Susan's Blog

Friday, December 28, 2007

How I Get Ready To Leave

Because I am sometimes viewed as a resource for others, (me???) I am posting this for your use when you go away from your kids (you’d better try, if I’m going, you can go!)

(Note, just because I have done everything that needs to be done — including hiring a buddy for Nat halfway through, to give our respite worker a break and to guarantee Nat some fun — it does not mean I feel good at all about going. I have had dreams about killers, etc., that my boys were in danger. 🙁
But I believe that once I am at the hotel, on the ground safely, and I’ve called into the boys, I might, just might, be able to relax ????? with Ned???????? really????????)

So here’s what I’ve done to prepare for my vacation away from the boys, aside from all laundry, and buying all favorite foods:

Tabblo: Mom and Dad are going away

…And I typed up this note for our respite person, plus all pertinent phone numbers, plus our itinerary:

In case I don’t have time to say all this!
Also, could you get here 5:30 a.m.? Yikes, it’s early but I’m afraid we’ll need some time, I don’t know what Logan will be like.

In the morning:
Nat gets up first. Dresses and comes down and sits on the white couch. Sillytalk is fine, but running around and muttering to himself kind of quickly means he’s anxious.
***If he’s anxious, it’s probably because there is an outdoor light on somewhere. Our neighbors are used to our calling and asking them to shut their outdoor light during the day for Nat. They love him! You can call M, our neighbor in the mauve house, on XXX St, and she will turn it off. XXXXX is the neighbor in the tall white house bordering our driveway (and M’s) and he will also turn it off or tell you where to turn it off (or I will before we go). Numbers on blackboard. Remind him that the lights will go off soon.
***It might be because Max and Ben are still upstairs. You can remind him that Max and Ben will eat their breakfast when they come down. Max will have cereal, so will Ben. Nat likes to repeat what everyone is eating just because he likes to. It’s kind of a conversation with him, so if you can, you can even offer new information about breakfast, like, “I like to have toast. So I’m going to have toast, Nat.” He’ll like that Any time he is moderately anxious and talking about other people’s routines, you can offer information about them, engage him in talking about it, and he likes that.

(If you can’t remedy the lights, he might have to get a little screamy. The best thing to do is to completely ignore so it blows over, even if he is biting his arm. Ignoring is the only way that the escalation slows down, once he gets to that point. He gets more upset if you get upset. Try to gently distract him with a task (empty dishwasher silverware) or a video. I would say, “Nat, you can watch a video.” or “I feel like watching Sleeping Beauty, you want to?”)

When Nat gets screamy, Ben hides in his room. That is probably okay. Better than if Ben snaps back at him! Just keep all of you safe.

(If he seems very very anxious for a long period of time, in extreme situation, God forbid, give him half tablet of the clonipin in bottle over sink. It is a sedative). You can page Dr. M if you have questions, phone number in blue pills box.

Nat could have a bagel or dry cereal (no milk). He only needs a little help prying the frozen bagel apart. He can do the rest.

Ben and Max get their own cereal. If Ben asks for a bagel or bacon, that’s fine.

I like them each to have a piece of fruit (clementines are easy). Nat likes the dark red kidney beans, 1/2 a can a day. Rinse them in the colander to get the liquid off. He will take his own spice (a lot!). Save the other 1/2 in a tupperware container (bottom middle drawer in island).
Ben could have Cabot white cheddar (not half-fat!) with crackers, or green apple with creamy peanut butter.
Max will take his own.
They all like strawberries with sugar.
Any snacks they want, just monitor Nat’s cookie intake.

Nat has meds in Evening slot at around 4.

You could order pizza from Pizza Stop. They deliver. They know us. Nat and Ben share a large pepperoni. Nat does not eat the cheese, it’s okay. He eats a ton of pizza! Ben only has like one piece. Max has most of a plain large. Maybe carrot sticks for them, too.

Day two dinnertime: 2 beef franks for Max, roasted at 350 hardly at all; 2 turkey franks for Ben, same. 2 chorizo sausage for Nat. Pasta with butter, carrots.

Showertime for Nat, he is independent with this.

Usual bedtime routine.


Enjoy your rest. xo

— added by drama mama on Friday, December 28, 2007 at 2:05 pm

You have thought of everything and then some! Your husband will be so happy to be alone with you and grateful that you made all of this happen; now go, go in peace.

— added by Anonymous on Friday, December 28, 2007 at 2:11 pm

You’ve covered it all pretty much! Go have a fabulous time!

— added by Niksmom on Friday, December 28, 2007 at 8:28 pm

Have a safe trip and God bless!

— added by Kittymama on Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 1:27 am

Fabulous, Sue. Have a wonderful trip, I am so happy for you. THEY WILL ALL BE FINE!

— added by Em's Mom on Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 7:37 am

Ah yes, the declaration of independence! I have files upon files like this in the computer. The overnight instructions for those rare times I’ve left the pod. Evening instructions. Daytime. Bus schedules. Phones numbers to fill a telephone book. It’s part of autism people outside our world don’t understand. When your kids don’t communicate their needs verbally or otherwise it’s up to Mom (or Dad) to speak for them, even while away.

I hope you and Ned can relax and truly have fun while away. It’s so important. And as rare as an albino dodo bird for many of us.


— added by Kim Rossi Stagliano on Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 10:34 am

Thanks for posting this … Very helpful…

Gosh I hope you can succesfully escape for a few days. Fingers crossed…

— added by Judith U. on Sunday, December 30, 2007 at 11:51 am