June 3, 2018
I recently came across the following quote “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” ― Maya Angelou This is my new goal in life. Not to conform to be normal, but to be amazing and I hope to inspire you to be amazing too.

The Difficulties At The Beach

As you may be aware, if you've read a number of my posts, I like to talk about the positive sides of life with a young child with autism. I like to feel I see the positive in most situations and so don't necessarily talk about the 2 hours of bedtime routine or the being work up in the middle of the night or early mornings every day 🙂

I like to talk about the positive. However, for this post, I wanted to talk about some of the difficulties we face when doing something simple such as going to the beach.

Why we moved to the coast

One of the main reasons we moved to the coast was to offer the kids that chance to grow up near the sea. At the time we moved little Mr had not been diagnosed with ASD, so we were just going about our daily lives without having to think that through.

One of the positives about where we moved, we seemed to go through the process of diagnosis quickly - as compared to others we know back in the county we were living.

So, we moved here with the beach in mind. Thoughts of summer, winter and the other seasons down on the beach front. Picnics, beach play and all that. We did find that little Mr (and again this was before diagnosis) was a little hit and miss with the sand - one season he would like, another he wouldn't. He seemed to enjoy the walks though.

Some of these things did seem to fall into place though, after the diagnosis.

Why so difficult?

So, as I said, we moved here because of the sea and the beach. Not so little Miss loves going to the beach and will play with sand, paddle in the sea and so on. Little Mr though, well, he is a little bit of a handful.

He does like playing in the sand, sometimes at school a little too much. What you can't do though is sit down in one place. You can't place a towel and stay, he sits for a minute, then drags you up and wanders.

You also have to have him on a backpack or be holding his hand. He's a runner, so you have to supervise constantly. As part of his school outings, they go to the beach regular and this is also something they have mentioned.

A busy beach and he could be gone into the crowd. He also runs towards the sea and with no danger awareness, well, who would know.

So, you can't just sit and hope he would, you can't sit at all. Not the best situation for a family outing.

However, the joy...

However, little Mr loves going to the beach and paddling in the sea. He gets so much enjoyment out of playing in the sand, padding in the sea. He loves to walk up to just over waist height and jump around. He would go out further - but as no backpack and only holding hands - its the danger awareness part we have to understand for him.

See, for all the negative things, the positive joy they get is worth the extra effort and hassle for us. We just have to make sure we don't rest. As adults I think I've had my fulfilment of beach play, I've never been one for sitting and resting on the beach, and so, up and active is no at issue. It's not so negative.

However, some of you may have the same situation that we have and would prefer to sit and enjoy. For not so little Miss, my wife will take her to the beach one on one from time to time - just so she can have that time to rest and play and enjoy.

Me, I just go out for a wander with little Mr as we both enjoy the walking. The only real difficulties at the beach is to make sure the kids are safe and secure. It takes that little bit more effort with little Mr, maybe most children with difficulties such as ASD. However, the joy they still get is worth it.

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I recently came across the following quote “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” ― Maya Angelou This is my new goal in life. Not to conform to be normal, but to be amazing and I hope to inspire you to be amazing too.

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56 comments on “The Difficulties At The Beach”

  1. Moving to the coast so that your children could have more beach time sounds wonderful. Loved reading about your beach adventures! #dreamteam

    1. It's such a perfect place for the kids. I know when I was growing up I would have loved it, so when opportunity rose I knew we had to take it

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment. I feel that because this time we have is so short that we should all try look through to that positive stuff. I'm glad that it comes through.

  2. What a great childhood they must be having. There will certainly be ups and downs, but I'm sure they will remember and appreciate the ups more. Lovely family you have there. #DreamTeam

    1. Thank you. They certainly appreciate where we live. Before we moved nearly 5 years ago now my daughter didn't want to. Now if asked to move away her argument is always that there is no beach or sea there ?

  3. Such an insight into your daily life. As long as they're happy, loved and safe 🙂

    Blogs have been really useful for helping me understand more about autism and, hopefully, be a better friend.

