Tag Archives: health

#HAWMC DAY 18 – Inspiration

23 Apr

Stories can be used to establish social routines (using ‘fill in the blank’ procedures) and improve the ability to make social judgements. They may also be useful in helping others better to understand the child’s perception and responses.

 Children With Autism & Aspergers Syndrome: A Guide For Practitioners & Carers (By Patricia Howlin)

 The above statement is one made in one of many books I own that covers topics relating to the autism spectrum.“Children With Autism and Aspergers Syndrome – A Guide For Practitioners & Carers” was one of the very first books I acquired on the subject and I will still often refer to it from time to time. So, naturally when day 18 of the #HAWMC was set with the prompt “Pick a random statement from a book and write about it for 15 minutes” this was my first port of call. 

 There are hundreds upon hundreds of statements made within this particular book, so, why this one?

 I feel it’s important to highlight the above to other care givers, especially those with a newly diagnosed child. Yes, this is a life long condition that cannot be cured. Nonetheless, there are things that you can do to help your child develop better social interaction and communication skills, along with important life skills with the use of some commitment and good old-fashioned creativity.

 When my own son was first diagnosed, I didn’t really get sat down and given all the answers, if the truth be told no one really has them to give. Yes, I was sat on a chair amongst an entire room of professionals and all though I was asked that question… you know the one “Do you have any questions” I just didn’t know where to start, I just remember having plenty. I was therefore sent on my way with a folder of bits and pieces and a very jumbled mind. 

 It wasn’t in-till long after the little guy was diagnosed that I attend something called the “Early Bird Plus” designed for both caregivers and teaching professionals caring for or teaching a newly diagnosed child. Now although “Technically” Little man wasn’t exactly newly diagnosed, I still wanted to attend and have some of those unanswered questions answered! 

 It was during this course that I was first introduced to the simple yet effective idea of visual prompts and clues. With this I didn’t only discover ways to formulate routines, making them visible to Little man so he remained aware of what was happening when and where, but they also still play a big part in Little man’s daily bathroom routine enabling him to better do things in sequence (though sensory sensitivities remain a huge factor we are yet to improve)!

 There are many ways to use these visual aids (kinda like the visual symbols used for PECS). They are also very easy to create or if you don’t fancy that they can be found normally on a string of websites and are mainly free to download. 

 I designed and created a great visual aid for use in the bath room and that of the bedroom. Although he reacted in the way I expected when introducing the aids I soon discovered he was using that of the one in his bedroom to help him formulate his bedtime routine! Ok, he remains an extremely poor sleeper, though he does follow the chart removing the symbol cards that I attached to some Velcro dots, placing them in the pocket I attached to the bottom of the chart. He now uses a written reminder he keeps within on of his many organisers. Nonetheless, the bathroom system remains in place and although his very tactile defensive his got the sequence going and is trying much better than before.  It’s my view that any positive improvements within this area really need to be fused over with lots of praise being given to the child.

 So, how else can we use pictures and words as a visual clue and symbol to teach our children the basics in making the right social judgements as-well as good communication and interaction skills to formulate good friendships?

 Some may have heard of social stories which are a great way of getting a child on the spectrum prepared somewhat for an unfamiliar situation such as a trip to the dentist or even a fun day out at a theme park. 

 You can easily make up a pretty effective social story with no more than an exercise book and some pens! However using photos (if available) of the places that you plan to visit and those people you are visiting (of course with their given permission) can really help a child with autism or aspergers feel more prepared with the situation and therefore calmer on the day! Lets face it, who likes visiting the unknown? Those with autism have difficulty regulating their emotions and that of anxiety can trigger a number of undesirable reactions both during the lead up and that of the day. 

 Little man is growing up, his heading up to secondary school (lucky for us this is one that is attached to his current independent special school). People find it difficult to understand that many of Little Mans sudden outburst are caused by anxiety. I think this is not only because Aspergers is known to be the “hidden disability” but more the fact he can come across (at times) rather street wise, especially more so now. The truth is he is improving with the help of his school, his friend next door and some social modelling from others, but his still more than likely to say the wrong thing, something inappropriate, generally considered social unacceptable. But there are times I do wonder maybe they got it wrong then bang… something happens, a meltdown, over intense conversation on his special interest and the inability to shut off. Then there’s his all nighters and inability to switch off. That’s the thing, your child may have problems with social skills but as they grow they can often act a certain way for a chain of different social situations. I’m not stating Little man is socially correct all of the time but his learning. One thing I do try empathise & encourage is for Little man to be himself as he has at times totally moulded himself in a certain way to fit more comfortably into certain social groups and gatherings. He maybe a success but once home he off loads and he will normally have a hell of a lot of bottled up stress need releasing. It’s important that he knows how to behave for an array of situations but to reframe of hide who you are by either going into oneself coming across as a bit shy or maybe even a loner to avoid running into difficulties or act a way because it gets you liked by others, both something  Little man engaged in during mainstream, I can tell you from a parental perspective that this isn’t anything other than a disaster waiting to happen. 

