Our son has really changed for the better in the last few years. He’s doing well on the medication. There are still a few problems, but we can live with them now.
Over time we’ve all come to realize that he needs routines and rituals. We follow the same schedule every day, and my husband and I are always with him whenever possible. He needs structure in his life.
But that also means we’re pretty inflexible. Spontaneous plans with friends just aren’t possible at the moment. The time would have to fit in with our routine, we’d have to make sure he could eat at certain times, and see who else would be there and whether they’re likely to get on with each other. We always have to make sure leisure activities are okay for him too, and make compromises if need be.
Around five or six o’clock in the evening his medication starts wearing off and his behavior starts becoming a big problem again. So we make sure he’s no longer with friends around that time of day, and leave family celebrations or stop doing other activities beforehand. Otherwise things get difficult again and he starts aggravating me, being loud, and annoying me or other people.
Our life is really trying, and not a day goes by without something happening. Our son needs to run around a lot and always has to get out. The medication helps him to be calmer and more focused. But he still can’t entertain himself. He always wants us to have plans and keeps asking what we’re going to do next.
He never really played as a child. It was more like tidying up and working. He still does that now: He sweeps the house and the road, shovels snow, removes weeds. But recently he’s been spending a lot of time playing at the stream near our house with his friend. They do things like climb around and build damns there. He can’t do role-playing and pretend playing like our younger son does, though.
He’s very thrifty and collects returnable bottles. It’s a hobby of his. He’s saved quite a lot of money that way. And he breeds butterflies: We’ve bred more than 100 butterflies in the last few years! He does find activities he likes, but they’re different from what other children enjoy doing.
He’s going to secondary school soon. We decided not to send him to an all-day school. It would be too much for him. He needs regular breaks. He comes home at lunch, and after that we follow the same routine every day.