|The local water park.|
That is until a couple weeks ago when I renewed our family pass for the local rec centre. July has been crazy hot and a daily trip to the pool has definitely helped us stay cool. But last year, before the training, I'd have to call before going to make sure that,
1. The pool was actually open.
2. The pool wasn't too busy.
3. The vending machine that sells chocolate bars was working.
Because if any of these three things weren't right, than neither was Jacob and a blow up was almost guaranteed to occur. In the past if the pool was unexpectedly closed, Jacob would lose his mind, even if I offered to go to the splash pad that's only a few blocks away. But I can say with confidence that those behaviours seem to be a thing of the past. When given proper warning well in advance, Jacob can quickly regulate his emotions and for the most part remain calm.
Before the ABA training, Jacob would get mad if the pool was too loud, which it often is because of all the summer camps using the pool. And he would get mad if a young child were to splash him and get him wet, which as we all know, should never happen when swimming. And if he was unable to get a chocolate bar from the vending machine, he'd gripe about it all the way home and even be mad later.
Now if he gets splashed or a child yells near him, he'll just look at the child and maybe growl or do a whole body shake to express his displeasure. To those non familiar with autism this behaviour can surely look strange, but to me it's a huge step in Jacob gaining control of his thoughts and feelings.
It too gives us hope that one day when Jacob is older, that when these things occur, instead of showing and sign that it upsets him, he'll just quietly reflect on how he feels and let it go. Because like I tell Jacob each time before we hit the pool, "If you go swimming, you're bound to get wet."