Tag Archives: buses

Celebrating Mothers Day The Aspergers Way

10 Mar

Yesterday evening the little man asked me a question that was prompted by that of one of my own!

My question to him was… ‘Do you know what day it is tomorrow?’

His answer… ‘Um, yes… Its Sunday’

I then informed him that actually it was Mothering Sunday (aka Mother’s Day) to which he replied…

‘Oh, is it!’

Then came his question that actually really got me thinking for the duration of the evening!

‘Why?’ He asked!

Followed by…

‘What’s the point? Why do mothers need to have a special day? Why don’t we celebrate our son’s by having a. Son Day?’

‘Because mothers do lots for their children and its a day for their children to appreciate this’ I reminded him! To which his response was…

‘But you tell me I must appreciate you always’

Yes… I Give him that, he has a point!

Then he went on to ask…

‘Mum, honestly… Do you not see that its just a way for everyone to make money!’

You see, that’s the joys of having a child on the spectrum! Such logical little thinkers who don’t really dress anything up to make it sound pretty.

I was then informed that unless his dad had brought me a card then maybe I shouldn’t expect to much as I know how much he struggles with drawing and colouring.

He means no offence… honestly.His just saying it how it is! Actually I wouldn’t expect anything less!

Does it upset me that he fails to notice that his sister is busy in the next room preparing a work of art with glue and tissue paper? Does it make me sad that his all zoned out chatting to his online friends about the world of Mindcraft rather than showering his mother in Mother’s Day kisses? No! OK, may it used to a little, but it doesn’t anymore! Why? Because without sounding corny he is a gift in himself, all my children are.

Little man has been off school a couple of days this week with the flu and I normally find that school is the place that gives him those gentle little reminders when such occasions as these arise.

I remember when he was in primary school and every year when they made cards to mark the celebration of Mother’s Day, little man’s cards would always feature trains or buses, normally with a stick man and an arrow with the words ‘Me.. Driving the bus’ spilled out above it. I remember standing talking to a mother as we waited for our children to be released at the end of the school day. Her child came rushing out and almost forced a card into her hand. I can clearly remember the design, one that displayed an almost 3D image of pretty Daffodils. The centres of each flower made with sections of a painted egg cartons, petals made of yellow tissue paper and pipe cleaners proudly displayed as storks. Little man didn’t run out and hand me a card he was to much in a rush to get home to his sanctuary (aka bedroom). By now myself, this mother and our children were now walking side by side out of the school gates when she suddenly asked.. ‘Where is your card’ I was half convinced I didn’t have one but before I could say anything, little man had rooted around in his book bag and had now presented me with one! I smiled… that proud mummy smile as I looked a my card that of course displayed a somewhat different image from that of the other mothers card! Yes… A little stick man, only this time, that little stick man was driving a train as opposed to a bus.

“Does mummy drive trains” the mother asked my little man in her cheeky giggly tone.

Now I can’t quite remember his response, we are talking back when he was around 7 years old and still in the infants section of primary school. What I do remember was that his response was one of the “No Nonsense Type” as he rightfully pointed out that my hair was much longer than that of the hair on his stick man and the important factor that mum wouldn’t know if she liked driving trains as she has never driven one! Mum can’t even drive a car!

The mother smiled before she went on to wrongfully state that “Mothers” prefer flowers for Mother’s Day!

I was quick to correct her mistake when announcing that actually this “Mother” prefers trains!

You see little man wasn’t really one to pick up a pencil and start to draw unless prompted to do so. He struggled with his fine motor skills and even though he was yet to receive an official diagnosis of Aspergers, I’d always known that their was something stopping him from expressing himself on paper. So, the fact that he’d actually made this card for me and drawn it by himself was actually better than that of a hundred Daffodils made from egg cartons and tissue paper.

Every year up in till year 4 of his primary school years, he made me this card (always almost the same). Sadly once in year 4 things really started changing. It was this year major concerns began to arise. It was the year of illegal exclusions, disability discrimination and constant battles with both the school and LEA. My little man just stopped picking up a pencil/pen whatsoever. He wrote less then a sentence in a whole school year and carried on this way in till I removed him in year 5. It was only once he started with a one 2 one tutor instead of attending school (at this point no school were willing to take him) that slowly he began writing and drawing again.

I guess that my point is that each one of my three beautiful children all make me proud to be a mother. For us there is no traditional way to celebrate a Mothering Sunday… In our house we tend to do things the Aspergers way like we do almost any other day!

Happy Mothers Day. Xxx

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Look What I Found!

