I am constantly being told that Daisy needs to socialise.
Yep. I agree with this. Well, in theory anyway. In practise it is just a little trickier.
For example...we went to a play-park. We had the place to ourselves and Daisy was happily playing and I wasn't really paying attention to the noises she was making, just enjoying watching her play and run around to let off some steam.
A family of about 4 kids joined us with their mother, and it was then that I started paying attention. I always do. I get very protective of her and nearly-worry about others being mean to her.
Daisy reverted to being an animal. I knew she would, it's anxiety and fear of the unpredictable but they don't know that. All they saw was this odd kid who to their eyes was pretending to be a dog. Except that she took it to the nth degree and even sat on her haunches and panted. Not good. They took the pi.......they ridiculed her. Laughed at her. Noticed she was "different" and used that against her. Upset her.
She didn't understand their comments or their attitude towards her. She constantly asked me why those children were nasty to her, told me how they weren't her friends and that she never wanted to see them again. With added tears. She simply doesn't understand. No matter how hard I try or how many times I say it, she just doesn't understand. Other children see her differences and are mean to her. She has been verbally abused, pushed over, ignored...you name it, other people's kids have done it.
So....this is socialising??? Well, you can poke it! I've had enough of dragging my crying daughter away from other people's mean kids. I have had enough of trying to explain to plainly ignorant parents that my daughter isn't a freak, she is autistic. She is a human being with thoughts and feelings just like them. Only hers are far more magnified.
So, now we go out at night! We have become moths and night owls. Dwellers of twilight.....lawks I sound like one of those endless vampire series on TV! But we have. I feel I have been left with no choice due to other people and their total ignorance.
Thing is...the nocturnal trips are working. We've been out twice now, which I admit isn't a huge amount, but to see her is just remarkable. She stays nearer to me....she will always go on ahead, like the scouting party, but she stays safe. I don't have to drag her kicking and screaming back to the car (I always thought that the phrase "kicking and screaming" was just a collection of words but no, it really does happen). She is generally calmer and is nice to be around.
Yes, I agree that this is far from ideal. She should be mixing with her peers. But when her peers are mean to her? What then? I don't want to advertise that she is autistic and have them treat her like a leper, but if I don't then they treat her like a freak! Rock and Hard Place.
So, I will continue to take her to the beach at night time, visit the play park when only the toddlers are about, 'cause they love her and she is good with smaller children, and visit zoos and museums when there are as few people about as possible. She is happier then. She deserves that peace of mind.
We cannot avoid places where her peers will be, and nor should we, but I am no longer going to go out of my way to enforce some kind of socialising regime....I will do what I think is right for Daisy, and if CAMHS and Social Workers don't like that, then tough! They can offer alternatives like a placement in a Special Needs Unit for Autistic children so that she CAN mix with her peers without being made to feel like a freak, but until then.....we do this MY way!