Tag Archives: aggressive behaviour

A BULL IN A CHINA SHOP!

15 Aug

It’s Mid August and we are over half way through the summer holidays. I’m pleased to report, I still have my sanity, and things are going pretty well.

The fear of family trips has eased, which is good, given that we still have a few to come. Some nice days out we have had, and though they have never been problem free, they have been achievable. It’s somewhat easier when knowing what triggers a meltdown or another form of behaviour, then coming up with ways to manage and overcome them. Certain things have been avoided, and others tackled. I discovered that I myself was avoiding social situations in fear of not being able to control them. How was this fair on any of the children! Little mans sister and baby brother may live to resent him or me for them missing out. Little man also needs to be given the opportunity to make social mistakes and like most children, learn from them. It’s all well and good teaching him a string of social stories, but he needs to put them into practice. I’m not saying I don’t take them out or avoid outings of any kind, It’s certain times and places I’ve avoid, WITHOUT EVER KNOWING I WAS ACTUALLY DOING SO. I once took Little man to the park for lunch, this was in his school lunch hour, another period of time he was on home dinners. We sat on the grass to eat, but he had little interest in food, preferring to run around. He then went into the play area. This would prove to be a bad idea! Something went on involving Little man, another child, and a toy train. (We all know what Little man is like with anything transport) Little man had a complete meltdown, throwing the train, then the child across the play area. Little man was in his first year of full time school, We had moved to the area from Blackheath, and his school life was less then prefect. He had attachment issues and hated going. Mornings consisted of me trying to remove him from his bed, refusal to eat, not wanting to get dressed, and me having to chase him pin him and psychically dress him myself. Feeling I had seceded in my task, I would be ready to leave the door, only to discover he was butt naked again.  Well, we had no diagnosis back then, school got education welfare on my back for his lateness and lack of attendance, and now my son was having a full on meltdown in public. Though the park was busy, I had never felt so alone, and this feeling was completely pushed to the limit when the staff  went on to ban him from coming back. (This is a 0-5 supervised play area, within the park) The looks from the other parents! Needless to say, none of these local mothers have chosen to since speak with me. Lucky for me “I don’t give a dam.”

So was it since this day I’ve avoid play parks in fear of Little man being excluded? What I considered to be forgotten was very much still there. No mother wants their reception aged child labelled as a spoilt brat! So yes I would think it properly was.

A part from a recent school trip to the park, It’s been ages since we went. We go to the local parks, but they are much smaller, with fewer children. Now I found myself taking all three children to a large park, at a really busy time. The park is massive, extremely popular and host to many public events. Today their was face painters and bouncy castles. We saw birds of prey, and sat eating ice cream. Little man spotted a large play area, that was bursting with kids of all ages. The play area was very modern, far from your standard slide and swings, more recreational with rope swings, and space aged roundabouts, he ran straight for it, with his sister not far behind. Yep, you could easily see it was the summer holidays! The playground was filled with parents attempting to gain five minutes break, and hoping their child or children, would run out all their energy, resulting in them having early nights, leaving the parents free to chill. How comes, everywhere you go, you see these mothers! The types that easily form friendships with one another, resulting in large groups of mothers indulging in mothers meetings, based around parenting, soaps and bitching. I consider many of these “groupings” of mothers, to resemble those of teenage girl groups, that compete with one another over who has the best boyfriend, makeup, and hairstyle. Like these teenagers, these mothers feel no shame when sticking their nose in the air and shaking their heads, like the bloody Churchill dog! You see mothers like this stood around the school at home time! They are known to some as the “School gate mothers” No I’m not being a stereotype, I’m not saying all parents who stand at the school gate, chat, smoke and gossip! But many do, and that’s just how it is.

