Blog of the Week: I’m Just Trying To Work Out How To Be Like Myself!

Blog_of_the_week_badgeIt’s Blog of the Week time again and today we thought we would celebrate World Autism day with this wonderful post from Sonny Days.

Every Sunday Melanthe, who writes Sonny Days, works with a 7 year old boy with autism and ADHD, taking him out into London. This post describes one of those days out and some of the lessons they are learning along the way.

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photo 1

Sonny and I do weird stuff when we are out.

Sometimes we stand and watch water run from taps for a while after the toilet.

Sometimes we walk for 15 minutes in the wrong direction because Sonny is adamant it is the correct way, despite me showing him the map on my phone.

Sometimes we go up and down in a lift countless times.

These are all Sonny’s ideas, not mine! But when I take him out into the real world I am aware of how difficult it can be for Sonny.

Too much noise, too many people, too hot, too cold, too much space, too little space, etc. So sometimes even though it’s a bit unconventional, I allow him to do what he wants/needs to do on our days out to make him more comfortable, even if it does seem a little bit odd.

For example, we were at Battersea Park Zoo on Sunday, and it was really sunny and we Sonny Dayssaw all the animals and then went on the climbing frames outside for a while which was lovely. Then as we were on our way out, we went through the zoo’s shop. Some toy snakes caught Sonny’s attention. We sat on the floor and played with them for about half an hour. Sonny especially liked it when I made one of the snakes try to eat him. And then he got very involved with counting them (once he had asked me to put them all around his arms).

Sometimes it is quite hard to not have an agenda of my own for the days out with Sonny, like I REALLY wanted to go outside and have a picnic, (when is there ever sun in March in England!?) instead of playing with snakes inside in the shop! But I wanted to let Sonny do what he needed to first, and then we went outside after. So I try not to interrupt these moments when he gets immersed in something that I wouldn’t even bat an eyelid to. After all, he is just learning about what he likes and doesn’t like. And I am just trying to understand that and understand him.

I remember working with him at school and obviously in that context there were many times he had to adapt to what the adults wanted him to do. But on the weekends and the time I spend with him, I think it is important for him to know he can use it in whichever way HE feels appropriate (to an extent. I would not accept him running around Battersea Park butt naked and stealing people’s food for example.) Because I think a lot of his frustration/anger/fear comes from not feeling in control. And to be fair I get pretty upset when I don’t feel in control.

And if people are constantly telling him what to do and how to play and what is good and what is bad he won’t work it out for himself and won’t know what he likes and doesn’t like. So basically I just try and allow him to be as much as himself as possible.

Often in his life he is made to adapt to our world and all the norms and social etiquettes that come with it, like putting clothes on, or looking at people in the eyes, or being told when he has to eat or to hold an adult’s hand etc. So I value the times when I can step into his world, when he shows me a little bit of what is going on in his busy brain. I feel like I know him better somehow after these moments. I feel like he knows himself better too.

photo 4 copy photo 3 copy photo 5

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For information, advice and details of national and local support groups check Netmums. http://www.netmums.com/parenting-support/special-needs/autism-aspergers

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The Netmums Blog brings you a behind the scenes look at Netmums, as well as some fabulous guest bloggers and an up to date look at what's new on our Parent Bloggers Network.
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7 Responses to Blog of the Week: I’m Just Trying To Work Out How To Be Like Myself!

  1. Abby Boid says:

    Such a lovely and illuminating post

  2. What a gift you’re giving that young boy – himself! Congratulations 🙂

  3. Samantha says:

    My daughter would love to spend the day with you! For someone else to understand her little quirks and let her get on with it, instead of starring of judging! My little girl is 5 and has a diagnosis of asd. . . . Keep up the excellent work . . . Long May you and sonny have lots of fun x

  4. Naseem Alibhai says:

    You are doing a wonderful job with this little boy. I have a son (who is now a man 40 years old) and I understand quite a lot what you have stated. I wish you and sonny all the best.

  5. Tara says:

    Brilliant. Sounds like he’s a lovely boy. Good ideas

  6. f1fan2001 says:

    One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given was, if your child is enjoying doing something, don’t be in such a rush to move onto the next thing

  7. ND says:

    Autism, Aspergers, ADHD Kid’s & Parents Group in London

    For parents and children of different ages who want to meet others who are similar for chats, activities and outings.

    Come along to meet other parents and children. Have a chat and make some new friends.

    Meeting on the 26th April 2014

    See the link below to join:

    Autism, Aspergers, ADHD Kids & Parents Group in Lo

    London, GB
    17 Amazing Parents and Kids

    As a parent, I would like to create a social group. A group for parents and children to meet, talk, play or just enjoy outings.We will meet once or twice a month, get know ea…

    Check out this Meetup Group →

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