There had always been some apprehension about taking a child with special needs around Africa and the inherent risks that entails. Front of mind were crime, car accidents, disease, and of course getting separated. A great deal of safety netting has been undertaken to ameliorate these risks as best possible, but of course, the concerns remain. Another worry that has lurked in the back of Benison and my minds is what happens if Sam doesn’t cope? What if he completely jacks up, decompensates, or even have his behaviour deteriorate from the stress?
Last night this concern became justified. With all the pushing and pressure that is being applied to his brain, he has been going to bed exhausted each night. This is very hard work for him. Last night, he lost it. A simple request to stop using his Nintendo DS so I could help him get ready to going out to dinner escalated in a way I haven’t seen before with Sam.click tab to read further
Shouting became screaming, grabbing became pushing, and then finally he got violent. A klonk to my head using the (very hard!) DS meant I had to just get out of there and go for a walk. We both had to calm down. My T shirt was a bit torn, as was my soul. Second thoughts and self doubt crept in, which then led to guilt. So much had been put on the line and all I was doing was just stressing him out.
Sam showed remorse about the violence and went to bed without fuss. Today has been another day. His first practice video for the university study this morning contained a gem. For the first time ever, I think, he did small talk. The hostel manager was trying to have a conversation with him about leaving, our stay and our plans, when there was a natural pause in the conversation. Sam then turned to her casually and said ‘So, have you ever been to Australia?’. What may seem insignificant to others was pure gold to me.
Maybe this stuff is working.