What an average weekend with autistic kids looks like

Is our family normal? Hearing from others what their parenting journeys are like can either be an unhelpful comparison, or be supportive to know you’re not the only one out there. So here’s what our average weekend day looks like with autistic kids. Take it with a grain of salt.

It’s Saturday.

6.00am and both B1 and B2* are awake. They came into our bedroom and jumped on our bed. B2 found dad’s work bag and started emptying out the contents on the bed.

B1 often wakes early and can’t go back to sleep. Once he’s awake his mind is switched on at a hundred miles an hour. He’ll want to talk talk talk about his current interest. At the moment, that’s video games.

B1 and B2 got sent out of our room to watch cartoons on TV. 6am was much too early for Saturday morning. Thankfully, they both curled up on couch with big blanket and watched cartoons on ABC.


8am and they finally felt like eating breakfast. It’s a common thing for them to forget their body’s needs (like hunger) when engaged with other activities. First up B1 and B2 wanted french toast, but then decided to have a toasted bagel each. B1 had his with biscoff spread. B2 wanted hers with Nuttelex margarine, plain. A plain bagel with margarine sounds easy, but it’s a fine art in dining.

The Nuttelex needs to be olive oil, not coconut based because the coconut one tastes funny. The margarine also has to be melted in so that it’s all the same colour on the bagel or toast. If the margarine has any lumps of lighter bits that aren’t melted, then they get left behind and not eaten. It can sometimes be redeemed by putting the bagel in the microwave to warn up and melt the margarine completely. But that also changes the texture of the bagel and makes it more chewy so it’s not guaranteed to fix it.

9am and we’d completed breakfast. We came up with a group plan for the day, with everyone suggesting activities they wanted. First up, choice of video. Still in pajamas, they were lying on the floor in the living room wrapped up in blankets as they watched their choice of video.


It was getting late in the morning so screens were paused. A challenge was thrown down to get dressed in order to have the video resumed. Amazingly this motivated them to get dressed quickly and independently.

Soon after however, we had our first toilet accident. B1 is on laxatives. Since it’s been a few months, we thought it was sorted out and we were just in a maintenance phase. It seems we are not (or maybe he ate something funny – multigrain bagels?) There was a giant mess to clean up, all down the legs, all over the clothes. It meant disinfecting furniture, scrubbing clothes, and running B1 through the shower to clean up.

It’s only morning tea time? Really?

Morning tea time and it’s time for instant regret parent time. We don’t normally offer screen time before lunch time, but we did today. Now they won’t get off them and food isn’t enough of a motivator or distractor.  

B2 normally eats pretzels. We put out some pretzels for her to eat. Today however, she didn’t even want her preferred food. Maybe it was because they were mixed in with some almond crackers. B2 picked out the almond crackers and threw them across the table out of bowl. Refusing all the food we had offered, she snuck to the pantry and grabbed some of her birthday chocolate. She got given chocolates for her birthday, and she’s discovered where they are hidden in the pantry. We’re on an excellent nutritional diet so far today… not.

B1 seems almost normal eating crackers and hommus for morning tea.


B1 is only almost normal. He got distracted from morning tea with a game. B2 and B1 decided it was a fun game to create a human barricade across the doorway to the toilet. Dad couldn’t get to the toilet past the barrier unless he could guess the password. Random password for today: Apple.

So B1 ate crackers while walking up and down hallway as a barrier. Of course he couldn’t sit still at the table to eat…

I hate the library

It’s 11.15am and we’re trying to get out door to the public library. It’s something we do on an average weekend, as both B1 and B2 are big readers. They are very fussy about what they want to read though. B1 will only read books on video games at the moment. B2 also has excellent timing. She picked up a book from the return bag and started reading it on the living room floor. Right as we want to leave, she wouldn’t put her shoes on until a bookmark had been found. And she’d finished the chapter. And she’d found a pair of socks that she liked.

We finally get in the car. B2 wouldn’t enter from her side of the car because there was a cobweb in the garage on that side. She had to enter by squeezing past B1 who complained that she was ruining his life. Our kids never exaggerate.

We were saved by a podcast about moss piglets (Tardigrades). The kids found this fascinating and they were silent listening and not fighting (small mercies).

The library isn’t far away from home, but about halfway into our car journey B2 says “I’m bored”. It’s seriously only a 10min drive.

Once at the library, B2 proceeded to hide under a chair for most of our visit. Everything’s normal here and it’s just an average weekend with the autistic kids…

Note to self: never forget the podcast

Back in the car and the kids went crazy, kicking out and trying to hit each other. We’d forgotten to put the podcast back on.

It’s just an average weekend lunch

We arrived home and prepared lunch. We cooked up some home made sweet potato chips for B1 in the oven. He loved them (small win, but that’s another vegetable that he’ll tolerate now).

B2 screamed and refused to come to the table because the look of sweet potato chips was putting her off her food and it was disgusting. She said she didn’t feel like eating for three weeks it was that gross.

The game made me do it

Finally it’s dinner time. As part of our evil plan to eat healthier, pasta has been swapped out for wholemeal spaghetti. As part of our other evil plan to enable more sensory exposure to foods, B2 helps pick cherry tomatoes from our garden for dinner. She enjoys finding the brightest red tomatoes on the bushes and collecting them daily. They contribute to a garden cherry tomato sauce with lentils that goes with the spaghetti. Neither B1 or B2 eat the pasta sauce and it remains in the bowl. They eat plain wholemeal pasta. Long live the beige diet.

Dad’s playing Stardew Valley after dinner and the kids get to watch and practice fishing.

B1 starts screaming at 7.30pm when the game gets switched off because he wanted to have more fishing practice. Turns out he was hungry so he made himself another bagel before bed. Or maybe all the screaming made him hungry.

woman taking bath with book in hands. can you relax on an average weekend with autistic kids?
Photo by Monstera on Pexels.com

We’ve reached the average weekend with our autistic kids bedtime. Finally.

Bedtime for B2 is 8pm, with only one layer of sheet ever allowed. B1 goes to bed with a heated up wheat bag and as many blankets as possible, night light and ceiling fan on at 9pm.

It’s just been another average weekend with our autistic kids.

*Obviously, we didn’t call our children B1 and B2 after the Bananas in Pajamas. B1 is our 10 year old son and B2 is our 7 year old daughter.

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