12 Feb

Little man has always had a very keen interest in transport from around the age of two. His now 12 and is still studying the ins and outs of trains and buses, though he also now loves WWE wrestling just as much!

Sorting through some papers yesterday I came across a card little man had made me when he first started school (mainstream year 1). He was around 5 or 6 years old at the most! Here it is below…

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He doesn’t really like to engage in art as he struggles with his fine motor skills so does almost everything on a computer. That’s why the above card is even more special to me. He has even coloured his picture, something he now refuses to do in fear of not being able to keep the colours within the lines of his drawing.

And look whats inside this cute train card….

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A lovely message to mummy (that’s me) though I think looking at the handwriting, it wasn’t little man who wrote it! Plus there is a very cute picture of the little man himself in the school playground.

Here’s a close up…

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I love unearthing these little hidden treasures. Children provide us with the most wonderful memories. This ones definitely going in the scrapbook!

When Special Interest become obsessive in children with Aspergers Syndrome

28 Feb

Special interests are great but sometimes pose a problem!

Its fantastic when your child diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome has a special interest, one he/she can focus positive attention, gain enjoyment from and importantly, learn from. 

Little man, has always had a special interest in transport and although this often skips between trains, buses and the London underground, it always remains within this area. 

Little man also enjoys Lego since discovering how much fun it can be, this has become an additional interest of his. Though it should be noted that he does incorporate his special interest of the above, within his Lego play. He spends lots of time creating new models of transport, whether it’s a bus or a train, he could be there for hours. 

This however isn’t a problem, though his special interest in transport did reach the point of extremely excessive a year or so ago when he was back in mainstream school.

 I found Little man was constantly mimicking the transport announcements that he had studied and memorised to a perfection! He was also intensely interested in the mechanisms of transport, especially that of the bus doors. He would use his hands to act out the opening and closing motion and spent hours beeping, so much so that I could hear it in my sleep! No matter where we were, if little man saw sliding windows or doors, he would head straight for them, sliding them open and closed as to recreate the same motion of the doors on the bus. I remember visiting his doctor at CAMHS for an emergency appointment which had been organised because of the trouble he was having in school, his low self-esteem, the anger it was creating, along with a whole host of other issues which resulted from such difficulties. He spent the whole appointment sliding the windows of her office open, before bashing them back together in a loud distracting manner. His doctor could hear the beeping sounds he was making as-well as the monotone voice he put on as he mimicked the announcements normally heard when on a bus! Right there and then she drew the conclusion that his special interest had become somewhat extreme, and if such behaviour was getting in the way of life, it was time to limit it. 

This may seem, to some, an extreme thing to do! Why stop him from doing something that clearly makes him happy (after all, he was having the most horrid time in school). The thing with Aspergers Syndrome and special interest, is that these interest can actually restrict interest and focus in all other areas in life. Basically, his interest in transport had reached a point where he could no longer focus his attention on anything else! It was clear to see that this had become much worse since things had could hugely down hill at school, that lead his doctor to believe that as-well as engaging in his obsessions because he enjoyed them, he had also started using them as a coping mechanism. Not only this, we also established that the opening and closing of doors and windows, or just the hand mimicking actions he was displaying literally all of the time was also providing him with some degree of sensory stimulation, he was sensory seeking! 

 I found that during the course of that year, we spent more time riding on buses than I likely had in my 20 odd years off living! To some degree this had its  advantages, not only did the bus drivers know us by name, often allowing us to indulge his love for free (I’m guessing they guessed this activity was costing me a small fortune, plus it wasn’t hard to work out, that Little man, wasn’t your “Typical child”) but I also found this to be a good reward system, no good behaviour, no riding the buses! Of course when this happened, a meltdown on a huge scale would follow,and although I admittedly caved on a few occasions, I largely remained consistent, which is obviously that best way to be

 Little man did some amazing talented things during the course of that year, he could basically tell you where any bus was heading in London, doing so with such acuity. Although he had always been pretty good at this, it was now on a whole new level! My son was able to tell us what bus was destining for where, despite never having been on some of these bus before!

 It was incredibly hard to take the doctor’s advice and over time, limit the time he spent on this interest. This itself took strength a whole bucket load of the stuff. I used to find him wandering around the house at 4 am beeping away, worse he would be unravelling the toilet tissue around the house as to create a route for his imaginary buses to follow. I could lead him back to bed, but I couldn’t always keep him there, I couldn’t switch his mind off his interest, he’ll just lay there in the dead of night, recalling hundreds of buses and destinations from memory.

