Tag Archives: Melatonin

The Challenges That Come With Independence

12 Oct

So, its been a while since I blogged, all reasons beyond my control.
Well, Little man is officially a teenager now. On the 1st October he turned 13.
As a result his special school felt that he was ready to make a huge step forward into the world of independence.
Instead of of being collected by the school bus every morning he would walk to the train station through the park, take the 20 minute train ride followed by short 5 minute walk to school. Was I hesitant? Of course I was, what mother wouldn’t be? You see, little man had an intense ‘Special’ interest in trains that lasted many years. He was therefore very excited about this big new step he would be taking! Me I was worried sick that firstly we may find him over obsessing about transport once more. It may seem harmless to most but when a child with Aspergers is obsessive nothing else in the world matters.

This however was not my only concern! Little man is a child that struggles to sleep of a night time and if he had experienced one of he’s ‘All Nighters’ then how could I possibly let him ride the train to school? He could fall asleep and spend hours going back and forth to Hayes and Central London… What if he woke up in central london? At least if he was getting collected our morning battle would come to an end once I’d physically removed him from his bed and got him on the transport. But he hated everything about the new transport system, the one he had been placed on this September with little warning of any changes! Little man was used to taking a taxi with two other children and an escort which is provided for by the councils SEN team. This September no more than one day before the return to school he discovers that his escort has gone and will be replaced by another. He also discovers that there is no longer a taxi but a mini bus with a new driver and a heap more kids too. The battles to get him onto the bus were anything but easy! The last week before his independence training started someone from the SEN travel coordination team called me to say that little man was on his last warning! Apparently the new escort couldn’t handle the children, especially little man. I hear a fight broke out between my son and another boy. As a result the escort was pushed (not by little man but another child who as a result had been taken of the bus for good).

So, with this and little man’s pleas I decided that the transport plan drawn up by the school would probably be best at this current time.

To cut a long story short, since little mans been taking the train his had more days off than I care to remember! The first few days were fine. He loved the feeling of independence traveling to school gave him (he still does) however, his sleep pattern has once more gone up the wall and getting him out the door has been a fight that I’m losing. Even when he has left for school his been leaving late. With this and the constant warnings, Little man is on his very last chance and this time its with me!

I’ve made the decision to reintroduce the melatonin despite how its effects make him more drowsy during the school day. What else can I do? It gets to 4 am and I’m seriously at my wits end! Just the other night (well, I say ‘night’ but really mean early morning) I found myself screaming at him… “Why can’t you just go to sleep?” Only for him to look and me and reply “I want to but I can’t… I just cant.” its frustrating… Its frustrating for him, for me… And for the school, especially when they can see his a bright young boy with heaps of potential.

I find myself becoming so angry at life, for we go through these battles, get over them only for them to resurface months later. Its one hell of a rollercoaster, one I have no choice in riding.

Little man doesn’t tend to talk about thinks that may have upset or confused him during the school day, which sadly can lead to all sorts of difficulties, leaving me playing the private eye game. Switching of isn’t easy for most, especially when we have worries and troubles laying heavily on our minds. This for little man, a boy who has difficulties expressing them worries, a boy who already lacks precious sleeping hours, is a struggle on a level most would fail to reach. Its stuff as such as this that makes those morning and night battles that little more difficult than it currently is.

I do sometimes wonder how many other parents there are out there… Going through the same nightly and morning battles that we do. I know there are plenty but at times its a real lonely place.

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Sleeping Issues

16 Jul

Having a child with Aspergers can be difficult but having one that hardly sleeps is Incredibly trying.

For this reason little man’s school attendance is suffering and so am I… Big time!

Its one huge battle to get the boy to bed of a night and another to get him up. His like a monster in the mornings, swearing and throwing things about.

As his grown so has the problem. His now as tall as myself so grabbing the covers, carrying him out of bed and then physically dressing him is no longer an option! Well that is unless I want to live! Not only am I going to land myself back in court for little man’s shabby attendance I’m also struggling to get anything done during the day. Shopping is already a nightmare and I’ve given up on taking little man some time ago. This means just a quick trip to the shops has become some type of mission… One I’m not to keen on taking.

With this I have no choice but to visit the doctor and request a prescription of melatonin. Its not fantastic but given his had a good break from it, its effects will be beneficial over the next week or so at least.

So… If all the above wasn’t bad enough Little man is now spending his days bullying his younger brother rather than getting an education. Its not bully as such, its just his need for control and when his not at school or in bed catching up on the sleep his lost his doing exactly that… Trying to control everything everybody does. Its tiresome!

