Christmas is officially over; you can no longer hold onto the festivities and you now need to take the decorations down! DOWN! – I am joking, keep them up as long as desire.
But I am not joking when I say that it is time to drag ourselves out this rut and return back to ‘normal’ life, that being school runs, breakfast and after school clubs, appointments and actually needing to get dressed! *Yawns*
On a serious note though only yesterday I was writing about the fact I was ill, and you can’t be sick when you’ve got kids and you just in generally speaking cannot have a day off, it is 24/7 365days A YEAR! We prepped so hard for Christmas to ensure it went as smoothly as possible for the boys and us too, its traumatic to watch our children in a meltdown and it’s also traumatic for them too and I also think it is fair to say that it is physically draining for all involved.
Christmas is now over, as soon as we took the decorations down, we straight away started the preparation for the transition for returning back to school, if you don’t you are setting everyone up for torture, preparation is key and that is just primal. So, what did we do?
Every month I make up a calendar with all the days on and I fill them in with each thing that we are doing for that day, one for each child, two in total. At the end of the day I get the kids to put a star on the calendar and we have a conversation about that day, we also talk about the commencing day, if one thing I have also learnt on this journey is that having kids who were and are non-verbal you truly appreciate the value of communication. Please please please listen to me when I tell you this, my children are coming out the other end, but at one point we couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel we genuinely thought that we would be stuck in this hole forever but I promised my heartbroken husband all them years ago that if there was one thing I was going to do is make sure me, him and those babies of ours would be okay, even if I had to claw my way out of this hole carrying the weight of my family, communicate and never stop communicating, being able to communicate is a gift, treasure that.
Whilst the calendar works a treat it’s not enough, we also have a visual timetable of what is going to happen each day, for example we have everything in picture order, and it goes a little something like this:
- Wash face
- Brush teeth
- Get dressed
- Put on coat
(I get the boys to take these off the Velcro and hand them too me, I just put them in my back pocket until I can get a chance to put them back in the box where they belong but 9 times out of 10 I’m still walking around with them until tea time, so if you see me ask what is in my back pocket!)
- Get in car
(Both boys have different days so I will continue with Christopher’s, once he’s in school they have their own routine and do visuals as his school is a specialist unit for children with Special educational needs)
- Home time
- Toy/TV time
- Bath time
Whilst it seems like a lot it genuinely just becomes a natural part of life, a very useful thing in order to cope day to day and it really does help with the child/individual’s ability to get through day to day life.
Once you get the diagnosis confirmation it isn’t a magic pill that is going to make everything better, there is no pill you can take, early intervention is the best thing you can do for a person, but any type of intervention is better than no intervention at all. I have always said that parenting a child with additional needs is extreme parenting and its unconventional parent to say the very least because you have to parent out of the ‘norm’ and some parents with children who are normally developed or other parents who are not familiar with children and additional needs may not get it or understand it, but we don’t need them too, they aren’t parenting our children, we are and that is why you have got to go above and beyond, tired or not, sick or not, support or no support, you cannot clock out!
I wish everyone a smooth transition back to school, I hope you’ve stocked up on some gin, enjoy an hour-long bath and do what you’ve got to do to stay sane!
You know where I am if you ever want to chat, rant or rave or even need extra advice or support, we are all in this together you can contact us on our get in touch page, but my email is Rachael@superherodan.co.uk.
Stay blessed and healthy.