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The Challenges That Come With Independence

12 Oct

So, its been a while since I blogged, all reasons beyond my control.
Well, Little man is officially a teenager now. On the 1st October he turned 13.
As a result his special school felt that he was ready to make a huge step forward into the world of independence.
Instead of of being collected by the school bus every morning he would walk to the train station through the park, take the 20 minute train ride followed by short 5 minute walk to school. Was I hesitant? Of course I was, what mother wouldn’t be? You see, little man had an intense ‘Special’ interest in trains that lasted many years. He was therefore very excited about this big new step he would be taking! Me I was worried sick that firstly we may find him over obsessing about transport once more. It may seem harmless to most but when a child with Aspergers is obsessive nothing else in the world matters.

This however was not my only concern! Little man is a child that struggles to sleep of a night time and if he had experienced one of he’s ‘All Nighters’ then how could I possibly let him ride the train to school? He could fall asleep and spend hours going back and forth to Hayes and Central London… What if he woke up in central london? At least if he was getting collected our morning battle would come to an end once I’d physically removed him from his bed and got him on the transport. But he hated everything about the new transport system, the one he had been placed on this September with little warning of any changes! Little man was used to taking a taxi with two other children and an escort which is provided for by the councils SEN team. This September no more than one day before the return to school he discovers that his escort has gone and will be replaced by another. He also discovers that there is no longer a taxi but a mini bus with a new driver and a heap more kids too. The battles to get him onto the bus were anything but easy! The last week before his independence training started someone from the SEN travel coordination team called me to say that little man was on his last warning! Apparently the new escort couldn’t handle the children, especially little man. I hear a fight broke out between my son and another boy. As a result the escort was pushed (not by little man but another child who as a result had been taken of the bus for good).

So, with this and little man’s pleas I decided that the transport plan drawn up by the school would probably be best at this current time.

To cut a long story short, since little mans been taking the train his had more days off than I care to remember! The first few days were fine. He loved the feeling of independence traveling to school gave him (he still does) however, his sleep pattern has once more gone up the wall and getting him out the door has been a fight that I’m losing. Even when he has left for school his been leaving late. With this and the constant warnings, Little man is on his very last chance and this time its with me!

I’ve made the decision to reintroduce the melatonin despite how its effects make him more drowsy during the school day. What else can I do? It gets to 4 am and I’m seriously at my wits end! Just the other night (well, I say ‘night’ but really mean early morning) I found myself screaming at him… “Why can’t you just go to sleep?” Only for him to look and me and reply “I want to but I can’t… I just cant.” its frustrating… Its frustrating for him, for me… And for the school, especially when they can see his a bright young boy with heaps of potential.

I find myself becoming so angry at life, for we go through these battles, get over them only for them to resurface months later. Its one hell of a rollercoaster, one I have no choice in riding.

Little man doesn’t tend to talk about thinks that may have upset or confused him during the school day, which sadly can lead to all sorts of difficulties, leaving me playing the private eye game. Switching of isn’t easy for most, especially when we have worries and troubles laying heavily on our minds. This for little man, a boy who has difficulties expressing them worries, a boy who already lacks precious sleeping hours, is a struggle on a level most would fail to reach. Its stuff as such as this that makes those morning and night battles that little more difficult than it currently is.

I do sometimes wonder how many other parents there are out there… Going through the same nightly and morning battles that we do. I know there are plenty but at times its a real lonely place.

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Smurfs 2 – A Review

20 Aug

I remember the smurfs when I was younger, lets just say that these days they are far more hip than ever before.

I haven’t seen the first smurfs movie and wondered if there was any point me viewing the second but it seems that doesn’t matter.