We are now in July and what happens in July? Little man starts preparing for his big day… Aka his birthday. Its three whole months away but that don’t make a difference… Not for the little man it doesn’t!

This year his talking computers… Macs to be precise. Yes, his not asking for anything cheap here and I think I preferred it when he was asking for them strange and wonderful items such as batteries and staple guns! There is one good thing to come out of the obsessive birthday chatter! If he wants something on such a grand scale his going to need to go to bed earlier and attend school everyday! After all he only has a week left till the holidays.

So… There you have it! Sorry its such a mini update but as you may have noticed, I don’t have so much time to get on and blog these days. Here’s hoping the next instalment is a little more upbeat.

An Overflow In Hormones

18 Nov

Sometimes in life we feel we do our best yet our best is never good enough.

Little man is having a real time of it lately. Since his been in his independent special school for children with autism and Aspergers, I have had hardly any calls or emails reporting problems. However, I wish I could say the same for last week.

Little man wasn’t able to go swimming this week so, he helped out at the poolside. I can’t blame his school. They do everything in their power to ensure no child is left behind, and believe me sometimes I’ve found myself surprised that little man hasn’t been sent home for something or another. Last week I think he just pushed them to far.

Thankfully it was taken into account the fact his sleep pattern has been simply hectic. What with us stopping the slow releasing melatonin his been a little sleepless and off the wall.

So… Just what has he been up too you may ask? Well, his been argumentative with staff and actually caused the school bus to stop in its tracks on the way to swimming. Again he was acting a bit of a class clown.

If this wasn’t enough already, little man is also being somewhat inappropriate when it comes to the subject of sex.

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He started to ask questions relatively early on. Well, his last year of primary school that is. But now its kinda gone to overload and his constantly wanting to raise the subject. This is fine, completely normal I guess. He is a boy of 12 years old in his first year of secondary school. Nonetheless, little man hasn’t got the required social skills mastered as yet, so, when it comes to dealing with this subject in the most appropriate of ways he struggles. This means he tends to say things that are not really acceptable, he also thought he would announce to the class that he enjoyed watching a bit of naughty TV on his computer when we are all sleeping at night.

Now, when they say children with Asperger’s syndrome do not lie, then please remember… This is absolute pony! Yes, little man is too honest at times, he doesn’t lie very well at all and if directly asked something truth comes before lie. However, he has the natural ability to make stuff up and this was very much the case on this occasion! You may ask how I know? Simple… We have content lock so this isn’t possible. I’ve also been removing the playstation from the bedroom at bedtime. I once woke up to him playing wrestling in the small hours and have removed it ever since.

We have had a long chat about telling stories that have hold no truth. I tried to explain that this type of thing can easily land parents in trouble when children state concerning issues. We are most lucky that his school really understand both his condition and him as a child. If he started making claims like this in mainstream… This would have lead to the AWO to come knocking on our door… No question!

Little man hasn’t been in trouble for this… After all his just a young boy with a sudden overflow in hormones and an over curious mind. I’ve emailed the school about my concerns, mainly that I don’t feel confident when explaining things to him as he seems to either act quite silly or ask questions I just don’t feel I cant answer. With this the school have stated that when they return in the new year, sex education will be a new edition to the timetable.

Somehow I’m guessing (if not hoping a little) that discovering the ins and outs of sex will have him running back to his Lego and computer games in seconds with no further interest for the next 10 years or so… Lol!

Being a kid growing up in this world is scary, but for a child on the spectrum its that bit scarier. Little man is just curious to discover everything the world offers… Including sex.

As for us mothers… Well, it makes us feel older than we actually are… Much, much older. A sudden increase in worry lines are almost certain and I’ve noticed what looks like a train track running along my forehead! Lets just not mention the black eye bags… Seriously, don’t even go there!

Sleep is the enemy

14 Nov

Just when you think you have got it right… Found the perfect solution, the answer to your long awaited prayers.

I don’t know! Maybe if I was given the opportunity to go to bed at 10pm and actually sleep a whole night, I’d fail at the task miserably. You see, once your used to that routine, the one involving very little sleep, you get used to it and get on with it.

We did think things were improving, well, they were! Little man was still sleeping late, but he was sleeping and that alone was fantastic. We changed from the bog standard melatonin for the slow releasing type and boy did we see improvements.

