Kids with autism spectrum illnesses do not like change. They like their environment, their routine, and their daily interactions to remain steady and constant.
When things change, when schedules vary, when people come in and out of their lives, they don’t do well.
They get anxious. They yell or scream. They throw things. They break things. They lash out at family or caregivers.
The are not more diseased-they just feel more dis-ease.
We are all feeling this way right now. The latest blow? Nice. Eighty-four dead so far. Over one hundred injured. All at a celebration. Little children watching fireworks with adults celebrating the liberation memorialized by Bastille Day.
My fiancé summarized it for me the other day. Succinctly. With grit. In the vernacular.
“The world is out of whack.”
We are all becoming more paranoid, more self absorbed, more careful, more afraid of our own shadows. Don’t tell me you haven’t felt it. I have. I know you have.
My fiancé is in Europe right now. I will, God willing, be in Europe in ten days. Am I afraid for her, for myself? No. Am I concerned, cautious, hesitant about leaving the once-safe cocoon of my homeland? Absolutely.
They are winning.
What can we do? I’m almost fifty-nine years old. I’m not going to be toting a rifle and using infrared goggles on a battlefield anytime soon.
Like those autistic children, we all need certain things right now.
Consistency. From our daily news to our political candidates to our economy, we haven’t had it lately.
Predictability. The same.
Clear expectations. What can we rely on? What do we know to be true and right and repeatable? What is expected of us and what can we expect of others in the world?
Stable support systems. Church, family, work/jobs, close friends, spouses, children. These are not luxuries in today’s chaotic, stressful world. They are necessities.
Pray for France.
Pray for the United States.
Pray for the world.
Then get out in it and live your life.
Don’t let them win.