Reflections on our 5 weeks in North Asia

So we are back from Japan and Korea……. safe and sound. Whilst I will be writing posts about the specifics of our adventure at a later date, I thought I would start back with a brief post on a few things I have learned over the last few weeks.

One thing that this holiday was good for was being able to exist entirely in the moment. I switched off from work (which is usually constantly in the back of my mind), dealing with the NDIS (Australian disability funding), therapy, and even this blog which is my hobby. This enabled me to just enjoy the time with my family and reflect on all the different aspects of my life. This has given me greater clarity about what I want to keep the same, what I want to set goals around and what I need to ditch.

Another take away from this trip is my view on severe autism. In my field of employment I spend a lot of time reading and hearing about the difficulties surrounding autism. I have always maintained that I don’t think autism is inherently difficult, but it’s hard not to listen to all the noise sometimes. That is not to dismiss the challenges that some people do face, but rather challenge the generalisation that all severely autistic people are challenging as a rule. After taking some time away, I am more sure than ever that my maternal stress surrounding having a severely autistic child doesn’t come from him. When I stripped away having to deal with the government, school, therapy and trying to fit him into a box that other people want him to be……well we were as happy as clams. He was such a trooper and was brilliant at just getting on with things. With the accomodations I made for him, he did better than most 6 year olds on such a big trip.

Lastly, on the last few days of our holiday I noticed how much my daughter was struggling. We were in Tokyo Disneyland and the Princess was having a ball, but at the same time she was desperately missing her friends. My son didn’t struggle in this way. He is happy as long as he has his family. In this respect I kind of see autism as an advantage to travel.

So I guess these are just a couple of musings about my time away, but will be back shortly with some more specific details about our adventure.

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