Thursday, 6 March 2014

World Book Day Anxiety

Every year we face the same dilemma - what to wear on World Book Day?  

Today our daughter chose to go as Gangsta Granny, a character from a David Walliams book. She made her own mask and loot bag and seemed fine last night. Today she wasn't so sure and didn't want to get out of the car when we got to school. She doesn't enjoy attention and finds social chit chat hard to deal with, so didn't want to enter Into conversation about who she had come as. Plus the structure of the school day was different as everything was focused on literacy rather than following the normal timetable - changes to normal routine like this are unsettling to people with ASD. In the end, the day was more enjoyable than she had expected and she came home happier, but was relieved to get changed back into her normal clothes ready for her street dance class.

Our eldest son enjoyed the chance to wear normal clothes and opted for an easy choice of Charlie Bucket from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 

Onesies and character pyjamas have revolutionised clothes for our youngest son and he would choose to live in them all day if he could. It's a shame they don't make a school uniform onesie as mornings would run so much smoother!! He wore his Mike Wazowski pyjamas and was happy with his choice.  As we walked to school, he already had his hood up to shield himself from sensory distractions, but upon entering the playground he cowered behind me. He's used to walking in there each day but I think he found the sight of children in costumes with props like broomsticks and swords all too much as it was so far removed from a normal day especially when all the teachers came out in their costumes. When I picked him up from school he was quieter than normal and agitated. In the car he started kicking the dashboard and his feet narrowly missed the windscreen. Once we arrived home the kicking and screaming built up to the extent that I had to hold him tightly in a bear hug to stop him breaking things.  He likes firm pressure so finds this relaxing. Calm is now restored and he is fast asleep but it's taken a few hours to reach this point. 

Something as simple as dressing up for a day can turn a child's life upside down when they have ASD. Roll on tomorrow and normality will reign once more until the next little trigger upsets the world of our children.

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