So I’ve covered traveling with our precious ones. That leaves when people come to visit. Family and friends who don’t see us day in and day out when they come to visit are already threatening our precious routine. We spend days preparing our children for the changes that lie ahead with extra people when they come to visit.
Now let me first say this; we love it when people to come see us and visit with us. While we struggle to keep stability for our children on the spectrum and entertain our guests we are preparing ourselves mentally for anything from anyone.
Our houses aren’t spotless like Better Homes and Garden show homes. We probably haven’t folded the clean laundry and there may be dishes in our sinks. There may be toys lined up all through the house or toothpaste/toothbrushes lined up on the sink. We may look exhausted and drained. Beds probably aren’t made as who knows who last jumped or bounced on the bed. Yet, our children are good and we are willing to open up our arms to you.
Our children probably have a limited diet. Yes, we know balanced is best but calories are important too. If our doctor can’t figure out how to get Janie and Jonnie how to eat certain foods, and we see them often, please don’t try to help me in this area. We pick our battles and food battles are hard enough. I don’t care how much ketchup they use as long as they are eating something with it.
Don’t apologize for my child. I won’t apologize for my child, please don’t either. I know my child is special. I know my child has limitations. I also know that my child has an infectious laugh. I know that while the stimming may upset you, or amuse you, that stimming is helping calm my child down. I know that sometimes my child has inappropriate behavior but I have to deal with it in a timeframe that won’t send my child into a meltdown. And if my child doesn’t talk or look at you, please don’t make them feel bad for it.
Don’t take it personal if my child won’t hug you or respond to you. There are times that we don’t get it from them either. If they are wearing their shoes on the wrong feet or clothing on backwards, I will deal with it, IF it has to be. I don’t need it pointed out to me. I see it every day. Chances are that I’m thrilled that my child has put on clothing today.
I guess the most important thing for you to know is I want you to visit. I don’t want advice. I don’t want sympathy or pity. I don’t want anything more than quiet understanding. If I’m curious or wondering your thoughts on something that’s when I will ask you for them. I’m exhausted from the sideline parents around me elsewhere; I don’t want it in my home too.
This is the place we have the most stability. This is where we can be free and be ourselves. You will see us how we really are. Struggles and all. And you are welcome here. Just remember, we deal with therapists, counselors, IEPs, doctors, psychiatrists, teachers and others on a regular basis who already see these issues and help us. We just want to have a normal conversation with a cup of coffee and a happy stimming spinning child who can squeal and be themselves without fear of more judgments.
We love you. We just need the stability and routine and to keep calm and carry on.