One of the things we struggle with as a family is taking a peaceful holiday. We don’t struggle with taking a holiday. We struggle with trying to have a peaceful one. Chris has always loved hotels and every time I come back to Singapore to visit he will ask me, “can we go hotel now?”. And we oblige. Guy loves the high life! He definitely knows what he wants but he can’t always get it due to the communication issue. When we do take him on holidays and hotel trips he still runs into tantrums that come seemingly out of no where. Certain things in his head or in the environment suddenly set him off and he would start either hitting himself or swearing and talking in a more repetitive way. The reality is that we just can’t understand what he wants sometimes. At times he would ask for impossible things and throw a tantrum when we can’t give it to him. All we can do is try to pacify him. I myself, try to distract him with a game on my tablet or point him towards something interesting to look at and tell him encouraging things.
When we went to Tioman for a four day trip, he wasn’t in the best of moods and I think it’s because the hotel didn’t have an elevator to be honest! (every hotel with a lift is in danger of Chris, he just loves riding them!). Although he likes adventure, this time, he just wanted to get home as fast as possible . He was happy to go swimming and hiking but he got bored staying in the room very quickly. He’d get very irritable and start shouting in public, which causes stares from people. I really don’t mind the stares myself and just leave him to it until he gets over it if my distractions don’t work. Telling him to lower his voice makes it worse and is rather pointless. It’s difficult trying to figure out the best methods to calm him but It’s something we will constantly have to try and cope with.
Last summer, I was looking forward to having him come over to England to visit me with the rest of our family, but the rest of the family ended up leaving him in Singapore because he kept throwing tantrums before the start of the trip. Dad decided he would be too hard to handle if he came here, especially since everything would be completely out of his comfort zone.
What causes these tantrums and unreasonable behaviour? Could it be the pills? Or maybe he got over-excited and wanted to go then and there? Or maybe he really didn’t want to go, even though he tells me he wants to come over every time I Skype him? I wish I knew! I wish I could support him all the way and beat his imaginary demons with him! Until they invent some sort of brain communicator, we’ll still continue making the effort to understand him and take him on trips because it’ll always be a good learning experience. On the plus side, bringing people with Autism out more spreads awareness to the general public and will show that yes, there are people like this and we should all learn to accommodate, not point and laugh. Who are we to define what is normal as they are just as much a part of our society as you and I.