This week, however, the cold weather has meant is has been quite a difficult week. Jamie has been full of cold and we usually spend this holiday going for lots of nice walks but he hasn't really wanted to get out of the car because he doesn't like the cold.
It is difficult to find things to amuse Jamie through the holidays. The days seem so long at the moment, especially as he keeps getting up in the early hours too. I am off work so that means at least I can support my husband by getting up with Jamie at night. He thinks everything is so funny at 3am but at least the pressure of having to get up for work and school is off this week.
We always make the effort to go out somewhere as this keeps Jamie's routine. We went to the beach but it was too cold and the sea was too noisy. We drove to the country but Jamie didn't want to get out of the car as it was cold and raining. He doesn't like going swimming anymore as he has developed a phobia of blue swimming water and he even has panic attacks if he sees it on TV. He usually likes a walk around Tees Barrage to watch the canoeists and the seals but, again, it was too cold for him. He doesn't like the cinema as it is too noisy and he doesn't like the shops as there are always children crying and he hates that. We try to go for nice, long drives and this is probably what he enjoys most but my ears hurt as he squeals so much but I have to sit next to him.
I brought some paints out today but he ate the paint and tried to eat the paintbrush. He also tried to eat some play-dough. He enjoys his computer but can only sit still for about five or ten minutes then he gets bored or too excited and starts to squeal again. At least there are two of us to keep him occupied as you feel you have to do something rather than just let him watch Cbeebies all day. He likes his books but if you have a book, he will take it off you and throw it. I think he doesn't like us to do too much.
He isn't that keen on us talking to each other and he likes to run off so that one of us has to chase him. He must run up and down the stairs about 100 times or more each day. If we have visitors, he will run off upstairs usually. If he stays downstairs he will sit on your visitor and either be over affectionate with them or just hit them. Poor Jeff can get stuck upstairs for ages if Jamie isn't in the mood for visitors. He is usually ok with one person but is overwhelmed by more.
He isn't keen on my nephews visiting as they can be too noisy for him. They don't stay very long. He is very fond of his eldest sister Sam, as she always funfights with him and they are quite close. He likes it when she visits, She is pregnant with our first grandchild so she has to be careful with him now. Heaven knows how Jamie will respond to a baby. We will deal with that when the time comes.
Jamie is also very fond of my brothers and will always sit on their knees, even though he weighs nine stone now. I know they don't mind but he gets aggressive when they try to move him. It can be quite funny at times. My brother Robbie is 42 and he has severe learning disabilities and Jamie and
Robbie really like each other, but Robbie has a big tummy and Jamie likes to hit it very hard and we have trouble stopping him. Robbie lets Jamie sit for a short while but he has no qualms about pushing Jamie off when he has had enough. It is nice when he visits.
When we visit any of our families we never stay long. If we go to Jeff's parents, Jamie runs off upstairs and jumps on their bed, turns the bedding upside down and then wants to go. You don't get to have much of a conversation with anyone but they all understand.
This time last year we went to Blackpool for a few days holiday. We stayed with the Daisy chain project which is a building with separate apartments for disabled people and their families to enjoy a break. It was a lovely, quiet place (until Jamie arrived) and we were going to stay for a week but managed five days. We went to the zoo but Jamie didn't like that. We visited a miniature village but Jamie wasn't amused. We had a nice drive through the lights and a few nice walks but Jamie kept bringing us his bag because he wanted to go home. He didn't sleep well while we were there and he tried to eat the drawers in his bedroom. We had an upstairs apartment and Jamie did his usual running around and jumping and, at times, I thought the ceiling was going to fall through!
He squealed with delight when we finally gave up and came home. Still, it had been better than we had anticipated, although very hard work. Jamie really just likes being at home where everything is familiar so I don't think we will be going on holiday anytime soon. The last time we went abroad was in 2001 when Jamie was six and that was really hard work. Our passports have run out and I have no intention of replacing them. I can't even imagine being stuck in an aeroplane with Jamie these days.
School holidays are always a challenge as autistic children like the routine and structure that school provides but even the staff need a break (Jamie's certainly do) so we just have to get through it and it is nice to spend some time with Jamie. His respite was cancelled this week as some staff were ill so that has made for a long week. I have found it difficult to find the time to do my blog this week but have enjoyed sitting here while Jeff chases Jamie and am glad I did the blogs so I have had some 'me' time.
I don't even want to the think about next summer's holidays as they are the most difficult to get through. I really wish they would reduce them to only three weeks instead of six as it is really hard to fill the time up. Jamie has never been on any play schemes but I am going to enquire about them for next summer.
He will be back at school on Monday and then we have to start to think about the much dreaded Christmas holidays. I think I may well start my own campaign - Christmas only once every five years. That would be good.