Living in Maryland, the weather is the worst part of the winter.
Certainly, we don’t get it as badly as I did where I grew up, where we got hit with serious snow multiple times a winter. Nor are we getting it even as badly once as Boston has on multiple occasions this winter. But… let’s just say that Maryland is a little nervous when it comes to the white stuff – they seem to close schools at the drop of a hat. (I’m exaggerating, but only slightly.)
So… this week, schools were closed on Monday, and then closed early on Tuesday due to the weather.
Coupled with all of the other things that the Monster does, this would already be a bit of a complication. He’s now on various therapies four days a week, and most of those happen regardless of whether the schools were open or closed. But, like a lot of children with Autism, he deals better with a fixed schedule.
And certainly, as I’ve mentioned, he usually transitions nicely. He can deal with some variation to his normal schedule without too much of a fuss.
But there are times where this isn’t true. Yesterday afternoon, for example, I had to stop him because the phone rang as we were heading out, and I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t his OT or SLP calling to cancel due to the freezing rain that was falling… which already had him set off to an extent, since he’d been home for two hours before going to therapy. Telling him we’re going to the car, and then stopping him is a usual sure-fire way to get him riled up to begin with.
These disruptions, though, are just confusing him when they’re coming left and right. He’s not getting into a rhythm that lets him have that buffer for his internal clock – he can’t tell when it’s the weekend or a weekday, when we’re getting him out of bed at different times each day – and that’s contributing to the easier slide into meltdowns when the schedule isn’t to his liking, or when he’s tired, or he’s hungry.
So yesterday, at the therapists’, he had a major meltdown after a transition, to the point that I had to take him home rather than proceed. I’m already expecting the worst when I take him to the dentist this morning, which is part of the reason that it is me taking him – I can wrap him up and hold him down more securely than my wife can – much less that I”m almost thinking that he’s going to have a problem at school when I get him there afterwards.
And as if that weren’t enough, they’re predicting multiple inches of snow for Thursday…