Open it up for them – Part 1 of many

We want to start having company over. We love John and Jane and their family. We want to visit with friends and laugh. We want to visit and have “normal” lives without having to wait until our son is permanently in residence. We want to have the time to clean and prepare food. We don’t want out guests to have to bring anything. How do we enjoy them, and they, us, with all of the challenges we face?

How do we make it so that we can create a “normal” agenda doesn’t upset our special-needs children?

We do not want to wait for another 3-5 years to have special people in our home. We want to laugh, play cards, and serve yummy food to them.

We wish to open our home to our friends without feeling selfish about the fact that we have a special-needs person here who, of course, takes priority.

There are things that we know we can do. We shop early, we time our cleaning of our house. But the biggest challenge is that, even when we have fed and medicated our adult child and he is ready for bed, have we done enough? We do not speak in loud voices.

However, there is something even more. As we already do, how do others make it so that, when guests visit, our child will either enter the room and “check them out” without feeling stressed, or simply be able to go to sleep without thinking that they have to leave before all is peaceful and bedtime can start?

We have worked on this for years. With some guests, our son doesn’t mind whether they are loud. He simply closes his door and goes to sleep. With other guests, he waits until they leave.

Are you able to have “friends come over to play” in the evening without causing a melt-down in your special-needs child? We finally have more success than not, but it has taken 18 years. Even as an infant, our boy would scream and require so much attention that having company was a privilege that we did not have.

2 thoughts on “Open it up for them – Part 1 of many

  1. Thumbs up to your success’ even if the journey has taken 18 years to get that… slow and steady as I say. I totally hear you and what you are saying in this post. I rarely have anyone over exactly for that reason. Darren’s not thrilled about others disrupting HIS home… and being autistic and non-filtered even though he is technically “non-verbal”, he will go from one person to the next giving them a hug…’ years of give so-in-so a hug bye bye’ (rotely trained and forever engraved in his brain). and then when he hugs them and they don’t say bye and leave, he repeats the hug, this time a little shorter and forceful… again the person(s) don’t leave as he intends for them to do. Pretty soon I’m dealing with a child who is literally pushing or pulling the person(s) to the front door saying “bye bye, go bye bye”…. I try my best to side track him but it doesn’t work… and naturally at this point 2 things will happen. He will either go to his room, or… and this or is more time than not… escalate his unhappiness – the person(s) aren’t following HIS wants/rules and he starts to become more aggitated and down right angry. He usually won’t be physically aggressive with the person(s), but let me tell ya, I have to have a watchful eye on him non-stop at that point cause it will be ME that will recieve his aggression. He’s taller than I, doesn’t weigh too much less than I, and he’s quick and sly… sometimes I don’t even see it coming! and even if I talk to him before hand and let him know that so-in-so is coming over to visit and to be nice, and explain he can go to his room if he needs time away but that he needs to be nice…. well yeah, at age 14, good in theory with the best of my intentions. and oddly enough I question who/what/when/where & why has my son resorted to physical aggression? I don’t get physical with him… and cognitively he is old enough to know it’s not ok. Ahhh that tight-rope walking between wanting/needing ME time with a friend visiting me here at home vs the all consuming severely autistic 14 year old that while I believe I’m doing my best, and giving it my all… still gives me a run for my money.

    • Tim here – thanks, Wynee, for sharing more detail on this particular challenge. As Melissa said in the title, “Part 1 of many.” We will be coming back to this one, as we are just starting to regroup our social life after years of profound disruption. Part of our blog identity is that we write from within the struggle, not as experts on the outside looking in. So we won’t always have great answers to some of this stuff – just a chance to give one another a hug of sorts (NOT a “bye bye go away” hug) and help one another care on. Bless you as you do.

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