Saturday, July 20, 2013

Summertime + Autism

Here we are friends, smack in the middle of Summer 2013.

I have to be completely honest, the thought of summer + autism, gives me severe anxiety.

But! I had decided that I was not going to succumb to it, I was not going into it with a crap attitude, so far so good!

In my perfect world, there would be all kinds of recreational centers, just for special needs kids, I'm talking swimming, rock climbing, trampolines, running tracks, obstacle courses, slides, swings.... something for everyone!

But, then I woke up, nothing like that exists...

From our years of traveling to California and Hawaii, I fully realize that my son needs to swim, and all the time.. hmm.. now what?

How the hell do I make this happen when I don't have a pool in my yard?

Easy! Sign up at the local YMCA.. hmm.. tried it, and well, he breaks every single rule there, it's not enough time spent for him to relax, still, we get up, we do our best and we go.

Then something so awesome happened, my Uncle moved into an Apt. that has an indoor and outdoor pool - I was still chicken shit to take Keanu alone there though, what if he breaks the rules, what if the residents are jerks, what if.. you get it. This is what autism has done to my brain.

But, with my husband gone to work for 4 days I just had to try.

I am THRILLED to tell you that I mustered up some guts one morning and took him, and 3 other friends of ours' with me - we went back for the following 2 more days! We spent 3 glorious days swimming from morning until night, breaking only to eat and digest food - I learned ALOT about myself, got over some fears, was forced to engage with the "typical" kids and parents' who live at the Apts. and it was so wonderful!

Keanu beams from ear to ear in the water, he dives to the bottom, he jumps in, he swims underwater looking for me, laughing at me, he climbs on my back for a ride, he floats on his back like a frog, so happy it's like nothing I've ever seen.

Uncle knows this is imperative for Keanu, and the other kids' and we will be doing this as much as we can, I am so happy.

My next goal: to become a certified swim instructor, yeah, it's a big goal, but, I'm pretty serious.

Aloha, Dana