Our Locked-Down Life with Special Needs
For the typical family, staying at home and existing within four walls on a day-to-day basis is tough. For the special needs family, there are many “unique” challenges that the ordinary person would not think about.
Take, for example, my own family. My husband, father to our son with autism, began working from home soon after the Stay-at-Home orders were issued. He starts teleworking in the early morning with his laptop set up in the dining room. Later on, he moves everything including snacks and beverages to the upstairs guest bedroom, where he sequesters himself until 5:00 P.M. (or whenever his work is finished for the day).
Every Day is Saturday when Dad's working from Home.
Sounds fine, right? Well, with special needs, it’s not exactly ‘fine.’ If our son was to see him or hear him, his work day is over. To our son, having Dad home means it’s the weekend or perhaps Dad is home (sick) and needs our attention. My husband would not get anything done because a certain someone would be wanting to pull Dad to all different activities inside and outdoors. And there’d be no convincing him that Dad has to work.
We figured out pretty quickly that the guest bedroom doorknob had to be changed to a locking doorknob. One masked trip to Home Depot (with a 30 minute wait on an outdoor line) solved the problem of our son randomly opening the “office” door.
Then came the issue of seeing light peeking through the bottom of the door because my husband had the window open for fresh air. Light peeking through meant someone is in there! So a dark and heavy blanket now has to be placed at the base of the door on the inside, like a draft stopper.
Uh-oh. Those teleconferences can get loud, and with the window open, a certain someone can hear another certain someone talking if we’re in the backyard! Sorry Dad - no more open window for you.
My son and I were doing laundry when a text came through.
Um I have to pee. Can you guys hide or something?
Right. The bladder calls. The guest bedroom has no toilet. So in addition to our other interventions, we now have to juggle things and adjust what we’re doing in order to allow sneaky bathroom visits.
There are many things that special needs families live with on a daily basis which, for them, become just a part of their normal life.
Working from home is not that simple really. But we, like other families facing life with special needs, find ways to cope, to adjust, and to thrive. There’s no magic solution; it’s taking the tools available and making them work for your unique situation.
The more things change, the more our life with special needs remains the same.
Hi - this is Keri, Vest Customer Success Manager. We'd love to hear your own "Locked-Down Life with Special Needs" story. Please feel free to share in Comments below. We promise not to show or share your contact info. Happy Vesting!