Parents can easily become overwhelmed having to deal with all that entails a child’s schedule… there’s school, extra curricular activities after, there’s camps, programs, summer get aways and if your child has Autism, then there’s also therapy sessions, other camps, group sessions and so much more.
Wait, the parents can be overwhelmed? Just imagine how the children must feel!
Naturally, not all children are created equal and so many will be just fine with all that there is to do.. after all, children don’t seem to run out of energy like adults do. They just move from one thing to the next and keep right on going.
This generally isn’t how it is for children with Autism though, at least not in my experience. All of these things are really great and essential to treating the Autism within your child, to helping them over come it and break through. However, when my son gets home from school on a Friday afternoon, you can visibly see the tension that has built up from a solid week of it.
When you start to add up the school days, the friends visiting, the therapy sessions, the camps, groups… without down time, your child might get progressively more and more overwhelmed and possibly even regress. That means that all that you accomplished with the school and therapies and such would be for nothing.
One of the things that bugged my wife and I early on was how other parents kept pushing “me time” on us, telling us how great it’ll be when the kids are in school or day care or off to a baby sitter… it’s not the notion that bugs us but how much people seem to think that it should be done to excess.
It’s as if people are eager to “pawn off” their children at the first available opportunity so that they can have someone else “deal with them.” This does not go over well with me nor my wife because we’ve come to realize that the more family time we can get, the better our Autistic son does.
That’s not to say that one extreme is better than the other… we can’t keep him from every therapy session, never let him go to school and never socialize and hope he’ll be ok… we just have to recognize when it’s been too long and step back and maybe go to the beach or something.
Family time, it’s not something to be feared! It’s also not something to be scheduled for that one 2 week period that you get vacation time. There are evenings and week-ends you know! Don’t be afraid of your kids, do stuff!
The moral of the story is, too much of anything is not a good thing.. unless it’s love, of course. Your children can’t spend all their time away just as they can’t spend all of their time with you.
If your child is in school, camps, summer programs and more and you find there is no break, or if you find that your child is not only benefiting less but even regressing to a point… there’s no harm in taking a break and just being a family. They won’t “lose what they’ve learned” nor will they “miss out” on anything they could have learned.
Your child needs that security, that love and that comfort that only you can provide. Don’t deprive them of that in your search to get them “back to normal.”