Today I want to talk about autism and reading, specifically how Jack and Lily learnt how to read. Jack starting school life at a SEN school, before moving to a school specifically for Autism. Whilst Lily is at a mainstream school. So there School life is very different.
Jack was never expected to do anything academically, and had proved people wrong. With how much he has actually been able to do. Parents of school aged children here in the UK, I’m sure will know all about reading diaries. And the Biff, Chip and Kipper books. Other parts of the world I’m sure will have something similar. We never had any of that with Jack. He’s never had homework, or been given reading books to do.
He can read though, something that came out of the blue, a few years ago now. He still has no set reading work though, as making it school work would be counter productive. We just allowed him to read at his own pace. The main place he was reading was on computer games, or the internet. He’d always be asking for things to be read for him, then one day I realised he’d stopped asking. With no external pressure, and because he wanted too, he had basically taught himself.
Making progress with Lily
That last bit is the very important point I want to make with this post. Lily has the reading diary, the spelling tests and the homework. This is the area that has been the cause of the problems we’ve had, with Lily and school. Reading and writing is something that Lily finds very difficult, and has caused her a lot of anxiety.
During the months of lockdown, we didn’t put any pressure on her to read. I’m general we didn’t do a huge amount of structured homeschooling. We did lots of different activities that were just part of the day. Not making a big point of this being school time, and putting pressure on it. It was a stressful enough time anyway, without adding more stress to everyone.
I know Natalie was especially worried about Lily falling even further behind. Fast forward to Lily coming home for the first time with a new reading book, and she sat with Mum and confidently read through the book first time. This has NEVER happened before. It would take a whole week, for Lily to get to grips with a book. We are talking roughly 15 pages, with 4 lines to a page maximum. The next when she came, I found her in her bedroom reading through a new book by herself. It was one of those parenting moments, where you are just bursting with pride.
SEN children learn at their own pace
When you have a child with special educational needs, one of the first things you have to come to terms with. Is that they won’t follow the rule book of expectations. The certain points children are supposed to be at, for each school year aren’t important. If you have family and friends with children the same age, who are way ahead. Or have younger children who over take yours, then try not to worry about it.
I know it’s natural to worry, as we all want the best for our children. But it doesn’t do anyone any good, trust me, I have been there. So whether it’s autism and reading, or any other type of school work. Give your child the support they need, without piling on the pressure. Then they will achieve the best that they can, and whatever that is, is great.
If you yourself have any tips or success stories when it comes to autism and reading, we’d love to hear them. Leave us a comment below. As always, thank you for reading.
After the back to school tears, from Lily last week. I just wanted to do an update, and tell you all. That Lily has been enjoying school. After a few tears on Monday, she has happily gone to school the rest of the week. And most importantly, she has come out from school every day with a smile on her face. Fingers crossed this continues, and she doesn’t go back to dreading going to school.
I think that being back and seeing her friends again, has made her happy. And that is over riding the worries about the school work. The “bubbles” that they are in is also making the school feel less busy, which is also definitely helping g Lily. So far it’s all smiles, and lets hope it stays that way.
How long will they stay at school?
The thing that’s on my mind, with Lily enjoying school. Is how long will they stay at school? There’s already news of possible Covid cases in the area, though not at Lily’s school. I’m expecting it will only be a matter of time before the schools close again. If that does happen, it will be even more difficult than the first time.
Jack is really happy at school, and would be allowed to stay in school if the schools close again. Which would leave the decision of whether he goes in our hands, which is a lot of pressure.
With Lily I will be back to worrying is she would settle going back again. It’s been a confusing time for young children, and I worry it’s not going to get any easier. I guess we will just have to see how things go, and wait for any announcements. At least for now both Jack and Lily are enjoying school, and hopefully that continues. As always, thanks for reading.
Here in the UK it was back to school this week, with schools opening properly for the first time since March. I am sure there was quite a few back to school tears across the country this week. Here we had complete polar opposites, as Jack couldn’t wait to go back to school and see his friends. Lily on the other hand was not so keen.
