This week my Autism child (21) successfully applied for and got an apartment, in a city far from home. He was emotionally and sensorily exhausted from living out of a suitcase and sleeping on a friends couch - no privacy - no space to call his own. We celebrated his delight at finally being able to afford an apartment on his own - he would never have to struggle with interacting with flat mates who didn't understand him again. He would never again be at their mercy when it comes to renewing a lease...."Oh, we want to live by ourselves" or "We have another friend who'd like to share, and we'd rather him". We also know this will contribute to his success - he needs a 'safe space' where he can be himself, recharge, chill out and most importantly, get away from people.
To add to his joy, the next day he was offered some freelance design work - 3 days this week, maybe some next week! This would really boost his bank account before Christmas. He was so excited, so happy! Finally, everything was coming together. His Dad and I were happy too - for the first time in 4 weeks we could finally exhale! This move was going to work!
This morning - his first day of work - our Autism child rang early. Anxiety had kept him awake all night... a panic attack had nearly crippled him at 3am. "I can't do it Mum - it's too much all at once!" So distraught - so disappointed in himself - so scared that this will be his future!
We've just learned a valuable lesson. Sometimes the 'pace' of life can cause anxiety. We will have to be vigilant and help him learn to 'put the brakes on' and how to say no, or at least hold off a potential job offer until he can cope.
Aahhh..... you gotta love Autism - it teaches you something new every single day!