Going to view the movie was myself, a friend, my 10 year old daughter and 3 year old son (little man opted to stay behind claiming smurfs were not cool!) We had been invited to see the movie by a PR team which meant it was an early start at the odeon in covent garden london. So… Here’s what we thought…

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Story Line… Basically the smurfs are on a mission to rescue Smurfette from the evil Gargamel in Paris where he is some big time celebrity magician now. Only in order to do this they will require a little help from there humans friends. Once the smurfs have blasted themselves into our world together with their human friends the search begins in Paris. Gargamel has created two little naughties (a cross between a troll and a smurf called Vexy and Hackus) and its there job to befriend Smurfette making her feel she belongs in order to prise the secret spell receipt from her… The one that turns you blue. Gargamel doesn’t only want to turn his naughties blue but he has an evil plan to turn the world blue, create more blue naughties and take over Smurf land. With Smurfette feeling as if she doesn’t belong, after all the smurfs forgot her birthday! Will she turn naughty and give Gargamel what he wants?

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We all enjoyed the film myself included. There are moments when the kids laughter could be heard and other times they were let on the edge of there seats. Of course Alice’s favourite was Smurfette and Harley love’s Puppa Smurf. Myself, I kinda loved Vanity (you’ll see why when watching the movie).

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After the film the kids were able to meet some of the smurfs and play some games. They even got to try out some of the new toy range. Harley loves the little figures and the miniature smurf houses. His made me promise to buy him one of his own.

Here’s Harley checking out the toys.

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Tips For Parents Of A Child Entering The Assessment Process.”

18 Aug

1) No child should receive an Aspergers diagnosis on a first appointment or assessment. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen. Yes, you maybe dead certain it’s Aspergers though professionals have a duty to explore every avenue and give your child a detailed assessment clearly observing them and then providing you the parent with a detailed document of his or her findings.

2) Be prepared, its likely (what with these awful cuts) that your child will not see the same psychologist more than once. You will feel that the continuous string of professionals are not making the assessment process any easier when you find yourselves being bombarded with the same questions over and over. ‘Yes we often ask ourselves… Do these people communicate with each other’

3) When assessing a school age child for Aspergers the team involved will usually request feedback from your child’s teaching team and school SENCO. Is your child’s school acknowledging your child’s condition? If not this can really slow the entire assessment process down. In the end the communication team at CAMHS had to go into my sons school to assess how he coped and acted in the school environment.

4) Remain on the ball. Often we are Frobed off by professionals with statements like they are awaiting a certain professional to get back to them or an appointment slot for your child to meet with the SALT therapist for an assessment. It’s at this times you often find yourselves dangling in thin air and before you even realise it its been months… Your slowly slipping through the net. Bombard the team working with your child with daily phone calls. Who cares if we are getting on their nerves? If we are silent we are forgotten and no one wants to be forgotten.

5) Keep all reports and assessment papers and letters filed within their own folder. This will help you to stay ontop of things. You will have dates at hand and be able to produce any needed documents at ease.

6) Keep your own written records. I’ve found that I’ve been told a lot of stuff of the record that could Potentially help my child but won’t in its undocumented state. I therefore make everything formal but taking notes at every meeting, during phone calls and any other time my child’s case is up for discussion.

7) Try not to miss important appointments as you will often find that its months before contact is even made and new appointments given.

8) Ask questions no matter how silly you think they may sound.

9) Trust Your Instincts. If you don’t agree with the professionals conclusions its your right to ask for a second opinion.

10) Its a long road, be prepared, don’t just go with it, be part of it! After all its your child and diagnosis could be a way to the services you require.

Sleeping Issues

16 Jul

Having a child with Aspergers can be difficult but having one that hardly sleeps is Incredibly trying.

For this reason little man’s school attendance is suffering and so am I… Big time!

Its one huge battle to get the boy to bed of a night and another to get him up. His like a monster in the mornings, swearing and throwing things about.

As his grown so has the problem. His now as tall as myself so grabbing the covers, carrying him out of bed and then physically dressing him is no longer an option! Well that is unless I want to live! Not only am I going to land myself back in court for little man’s shabby attendance I’m also struggling to get anything done during the day. Shopping is already a nightmare and I’ve given up on taking little man some time ago. This means just a quick trip to the shops has become some type of mission… One I’m not to keen on taking.