There have been tears, and lots of talk about not wanting to go back to school over the last week. They both returned to school on Thursday, and Jack leaves first being picked up by a taxi. He went off happily. Lily got up and ready for school well enough, but as soon as it was time to leave the house. Those back to school tears started.
We usually walk up to school, but decided it would be better in the car on this occasion. She was okay in the car, and the short walk into school. But when it came time for us too leave her, the tears were back. It’s never nice to leave your child when they are upset, but her best friend came over to see her. So after giving her some reassurance, we slipped away hoping she would settle once we had gone.
First day back
When we picked Lily up from school, she came out with a smile. She did settle and enjoyed her first day back, which was reassuring. She’s in a smaller class than she was last year, and will spend a lot of time working in a small group of kids who need extra support. There were more back to school tears on Friday morning, but she walked up to school with her best friend. Which cheered her up, and she had another good day. So far, so good.
Jack enjoyed being back at school, though 2 of his friends aren’t in his class anymore. Which he’s not to happy about, but seems to be okay with. As he can still see them. They have shortened the class size to just 4, which probably benefit Jack. It’s incredible that they can even do that.
On Friday Jack came home and went to his room to play his Xbox. After an hour or so, I suddenly realised he’d been very quiet. He’s usually shouting me from his room, wanting food and drink. Or to show me what he’s doing. So I went to check him, and at 17:30 he was fast asleep. A busy couple of days had obviously worn him out!
Back to normality
I have to admit, it was nice to have a bit or normality back. Plus some peace and quiet for a few hours, which allowed me to get stuff done. And have some time just to relax. It’s all gone well so far, I’m still worried about how Lily will cope with school, especially once the dreaded English work starts.
The social distancing and being in class “bubbles” is probably a good thing for Lily. How busy the school is, has always been the biggest problem for her. Jack seems happy enough, there has been a few changes at school. There is always a delay with Jack, while he processes changes, so we will have to wait a week or 2 at least. Before knowing he’s definitely okay with them.
All in all, the return to school went pretty well, and everyone is happy and ready to enjoy the weekend. I hope the return to school, if your children did return also went well. As always, thanks for reading.
Originally I had the idea to write about the transition to the summer holidays from school, which is something Jack finds difficult. It’s perhaps unfair to say we dread the them coming round, but the first week or two are always very challenging. But it’s been a weird year, and although Jack did go back to school for a bit. It doesn’t feel like normal, and Jack has mostly spent his time on his Xbox. So I’ll leave that on the back burner, until next year.
His routine has been all over the place for months, so I don’t think the boy knows what’s going on anymore. He broke his TV in a meltdown a few weeks back, so he has his Xbox in the living room at the moment. Which he is loving, far too much for my liking. It’s keeping him happy, and entertained at least.
Spending time with the kids
I’m looking at slowing the blogging down for this month, and as much time doing stuff with the kids as I can. Obviously we will no doubt share some of the things we do on here, whenever we we do anything now they both ask if it’s going on the website. Which is nice, I’m happy that they are proud to show of the things the do.
We cancelled our holiday to Devon this year, and booked for 2 weeks next year instead. Which is something I’m really looking forward too. It does mean I have to keep the kids entertained without a holiday, and some of the things we’d like to do not open, or we are unsure about doing.
We got a small inflatable pool for the garden, which Lily loves splashing around in. With the heatwave that’s forecast I might be getting in it myself soon hah. We are going to try and have as much fun as possible, during this unusual summer.
Looking towards school
Thinking ahead, does anyone have any idea what’s happening with school? Jack will go back in September, but it all seems a bit unclear with Lily. To be honest from September, Lily and school is probably going to be a “hot topic”. The EHCP school promised to apply for this year isn’t materialising, leading to a greater feeling of we need to go about it ourselves. And start looking into “special schools” for Lily. I guess we will see what happens in September.
I hope you are all enjoying your summer holidays, whatever you are getting up to. As always, thank you for reading.