I sat my eight month old son into one of the swings. With me stood in front, Little man gently pushed his giggling baby brother. My daughter was well gone, she had taken herself off to the large sand Pitt and within a few minutes was playing along side another group off children. “Why don’t you go and play?” I asked little, why giving him a gentle push to encourage him. With this Little man was off, darting around the playground like a child running on super strength batteries. He was everywhere, kinda like a bull in a china shop. He didn’t hesitant, and attempted a number of times to involve himself in group play. Little man was jumping into conversations that did not involve him, then becoming upset by the children’s responses. Ok, of course I know Little man struggles socially, he has a social communication disorder, this isn’t new to me! I have watched Little man struggle with turning taking inappropriate language, controlling behaviour e.g. It’s just that I see this behaviour displayed when interacting with those we know, or friendships his already building. We do have problems with other children when out as Little man tends to tell it like it is. The only other time I saw little man really struggle to a great degree was a few years back. It was at a time in his school life were he wasn’t displaying challenging behaviour at school (More so at home) But he also didn’t seem to socialise with anyone (aloofness) I think he was just starting to want to interact and join in. When leaving a meeting in school I saw little man running around the playground from one group of children to another. I cried when I saw that these groups walked away choosing not to engage, others just run away. I assume because he was able to hold down a few friendships now, despite his more challenging behaviour, It would be the same, when faced with this type of social situation we were now in. I watched parents running grabbing their toddlers, moving them away from Little man. I understood, as I guess to a degree I would have done the same. He wasn’t horrible to these children he just had no regard for them when running into them as though they were not there. He often ran up the slide why children attempted to slide down, and had no concept of waiting. What was heartbreaking for me, was watching him attempt to communicate, this would always be with the older children. He jumped on the roundabout and shouted very inappropriately “Move it, that’s my seat” The child who was sat where Little man wanted to sit was in my opinion 14-15 years old (I later discovered he was in fact 11, just very tall.) Of course the boy was far from impressed and told Little man so. With this little man started shouting and telling everyone to shut up. I was shocked as I heard him saying you can’t do anything because my cousin who is 13 will come sort you out. The girls on the roundabout started laughing and telling him to go get his cousin. (Think they just wanted him to go away) I went and saved him, making sure all the children knew he wasn’t alone.

So here is the crazy bit! After all the above, Little man spots a tyre robe swing, and dashes over to it with no regard for his safety as the swing was full of children going in all directions. He then runs around trying his hardest to stop it. Finally it did stop, and with that little man jumped on squeezing his way between two other children. He then looks up and says to the boy swinging the swing “Push me then” He must have come across stupid as this child who was stood swinging the children, was the child who Little man had argued with ten minutes previous . What shocked me more was the fact this child chose not to continue arguing and did in fact carry on swinging the children, Little man included. With this I sat relieved  for five minutes and gave my baby and daughter a little attention.

A lot can occur in just two minutes! As I turned to check on Little man, I caught one of the girls from earlier push Little man hard in his chest. I ran over, baby under my arm to find Little man now screaming abuse and going absolutely berserk. “Your lucky you are a girl” followed by “My dad said I shouldn’t hit girls, but I really wanna hit you” was a sample of his language minus the swearing. Turns out the group of girls had got of the roundabout and fancied a go on the swing. They told the older boy that he should give it up as his had it ages. Little man got involved and the girls taunted him about his previous threat concerning his cousin. Little man then went on to make, what he considers to be a fair and valid point to one of the girls, “I don’t think it’s a good idea, you having ago on this swing, as your far to big and somewhat overweight” Umm not good I know! I was thankful for the older boy and his help to calm little man down. He had suggested going on the roundabout instead, and with that little man run off to select the best seat. With little man out of sight, I took my chances and explained that little man had problems with social communication, I said he was autistic. The girls did seem to look at his behaviour in a different way after that, I found them to be very grown up about the given situation, however this didn’t seem to be the case with everyone! As I turned to walk away, the eyes of every mother burned into me. I could hear the sneers and tuts. But my child was no longer a little reception age boy with no diagnosis, I was no longer a lonely mother. You see since discovering little mans Aspergers, I’ve discovered a whole new world. With the support of others and the love I hold for my son, I now hold my head high. I didn’t feel the need to explain his autism to every parent shaking their head, and those that wanted to judge me without knowing me, Well it was their problem! Non of these people mattered and still don’t. Yes, little man has normal naughty behaviour, typical of a nine year old, But he also has a communication problem. Can ignorance be cured? NO. Can autism be cure? NO. My point is as a parent to a child on the spectrum, I will always face such ignorance. I will be sneered at, laughed at, Pitied and gossiped about. Some days I have great tolerance towards these people, Other days I may not.

Next time you see a child in the park or anywhere else for that matter! Think before you judge, Who knows why the child is behaving in such a way? However I do know that the parent is likely to be facing enough stress in life, without such added pressure from strangers.

