Autism certainly is a rollercoaster to live with.
You have the horrendous lows just before and during the diagnosis.
Then amazing highs when they actually look you in the eye, and smile.
There are times that you want to tear your hair out and ask “why US??”, and there are times when everything goes so smoothly you think “hey, this isn’t too bad after all!”.
Thing is, these highs and lows are often felt many many times in the one day. Hell, sometimes multiple times an hour!
You learn to appreciate the little things, like the firstborn child who tells you he loves you and that you’re the bestest mum in the world, even if it is just because he wants a cookie!
You find yourself learning more than you ever had, and know that you can handle a LOT more than you ever thought you could. Hell, you’re pretty much super woman!
You see your little one learning how to cope in our world, and picking up more and more as time goes on, and your heart just about bursts with pride when they finally understand pointing at three years one month and eight days old.
Thing is, just like with children in general, some of them are better in the mornings, some in the afternoons, some at bathtime, and so on. The reverse of this is true. I’m still not a morning person, but my dad has always been one to be up! and ready to face the day! quite early.
Night times are Max’s worst. The time of day I absolutely dread.
He’s usually a wee star during the day.
Yes he has a tantrum when he doesn’t get his own way, but it’s only a tantrum, a typical three year old thing, not the autism. Other than that, he’s generally a happy little chappie who’s, quite frankly, a joy to be around.
When it gets to bed time though, it’s like someone takes away my sweet cuddly little man and replaces him with a screaming kicking devil child.
He will carry on the Good Boy routine right up until I say goodnight and close the stairgate at his door, but as soon as it clicks shut, all hell breaks loose.
I’m actually surprised no one has come round thinking I’m beating up my child yet.
Thank god for living in a semi-detached!
He screams, he throws the heaviest things he can at the door and out of it.
He hits his brother when he (bless him) tries to cheer him up.
He throws every toy in the room onto the floor.
He’s broken his bed from bashing it with his feet.
He kicks the door repeatedly.
And he screams.
Then he screams some more.
It doesn’t matter if he’s had a nap or not, the same thing happens.
Ever since he figured out how to climb out of his cot and I turned it into a bed, he’s been a nightmare.
One that won’t let me go to sleep till after 11pm some nights.
This evening he’s been screaming for two and a half hours.
I moved Zack into my bed and tucked him in there so he didn’t have to hear the screaming quite as loud.
It’s gone sort of quiet, but I know it’ll start up again at least once more before he completely exhausts himself into sleep.
And tomorrow we’ll start all over again, first with the highs of getting my lil guys snuggling up in bed with me, and ending in the lows of listening to endless screaming in the evening.
Thank god for my iPod and blogging to keep me at least partially sane, that’s all I’m sayin’!