Some people are dismissive of the Neurodiversity Paradigm and feel it’s a glitter bombing of all things autism. It clearly isn’t. And sometimes things are really hard. But we can handle this with respect to the person who is having a difficult time and support everyone.
I wanted to share what we do whilst riding the waves and applying the brakes to our life.
At our house I find we can have a hard day and we get through it and the next day it’s fresh, and we start again. Sometimes things shift and change easily but then other times they stick and become rigid, and it’s rough. It goes from being days, to sometimes into a week or even longer.
When we are having a rough time at home, things are different, out of sync, there is a new behaviour that I don’t understand and it’s causing friction. It can feel like I don’t even know what’s going on anymore and often there are lots of tears, anger – and things are just so hard.
We Brake. We stop doing all the things, we go back to basics, we realise that there is possibly burn out, things have to stop.
I cancel anything where there is resistance, do anything that the person who is struggling wants to do, we stay home, rest, eat, try and connect as much as much as possible. We do quiet, movies, whatever it is that brings comfort and reduces stress.
It’s so incredibly damaging to plough forward with a person (and more so with a child) who is struggling, whose behaviour is really communicating that they need someone to apply the brakes so they can reconfigure, recover and have space to come back to themselves.
During this time I do reach out. I go to my Neurodivergent friends that usually also have Neurodivergent children to talk, collaborate, seek support, advice and ideas to support my family or a child experiencing a new challenge.
There is a different way that autism is spoken about amongst these people. The ableism is missing. The respectful way people speak about their children is there. There is consideration to privacy and detail of information provided and there is love in helping families be their best and thrive.
It’s during the brakes on period that we are able to sit back and gain some perspective. See things without being so caught up in it. Letting go and just allowing comfort to take over and heal. It’s usually during this space that I have lightbulb moments of what’s going on and my insight is better.
Things mend, tempers are eased, the roughness makes way for smoothed edges.
As rough as these times are I now know it’s a time of growth for myself and I do come out of this with more insight and a deeper understanding. And knowing that these times will come and go over our life allows me to get better at braking.