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#Autism and Parenting an infant school child - a thread.

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Let's dive facefirst into the morass that is trying to cope with the stress of taking a child to school every day... /1
Routine - oh goodness me I like routine, as I think a lot of #autistic people do. I live for routine. Threaten my routine and I freak out big style. Break my routine and... well... I'll not be particularly chuffed with you.

But children. In the morning. Oh. My. God. /2
My morning routine has been much the same this past 400 years or so. There is so little variation, in fact, that I'm pretty sure I could be used as some cosmic constant for astrophysics.

But these days I have to incorporate the huge will and cheeky disposition of a child. /3
It's a tricky one. My routine of:

Leave bed
Loo
Shower
Ironing
Dressed
Breakfast
Minor panic attack
Leave house

Is under significant strain right now and I DON'T APPRECIATE IT. /4
Now it's like:

Leave bed
Loo, if I'm lucky
Don't shower, no time
Ironing?
Dressed to an extent
No food for you!
Major panic attack
Major panic attack
Major panic attack
Leave house (maybe)

/5


#autism
And through this whole routine is the sub routine, or side quest, if you will, of preparing the child for a day of phonics, spelling and making a mess of their t-shirt.

Only most side quests are willing to allow you to do them. /6 #autism
My executive dysfunction and probable ADHD means getting myself successfully dressed is a bit of a job (I don't wear odd socks to be quirky).

Trying to source and install school uniform on an unwilling, skittish mammal who sings constantly is another matter. /7
All of this means I get the child to school feeling rather underwhelmed by my abilities as a parent, functioning adult, and human.

And this takes its toll over time. /8

#autism
There's a good chance, for example, that hair won't have been brushed, shirt won't have been ironed (either of us) and snack will have been left at home. I can't be the only #autistic parent who experiences the crushing feelings of failure that this generates. /9 #autism
As I trot off to my own work, dishevelled and scruffy in a way even University-Age Pete would view scornfully, I look back to see the little mite happily playing, but my attention focuses on the unbrushed hair. The stain on the t-shirt. The unpolished shoes. /10 #autism
It's not a great start to the day.

The world isn't very sympathetic with scruffiness. There's a tendency for judgement that's quite serious and intense based on appearance and I hate to fall foul of it but what choice do I have? /11 #autism
I think that dishevelled appearance that many #autistic people have is one of the more insidious forms of ableism that autistic folk face. Is that reasonable to say? /12
So there, the morning routine with a child in tow makes things considerably harder, leads to significant wider issues as spoons are consumed too quickly. But it's all worth it, of course. I get to play with lego with them 🙂 /13
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