With this I have no choice but to visit the doctor and request a prescription of melatonin. Its not fantastic but given his had a good break from it, its effects will be beneficial over the next week or so at least.

So… If all the above wasn’t bad enough Little man is now spending his days bullying his younger brother rather than getting an education. Its not bully as such, its just his need for control and when his not at school or in bed catching up on the sleep his lost his doing exactly that… Trying to control everything everybody does. Its tiresome!

We are now in July and what happens in July? Little man starts preparing for his big day… Aka his birthday. Its three whole months away but that don’t make a difference… Not for the little man it doesn’t!

This year his talking computers… Macs to be precise. Yes, his not asking for anything cheap here and I think I preferred it when he was asking for them strange and wonderful items such as batteries and staple guns! There is one good thing to come out of the obsessive birthday chatter! If he wants something on such a grand scale his going to need to go to bed earlier and attend school everyday! After all he only has a week left till the holidays.

So… There you have it! Sorry its such a mini update but as you may have noticed, I don’t have so much time to get on and blog these days. Here’s hoping the next instalment is a little more upbeat.

A Bright Star No Longer Hidden

22 Jun

The annual review, a time for meeting with your child’s teachers and discussing progress, struggles and ideas. A meeting centred around your child’s special educational needs and the statement they hold.

Last week it was that time, the time for the Little man’s second annual review since attending his special independent school specifically for children on the autism spectrum. Lately, Little man’s attendance has been a little off the wall! Despite his love for his new school he continues to struggle to sleep of a night, often getting just a few hours sleep or none whatsoever. As one can imagine, mornings are becoming one huge battle us! For this reason alone I expected to hear how my son was falling dangerously behind that of his peers, what with his last school (mainstream primary school) insisting he had a reading age of 7, reception age writing skills, poor understanding of science and history, plus 2 levels below in maths and more besides. He was 10 at the time and I protested that my son wasn’t this far behind, especially in maths. His bedroom wall looked like some kind of number puzzle where he would cover it in mathematical problem solving and coding to a complex level (one even I struggled to understand)!

You see it was my conclusion that he was much brighter than he let on, but wasn’t showing this due to his unhappiness while attending a school who seriously struggled to meet any of his needs, both educational and developmental. It was during this particular annual review meeting that I realised just how right I was back then.

Here it comes… A seriously proud mummy moment…

Little man is two levels above his expect national curriculum level in maths. He is in year 7 and currently has a level of a child in year 9 on his way to year 10.

His also above in PE, Reading and more besides. He science levels were that of his expected age. English as a whole is also what is expected which just goes to show that my boy and any other child on the spectrum has the ability to shine given they are in the right environment to do so.

He has a great new system in which he can remove himself from the classroom to shake of any problems and excess energy with a run around the playground. He only has the ability to use his “Get Out Of Glass Card” twice for each lesson and teachers have reported that sometimes he finishes class having not used one. This may seem like such a minor thing but to a mum like me its pure music to my ears.

He also has a great reward system and school are working hard to try and discourage his swearing. Despite episodes still happening on a daily basis the improvements are slowly taking place and little man’s learning a little self control.

Proud… Oh yes, seriously proud! When your so used to being told the negative when it comes to your child’s education, you forget what its like to hear anything positive. This was a great example of this, it was the proudest I’d felt for a long time. I just wanted to shout about it from the roof tops.

Was I tempted to take a little walk through them office doors of his once mainstream school, the one in which his younger sister attends? Did I feel to wave his report in the air while shouting “Yer… Get a load of that! Thats my boy they are writing about!” Um maybe I did, just a little…I can’t lie. However, I don’t care what was once said! All that matters is that I have always believed in him even if those others who should have, instead made it their mission to write him off as a lost cause!

Well… Eat My Shorts!

