The Derailing of Mama Camp

It didn’t take us long, but the Mama Camp schedule has been completely thrown out the window — because of the plague. Yes, on Day 2 of summer our home was beset by a summer cold complete with body aches, sinus gunk, and fever. I felt it first and assumed it was just me (one of the endless joys of my fibromyalgia is a largely incompetent immune system). So we delayed things an hour yesterday morning and then I sucked it up and got Pkin and I in the car and on the way to Great Country Farms where we have a CSA share and where they had blueberries, black raspberries, and tart cherries ready for the picking.

Though the forecast for the day was hot, it hadn’t hit yet when we arrived (it was, in fact, a bit damp still from overnight rain). I thought this would make it much more comfortable. I was wrong. What it did do is start Pkin’s sensory issues right up. She was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder when she was 3 and we (and her OTs) have done a ton of work to help her with this since then. We were incredibly lucky that our insurance company actually covered this treatment early on, as it wasn’t for another 4 years that she received her Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis, so she would have had several years of lost time and treatment (SPD itself is not part of the all-hailed DSM which I and many, many others find completely ridiculous — you can read more about why here and here).

Because we all got assistance early, she has made great strides, but sometimes the sensory input is just too much. For example, a long car ride followed by damp seats on the hayride to the fields. Add to that the fact that, in order to get to the cherry trees to pick our fruit, we had to walk in grass that was up to her knees and it was a prescription for a meltdown. She made her displeasure clear. I tried to help her find a place to stand where she wouldn’t have the grass touching her legs or the trees dripping on her. I did all the picking. She still made her displeasure clear. We finished with the cherries and moved on to the black raspberry fields. She made her displeasure clear. I left her standing on a gravel road while I picked. She made her displeasure clear. We walked back to the farm store, picked up our CSA share for the week, got in the car, and headed home (I didn’t even contemplate continuing on to the blueberry field to pick there).

Lessons learned? Have Pkin either wear leggings or long socks when heading to the farm (because we’ll be doing this every week until October, so we gotta’ find a way to make it work). Of course, getting to eat the freshly picked black raspberries and a couple peaches from our CSA share did make her happier on the trip back home.

But I’ve strayed from the plague…don’t worry! It’s coming!

Pkin and I were supposed to head from the farm to a public library for a presentation on The Universe (we are studying Space as part of Mama Camp). En route it was clear that this cold was getting the better of me, but I was determined to tough it out for her. When we stopped for lunch and Pkin didn’t jump right out of the car (we were going to get pasta, which usually means she’s in a big hurry), I asked what was up. She said she felt funny. After a good bit of Q & A, I was able to determine that she had the same cold I did and was, likely feeling, just as lousy.

One of the challenges many parents of kids with ASD face is that they don’t often volunteer a lot of information on how they are feeling. As such, unless things are really bad with Pkin (like, she’s throwing up or pale or flushed), we don’t really know when she’s sick. Me being sick myself probably made me a bit slower on the uptake. I got there eventually. We went home.

And I threw my long thought out lesson plan out the window. We played video games. Then Pkin played video games on her own while I napped beside her (sometimes it’s just too darn handy to have a sleeper sofa). Then DH came home from work. And I went to bed with a rising fever.

Today wasn’t much different. The fevers had broken and the bodies weren’t quite as achy, but there was still a good bit of crankiness and plenty of whining. From all of us (DH didn’t escape the plague). I didn’t even pull out the lesson plan for today. We can always revisit it tomorrow.

Until then, I’ll take the snuggles.


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Filed under Autism, children, Mama Camp, parenting

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