Autism and the difficulty of going out in public
It can be hard for us to do things as a family. For instance, the boys love watching movies but going to the movie theater would be too overwhelming for Charlie, and honestly for me too. The people, the sounds, the light… it’s just a bit too much for us. Not to mention, Jude can be wild in public too. So unfortunately, we don’t go out that much.
I’ve learned through my experiences raising a disabled child that you have to learn to adapt. I’m constantly readjusting my expectations. It’s all about finding the balance between not doing things at all because they’re too overwhelming and forcing our kiddos to do things because that’s what other families do. I like compromising. It took time for us to find our new normal after Charlie’s autism diagnosis but we have our own little routine now that everyone seems to enjoy. We’ve come to terms with the fact that we can’t do things like most families do but there are still awesome things we can do to connect as a family. These things are what we focus on.
What we love to do as a family
During the spring and summer, we spend a lot of time outside. Charlie and Jude love to play water games. We have a basic kiddie pool in the yard that keeps them entertained for hours at a time. I plan on surprising them with a water-table because Charlie loves pouring water back and forth between cups.
At night, we also take walks at the park and then eat dinner together every night. It’s simple but that works for our family. The kids are happy and usually don’t get overwhelmed which makes it easier for everyone to have a relaxed and fun time!
In-home movie night with CineMood
Like I said earlier, though, they love movies! Since the movie theater isn’t really an option, we had to improvise. We have a little projector that has 150+ hrs. of pre-loaded family-friendly content, like Disney movies. It also comes with a Netflix and YouTube app too so we can watch all their favorite shows (or ours if we want). There’s an option to download their favorite TV-Shows and episodes on the projector which means they can watch them everywhere even without WIFI. The boys watch cartoons on it a few times a week but once in a while we love to use it together as a family to have an in-home movie night. I can also play on the projector directly from my phone’s YouTube or Netflix app.
We break out the popcorn and put a bunch of pillows and blankets on the floor and just watch a movie. It’s like going to the movies but in the comfort of our home, without the overwhelming unknowns, strangers, lights, and sounds that are too much for Charlie. Charlie and Jude love it, and Willy and I do too.
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