Autism and Visiting: My seeeester is coming for Eaaaaster!

moa mall of americaMy sister started calling me “seester” years ago, and it stuck.

Anyway, sister and clan are coming from Canada for Easter and to get a grad dress for her boyfriend’s daughter…wasn’t the daughter 12 the other day?

So, she will be making the trek to Canadian shopping Mecca–Mall of America, or “MOA” as it is called here in the Minneapolis metro.  I did my duty when it first opened, and now I avoid it like the plague.  (Mind you, Legoland is pretty cool first thing in the morning when the store clerks are still downing their coffees, and the few stragglers are rushing in late to work.)

Anyway, there will be 15 for Easter dinner.  OMG!  My sister and clan will have plenty of room to sleep because hubby’s job allows us a big house.  The nice part about my sister visiting is that it has become a script that I know.  She is here two or three times a year, so I am used to the routine and the people’s habits.

It used to be an incredible rocking, hand-movement, walking-on-my-toes event and the two weeks leading up to it.  Since I know what to expect, it isn’t anxiety-producing anymore.

I have also learned coping strategies such as tidying. I put away dishes, take out garbage, and other maintenance tasks so I have something to focus on that is very routine.  It’s comforting.

I have done this for a long time.  I remember at my grandfather’s funeral, I was at the sink washing dishes.  I didn’t even go in the living room where most of the others were.  That was a situation I didn’t understand, but that is another blog post.

I don’t avoid my family, but I can take tidy breaks.  If you or your child is on the spectrum, have an alternative, a coping strategy to deal with it.  If your child is old enough to understand concepts, review what will happen that day at an event.  If you are going to someone else’s house, visit with your child first and show him and let him practice the coping strategy in the room he will be doing it in.

I am dreaming of chocolate.  The kids are late teens/early twenties, so they won’t be bothered to get up and search for candy.  Maybe this year, my sister will hide candy for me!


About Eileen Parker 100 Articles
Support a starving writer, by buying my current book, The Weighted Blanket Guide, on Amazon. I'm a writer working on my fourth book. I live in the Twin Cities with my husband. Between us, we have four children.