Keeping your children safe online, is something all parents have to think about these days. We were given a easy to understand online safety social story by Jack’s School. I believe in giving Jack as much freedom as we possibly can. About a year ago we ran into some problems online, with Jack using TikTok.
If you are not aware of TikTok, it is a social video sharing app. Jack discovered it and became obsessed with making videos. He does all sorts of stuff with the videos, adding music, filters and stuff beyond what I know how to do. I personally think it is a great creative outlet for him, and encourage him to work on his videos. Here is an an example of the type of things he does.
The problems came with it being a social media app, meaning you could message people. Something Jack wanted to do. You can turn messages off, which is what we did, but it didn’t take Jack long to figure out how to turn them back on.
The problem with Jack messaging people is his lack of understanding of how the real world works. If someone tells Jack they are his friend, he will believe that without question. That obviously has massive safety implications. Jack also can’t separate reality from fantasy. He would think something he watched in a movie was real life.
We have made some slow progress trying to explain these things to him. He has acknowledged these things when talking to him, but it’s difficult to know if he’s saying things just to shut Mum and Dad up. Jack has learned how to say things, to be able to get what he wants. We had problems explaining this to school at first, but they’ve seen it now. Jack is very clever at getting what he wants.
Jack’s trouble with social interaction
The other problem that Jack has in all walks of life. Is people see this 6 foot tall, well built person and think he is a lot older than he is. Add the fact his understanding levels are less than his age. This leaves a massive gap between what people expect of him and what he can actually do. Although his autistic traits are becoming more profound with age. It is not always obvious to people that Jack is “different”, until he speaks. With new people or someone you bump into out and about. Jack’s anxiety means he can get flustered and mix up his words.
When he talks to people, the conversation can be very one way, unless you know him well. Then you might be able to get a two-way conversation out of him, but only if Jack is willing. So when we found he had been messaging people, what we found was Jack bombarding people with talk about a subject. Often annoying the other person, as he wouldn’t stop.
Easy to understand online safety social story
We talked with school about the issue, and they worked on it at school and provided us with a social story. We now make our own using Twinkl, which is a website I highly recommend. I wanted Jack to still be able to make his videos. It is a great creative outlet for him, and something he really enjoys. But we had to make sure it was in a safe environment, so we went through the social story with him.
We took the step of deleting TikTok from Jacks phone, and made it so he couldn’t sign back into it. Unsurprisingly Jack wasn’t happy about this, but we came up with a solution that Jack has accepted. I have the TikTok app on my phone, and he is allowed to use it as long as we see what he’s made before he posts it. To be honest I enjoy watching the videos anyway. Also the messages have to stay turned off.
He asks to have it back on his own phone every now and then, but that’s not happening yet. It does mean I have to give up my phone when he wants to make videos, but I can live with that.
I know what you let your children do online and with technology is a divisive subject. It is an area where Jack thrives and even excels, in a world where he struggles with so many things. For that reason I encourage him in the area as much as possible, but of course always wanting to keep him as safe as possible. That was one of the reasons why this blog was started, to give him a platform where we can do stuff together. Something he is really excited about, and why we have the Jack’s documents section on the website. It’s important to have fun and be creative, but you always have to stay safe at the same time.
For today’s post, I am stepping aside for Jack & Lily’s Mum. To take you through step by step a homeschooling success with Lily. I mentioned some time ago that after Lily’s chromosome micro deletion diagnosis, we had been tested for it. The results came back that it was passed on from Natalie. Her understanding of the kids has always been amazing, this perhaps explains where it comes from, especially with Lily. As I didn’t write it, I’m quite happily to boast that this post is an amazing insight into homeschooling and communicating with the children. Something I’ve been really struggling with myself.
Step by step homeschooling success
Hi everyone I’m Natalie, Adams partner and mother to our two children Jack and Lily.
Today has been a good day. This afternoon I came downstairs to play with Lily whilst Adam got a few bits done. Lily and I was having a big tickle fight, she absolutely loves tickle fights! This distracted her from wanting daddy too.