My boys a star, a star that shines bright because his no longer hidden.

So, if you have a bright star that is currently struggling to be seen through the clouds then don’t give up on them! Believing is the key to your child’s educational success and as long as you believe others will follow. Never give up, fight for them to be seen as the star you know them to be.

Here Comes The Sun – Tips To Help The Sensitive Child Cope

13 Jun

As the days and nights become increasingly warmer your sensitive child on the autism spectrum may require a little help in coping with the sensory issues that summer may bring.

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So here’s a few tips aimed at those parents of the sensitive child! After all everyone deserves to have a great summer don’t they!

1) Does your child show a dislike to most sun protection products? Little man doesn’t enjoy the application of sunscreen and will spend half the day refusing to comply with my request to apply it. The dislike of sunscreen by a child on the spectrum could be due to a number of factors all of which are a result of the child’s senses. Little man hates the feeling of the lotion on the skin (protests that all feel sticky). This is as well as the smell of the lotion and the fact he needs help with the application process. Here’s some suggestions…
A – Try a powder protection like the one from bare essentials its odourless too.
B – Let your child learn to apply the sun lotion themselves using a mirror then try to cover hard to reach areas that will be exposed to the sun with clothing (thin and cool material)
C – Experiment with different brands of sun protection. Many have different smells and textures and most brands offer sample size bottles or sachets.

2) Try to organise outdoor activities around the midday sun. Children with autism who are sensitive to the suns rays will thank you for it.

3) Use a good insect repellent! No one likes getting bitten by insects and its a 1000 times worse for the child who is tactile defensive. Clothing that comes into contact with the skin is already an issue for these children but if clothing rubs causing friction to an insect bite things become intensely over sensitive. Then there’s the issue of infection to bite. Little man doesn’t listen if I tell him not to scratch a bite, he really can’t control the need to do so, having no power to resist. Your best bet is to just be safe and avoid insect bites altogether. As before experiment in till you find the right product for your child. Another good tip is to use fly nets at the windows or an air conditioning unit at night.

4) Cover up with a hat! As you should for all children insist your child on the spectrum wears some form of sun hat. Your child will be more comfortable in the sun and this will reduce the risk of sunstroke and little mans most feared pain… The headache! If your sensitive child refuses to wear a hat then try alternatives such as a sun umbrella and whenever possible, staying indoors during the hottest point of the day (the midday sun).

5) Does your child with Autism have a fear of flying insects? It isn’t a trait as such, but not uncommon for children with autism to have such a fear. Sometimes its due to factors such as the noise these insects make… Noises such a buzzing from bees, flys and wasps. It can also be down to a fear of getting bitten or stung due to it happening perhaps one day in the past. Regardless of the reason, its usually an intense fear, one that children on the autism spectrum will struggle to deal with. Its all too easy to hide away from those things we are scared of! However this only makes things more difficult in the long run as one day them fearful critters will sneak up on us. My tip… That its better to deal with fear head on by facing it! This can be made much harder when the child who is scared of such insects has a type of autism. But it can be done! It normally just takes a little longer. Ideas…
A) Let children learn more about the things they are frighten about. Use the Internet with them to unravel exciting facts.
B) During warm months use Mosquito nets at windows.
C) Be persistent when helping your child face their fears. Keep on trying on a daily basis.
D) If extreme (to the point your child wont leave the house) then speak to child practitioner for information, advice and ideas.

6) Use a thin 100% cotton sheet instead of a duvet at night! If your child is already a poor sleeper the heat could potentially make this issue worse. Try offering your child lighter cooler bedding. In the summer months little man will often use a sheet instead of a duvet. As long as its 100% cotton we don’t have any tactile issues.

7) Whether appropriate clothing! I found that during the colder months I have to fight the little man to wear his coat, yet in the summer he refuses to go out without it. Experiment with different coats that are appropriate for the current climate. If your child insists on wearing a coat in summer then give them thin cotton summer jackets. Be sure to make sure the material is suited to your child’s tactile needs (little man will not wear waterproof material)!