 As many a parent of a child on the autism spectrum can probably vouch, we as parents are presented with that bit more reason to worry when it comes to our children growing up and therefore having to experience new things as they embark on their journey to adulthood. Something like visuals and good social modelling are of the up-most importance and will in time become a natural way of life and acquired parenting skills that we will find ourselves doing with little if any thought at all.

 You know your child and will learn what works best for them and you as a family. As mentioned earlier within this post, Little man no longer uses visual symbols for within his room but now uses words, just as you or I may write our schedule of order of events in a personal diary or organiser , this works and if even he remains awake till 3am with school set to kick of a few hours later, his still able to do those important steps to prepare for bed from brushing his teeth to putting his clothes in the wash. As for preparation for a new situation, we don’t always get things right (those that read about our Butlins holiday at Christmas will more than agree that it didn’t go smoothly) yet at times things go much better than maybe they would have if the effort to prepare Little man wasn’t made. I did the social stories with pictures, but he sees things very black and white so its important to have visual reminders of “Real life” places, people, etc this helps him to formulate some kind of image and expectation. The only danger of this is to be careful not to overdo it as spotted difference or unexpected changes could make the hard work go to pot!

 Lately, I’ve tried to be more creative with how we do the above. I’m agree he knows he sees thinks differently and thinks and processes information a tad different from his age peers. I’m also aware that as his grown his not welcomed anything that causes him to stand out so I’ve tried to continue with the preparation while making it more fun, age appropriate and fun. Last week why searching the App store on my iPhone 4S for some type of daily planer and social story maker, I found Comic Book. As you do, I had great fun playing around with it and trying different things. I created the picture below of my toddler Harley, and sisters new baby Riley. It has a number of stickers with great phrases, themes, colours, fronts and more. After testing it with the toddlers pics, I felt assured that this would be a great fun addition to my social preparation tool kit and Little man agreed it was pretty cool. Maybe with the doctor’s permission  you could snap a few pics during the next appointment and use this for your comic strip! For me, this is an App that will provide more than just good fun. 

 Other ideas are that of video recordings of places you may visit, memory books of the places you have been to before or even use small visual cards, laminated and hole punched and added to a curly key chain key ring and attach to your child’s belt loop. This is perfect for non-verbal children as they can use the symbols as a way to communicate their basic needs such as using the toilet while at school instead of become frustrated or upset. Again all these are easily made and need not cost a fortune.

 I also mention in another of my recent #HAWMC post about the brilliance of Pinterest, I’ve created a great Autism and Sen board that’s packed full of ideas to help your child in the areas discussed and many more… Yes, total pin head here! 

Below are some ideas on creating and using visual aids. These are taken from the autism & Sen board on my Pinterest and original author also included with these pins

from the blog rockabyebutterfly.blogspot.com

from the blog carrotsareorange.com

from the blog etadventures.blogspot.com.au

 Visuals may not seem appropriate right now, you may feel your child doesn’t need them? Remember at some point in our life we all require the use of prompts and instructions as-well as organisation… a work timetable or organiser. When we experience anxiety concerning an upcoming situation or event we form a mental picture which isn’t always easy for a child like mine! Early intervention is the key so if your child could do with a little prompt or preparation, why no give visuals and social stories a try? 

#HAWMC DAY 13 – The 10 things I can’t live without!

13 Apr

The health activist writers month challenge (#HAWMC) is in full swing and I’m really quite enjoying the daily prompts. However, I wasn’t overly keen on today’s but given this is meant to be a challenge, I didn’t bail out.

 So, when asked what 10 things I couldn’t live without, I got my thinking cap on…

 

1) My Children: Obviously the first thing I’ll list is this! My children, they’re my everything, my who entire life, the reason I breath. A life without my kids truly isn’t worth living!

 

2) Friends and family: My mother and father who reared me and made me the person I am today. Friends who have been amazing through some of the most difficult times of my life… I’m truly thankful to you all, if only you all knew how much!

 

3) Health: I want to be around for many years. I want to watch my children grow and evolve into adults, finish education, get there first job, get married and invite me for Sunday lunch.

 

4) My blog: How superficial you may think? But this is my outlet, a place to let of steam, share any happiness and achievements along the way. It’s got me through tough times, provided a connection to something I never knew existed. Who would ever think a blog could save someone? It saved me from insanity, that I’m thankful for!

 

5) Passion: It’s what drives me to do the thinks I do. To live without passion would be like living without food and water for me!