Not only was he going to sleep… Late but not as late as he can do. He was actually remaining that way… A sleep that is! Because this was a slow releasing melatonin it meant no sudden wake ups for the toilet followed by the hours of pretending to be Drew McIntire his favourite wrestler, who keep his mind racing till the small hours.

Like all melatonin, little man became used to it and therefore developed a certain amount of resistance to it. This just meant taking breaks in between. I would just not give him it on the weekends or holidays. Despite this messing up bedtime routines for a day or two, the benefits gained when reintroducing the med was more than beneficial.

But then I started to note side effects, ones that started to, and are continuing to impact on Little man’s ability to receive an education.

The slow releasing melatonin made it extremely hard to get little man out of bed in the mornings. It was as if it was still taking effect. I started to feel like I couldn’t win. Either I struggled to get him up through lack of sleep or now because his meds were to effective. How ironic!

This has resulted in little man missing some school these past few weeks. Its been like trying to wake the dead some mornings… Simply impossible.

When he has been at school, they has been a number of noted concerns from all teachers. It seems that his just not able to concentrate. His either hyperactive (which is normally when he has had no melatonin and overtired) or his almost falling asleep in class and is far from himself. School reported that the Melatonin seems to be continuing to do the good work it does during the night, throughout the day.

With this I lowered the dose following talks with the GP. However, it still seemed to be over effective during the cause of the school day.

I’ve now made the decision to stop it all together. This was the beginning of last week and as a result his just had so little sleep which means so have I! Daddy took the toddler out yesterday as apparently I myself was unresponsive and was therefore left to sleep an entire day. All I remember is waving the children off as they finally went to school… Little man who had only a few hours sleep included. Next thing I was waking up to them returning home at the end of the day. I quite literally sat up from the chair in a confused and somewhat panicky state. Well, it did take me a few moments to remember the toddler was with his father and not off fending for himself.

During my daytime kipping, I had missed a couple of calls from little mans school who wanted to chat about this very issue I’m writing about now. I’m hoping to get back to them today… Or tomorrow If I’m able to remain awake.

Little man had a slightly better night last night. He feel asleep at around 2.30 am, which is actually a ground breaking improvement given his melatonin free. Myself however, no such luck. I laid in bed, eyes open most, if not all of the night. By the time it gets to 2.30am I’m either overtired or just to scared to sleep with the fear I will not wake up.

For now we are weighing up our opinions and will visit the GP again next week. I really don’t want to use any other strong form of medication and am considering requesting to our an appointment at the sleep clinic.

In the meantime, I will also be doing all I can to try and get the little man to burn of excessive energy when he returns from school… Maybe a walk around the woods with my mum and her dog may do the trick. This is something he really used to enjoy but sadly does little off lately.

Well, that’s all… I’m actually nodding off now so better go splash my face with ice cold water ready for the children’s return.

Being Driven Crackers

24 Oct

Wow… Little man is driving me crackers. This evening his done nothing but talk about wrestling to the point I’m almost smacking my own head against the wall!

His overly obsessed now, I truly never thought anything could come as close as his transport obsession! Obviously I was wrong.

The worst part is how his interest in wrestling is keeping him awake at night again. His back using the melatonin but as usual its not providing much relief. Worse still school inform me that his acting very out of character. It’s been reported that his been saying pretty bizarre stuff like “He would be more popular if he went to prison” this was said as he was asked why he was misbehaving… Another one of his answers was “He gets more respect and makes more friends this way!”

School enquired if it was his medication that could be causing such behaviours… I didn’t think so, but now I’m sat writing this I’ve come to realise that he does actually have more unsettled school days following a night on melatonin.

Anyhow… Back to the obsession that is wresting.

Recently little man discovered a competition on the Internet that is centred around his interest in wrestling. The good think is that the competition doesn’t only relate to his interest but also in that of literacy… Something he is actually reluctant to engage in.

In order to win his dream prize of meeting his favourite wrestler and watching a live show, he will need to complete a number of literacy and wrestling related tasks.This is great as it will encourage him to do literacy but he refuses to let me share it with his teacher. Yet, his literally talked about this competition non stop and has been demanding that we get started right away.

