New Years Day brought the traditional trip to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. It was a wonderful few hours – more of that in the next post.

On our return things seemed fine. Then steadily things started to deteriorate and eventually we had a full on anxiety vortex. Consuming so much energy and hope.

Our son started to think again about school. Like me he often tries to overthink problems. Visualise potential outcomes. And in a similar way to Dr Strange when asked by Ironman about the millions of potential scenarios to stop Thanos – “he could only find one option which had a chance of success”. In our Son’s analysis he could only see one option with a chance of success – leaving school as a solution to his anxieties.

  • Teachers who don’t understand him
  • Falling further behind in reading – he realises that although he is making progress this is not catch up progress rather this is at best slowing the widening gap
  • Friendships
  • Low school expectations
  • Little help
  • Sensory overload at school – too much noise, too many people
  • Too much homework
  • Constant fear of getting negative comments and falling foul of the penalty system. Even something like forgetting to button up your top button or forgetting to bring in your planner producing automatic penalties.
  • A school timetable which brings tight deadlines and logistics pressures to someone with Aspergers.
  • In a disruptive class
  • And on and on …..

Again today I couldn’t find the healing words. Just couldn’t stem the raging anxiety vortex. The vortex doesn’t just suck our son’s energy it feeds on mine to. Increasingly tired. Feeling broken. Mind keeps crashing back to those 6 weeks when I lost my mum and then my partner.

We try to get some sleep but the vortex continues to rage and our son is beyond sleep.

Dad we need to do something, anything”.

Come on let’s take the dog for a walk.

But I’m in my pyjamas and it’s nighttime”

Get changed quickly then.

Ten minutes later at 10.50pm we are walking the dog in the pitch black with one cheap torch to guide us.

The dark, the quiet, the spookiness – whatever the reason but suddenly the anxiety vortex is calmed.

Talk is now about the things we really wanted but never got as a kid. The things we love and hate about England. Favourite foods. Ghost stories.

Hopefully for one night our son is ok. He is asleep and hopefully has a good night. We dust ourselves down and go again tomorrow.

49 thoughts on “Sleepwalking

  1. I think this time of year brings anxiety. I myself am really feeling it this year. New year is shouted about being a time of new beginnings, I don’t like change, neither do my children the word ‘new’ implies change. Even if in reality nothing much is changing. For our children the holidays are a time to breathe but as we near school return all the obstacles and challenges become massive all over again. Hugs to you both. Vx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wish I could be there to reassure him, having been through the rigmarole, albeit in the American system. The fuddy duddies want to prepare him for a life he may never need engage. Do seek all the options. I see the high rating given Specialist Autism Services, in Leeds. Could they perhaps be of help in your son’s case?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can sympathize with the anxiety that school and social settings can call to the forefront. I wish I could give your little guy a hug. He is such a sweet smart brilliant funny soul and he does not deserve this. It is unfortunate that the school system does not have programs to help in place. Happy New Years. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are so good with his “demands”. It is not always that people understand the special needs of a special child. Seems like he acts and thinks more advanced than his age.He knows how to reason out.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My daughter is feeling very anxious since starting high school – penalties for not wearing the tie, forgetting the planner etc. I realise that the school needs pupils to do certain things, otherwise the system might become chaotic, but… Anyway, it’s good that your son is relating his concerns to you, even if it drains you. My daughter doesn’t, so I have limited means to help her.

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  6. I feel your pain – I had a ball of tears on my hands for the past 12-15 hours and there was little I could say to make things better. I probably should have opted for a midnight walk with him as well. Here’s hoping the boys have relatively good days back!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I know – I agree. I wish I could take his pain away. I am hopeful though that when he got there he forgot he was upset and has a wonderful day. And for your son too!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m sorry you’re both having a tough time. You’re late-night walk was a great idea!

    I’m an adult with autism, and also a primary special needs teacher. I’m also mum to a 17 year old son who has struggled with moderate to severe anxiety at various times throughout his whole school career and doesn’t want a diagnosis despite having strong autistic traits. It always seemed to me that we would go over the same traumatically anxious ground over and over again leaving us both frazzled and broken. But as he grew up and I just kept doing my best he became better able to manage. Counselling helped too and a social skills course he did for two years at the beginning of secondary school. This September he’s actually off to university to do IT. I just wanted to let you know that although progress is often really slow with anxiety, it does happen. If you ever want to pick my brains about anything education related then please give me a shout. All the best, Jo

    Liked by 2 people

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