It’s almost a year since the pandemic began! What a year. Life changed for many. Many lost their lives and many lost their livelihood. Many months people completely locked themselves up in fear of the virus. But time moves on things are picking up in different ways. Scientists have come up with a vaccine and trying to make things return to normal. Some people have decided they would act with caution and return back to their normal lives and some are still playing it safe with limiting their activities.
So what does this mean for Mom with a young adult with autism. My son loves routines. Until 21 he went to school but as soon as he turned 21 there was no more school. The process of transition was nearly 3 years but yet we ended up on a waitlist for a day program. But I was lucky I found a non traditional program which helped me take him and be part of a community. We were settling in. He also got an aide with whom he was learning a new routine. So when pandemic rolled over things became topsy turvey in his world.
So what happened to his life during the pandemic?🤔
A ton of good things happened and here are a few. He was addicted to vending machines and he always had a tantrum near one. I had to get help from a behavior therapist to get a plan as to how stop his big problem. So when pandemic hit all vending machines closed😀. No vending machines tantrum 🖐He has learnt to live with that. Any trip inside a grocery store would be him picking up a packet of chips and candy. That too stopped. Why? We had groceries delivered!😂 Even if we went only one person did the shopping. He couldn’t wear a 😷 mask. So we didn’t take him.
As time passed on, . My son is now a pro wearing masks. Everything is open for us now. He has couple of masks in the car which he automatically wears when getting out. He has learnt that wearing one gives him right of passage everywhere. Has’nt he adapted himself. This is a kid we spent hours rubbing his feet to wear socks and shoes!
Now that he got himself trained in grocery stores we started going to gym. Btw the vending machines are still closed at the gym. But we have developed an endurance. As I checked my fitbit on the way home we had stayed there for an hour and ten minutes today wearing a mask the entire time. I think this is the most we have spent in the gym , maybe inside a closed environment since the pandemic began.
So what does this all tell me as I ponder writing my thoughts my son whom I thought struggles with routine changes can be changed. He survived a year without his favorite routines. He is flexible. As he threw a tantrum today that his kindle was not charged I would have got anxiety attacks but I told my husband he needs to live with that! Just like how he is living through a pandemic!
Hey for a month now he is even attending online classes. Who knew he could say hi and bye on a go to meeting and listen to stories songs and games(I cannot say quietly but I can mute him😀😀)But yes he is doing it.
We seem to be creating new routine and new activities as we start a day. We are humans and we are all flexible. I think a bit of endurance we all can adapt to any situation. A huge lesson learnt.