 

6) Dreams: Whether they amount to anything is totally irrelevant, they keep me smiling and give me something to aim for… surely we all have a dream?

 

7) A Voice: No I can’t sing (I actually recall my mother telling me I sound somewhat like a cat crying out in agony) but it does give me a way to speak up when it comes to the things I believe in! It’s helped me to raise awareness for autism and aspergers as-well as a number of other charities and campaigns. I’ve realised how powerful a tool one persons voice can be, you’ve just got to know how to use it!

 

8) Technology: I can just imagine my grandmother shaking her head if she was alive to read this! Yes, she would likely tell me and in no uncertain terms, that In her day people spoke to each other face to face, not all this texting and emailing rubbish! But we are now living in a modern world, one where my Mac and my iphone have become something of a second skin. These tools along with the rise in social networking sites have provide me with more than just a way to communicate with those out of reach but has also provided me with a platform to raise awareness for something I believe in and feel passion towards! The facebook support page now has over 5,000 members and continues to grow, I love that it’s become a place for parents like myself to gain support and friendship with those who relate most. I’ve also found a place to release inner creativity, experience things I otherwise couldn’t or wouldn’t have! And along the way I’ve meet some amazing people, some Im pleased to have become firm friends with.

 

9) A Little Me Time: Sounds a strange one but without it I’d go absolutely bonkers… I’m sure of it! I may not get a whole heap of it but what I do get I fully appreciate it.

 

10) Memory’s: It’s memorise both good and bad that help me mould my future. I am able to learn from past mistakes, avoiding any recurring undesirable situations. Those help memories keep me smiling when times are difficult… Memories really do help create a more positive future. 

And an extra one for good measure…

A sense of humour, the ability to laugh at yourself. Life is a serious affair but a bit of laughter is good for the mind!

 

Post 13/30 #HAWMC set by wego health

#HAWMC DAY 12 – Stream of Consciousness

13 Apr

Today I looked in the mirror and stared at the reflection before me. I feel myself shudder before turning away quickly as I desperately try to block out the image I’ve just seen staring back at me.

How bloody superficial and yes, I suppose it is! Ok, I may not be back in my size 8 jeans despite my youngest transforming from baby to hyper 2-year-old, but life isn’t just about a jean size is it?

I’m no superficial chick, honestly I’m not. However, I am one who can find herself whirling down that downward spiral into the dark land of no mans land!

Many woman experience the issue of needing to feel comfortable in ones own skin, it’s just that for some… Things go a smudge too far!

I find it hard to write about my past demons when it comes to food. I’m pretty good at expressing my innermost thoughts through my writing especially when writing about my life as a parent and that of Little mans Aspergers Syndrome but this is different, something of a challenge!

Yes, there has been some soul pouring post, I’ve laid myself bear when writing about my almighty battle with OCD, to face it, reframe from fear and I guess… Live with it (that or the prospect it’s never far from sight).

I’ve also told of my journey to combat anxiety and the horror of the recurring panic attack… Unfortunately, these have never left my crowded mind and although I often tend to find myself chest high in the deep of things these often hit me at different periods within my life at least allowing me periods of time panic attack free.

Although I’ve written some pretty soul pouring post whether about discrimination, depression or something else all together my past eating disorder is something I hold back on, it’s not even a subject myself and family often speak about though it did land me in hospital at just 11 which still breaks my heart thinking about.

Regardless of how dispirited I feel when looking at my own reflection I try my best to bury any bad thoughts deep in my mind, I’m a mother of three children, I have my own 9-year-old daughter to set an example to.

So, here I am, trying to do things the right way! No quick fixes, no taking things that bit too far. The truth is no matter what I look like, how many nights I’ve spent awake resulting in huge black bags hanging under my eyes, I’ll never be 100% happy with myself! At my thinnest I continued to have them low days, that’s the problem, it’s a disorder, once you’ve lost them 5lbs you started off wanting to lose you go on to want to lose an additional 5lbs, then another and so on. I now try to see past my reflection! I know I have many good qualities… I’ve just got to love them that little bit more!

Post 12/30 in the wego health callenge #HAWMC

#HAWMC DAY 10 – Dear 16-Year-Old Me

10 Apr

Dear 16-year-old me…

Yes, I know you think it will be easy, move to Spain living the high life with your pals, pals that will actually be long gone by your 17th Birthday! Surprised?

You will be!

Do you think the world owes you little girl? It owes you nothing, in fact you need to brace yourself for the ride of your life, a roller coaster that will leave you clinging, one so fast and furious you’re not know if you’re coming or going!

Life owes us nothing and you’ll soon discover this!

Here’s some valuable advice to start you on your journey.

You’ll face some difficult times, ones that test your inner strength more than you’ll ever know possible.