8) Head to the beach! Being by the sea is always much cooler with the sea breeze. Little man always seems so much happier when we are spending time at the coast. We try to visit less crowded beaches to keep his stress levels down.

9) Avoid the shops! If like little man you’re child on the autism spectrum hates shopping at the best of times then avoid shopping trips during them hot summers afternoons. This is a recipe for meltdowns… You’ve been warned.

10) Cool down! I’ve found that by giving little man a battery operated hand fan he manages the summer heat much better. We did try using cool mist but spraying this on the little man’s face didn’t go down to well. See what works best for your child but if you do opt for a battery operated fan then be sure batteries are fully charged and maybe keep a spare set in your handbag just in case.

Well that’s about it for now. Hope these small tips help and if you have any of your own, then please share in the comments section. Thanks.x

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#silentsunday

10 Jun

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Addictions & Aspergers

1 Jun

Little man didn’t go to school last week hardly at all! He has a toothache which is probably down to the fizzy drinks he drinks. The thing is Aspergers Syndrome and toothache doesn’t always result in a trip to the dentist. Yep, his refusing, despite the pain his in. His made it pretty clear he isn’t stepping foot in the dentist and I’m losing the will to live as a result!

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Firstly, it isn’t like I can just drag his backside there kicking and screaming! Why not? Because little mans kicking and screaming involves hitting, swearing and screaming so loud that in the past passers by have called the police thinking I’m some kind of child abductor. Believe me, this situation isn’t easy!

Shockingly, in between the tears of pain little man made a request… “Can I have a can off Coke please mum?”… Shocking… I know! I’m really having difficulty getting him to associate the cause of the pain with that of the fizzy pop. He waited till i was out of sight and went straight for the fridge. Lets just say that he finally realised that the fizz and the pain go hand in hand!

Yes, the fizzy drink as predicted, set of his toothache and did so in style. Little man rocked and cried as he experienced such intense discomfort. I tried to once again explain that this was a direct result of drinking fizzy drinks due to there high sugar content. I guess I expected some kind of big reaction, maybe a promise that he’ll never go near the stuff again! Shockingly little man made the suggestion of using a straw in the future instead.

The thing is, when younger, little man loved the dentist. He had a filling when he was around 6 years old! Myself and the dentist were sure he’d freak out and were all geared up ready for the explosion! Well, you can just imagine how shocked we both were when discovering he actually enjoyed the sensations of the drill during a small filling (mainly the vibrations he felt within his numb mouth).

He tells me he doesn’t remember this, which seems odd as he remembers almost everything (past events). He has no reasons to block such memories out.

I myself have a real dentist phobia and as a result, I’m registered under a clinic especially for those diagnosed with such fears. Note, that despite the amount of drugs they pumped in me, ones designed to relax me in order to receive the treatment I so badly needed, I still went ballistic and as a result, not one wisdom tooth was remove and not one filling applied… I left with worse toothache than when I had arrived! It is said that I had to be carried out from the treatment room as I was throwing punches at both the dentist and his assistant. I don’t remember becoming violent… I’m not that kind of person! This was down to the cocktail of drugs pumped into me for sure. I’ve now been told that the only way forward for me is to be put to sleep during treatment and I don’t want this to have to be the case for my 12 year old son. Its important that I point out that despite this somewhat intense fear, I’ve never displayed it in the presence of any of my children. If mums scared shitless then its simply a job for daddy! Oh Yes… I just ensure its him who makes the dentist trips. Though this brings me to my second reason on why dragging him kicking and screaming wont work! Dad isn’t used to public meltdowns, the type displayed by our little man. When outside, whenever such meltdowns have surfaced he’ll just run off the other way having been highly embarrassed by the situation! Sometimes I wish I had such an option as running! Sadly I don’t!