The need for running shoes

25 Jun

Ok First I have to apologise for being such a terrible blogger. It’s been weeks since I last posted and as always so much has happened I get fried brain trying to work out where to begin. So I have decided that It’s of great importance for me to report the ins and outs of our recent day out and what a complete DISASTER it was. It’s not easy having problem free days out with a child on the spectrum. Queues, noise, smells, environment are just a few of the many triggers that lurk and pose a threat on your family outing. Well, its safe to say once home and able to analyse the whole situation it was clear to see that all of these and more contributed to what can only be described as a challenging day out. No, it didn’t help that the free bike and kite festival that was put on by the local council was of no real interest to little man. Then there was the fact that he somehow thought we were going to a fun fair (don’t know where he got that idea) We spent the best part of the afternoon hearing ‘Is this bloody it’  and ‘where is the fair then’ No I’m not kidding it really was this bad and worse.

This is my account of the days events I’m guessing little mans may differ. After running around like a headless chicken trying my hardest to organised myself and the three children we finally made it out the door and into a taxi and headed off for what was meant to be a fun day out. We were of to the Bike and Kite festival. This is a free event that is run by the local council and often attracts a crown. Little man isn’t to bad with Crowns it just depends on the environment and his mood. His great with fun fairs the music and lights are a favourite part of the trip. With this I took it upon myself to assume he would feel the same way about the festival. Out the taxi things started well. We met up with my good friend who had a gift each for the children little mans being a model bus. Buses being his “special interest” made this the perfect gift and little man was displaying a huge smile. This huge smile then decided to shy away and hide out for a while as it was only seen a small number of times through out the day.

Little man’s ability to have a little fun was partially non existent at the beginning of the festival. He was beginning to get himself into a mood and getting him out of it is near on impossible. Walking around a few of the stalls he got upset and angry because we were looking at hand crafted jewellery. We had only just arrived and intended to look at everything in due course. Explaining due course to a child with Aspergers doesn’t come easy. Patience! Well, who needs patience? Certainly not little man or so he thought. ‘I wanna go there’, ‘I wanna see that’. I hear you say well isn’t this all children? Yes, to some degree but this was more extreme in many ways. Example! Once we had agreed to do one thing he is already freaking out about doing the next. I admit it had been sometime since we did a day out and I was starting to remember why. We were only safe when at a place of interest and even then it could be a worry.

A break was needed and we grabbed a spot to settle in. I had prepared a feast of a picnic and we were all pretty keen to sit and eat it. SORRY DID I SAY ALL? ALL EXCEPT LITTLE MAN THAT IS. He expressed his disbelieve at the fact we had chosen to sit and eat when we needed to be up and doing things. One of my many techniques as little mans mother is to try and engage him in conversation on a topic of his interest to get him to relax. He was stressing and pointing asking why others were able to do things and he had to just sit and eat crappy food he didn’t want in the first place. My tactics of engagement were failing fast and lucky for me and everyone sat around us A bike stunt show had started in very close view from our chosen picnic spot. Oh yer the blissful sound of…. Well, music and cheering but this was better then the full on wringing I was hearing a few seconds prior. Owning a bike and being rather good on it little man enjoyed the show and flashed us a brief smile. Moments like these give you the encouragement to carry on with your day with the hope of it becoming increasingly better then it had started out. To be honest things did start to go in this direction and for a few hours with the exception of minor problems (the inability to queue for the bouncy slide without displaying his need to get on the slide NOW. The tantrum over wanting me to buy him items that were well out of my price range) things were Ok.

I started to enjoy being there. My daughter was happy playing with a kite we had brought from one of the many stalls. My six month old sat happily in his pram starring at the beautiful display of flying kites and little man had gone from raging bull to a clam child who was pleased with the bubble gun he had brought. Things got even better when he spotted an open top bus parked on the grass. Unbelievable no matter where we go a little bit of little mans “special interest” comes with too. I don’t mean to imply that this bothered me if anything it tickled me! He was overly fixated on buses. His level of interest on his subject was fascinating. I have never seen anybody have a passion for something on this scale. I guess this is the true Aspie in him.

Little man darted to the buses leaving me far behind. Lucky we were with my friend still who dashed after him and explained that he was unable to just board the bus without the given permission of the owner. Can you imagine the terror in our eyes when the owner shouted ‘SORRY THE BUS ISN’T FOR PUBLIC USE’ Oh my god was he really going to do this to me. I sound selfish I know. I should have been thinking is he really going to do this to little man? The thing is I couldn’t bear the thought of losing the blissful day that was so hard to achieve. We had got this far the prospect of tantrums (huge ones at that) was to much to bear:( I guess an angel was looking down on us, This and the fact my good friend had a quite word in the owners ear as this got little man safely onto that bus and saved us all from the terror of what may of been (well for now at least)

Little man was in his element on that bus. I sat on the grass as he explored the thing inside out. My friend followed close behind snapping pictures of my smiley boy. My little girl was still flying her kite and seemed happy to do so all night if she could. It was great to see the children both enjoying themselves. Of and to not have the constant bickering was another joyful reason to be sat with a smile.