You’ve already come so far, though metal health will always remain a big part of your life. Stop hiding from it, deal with it, life is far simpler this way.

You’ll continue your battle with OCD but as you grow, you’ll grow stronger and every now and then you’re realise how you’ve grabbed it by the balls.

You’ll become a young mum, but a good one. Your journey through parenthood wont always be an easy one but it will be an awarding one at that.

Your first-born son will be diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome at age 7, you’ll use so much strength obtaining the diagnosis you’ll have little left to digest it!  

Remember, those who are meant to understand probably wont, don’t waste your energy trying to make them… take it one step at a time.

You, have so much to offer, though you don’t know it yet god has a plan, it’s a pretty good one too.

Eating disorders, anxiety and OCD, you’ll thing you’ve faced it all, only life has some surprises, you’ll get through them your strong.

You’ll discover that schools are not what you thought they were when you discover how the child you love is so cruelly discriminated against and at this point you’ll be gearing up for the hardest battle yet.

You’ll learn all there is to learn when it comes to special educational needs, but your determination will see you through it and this determination will then be used in the most powerful of ways.  

You’ll endure the heart breaking pain of losing a pregnancy and never meeting your twins, but you’ll be greeted with the beautiful toddler you have today.

By age 30, you’re the mother of three beautiful children and though life can be hard at times, you know your blessed with the most precious of gifts one could ask for. 

Oh yes, right now you hate to write, actually you loath it! The funny thing is, this will become your love, you’ll write everything, your life becomes an open book, one you hope inspires others… writing is what you now do, you even bag yourself an award for doing it so well.

Yes, little Claire Louise, I see you hold your tummy as you laugh yourself into a frenzy… just you wait and see!

Blog 10/30 in the wego health #HAWMC 

#HAWMC day 6 – Health Haiku

8 Apr

Firstly I must apologise for the late posting of 2 of my daily #HAWMC challenges. The 6th was my 30th Birthday and I sadly ended up spending a good part of it in children’s A&E due to the toddler hurting his knee (his Ok, though this is another post all together). Then on the 7th I spent most of the day trying to compensate for the things I needed to do on the 6th therefore leading to another missed challenge. It’s day 8 today and I’ve got some catching up to do, so without delay let me tell you about the challenge set for day 6 which wasn’t an easy one, surprising given the little writing it required me to undertake! However, it’s also hard to get your message out there when you’ve been restricted to only a few words or characters.

The prompt was to write a Health Haiku.

A Haiku is a “miniature Japanese poem consisting of 17 syllables – five syllables within the first line, seven in the second and five in the last. No rhyme or meter scheme is employed when writing a haiku. The aim of the haiku is to create a sharp message in little words.

Here below I’ve created three different Haiku’s all inspired by my son’s Aspergers Syndrome.

Emotion feels me
I cannot express how much
Because that is me

Lost in my own world
A much safer place to be
Alone but feel free

Reaching out to you
You don’t see me see at all
Ignored in this world

To discover more blogs taking part visit the Wego Health Blog

#HAWMC Day 1 – Health Time Capsule

1 Apr

Have you ever wondered what the world would be like in a 100 years from now! I often wonder how “aware” society would be about autism, how advance the system may or may not become with the growing number of children and adults being diagnosed. Would there be more training in schools, would it be less or more of a fight to get that all important placement?

The reason behind my wonder is that of today’s blogging prompt as part of the “Health Activist Writers Month challenge” (HAWMC) 30 days, 30 prompts, 30 blog post. Today is the first day of the challenge in which I was asked to write a post using the prompt “Health Time Capsule” Basically the idea is to imagine you’re creating a time capsule of your life and that of your health focus. This capsule will not be opened until 2112… What’s in it? What would people think if they found it?

Given that I have no idea what the world will be like in a 100 years, I guess I’ll still be trying to get the message out there and make the world listen!

You could expect to find pieces of my own story, maybe snippets of this very blog, our journey good and bad. I’d included the current medical studies of today on where we stand with autism and Aspergers, this includes the cure and the debates that surround it, vaccines and hereditary findings. Examples of petitions from  autism activists and of course the current pending “Green Paper” would also be thrown in for good reading 

What would I hope to have achieved from creating such a capsule ? I would hope that whoever found it would in one respect be disgusted at the lack of support and services aimed at both those on the spectrum and their families. A disbelief at how many parents are currently having to fight to obtain the support their children need! Why hope for this reaction? As I would like to think that by then the messages that surround autism has travelled and developed, such services have become more widely available and easy to obtain that the battles fought today are virtually unheard of! Through autism awareness has come a long way, ignorance is still very much a problem everywhere and I therefore find it difficult to imagine something so blissful (we can only hope)! 