 It was only after he started his new special school for children with autism and aspergers and his discovery of the Lego brick, that I finally saw a dramatic decrease in these behaviours! OK, despite Melatonin of a night, his still up till the early hours, and of course he still beeps and has a run through of bus numbers, but it’s nowhere near on the same level it once was.

 The Lego gave him a distraction and another form of sensory play, while his growing confidence in himself as a result of his new-found happiness at school, are the reasons behind this reduction. 

 Little man’s interest in transport will likely always be his special interest, and probably that bit more obsessive than most people’s interest. However, now it is manageable and I couldn’t be happier with this!

  I even got asked by the bus driver last week, if all was OK because he hadn’t seen us for a while… Result! 

 

The things they say

16 Oct

I’ve talked about Little man’s Literal understand and way of thinking a number of times here on the blog. This way of thinking means Little man tends to come out with some classic lines.

When a teacher told Little man to be co-operative, he stated…“What like the Co-operative food shop?”

“To many this is better known as the Coop”

Yes quite cute, still… if he had been in mainstream, that would have been recorded as sarcasm, documented and even worse, it would have lead to a nasty sanction.

Many of the misunderstanding that occurred during little mans days in his old mainstream primary school were caused by a lack of understanding.

Over and over again I would express the importance of “Not using metaphors when engaging in conversation with my child” yet those that did, continued to do so!

It was only yesterday I came across a report by the ASD outreach team that clearly stated that teachers needed to reframe from the use of ambiguous language when talking to my child.

What really tics me off is when somebody raises their eyebrows, turns to me and states…

“Well, I’m sure he understands what I meant”

A statement I’ve heard far to often!

“No, he bloody well doesn’t! What do you think I’m stating this stuff for, the fun of it? Where I’m standing, its far from fun!”

Recently I had a conversation with a stranger (Gosh, look at me talking to strangers) actually this was an elderly woman sat next to me on the bus who seemed quite pleasant. Well, that was in-till she stated her grandson had been diagnosed as having the

“naughty boy condition!”

Hang on a minute…

“The what… ? Sorry, You’ve lost me!”

She continues and finally goes on to say

“Autism! What a load of old cobblers”

Seriously, at first I remember thinking, ‘What an oldie thing to say” (Yes I know, now who’s being stereotype).

Then I thought, “Wow, another day, another person tanked up with ignorance.”

You see I’ve faced this type of ignorance a number of times and looking at her I knew what was coming next! “It wasn’t around in my day”

I was bang on as this did shortly follow.

“Oh, my own child has the naughty boy disorder”

Needless to say her face glowed an awesome shade of red and we didn’t talk for the remaining ten minute journey time.

I wasn’t angry, I’m past all that! I just pitted her way of thinking!

How can you blame this society for thinking the they do when our national newspapers label disorders such as ADHD and others like it,

‘The naughty child disorder’ that entitles parents and carers to drive around in new cars that are paid for by the DLA.

Do they not release that in order to get a car your child’s condition is likely to be tied to other conditions that affect the child’s mobility! No, I guess not! After all the national newspaper in question only bothered to go by the one statistic, which was the number of claims that relate in some way to ADHD. My guess is these children didn’t all just have a diagnosis of ADHD like many will know it’s a condition that is closely related to autism and many children carry a diagnosis of both.

I’ve seen parents with a child who really could use that car, lets not forget, most of the cost are met by funding it through the money they would usually be given in the form of payments. This money is given to meet the child’s mobility needs, not care, this is a different thing altogether!

Yes, of course there are some driving their pimped out bimmers when yes, the car could go to a much needy family (your always gonna get them people) yet, isn’t this the same as every other benefit? The system is a mess, not just one section of it! All of it!

I wasn’t angry about the article, I don’t let myself get that way anymore, I again pity those that wrote it and pray their child is never born different in anyway (I must state, “NO I DON’T HAVE A CAR PAID BY THE STATE, THAT OF THE TAX PAYERS MONEY, I DON’T HAVE A CAR WHAT SO EVER!” You may have already worked this out what with the above description of my recent bus travels with the elderly, but I just wanted to make that clear!

I believe a great deal of the issues our children face are due to that of others misconceptions. This could be anything from the way they talk, understand or behave in public.

Another bus incident (isn’t surprising given buses are little man’s main focus within his special interest in transport). We got on his favourite bus (the one with the one very high seat with a pane of glass right in front of it). The seat is basically right up their by the driver and little man like’s nothing more than to sit in it, in-order to play the role. Only this one time somebody was actually sat in “his seat” He stood there staring just waiting for the woman (middle aged) to move and let him sit down. When she didn’t he claimed quite polity too,

“Excuse me your in my seat”

she went from a look of disbelief to a giggle when stating

“Listen sunshine, has it got your name on it?”

