Tuesday 3 April 2018

Sometimes things are too much, or too beautiful for my autistic son

Girl singing

Our kids find the holidays quite difficult. Anthony in particular struggles and says "I don't know what I can do.." quite a lot. It's not for most kids who get bored, it's because he struggles to focus and make decisions. It's part of having autism and ADHD.

Easter often brings it's own organised activities. Easter Egg hunts, crafts and some go to church. But these are honestly sometimes difficult too. We haven’t been to a church service in years.

As well as Anthony, we have his pre-verbal autistic brother and a nearly five year old little girl. Our family has almost zero ability to sit still, be quiet or even pay attention. I get all stressed and it becomes more than a pointless exercise.

David would only want to play with an iPad and neither of the boys take well to others singing. It interrupts whatever they wish to hear. At least that’s what I thought.

Last year, went to an Easter Service as part of his school day. Anthony and his little sister both go to a church school, so I wasn’t surprised by the idea of his school walking his class down to the local church one morning.

Anthony is helped in school by a Learning Support Assistant (LSA) and at the end of that day when I collected him from class she, told me he’d sat really well in the church.

Additionally, he had been very complimentary about one of the girls in his class who had been singing a hymn solo as part of the service.

I was a bit surprised, Anthony rarely appreciates anyone else singing unless it's a rude song he finds funny. I wondered if he may have misinterpreted what the song was about.

Dubious, I asked him about it.

Except he didn’t want to say anything.

“Her singing was just too beautiful mum, I can’t talk about it.”

Anthony, like many people with autism, processes his senses differently to others. He can’t look at rainbows, some views of the countryside or into jewellery shop windows because the pattern of light and the way he interprets it is effectively overwhelming for him. It was the same with his class mate and her singing.

It’s as if it literally took his breath away.

We often have music in our home, signing through a song is a great way to get the kids communicating and we all love a good dance especially if it’s to a theme tune from a movie that the kids recognise.

But one of the things about having a truthful lad with autism is that's what you get. And although I'm "good at singing lullabies" I'm not so good at "church songs" so wasn't allowed to do any singing this year. And that's OK, I get it.

We'll just have to share in the chocolate eating tradition instead - we're all pretty good at that one. Thank goodness it's not too delicious eh.


  1. Loving this post again, from #brillblogposts. One time, my daughter said dinner was too delicious to eat... xo

  2. What a lovely post and what an incredible thing for him to say. How lovely he enjoyed the singing so much. Thanks for joining in with #TriumphantTales, hope to see you back again tomorrow.


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