Happily chasing her round our living room saying ‘I’m going to get you’ lily happily laughing her head off waiting for me to catch her. She collapsed laughing on the sofa whilst I was tickling her. As Lily was in a good mood I thought it would be a good opportunity to see if she’d do some schoolwork. Now we can’t mention the school part as Lily becomes far too distressed, and anxious at the very thought.
So instead I said “oh look what I’ve found, I wonder if you can put this sentence together” Lily laughing replied happily “oh yes I can” so the “oh no you can’t” game starts. It’s always best to keep Lily’s interest where possible so I always try my best to keep tasks to interests of hers. Before we knew it Lily had completed the worksheet finding it interesting and no pressure of it being schoolwork she was enjoying doing it.
So I turned the page over to Lily’s delight all that she needed to do was copy the sentences putting capital letters at the start and full stops at the end. Lily wizzed through this page, “Mummy this is easy”. Every step of the way I tell Lily how well she’s doing, how proud of her I am and how clever she is. Lily likes praise so doing this throughout encourages Lily to carry on. Of course at the end of each sheet we add a quick tickle fight in and big praise for how amazing she’d done to complete the sheet.
The joy of maths
Still on a high note with the odd tickle in between Lily was happy to carry on still unaware it’s school work. Lily wanted to now do a maths sheet as maths is her favourite. See with maths it’s more black and white than English, her answers are either right or wrong which is more straight forward so she can cope with this.
Lily turns to number lines and with my guidance on how to work the sums out, Lily happily sat next to me smiling away giving me her answers with a little doubt in her voice. So I decided to make out I had no idea on the last 5 sums. I was pretending to act surprised and shocked when she gave me the workings out and answers. Lily really enjoyed teaching mum instead of mum teaching her. Making it a game seemed so much more fun and kept Lily’s interest throughout.
Incorporating an activity Lily loves
Subtraction was next only it was a picture of an elephant with sums in squares. She needed to solve the sum in each square, to be able to then colour the square in with the right colour from the chart of answers above. Lily loving arty projects I knew this was perfect for her. She has no confidence with subtraction and my maths isn’t brilliant. So I showed Lily how to use a number line to help her do the sums.
Throughout this sheet Lily wanted to guess which colour that square was, then do the sums as this kept Lily’s attention. So that’s what we did. We would both guess a colour first then work out her sums to see who was right, making this as fun as possible I’d say ‘oh no I got that one wrong’ she absolutely loved this. Lily took great pleasure in doing these sums so she could colour the elephant in. With her loving art this task is a fantastic way for lily to engage in learning, and be able to combine art together. Lily only saw this as an arty task, and had no idea she was learning along the way.
Then Lily’s meltdown hits hard
Her final sheet was reading comprehension on Honeybees. Lily chose this sheet as she wanted to learn more about wonderful Honeybees.
Lily was fine whilst I read to her the information sheet which contained the answers for the questions on the following page. However Lily’s mood quickly changed, on the first question seeing she needed to write a medium size sentence, and thinking she needed to do this for every question. Lily started becoming distressed and a meltdown started. Crying, upset and anxious Lily kept repeating that ‘it’s too much’ ‘No one likes me’ I can’t do it’ ‘I’m too stupid’.
I sat next to Lily calmly, and spoke quietly as well as calmly to her, holding her by putting one arm round her and gently applied deep pressure by hugging her. I calmly said ‘Lily it’s ok, your very clever, look at all these sheets you’ve done. Wow your so much cleverer than me! Lets take a few minutes, it’s ok.” I was already seeing this as a big homeschooling success, but I wanted to see if we could do this last piece of work.
Controlling the anxiety and sensory overload
At this point I invited Lily to stand up with me and to walk round our living room calmly. I then sat down whilst Lily did 10 big jumps, at this point Lily sat next too me. I calmly mentioned how good the picture of the honeybees was and the interesting fact about their wiggle dance. We were soon both laughing, and having ago at their wiggle dance.