Now their was a double whammy right there! ‘Sunshine’ & “… has it got your name on it?” was bound to confuss

“My name isn’t Sunshine”

he claimed while giving the chair a once over to see if it had his “Name on it” Of course I was trying to get him to come and sit somewhere else without any bloody luck what so ever!

He actually went as far as asking her to stand up so he could check the cushion for his name.

“Is this kid for real?”

was something she asked aloud!

before mumbling under her breath something that sound like,

“sarcastic little…”

Again she displayed that adorable shade of red all over her face when I annouched that.

“His for real all right! and so is his autism”

We don’t tend to use the word “Aspergers” some don’t seem to have the foggiest idea what I’m banging on about when I do!

So, there you have it! My little dude can say the funniest of things but these can also have a flip side, one that unfortunately leads to the same old thing…

“IGNORANCE”

Things the whole family can do this half term

14 Oct
Summary: London Transport Museum Author:SolGru...

Image via Wikipedia

Things to do this half term to interest all the family including the child with Aspergers.

 It’s hard when half-term comes around and your left to entertain three children one on the autism spectrum who isn’t easily pleased.

 I give it my all when taking all three of the children out together. I find that most of my problems come from Little man and his sister, Its like embanking on a world war two mission. 

 However, regardless of how many times I’ve heard myself state, “Never Again”

There’s always a next time.

 When taking three children out anywhere, great organisation is required! When one of them children are one the autism spectrum, this level of preparation goes to a whole new level.

 I admit, I’m the kind of girl who likes to do things on a whim, but since becoming little man’s mother this is damn right impossible!

 Here I have put together a list displaying a number of places we have visited.

 LEGOLAND

 Little man loves Lego (he builds buses out the stuff) he therefore loves visiting a land full of it. Alice my daughter is also very keen and always enjoys a day visiting the attraction.

Legoland is part of the Merlin’s entertainment chain. If your child is on the spectrum or has any other form of disability or is in some way considered to be disadvantaged, you can apply to ‘Merlin’s magical wand’ who provide family days out to one of their attractions (some being Legoland, Chessington and Thorpe Park).  Tickets are for all the family (only one application can be made per year) Merlin’s can also help families cover travel cost (including mileage) and occasional provide funds towards over night accommodation in special circumstances.

 If you can prove your child is notable to sustained long queues, they will receive a wrist band entitling them to enter via the exist point of each ride (note the new system does mean that on certain rides a certain time between rides needs to have passed before accessing). Photo id and proof of disability is needed to gain the wrist band. 

 We will in deed be returning to Lego land this half-term! Staff are friendly and most seem to have some idea when it comes to hidden disabilities (which is always a positive in my book)! 

London Transport Museum

(Covent Garden)

 A firm favourite with the little guy not so much with the siblings (the excitement wears of on the second or third visit)! However daughter is happy to take the tour, again…….. Given we hit the Covent garden market place following the museum with the opportunity to indulge in an ice cream (even in October)!

 Yes, we have been to the above thousands of times ( exaggeration, though it tends feel this way) but with kids entering free and adults paying £10 (you can normally find many offers at your local train station or online) it’s not expensive. However stay clear of the dinning area (Money, money, money… If you want money left, you will grab a Mac ds on your way home! Please take my word for it)! 

The transport Museum is very autism friendly so there is no worries on that front. 

Crystal Place Park. 

 Just up the road from where we live, Crystal place park host the ruins of the old palace. 

There is a large boating lake and lots of sculptures of  dinosaurs dotted all over the place, (lots of children on the spectrum love this feature) and a giant maze which little man is terrified off. There is also a big swing park with some pretty funky play equipment, a mini petting zoo (not open all year round) plus the famous Crystal palace sports ground

 The park has no entrance cost (small cost for the zoo + boating lake) Little man seems to love it as well as my other two children, (Alice and Little Harley). There is lots of space to just ran about in, which is a great way to get little man tired ( following a trip to the park seems to be the only time he sleeps of a night)

Greenwich Park

 We used to live in Blackheath which host one of the many access points to the park. Currently there are some works commencing as part of the Olympics 2012 but there’s still plenty to do. 

