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What are you looking at?

3 Apr

Hello everyone

Firstly let me send you all a belated happy world autism day.

Secondly let me explain why I didn’t get the chance to say that earlier!

Well, it’s been an interesting few days. As some may know Friday was ‘Autism Rainbow day’ I did my bit by dressing in all the colours of the rainbow. Judging by the public reaction to my clobber I’m guessing the cause isn’t that well known here in the UK. To many I just looked like a colour blind nut job. Well, it was all in the name of autism so what did I care, I’m totally used to being stared at, as it comes with the territory being a mum to a child on the spectrum!

Friday and Saturday were no exceptions. Let me elaborate a little.

Dressed in my rainbow mix match I decided to head to the supermarket to get something for dinner. My daughter was at my mothers so it was just me and my boys. I’ve written a good few post about the dangers of shopping with an Aspie over the two and a bit years I’ve been blogging, yet did I take my own advice, ‘Avoid taking him where possible, otherwise do so with caution?’ No of course I didn’t!

I’m normally very careful when it comes to taking little man to the supermarket, especially when his only just returned from his tuition at the library! The thing is I can’t even use the bath room without him by my side these days! So surly you can see my predicament when he was literally hanging from my jeans as I tried to make my escape through the front door.

I admit that I’m unsure if he enjoys visiting the supermarket or not? You see eight times out of ten he will have a meltdown with at least half of these being earth shakers (meaning full on blow ups) So you can see the potential risks involved. It’s like a military operation just getting there. He seems to love getting the shopping, acting the little man and of course asking for things, but at the same time all the waiting and crowds of shoppers really tick him off.

I was looking at the flowers for mothers day and I was trying to look at speed but within a few minutes little man was huffing and puffing like an old man. He then tried to unstrap his sixteen month old brother from the pram as he wanted him to play. Of course I grabbed the baby and strapped him back in as it was far to busy to have him on his feet. Little man freaked! He called me a string of hurtful names and began menacingly kicking at the display. On top of this the baby was howling the place down. Little man refused to push the small trolley he was pushing so I tried to push this along with the pram, but the trolley slipped from my grip and went smashing into the flowers. The baby was wailing, little man was cursing, and the fellow shoppers were enjoying the entertainment.

Can you imagine, I hadn’t slept a wink the previous night so was exhausted, dressed so bright I couldn’t be missed, flowers everywhere (praying I wasn’t charged damages), baby screaming so loud the tins were rattling and my little man throwing himself into everyone and anything that stood in his way while giving me an ear bashing.

On my knees I tried desperately to gather flowers from the floor (not one member of the public offered me some help) Suddenly all the noise, the babies screams, little mans shouting and the all the background noise decelerated, it all sounded muffled and I realised that I could hear my own thoughts over anything else around me. The voice in my head told me to get up and run… I almost did! but then that voice ordered me to do something else! “Get up off that dirty floor, brush myself off and take a look around me”

As I came to my feet, brushing petals and leafs from my jeans (that had patches of coloured material stuck to them in an attempt to vamp them up for autism rainbow day, I noticed that everything was slowly getting louder. I felt as if I was coming out of a dream like daze. The baby was no longer screaming, more sobbing, Little man was still ranting (he could go on for hours.) Looking around i noticed just how much of a spectacle my family had become.

“Excuse me everyone”, I shouted at the top of my voice, resulting in people either stopping in their tracks or making a run for it’

What I said next came from nowhere but my good it felt bloody fantastic.

I can’t remember word for word but it went something like this…

” Yes, His my son! No I never dragged him up! Yes his behaviour isn’t ideal, it’s bloody hard work! No your xxxxxxx stares don’t help!”

I grabbed the pram looked down at little man then finished by telling everyone,

“He has Aspergers, which is a type of autism. He don’t care that your staring but at this moment I do, So don’t!

I left feeling so much better then I could have. I was pleased that I had spoken up and felt no regret for doing so.

The following day was world autism day, I was now on a mission if anybody wants a repeat of yesterday I’m ready.
Of course I had to think like this as I was of out to meet a friend with the kids. The day was pretty much drama free but I needed to put a few people in there places.

At the end of an eventful few days my little man was drained and for the first night in ages little man slept.

“Yayyyyyyy

The only thing was he feel fast asleep on my bedroom floor right across the bedroom door. Not good when your dieing to use the little girls room.

I took a picture to share with you all.

Everyday is world autism day in our house

31 Mar

So it’s World Autism day on the 2nd of April and the entire month will be dedicated to raising awareness for a condition very close to my heart.

I have already read a few awareness post on some of my favorite blogs, I sat brainstorming about my own post for the day. It was only then I realised that everyday is world autism day in our house! It’s not only through this blog that I find myself trying to raise awareness by putting our story out there for the world to see, but I’m doing it through the social networking that I do such as Twitter and facebook. Even off line I’m doing the same, often without even knowing it.

Of course this won’t stop me trying to make some kind of impact on the day. I’m a firm believer that two voices are better then one (not that there’s only two voices but you know what I mean!)

