Resolutions for the New Year

Rebecca Shayler-Adams by Rebecca Shayler-Adams Additional Needs

Rebecca Shayler-Adams

Rebecca Shayler-Adams

We are just a typical family muddling along our day to day lives. 4 kids, 1 with autism, 1 with an unknown neuromuscular condition

I always felt at New Years that it was amazing. It was like starting your life again, anything was possible.

I would write a bucket list and excitedly plan to tick the activities off. They were always realistic, but they were things I would never do in a million years!

- Go on holiday and snorkel

- Get a promotion at work

- Buy outfits not in the SALEs

Even when I had my first child, my beautiful daughter, although the resolutions slightly changed, they were still things that were exciting, things that I thought could change my life or at least my perception of life.

- Go abroad for a Mummy daughter holiday

- Get annual passes for all the local attractions

- Get lots of ‘mum’ friends to go to the coffee shop with

Then my wonderful son came a long and my resolutions started to slowly change.

- Go to the supermarket without a meltdown

- Go a different way to school then the usual route, without a meltdown

- Teach him one emotion and how to respond to this emotion appropriate

My resolutions were no longer resolutions to make my life more exciting, or to make my daughter’s life interesting and more cultured.

They were resolutions to help my son cope with everyday chores that need to be done.

They were resolutions to help him survive in a world that although is slowly accepting diversity isn’t perfect and still has pit falls

I was making resolutions that seem so simple to some and so hard to others.

I still vividly remember my first trip to the supermarket with my son. It was far too crowded and we bumped into his SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) from school.

This just made him stim. He was flapping his arms, making his squeal noise that shows his anxious, and started to bump his head on the trolley.

It was soul destroying for me as a mother as I was the one who put him in that situation. I was the one that took him to the supermarket, I was the one that put my boy into a situation that made him feel so uncomfortable.

I know that I will not always be able to cross off all of my New Years Resolutions. I know that there are some that I wish I could get but know that if they happen will be a miracle.

I would love an, “I love you Mum”, but I am more than happy with, “I like you Mum”.

The little stepping stones I can cross off my list means I can prepare my son for the outside world, where I won’t be able to be with him all the time, where the outside world can be harsh and cruel.

Where the outside world can change the plans with no warning and where people can openly be terrible.

I love my son, I love his world and I wish everyone could.

For now I have my New Years Resolutions, you never know maybe one year the world will have changed their opinion and be accepting and understanding, but until this happens I will put my sons stepping stones in development down as my wishes for the year.


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