Life In A Lockdown

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My last post was on March 29th! It was our Easter gift guide, the news was slowly filling with details of Covid-19 and it was becoming a global crisis. Just a week later it would be labelled a global pandemic that would change the way we all live for a while. To be honest, when I first heard about Covid-19 I wasn't too concerned, I am more of a worry about it when it happens kinda girl. But as I wrote about on Autism, Health Anxiety and Covid-19 this wasn't the case for my oldest boy. He really struggled with the whole concept of it and going into school was causing him massive anxiety, the schools closing was honestly the best thing for him. We self-isolated for 14 days on March 16th as Spud had a cough and a sore throat, I didn't for a minute think it was Covid, but due to government guidelines, we all had to stay home for 14 days! Then just as our isolation was drawing to a close the nationwide lockdown was announced. 

We are now in our 8th week of being home and boy has it been eventful! Dave works as a section leader for a supermarket, so is still going out to work days a week. He was at home with us for a while we isolated, but then had to go back to work, his sore have a good system in place for limiting customers in-store but him being out 5 days a week does make me a bit more paranoid about him bring it home with him! He's under strict instructions to put his clothing straight in the washer and head straight for the shower when he gets home. The kids run away from him saying "ewww getaway you'll give us corona" it's a little bit of light relief for them in these confusing times.  

The kids have all been dealing with lockdown differently... For 3 of the children who have autism, they were given the option of still going to school during lockdown due to their special needs. I declined this right off the bat, as the absolute safest place for them to be was is at home.
L has been happy as a pig in poo since lockdown was announced. He had major anxiety about being in school, going outside, the possibility of catching it and the thoughts were all-consuming, so lockdown has given him a massive peace of mind, His GCSEs were cancelled, prom cancelled and he won't get his last day in year 11! But for a boy with autism, these were all things that he wasn't looking forward to anyway, so it has been a massive favour for him.
Dj, he has been my problem child! He is a reluctant learner at the best of times, we are in the middle of getting his EHCP sorted so it wasn't the best time for school to close. He has daily tasks set by the school to complete online and getting him to do them has been interesting, if there is an excuse he finds it. The online stuff he is willing and able to do, but when it comes to having to actually write anything its a NO. I have had regular chats with school and going back to school on a part-time timetable is an option, so we are seeing how he goes. So far the threat of him going back to school seems to have some weight and he is doing some bits. Just yesterday I got his education psychologist report through the door to read through and its soo good. It really outlines his issues and the type of support he will need going forward in his new school, so I am really hopeful for his future. L and Dj both attend the same school and the support for their school has been excellent. We get a phone call every few days to check on them, regular work is set for them and if we need anything we can still call them up and get it sorted.
Pops, ohhh Pops, she has not coped with this whole situation at all, her daily routine is so very important to her and school is a major part of that routine, She attends a specialist school and has an EHCP in place so right off the bat she was offered some hours at school each week. As I said above we initially tuned these down as at home is the safest place for her to be. I naively didn't realise how much of a big part school played in keeping her mental health and anxiety in check. During the school holidays, there is an end in sight and we use visuals to show her when she's going back. Obviously, with this situation, I haven't been able to give her that, we don't know when it will end and this has made life incredibly difficult. She's always been a bit of a self-harmer when anxious and cross, she tends to bite herself. The first few weeks she was fine but as time went on her biting became more frequent. We had regular contact with her school, they call every few days to check on not just her well being but also ours. Pop's behaviour and self-harm were really reaching crisis point, she is a bit of a screamer and all the noise she was making was also setting the boys sensory processing off! We had a chat with her school and she is now back in school for 3 hours per day. This has helped her anxiety and self-harm lots, she is so much calmer as is the whole house! Sadly her colostomy operation which should have been March 31st was cancelled! So we are just waiting for a new date for her.
Spud, our only none autistic child has been loving life in lockdown. I have been really disappointed with his school! It was only last week that they actually set the kids with some work to do. The previous 5 weeks there was no work set, no work packs sent home and not one phone call to check on his well being. I was quite surprised by this as every other school in the local area has sent work packs home or set work online. He had nothing for 5 weeks. Fortunately for us he is very bright so he's been fine and we've used our own initiative and set him to work ourselves. He's getting a bit bored now and missing his friends. I have moved him up a level on the work, all the work set by the school he is completing in 5 minutes and getting all the questions right. So I have been sourcing harder work for him myself. I think our of the 4 he is the one most excited to get back to school.

For us adults its been combining a mix of Dave going to work, household chores, homeschooling 4 kids of different stages. I've also been decorating the kitchen which I have been doing for weeks and STILL not finished. The weather has been great so we have been in the garden lots. I am wondering now what the Prime Ministers is going to announce tonight the details of the 5 step restriction lifting are going to be. My Mum is on the extremely vulnerable list and has to do the 12-week shielding, the time is up on June 1st and she is missing the grandbabies lots. The has them over at her house for the night a few times a week and she's missing the company. Shes got herself into a nice little routine though and I go drop her supplies off once a week for her. I am an Asda delivery pass customer so I have a pre-booked slot, so luckily haven't been affected by the lack of delivery slots available as mine is pre-booked for every Monday. There has been some debate on who should be able to use the delivery slots and that they should be for the extremely venerable completely. I am on the fence with this as although not extremely vulnerable myself I use home delivery as I have 3 autistic children so shopping myself is difficult. I also get my Mums shopping and my neighbours/best friends shopping on my slot (she's pregnant and on the risk list so has to social distance) so its provided very useful that I can get 3 peoples shopping. In the first few weeks, it was difficult as there was very little stocks and the 3 items restriction was in place. Its eased up a little now and some items there is no limit on and the out of stock items are slowly coming back. 
We have settled into a bit of a routine now and everything seems calm, you can never speak too soon in our house though!! I want to get back to blogging regularly and have set myself a goal of 1 personal post a week to get me going! So all being well I will see you next Sunday!
Stay Safe
Mandy
xx

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