If everyone’s life was touched by autism the world would be a more understanding place, but it isn’t and sadly that means that more often then not, those it don’t affect just don’t think about, the perception they have is pretty far off from the reality of the condition. These people can be educated but only if willing.

Then there is those that don’t believe, a big problem with some of the older generation which is mainly due to the fact such a condition wasn’t heard of when they were growing up, quite often making it come across as a load of meaningless gibberish. This is not just their view on autism but an array of conditions such as ADHD, Anxiety disorders, any condition that affects a persons emotions and behaviour etc. I’ve been told more then once by an elderly person that my son needs a smacked bottom in order to change his ways. An elderly lady on the bus recently told my son during a meltdown that if she acted like he currently was when she was a child her father would have taken the belt to her backside! My son didn’t have a clue what she was talking about and when he told her so she reacted by telling him he was a cheeky bugger, which really didn’t help! Yes, I was furious but I have to reason with myself that actually many of these people don’t know anything different. Your brought up a certain way, or go through a huge proportion of your life only seeing challenging behaviour as bad behaviour, that’s something that is incredibly hard to change! It makes you wonder how many off these people are actually on the spectrum themselves but just don’t know it.

Looking at the world ten years ago and looking at it now it’s fair to say awareness towards autism has come a long way! However looking at the high number of families battling against the system while being judged by fellow shoppers at the supermarket as a result of their child’s very public meltdown, it’s clear to see we still have a long way to go!

It is my believe that creating awareness for those considered to be at the ‘higher’ end of the autism spectrum will be somewhat harder to achieve. Those like my son who have a diagnosis of ‘Aspergers’ or ‘HF’ autism, will always have to fight that little bit harder for recognition. The fact that those with such a diagnosis are able to verbally communicate and have average to high IQ’s leads them to be misunderstood, looked upon as misbehaving and attention seeking. It’s my personal opinion that some (of course not all) parents to a child diagnosed as being on the ‘lower’ end of the spectrum are the ones that often show a degree of ignorance towards a child/adult further along that same spectrum. I remember attending a meeting held by our local autism support group. I asked a question concerning the criteria for admission to an asd specific school that was being built in the area. To my horror a fellow parent stood up and stated that children like mine shouldn’t be considered for a place as they were needed for those that truly needed them. This parent didn’t know me, had never met my child, all she knew about my child was the fact he had a diagnosis of aspergers due to my brief introduction of myself when first joining the group some few weeks before. I later discovered that her child was in a special school and doing OK, where’s my son had no school that could meet his complex needs and in actual fact if pursued would more likely be offered a place then that of her own child. I sat through the remainder of that meeting wondering how many other mothers shared this same view? Thinking about it, the majority of parents that I would often speak to within the group had children with a diagnosis of AS or HF autism, it just goes to show how misunderstood these diagnosis’s actually are!

Every individual on the spectrum is different, each will carry their own set of traits, Little mans being his difficulties with social communication and interaction, social imagination and literal understanding of language, and his sensory processing! Where’s another child may have fewer difficulties within these areas but have more profound difficulties with language skills, learning disabilities, personal care etc, It just depends!

Though each person with autism will have symptoms within the the same triad of impairments, those symptoms will vary from one person to the next. Each person has their own set of traits that defines their autism which makes up only one part of who they are. We all have our own personality and characteristics that define us and that’s the same for everyone even those with autism no matter what kind of autism that happens to be!

A MESSAGE TO SCHOOL TO KICK OFF THIS AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH!

2 Apr

April is a fantastic month! Not only is it the month I was born but it’s also Autism awareness month. And today the 2nd April is a huge day for those affected and touched by autism! As today is World Autism awareness day. As many will know I love to pack the blog full of fantastic features through April. This year will be no exception. But this year I wish to kick off the month by doing something different. Many of us will kick off world Autism Day by sending a message to the world in relation to a loved one or friend In the hope of creating Awareness. Well this year I’m doing things a little different! My World Autism message goes out to little mans schools.

Hello school so glad you could join us in raising awareness for autism. First all I feel It’s important to clear things up! I understand my blog is upsetting for you and it’s causing some stress! Well I’m very sorry it wasn’t meant like that! This is my space, it’s a place I come to write about my life with little man. The blog is written from my point of view. I write about many different areas that surround our lives as a family. I’m very sorry to say school happens to be one of them. I’m not setting out to hurt anybody. I started this blog back when I first discovered it was likely little man was on the autism spectrum. I can not begin to express how hard that was for us. With little support and hard times a head I started posting my experiences good & bad. If you look back over the last year and a half maybe you will begin to see that this is about US not YOU. Yes the school is mentioned a fair bit! But school is a big part of little mans live and I wont leave it out. I’m glad you visit the blog why not see it as feedback from a parent instead of a personal attack? This blog has helped me to connect with others, it’s opened doors to support I would never of known was out there. It’s also helped me gain confidence to voice my opinions and be able speak up for the things I believe in. I’m sorry to say it’s not always about school ( Thank God! ) but at this moment in time much of it has been. I’m not happy about this but it happening! I just want to remind you that this is my blog, it’s not a statement or an official government document it’s just a blog. My aim remains the same, To raise awareness for Autism. And as a parent to a child on the spectrum I’m sorry to say it will never change. My children are my life and I will speak out for each and every one of them. However I wish to state that I’m pleased your concerns have been brought to me as I have a greater understanding as to why you have been treating me in such a way. I do wish to say sorry to anybody that have found themselves stressed or upset through reading of this blog. It is not targeted at anyone other than the world as a whole. I’m just doing what millions off others do every single day writing a blog! so I’m sorry to say that I will carry on with my story in the hope that it shines a more positive light! If it upsets you, I suggest ( Not in a rude way ) that you reframe from visiting. The comment box is there for all to use so you are more than welcome to share future concerns.