Last night I was in bed sleeping when I was suddenly rudely awaken at the crazy hour of 3.55 am by the little man. His reason for this was to ask me a question, one that apparently couldn’t wait until a sensible hour! The question was “Mum, How many people do you think will enter the competition and how much percentage does this give me off winning?” I swear if looks could kill… I was livid, not that the little man could tell because he just keep asking… On and on and on…

Its not only the competition that’s kind of grating within my slowing brain, its also the non stop noise that comes with having a wrestling mad 12 year old son. Sometimes I could swear we’re experiencing an earthquake (regardless of the fact we live in the UK). The banging and crashing about is just unbearable. I find myself screaming at the top of my lungs for him to cut it out but 99.9% of the time he cannot hear me above his own noise pollution.

I have heard the same tune, the same cheers, and the same sodding intro that all accompany his favourite wrestler into the ring a million times. If its not blasting through the TV speakers its being played full whack on youtube and if its none of the above you can bet your life on it that his mimicking every word therefore commentating the whole intro from memory.

I can look little man dead in the eye and tell him “Sorry son but I couldn’t give a monkeys backside about whatever his name is” yet he will take no notice, continue feeding me with not so fascinating facts on his favourite wrestler! I try to show an interest, I really do but actually it scares me to try as once I’ve started I’m quickly wishing I hadn’t as hours later I’m still trying to break free.

I dunno… Maybe as he ages these obsessional interests will be more self controlled. I hate the thought of him being a young man who totally dominates an entire conversation based around his own interests. Its just not healthy… He could lose out on friendships and relationships.

Nonetheless, with his great ability to learn combined with his social skills training provided by school, I’m hopeful that all will come good in the end.

Check out Little Mans wrestler inspired face paint…

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We’ve Booked Our Holiday

10 Oct

Do, I feel organised? Hell yes.

It’s very rare that I’m able to be so prepared. Although booking holidays in advance when your child is on the autism spectrum is really an absolute must, things almost certainly never work out as planned for me.

Some may remember a few months back when I excitedly announced that we were chosen as one of 40 family’s to become a Butlins Ambassador. Well, I’ve been thinking about booking our break for a while but wanted to ensure I made the right resort, accommodation, and catering choices before doing so.

I’ve been given the opportunity to really plan this holiday around the whole families needs and this has allowed me to really step back and think things through when deciding on the best options for little man in particular.

Although we experienced quite a few hiccups during the Tots 100 Christmas party break at Butlins. I do put the majority of this down to the fact we got tickets so late on in the day. This combined with the fact that we wasn’t able to take the children to the actual bloggers meal and party was a bit stressful for little man and me having to dash away caused him some anxiety.

This break is a true family occasion and I won’t be doing any dashing of any sort whatsoever.

The fact that Butlins have a really scheduled time table that little man can follow is absolutely perfect. We found that just having the iPhone App that displayed the daily listings of what was happening at what times made organising what to do really easy. We actually got the app at least a week before leaving so had plenty of time to create little man his very own schedule.

I’m pleased that this year my mum and good family friend Donna will be joining us. This means that all the children can enjoy all aspects of the holiday and I won’t feel like I need to rip myself in half to please them all.

So, our break is booked for the Easter Holidays (1st-5th April 2013). We will be staying 4 nights and coming back home the day before my birthday. This should give me plenty of time to fully organise the trip and prepare the little man.

We are staying in the new Wave hotel at Bognor which is recommend more towards older children of both Alice’s and little man’s age. I’m hoping this will really suit him (they have ps3 in the games room so that should be a winner). Another great aspect is that they both each get their own TV at the end of their bunk (not that we are planning on watching a lot of tv) but what a way to avoid arguments.

I do feel really excited about our next break and have made it my mission to be as prepared as possible.

Here’s a couple of tips if your planning on taking a child away with autism or Aspergers during any of the pending half terms.

1) Book in advance to enable yourself time to plan efficiently.

2) Make sure the child on the spectrum knows when and where you are going.

3) Make an events board. I have done this simply by making a timeline that shows where we are going and in how many days. I do this with all events and occasions that little man needs to prepare for, not just holidays.

4) Try to use real life visuals for your events board. Take these from pictures or Brochures.

5) Let your child explore the designation online. Little man will be checking out the new Butlins website this evening.

6) if you have any worries or concerns make sure these have been discussed with the booking team or those taking care of your accommodation. This could be anything from the request of a room with a shower ( little man prefers to shower and its less of a battle for me to get him to use it) it may be something as simple as avoiding a certain room number (little for us massive to the child with autism).

7) Make sure you have brought and packed everything you need and well within time.

8) Importantly don’t forget any medications. Little man’s melatonin was something we took up again just before going away last time then we forgot to take it. Not great as it can’t be brought over the counter.

