Welcome to Dad Does Autism, the first post on my blog. I’m starting with just a little insight into a day in the life of our family, just to get the ball rolling, and so you can get to know us a little. After a troublesome morning Jack came home from school in a good mood. Natalie had picked Lily straight up from school and taken her to a swimming lesson. So Jack has some time with just Dad. He wanted to go “Pokemon hunting”, meaning go for a walk and play PokemonGo. Jack is Pokemon obsessed, whether it be PokemonGo, the games on the Xbox or Nintendo Switch, or the toys and cards. Jack uses one of my old phones without a SIM card. Just for playing games and watching YouTube.
Jack has an hour drive home from school and tends to have a lot of pent up energy when he arrives home. Meaning he often needs to let off some steam when he gets home. If I’m home by myself and Lily doesn’t want to go outside it’s not always easy, but this was a perfect chance to have a walk and try and have a talk with Jack. Talking to Jack is not easy, he tends to talk at you, rather than talk to you. The conversation topic is 95% of the time his choosing, and if you try and switch the topic he tends to just carry on talking about what he wants to anyway.
Out for a walk
We had a short walk around our village. Probably 30-40 minutes. Apart from when he was losing a Pokemon battle which he got angry about, it was nice and calm. I did manage to get him to talk about taking his Nintendo Switch to school, and he agreed it should stay at home. Which was really good. Fingers crossed he sticks to that, at least for a whie.
We got 50 yards from home…when catastrophe struck. Jack suddenly lost grip of his phone and it dropped to the floor. Jacks dexterity isn’t very good, and this wasn’t the first time this phone has been dropped. But it was the one that completely broke the screen. Though he was visibly upset and angry, he didn’t react as badly as I first feared and he walked back to the house.
He got more irritated when we were back in the house. A few years ago our CAMHS worker, suggested letting Jack keep his phone at all times as a way of managing his anxiety, which was through the roof all of the time. It kind of worked, but probably wasn’t the best idea in hindsight. He is completely dependant on it now, and if he can’t have his phone for any reason, it causes problems.
Thankfully Lily came home from swimming and said he could use the phone she occasionally uses at home, so he won’t get bored in the taxi ride to school. Jack was happy with this and completely calmed down. It was a really proud moment to end the day. A mobile phone catastrophe wasn’t how I had planned on starting this, but when you live with autism things often don’t go to plan. You have to adjust as you go along, so in one way its quite apt.
I fully believe in bringing up Jack and Lily with positivity, giving them every chance to everything that they want to do. It won’t always be easy, there will be times when things become difficult. But I want the best for my kids, and autism isn’t a reason to hide away and give up on things. That was our welcome to Dad Does Autism. I hope you enjoy, and find useful the content we all bring to you.