Autism. Recovery at the beach

Today was a great day.

We went to the beach after a picnic at a park. Bright Eyes was very happy to get his cossies and sunscreen on and head down, even though it was windy. This is a big step. There have been many many days in the past when he won't get out of the car if it's windy.

Unfortunately, however, the wind was whipping up the sand and it was stinging his legs. He yelped a bit as he ran down and made it to the hard sand, and then had about 10 minutes of playing fairly happily on the edge of the surf with Max. 

Then the wind got stronger, however, and the dry sand was blown all the way down to the sea edge, stinging his legs again. This time, he really couldn't stand it, and started to yell. We decided to head back to the car as it was really fairly unpleasant. Every time a gust of wind came, Bright Eyes yelled some more, "Nnooooooo, Nooooo wind! Make it stop! NOOOOOOO!"

I caught up to him, grabbed his hand, and said, "Hey! You need to stop yelling. It's ok. We're going to the car. You can use your words."

He heard me! And he did stop yelling! Instead, he said in an upset voice, "I don't like it. It hurts me. It's dangerous. I'm scared of it." He came with me to the car, and he calmed down and that was that.

It was really good that he could take control of himself and think and use words and express what he wanted to say. I was impressed, and told him so a bit later on.

As if that wasn't enough for him (and usually it would be well and truly enough, especially given the fact that we had done the grocery shopping before all of this), I then took the kids to the local library. He then had to do these things that would normally really stress him out:

- put up with slow traffic as we drove at 30km behind a grader all the way there

- park in a car park that he doesn't like too much

- get out of the car

- get changed from cossies to clothes again (he was very flexible and asked to put the clothes on over the top!!!)

- walk to the library

- cope with the disappointing news that his favourite Tintin was not on the shelf

- wait while we checked out books

- walk back to the car

- drive back to pick up Daddy

- get out of the car when we got home

AND HE COPED! More than that, he was fine. He didn't even have to 'cope' - it didn't feel at all like there was even a hint of an issue.

AND he helped his sister carry the heavy bag of library books all the way from the car to the building. I've never ever seen him do that before.

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