18/04/2011
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Sam has been challenged quite a bit lately, as we have been moving back and forth between family, boat, friends, boat and back again. This has not been  particularly easy for him, as being Autistic means change is difficult, and altering routines can create anxiety, confusion and fear. Sam has been very good considering the unsettled environment at the moment.

I find that Sam has days where his Autism is very noticeable, he tends to be in his own world, without much interaction and fiddles with his soft toys picking and pulling at them.  Then there are days where his is acutely aware of everything in his environment and engages in life around him, listening to conversations, actively responding to  requests, using direct eye contact and smiling when spoken to with enthusiasm and even enjoying the odd joke or too. I think being out on the boat and living in close quarters with his siblings and us has encouraged him to interact more, he seems to be very responsive when we are all together and yet when he has an anxiety attack they seem to be more intense but don’t last as long.

We have achieved a lot with Sam, in his confidence to walk around  different terrain and unfamiliar areas. He has walked the huge sand  dunes on Moreton Island with apprehension and caution and yet on the  way down smiled as the sand moved under his feet and he slipped and slid  all the way down even getting up a slow jog!!  We have walked the hilly  township of Dunwich, strolled around the city of Brisbane, been to the  Science Centre and the Museum, spent the whole day at Sea World with  all those people and visited many friends and family so Sam has definitely  been out of his comfort zone.

I find Sam still finds new places incredibly challenging but the more we  do the more adaptable he is becoming.

 

The anxiety is still there, he holds  our arms and pinches the skin tight ordrops to the ground suddenly in fear and shakes if unsure of the terrain, but we cope by encouraging him   and reassuring him that all is safe. It’s amazing that he managed to climb  the sand dunes, we didn’t think he could do it, but he proved us wrong and  surprised us with his determination, that means his confidence is growing, every step we take, its happening to all in the family!!! Not just  Sam……….

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