Sunday, 2 July 2017

Soaring, tumbling, freewheeling through the Circle of Life

Peter and I have been very lucky in the past 9 months to have seen both The Lion King and Aladdin in the theatre in London. 
Peter loves music and if it's Disney even better. Well, he's a Disney geek who loves a Princess, so who am I to deprive him of what he likes.

There are a lot of "autism friendly" events these days, which is fantastic - families don't feel so pushed out of doing family things and they can get out to the cinema or the theatre and not worry about being judged.

But our autism journey began a LONG time before cinemas and theatres (and even shops these days) did this kind of thing - lights up, bringing your own juice and sweets and so on.

Plus the fact I have 2 other neurotypical children who needed days out and needed mum and dad to do things with them.

(Please don't kick me down and say that Peter must be more able than your child. We all have to do what we think is right for our children and it's a hard road we all walk)

I do believe that much as Peter has an ASD , a rare chromo abnormality and learning disabilities, he has to live in what is really a mainstream world. And that world can be nasty at times, to people they don't understand. So it's nice to know that we . as parents, can choose to opt into a friendly screening of a film, or afternoon at the theatre.

But it's also nice when we decide as a family to go down a more mainstream route and have staff who go all out to help us. 
As a family, we can make a bubble round Peter, to help him feel safe.
Yes, we do have the tantrums and the meltdowns as well!! I remember well one Sunday  going off to New Lanark for the day and he has a face like fizz on him, because HE didn't want to go. Didn't matter what the rest of us wanted to do. He wanted to stay at home.

So it was deal with the fizzy face (by saying you know what, tough. We're a family and we want to do things , like together!!) or go home and have  2 more fizzy face to deal with.

For those of you who have never met my children, you do NOT want to deal with fizzy faces. It's not nice , as the Genie says and there may be blood.

So, like Aladdin on - the magic carpet - says to Jasmine "Do you trust me?", we had to take Peter by the hand and ask him to trust us to take him on the magic carpet and see how things went.

There are times we've soared, times we've tumbled and times we freewheel it, making it up as we go along. Oh, and add in juggling apples, jumping through hoops and keeping plates spinning, you can imagine that at best, it was an adventure, at worst...................... oh, just don't even go there - you don't want the tears and the hassles.

Peter copes fairly well with doing mainstream things, but i'm sure that's because we didn't have the option of any other way and the need  (and want) to go out as a family. 
Paul says he loved it at concerts he was doing, seeing Peter jigging about in his seat, enjoying the music. I think he did once get a "huh" from someone in band, but he just told them that if someone enjoyed the music, so what.

So, we often borrow that magic carpet and go on adventures.

Sometimes it's brilliant.
Sometimes it's ok.
And sometimes it just doesn't work out, but heck, that's life.

As I sat in the Gods at the matinee of Aladdin on the 17th of June, we sat and sang I Can Show you a world. 
But in truth, I think Peter and  Louise + Paul have shown us a world where life might throw up issues, but we work on it.
And as they say in Lion King - never take more than you give.

Life is there to be lived, even if you have to take it at a slightly slower pace!!!