This was one of the quieter moments, she has been more than a little cheesed off with me for going down to Cardiff, almost two weeks ago now, to see her sister and go to a Bob Dylan gig. Although she is autistic she is very sociable and a big crowd at a gig wouldn't bother her in the least, but what would bother her is having to stand in roughly the same place for longer than 15 minutes, she would wander off to look for a seat, I needn't go into all the problems that would cause, you can imagine it.
As an aside, if anyone knows how you can get tickets for the seated part of the Cardiff International Arena (only a small part is seated for any Dylan gig I've been to there, but seated throughout for The Mighty Boosh, and when I got my degree! Hannah dead jealous 'cause I walked across that stage once.) please let me know, I've phoned for tickets within seconds of them becoming available only to be told all seated tickets are gone.
Sarah would love to go to an event like that, she loves being in the cinema or the theatre, and she loves music but it's really tricky if the seating is in doubt and a lot of money wasted if we have to leave! So anyway, that's why she didn't get to see Bob Dylan which she really does want to do, and is understandably a bit miffed about it. So all the old behaviors which we try to contain come spilling out and it can all get a bit explosive.
This weekend we have had the usual non cooperation, but this time there was no real talking her out of it, so a moody trip to the supermarket and a lot of moaning about waiting for buses. a lot of aggravation about food and what time we eat it, which escalated to screaming and stamping feet and lame attempts at self harm, just for effect. Tempted to say 'and that was just me', but to be honest if it had gone on for much longer it may well have been me, Then yesterday evening her period started and she calmed down. P.M.T. and autism are not a good mix.
I'm not going to make a list of the awkward, tense, potentially dangerous, potentially violent and the downright depressing stuff that occurred over the weekend, these things have sort of become the norm after all this time, and we have become pretty adept at getting past it quickly, we have strategies worked out for dealing with each of the more upsetting manifestations of severe autism, and it is fortunate that the worst of these only occur in the home, not when we are out and about. She has had a couple of outbursts at the day centre which were cause for concern but fortunately we have a good rapport with the staff there and some of our strategies were put into place and now she respects the boundaries set up and rarely goes off the rails there. She knows she is safe at home so is a bit more prone to knocking the boundaries about, which is understandable, after all Sarah is the one who is living with the autism in her head all the time, she can't get away from it, we can. We can just bugger off down to Cardiff for a day and spend time with her sister who is doing all the stuff she could have been doing a couple of years ago if it hadn't been for the autism. Sarah knows all this, it is nothing short of miraculous to me that she stays as composed as she does, and the days that she is a joy to be with make up for all the difficult weekends we've ever had, and there have been a few! And I think she is entitled to get thoroughly pissed of with me once in a while, it wouldn't be natural if she didn't. So here's the other picture I took while we were enjoying the humour around the hat keeping the sun out of your eyes.