Sometimes during half-terms and summer holidays there is a train that can take you to one end of the park to the other (note it’s a big park) Little man is train bonkers and this is his best part of the day. There are also a number of deer kept in the park and squirrels will take nuts gently from your fingers if you offer. The park has a huge lake where peddle boats are rented out cheaply plus a large play area that doesn’t seem to get to busy since the works started out (which is better for us given little man’s social skill difficulties). There is also a massive sand pit great for sensory play (not to great if your child can’t stand the stuff due to the fact he is tactile defensive… Yep that’s little man, though this only applies to him sitting or standing in the pit).

 The park also offers a great view-point of London and appeared in the film ‘Layer Cake’

The park is famous for its time keeping (yep, it’s of course the home to Greenwich Meantime) and just outside the gates you are greeted with the lovely Greenwich Market! Little man loves this place as there is a stall which sells a massive selection of vintage model buses and vricals.

The park is free but some of it’s attractions (train and boating may require a small fee depending on the time of year). 

The Science Museum

London

 Free entry and granteed to provide a great day out. Lots of things to discover with many interactive displays for the kids to engage in. Both Little man and Alice love the Science Museum though little Harley is still a tad young to experience the full benefits of such a place. 

One of little mans favorite features is the simulators. Yes, I’ve got to admit, they are mine too. 

Please note these normally require a payable fee to ride.   

 You will also find a pretty awesome gift shop which isn’t overly high in it’s pricing. Little man brought a lava lamp on his last visit (with his tutor).

NEW CHELSEA F.C. MUSEUM 

 We haven’t visited the museum as yet which is located on site behind the legendary football stadium at Stamford Bridge. It’s reported to be a massive 670sqm and offers state of the art technology to create a totally awesome experience. Visitors can experience a mix of audio displays through to interactive tours with 16 different zone all together there is something for all football fans. Little man doesn’t play footie but his grown up with a family full of  Chelsea supporters (count me out, I only support Frank lampard *giggle*) It’s my side of the family that are Chelsea nuts and it’s my father (Little man’s grandfather) who will be taking little man this half term. My brother and nephew will also join them much to their delight. This one isn’t for me and Alice and we will do something else on that day. Not sure the youngest will get anything out of it given his only 22 months old so guess he will join his mummy and big sister on a shopping trip (that’s my kind of day out)

 We will let you know what little man thinks on his return from the Chelsea Museum. 

Check out the cool video below to give you an insight into what It’s all about.

Just one wish

21 Apr

hello readers

So, there’s a few days left of the Easter half-term and as it draws to an end so does my ability to stay calm cool and collective.

I always long for the half-term due to the whole mess that is, ‘Little Man’s Education’, however with him no longer in the mainstream setting that caused him so much confusion and instead receiving an education through a tuition plan applied by a tutor on a one-2-one basis at the local library his been longing to go back. The lack of routine this Easter is driving him loopy. Yes, I try my best to make things predictable but life isn’t always agreeable. What with a string of assessments in preparation for our upcoming tribunal and the fact I’ve been so unwell, resulting in my shorten temper, things have just turned crazy.

His spent much of his time indulging in his ‘Special interest’ by getting stuck into and memorising a stack of bus routes, but come the second week his perched on the edge like some ticking time bomb.

Off course the bomb went bang and so did my head. His been a complete nightmare the entire week!

Will he comply with any request… Hell no! He seems to think the world is plotting against him, yet I’m starting to think it’s me it’s plotting against! His arguing with his sister day and night (yes, kids argue but come to my house and tell me this is normal)! His also disturbingly loud (ask the neighbours) and has trashed the house more then once!

Meltdowns… I know all about meltdowns… Do you? We are not talking tantrums here, are you crazy! This is some hardcore S***, “Excuse me”, but this is something that I his mother will refer to as ‘Torture!’

Unless you’ve been there, lived it and breathed it, you can never begin to understand just what it is I’m rambling on about! It’s not like the ‘terrible twos’ nor is it the ‘boys just being boys’ scenario ! No, it’s the, ‘AUTISM SPECTRUM SCENARIO!’ If I ever need reassurance that such blow-ups are a direct result of his AS then I just look at his eight year old sister and it’s confirmed in a blink!

I can’t fully explain what its like for him! His low tolerance for certain everyday situations that trigger stress, his inability to control his emotions in a more socially acceptable manner! The reason I can’t explain is simple,”I’m not in side his head, I’m on the outside peeking in, just wishing I could fully understand!”

