Over the last few months, five to be exact, we have stopped doing things and going places because of the Doodle's seizures. Along with the seizures, the behavior became an issue too. This has directly been reflective of our (mine and the Doodle's) social skills or lack there of. I find that we turn down invitations to go most places. It's hard even going to the park or birthday parties; things I would have gladly done before. I should clarify, I haven't been turning down invitations solely due to the autism and behavior of the Doodle, although always a factor. More so, I was worried about the seizures and how to keep him safe and not being able to put him down was hard. It's also hard to have, or pretend to have, a good time when you're exhausted, worried and depressed. I would work all day and deal with all of the Doodle's therapy appointments that come to the house...speech, OT, PT, and SHAPE that when it came time to be off "work", I would want to just relax and not have to be anywhere or do anything or see anybody.
The seizures weren't my excuse but rather my reason.
Mastering social skills can be a challenge for some, especially autistic people. It's hard to take an autistic child somewhere for obvious reasons but then I noticed, I started to like not going places. Am I becoming an introvert? Lazy? Could some of the autism be rubbing of on me? I noticed my list of friends began to dwindle. The invitations stopped coming. Most of my interaction with friends would be at arms length on facebook or email. I had nothing to talk about except recapping seizures in between sobbing.
So, I began to look on the bright side of not going places. I didn't have to worry about child care or what to wear. I didn't have to pretend to have fun. I didn't have to make small talk. I could save money. And then I found that when I would venture out and go somewhere "childless" most of my time would be spent worrying and wondering about the Doodle or feeling guilty for leaving in the first place.
So, it started getting easier and easier to not go.
I work from home so most days I don't ever leave the house; is this a blessing or a curse? Which leads me to the point of this long, drawn out post...We had real live visitors today! The Doodle had a little afternoon playdate and I got to visit face-to-face with one of my real live adult friends! We went for a walk and hung out and it made me remember how much I enjoy and have been missing my friendships. I hope my social skills weren't too rusty.
The Doodle is doing so much better with the seizures these days that there is no more excuses. I need to get back on the bicycle of friendship I seem to have fallen off of and set a better social example for my kids.