It is 3am. Andy has not slept with any regularity for quite some time now. A horrible combination of hyperactivity, compulsive checking of his home environment, repetitive behaviour and anxiety seem to be fuelling his unhappy state. He stomps around the house angry, then laughing – in and out of the bathroom where he is constantly seeking the sensory comfort of the water from the tap. Up and down the stairs hundreds of times in a seemingly endless pursuit of some peace from his torments he runs.
I lie wide awake. The anxiety ebbing and flowing as I feel his pain then momentary relief as he becomes quiet. I am hoping and praying that this will be the last cycle of his distress and then my world is again shattered by his torment. My chances of functioning effectively tomorrow dissipating with the growing light outside. Another day filled with worry only bearable due to the numbing tiredness as we attempt to go about our business.
We do not seek sympathy but rather an awareness of how autism affects our lives and perhaps a lessening of the judgemental attitudes that so often surround child and carer.