and Brandon does like to cheer on his Cardinals.
He slept in! Almost every day of break! This is new. Most school breaks don’t really affect his sleep patterns. He is usually up at 6:30am every day regardless of when he went to sleep. Which means I am up at 6:30 every day. I am a night owl by nature, so this has been challenging for me over the years. But this past week…he slept in! One morning, he woke up at 10:30am. I was actually awake before him. That so rarely happens! It was glorious!
Brandon has much more down time when home on break. It is difficult for us to structure his time like they do at school. We have 5 people living in our house with 2 dogs and 1 cat. The schedules get a bit crazy at times. We do our best to schedule some things Brandon likes, but it can get challenging with so many different schedules in one house.
Brandon’s obsession with Mario Kart (read all about that here) increased a bit during the week. But there was no hitting and only a few tantrums with jumping that shakes the whole house. At one point, Brandon was trying to get very close to Steve’s face to say Mario Kart over and over. Steve put his arm out and Brandon placed his forehead in Steve’s hand and pushed. Sometimes, we forget to ask Brandon if he needs squeezes or deep pressure. This simple action helped calm him down and reminded us to remember that Brandon does need deep pressure at times.
He also began saying “Woo Hoo spring break no school” while throwing his arms in the air. This was repeated many times throughout the day and nights of spring break. On Friday, we started reminding him that he did have to go back to school. Three wake ups, then two wake ups and finally one wake up. Today!! School!! Preparing him for this change back to school is important so he knows what is coming.
This morning, I went into his room to wake him up. He woke up a bit more quickly than normal. He got dressed with only 3 reminders to “get your clothes on, man”, and we were sitting on the couch together when the bus arrived. As he walked out to get on the bus, he looked straight at me and said “play Mario Kart”. I ignored him, waved to the bus driver, and said “We missed you!” She laughed and said I wasn’t the first parent who had said that to her today.
Steve had a conversation with Brandon last night that went something like this:
Steve: Are you ready to go back to school?
Steve: Who are you ready to see?
Steve: Is he your best friend at school?
Steve: Who is your best friend at school?
We laughed a lot about this conversation. We know from his teachers that he likes leaving school at the end of the day. Our best friend at his school is probably the bus, too. We like that it takes him TO school to his wonderful teachers and therapists. We also like that it brings him home safely every day.