Keeping Up with Social Interaction
Since the school year started, I’ve been busy taking baby Olivia around to different baby and me type things. We go to weekly storytime and a group at the mall. All are things geared toward her age group, ie, under 1 year old. I’ve also trying to keep active at the school.
What I’ve noticed though is that while I’m sorta able to keep up socially, I’m more drained than I ever remember being before. Sure, social interaction has always drained me, but I don’t remember it being THIS draining. It may just be amplified because of, well, having a baby.
But I’ve started being open that I’m on the spectrum. I’ve gotten the normal, “I would have never guessed.” Well, no, you wouldn’t, because I chameleon and imitate those around me. It’s why I started making the effort to go out in the first place. My husband was noticing, because I was spending most days with my mom, I had picked up most of her language and mannerisms. It wasn’t too pleasant for him, and I started noticing it and to me it was rather creepy.
But I’ve been thinking about this.. How do I make social interaction less draining? I already know I can’t stop imitating. I’ve tried so many times to not do that. But I think I really do have echopraxia. I don’t think there’s any way to stop without suppressing that which I suspect would be even more draining.
The other issue is that I used to be able to have a day or two down time after a social interaction to recoup. I just don’t have that any more. When I’m the only one who is able to take care of the baby during the day, I can’t just stop because I’m overwhelmed. And I definitely don’t want to give up the social interaction. I think it’s good for her development, and I don’t need to stay at home all the time.
The final issue is that most of my stim toys are really just not safe around the baby who is at the grabbing and putting things in her mouth stage. So I haven’t really been able to pull them out. Even if I could, since I’m holding/playing/interacting with her, I really can’t use them anyway.
So I pose this question to you, my readers, what can I do to make social interaction less draining?