You see… In life some of the most “normal” everyday tasks that are usually completed with ease, are often more trying for those on the spectrum. I personally think, that those who don’t get to witness such struggles first hand, will never truly “get” it! I mean, I’ve been given some awful advice at times! Popular ones being… “Don’t take no for an answer… You’re the adult not him!” or another… “His being over the top and throwing a tantrum in the hope you’ll give up and give in!!” … Come on People, do you not think I haven’t already thought such “possibilities” over in my head? I’ve stood my ground and not taken no for an answer (and often still will) however, its all down to the situation at hand and how difficult little man is coping with the task or activity… Something’s are easier said than done and although their are times when his just plain not behaving, there are also situations such as the one we are in, where little man has little control over it! Trust me I’m his mother… I know!

Well, we have since had half term (which is a few days from ending) and little man still has an on/off toothache but still refuses to let a dentist work their magic. I’ve done my upmost best to keep any fizzy pop locked up and haven’t given him spends for the shop as I just know what he’ll buy. Sadly, I read an article in the paper just this week, about that of a young man age 30 who was diagnosed as having Aspergers Syndrome, was addicted to Coke (not the drug but the type supplied in a can and found usually in a refrigerator). Sadly this addiction took his life, it actually killed him. It was reported that the young man drunk an excessive amount of coke on a daily basis which has been reported to be behaviour motivated by his Aspergers. The young man had been drinking Coke -Cola since the age of 10 and his mother commented that it was as if her son had a self distract button (read report Here).

Its sad to think that the thing he loved was to be his killer! The 30 year old was reported to have died in his sleep and the cause of death recorded as excess liquid consumption.

Of course the above story scares the crap out of me! I just wish it would do the same for little man! So far no luck! Its dead frustrating and some days I just feel like I need to take ahold of him and shake the sense into him. Somehow maybe then the importance of what I’ve just told him would actually take some positive effect. Right now he just can’t relate his own actions with that of the young man who unfortunately lost his life at the hands of a Coke can.

Its my experience as a mother to a child diagnosed as having Aspergers Syndrome, that children on the autism spectrum seem to have rather addictive personalities! Of course not everyone! But for little man, I think this may well be the case! He so easily attaches himself to something in which he loves and like many diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, he will then over indulge. Both interests and habits almost always become obsessional and then indulged to an excessive level.

Well, its teacher training day this coming Monday so little man’s return will be on the Tuesday. He really needs to go in as the continued time off will just land me in trouble with the school/LEA. I could even be taken to court due to the lack of medical evidence I’ve obtained. Such evidence would usually be needed to authorise such absences. But I can’t possibly produce it, as little man won’t step foot in the dentist meaning I can’t request such written evidence. This is a fact but regardless of this, I know the court would not understand such a situation, therefore brand me an irresponsible parent before throwing me in jail, giving me a huge fine that I just can’t afford to pay, or even worse… Both!

Well, that’s about it for now! Just a quick thank you to all my lovely readers and fellow bloggers for your support and well wishes. Admitting to the world that depression has taken ahold off you, isn’t at all easy… But the response you all gave and tweets you sent just proves its worth speaking out and that no one is going to think any less of because your depressed. As you can see I’m slowly getting back to grips with blogging once more, though its taking long than expected I’m still here! Its a tad strange as I’ve always thrown myself into my writing when depression hits me! However, this time things were very different indeed.

Onwards and upwards from here on now!

Hope your all bright and well.

Bye, bye for now.

Shutting Down

22 May

I’ve been pretty silent, I know! Its not like me, not to blog for long periods of time, but these past few weeks have been different! I’ve actually been completely out the loop when it comes to social networking, my tweets have been few and far between and Facebook has been left unvisited.

I’m not to busy, I won’t lie! I’m not on holiday or having some girly time someplace fun. I’m at home, in pyjamas on the sofa mostly.

