This blog post was started a few weeks ago, so it has been a work in progress. Part was written before school started and part of it after.
I’m really struggling with knowing what to write about. More so than usual. There are so many other good autistic bloggers and allies who seem to know just what to say. My mind is a constant swirling mess. I am also struggling with lack of time. I am finished my book to either self-publish or see if a publisher is interested. I really only worked on it when Micah was in therapy or in music lessons, because it is easier to focus away from the chaos of our home.
I’m also really struggling with back to school time. It is one of my hated times of the year. There is a change in season and a life change with Micah going back to school. It is very hard for me to adjust. We picked up Micah’s timetable at registration and they had no lunch or classes with friends. Their mental health has not been good lately, so they really needed to at least have lunch with friends so they could have some positive interaction and support. They were also put in a math class with a teacher whom the school knew was going to be very unhealthy for Micah. He is the only teacher who teaches the grade 10 math. Micah was pulled out and will do correspondence for grade 10 math instead. Classes that could have been set up with friends weren’t arranged that way for some reason.
Micah had been fearing back to school and with the schedule, those fears came true. Their anxiety greatly increased. Many kids don't like school, but they shouldn't have to fear it.
As an autistic parent, my anxiety gets bad knowing that I need to fix things so that they work out for the best and I try to make it so that Micah’s anxiety does not get too bad. I end up making calls, emailing, and dealing with things that I can’t naturally do but it is typical parenting stuff so it must be done. This year, the school was not allowing timetable changes for grades 10-12 until their first day of school. How was I supposed to get Micah to school if there was no safe timetable in place for their first day? I didn't know what to do and my anxiety got so bad that my body hurt and I felt very sleepy. If I felt like that with what is essentially a regular parenting job, how did Micah feel being the one directly impacted. I did send four emails and even made a phone call. I didn’t hear back from the school.
I was told to go into the school at 8am on the first day, which was only for grade 9’s. We waited for the guidance counselor. He came in and got things sorted out. Micah ended up with three classes and lunch with their best friend and lunch and one of the classes with their girlfriend also. I don’t know why my anxiety gets so bad when I know the school usually tries its best to fix things.
The one thing we are still having trouble with is the bus. Somehow, Micah no longer has the same bus route or bus. They ended up with a short bus instead of a minivan. I contacted the school and told them the reasons why Micah needed a van and it was taken care of. Micah did not end up on her old route still. They were upset again about issues in the van and we are now hoping those can be taken care of. Micah is back to me driving but for both the morning and afternoon. I am worried that there will be days when we will not be able to get Micah to school, because I cannot drive one way or the other. I really hope it gets sorted out! Found out that it is not to be this year. We will see what happens next fall.
My EDS seems to really be making my body worse. I used to have no problem getting up on a horse but after not riding for nine months, it seems I can’t. I got a Groupon to try the barn where Micah was riding with our old instructor. The first lesson was fine with the high indoor mounting block. The second lesson was not so good. There is a narrow, wobbly, short step ladder outside in the ring or you can get on your horse just outside the barn. I had gone to the ring because I wasn’t comfortable getting on so far away from the ring and the taller mounting block was surrounded by other things at the time. I tried to get on but my range of motion is not as good as it used to be so I couldn’t get my leg up high enough as well as have the strength to pull myself up. In addition to that, I didn’t have the girth tight enough. We know where that leads! Slipping saddle and me hanging on and not knowing where to put my foot to get back on the stool. Hard to get back on a short stool when you have motor planning problems and and also don't completely know where your body is in space. I was worried I would fall on the stool and/or slip under the horse. Not good. I finally got on but had irritated an existing sore tendon in my leg, so I ended up walking most of the lesson. Since then, I have again given up riding. Maybe, I am not meant to ride anymore. It was one sport I liked to do and it was actually good in some ways for my body. It helps with movement and many autistic people have issues with movement and coordination. It was really good for my sensory needs, also.
Micah changed barns again to one which is closer to our house. Our instructor will work out of there one day a week so far. Maybe next summer, I will try again! The new place is only about 20 minutes from our house as opposed to the 45 we have been doing the past few months. That will be a lot less stressful.