The other part of me hopes that those who find my capsule, are able to see how proud I am of my child and his siblings, how I embrace his Aspergers and am incredibly proud to call him my son! If in a 100 years, families are still struggling, then maybe my story and writing will be something of a comfort, the encouragement needed to urge them to keep fighting and importantly… keeping raising awareness and campaigning! “Well, if they could do it in the olden days… we can do it today” is something I’d like to be a part of.

Regardless… I’m sure that whatever the impact, this little piece of history placed in a time capsule provides someone, somewhere, some very interesting reading.

You can find out more about the 30 day health writing challenge by visiting the WEGO Health Blog

Please join me tomorrow (2nd April 2012) for “World Autism Awareness Day” and help me raise awareness by contributing to “Doing it for Autism” click here for more information.

 

Dream location – The Land of Nod

21 Mar

Drip-drip-drip…. The dripping tap that echo’s throughout the otherwise deadly silent house!

 Tick-tock-tick-tock…. The noisy seconds hand on the grandfather clock that drives you completely insane, so much so you jump from your bed removing its batteries!

 Buzzzzzzzzzz….. The dull jarring buzzing you hear coming from the fridge freezer, just as you’ve almost arrived in the land of nod.

 Have any of the above driven you to hold a pillow over your head in the hope of drowning out the annoyance of white noise or maybe even snoring? If you happen to answer “YES” then I envy you, I really do!

 No, the above is not a typo, its true, yes, all of the above are annoying, that I do not deny, but all three of these scenario’s can be easily fixed (even the added addition of somebody’s terrible snoring)! OK, you may lose a weeks food shop by switching off the freezer, but you can do it all the same!

 I however, cannot switch of my children, although I have sometimes wondered why on earth god didn’t make them with batteries? Some nights are better than others, it’s the others that are currently driving me to write this post which I’m guessing consists of nothing more than rambling, the kind that likely makes no sense! Please bear with me, last night was actually one of those nights!

 Anyone would think I was used to it by now, after all Little Man is 11 already and hasn’t ever really slept an entire night, well not properly anyway. Since his been on the slow release Melatonin, his engaged in a lot of sleep walking and talking so his often up and about even when he is a sleep, which is often not in till some point during the early hours anyway.

 Although I try to embrace Little Mans Asperger’s Syndrome, seeing it more as a gift rather than something disabling. Sleep (or lack of it) is most defiantly one of the hardest issues we have had to deal with for as long as I care to remember.

 Generally I deal with the lack of sleep reasonable well, discounting the time I fell asleep queuing in the supermarket (and yes I was standing)! My head, well that’s somewhere else altogether, seriously, I can’t survive forever with my brain functioning as if it belonged to a chimp ! My point is, I guess I’m used to it and although I don’t get the average amount of sleep many manage, I get by with  grabbing hours here and their, well this used to be the case at least!

 Harley is my youngest son, he was 2 in December. I was blessed with a child who slept throughout the night pretty early on. Day time napping was now however out the question, unless their father was around and when he wasn’t I was basically #•@#@• Then something much worse started to happen, Harley started sleeping less, a lot less! This finally came to a head last week when he demonstrated his stamina in withstanding an alnighter… yes, he stayed awake the entire night falling to sleep at an unforgivable 6am, I was broken, no not physically (that comes in later) but emotionally… was it not enough to have the one child sleep in such a crazy manner… but two… come on give us a break! Of course I explained it away to myself as “His coming down with something” but he hasn’t and its been 5 whole long sodding days and nights. Actually as I type this my eyes are partially closed…. God help me if my Mac ends up on the floor.

 I don’t know why the toddler is suddenly like a child on red bull, but me, I don’t like it one little bit! Of course his then hard to wake and this is when tantrums come into play as his over tired and I get tempted to let him just sleep! It’s an extraordinarily difficult situation to be in when your tired and feeling like you’ve been smashed in the face by a double-decker bus! However, I will try my best as I fear it may lead to more nights like that of the night before. To make matters worse regardless of  him becoming extremely tired, often resulting in him falling into an uncontrolled heap between 8-9 pm (which I note is still reasonably late for him) he still somehow manages to wake up before the clock strikes midnight! Oh… and guess what? He only goes and becomes the life and soul of the party. I’m in trouble if Little man than decides to come out his room engaging in some weird activity as for some reason he’ll suddenly acquire a very sudden interest in his brother, the same brother he screams at to get out his room everyday!