In my everyday life, my social commitments have suffered too. I’m not spending much time with friends, I’m not even answering my mobile or home phone when somebody calls. Its actually really stupid but I haven’t been able to complete the smallest of tasks. I dread having to do almost anything.

That’s how I knew…. The signs are all there, ones I’ve experienced before making them so apparent this time! Depression… I was depressed and knew I had to do something about it, and do so fast. But that was just it… I was lacking any get up and go which meant that the prospect of visiting a doctor or even booking an appointment to see one was all to much to bare.

Thankfully, I’m starting to feel myself again and though it will take some time to get on top of it all, I’ve started and that’s the hardest bit done.

So, why was she depressed, you may ask? Many assume its the pressures of parenting a child on the autism spectrum but for me that’s a little bit of a cop out. I’ve been parenting little man for almost 13 years. Since the age of 18 its been my life. I’ve since had two more children and being a mother to all three of my children has brought great joy into my life. Yes, when little man is refusing to get up from his bed or even leave the house of a morning I do feel a tad close to breaking point, but guess what? Its not made me depressed… I don’t think it has anyway!

The truth is, life can be a bit full on somedays and when all your problems collide that’s when things go a bit tits up. I can’t put my finger on just one thing and say its this whats caused this depressive period. That’s impossible!

With deadlines looming for reviews and guest post, I just shut off. This blog and that of my other were left at times for days without a post. With my hair thinning at age 31 years and my doctor telling me it was down to stress I just had to let go a little and remember what it was like to be me again.

I love blogging, that much I’m sure off. I just wanted to take a little me time in order to remember that.

So here’s to the continuation of blogging… Here’s to me smiling again.

Oh, and before I drop off, a message for the world! “If you ever feel like your slipping into a black hole of depression then act quickly to nip it in the bud! Many of us are not visiting our GPs, mainly due to the stigma associated with depression! Just remember its an illness and lucky enough its a fixable one too! To be the best we possible can we need to feel our best… Fact!

The Do’s And Don’ts When Parenting A Child With Aspergers Syndrome

15 May

Its not easy being a parent to a child on the autism spectrum! Actually… It isn’t that easy being a parent full stop!

Below are some dos and don’t, all based around the stuff I’ve learnt while parenting my little man. Remember, I’m just another parent like you! No, I’m not doctor or child psychologist and what works for us may totally not work for you. But why not have a read anyway… If anything you won’t feel do alone. Please, feel free to add anything within the comments sections:)

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So… Here it goes…

Don’t feel guilty if you failed to spot the signs at an early age.

Do remember that this is common for children diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome with many of them not gaining an actual official diagnosis, till their teenage years.

Don’t be to proud to ask for help!

Do fight for it, if those who are meant to provide it, withhold it!

Don’t force your child to be someone they are not!

Do show them you are proud of them for being the person they are.

Don’t assume its easy!

Do remember that parenting any child can at times be challenging.

Don’t feel you have to explain your child’s behaviour, every single time they do something that makes others stop and stare.

But do educate those who are willing to listen! The important issue here is, not to get stressed when out and about. this only makes things more difficult for both yourself and your child. Remember its ignorance and sadly many are guilty of displaying it!

Don’t restrict the activities you do as a family.

Do prepare your child for such occasions with the help of visual resources and schedules to avoid unwanted challenges on the day.

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Don’t forget you have a life too.

Do take time out for you, whenever the opportunity arises.

Don’t assume that any two children diagnosed with Aspergers will experience the exact same traits.

But do make yourself aware of such traits, preparing yourself for what may lay ahead.

Don’t assume a diagnosis is your child’s ticket to the support and services they may need.

Do be prepared to battle for them, services! Yes, you’ll be expected to provide evidence showing why it is the help is needed.

Don’t just expect others to instantly understand your child’s diagnosis

Do be prepared for ignorance & denial. Sadly many find that its friends & family who display the worst reactions to the news of a child’s diagnosis. As for strangers…. I not don’t even notice the states as my son displays a screaming match at the local train station. Ok its never easy, but you adjust and get used to it.

