For so many years, as is often the case in families affected by ASD, our autism sibling has been more independent as her sister’s needs have been addressed. It has been as if she is on the Frances Show where it’s all Frances all the time.
This has recently changed, and both she and Frances are adjusting rather well to the change in family dynamics.
We have discovered that Pink Cup Sister has special needs as well — though not the same as those of Frances — and she has been receiving the lion’s share of attention recently.
How has Frances coped in situations in which I can’t pay her as much attention? She’s done really well. She doesn’t usually leave my side, but she will give us privacy when Pink Cup Sister, Pink Cup Dad and I have to speak of matters personal.
This isn’t to say that we’re not still working on goals with Frances, too: she struggles with issues of food, coordination when dressing, following sequences without verbal prompts, communicating when she feels unsafe at school and a host of other issues that would fall under the “social” category.
Recently, I was saddened and surprised to learn that a child in her classroom isn’t very patient where Frances’s interest in horses is concerned.
Now, as is sometimes the case with ASD, my daughter’s interest is all-consuming, and she will speak about horses frequently because that is the means by which she has discovered that she can relate to others.
The other child will frequently challenge Frances on horse facts and tell her that horses are weird, etc. He’ll say anything to bother her.
I’ve learned that another boy sticks up for Frances and refuses to let the mean boy’s behaviour go unchecked.
I think she’s had enough though this week: she tells me that she had the “perfect storm” for a meltdown when loud noise, too many people, too much movement and the mean boy’s comments combined and caused her to be overstimulated. She cried uncontrollably, and her wonderful teacher helped her through the episode.
The teacher did inform me that the boy is, in fact, being mean to Frances, and that she is keeping them well separated to avoid any more conflict.
There was also a change in her schedule that probably contributed to her meltdown, too: her father was away on business for the week.
Let’s just say that it has been a long week for all of us.
I’m so glad that it’s Friday. Yay, Friday!