Bank holiday can be a very annoying time for individuals living with an ASD. Why does everything have to randomly change again so soon after Easter???
No matter how hard it gets for you this weekend, please remember there is always help and support out there for you.
Books are available via Jessica Kingsley publications. Tony Attwood's book is a must. Anything linked to Simon Baron-Cohen and Uta Frith. I spent a day with Simon and my ASD son last year - he's a wonderful person. Local authorities are pretty poor on the whole, but if you're lucky, you may be living in an area with excellent resources. Relate counselling is good IF you get someone who really understands ASD. My friend Chris runs Positive About Autism - check out the website. Autism West Midlands are a wonderful bunch, no matter where you live! If you're a partner of someone with an ASD, remember they are NOT an alien! You need to support them and gently translate the peculiarities of the world around them - let's face it neurotypicals, the rules are actually nuts!
I can't even begin to tell you about my 25 year journey. Many many people have told me to write a book - well maybe if I had the time! What I can tell you is that there is always life; and there is always love. Gently take the ASD person you know, and love, into the world to a place of space and quiet, and reassure them that you will be there for them. They maybe can't show you their emotion, but boy do they have those emotions. Some can't cry; some can't even work out what they are actually feeling (alexithymia). Let them wow you with their incredible talents; their wonderful depth of integritiy; the beautifulness of their mind, the trust and loyalty - which can be thrown back at them when others don't understand.
Now - for a moment: imagine you're dropped into the middle of a Japanese city with no means of communication: huge; loud; bright lights; no languages you remotely understand; customs that seem strange and alien to you; people ignoring your confusion, and tutting and raising their eyebrows as you clumsily flout their social and civic rules. After several hours, you are exhausted and disorientated. You return to your hotel room alone; you can't make anyone understand you. You turn on the TV; nothing makes sense apart from the images. After 48 hours, you are bursting with frustration, fear and confusion, and shout at the receptionist - who calls the police. You draw a picture for the officers of you, the UK, and a phone. They all chatter in a bizarre language over your head - then finally it dawns on them. One of them turns and smiles at you and says in broken English - 'Don't worry, it's all ok, I speak your language and will translate it all for you - just trust me and it will be ok....I think we could learn so much from each other here...'.
You and your loved one need to trust each other....it's not one better than the other...it's both family members re-finding the respect and love they have for each other. If you're brave enough to even start this journey, then you will find more happiness than you could ever imagine. You are very lucky to have a person living with ASD in your life...you just don't know it yet.
I will soon be starting a blog about my experiences with the aim of supporting and encouraging everyone on this journey - so watch this space!