My son recently spent three weeks with my sister. The return home has been a challenge.
I have to admit, although I missed my son, it was a relief to not have to deal with his Aspergers-related issues on a daily basis. Changes between events, schedules and locations require adjustment for anyone, but especially for a child with Aspergers. Here are a few of the adjustments we are having to make.
My son is a typical first born child–he wants to be in charge. While at my sister’s house, he was a big help with my young niece and nephew. He has to adjust now that he is back home and the “help” is not so welcome by his nine year old sister.
He also has to begin doing chores again, which he does not enjoy. Getting him back into the habit of cleaning the kitchen floor every night has been challenging.
The rest of the family has to re-adjust as well. My son brings a level of excitement and conflict to our daily lives that I had forgotten about.
We are in the lazy days of summer and enjoying staying up later and sleeping in. My son is on a different schedule because of the time change between my sister’s house and mine and he is getting up much earlier than the rest of us. No problem except that he likes to have company so he often wakes up grumpy siblings to do something with him. Hopefully he will be back on the sleeping-in plan soon!
I have to adjust my expectations that my day will go smoothly without any conflict. While he was away, things were much calmer around here. I have to remember that some of my son’s issues are unavoidable, and I have to adjust my expectations that I can do anything about them. My stress level is going to be higher and I am going to have to intervene in many sibling issues that we did not have while he was away.
My son also has to adjust his expectations. He was in a home for 3 weeks where the rules and relationships are different and he now has to re-adjust to the way our home works. He was treated as a guest at his aunt’s house, so he had no real chores or difficulties. He also had lots of play time with his boy cousins. As he returns home, he expects the relaxed “vacation” mode to continue, and while that is possible in some ways, we still have to run a household of six people, including laundry, dishes, vacuuming, etc. Vacation as he knows it is essentially over.
I’m sure it will take a while for us to become accustomed to the changes. In the meantime, I’m praying for a lot of grace and trying not to lose my temper. That’s just a fact.