Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Extra-curricular balance?

We're in the 3rd week of our activities being in full-swing, and I suspect a good bit of the problems we've been facing are because of a fully-loaded schedule. Next week we add preschool, too, so we're not even all the way into it! YIKES!

How do you get a balance between giving your children social opportunities, and being on the run too much? It's especially hard with my autistic kids... the very social activities they need so they can practice their limited social skills and get used to being around other children their age are the same activities that cause them to be so stressed out and it takes so long for them to recover!

Here's our lineup:

Sundays the girls have choir for an hour. This doesn't seem like much, but since we're going most of the day to church we're barely home on Sunday.

Monday there will be baseball games for Austin through October. Once his season is over, the OT suggested I find a tumbling class for him.

Tuesday and Thursday Reece will have preschool. Tuesday afternoon is Riley's ballet, Thursday afternoon is Reece's ballet. Some Thursday evenings will have ball practice or a game.

Wednesday mornings will be back to normal after next week. We're done with therapy until the end of preschool, as I cannot afford to pay for both. Wednesday evenings are AWANA.

Fridays are free, except for the possibility of baseball practice.

Saturdays are also free, except Riley wants to do cheerleading in the winter for basketball. (And there I would say no, except that I feel like she needs to have more time away from her siblings and be around more typical kids).

It really doesn't look like very much. And most people do that sort of schedule(or more) while their kids are at school all day and have homework in the evenings! Why do we short-circuit with it?

So how do I determine what sort of pace to keep? How can I tell the autism specialist when he asks what social opportunities my homeschooled children have, "Well, it was just really wiping them out and they were having meltdowns as a result!"? How do I tell Riley that she can't do something else, when I really feel like she needs the time away from Austin and Reece? Is there a way to find a balance?

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