Autism. Good things
It's been a few weeks of progress recently, which is nice, and I'll have to store up the good memories for when it goes backwards for a while. Here are some good steps towards lowering anxiety that he took in the last few days.
Cows and rivers
We took a walk down through a cow paddock to the river at some new friends' place with a whole group of people on Sunday. The aim was to swim in the river, and Bright Eyes was very keen to set off. But once we saw the cows, it was a bit of a different story. His anxiety levels rose and the majority of the walk involved me listening to his anxious bleats. "Cows are dangerous. I'm going to the river tomorrow. This is not for boys. I'm not going here," all said at high volume.
This is not unusual, and I was prepared to ask someone else to watch the other children and go back with him, but I didn't need to. Despite the noise and the fears, he kept moving forward. And when he stopped walking two or three times, he was happy for me to pick him up and keep going. I knew that once he turned to run away, it would be all over, but it never reached that point. The walk itself took about 10 minutes, and he didn't falter.
Of course, once we got to the river, everything was fine. He even coped with swimming in his clothes.
Wombats and camping grounds
There is a wonderful public camping ground 10 kms from our place where you can enjoy the amazing sight of wombats coming out to graze every evening at dusk. We have been there a number of times, but every time, Bright Eyes has refused to get out of the car. For some reason, he's scared of it. We took our little nephew there to see the wombats tonight. Bright Eyes wasn't keen, but he did eventually get out of the car, stay out of it for 20 minutes or so and come for a short walk with me. I said, "I just want to see one wombat, and then I'll come back to the car with you." We saw it, and came back. It's a small step to helping him see that it's not a scary place, and that he can have fun there.