 This was what happen Monday Night Tuesday early hours… I wanted to scream, correction… I did scream… Loudly! Closing the bedroom door, I laid Harley done beside me, however sleep wasn’t on his crazy toddler agenda, he had more exciting things planned, like demonstrating how well he can jump on mummy’s bed and the lovely art of body slamming, with myself being his chosen victim (you know, like those over grown and over weight men who pretend to throw each other around a ring).. Worse when your eyes are closed and it completely takes you by surprise… Ouch…

 I pray to the lord that this is some kind of toddler rebelliousness, one that Little man nor their sister luckily never experienced (through little man more than made up for his lack of tantrums by age 7 and continues to today)!

 Now feeling like a sack of crap, I have important business to attend to! Oh, how I wish that business was in the role of a mid mornings nap…. Sadly it’s tending to the cat litter tray, a sink full of dirty cups and with a bit of luck a ten minute soak in the bath (I hope)!

 Quick Note: If anyone has any tips on helping both an 11-year-old boy diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome and that of a toddler of 2, learn the unwritten rules of sleeping and remaining that way, please do comment! Plus I would love to hear from anybody who has a child on the autism spectrum who happens to sleep walk, sleep talk or both (this is as though  they are literally always on the go)! Even more so if such behaviour is happening while taking a slow releasing Melatonin (only this is when the sleep walking and talking increased for Little Man)?

 Thanks for reading my ramblings and I bid you all goodnight… Oops I mean good-bye!

Look here comes the naughty kid

3 Mar
English: Subject: Quinn, an ~18 month old boy ...

Image via Wikipedia

You look at me, your eyes pressed firmly upon me, you do not look away, instead you stare that deadly stare, the one I hate but have to bare!

Are you sniggering? Seriously… Why? Isn’t it time you moved on by?

Shaking your head, Oh, that would be right! Don’t you think I’ve had enough of that tonight?

OK, you’re laughing now… is my child’s discomfort, confusion or happiness, funny somehow?

Leaving? You have an appointment to gossip down by the school, I guess you’ve never seen a child quite as rude as mine before!

Of course I understand, his party invite didn’t arrive, lost in the post you say, yer, that would be right!

He wonders why the children have gone inside, Little man now has his pick of the rides, but sadly the see-saw, he’ll not be able to try.

It’s OK, please there’s no need to explain, I understand, your child is not able to play at our house today, his bedrooms a mess, so his chores he must abide… another time maybe, how about when his 45?

Seriously ladies, he doesn’t bite, his actually house trained, though have a meltdown he might!

Shit… that’s a camera… you’re taking pictures… you twat! A zoo animal he is not! take my advice, go run and hide, because right now, I might shove that camera right up your behind!

God, yes I’m stress! Please don’t suggest…. what I might… Did you have sleep last night?

It’s an excuse, his naughty for sure, look at his mother, I say no more!

Off to the doctors… is Johnny all right? Catch it! I ensure you, that’s not right!

We live in a society where ignorance is breathed like air, one or too may sweetly smile, while others just stand & stare, never in their lives have they seen such behaviour before!

Now, You may have experienced the deadly stare from the eye of a passer-by, as your toddler demonstrates his new skill of throwing himself on the floor! Yes, I’ve seen it, daily in fact, I’ve heard the gasps of horror as my child sets about attacking the neatly stacked tins while on a supermarket binge. I’ve witnessed the shaking heads, the tuts, the suggestions from those who misunderstood the situation! I’ve explained, I’ve cried, I’ve stuck my finger up and smiled, I’ve dealt with it swell, I’ve dealt with it not well!

My child is a boy, an 11-year-old boy… who wants to be liked, his actually quite nice!

I’ve witnessed how a busy park suddenly empties on a hot summers day, the parent that grabs her child and runs away! I’ve lost friends, they faded, disappeared simply ignoring me, hoping I’ll go away

Ignorance is crawl, inflicted by those, young and old, those that don’t know you or worse, those that love you!

It happens… it will always happen! It’s called parenting a child with Aspergers Syndrome, more appropriately… Hidden Disability Syndrome! He looks no different, his ticks and traits, hidden within a mass of boyish ways, but make no mistake when they surface you’ll judge him, you’ll judge me, you’ll judge our life, our family, our values, opinions and sadly you wont stick around and realise your own silly mistake!

This April is Autism Awareness month, with the 1st of April being “World Autism Day” I ask, that on this one day… you see the bigger picture, you take this one day to Google the words Autism and Aspergers, you read with an open mind and an open heart, I ask that you leave the ignorance behind you!

7×7 My Favourite blog post’s

25 Feb

I was recently tagged by the lovely Jennifer, an awesome talented blogger, who blogs over at Jbmumofone to give you my 7×7 low down.

First I must share the seven top blog posts, I’ve read over the last week (please bear in mind this has sat unpublished a good week, due to careers brain)!

Next, I’m to share 7 things about me that you don’t know already (if that’s actually possible)!