It only seemed right to end the day on a high and as the festival was near on coming to an end we decided to make a move. The festival had taken place on a large heath (Blackheath) The heath was huge and the festival had not even taken half the space. For this reason we were surrounded by grass and the children had loads of open space to run around and get all the left over energy out of their systems before heading home. Little man began asking how we where planing on getting home. By this he was obviously referring to the type of transport we would be using. I asked him what he suggested. By doing this I expected him to say lets catch the 54 bus back home. Of course I should have known better then to just assume. ‘Let’s get the 380’ he replied. Ok the 380 is a small bus and it only goes to Lewisham which is only half the distance needed. Then there is the fact the babies pram isn’t far off from being a bus itself! Yes, it’s big and red but only has three wheels not four. I did actually say this to little man and I said it in that exact way. Sarcasm and Aspergers isn’t a good mix and I found myself having to explain why I would consider the babies pram to be a bus. After a bit of a discussion little man seemed fine with my reasons for not getting the 380 and with the promise of riding the 380 on the following weekend as a reward if he manages to behave at school with this we headed off towards the 54.

THE MOTHER OF ALL MELTDOWNS

It was right at the end of our magical day (It had turned out this way) That a storm broke. I’m not referring to those that take place in the sky as an act of god! No, I’m talking about those involving abusive taunts and aggressive, challenging behaviour that are all an act of little man. Yes, we had left the festival and I really considered us out of the danger zone in relation to meltdowns. Silly how wrong one could be. It began with little mans bubble gun running out of bubbles and him entraining himself by chasing his little sister who was still happy kiting along the heath. I heard myself a number of times requesting he stopped and a number of times (all of them) he didn’t. He then decided to take things further and give her a push and a shove for no reason at all. I told him I would take his bubble gun if he carried on chasing or hitting his sister. Of course he did and of course I had to be consistent in my threat to take the bubble gun. The problem was actually getting it from him. Luckily once again the help of super mate was required Little man run and my friend gave chase. We do know that chasing little man is something he desires and we often try not to engage in this activity. My friend rolled around on the floor play fighting with little man. He loved it and it gave me the perfect opportunity to grab that bubble gun. In the struggle to do so I accidentally stepped on his fingers. With this he stood up and scream and swore for me to give him his bubble gun. He then told the world how much of a bad mother I was as I had hurt him. Please ground open swallow me NOW. Oh god it got worse. After a number of hurtful insults (many I have heard before) he then decided sod the 54 the 308 sounded a much better idea. Super friend even had trouble catching him as he ran towards the bus stop even crossing the main busy road running through the middle of the heath. Once he was finally back he decided to walk up to his sister and give her a hard push that resulted to her falling to the floor. It was her reaction that upset me most. She stood up without a word and carried on playing as if nothing had happen. She had become used to such unacceptable behaviour. With this and his on going comments.. Get run over by a bus and die, and I’m the worse mum ever and the fattest being a few I was at breaking point. I know shouting don’t help and it sure as hell wont with a child on the spectrum but I’m only human and Its fair to say I lost it. I had been on the edge best part of the day and I had finally fell. HEAD FIRST. I told him to go away then and with this he did. S**t that’s the thing with children on the spectrum they tend to do exactly that! Go away. My friend was fast becoming a world class athlete and given the location anyone would think she was training for the marathon. Again she brought him back and he sat on the grass with his angry face on. He went on and on and on about how I can control my feet, standing on his fingers was not an accident. Tired of the situation I admitted defeat and called his father who once heard my blabbering over the phone jumped on a bus and took the 25 minute journey to health. Little man had since gave me a quick hug. I think this is because he figured that yes maybe dad is actually coming after all. He says it’s not for this reason but because he don’t really want me knocked down by a bus (I only hope he don’t) He then said sorry asking me to do the same. Yes, I was sorry I shouted but not sorry I had taken his bubble gun or called his father. With this dad arrived and took both the children back home on the bus leaving me with the baby and an exhausted best friend who I love dearly:) And owe a night on the town to.

So what did I learn? I learnt a number of things and here’s a few… Don’t call the pram a bus! Call it a pram, Don’t step on little mans fingers (learn to control my feet) Don’t shout Go away! As little man will do just that. Lastly I learnt.. Buy a good pair of running shoes and wear them during family days out.

RUN FOREST RUN.

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