I then calmly said let’s give this question a go. I wonder what we can learn about honeybees, let’s do it word by word. At first Lily started to become upset again crying, but by remaining calmly at her side and just gently reminding her that it’s only one question. Which is about the difference between bumblebees and honeybees. By taking it one word at a time she’s so clever that she could do this. Still crying she reluctantly carried on writing out her answer. At this point Lily started to say she was tired so we finished this question and had a 5 minute break.
To keep Lily interested I started asking what colours are bees? She said black and yellow so I quickly replied with oh wow look your using a black and yellow stripped pencil it looks the same as bees. Lily was excited by this, laughing she said “Bees will think this pencil is another bee mummy and the end is there sting” this encouraged Lily to carry on.
There’s nothing wrong with giving a little help
With Lily struggling to read, I would read the section of text again. Where the answers to each individual question were in. Once I had read the information to her, I would repeat the question. Giving Lily plenty of time to process both what I had just said, and for her to find her answer.
Lily has always needed extra processing time. So by allowing her this extra time I was removing pressure and avoiding the meltdowns that would follow. After a few minutes I would gently guide Lily if she had not given me any answers. Again this would be done in a playful manner “oh Lily I think it’s somewhere on this line, what about you?” At this I was directing Lily towards the answer without giving it to her.
With reading Lily struggles to read text when it’s black text on white paper. She has previously said the letters/numbers move about. Which is common for children and adults alike, that have learning disabilities. So Lily uses a little slip of red see through plastic sheet, that she puts over the text to make this stand out more. Therefore making it easier for her to read. This also makes it clearer for Lily to read and stops the letters/numbers moving about on the page.
How we helped Lily to Read
The sheets we use and that I used as a child, are coloured projector sheets. If you wish to try this with your child,to start with you’ll need the different colour sheets. Then get a piece of text the text being black on a white piece of paper. This could be in a text book, worksheet or something you type up on a Microsoft word account and print out. Sit with your child and have this document with you. Then simply place the text infront of your child and then place the different coloured sheets over the page with the text, on doing each colour sheet individually.
Each time ask your child if they can see as well as read the text easier with the coloured sheet on the page. At the end ask which colour sheet makes it easier for them to read. At this point you may need to place a few sheets back over the text for your child to be able to say fully. Each child is different so may find different colours suit them better than others.
Then going forwards when doing readings or writing tasks with your child use the colour sheet to place over what your child is reading. I would recommend having a few spare colour sheets that your child prefers. We’ve also designed it so it’s cut to the size of a sentence or 2 so Lily doesn’t always need the full sheet, and it helps Lily to identify where she is within the text.
You can buy these in most places, here’s a direct link to amazons website where it’s tends to be the cheapest place to purchase them. Should you wish to try them with your child. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Assorted-Colour-Acetate-Transparent-Plastic/dp/B00Y0VDRZK
Finishing the work
Knowing it would be too much for her to write full sentences, like the worksheet asks. I instead just asked Lily to simply write the answers below the questions to reduce the pressure on her. As Lily worked her way through the questions she’d become a lot happier. Talking freely about things she’d already learnt about honeybees and putting that together with the sheet. One question Lily didn’t require any help with, and she was very proud of herself for this, as she should be. Then the last question came. This was a fascinating fact about honeybees. Lily wanted to say about there wiggle dance, so she copied the text to answer the question, and every so often we’d be laughing as we’d have a go at the wiggle dance.
This completed Lily’s worksheets for today. At the end I could not believe she’d completed 6 worksheets. The whole time I’d made it fun and interesting keeping her mind busy, and not at any point did I mention that it was schoolwork. She was allowed breaks including movement breaks, as Lily is very hyperactive, and struggles with staying still. This was a huge homeschooling success. More importantly Lily was super proud of herself. At no point did I actually think Lily would take part, or that she’d work through her meltdown with me. Then come out the other side happy and excited.
Lily’s reward for doing all these sheets was to play hide and seek with daddy and her baby doll who she hasn’t given a name yet. She was very excited about this and very proud of herself.
