These last few weeks have been full-on in the Russell house. It is going to be a busy end to a big year. And the strain is beginning to show, especially with Gilbert.
He has had an extraordinary year. Everyone who knows him knows how hard he has worked this year. We have pushed him and pulled him and he has met the challenge every time.
We have gone hard with him this year because we knew he needed to be pushed. He needed to be worked harder to challenge him, to move forward. We knew he could do it.
But it’s time for us to pull back and stop pushing.
Gilbert is tired. He is having trouble going to sleep and comes to us at various times each evening complaining that his brain won’t stop. That it’s too busy. Worse still, that he hates himself because he can’t stop thinking.
He is anxious as his best friend doesn’t want to do some of the things they have always done together. Rituals that have defined their friendship. He is confused, thinking his friend doesn’t like him anymore as a result.
Gilbert is stressed about the impending changes going into the new year. He is staying in the same classroom but he will have a new teacher and for him any change is terrifying.
And he is worried. We are embarking on our first overseas holiday next month when we travel to New Zealand’s North Island for 10 nights. He can’t understand why we need to go away for a holiday. Why can’t we holiday at home where it’s comfortable instead?
And that’s only a list of the things that I know he is worried about.
We want him to be happy and comfortable but to also have the chance to do and be everything he can be. It’s a very fine line and finding the right balance is tricky.
Which is why we find ourselves in the place we are now. We have pushed and have to now fall back to give him the chance to recover and regroup.
To help him, we are embarking on a number of paths. We recently met with a planning officer from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and are currently working on a plan to support him for the next twelve months.
There is another occupational therapy assessment on the horizon to identify his updated sensory needs and find ways to give him more support at home. And we are commencing with a psychologist to work on some strategies to help address his anxiety and quiet his brain.
It’s not going to be easy but we are hopeful we can get through this year and get him to a better place.
Then, perhaps we can see whether he is ready to be guided forward again. This time, with less stress and strain for everyone. Especially for my extraordinary boy.
IBOTing for the first time in a long time with the most excellent Jess!
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Stepping back is sometimes the best place to start. Hang in there, and I really hope you can all have a wonderful holiday, to recharge.
Hope you get to have a nice holiday – I think most kids (and adults) get like this at the end of the year – it sounds like your son has come a long way so it is enough to sit back and celebrate. Good luck.
I’m so very envious of your holiday. I hope things settle for Gilbert soon it’s such a hard time of year for all of us.
My One New Thing a Week Challenge is now on the blog would love for you to pop over and link up. I have a mystery prize up for grabs each week in November as an incentive.
It’s so hard on our hearts to see our kids worrying about things – anything! Kids should be carefree. I hope the holiday goes well for you and that Gilbert can enjoy it as a big adventure. Maybe he could keep a travel journal or something as a special project? I saw them at Aldi this morning! Have a wonderful trip, and good on you for recognising when your kids need pushing and when you need to let go a bit. x
It sure is a long school year, and it sounds like Gilbert’s done a stellar job with all he’s had to adapt to this year, school, friends etc, so you are a wise mumma to notice it and go slow. The trip to NZ might be a challenge but I’m sure you’ll be able to steer him through it. Maybe a few books from the library about NZ could help get him excited about it?! Are you doing North or South Island, I’m from Hawkes Bay in North and hubby from Winton in the deep South. Em (also visiting a part of #teamIBOT) xx
I hope you get to enjoy you’re holiday, for us it is normally so good to escape from the house, but I do get what Gilbert is saying in why leave home if it is comfortable there. It sounds like your truly extraordinary boy has indeed come a long way and I am sure he could also teach us a thing or two about life. Thank you for sharing. I hope next year he continues to find the balance between his comfort and his best.
I hope your upcoming appointments help put a plan in place to help your precious boy in the coming year xx Enjoy your holiday!
I like the idea of a travel journal, maybe he can be your official family travel photographer? The last term is always the hardest too,I am exhausted and I have finished school ages ago. Take care of yourself Kirsty xx
It can be so hard to know when to push and when to relax. I think you are doing the right thing in recognising the Gilbert needs to rest and regroup. Being your best academically is great, but not when the cost is too high. It’s more important to have a settled, happy kid than to push for great grades. My aspie son (now 19) would often say “I can’t make my brain sit still” when he was in primary school. We did lots of meditation and relaxation techniques in the evenings to help him learn how to unwind and relax. xxx
Oh, I feel your pain. I have seen my boy go through a lot this year too and seen him tired, stressed, anxious and at times also angry and sad. Sometimes it’s agonising as a mum not knowing how to help them in any way and I think that we always carry around a certain amount of guilt, even if there is no rational reason for us to do so. I hope you guys have a fantastic time in NZ and that you all come back refreshed and energised. xx
Sounds like the holiday will be a good break for all of you, Kirsty. Gilbert should be so proud of all his accomplishments this year, and you all as a family too.
It’s great that you’re working on a plan for the next year, but also don’t forget about you, take care xx
You have had a very big year, by any child’s standards! I think you definitely deserve a holiday!
Love that you have identified a way forward to help all of you, and I hope the rest of the year goes smoothly xx
We all want the best for our kids. I have come to accept that my oldest does his best and any pushing will lead to no avail, in fat make things worse. We can only encourage them with love and understanding. I feel for you in your struggles. Gilbert will be all the better with you support and love in his adventures. I am much the same and always think the worst before diving in, but realise after the fact that everything was going to be alright. Even though at the time, I felt like I was drowning.
Good luck with everything that is coming up in your future. I hope that you have a great time on holidays!
the holiday will probably do you good!