IndiGlow - The Ordinary Illuminated

IndiGlow - The Ordinary Illuminated

Sensory Issues Suck

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Well, we almost made it to the Christmas program this year...almost.  

Our high-functioning autistic son has only agreed to do it one year before, and annually this event brings him incredible stress and frustration as they prepare and practice from the moment they return from Fall break in October, until the big day of the whole-school performance.  

I was pleasantly surprised (although cautiously optimistic) when he announced he was going to participate this year because his sister, who is now in Kindergarten, was going to perform.  He wanted to be there as a support to her, which melts my heart.  Despite his sensory & social difficulties, he takes being a big brother to his 2 sisters very seriously.

I bought him a new outfit, and of course I washed it first.  I learned long ago that if new clothes aren't washed before wearing, he breaks out in a terrible rash.  (A whole day of school was ruined and miserable the day we discovered that.)  

He looked so handsome in his black pants, white shirt, and Harry Potter tie, and while my 5 year old sweet girl was "embarrassed" I know she was excited to dress up in her pretty holiday dress and stand next to her BFF from school at the performance.

As usual, we were running a little behind (our youngest, who turns 4 tomorrow, is a wild-card to say the least).  We never know when she's going to have a fit or completely melt down, etc.  Getting these 3 and ourselves ready is a bit like herding cats, which most parents can relate to I'd imagine.  But, somehow we miraculously managed to get everyone looking pretty darn good and out of the door with just enough time to grab a quick bite of dinner on the way.  

And then, it happened.  Half-way through our sub sandwiches he started to itch and twitch.  I should have known...what a rookie mistake to not have him put a t-shirt on beneath the new white collared shirt!  Within moments he was freaking out, completely miserable, and ready to rip off all of his clothes right then and there at the restaurant.  Keeping calm, I packed up everyone's remaining food items, bundled the girls back up, and got to the van so he could get some relief.  I thought I'd take them all home and drive my pretty girl back to the performance myself, but there wouldn't have been enough time.  

It was a horrible moment on so many levels.  I know he couldn't help it, and I am still feeling crushed for my girl...I know it hurt her feelings not to be there.  I know she was embarrassed this morning to go to school. She cried this morning and I held her and kissed her tears away...knowing there is no way to make up for that lost moment.  

I wrote notes to the teachers, trying to explain, but my heart is broken.  Sensory issues are so difficult - not only for those who experience them, but also for their loved ones.  We're always learning, and I will never forget the damn t-shirt again.  In the future, we'll drive separately, so there will be time for a plan "B" when needed.  I can only plan and look toward the future, as it isn't useful to dwell on the past.  

But just for today,  I need to grieve.  I grieve for the difficulties my son faces, and I grieve for the effect it inevitably has on his sisters lives.  I'm sure there is a silver lining...there always is....but I can't look for it at this moment.  I need to get on my yoga mat - find my breath and allow my own tears to flow so that I can release this feeling.  



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