Lastly, I’m to share the meme love and tag another blogger, who hopefully isn’t already tagged (if I’m lucky)!

Ok… here it goes… the seven blog post I’ve enjoyed this week!

1) Kate Vyktorian wrote about her amazing experience as an attendee at the Elle Style Awards 2012, over on her blog Snugglebubbly. Yes, this jammy blogger bagged herself a ticket to this celeb fest as a result of her recreation of a red carpet look, with the use of items from the Next directory… Lucky girl!

2) Lexy from Mammywoo in her emotional, yet inspiring post, ‘Forgiveness with extra cheese

3) Angela, a talented new mummy blogger wrote a beautiful post of love, dedicated to her 9-year-old son, in the post, ‘A letter to my loved one’s – Part one

4) Autism Mums & Dads is a brand new blog displaying some talented, inspiring words. I read the post, “Everything but the kitchen sink” and had to share!

5) From Fun to Mum, the funniest post I’ve read all yet, let alone week. If you haven’t read, “The Day That Shit Happened” I’d run off and read it now!

6) Bluecrisps, a fellow parent to a child with autism wrote the post, “Does this buggy cause offence” when speaking how our societies ignorance get going when she takes here daughter out and about in her special needs buggy. It’s a strong message from an empowering parent of a child with a hidden disability.

and finally…

7) “Missing my Grandad” a beautiful post written by “a mummy too” as her weekly gallery post. Filled with emotion and love, it’s a really lovely piece.

Next: Seven things you may not already know about me!

  1. I hate eggs, any type but the chocolate type
  2. As well as my love for writing, I spend time drawing and painting too.
  3. I own so many shoes, that they need their own wardrobe
  4. I did plastering and brick-laying at college and passed my first and only exams on the two subjects (no bloke tells me it’s a man’s job)!
  5. I laugh when Nervous
  6. I’m rubbish at icing fairy cakes
  7. I’ve been in a relationship for 15 years and I’m only 29 years old… Goodness me!
  8. Lastly, I tag

The lovely Kylie Hodges over at “Not even a bag of sugar” to list her 7×7

Failing to regulate one’s own emotions

14 Feb

I’m the type of patent who likes to embrace her son’s diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome, though there are days, when I fail to focus on any positives, these long hard days filled with meltdowns, the explosive type, filled with rage and a good degree of violence!

Violence used to be a huge problem back when Little man was between the ages of 7-9 years old, however, with a lot of work we managed to get his explosive ways under control, and although he has always hit his younger sister, this become less frequent and manageable. I myself used to be his punch bag and with some two years since he had hit out at me, I thought this milestone had been well and truly achieved.

Since Little man turned 11 on the 1st October 20211, things have once more turned nasty and have progressively become worse since. Having seen the huge reduction of such violent and challenging behaviour outbursts over these past 2 years, their return has simply knocked me sideways and I’m completely at a loose on how to fix this!

His violent ways often spring without warning, leaving myself or his little sister in the firing line. Strangely, since leaving the mainstream school and receiving a full education alongside his peers, in a place he is far more happier, this violence has grown worse at home! he went through so much at mainstream, he was isolated, excessively excluded and sadly discriminated against, yet despite this he didn’t become violent towards me, though he did self harm on a few occasions! So why now? School life seems good, it is terribly frustrating that he is now in the right educational setting, yet another issue as serious and worrying as this should arise! There is no bullying and I know that he happy at his new independent special school, so why?

His not 7 anymore, his a reasonably sized 11-year-old boy who can pack a pretty impressive punch! This is a child who despite his nick name, ‘Little man’ is now almost as tall as myself! My son is now, taller, stronger and about to experience a flood of hormones… if not already!

Lately, meltdowns have been highly explosive, his jackle and Hyde personality takes over without warning and my usual tools of redirection that I’ve created over the years, are sadly little use, if any at all! The Switch in mood is so sudden that I now struggle to see it coming, I cannot decode a trigger, something I would have once described as one of my talents! I usually see the forming of a dark cloud building and as a result, I am often able to clear it quickly! Sadly once more, myself and his sister have become his target when frustration reaches its limits… I have found myself jumping in the path of his blows to protect my daughter and regrettable, just recently she tries to return the favour 😦

Thursday the 9th February 2012, Little man was sat at the PC, writing yet another one of  his business plans for when he reaches adulthood, a calm presence filled the air and everything was… well, fine!

