Jude had a really lovely weekend at home but I’ve noticed (and I’m aware that I talk about this a lot) that his anxiety has got worst.
Now when he’s going through his standard regularly asked questions, he includes “but we’re not going out?” in amongst the “when am I seeing Granny?” “Is dinner ready?” repertoire.
On Sunday, he went out with his Support Worker, Faye but they didn’t have a hugely productive time as Jude was so concerned about getting back home in time to see Granny. It’s been quite gradual but he’s now become completely afraid of missing those specific events in the week that he knows are a regular occurrence. We can no longer just go to the shops for a wander around as Jude won’t get out of the car…if he’ll even get in the car in the first place. I have no idea how to overcome this problem.
Jude and his wonderful Faye 🙂
It’s not just reserved for home. Similarly at school, his reluctance to leave the house is dominating any potential involvement in after school activities. Often the children will go to the local shops to buy things with their pocket money but Jude doesn’t want to go, preferring to stay within the safe confines of his beloved house with his even more beloved (and safe) support staff.
I suggested to Jude that perhaps he and I go out on Sunday without the rest of the family, even just for a drive in the car but he wouldn’t accept this suggestion and wanted to remain at home. He enjoys seeing people and will come and chat to anyone who visits our house so I’m not afraid that he’s becoming phobic of all social situations, it’s entirely when we want to go out.
I’d love to hear your views on this. Suggestions, experiences, anything really!
Jude has been absolutely amazing recently; his laughter and smile beaming with confidence and contentment for life. I don’t want to rock his boat but I also don’t want him to miss out on anything because of his anxiety. He didn’t even want to come and play in the garden with his sisters which he normally loves to do. Perhaps it’s just a phase and when the better weather arrives, he’ll be back out and enjoying the fresh air. No idea really.
I was reading articles on autism and anxiety and one of the few things I thought may be useful is making a meltdown prevention plan. Here is a very basic example taken from the National Autistic Society website.
- Situation – going on the bus
- Anxiety symptoms – heart beats fast; sweat and feel sick
- Solution – have stress ball in pocket, squeeze the ball and take deep breaths, listen to music.
I think I could talk a basic plan like this through with Jude. It would take time, a LOT of time but perhaps if we encouraged him to bring things along that help his anxiety and we had a “now and next” board so he recognises that this activity is leading to something he loves, then he might be more willing. Jude has never really been into “fidget” toys, I bought him that chewy thing last year and he wasn’t interested in the slightest but there must be something he likes. Even if it means Mr. Giraffe has to come along on every outing!
Some more happy pictures from the weekend :
Playing Shopping List again!
Jude dressing up with Emmeline
I hope you all had lovely weekends 🙂