Thursday, 29 May 2014

Travelling on your own or with a companion. Travel doesn't go well when that companion is ADHD and your autistic traits creeping in to help!

Our 17 year old son, Thing 1!, decided yesterday that he wanted to go and meet a  friend, in a different town. For anyone else this isn't an issue, you hop on a bus, grab a train and off you go. Simples!

For Thing 1, this isn't fun, this isn't an adventure, a joy or something to look forward to. He wants to go and see a friend but this huge epic journey is in his way. He did the same journey last week but he went with a friend and she knew what she was doing. He didn't have to think about it as she was there to help.

I spent most of my morning going through his journey step by step. This was no 'buy ticket, platform 2, jump on train and arrive at destination' type talk! This was broken down into how to buy the ticket, how to use the machine, what time the train is coming and don't panic if it's delayed. I also had to cover things like what to do if he was unsure of something. He doesn't do talking to people he doesn't know, asking for help, what he needs to ask for etc.... It was like sending our 7 year old out on a journey but she may have coped with it all a bit better.

So, we drove him to the nearest station that would take him directly to his destination. Our most local Main train station goes to the destination he wanted but with a change in between, something he wouldn't cope with. I got out at the station with him and went to the ticket machine. He did it himself, he needs to learn but it was good that we didn't drop him off and drive straight off. I watched him go through the whole choosing a ticket process and it got to payment time. Then it bright red words it read CARD ONLY, even though it was a card or cash type machine. Most other people would have left it and bought a ticket once on the train, Thing 1 would have gone into panic mode. He didn't have a debit card with him so to him it would have meant no ticket, no train journey.

All this effort into a 18 minute journey to get him from one place to another. The OH piped up with his usual line of  'When I was his age I was travelling to x,y,z....' Yawn. I'm not sure how many times I have to tell him that Thing 1 isn't like a normal 17 year old, as much as we would like him to cope, to he able to just run out the door without having to have a whole mornings thoughts going into one journey. It's not going to be like that.

Anyway, he got there! He was met at the other end by his friend and he probably relaxed a lot after the journey ended! He will probably make the journey again, he will inevitably forget most of what was said to him before his first journey and his second journey will be like doing the first all over again.

Small journeys for others are huge journeys for Thing 1.




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