October 14, 2016 Mom

Little Victories


Every October, the schools have a week off for a Fall break. Luckily for a us, that break coincided with a band, that we all like, playing concert in Los Angeles. Since we were going to be there anyway we decided to go to Disneyland and catch a volleyball game at USC. We would also visit some family members while there so it was going to be a busy 5 days. We were careful to keep RS informed of the schedule. 

Traffic in LA is horrendous and we accounted for that when we made plans getting from one point to the other. Our concert was at the Hollywood Bowl so we decided to eat dinner at the food court in the mall at Hollywood and Highland. (We decided this would have food that RS was familiar with- its hard to go to places where she doesn’t know the menu.) We also planned to miss the opening act to not “lose” RS before the  band we liked came on. What we did not plan was that to go .8 miles from dinner to concert would take an hour and a half!! it was insane and my anxiety level was high as I just kept waiting for RS to lose it. I wanted to lose it – how did I expect her not to be frustrated. She did go though- she was frustrated but kept it together. We finally got inside to the concert. RS complained about how many people there were and how loud it was, As we sat down in our seats I had a moment of complete panic- I knew at that moment that I had made a huge mistake. It was too loud and there were too many people. It was chaotic and people would sing and clap and that would drive her crazy. I couldn’t breathe at one point because I felt trapped and was terrified that she was not going to enjoy this. Fortunately, I was wrong- she did great. She complained and sat very close to me with her head on my shoulder a lot of the time but she did seem like she enjoyed it a little, too. She was very concerned about what time it would be over because she needed to get back to the hotel at Disneyland and sleep so she could get up early. Believe me, her amount of sleep, or lack thereof, was on my mind as well!

We were up and headed to Disneyland by 6:30. We were able to get into the park an hour early, which I thought was going to be great, she could get in a few rides before the lines got long. As with most things, she was very reserved at first and acted like she didn’t want to ride anything so we lost about a half hour but she finally agreed to ride Indiana Jones. The line was still pretty long, about a 35 minute wait I think. She complained about waiting in line a few times but wasn’t too bad about it. As the day went on her patience for the long lines grew very thin.

There was a point around lunch time when I knew that we may have to go back to the hotel and rest. She was getting more and more agitated. It came to a head when we were in line to get some ice cream and the store employee called on her and RS lost it. She started to cry and said I am not ready yet I just cant make a decision. At that point I knew that she was way too overwhelmed and that it was time for a break. We sat in a quiet spot in the hotel and ate her ice cream and just rested for about an hour. After that she was much better and was raring to go back.

Disneyland is overwhelming, to me as a neurotypical – I can’t even imagine how it must have been for her! I think overall she did great and I think we handled it well, too. Its hard not get frustrated sometimes but I truly think we are starting to get the hang of this! We were careful to think all situations through and to recognize when she was starting to get too overloaded. I think we both did a good job of letting her move at her pace and not force her to go at ours. Which is hard when you pay that much for admission, you want to get as much out of it as you possibly can.


I will be honest, I did have a couple of emotional moments. Its hard to watch your child struggle and when she wasn’t looking I did allow myself to be sad.  I am finding now that the pity parties in my head are becoming less and less. I am hating the word Aspergers less and less. I think that a diagnosis like that causes you to go through the stages of grief. Its nice to be on the other side of it and at the acceptance stage. This is our life, while its frustrating, sure, its also made me a better parent. A more patient parent and maybe, I have said this before,  it make mes appreciate little victories more and these days it seems like there are more victories than defeats. Or maybe thats just my attitude changing……

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