The small things that give joy with autism.
It’s very often the small things that give the most joy. Yesterday was one of those days. For those of you who have been following the story of my autistic brother over the summer, you will know that we have moved on from a very dark place. A place of sectioning under the Mental Health Act, and a stay in two hospitals, followed by the most frustrating turmoil with the red tape in Adult Social Care. We finally found new accommodation that is supported by Mencap, and now we are in the next phase. The settling in, and adjusting phase.
Time well spent
Today was an unexpected day off for me, so I decided to be spontaneous and take my brother for a drive. He has no other way of getting out on trips and hates going out in the rain, so today was a perfect chance. He doesn’t really understand how far away things are, and when you take him out, he tends to look at the road ahead rather than looking at the scenery. I have to point out the sea, and the colour of the trees.
When I pointed out Dunster castle, he was amazed that it was a ‘real’ castle. He’s never seen one! When we walked along Minehead seafront, he didn’t see the massive roof tops of Butlins until I pointed them out. It was just like taking a child. Delightful though, especially when he did see the sea! We had fish and chips and then walked along the seafront.
This was an interesting one.
There are puddles!
‘How far are we going to walk?’ He said.
‘Not far, just mind the puddles.’ I pointed out the large puddles stretching back from the sea wall towards the road.
‘That’s ok, we will walk over here, look, move that way’
It was as if the puddles were a huge obstacle but he couldn’t figure out what to do to over come it. In fact, I think he probably would have walked through them and then realised he had very wet feet. We walked along with me explaining what a stag night was – there were a few taxes laden with men in hats who were obviously having a good time!
‘How far are we going?’ He asked again.
So, he needs to know. With me saying that it’s not far isn’t really good enough. I picked a landmark, and we walked towards that. We turned round, walked back and I explained why some seagulls are a different colour to others. Because they are babies! He had no idea.
We couldn’t go to Minehead without popping into an amusement arcade. A little childhood memory jogger for him.
We spent £2.00. That’s £1.00 of 2ps each. In a little cup. We played the ‘shove penny’ or as it is now… 2p! This was sheer joy. To see him transfixed and laughing when we won, and to see the concentration on his face as he worked out his timing, was just priceless. He thought it was brilliant that we could have so much fun for so little money.
So, sometimes it’s the smallest things that give the most pleasure. Who would have thought six months ago that this would happen? He was so happy. Such a simple trip and no trouble for me to take him. When we returned, he was chatting to the support staff about what he had done. Six months ago he would go weeks without talking to anyone.
I wonder what the next trip will be?