Some professionals regularly do home visits. Social workers, Health Visitors, Outreach workers and others. For jelibean families this can be quite stressful. Many jelibean families/children do not respond well to authority and they are not sure how to behave in situations like this. Please remember that it takes a jelibean to make a jelibaby. The likelihood is that although undiagnosed the adult you are talking to could be on the autism spectrum. Some parents find communicating with professionals similar to tying your tongue up in knots and spraying it with chilli sauce - nothing we say seems right, we stumble getting our words out, fall over trying to get you a cup of tea. In our panic we come over as 'inappropriate'. What a surprise! Many of us are close to meltdown by the time you knock at the door from pure worry.
If you are going to be late, please phone us and let us know. We get anxious and aren't able to understand that you are busy and have other clients. To many of us we are the only ones! Cancelling or changing an appointment at the last minute is simply not acceptable and should be avoided at all costs.
So what do we do when you come and visit? Should we make you coffee? Would you like a sandwich? Do you need to see the kids or do you need to talk to parents only? What time are you coming - please don't make it 3.30pm on a Friday afternoon - our homes can be even more chaotic then.
Home visits are sometimes viewed with suspicion. Some parents feel that home visits mean - spying to apportion blame to themselves. Other parents feel relieved that at last someone is taking notice of their situation and bare their souls. only to be misunderstood and further confused.
Some jelibean homes are VERY organised whilst others are complete disorganised chaos. There is rarely a middle balance, jelibeans do extremes well. Some of us are hoarders and have endless collections of porcelain pigs, CD's, shoes and 'stuff'. Anything goes in a jelibean house, even fairy lights in June! Many of us are a bit clumsy. Some of us cannot keep our possessions looking as perfect as we would like, others of us are meticulous and collections are precious, not to be touched by anyone other than ourselves. It's all perfectly 'normal' for a jelibean family.
How long are you staying? Who are you bringing with you? Could you please tell us in advance. Many of us become overwhelmed when faced with a change or a strange face at our doors.
Living and breathing the Autism Spectrum is the only way to understand it. A snapshot of family life after just an hour or so is what the label says 'snapshot'. Life for a jelibean family is already different from perhaps what you are used to. But please remember just because our lives are different it doesn't mean that they are wrong. When you leave, we don't know what you are thinking and that sometimes makes us feel uneasy. It can all be quite traumatic, how would you like it?
Please respect us in our own homes and don't judge us or rely on first impressions to base a decision.