Monday, January 6, 2014. The weather forecast for today – 15-25cm of snow. Last night my two older sons were eager with anticipation of a snow day, an extention of the 2 week Christmas holiday that they had just enjoyed. They would have loved to miss another day of school. But my youngest autistic son N was excited, not for a snow day, but for the impending return to school! Tomorrow the little bus would come and his day would be what it should be. He was up at 5:00 am and full of anticipation of an enjoyable day.
Yesterday at special needs trampoline, we, the moms of 4 special needs boys, laughed at the excitement we felt because our kids would be back on their routine! You think you were glad? You have NO IDEA! We laughed at how most parents of normal kids would not understand. We laughed at how some of the things we laughed at, shocked the parents of normal kids.
Routine is so important to those who have trouble processing sensory inputs. Routine allows them to organize their world and cope. For some kids integration, which includes the normal school routine, involves taking something away that they need. Every year for the past 12 years we have struggled as a family to get through the Christmas Break. Yes, it gets easier each year. Yes, this year was the best ever, for N is maturing, and coping, and to the best of his ability, understanding. But there is no question in my mind, N thrives when he is in a routine. N thrives in school, especially in his current placement, in a special needs classroom. There is no “one-size-fits-all” for special children. For my son – we need structure. We need sameness and routine.
I share with you the joy of my son upon his return to school today, through the pictures below.