Monday 12 December 2016

A year later, autism is still like the courtesy car

child in toy car

A year ago I wrote about how autism was like a courtesy car. How my life didn't seem to fit into a different smaller vehicle. How I struggled to operate the controls and how it didn't drive the way I expected. This year I went to the same garage, got another different courtesy car and had a whole new realisation about how far we've come.

I'd already had to postpone the car MOT and service once having lost my drivers license. But eventually the day came round and I remembered last time I'd been given a tiny little bright orange car. Although by the end of the day I'd had the vehicle I viewed it as cute and quirky, I'd also remembered how it had been a bit awkward.

So, this year I got organised for it. The last courtesy car had been smaller. So after dropping the kids at school I went back home and emptied out things I didn't need. Two car seats, the scooter and buggy were decanted into our hall way.

The last courtesy car was a basic model so had a heater instead of climate control. I remembered getting hot, so I switched out of my big coat and grabbed a light jacket. I also remembered that the pedals were more sensitive and switched my heavy soled boots for my converse so it would be easier to drive.

OK, that should make things easier I thought.

Funny, how it goes, isn't it.

We weren't given the tiny little vehicle like last time. We had a new Tippo. A bigger car though not as bit as our usual one. But my preparation meant getting everything in at the garage was super easy.  It still had light pedals and basic controls but at school time I was easily able to fit everything back into the car. We had to keep the car over the weekend and it wasn't a problem at all. It fitted into our life fine.

And it hit me.

In many ways it's like autism in our family all over again.

I've learned how to make things work with the new model. I'm thinking ahead to what we might find difficult, where we might not fit, and then looking at how to make things work. I've prepared for, dare I say the worst, so things are easier for us.

And it's not just me.

Our kids with autism have changed too, just like the car. They have grown so that not only do we work better with them, but they work better with us. In fact the whole family operates better together.

I smiled. Who'd have thought I'd learn so much from our courtesy car. Who'd thought I'd learn so much from my kids. Happy.


  1. I have never heard autism like a courtesy car before but I like the analogy. I think there is so much to learn from our children if we pause to absorb the lessons.

  2. You evolve as a family, make changes and prepare for every eventuality. Nice analogy. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday X

  3. I quite like this analogy! And how nice to revisit things a year later and to be able to see how far you've come and how you're all adapting. x #KCACOLS

  4. Interesting analogy, I think you will always learn about autism with it or knowing someone with it X #spectrumsunday

  5. Great analogy, it works in so many ways. It can take moments like this for you to how far you have come and how things have changed x Thanks for sharing with #WotW

  6. Interesting analogy. I think I'm still learning even now after so many years.

  7. I love this analogy hon - it really helps me understand in layman terms what it must be like adjusting to life with autism. Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub and wishing you and yours a happy Christmas xx

  8. I love this analogy. Though, I am pretty bad at driving a car I have had for a decade, let alone a different one where the wipers are on the wrong side :'). But we keep learning and adapting :) #SpectrumSunday


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