Balancing structure and fun: Embracing life's adventures with our autistic son
Rose Mabiza • 7 mins read
04 December 2023
As our family sets out on a summer adventure, we are excited to explore new horizons and make memories that will last a lifetime. We approach the season with excitement and careful planning, striving to balance our autistic son's need for structure and routine with the desire for fun and adventure.
In this article, we embark on a summer adventure as a family, with the warm sun painting the days. We share insights on handling time, planning activities, and nurturing his special interests. Join us as we navigate the ups and downs of this special time, creating cherished memories along the way.
Unravelling the concept of time
Time can be a puzzling concept for our son, which often leads to feelings of worry and anxiety. To help him navigate this challenge, we take the time to teach him about the concept of time itself and how it relates to different activities and schedules. By explaining to him the importance of time management and the predictability it can bring to our daily lives, we aim to ease his concerns and make him feel more comfortable.
To cultivate patience and comfort in him, we provide a structured routine that incorporates clear schedules and consistent expectations. This helps him develop a sense of time and order, allowing him to understand better what to expect throughout the day. By adhering to a routine, we create a sense of stability and predictability that helps alleviate his worries and fosters an environment where he can thrive. Through these intentional practices, we strive to empower him with the necessary tools to embrace time and its significance, ultimately cultivating patience and comfort in his everyday life.
Taming summer's hustle
The summer season can be a whirlwind of activity and excitement, but we prioritise finding a balance amidst the busyness. While there are various fun-filled adventures and outdoor escapades, we understand the importance of ensuring our son feels calm and happy throughout this time. We believe that finding moments of tranquillity amidst the hustle and bustle of the summer season is crucial for his overall well-being and enjoyment.
To strike this balance, we intentionally create opportunities for him to experience moments of calm. Whether through quiet nature walks, peaceful picnics, or simply relaxing and unwinding in the shade, we encourage him to pause and appreciate the beauty of tranquillity. By emphasising the importance of finding inner peace amidst the summer chaos, we aim to instil in him a sense of mindfulness and a deep appreciation for the value of stillness in his life. Through this conscious effort, we want to create lasting memories of serene moments to enhance his summer experience.
The magic of special passions
Our son possesses many special interests and passions that he holds dear to his heart, and we recognise the significance of leveraging these passions to enhance his enjoyment of various activities. Each of these beloved interests serves as a guiding star, illuminating the path for him to explore and engage with the world around him. These passions form a beautiful tapestry in his life, infusing his experiences with joy, enthusiasm, and purpose.
By intertwining his interests with different activities, we create a seamless connection between the things he loves and the new experiences he encounters. We tap into his intrinsic motivation and allow him to embrace and enjoy new experiences fully. This approach allows him to explore his interests further and helps foster a deep sense of fulfilment and contentment. Like constellations guiding the way, these special passions serve as beacons of light, illuminating his journey and enriching his life.
Exploring his culinary curiosity
Food plays an integral role in our summer experience, allowing our family to connect and share new experiences. Cooking together is especially important to us as it provides our son opportunities for learning, discovering, and exploring different cuisines. He can cultivate new skills, gain insight into different cultures, and embark on exciting culinary adventures through cooking.
Whether preparing a picnic lunch for a day at the beach or barbecuing in the backyard, food is a central element of our summer story. Each dish tells a unique and rich narrative, one that is shaped by our shared enjoyment of delicious meals and our collective curiosity for new flavours and ingredients.
Culinary delights are a thread woven throughout our summer days, nourishing our bodies and nurturing our minds. Cooking together fundamentally enhances our family dynamic, creating a shared discovery and enjoyment space. We cherish these moments and look forward to exploring new culinary horizons with our son each summer.
Family bond and support
As a family, we understand the importance of nurturing our son's well-being and happiness, and we make it our collective goal to ensure that he always feels loved and supported. We have a deep appreciation for the power of sharing stories of encouragement and support as a means of fostering his growth and development. From the smallest accomplishments to the biggest milestones, we constantly remind ourselves of his progress and inspire him to keep reaching for his dreams.
Our love for him is a foundation upon which we build a supportive and encouraging environment. We form a united front, one that is unbreakable and resilient, even in the face of life's biggest challenges. We understand that true growth and development only come when we work together and dedicate ourselves to creating a nurturing environment that allows him to flourish.
Our family has a wealth of heartwarming tales illustrating our collective effort, understanding, and unwavering encouragement. Through the years, we have shared many touching moments that have formed an enduring legacy of love and support. As we work together to support our son's well-being and happiness, we have faith that he will go on to fulfil his greatest potential, knowing that we will always be there to support him every step of the way.
This summer, our goal is to help our son grow and enjoy life. We're learning about time, trying new things, and sharing special moments. We're making the most of this season with love, understanding, and a mix of activities.
Stay with us for more stories, thoughts, and updates on our journey. Together, we celebrate the good times, learn from the tough ones, and create a world of happiness and understanding for our amazing son.
Click here to read more articles about our journey as a family.
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Click on the links below to read more articles from Rose:
- Embracing summer adventures: Making memories and learning together
- Celebrating summer break success: My son's remarkable progress
- Tech-savvy summer: Nurturing my autistic son's passion for technology
- My autistic child’s potty and personal hygiene training
- Dealing with stress and autism at home
- Coping strategies for supporting my autistic child.