9) Pack essentials for travel. We normally go by car and a good supply of snacks and drink is a must.

10) Don’t just leave everything to the last minute! The child on the spectrum can become very anxious when this happens. Believe me… I know.

Heres a few images from our last trip away.

Little man Butlins

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Alice and little man

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Alice and the toddler

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The Transition To Secondary School For A Child With Aspergers Syndrome

6 Sep

So, the time finally came, Little man’s return to school as a secondary pupil.

I noticed that in the run-up to the big day, Little man’s anxiety levels rose and as a result we did have a rather difficult last few weeks of the holidays.

I was dreading the whole “getting him up in the mornings” scenario. He tends to be the ultimate nightmare to wake, given he usually doesn’t go to sleep till the small hours. Unless you experience such sleepless nights paired with early mornings, you can only but imagine the utter tiredness his experiencing. Consequently I do understand… After all someone needs to keep a watchful eye on him over night.

I’ve tried my best to maintain his bedtime routine during the holidays (that’s if you can really call it a routine)! He usually goes to his room and just doesn’t shut down. His like a long life battery. Melatonin isn’t something we rate highly, and even through the slow releasing type sometimes has a small effect every now and then, it’s far from a reliable answer to the problem. On a high note, little man is more wary of the problem and understands that bit more that it’s this situation leaving him feeling crap throughout the day. He now gets rather upset when struggling to fall asleep and by 3am his almost certainly at the point of tears. When it isn’t a school day and his little eyes haven’t closed till 4am, I’m tempted to leave him to sleep throughout the day. However, as one would expect, this is no solution! Things just become a million times harder in the long run.

So, back to my original point… I was dreading getting the Little man up and ready for school. The nasty insults that fly out of his tired mouth are nothing… I’m used to these! It’s just the whole destruction it causes to the morning. He will often refuse to wash for sensory reasons and once he has I’m faced with the struggle of convincing him to dress. The taxi can be sat outside while the escort is stood at the door and he will still be in his pants. Not ideal but something you get used to.

His first day back was in-fact yesterday (5th September 2012) and to my utter surprise, the morning wasn’t as bad as expected. He almost seemed excited about his day. Tuesday I took little man and the tiny tot to Drayton Manor Theme park and zoo. It’s the home of Thomas Land and we were there to review a new Thomas film just released on DVD, and of course the park itself. Little man had an awesome day and didn’t experience a single meltdown while at the park (in the car was a different story but given it’s a 3hr drive each way, he can be forgiven). I think it was a combination of the long car Journey and the whole day spent at the park that resulted in him actually sleeping before midnight.

He woke Wednesday morning with a somewhat positive outlook towards the day ahead and given it was his first day back, this left me astounded. The fact that Little man had spent the last two weeks of the last term before the summer holidays integrating from the primary building into the secondary department, had obviously helped him a great deal. Now he was better prepared mentally! Yes their was lots of anxiety still, but at least he wasn’t just stepping into the unknown. Anxiety seems to be a pretty common trait for those with Aspergers Syndrome and for me It’s one of the hardest issues to tackle. It’s both heartbreaking and worrying seeing your young child so stressed, especially when the cause is beyond your control.

Little man had his new stationary that was kindly given to him by STABILO all packed and ready and his lunch loaded into his lunch bag when the escort knocked at 8.30 am. He was quite literally ready to go as soon as she arrived. I’m guessing this was something of a surprise to his escort… But a pleasant one all the same!

Throughout the morning I received no emails or calls from the school highlighting any concerns. Any parent can tell you, especially those of a child with SEN, this is always a lovely sign that things are going well.

Come afternoon however, I did receive an email from the class teacher! Luckily this wasn’t to report some challenging behaviour or other equally concerning matter! It was just in-order to let me know that as from the next day, little man wouldn’t be allowed to bring in his chicken burger as they will no longer be heating his food in the microwave! Little man’s school has such a small number of pupils that school dinners are not practical, and even if they were, I’m guessing so little children would opt to have them. Little man wouldn’t even entertain the prospect of even trying school dinners during his time spent at his old mainstream primary school. This wasn’t a huge concern as living 2 minutes away, I was able to collect him, feed him, then drop him back.

Little man will not touch a packed lunch regardless of what’s in it. He may eat such items at home but as soon as your packing it, his not touching it. Warm wrapped sandwiches, warm yogurts, and warm apple juice don’t appeal. Putting it in the fridge doesn’t seem to make much difference, the issue that it was put into the box more than an hour ago seems to be a big no-no for him.