    1. I think its always a challenge when visiting family 🙂 I know when we visit our its always fun. Though adding coast in the mix could be more of a beach than family day 🙂

  4. Such a beautiful post. I think my daughter is autistic but have not yet sought a diagnosis and don't know whether I ever will. You are right to celebrate the differences of your children. If we show we love the individuals our children are even when there are challenges, their mental wellbeing will remain intact which has to the most important thing of all. You sound like an amazing man and an wonderful parent #DreamTema

    1. Yes to seek a diagnosis or not is always difficult. With out son he was non-verbal so we knew he and we needed guidance. For our daughter we have seen a paediatrician but they have asked us to wait till she is in secondary school now.

      Either way, a diagnosis or not doesn't change who that are, we love them for who the are regardless. I think we all do that and give them an enjoyable and stable life 🙂

      Thanks for you lovely comment

  5. From a sensory aspect, I'm sure he gets lots from the beach - but I get where you're coming from worrying about the safety aspect. Thanks for hosting #dreamteam

    1. There is certainly lots of sensory there. He loves the sand and water. The joy part out ways the extra care we have to take for sure. But to be honest, we have to take that amount of care everywhere. We just don't relax ?

  6. How lovely to live by a beach and be able to pop down there whenever. I really love reading your posts as my godson has an ASD diagnosis and blogs like this really help me to understand more the difficulties his family are facing and so be more helpful to them all #DreamTeam

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment. I'm sure they appreciate your help and wanting to get involved. It can be difficult so having support is a brilliant gesture.

  7. Taking the good with the bad. A life lesson for anyone really. I love the beach but struggle with the hordes that descend on our local one. It’s always mayhem. #dreamteam

  8. Sounds like you guys are awesome parents and always have your kids wellness at heart. Sure, it would be nice to sit and relax on a beach but you guys are having fun, being the protectors and the best possible friends by looking out for them x You are really embellishing their childhood x #DreamTeam

    1. Thanks for you lovely comment. I really feel its important to give kids a fun childhood and, with in reason, given the what they want and need - though to a point of not being spoilt of course. The best things really can be free such as fun down the park beach or out and about.

  9. Oh wow, I wish we had the courage to up and move to the beach. It's one of our favourite places to be. You're both brilliant by keeping up things like the beach, even if he is a runner. It's worth the never ending efforts to seeing the pure joy in their faces, isn't it. I'd love the chance to lie back and take the whole world in, but mine also doesn't stay still for long. Thanks for being a fab host on the #DreamTeam linky with us.

    1. Thank you. I was quite lucky to live down here before in the late 90's so I kind of knew what I was getting into. My wife and kids were probably more brave than me moving as they probably had more attachment where we were. As it turned out though, for all of them they have made more new friends that old friends, we have more time as less travel to get to places and its just lovely for the kids. I would suggest anyone who is thinking about it to really check it out.

      That said, I was also lucky as I got to work in a number of fabulous places before I met my wife. One thing though, I nearly stayed in Dublin 🙂 after 6 months working there 2000/2001 - another fabulous place

  10. My family and I live by the coast. We were born and raised there so we basically don't know what it is to live inland. Reading your post just made me realise how we who are living at the coast actually take the natural beauty for granted. Because it is on your doorstep - you forget to appreciate it. We only go to the beach in summer - we head there very early as it gets busy and then we kind of forget about it when it's winter as the sea is so rough. Great decision that you have made to move the family to the coast #dreamteam

    1. As I was born and brought up where there is nothing but concrete and brick, I can see the beauty of the coast. But it is easy to forget as we do from time to time. It's those moments when you re-realise though that are the magic ones

  11. Sean, parenting ASD children has unique challenges *and* unique rewards. And those I know put so much effort into learning about it that they are soon the best possible parents in the world! 🙂 I love the energy and positivity you put into parenting.

    1. Yes would live to sit and relax. That said, at the moment we're on the go all the time till they are both in bed. Still, as long as they enjoy their time is the important thing. ?

    1. Thank you. I think everyone can have their own experience. Ours is that the kids love it and we found a great place to live. I would bet that there are many with the opposite thoughts though.

  12. We live by the sea so I totally get this - none of mine have autism but it can still be stressful what with one running straight at the sea and another into crowds while the baby eats sand! #DreamTeam

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