As his mother it’s my wish that I could fully understand what his thinking, what makes him tick! Give me a wish and that’s what I’d wish for, “TO BE INSIDE HIS HEAD”, It’s hard not to become frustrated for I have tried to learn so much about his condition, but not even a masters in autism will ever get me close enough! I’m a parent to a child with Aspergers, I’m not a mother with Aspergers!

Nevertheless there is something I can share with you… What a meltdown is like for me, a parent of a child with Aspergers! I have plenty of experience as I’m sure many of you have! Meltdowns are one of the hardest things I have to deal with in terms of little mans difficulties and although my son has a huge amount of great qualities that make up his personality , I wont pretend like its all Little professors and I don’t believe in the sugar coating approach… Sometimes things are just dam right bloody hard!

The ‘Daddy’ of meltdowns (not like there’s a type) normally drives me to the point of insanity, it causes me to question my own parenting skills and ability to cope with the situation at hand. I’ve quite literally stood on the spot and let out a high pitched scream, fallen to my knees & begged god for a break regardless of my current company, I’ve cried and asked god, “why me?” I’ve even had a full blown panic attack (YES IN THE SUPERMARKET)

Little over the top you think? No, in-fact this description actually does the ‘DADDY MELTDOWN’ no justice. There are no boundaries, no limits in which he knows he shouldn’t push… his impulsiveness that causes a worry inside me that I cannot explain.

Have you ever took you child out and feared them having some kind public tantrum? I have! I do!

But at least now I have learnt to cope… “TO some degree”, at least! I suppose its like anything, it all depends on ones frame of mind at the time! Sometimes I’m super confident and use a number of self-coping skills why trying an array of learnt techniques to discover the underlying issues surrounding his challenging behaviour! Sometimes these ‘ISSUES’ are clear, other times its mind-boggling!

Then there are the times I feel like grabbing my coat and legging it! Running like Forrest Gump in the direction off the unknown, but anything is better then here (Well of course I don’t leg it! But yes the thought does cross my mind)

A meltdown in our house can least an hour, an afternoon, the entire day and night, and sometimes…. A good few days!

Of course we will normally be over the screaming and the smashing things up by this point (Oh yes he loves to beat the hell out of the doors or the staircase) If the meltdown is one lasting over a day, his normally more tearful on day two, he wont let go and feels so wronged. This can be hard as he likes to go on and on about it, ear bashing me all day! He will sit sobbing, telling me I’m the worse mother in the world and how could I be so selfish when I didn’t agree to him having something or another. To some point its like talking to a person who has consumed to much alcohol simply because there’s no reasoning with him!

Of course it’s much better for him to have a meltdown in the safety of the home! Yes, I like it behind close doors too! Who don’t!!! But unless we are happy to confine ourselves to a life of isolation, then we have to deal with it! I was looking through some pictures on my iphone taken during the summer of last year. With every trip (Well, almost) is a picture of little man at the start of a meltdown.

If your out and about and you see a child with an expression like that on his face, “BEWARE HE MAY BLOW!” In all seriousness, seeing a child having a meltdown isn’t something to stick your nose up at, Nor is it your job to judge the child or the parent in that situation! After all… You never know the underlying causes, all you do is contribute to a very stressful situation.

Basically if don’t fancy mum giving you the finger in the supermarket, then keep your eyes on you’re trolly and your nose in your own business!

Little man writes poetry

23 Feb

I’ve been meaning to share this for a little over a week now.

Poetry seems to be a talent for many on the spectrum. I read an article recently about a girl on the spectrum who completely spoke in rhyme even if nothing was said for hours when she did speak it would always be in line so that it rhymed with the last syllable of whatever it was she had said two hours previously.

Little man sometimes answers a questions etc in a rhyming manner, however this isn’t all the time and he certainly doesn’t remember the last word he said a few hours earlier… though his a firm believer that a poem sounds better when it rhymes with the last syllable.

As most will know from a few of my past posts. Little man has become a fan of Bruno Mars. After I brought him the album some few weeks back, it’s been played daily to a extremity! Day one he had memorized every single lyric for every single song (much to my delight) pretty amazing, but also a little annoying.

He started doing this really irritating thing that was driving me round the bend. Everytime I spoke to him he would turn, look at me, open his mouth and out would fall song lyrics, completely unrelated to the topic at hand! He didn’t sing… more like spoke the lyrics before turning and walking away. With a sigh of relief I can safely say that this phase has come to a magical end. Sadly the obsession remains and is now on a equal par with transport.

Little man has always loved to create poetry. I remember a world cup poem he created last year, it was full on awesome and definitely a one of a kind!

