The weather in Scotland is often described as four seasons in one day and I find it a perfect analogy for our Aspie/ADHD girl. Any given day can bring with it a mish-mash of temperature changes, sudden icy chills, heavy downpours, blissful sunshine and incredible sunsets. If she is the weather, I am her personal, dedicated meteorologist who studies each nuance to gain insight, unafraid of the storm, fascinated and passionate about learning more each day. She is an incredible force of nature, powerful yet subtle, full of potential and yet unable to settle, complex, marvellous and above all, awe-inspiring.
The speed and unpredictability of the change in outlook is noteworthy and no day is ever the same. Just when I think I have figured out a valid formula, she quick-as-a-flash changes. Some days, when there is little social interaction, low demands, mild temperature and she is at home, it is as if a balmy summer has arrived, all is calm, birds are singing, the flowers are blooming and the whole family (including the dog), stretch and relax and bask in the warm comforting rays of the sun. At those moments, our darling girl will discuss, chat, strategise, see solutions not problems, has confidence and happiness and a lightness of being which is so marvellous to see.
But, like an unwelcome grey cloud at a picnic, a day which is busier, involves socialising, slights, a tiny argument, a difficult demand, a failure to master something immediately and there is a definite change, enough to make us run to put jumpers on. When many could brush these icy barbs off or learn to protect themselves, her tender age and early stage of her ASD journey means that a hurricane can appear out of nowhere; an epicentre is formed and the tectonic plates of her marvellous mind are shifting with such force that she must explode. The explosion is not wilful, it is the culmination of drip, drip, drip of stress, worry and confusion; we simply need to stay calm and ride the storm.
Like the weather, the unpredictability is simply part of what makes her great. It may make the life of this meteorologist a little trickier because she needs to carry an umbrella, sunglasses, sun tan lotion, snow boots, thermals and a swimming costume wherever she goes but hey, I can handle it. And the more I learn from my little weather girl, the more we both learn about meteorology. Together, we are building knowledge so that one day, she will be her own meteorologist, she will be able to manage (not stifle), equip herself and take a moment to smile when the rainbow emerges.