Yesterday we helped my sister move. We knew it’d be tough for the monkey. Consistency is the key for him and that wouldn’t be happening. People coming in and out, moving furniture, putting things in boxes, there would be movement everywhere. I told my husband that if the monkey would struggle, I’d take him for drives around the neighborhood to help calmn his anxiety.
Our in-home trainer had taken pictures of the strip mall that the monkey loves to go and watch. She even added velcros of each business. And the monkey loved it. He was so excited getting the pictures and putting the businesses in the order that they are stationed.
For the move, I took his strip mall pics. And it helped! Throughout all the chaos, these pics gave him comfort. He was able to focus on sorting them than on the craziness around. The sorting gave him a sense of control.
And I’m so grateful that he understood we needed his patience. He’s been struggling at home a lot lately, so this was a wonderful surprise. He let his parents help carry boxes and furniture for about three hours and he didn’t have a single meltdown.
I cannot imagine what our kiddos go thru each day. I have had anxiety before. On days before an exam, a big race, a medical procedure, I get very anxious. So anxious that my heart starts racing and I can’t sleep or think rationally.
Now imagine having this all the time?
People on the spectrum have to deal with so much everyday. They fight their inner battles to try to conform with what we expect of them. They are much braver than what we think, than what we give them credit for.
The strongest people are not those who promote their strength. But those that fight inner battles without anyone knowing.