…also known as “How on Earth do I get the Kids to School?”.
Transporting my kids around can be a nightmare sometimes. They like to know exactly where they are going, who they’ll be with and when they’ll get there / get back. So tell them out of the blue that they’re going somewhere on a particular day, and you get bombarded with questions.
You answer them. If there are any details missing, they ask you the same questions again and again until they have all the answers they want.
Can you see how this might be tricky?
There’s no such thing as a surprise trip in our house (well, unless TOH is driving) because the anxiety level rises exponentially until they know what is going on. Meltdowns made a frequent appearance when NOS was younger!
The only reason that TOH can spring surprise trips on them is that they implicitly trust him… and that can cause problems with arranging things with other people – especially people who don’t understand Autism.
Just recently, we’ve had a massive upheaval. We were evicted from our home of 13 years and forced to go into Temporary Accommodation while we wait for a suitable council house to become available (a topic for another time), so we are in a Town that we are not very familiar with.
TOH’s back is growing steadily worse and whereas we started out with him driving the kids to their school (a journey of about half an hour one way), the kids have had to start taking the train to school. At first it was just afternoons and they could handle that. Now it’s graduated to mornings as well and we never know exactly which mornings it is going to be.
I know all the answers to this particular problem – get the bus / a taxi / walk to town, get on train… we’ve been doing the Taxi one – they’re the most comfortable with that because it’s :
a) a car
b) we use the same firm each time
c) I organise the taxi
The Bus one is trickier – I need to ride the route myself to make a note of the stops for them to get on/off at. Then I’ll have to ride it with them at least once.
The walking one is trickier still – I have to walk it a couple of times myself and then at least one time with the kids before they are comfortable with it.
This is known as Travel Training.
Unfortunately at the moment, I don’t have the spare time to check the routes out. I can’t leave PW at home with TOH for long periods (unless the kids are around) and during the week she has Playgroup in the afternoons which makes the amount of time I have to do things like this limited to weekends.
I also have a limited budget at the moment.
All in all, this is one of those things that is causing a significant amount of trouble. I’m stressed because I have to ring fence enough money to cover it each week. TOH is depressed because he was already feeling useless and losing the one thing that he could do for the family is making him feel worse. NOS is worried that he’ll not be able to keep up with his coursework properly and PT is upset because she is having to be under NOS’s “Command” when they travel like this (a combination of wanting to be independent, normal teenage sibling issues and stressed by the travel) and she doesn’t like it being sprung on them.
Stability is everything in a Autistic Household…
…and I’m tired of not being able to take them to school myself. So I’m forcing myself to overcome my fear of driving and learn to drive. It’s not a quick fix, but once it’s done it solves a problem or two.
Until then… we carry on as we have been.
How would you solve these problems? Comment below if you have any new ideas!