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Monday, June 21, 2010

Ideas for the summer

I turned down any kind of services for Janey for the summer, because it's easier in a way to have full days free to do as we want than to have them broken up several times a week for therapies. I'm hoping it's a good summer, but I've hoped that almost every summer of my life, and very few have been. I have never liked summer---it's my own little autism-spectrum thing---I don't like the lack of routine. I also hate the heat. So every summer I think up things to try to make the summer go well, and every summer they don't really work out. But I forget easily, and I'm an eternal optimist, so I'm doing the same this summer.

The main thing I'm thinking is to get Janey out of the house every day as early as possible. There's a lot of reasons for early---I do much better in the morning than the afternoon, it's less hot, it's less crowded, and I think Janey is happier if she's a little tired out for the afternoon. I was thinking a lot of outdoor things---the wading pool which is newly renovated near here and is almost like a mini water park, various parks, beaches, walks, etc. I think if it's just the two of us, I can follow her pace and she will be more relaxed.

However, this Sunday I gave it a try and took her to a big open park. I let her take the lead and do what she wanted, but she wasn't very happy. She was halfhearted on the playground equipment, although we were the only ones there. Then she asked to go back to the car. On on the way there, she did finally get a little interested---I took off her shoes, which she always wants, and she sat down in a grassy field and just looked around. Then she ran a bit, and went on an empty soccer field and walked on the white lines like they were tightropes. We picked a few clovers, and just sat around. I hoped it would relax her and let her know I wasn't pushing for any certain activity. She never really seemed to relax, but maybe next time.

There were those few days after she first started the medication that she seemed connected and relaxed. She would smile and look actually happy. Now, again, not much. Tonight she was a little happy lying down for bed. She has a quilt she calls her special blanket now, and I sang her a song to the tune of "Clementine" about her darling blanket, and I saw a bit of smiling. I wonder if the world just seems so overwhelming and perplexing that she feels she has to be on guard at all times. I hope someday she makes enough sense of it all that she can relax more.

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