Suddenly, Little man unplugs my iPhone which happens to be charging, I tell him this and politely requests he replugs it in to the extension lead, while reminding him he should ask if he can use the extension in the future! This didn’t go down well, shouting and screaming he tells me to F#*k off and plug it in myself as it’s my charger!  I actually did this in the end, as not to fuel this any further! However two minutes later and for no apparent reason whatsoever, little man randomly switches of the TV which his sister is watching! I ask why, to which he states, “if I can’t do what I want, she can’t watch TV” This was all the crap I needed! Already feeling quite unwell, as if a ton of bricks lay on my chest, I told him I wasn’t in the mood as I felt reasonably unwell, to which he continued to refuse. Getting up, I head to the TV , Little man runs off to which I presumed he was heading for the extension lead to once again remove my charger… Like this was now a game! Though actually, I couldn’t have been more wrong! Suddenly as the TV screen flicked on, I felt a pain fly up my back… No bloody way! Turning my head slightly, my fears were confirmed, stood behind me was little man who had just punched me in the centre of my back! Feeling so angry I ordered that he went to his room, now I know I should have persisted, but given the fact… my 2-year-old toddler was becoming increasingly distressed and I didn’t want my 9-year-old daughter getting hit, I scooped the toddler up from his chair and ordered my daughter to follow me to the bedroom where she could finish watching her film.

Little man would now stay out the way, downstairs and hopefully become much calmer, he could finish his business plan before settling down on the sofa or heading to bed! Again… could I have been anymore wrong? He followed us upstairs swearing all the way  and at one point he even beat the hell out of my bedroom door… AGAIN! Losing the will to live, I informed him, I’d call the school and see if they could help me fix this, he flipped out, telling me to stay away from school before once more setting himself upon me like some frenzied lion! I know that this was partly my fault now as he then felt threaten. Although I normally reframe from such behaviours, it should be understood that by now I was close to breaking point, tears quite literally streaming from my eyes as I tried to think of a way to turn the situation around.

It got to the stage where the little man needed to be carried into his bedroom, I must have incurred super human strength as I lifted him, ignoring the thumps and pinches, I placed him in his room making a bee line for  the door, though I wasn’t quick enough as I found myself being hit by a number of heavy flying objects. Before I knew it he had taken up to running at me inflicting an array of high flying kicks directly to my body, seriously consumed with anger, sadness and sheer frustration, I told him that if he laid another finger on me I’d call the police! Again this wasn’t the best choice of words because 1) He felt threaten, 2) I pointed in his face, 3) he kicked me instead… well, feet do not have fingers do they!

I  was actually now extremely exhausted by the whole experience that had been continuing on for some 2 hrs now, not being able to bear a minute more of this, I turned to leave the room when he gave me one final blow in my back which  just happens to be the act that pushed me over the edge, giving me an intense desire to hit him back (which I don’t do, and don’t want to do)! I spun around and instead of hitting him I began screaming the words “No…… more, please no more!” as I proceeded in kicking toy boxes that resulted in them flying across the room, I also found myself knocking books from their shelf… I had lost it! Suddenly there was silence… stood shocked little man stared through me, he then lowered his eyes to the ground and started to cry as he asked me, “Mum why have you done this?” Then he very cheekily said out loud, ‘ Mum, you really should control your anger’ He no longer chased me just sat scrapping Lego bricks back in their rightful boxes, I retreated to my bedroom only to surprisingly discover the toddler and his sister were now spread out across my bed sleeping! Closing the door behind me I sat with my back against the door, tears filling my eyes as I looked at my bruised arms and legs, I cried, not due to the physical pain but the emotional one, plus the uncertainty and unanswered questions left me feeling isolated and alone! Should I be calling the police, what would make him stop! I couldn’t allow him to grow up with this approach to a problem, it wasn’t a solution! I love him and have that understanding… What if he hit someone else who then turned around and battered him, would he be behind bars by his teen years or even fall in love and beat his wife! Consumed with worry and knowing it was my responsibility to avoid any of the above happening! I grabbed the iPhone and visited my A boy with asperger’s Facebook page where everyone was so brilliant helping me find answers, making suggestions or just giving me a virtual hug!

The house was now silent, looking around his bedroom door I notice his laid out on the floor surrounded by a mass of Lego, I quietly pick up what seems like thousands of Lego bricks, I then slip a pillow under his head and place a cover across his body, kissing his forehead I then turn of the light (they is no way, I’ll even try to move him, if he wakes it could be an even longer night than it has already)!

I didn’t sleep for the remainder of that night, a host of things crammed my mind inducing a type of dull headache! What now? We have asked for help, but what with a massive waiting list for a CAMHS behavioural therapist, an LEA that avoid me like the black plague, I’m running out of options! Is there any respite? No! Do I look like it would help? Of course! With a Government only interested in throwing money at the 2012 games, I sadly hold little hope, after all our family situation isn’t as important as a sporting event is it? Well, it’s not every year we host an oympics…. but it’s everyday I host a meltdown, so…. I guess we will have to wait, after all we’re good at that, wouldn’t you agree?

%d bloggers like this: