Tag Archives: communication

I’m a mum get me out of here!

1 Aug

 So… a whole week has passed since the children broke up from school! There’s been sleep-overs, trips to the park, sunny days in the garden, days out, lots of play & craft making, cup cake baking, water fights and lastly, “Arguing” Yes, you heard me right, “Arguing” Big fat smelly arguments! Little man and his sister have driven me loopy with their constant, “Mum… tell him to get OUT my room” & “Mum… Tell he to stop looking at me!” Honestly I’m on the verge of a school holiday breakdown here people!

 Little man has spent more time at home these past few years then he likely has in school (thank goodness that’s all changed now that his in a school that can cater for his needs)! But to have the two of them home together is nothing other than extremely hard work! This is simply down to the constant bickering and lately physical fighting between the two of them. We went through a stage before where Little Man constantly hit his little sister which resulted in me seeking professional advice. It was a stressful time, what with the worry that my daughter was somehow getting used to such treatment from here brother, associating it with the “Norm” she just kind of excepted that this was the way things were! Of course I wasn’t happy with this, I wanted him to understand that it’s not OK to hit your little sister every time she makes you angry, nor did I want her to think It was OK for him or anybody else for that matter, to hit her! In the end I was left with no choice put to get out mummy’s big guns and call in an expert! No…. Not super-nanny, but a very nice lady who worked for the ‘Autism Outreach’ for our area, came to speak with Alice while kindly sharing some much needed ideas with myself on reducing the little guys violent outbursts. This wasn’t yesterday, but a good year and a half ago, so were talking some time here, meaning a lot has happened since. Alice has changed a lot in them eighteen months or so. She’s grown up a great deal (I’m not just referring to her mental state here, she’s actually grown quite a bit taller too). however this means that she’s more inclined to do the “Hit big brother & run for my life act” I’m not suggesting he hasn’t maybe hit her first, (which is very often the case) but… this only results in complete and utter madness descending throughout this already chaotic, crazy place we like to call home! I end up having to set chase after little man as he angrily throws himself up the stairs in this high speed chase in an angry desperate attempt to gain that all important last hit. You can bet your life on it she’s shouting a mouthful of insults and abuse at her angry sibling throughout her sprint to her room! Once at her destination, she will slam the door shut and then suddenly out of nowhere she very quickly acquires super human powers that mainly consist of strength! She uses such powers to push her chest of draws and whatever else is in arms length, in-front of  her door. It’s her one attempt to keep out a very angry Little man, who by now has gained his own super human powers, displayed in the way of fly kicks that are aimed at her poor bedroom door!

 I know Many can relate, parents all over the world get this everyday! Yet it’s that little bit more frustrating when one of your children is on the autism spectrum because it makes things that little bit more “dramatic”. Little man can carry on & on for hours. He has been known not to get them little clues us mothers give off while pulling that face, “You know the one! The angry mummy face that indicates, I’ve really had a bloody enough now!” You shake your head in an over exaggerated way while stating aloud, “Carry on kids, #*%*#* carry on!” When your child is on the spectrum they see that red face & head-shaking motion and it means nothing to them at all! If they hear the words, “Carry on kids, carry on!” their up them stairs quicker then you can blink! When asked what they think they are doing? Your given an answer that sounds like sarcasm, “Umm, I’m running back up stairs to hit my sister!” You re-phase asking, “Why are you running back upstairs to hit your sister?” They will answer, “You told me to carry on, carry on!” 

 We’re lucky that over the course of time and given this mum has pulled such a face  a million times, resulting the same tired explanation for my actions…  He now gets it, he finally understands the unwritten rules that surround my body language and sarcastic tone when I state “Argggh… CARRY ON KIDS, CARRY ON.” (Swearing is only for extreme cases when it accidently pops out!)

 Saying this, there are some things little man just doesn’t get, an example would be, “Why you wearing that mum? It makes you look like you have a fat belly!” Me, “Oh, Thanks son”  Little man, “My pleasure mum!” Of course that wasn’t quite the response I was hoping for! It’s for this reason I try to adjust my language, avoiding ambiguous language whenever I can. Though this isn’t easy you know! It’s actually quit amazing how often a person will use metaphors without really actually realising it! I guess it’s become second nature to most, myself included! I swear, if you try reducing your use of metaphors down to zero, you’ll see that these seemingly stupid little phases, such as, “Pot calling Kettle black” or “Raining cats & dogs” make up a good 50% of the English language (Well, in my case it did)!

 Still… despite some sibling scuffles, a little attitude from my daughter who’s eight going on eighteen, and some bad language from the Little dude, things are going OK! 

 Little man is coping well without his very structured school routine. His been attending his new school following this routine a little over a month now and having only just adjusted to it, it’s now gone for a period of six long weeks, just like that! I’ve done my best to make sure I’m not allowing the little guy to spend his days sleeping till 2 p.m. in the afternoon, despite him having not fallen asleep till at-least 3 a.m most nights! Yes, it’s a bit of a struggle, I won’t lie when I say, “Some days I’m tempted to leave him to sleep the sunny day away!” After all his not easy to wake! As many may know from previous post, Little man normally, I’ll say 98% of the time, wakes up in a mood so bad it puts my monthly PMT rants to shame. The big plan has been to get him up early so he doesn’t find this already challenging task any harder when returning to school in September! I swear even those nights his in bed early, (very rarely) he still converts into some kind of morning demon that I’m ashamed to admit, “Scares the crap out off me!” Mother I do apologise if I was ever this unpleasant to wake, honestly, I wish my morning battles on no one, not even that of my worst enemy (though I don’t have one, but that’s beside the point)!

 As for the bedtime routine… THERE ISN’T ONE! I cannot blame the school holidays for this, it’s been a problem on and off since he could walk. Little man will begin to follow a good bedtime routine, then at the drop of a hat it’s vanished and things get frustrating for all! These past six months or more have been no exception. It took me forever to get Little man comfortably sleeping in his own room without making nightly trips into mine. He takes Melatonin, but its effects just seem to have disappeared. For this reason, we often take breaks between doses, sometimes on a weekend or through the holidays so its effects are more apparent when restarted! However, In all truthfulness these effects begin to fade in a matter of days anyway so I’m starting to wonder, “What’s the point?” As for the trips to mum’s room these have again become nightly. His not coming and getting in my bed. I’ve explained that his now far to old to do this, he just drags his duvet and throws himself on the rug! Why has it started again? I think it has something to do with a car accident that happened a while back, it took place right outside his window! The car made the loudest screech as it skid onto the wrong side of the road at high speeds (so fast one of the wheels came flying off and into our garden) luckily, despite it being a busy main road, it was the early hours of the morning converting it into something resembling a ghost town! The car itself, ended up missing our front path, flying through the neighbours bush, finally jamming itself into what used to resemble a front gate and a brick way! The noise was horrendous, waking him from his sleep it terrified him. Since then I’ve been greeted with him and his duvet almost every night and I’m at a loss of what to do.

 On a high note, we have some pretty awesome plans for the rest of the holidays. A fellow blogger has organised for us to receive tickets for the big dip, (open air swimming pool and fake man made beach minus the sea) located on good old ‘Clapham Common.’ She was so sweet explaining about our family situation to one of the organisers resulting in them sending us out a VIP pass to avoid the queues and crowds (see, some people really do care)! 

 We’re also planing a day out with some of the members of my Facebook page (other parents and their children on the spectrum). We are attending the Wilderness festival in Oxfordshire where we will be camping over the weekend (fabulous prize I won on the the fantastic blog “Not Supermum”).  I’ve never camped, nether have the children I’m relying heavily on my friend who is coming along too. My youngest who is just 20 months old will be staying with his daddy as I think it would be a bit much for him and it’s a long way to drive him back if he fails to settle in a “Tent” We will also be making a family trip to Legoland during the last week of the holidays and we’re staying down at the coast for three or four nights at a friends empty flat (when I say empty I mean, there is no one currently living there. It is furnished). The fact itself is located across from the beach, so its over looking the sea. 