On Valentines day on collection of my daughter from school she handed me one of her beautiful handmade cards (she is quite the little artist) The words she wrote were full of emotion and I admit I shed a tear or two (real emotional mummy is me)

Little man made a few of these cards when he was in the early years at school and although they mainly consisted of drawings of trains, buses & maps with no words inside (unless the teacher had noticed and therefore helped him write something) Regardless I always found them beautiful. The last few years, mothers day, birthdays, valentines etc Alice makes the cards Little man signs them. I’ve been reading a lot that many children/adults on the spectrum are great artist, I myself have created the autism art page on this very blog! However Little man has never really been a keen drawer unless it’s transport, maps or another new invention. He hates to use colour and I’ve learnt that this is purely to do with his frustration with his own fine motor skills… he has problems keeping the colour within the lines and has difficulty maintaining his concentration so he just won’t bother trying anymore. Although his sister, like myself love to draw and create pieces of art I’ve come to learn that my little man is an artist in his own right. He loves to write pieces of art (well dictate or type seems more fitting, as writing pen to paper is his pet hate) His poetry is great… very deep and meaningful, I think it’s his way of expressing his emotions at times. Then there are those that are full of humour… Whatever the kind there always pretty amazing.

So once home from the school he went off to his room where he closed the door behind him and vanished for the next half hour.

Sat on my bed half asleep but conscious enough to know little man was now stood directly infront of me.
One eye open (the night before wasn’t easy) I asked him what he wanted to which he made an annoucement.

“Attention please, Attention”

he then went on to say at volume…

“Today is valentines day, and all I know is its all about love and that stuff” he pursed to pull a funny face as to say love and stuff was yuck. “Its also my Nan’s birthday on Valentines day”

He was correct but I still sat wondering where the hell this speech was going!

“So, as I’m to tired after a long days learning at the library. I’ve decided not to make my mum a Valentines card, But I’ve made a poem for you mum instead. It’s all about Love & stuff” Again he did that face to resemble a person that was feeling sick. (the facial expression programme was certainly paying off)

I sat up and took note, smiling I nodded and said, “go on then do your thing”

“Its not a thing woman” he said in a offended manner! (yep sounded like his father a little more everyday)

“it’s a poem!”

“Calm down, I didn’t mean it in a rude way, it’s just something u say” I explained before adding…

“Oh, and a little less of the woman! It’s mum to you”

He laughed, cleared his throat and held up the paper in his hand at eye level then began to read aloud…

For the best, a poem that you will never want to miss.

He was a man that you miss and want to kiss
Your her blood and flesh
and nothing will go to mess
unless a heart will be broken
a tick of a token
You will be gone
and regret the bet you set.

Hands together I clapped and went in for a kiss which he reluctantly excepted with a screwed up face, only to then wipe it from his cheek with his sleeve saying, “yuck mum, that was a wet one”

“Nevermind that, your poem was exceptional” I proudly annouced.

to which he repiled.

“I’m good at this” (so modest like his mum)

As he turned around to leave the room I asked him where he was going now!

” I like the word exceptional mum so I’m going to put it in my book of best words. It’s not as good as the word loath, that’s still the best word”

He then came back with his book and asked me to write the word and it’s meaning. Of course I complied.

I get the feeling that everythings going to be alright from now on. With the exception of the odd bump in the road, i’m sure things are on the up. I’m so proud of all three of my children, each one with their own special character and amazing ways.

Looks like little man will be writing poetry besides patroling London transport as a member of the transport police when his older. Time can only tell.

Our very own “school” trip

5 Nov

So this week myself and little man had our very own school trip.
Ever since all this horrible business of little man missing out on school trips started his confidence has been at an all time low.

“Ok it may not be a “real” school trip but it’s our school trip” and I had to do something to help repair his dramatically disappearing confidence, to make him feel better about himself & more confident in who he is! I’m not saying little man isn’t sometimes a bit of a handful when out & about, his no “angel” but then again what ten-year old boy is? He does have difficult times & always will when his out on school/family outings but a great deal of his difficulties are caused by anxiety, over excitement and more recently… Pure apprehension of what’s a head. It’s like he won’t allow himself to look forward to anything as his learnt how quick it can be taken away. On a recent trip to swimming (sadly only his second time attending since the new school year) he suggested we didn’t walk with the class as a way to avoid something going wrong resulting in him missing out! How crazy is that? Sadly things didn’t go well at swimming but that’s another post for another day,and one that’s to long and upsetting to report on just now.
So the point I’m trying to make is… All the above is directly connected with his Aspergers and let’s face it he was born that way he didn’t ask to have the condition so therefore he shouldn’t be treated as if he has himself to blamed every time something goes wrong. If little man is just being a ten-year old boy then I will be the first to put my hand up in agreement and have done when needed.

