Will he have a tummy ache or other pain I won’t know about?
Will we be able to leave the house without having an episode?
Will he be able to tolerate the different noises in another home?
How will he deal with a crowded home and all the other stimuli?
Will someone bring a screaming baby to the gathering (this noise always sets him off)?
How many times will I need to excuse myself to calm him down?
Will Richie have an aggressive episode that frightens relatives and other visitors?
Will I be able to handle the stares of unsuspecting new friends made?
Will I be able to hold it together (because sometimes I can’t hold it in and just break down –
it’s always so wonderful never to know when this will happen)?
Will we need to leave early?
- Review my positive behavior support or crisis plan – I already listed all the things I know could possibly upset Richie. I can review my plan for the preventative strategies I already have in place and still use them in another person’s home.
- Review the day happenings with Pictures – When we leave the house to do something different, I like to explain to Richie where we are going, how long we will be and what he should expect. This year, I will be using pictures to help explain that we are staying in a hotel, visiting with family, and spending time with them at our aunt’s home.
- Pain killers and Preventative medicine – I know it’s possible for Richie to struggle with constipation and gut issues. I can plan to deal with this by increasing his intake of probiotics or use a little more fiber in his food (Benefiber works great for him) the week prior, instead of dealing with it the day of our gathering. I can also make sure to have Tylenol or other pain killers (so long as it doesn’t interfere with any other medications) on hand if he shows signs of pain that day.
- Noise and Sensory Issues – I have recently started to use sound banks for working on getting Richie de-sensitized to certain noises that irritate him – but might be unavoidable when we’re in public (sirens, people yelling, baby screaming, etc.). I also like to bring some beanie bags he has in his room, because Richie likes to squeeze them and swing them around. They comfort him, so I carry one around if I think it might help soothe him.
- Too much stimuli or boredom – If there is a crowd and the room becomes too overwhelming for Richie, I will always have his MP3 player already equipped with his favorite music and headphones on hand. Music always soothes him and he loves it. I also make sure to have his iPad ready with is favorite apps to play and movies to watch.
All in all, I am so thankful for the many blessings I have in my life.
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