 As much as I love my children I have at times avoided taking the two eldest out together! This results in double the days out and double the expense. I know its no way to live but seriously, there have been times I’ve quite literally pulled my hair out during a day out with them both. The last few hours of the Pandamonium festival at the beginning of the month was one of those days! So… I think I’m being extremely brave with the camping idea among others! 

 Another day out I’m extremely excited about will take play in just fours days (5th August) when myself and my youngest along with and my sister and her daughter (who is 10 weeks younger than Harley) will be going on our big day out to the Lollibop Festival in Regents Park London (a three day long event). Little man is too old and Alice is out with a friend plus this is my way of making it up to Harley for not attending the camping trip. This means I will only have one child to chase around once his set loose form his buggy. I can’t wait, his going to love it! With Cbeebies presenters, The Zingzillas, Waybuloo, Charlie and Lola, plus appearances from his favourite characters, “George pig” and Bob the builder” Its going to make his year. There will be lots to do and see, and I myself can’t wait for  Baby loves Disco, Yer… We’re gonna swing our pants and Huggies pull ups during this festival which has been especially created for weeny boppers. If u fancy checking it out have a look on their website and maybe I’ll see you there.

 So… As you can see, we have an eventful summer ahead. Here’s praying (Quite literally) that all runs smoothly, resulting in a fun but relaxed August! With my head now saying, “Yer, right… Dream On Claire!” I’m making it my mission to make it a  success! Now watch this space! 

I don’t want to wear your shoes mum!

28 Mar

“Mum I really wouldn’t do that”, shouted little man in a stern voice.

“Well, you would if you were in my shoes mate” I replied without taking my eyes off the screen as I frenetically typed my angry email to yet another not so professional, professional!

Silence……

Then……

“Mum, why would I be in your shoes? There far to big and not the kind of shoes I would wear, they are made for girls and look way to uncomfortable for a ten year old boy!”

Yep, you would have thought that I would known better by now wouldn’t you! My use of ambiguous language could lead to alsorts of problems

Little man isn’t stupid, far from it, he just doesn’t understand why people don’t just say what they mean! I’ve explained the use of metaphors to which he will often reply “that’s just stupid and isn’t worth saying” I suppose he has a point but to most these terms just slip out without a seconds thought and that was the case now.

I glanced up from my Mac, to see little man stood before me shaking his head, deep in thought. I knew I would need to explain myself and that once I had he would try to store the new little metaphor deep in his head in a bid to recognise it if ever used again. This technique is often a success but there are a few he just can’t get his head around.

he will often attempt to give it a whirl himself, Sadly more often then not this Is done in the wrong context, using the metaphor at a time it isn’t needed sounding totally ‘odd’ and often inappropriate with no relevance to the conversation often coming across as if to be using sarcasm. (could be a huge problem in later life) I’m very thankful that more often then not little man sees these little metaphors as completely uncalled for and really un-needed.

I put down the Mac and gave little man my full attention.

“I really didn’t mean you would wear my shoes as you are very right they are not suitable for boys, especially children as they are definitely for ladies and as you stated, they are most uncomfortable”

He stood concentrating on my words, taking it all in.

“You see what I meant was, you would likely send such an email if you was in a situation of my kind!”, So, by saying if you were in my shoes… I’m merely suggesting you would take this same action. This is the same for any situation not just an email, it may be that I forgot to do something because I was so busy and if u suggested that I was stupid for forgetting I may say that you would have forgotten too if in my shoes! understand?”

“How stupid mum! it’s pointless as you don’t become a person for wearing their shoes! we all have our own minds, shoes don’t come into it mum” With a huge Si and drop of his shoulder’s he shook his head and laughed at me as if I was silly.