Don’t freak out if your child develops an interest in something considered to be strange or unusual.

Do embrace and encourage all that your child loves regardless of its wackiness.

Don’t assume your child will have learning difficulties.

Do celebrate the subjects they excel in, and offer help and support to improve in those they are not.

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Don’t base decisions on what you want for your child!

Do base decisions on what is best for them.

Don’t beat yourself up if you lose it! Meltdowns that go on for hours are likely to make you crumble.

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Do remember that your human and your child still loves you ( regardless of what they may say).

Don’t be surprised if your child announces to the lady sat on the bus, that she’s old, wrinkled and looks close to death.

Do play games and work on activities designed to help your child avoid social mishaps like that of the above.

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Don’t waste money buying your child the top branded toys, especially if they have failed to express any interest.

Do make them happy on Christmas morning if padlocks, staples and rulers were on their Christmas list.

Don’t be too disheartened if your child shows no interest in making friends.

Do have hope that one day that will change!

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Don’t force your child to play with other children…

… But do teach them the social skills required to do so! Most children on the autism spectrum will eventually show a desire to interact and play with others.

Don’t waste your time looking for cures

But do look into therapies that have been designed to help your child better develop the skills required to succeed in both child and adulthood.

Don’t assume that just because your child doesn’t display certain traits during childhood they won’t during adulthood.

But Do remember maybes are not certainties.

Don’t try to make your child fit into society!

But do mould them as you would any child so society fits with them.

Don’t use complex language (metaphors and sarcasm) when talking with your child

But do try and teach them that others will to avoid miscommunications.

Don’t force your child to wear certain clothing, eat certain foods or attend certain activities.

Do be sure to research sensory processing disorders as their refusal to do any of the above could be and likely is related.

Don’t assume that your child with Aspergers will have the abilities to cope in a mainstream school (not all can)!

Do make sure you are open minded… Sometimes special schools are all your child needs to succeed within education.

Don’t use your child’s diagnosis as an excuse for unwanted behaviour.

Do remember that all children can be challenging and all are not autistic… You will learn the difference, I have!

Don’t forget to be mum to everyone

Do remember that siblings of children with Asperger’s syndrome may display unwanted behaviour or mimic their siblings traits as a way to gain the attention they crave.

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Don’t assume your child will be bullied.

But do look out for the signs as statistics have shown that it is children like yours and mine who become targets.

Don’t force your child to believe in the mystical world of make believe.

Do remember that many child with Asperger’s syndrome like things based upon facts, the type backed up by evidence. If you can’t prove how santa gets round the world in one single night then chances are he will never believe. Just make sure he doesn’t share his findings with his siblings… Like little man has tried.

Don’t ask your child if you look good in a new dress unless you want blatant sharp honesty…

Do be prepared to be shown your love handles and chubby knees if you do.

Don’t believe everything the books tell you.

Do remember that every child has the capability to at least try and lie… Well, at least the desire to try and do so, is usually there! Its just that children with Aspergers are not all that hot at it! Little man usually cracks within minutes.

Don’t be so serious…

Do crack a smile, your child with Aspergers is more than capable of making you proud… Mine does.

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Don’t just assume your child will tell you if something is wrong! Aspergers is a communication disorder after all!

Do be ready to put on your investigation cap, as you try to discover just what has upset your child… Remember they will expect you to just know.

Don’t feel that everything has to become a mission in life because of your child’s condition.

Do be prepared to be pleasantly surprised when your child shows you that something you thought would be impossible for them… is actually totally possibly.

Don’t waste time asking yourself “What If?”

Do remember that we have one life, Our own unique and special story. All children deserve to be brought up happy with stacks of love and great memories to support it. Our children will eventually grow up and fly the nest… Yes even those with Aspergers Syndrome! My point? Just enjoy your kids, never taking a single day for granted… Even those not so good ones!

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