We never claim to be super parents, and homeschooling has proved difficult. Today was the most work Lily has done in a day, and we are so proud of her. Do you have any homeschooling success stories? How are you engaging your children in learning? Leave a comment below. The
When they announced the schools were closing, and they sent work home for the kids to do. My first thoughts on lockdown homeschooling were, I don’t see it happening, especially for Jack. Lily has always had to do homework, and reading tasks etc.. so doing some work at home is fairly normal for her.
Jack on the other hand, has never had any homework, ever. When he was at his old school it was an achievement to get him in school, and an even bigger achievement to get him doing work at school. So homework was never even thought about. Now at his current school, Jack is much happier, and seems to enjoy school most of the time, homework has never been on the agenda.
Jack associates different things with different places, and won’t accept them anywhere else. This can be with the most simple of things. A recent example is hash browns. Jack ate hash browns as part of his “brunch” (He basically got up to late to have a breakfast and lunch before being picked up) for the first time. He told us how much he liked them, so we brought some for him to have at home. His reaction was, hash browns are for (name of respite place) not for home, and he was unhappy with us for getting them.
It might seem silly to some people, but it’s the same thing you see with autistic people and routine. The way I see it, whatever makes it so autistic people need their routines, is at work here. Hash browns mean respite. Sundays mean going to Grandma’s, which obviously is an issue at the moment.
So I never expected Jack to take to lockdown homeschooling, and he hasn’t at all. I’ve tried to get him “learning” through things he likes, without ever mentioning school work. But even that is proving difficult, this week he is finding the situation more difficult than ever. I don’t want to force him to do things, apart from the fact it won’t work, it won’t do him any good. At the same time I don’t want him doing nothing for however long this goes on for. It’s a difficult situation that I just don’t have the answer too.
I have some ideas, but this week Jack has not been cooperative with anything I’ve tried. If anyone has good any fun ideas I can try then feel free to let me know. I’m at the stage of trying anything. Today being Sunday, I will just let him chill out, then see if he will do anything tomorrow.
Making more progress with Lily
Lily is more open to doing school work, and has done some worksheets. But the problem then is, she sees that Jack isn’t doing any, and quite rightly from an 8 year olds point of view. Says it’s not fair she is doing school work, while Jack plays on his Xbox. So the worksheets have been put away for now, and I’m trying to do fun learning activities instead. Of Course Lily is always wanting to do arts and crafts, but I’ve needed some other ideas as well.
Whilst clearing out the garage yesterday, we found this old bingo game. Lily was fascinated by it, and couldn’t wait to play it. So there was the days numeracy lesson, with Lily being the bingo caller. Jack didn’t want to join in, but I’m hoping if we set it up with some snacks and some prizes, then he might want to play. Thinking outside the box, and making things fun are what’s important at the moment. I’ve got some ideas but like I said, I’m open to any ideas, feel free to leave some in the comments below.
So the big question of the moment, especially for those of us with autistic children. How are you all dining being at home with the kids? There’s was a lot of worry about the uncertainty of things, but I think most people are at hone now.
Obviously the key workers are still working, and where necessary their children are still going to school. The numbers I’m hearing from people working at schools have dramatically dropped the last 2 days. Although you see the videos of some people being stupid, I think (hope) the majority are taking this seriously.
At home with the kids
We were unsure what to do with Jack, but he is at home as well now. I’m a lot more comfortable and happy with that. So far he’s been ok, obviously the routine from school and his respite are gone. He’s accepted it so far, but there tends to be a delay with things, so we will see over the next week.
I do quite enjoy being at home with the kids, as long as Jack and Lily are getting along. We are lucky to have a decent garden, which I know is t the case for everyone. So we are able to go outside for some fresh air, and the kids can run around. Yesterday we cleaned the guinea pigs out, and put them on the garden for a bit. Something Jack and Lily always enjoy. Them being on the garden, not the cleaning bit, obviously.
They Both seem to be in holiday mode at the moment. Not much of the school work that was sent home has been done yet, but this is a difficult and unforeseen adjustment. So rushing them into spending lots of time doing maths, would probably be counterproductive. We are still trying to work out the best approach, as always it will likely be completely different for each one.
