According to Aiden, we spend our lives doing pointless activities.
Why would you – go for a walk?
Why would you – get dressed if you’re not going out?
Why would you – get another dog when you already have one? (this is a sore subject for Aiden, in our house, right now)
There are so many daily events in life that, apparently, serve no purpose!
Let me explain Aiden’s logic.
If you are walking to the shop, you have a reason to go, if you are taking the dog for a walk, there is a purpose to walk, but, if, however, you simply, go for a walk, well, more fool you?
In Aiden’s world, there is just no point!
We spent years coaxing, bribing and practically dragging Aiden around the woods for what we thought was a fun day out!
Seriously, how stupid were we? Not for not thinking in the same way, but, for continuing to take him and hoping, that one day he might, suddenly, enjoy it!
There were countless times that I would be left in the middle of the woods, whilst on walks with friends because he would refuse to walk any further! I was screamed at, shouted at, hit, kicked and even pushed over, in the mud, but we still continued to go on walks, ’for fun!’ When I look back, I seriously have to question who it is, that has the learning disability? (jeeese, I’m a slow learner!)
So what would I have done differently?
If I had my time again, would I still take him?
Yes, absolutely, I would still take him to the woods, because the rest of the family enjoyed it. However, I would have not taken him on the walking part. We would generally go to a woods which had a picnic area and a park, so I would just stay there with him.
I know, I can hear you, but, then your other kids would miss out on you being with them. Well, they missed out anyway, because I was dealing with him screaming. Life with a child with autism is full of comprises, especially for the siblings, at least this way it would have been more enjoyable and peaceful for everyone.
Myself and Simon could have taken it in turns to go on the walk or if I was on my own because Simon was at work, the others could have just walked with my friends and their families.
Clearly, I was just as stubborn as Aiden, apart from, I was the adult and I was the one with the neurotypical brain which enables me to change my thinking and adapt, to accommodate others.
The reality was, I didn’t want to miss out and I desperately, just wanted him to conform. If I’m honest, I didn’t want to be seen, to be ruled, by my child!
When actually, if I had been brave and selfless enough to make the decision to stay back from the walk, there would have been no question about who was in charge. It would have reduced the stress and anxiety to Aiden and we could have all had a fun day out.
Please learn from my mistakes. If you know something causes immense stress to your child, change what you do and take the pressure off, because in the end, nobody wins and, actually, Aiden is probably right – there’s no point!