Musings from an Orthodox Jewish work at home mom of twins with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Two Week Winter Break

I was busy obsessing over thinking about the fact that my kids will have a two week break.  This Friday will be their last day of school until January 10th.  I physically and mentally CANNOT take them by myself most places (we have a system down pat for walmart and target— my kids LOVE CARTS).  The library?  Nope.  Playground?  Nope.  Restaurants?  SOMETIMES but I’d better be prepared for a mini meltdown.  (If you’ve ever seen us at the library or the playground, you’ve seen a MEGA meltdown.  A restaurant is usually a mini meltdown which is the worst meltdown ever for a neurotypical kid— for my kids, it’s a regular day.)  So I CAN take them to restaurants, though I don’t love it.

My husband has to work.  I have to work too, but hey, as long as I can make a full time income after the kiddos go to bed, then my daytime has to be the autism battle zone.  Forget the laundry and the cooking.

SSI denied us so we don’t have play money to get respite.  Respite denied us “extra” funds even though in the board of developmental disabilities paperwork are all the reports from our early childhood intervention specialist stating that taking them places by myself is my biggest problem.  I have ZERO issues taking either kid with me anywhere— yes, there are meltdowns, but no safety issues and nobody except me gets bitten— I use my strategies and I can get out the door without anyone getting hurt.  But put me with both kids and as soon as Wilma decides to flop and refuse to move, Fred turns into a tazmanian devil and bites anyone near him—- I don’t have enough hands to keep Wilma from deciding to run off while I pry Fred off an unsuspecting library patron.  I need both of my hands on both children at that moment.  I’m actually the only person I know who took a rep from the board of developmental disabilities to the playground with me, and Fred’s special ed teacher to the library with me— SO THAT we could come up with strategies SO THAT eventually I can go places without hiring a babysitter for one or both of my children.

Other families during winter break travel or go to museums or special events or parties.  Yeah, we’ll be home.  Want to come over for a play date?

This post sums it up SO nicely— THIS is why you don’t see me and my children out and about so often.

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Comments on: "Two Week Winter Break" (7)

  1. I can empathize with your situation. I have had a group home for kids with autism and I remember going through actual rehearsals of any outing that couldn’t be postponed or re scheduled. Few people believed me.

    My worst spot was on the road, with kids in the van. So help me, it’s a wonder I didn’t drive us all off the road in frustration.

    I hold you up for sainthood. At the very least!

  2. I’ve been thinking about some of those very things! It is Summer here, so my kids are on a six week Summer holiday break from school and kindergarten – SIX weeks – wow! Like you, I struggle taking my middle two children to museums, parties etc; there is usually a major meltdown to boot! On the other hand, taking my 6 year old and my baby is a breeze, but add my twins and any outing gets interesting! Watch this space and in 5 weeks from now i will tell you how i survived Summer break, lol!

  3. stitchknit—- rehearsals and social stories haven’t helped my kids thus far. we keep trying, but…….

    Cathy— there are NO special needs summer programs you can send Mitch to? And/or can Brianna or Dayna go to a mainstream program? Maybe Dayna could mainstream with an aide? Then you’re driving to/from at least 2 diff programs but then you’d have just the baby for the day….. ? Our summer is awesome because during the school year “Fred” and “Wilma” don’t overlap much (Fred in morning, Wilma in afternoon)—- but over the summer they’re in the same program, same hours—- hoooray— summer is much better— I can run all my errands and do everything I need to do while they’re both at camp. When will YOU start blogging????

  4. So how’s it been so far? I can’t believe how little help you receive. Isn’t there a way you can get them into the same program during the year? I guess individual time with each kid is good, too, but you need your sanity as well!

  5. Dear Sorted
    I linked to your blog through your orthonomics comment last week and read your blog with WELLS of respect. I second Stitchknit nominating you for ( the frum version of ) sainthood. i just wanted to drop a note to let u know I followed your link to the Mariaane Rousso article, read it, and kind of put one of her suggestions to use in the supermarket yesterday when meeting a mom and special needs child, and was rewarded with the WARMEST smile! Thanks, and Chizki Ve’Imtzi!

  6. hi GAMZu —

    I’ll know at the end of February if they’re in the same school for the same hours next year for kindergarten. Theycan’t do kindergarten placement until they finish all the ETR testing— I was HOPING to learn more before that, but oh well.

    My sanity? That left years ago. 🙂

  7. Mom2 — welcome to the blog! I know the author of Orthonomics in real life– she’s a sweetie—- one time she came out to lunch with me and my twins and saw in action why I can’t take them both to places by myself. Happy to be a Jewish saint— *lol*

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