Im not in a rush, work will get done when it gets done. I’m also coming up with some other “fun” learning ideas, that aren’t just sheets of school work. For example, I have some ideas for another Jack’s Documents blog post, that I will talk with Jack about. He will be excited about that, hopefully you will be to.
Obviously Lily will be busy with her Art as usual, but I’m trying to think of some other ideas as well. Any creative ideas are welcome. I’ve got a couple of blog posts to read that look to have some interesting ideas. I will check Pinterest as well, that’s usually good for ideas. Whatever it takes to keep the kids entertained through this.
One last thing, another short YouTube video from Jack. This time of the guinea pigs, with some background music. He was really pleased the last video got some views…44 last time I checked.
It’s been a difficult few days. Lily has had an ear infection, which has involved a lot of crying and not much sleep. Lily has been sleeping in our room, as it’s further away from Jack. It seems to have worked as Jack’s sleep doesn’t seem to have been disturbed.
On Saturday night Jack asked to go to his Grans with Natalie, while I helped Lily get to sleep. He said he wanted Lily to be able to cry without worrying about upsetting him. Bless him, it was such a nice thing to do. Jack is so kind and thoughtful, but in a meltdown situation that all goes out of the window.
For him to think ahead for the good of himself and others, is such a big step that he is starting to do. He’s had his moments over the last few days, he trashed his room once and has got upset a few times. But generally he has coped really well given the circumstances.
Isolation and routine change
Jacks at respite tonight, he definitely needs the break and so do I. I’m worried that the respite will end up stopping soon, or we end up having to self isolate. Which of course means no school, I’m surprised the schools are still open. I don’t think they will be for much longer.
It’s a phrase that is used for many different things, but at the moment it can only mean one thing. Don’t mention the C word. Coronavirus. I’ve refrained from talking about it up to now, as I’ve felt no need to. But as the situation escalated here in the UK, today we had our first issue.
Lily has been complaining about pain in her ear. We rang up the doctor and were told they couldn’t see her, as they can’t offer face to face appointments. Instead we got a phone call from a doctor, who prescribed antibiotics despite not being sure what was wrong with her.
Yet Lily is still supposed to be going to school on Monday. It just seems like madness to me. Nowhere spreads a virus quite like a school. Maybe the situation will change by Monday, we will just have to wait and see.
The panic buying that has been going on, has been a bit ridiculous. But you think about how mad people go at Christmas when the shops are shut for one day. We really shouldn’t be surprised. We went out to get some shopping done today, as it was payday. In three different stores, there’s was no paracetamol, hand sanitiser or hand wash to be seen. One store did have some toilet roll, which appears to be a miracle.
We are fortunate enough to have been able to go out today, and we have some support around us to help us out. That’s not the case for everybody. There are a lot of vulnerable people out there. I wish people had shown a bit more consideration, when buying enough toilet paper to last a year. And don’t even get me started on the fact it’s completely unnecessary for this virus. If diarrhoea was a symptom I’d understand it.
There’s a lot of uncertainty around at the moment, which of course is the last thing autistic people need. Jack especially concerns me. If the schools do get shut, how is he going to handle his routine being changed? The answer is probably badly, he’s already struggling at the moment, so the last thing we need is his routine disrupted. School holidays that we have time to prepare for are problematic enough.
This evening Lily has started to look really poorly. Hopefully it is just an ear infection, and the antibiotics will soon put things right. But the uncertainty caused by not being able to get her seen doesn’t help.
How’s everyone feeling about the Coronavirus? Do you feel prepared for it? Are you worried about how you would cope if there’s a “shutdown”? Or if you caught the virus? Or are you still feeling like it’s a case of, don’t mention the C word? I’d like to here your comments on the situation and how you’ve found things so far. I’m sure I will have plenty more to say over the coming days, weeks maybe even months. It’s going to be a difficult time for everyone, but for those who rely so heavily on routine, this could be the biggest challenge we’ve ever faced.