This week's post is about periods, PMS, anxiety, insomnia and neurodivergence. Woo hoo! I'm writing from the end of my once-a-month fall apart. For a few days every month I exist in a cycle of very little sleep, anxiety, exhaustion, and extreme scattered-ness.
I've been experiencing some discomfort lately as I unpack and try to put back together my thoughts and feelings about screen time and social media. I have always been extremely supportive of neurodivergent people's needs and rights to access tech for communication, friendships, and fun. I defend against screen shaming adults whining about young people's use of screens. And yet...
The thing I value the most about our family is that we are authentic, and completely ourselves with each other. There are no filters, or masks, or parts that we conceal when we are at home together. Sometimes this looks peaceful and still; sometimes loud, super stimmy, and joyful. And other times it can look angry, defiant and overwrought, or sad, anxious and uneasy. And that is completely ok. We are there to support each other, without shame or pressure to be something we are not. I hope our home will always be this safe place for our children.
Once, my family life looked like this: two working parents, one child in kindergarten, playgroup, soccer, music, and playdates with friends in-between. We were stressed, we were exhausted, we were constantly melting down, and we were taking medication to cope. We are all neurodivergent. Identifying and understanding our neurodivergence has created space for some significant changes in our family...
New on Respectfully Connected: It is just over a year since we withdrew our eldest child from formal education after the stress became unbearable for him. I was tentative about our decision. As a successful ‘product’ of formal education, and a pretty mainstream gal, I had never considered homeschooling, let alone the child-lead unschooling adventure we have embarked on. But we did it because we had to, and over the past year I have discovered real joys and benefits of home educating my three neurodivergent children.
I have realised something important about my needs. My mind needs FLOW to survive. Flow is the state we reach when we are completely immersed in something, sometimes called being 'in the zone'.
This post on the Respectfully Connected blog has been popular with parents who want to support their autistic children to develop in a way that honours their own unique developmental trajectory... Guidelines for families with autistic children If families, caregivers and health professionals accept the neurodiversity paradigm, 'autism early intervention' looks very different. The target of intervention is … Continue reading 10 ‘Autism Interventions’ for Families Embracing the Neurodiversity Paradigm