It was decided last term that he could bring a chicken burger and heat it up in school. He has no cheese, sauce, or anything else. Just a flame grilled (not breaded) piece of chicken in a bun. He also has lots of fruit and a drink. His concentration levels were therefore reported to be better in the afternoon as he was finally eating, and I was pleased that I was no longer being presented with an untouched lunchbox at 4pm… I couldn’t afford to keep this up!

The new teacher has stated he needs a healthier lunch and I’m lost at what I’m going to do. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the school have their reasons and I’m in no way stating they are in the wrong, I’m just at logger heads at what to do! Today little man arrived home with an untouched lunchbox. I don’t even thing he touched his drink.

20120906-183846.jpgLittle man’s untouched packed lunch.

He was really upset yesterday. Having received the email I had replied stating that I wished the school to inform him of this change, I knew he wouldn’t be happy and I didn’t want him thinking it was my doing. Of course when he arrived home screaming and yelling, I had to support the school in-order to be consistent! He would otherwise struggle more with this decision and a challenging child at school was the last thing I wanted. However he did cry on his return yesterday, he protested that he had done all his work, tried his best and behaved appropriately! He felt as if it was some type of punishment (as always I blame the old school for such a way of thinking)!

We obviously had some difficulties this morning but despite his upset and empty tummy, I’ve received an email from his teacher alerting me to the fact he has had a really good day. His reported to be doing great in secondary and is settling into the routine better than expected. She also informed me that they had a chat about lunch and suggested maybe taking a flask of soup or pasta. We will try this as on his return today his eaten half the contents of the fridge which for me is much more unhealthy than the burger.

So… There it is, an update of little mans first few days as a child with Aspergers attending secondary school at an independent special school. How I’m relived to have gotten him out of the mainstream education sector in time! I’m convinced that this post would have contained content that displayed nothing but heartache if I hadn’t!

The life of tired but very imaginative mother (AKA Bullshitter)

23 Jul

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The above is a scary resemblance to that of myself this weekend.

I drag my tired arse from my warm cosy pit and head for the ladies room… I sit peeing, staring blankly into space, pjs round ankles… I suddenly jump… Crap I’m falling from a very high mountain. Oh, no I’m not… I’m just falling a sleep mid pee and almost weeing on the flooring… God I feel like crap!

I do a dirty by not flashing the chain, I don’t want anyone of my three little “Darlings” waking up and joining me as I indulge my morning senses in the aroma of an instant coffee. I splash my face with ice cold water in the hope it will leave me beautiful and head out coffee in hand to my chair in the garden for a very unhealthy but extremely satisfying cigarette. I suck in the beautiful sounds of nothingness, bracing myself for the madness which is never far away.

It’s 8am, it’s a Saturday… Why am I even awake. I don’t need to get any children to school… I don’t need to worry about that for a whole 6 weeks! Shouldn’t I be sleeping… After all the children are!

When your child has kept you awake till 6am before crashing out and then so rudely snoring in such a way it almost resembles the Eastenders theme tune, you kinda don’t see the point of running for your duvet given the birdies are tweeting, the sun is peeking over the rooftops and anytime soon a 2 year old will be stood beside you demanding Cocopops and CBeebies.

Of course it was my 11 year old Little man who didn’t sleep till the insane hours of Saturday morning. I tossed and turned, yet hearing him commentate yet another imaginative WWE match (that’s World Wrestling Entertainment for those of you that didn’t know) was just to disturbing! I always hold this fear In the Pitt of my stomach, that little man will do something dangerous or destructive while I drift slowly into wonderland! Yer…. It’s just never gonna happen is it!

As I write that I have a moment of reflection… I really do need to sleep!

Melatonin is the not so amazingly magical supplement little man chucks down the back of his neck with the aid of a glass of juice almost every night In order to get some much needed sleep and allow everyone else some too. It slow releases and this is meant to mean that it helps him stay asleep all through the night. Melatonin is not a strong sedative, it’s actually something we all produce naturally… Only those on the autism spectrum seem to not produce enough. It sometimes has a desired effect and I find this is once we start reusing it having stopped it for a couple of days. This is why I will normally stop giving it to him on a weekend or have a break every few weeks. As you can tell from my lack of sleep, Melatonin wasn’t something that was working for us Friday night, little man needs to fall asleep within an hour of taking them or you can just wave goodbye to that beautiful nights sleep you regularly dream up in your head!