Well, to be honest I was quite excited about taking little man on a trip! it was only possible due to the fact his currently on half day schooling. So as this was the perfect opportunity we went for it.

So… wondering where it was we went? “No…. for once it wasn’t buses riding on the 450!” though that’s not far off! We actually visited London’s Covent Garden where you can find the all exciting Transport Museum. Not only was this ideal given that it was full to the rim with little mans interest, *buses* followed by tubes, trams & trains, but it was also very educational. The Museum does have learning facilities within the building and after a little conversation with a helpful member of staff on the Ins & outs of little mans situation he was shown into the learning lounge where he could use the IT software or read one of the many transport reference books. What made it even more great was the fact he did these things a long side children on a more “formal” school trip. He didn’t try to interact with these children but he didn’t abuse any off them either. I was grateful to that member of staff, he didn’t judge him and regardless of my shared information on the good and the sometimes challenging behaviour associated with his condition, he responded by stating “Everyone deserves a chance, and just because his not responded well before, who’s to say he won’t this time?” I stood thinking “Wow, people like you are like gold dust”

Well, Lucky for me my friend had come along on our “school trip” I was in need of some adult non bus based conversation and while little man did his stuff on the PC me and my friend grabbed a ten minute break (that turned out to be our only break of the day) Still I’m not complaining we did have a fantastic day, especially little man and that’s what we were there for, to give him something to enjoy! Of course there were times when little man was a little over excited, hyper or even frustrated (mainly because he wanted to be on the next item of transport before he had even left the one he was currently sat on) but through a collection of strategies we were able to successfully keep him on the right track. We did encounter a small episode towards the end off the day when leaving the Museum at closing time (yes we were there that long) but it could have been a whole lot worse. It was essential to spot any potential triggers and remove them or him before they had any undesirable effects. undoubtedly there is no need to explain why this is to any parent(s) of children on the spectrum, because they are likely to be the ones that “really” get it! But for those who don’t or just think they do….. Let’s just say.. if I hadn’t approached issues in this way the outcome would have been explosive!!!


I’m so…. pleased with the way our creation of a school trip planed out. After some essential planing that took place in the weeks leading up to the trip, these included little mans ideas and views on all aspects of the trip, a social story, countdown tick chat (visual aids), and journey planing (Little mans job, of course!) things went remarkable well.

And the fun didn’t end there! After the Transport Museum we went for dinner, followed by a short walk around the city, a fun-filled visit to Trocadero where we experienced the realisation of the 4D simulator and drove the bump a cars till I felt sick, finally hitting Starbucks for an espresso followed by a large skinny latte with cinnamon sprinkled on the froth  yummy.

After waving my friend off at Charing Cross station. Myself and the little dude boarded our train. We found a spot that just had the two seats (little man hates having to sit with all these “strange commuters” his words not mind!) and as I suddenly realised I was beat and was potentially asleep I felt his arms interlock around me, very tightly. Then came the kiss that he gentle placed on my forehead. “Thanks mum, I love you” came a voice… Wow getting kisses is like getting a night on the town (rare) “I Love you”, well they normally pop along when his done something wrong or wants something. This wasn’t the case today! And it felt so great that it wasn’t. Me and my little man were happy… really…really happy, and that my friends is priceless!

 

 

 

Birthday wishes

12 Oct

To say this is a belated birthday post is understatement!

My little man, as of the first of October 2010 was one year older. Yes, his now into the double figures, where have the years gone?. This can only mean one thing! “I’m getting “Old” Of course we all get older, I just never saw it coming quite so fast. I have been visited by the wrinkle fairy already, and didn’t that come & slap me in the face lately! Late nights really don’t do me any favours.

Ok I’m not “Old” as such (Though I often feel it) and I’m guessing women older than me are going to be thinking, “Shut up, try being my age” once I say I’m 28! But really, how fast the years have passed, how life has changed, and how at times I still find myself dumbfound that the little blonde girl with bunches in her hair and little freckles across her nose, attended the very same primary school that two of her children do now, some seventeen years later! I never guessed my life would be the way it is today. It’s not a bad life and god I’m not complaining because I wouldn’t change a thing (Well maybe a few dodgy hair cuts & some pretty funky get up) I love what I have and I’m so lucky to have three beautiful children that though may keep me on my toes! But I’m still crazy in love with em.

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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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