I thank you school for your understanding and hope you and I can work together as one to better little mans education. After all that’s whats important.

To everybody else I look forward to raising awareness a long side you in the hope of bringing change for our children and anyone else who needs it ( Lets not forget when children with Asd grow to be adults they tend to like to speak for their self ) Lets not forget whats important here! It’s not the people with autism that need changing or fixing, It’s the way society see them that needs to change. Stop trying to solve something that isn’t s problem or fix something that isn’t broken. Instead embrace something that is beautiful.

WASH YOUR MOUTH OUT.

3 Feb

What do you do when your 9 yr old Aspie son developes a taste for bad language?

I have to say that I don’t think I have the answer. I’m lost and at my wit’s end. Not only do I feel that I have lost control of the situation I also feel that everyone else is thinking the same thing. I got passed the looks and rude comments pushed apron me from other parents or members of the public. As I wrote in a past post some months ago I’m not going to feel like I have to explain every single thing little man does or action I take to deal with it. Yer I used to do this but I was losing the battle. How can you get the world to see things in a different light. Some people will always be stuck in their ways and little old me can’t do much to change it. It’s just that old fashion way of  thinking. There is no such Thing as autism or in our day it was just called bad behaviour. Yes I want to raise awareness for ASD and hope people do begin to see past bad behaviour in children on the spectrum but there is only so much you can do. The thing is Little mans use of swear words has become so bad Its making me avoid taking him anywhere. I can’t help worrying what others think when they hear his disgusting fool language during an outburst of rage. I tell him off though my tears of shame. My father used to go ballistic if me or my brothers and sister swore. If we ever dared swear at an adult we would be punished to the highest standards but saying that I don’t think it ever happened. We were pretty polite children. I try to stress how important it is not to swear, I tell him it doesn’t sound big, clever or cool. Sadly I just think that now his using certain words without even thinking. A swear word seems to appear in every other sentence and a habit is forming . A very embarrassing habit! As a parent to a child with Asperers I feel that life will alway hand you a problem to try and over come. Once you have mastered it something else comes along. It’s like one long test. But as a friend once told me God will only dish out what he thinks you can handle. Being a parent full stop is a learning game we parents of the ASD child just have a little extra to get through. I guess I’m just finding this one a little harder to overcome.

Techniques I have tried to help stop little mans use of bad language.

  • Taking away his belongings.
  • No playing  outside with his friend next door.
  • No treats.
  • Pocket money lost or reduced.

I know that following a punishment though is important with all children. there times I caved but as the behaviour has become worse I have  stood my ground and Little man has hindered his punishment but still with no long-lasting effects. So this is to all you parents out their that have been though it. I need your advice! How do I reduce his swearing and then finally stop it?  All suggestion welcome from parents with or without children on the spectrum.

Something has got to be done. If little man is like this with me and other family members he must be using the same language in the classroom. I already know he is rude to stuff and has problems separating Children and adults so I think that this could be highly likely.

APRIL IS HERE!

2 Apr

APRIL IS HERE! THAT MEANS IT’S AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH.

It’s time to pull out all the stops and raise awareness for autism. Yes today is world autism day and this is the day to make sure you get your voice heard, however you choose to do it, do it well!

My son isn’t the only child in his school that has ASD, yet I have found that the school have chosen not to be involved in anyway. GOD HOW SAD. Here in the UK school’s seem to do little in the way of raising awareness for this cause so close to my heart. We have jeans 4 jeans day ( the kids each pay £I to dress up head to toe in jean) We also raise money for comic relief so why not world Autism day ? With numbers like I IN EVERY 150 CHILDREN BEING DIAGNOSED WITH AUTISM you would think something would be happening today of all bloody days. So I’m taking it apron ones self to be heard. I’m emailing my son’s school right after I have posted this post. I will ask that the kids have the choice to pay £1 and in return they are able to wear fancy dress. All the money that they raise can then be given to a UK autism charity. Even through this wont happen in til the return of the Easter break, at least it would of happened:)

WILL INFORM YOU ARE ON MY PROGRESS

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