Well, by now I’ve drowned my insides with a third mug of coffee (yes… Mug, not cup) and I’ve noticed that my one lonely stinking dog end in the ashtray has now been join by two stinky companions. I head for the bathroom to cleanse the morning sins from my tired body… That actually means I head of to scrub away the toxins with “Soap and Glory”. I then power up the electric toothbrush and have a good go at tackling the morning breath that formed despite my lack of kip. Basically this is an attempt to resemble something living again!

As I stand slapping lashings of moisturiser onto my face, I glance up into the mirror… “FFS… Na, I don’t look like this In the flesh… Surly!” I reason with myself that this old shabby mirror has turned evil in an attempt to make me feel a tad more crap. Seriously there is no way possible that this 30 year old woman is the host of the largest, darkest eye bags she’s ever seen in her life. Despite my reasoning that the mirror has it in for me I decide to pull out the big guns just in case. I dash to the bedroom to uncover the super wand (that would be “Touché éclat) and one of my many bottles of whitening eye drops. I ignore the suggestion of light dabbing around the eye area instead really going to town on it like Lynda Barker slapping paint onto a feature wall… Only I’m meant to be hiding these deep dark rings that ever so slightly resemble tescos bag for life! For some reason unknown to me… Touché éclat is acting as a highlighter! The darkness has faded leaving what looks like shiny shallow graves that scream “Everyone, check out the state of me… Check out this record breaking piss holes in the snow” then just as I’m about to have a mini tantrum I have a cartoon moment as a lightbulb flashes above my head… Ping… Yes, brilliant I shoot out loud as I once more embark on a second mad dash to the bedroom… Only this time I emerge with my biggest pair of sunnies.

This is a brilliant plan, now there is no need to coat my lashes in Benefits Bad Lash, instead I can safely hide my shopping bags under the dark oversized lense! Thank goodness the suns shining.

The children’s father arrives and I take my over caffeinated self out the door in the direction of newsagents for a newspaper and some more caffeine in the form of a red bull light. The sun somehow helps wash away the yucky energy drained feeling consumed within me. Earphones lodged in ears I block out the sound of the traffic to the sounds of “We be burnin” by Sean Paul. Wait, I almost feel myself again, I’m winning the war against sleep deprivation… Oh yes… I’m smiling like a twat, I finally have a spring in my step.

Inside the newsagents I grab my paper and a couple of cans of “Wings” and head to the counter with a “Good morning, what beautiful wheather we’re having” kinda attitude. I’ve lived in the area years so of course I know the owners and their sons who are of the same age if not a year or two younger. For this reason polite chit chat always flows easily. On this particular Saturday morning its one of the sons who is serving and once we have engaged in small talk he rings up my items and hits me with the bill. The oversize sunnies have made everything dark so as I dig around in my handbag for my purse, I remove the glasses from my eyes and push them up onto my messy morning barnet. As I place the money in his hand our eyes connect… No, this isn’t a love story far from it actually! The expression upon this guys face was one that I can only discribe as fright, its one that reminded me that those oversize sunnies now sat up on my head where actually on my eyes for a reason… Shit!

Silence… Then he let out a slight chuckle before saying “I’m guessing you had a great night last night” with a nod and a grin.

By now I don’t no if I’m gonna drop to the shop floor and uncontrollable sob, run away or just die there and then! Remember this guy has pretty much confirmed in a round about manner that I look a right mess. I stand frozen in shock with the sudden realisation that my mirror has no evil motive… Omg i think as i flick the glasses back over my puffy eyes.

However, what happened next isn’t what one would expect. Sometimes I shock myself!

Instead of just running off, I instead find myself suddenly indulging this guy in what can only be described as utter total bullshit…. Yes verbal nonsense that is bursting at the seam pokies, over imaginative make believe that I can only blame on the days spent engaging in hours of imaginative play with a tiny tot (I gotta blame someone after all)!

“Not half… Didn’t get home till after 6 am” I said while trying to do my best impression off a nodding Churchill dog.

“Did you go into town” he asks

Oh god, here it comes… A second helping of verbal diarrhoea…

“Of course, I only go out in the West End these days… Not keen on the nightlife locally”

What…? Stop it Claire! Your lucky if you get out at all let alone the West End! Get out of here you silly women with make believe social life…. stop telling the man porkies! Yes, I hear my inner voice… Only my self control has suddenly pissed off when I need it most!

Oh… crap, here’s another helping! Somebody stop me please… To late!!!