A few days later we were sat on the sofa together watching the film ‘White Chicks’ (a comedy where two black cops go undercover as two young white socialites in a bid to find the bad guys, but mainly save their butts from being sacked) Little man was laughing hysterically alongside me. We sat and watched the whole film together while munching on ice cream and spoiling ourselves with a can of something fizzy (trying to cut down little mans fizz intake, that’s why i refer to fizzy as a treat)

After having watched the film little man turned to me and said, “That was really funny mum! I can’t believe that them guys wore ladies shoes for all that time just to understand the situation”

“What?” I sputtered

As little man went to repeat what he had just said, I stopped him stating, “oh I know what you mean sweetheart” giving him a kiss on the head I got up and made us a warm drink for bed.

Only this time while I stood boiling the kettle, it was me who gave a little Si, shook my head slowly while displaying a slight smile. Let’s leave this one for another day I thought to myself!

Oh and by the way, The little man was right… The angry email really wasn’t a good idea!

How Mummy should have listen to her ten year old aspie!

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!

 

 

 

A literal thinker.

21 Aug

This post is based on my sons understanding of language. Many parents of children with ASD will be able to relate.

Here I’ve taken a few of mine and Little mans memorable  conversations in an attempt to highlight just how literal someone with autism and Aspergers can be. Though these are quite funny and harmless, there have been times when little mans literal understanding has fuelled anxieties and caused him a great deal of stress. Growing up little man has struggled to understand jokes, metaphors, and sarcasm, with this becoming more apparent with age. It’s quite stressful at times as he won’t always express that he hasn’t understood, Instead his anxiety will be displayed though highly challenging behaviours. These such behaviours are the reason we as parents, teacher, friends or other should learn to adjust and simplify the language we use. Over time Little man has learnt that when I turned and said to a friend in a stressed out tone of voice  “I’m gonna kill that boy in a minute”  I didn’t actually mean it!  Still it’s rather sad to think that at one stage in his life, he considered his mother the murdering type.

Well, with that I will leave you with some classics.


Mum: “Do that once more, You will not be going on YOUR bus tomorrow.”

Little Man: “It’s not my bus! It belongs to the metro.” (Said why screaming and crying.)

Mum on the phone having a conversation with a friend. “I still have a way to go. I’ve lost a STONE and a few POUNDS so far.”

Little Man a few days later. “Mum did you ever find your STONE and few POUNDS that you lost?”


Walking to school one morning.

Mum: “G you’re FLYING” (Zipper down on his trousers)

Little man: “I’m not flying Mum! I’m walking.” (Said in a very moody tone)


Mum: “Keep it up and you’re going to SEE!”

Little Man: “I can see already thank you” (Easily confused as pure sarcasm)

Mum: “Go wash your face, Its BLACK.”

Little Man “you’re being racist mum”


Little Man “Mum why would someone kill CEREAL?”

Mum: “What?”

Little man: “The man on the news said he was a SERIAL killer.” (G already watching the news as a five year old)

What is Asperger’s syndrome ?

24 Nov

Asperger’s is a communication disorder.  Someone with AS would have poor social skills that family and friends may be able to spot from a young age but in most cases these poor social skills become more and more apparent as the child grows older. My son is now 8yrs old and yes i would say that AS has become more apparent in these last few years .

A child with AS may seem withdrawn wanting to play alone or the child may be loud and annoying to peers. A child with AS may seem a loner. Nearly all children with AS with have a special interest. This special interest will  dominate the child’s conversation meaning he/she wants to speak only about there interest. The person with AS will know a great deal of information on this topic/interest. My son has always loved trains and bus. It sounds silly but it is the working off the doors my son is most interested in. He can speak about how they work for hours and hours. He also could tell you where each bus is heading and all the stops on each train line.

Sensory sensitivity, Motor clumsiness, Routine and Language are just a few more things a child with AS may have problems with. Im sure we will touch on all these somewhere along in this blog.

%d bloggers like this: