By Kodey Toney
We know that children on the autism spectrum are tethered to routine more than other children. This is why last week’s spring break paired with remodeling our house was double-trouble for Konner.
Let me start by saying that anytime we have a break it throws Konner’s schedule off so much that he is confused, emotional, and tends to have frequent meltdowns. However, this one was different; some good and some bad.
We had planned on a vacation several states away which I was kind of dreading because long trips in the car are crazy with him. However, do to some other circumstances we decided to stay home and remodel our house.
I know, crazy change in plans.
With this we started ripping out carpet, moving furniture, removing trim, and completely rearranging the house. This alone caused Konner to stand in the middle of the house for long periods at time and just look around. He was trying to figure out what was going on and get re-acclimated with the situation.
He would then run through the house screaming and jumping around, literally bouncing off the walls at times. This happens on breaks and I was ready for that. However, I knew we were not going to get anything done, and the construction and debris could cause him and Kruz to hurt themselves so we had our parents take turns watching them throughout the week (thank you Judy and Teresa).
This helped in ways because we didn’t have them in the house, but it also was different for Konner. He is comfortable staying with both sets of parents though, so that was a good thing. By Friday though he was ready to get back into routine and asked when he was going back to school.
When he would come back home in the evenings he would stand and look around and then get excited about the new things he saw. He really liked it, but you could tell he couldn’t get used to it being different.
The good news is that he didn’t have any meltdowns, at least that I knew about, during the week. He was emotional at times though and would get upset over small things like his iPad or his brother and come into the room with tear-filled eyes to explain why he was upset. This is something typical for him when he is over-stimulated.
I count this as a success though. It is proof to me that what we have been doing over the years with him has been working. Only a couple years ago this week would have been a complete nightmare. He would have probably been in full-meltdown mode at least once a day. It gives me hope that we are doing the right things. Not that we don’t have a long way to go.