It’s September already and some of the leaves on our property are already beginning to change colors. For so many of us, like the seasons, we have seen many changes and had to adjust the way we go about living.
Fall is usually the season when students are back in school, football games are on TV and there is a chill in the air. It’s a season that begins the transition to winter and then spring comes with flowers blooming and weather getting warmer. But this year that is all different.
Students are back in school but being in school now might mean virtual learning for a few months. If a student is back in school, both the student and his or her parents worry about their safety in terms of not getting COVID-19. And for students with an autism diagnosis, change has resulted in life looking massively different from life last year at this time.
Others have often told me that an individual with an autism diagnosis doesn’t like change. I tend to disagree. While certainly some don’t like change, I know many who aren’t autistic that don’t like change either. But I also know many Neurodiverse people that seek and embrace change.
My son is one such individual. I have watched how he has responded to the various changes in life since last March. He is adapting very well to these changes, despite increased social isolation due to the pandemic. Nevertheless, he has adapted to that as well.
Each night, at 7:30 p.m., our son Evan calls my wife and me and our other three adult children via FaceTime and we all talk as a family. Evan has a great big smile on his face when he sees his two nephews over FaceTime. He wishes he could be there with them, but he’s adapting very well to seeing them via FaceTime.
Before the pandemic, we would all talk, but it wasn’t as regular as it is today. And to be honest, the talk was sometimes no more than what we did that day. Now, the talk is about life, about family and about being there for each other. I originally felt that daily calls with everyone would help my four kids. Little did I know, it has helped me the most. I listen to our four adult children talking about life but also being there for each other. This is one change the pandemic has caused that was a very much needed change.
There is a lot I don’t like about the impact of the pandemic on my daily life. But, some of the changes that have occurred are changes I embrace. Talking to family, spending time on the phone or via zoom with friends and talking with neighbors (six feet away from each other) helps put what is important as the highest priority.
Each night at 7:30 p.m., I look forward as much as anyone to that call. It’s a change in my life I love.
Written by: Scott Badesch