“Well, first we, that’s myself and mate, had a few drinks in Leicester Square before heading down to the coliseum in Vauxhall”

20120723-162944.jpgJustifying the look of death with dancing in social settings failed to pay off as hoped.

That’s enough already you crazy sad freak… Your a total nutty fantasist… Home with you!

But I just couldn’t stop the easy flow of bullshit that seemed to be uncontrollably slipping of the edge of my tongue.

Oh ghosh… Here comes some more…

“Actually it was an awesome night” I said in an excited tone.

Mmmm… Really what night? Screams the inner voice I’m continuously ignoring for no good reason!

“They did happy hour every hour on the hour and you could enjoy a fishbowl of whatever cocktail you liked from the menu for just eight quid… *giggle* Needless to say I got a bit merry hence my morning presence and need for red bull” I let out a puff of air blowing my hair from over my face, somehow indicting how busy my social life is these days.

20120723-162312.jpgYou see… I may look like death warmed up in a microwave but I got off my tits on cocktails.

Surly that’s enough fibs for today!

But the conversation was clearly not finished….

He let out a confused laugh… “Strange I was there last night and I didn’t hear of any happy hour! In fact drinks were hugely over priced just as they always are!”

Oh… Crap, Crap, Double Crap.

Burning cheeks and a couple of heart palpitations later the realisation sets in! OMG… my verbal diarrhoea has been uncovered as just that, i’m left feeling totally stupid and crazy! This has all been rolled into one huge shameful mass of bullshit! What have I become?

I responded with the words “Oh that is strange” before making my super speedy exist quickly followed by power walking as opposed to strolling up the street in an attempt to reach the comfort of home where I can be safe from infecting others with verbal diarrhoea. Please, don’t let me see anyone I know! They may approach me for small talk… I’m not responsible for the rubbish I’m speaking today, nor am I responsible for the scariness hidden beneath these oversize TopShop sunnies! Faster… Come on, get inside before you make yourself look like an even sadder and bigger tit then you already have! Its safe to say i’ve now acquired a little more than a spring in my step… This has transformed itself into something of giant leaps as speedily hurry for the safety of home.

I dunno why I got so carried away with my little “White Lie” that same little white lie that ended up biting me on the bum. I guess at the moment dancing under the strobe lights amongst the artificial smoke seemed a much more interesting story! If i’m being totally honest… Which i swear i am now… I probably liked the idea of actually having the energy for a night on the tiles, this and the fact that sleep deprivation would have been a choice i made instead of an unavoidable situation I regularly find myself in. I’m not ashamed of the reality, after all that reality is my life. Little man along with his siblings are my everything and although some days I deal with things like a pro I understand that as a human being I have to embrace those other few crappy days too, that or lose the few marbles I have left! Aspergers accompanied with its many traits (sleeping or the lack of it being just one of them) is a huge part of our lives and that is “mostly” fine…. I guess I just had a moment of madness… I just let my imagination run away with me! I mean fishbowls… Whatever next!

For me I guess it was a stroke of bad luck! How unfortunate, out of all the night clubs in all the country, why oh why did I choose to revolve my bullshit around the one club he actually spent his Friday night.

This over tired but very imaginative mother really needs to get her head down on a firm pillow and engage in some hardcore sleeping action in order to recharge those flagging brain cells. Because if she doesn’t, the danger is that she will turn into fantasist which in english terms is what one would describe to be a total “Bullshitter” and not a very good one at that!

20120723-162721.jpgFinally this was me Saturday night… Unconscious, quite literally knocked out for the count… Some would describe me as dead. Oh thank good I wasn’t shoved in a freezer then buried alive! Ps… Yes Little man did wreak the house while I slept but at least he didn’t burn it to the ground… Touch wood!

Baz Bags® For The Child With Autism

12 Jul

When I got an email from the guys at Bean Bag Bazaar asking if little man would like to try out one of their bean bags, I didn’t need to think twice.

You see, we’re trying to re-create Little mans room into something of a sensory pad and a large bean bag was one of the many items on our to buy list.

We wanted a bean bag that little man could use for everything! Relaxing, sitting, playing his computer games etc. I already know that bean bags are a real sensory comfort to the Little man, though I hadn’t yet replaced the one that exploded as a result of little mans diving on it. This meant that as well as comfort I’d be seeking bean bags with good durability (I swear when the last one exploded, I continued finding tiny balls around the house for months).

We chose the kids Baz Bag
a versatile and water-resistant kids bean bag that can be used in and outdoors. I chose a nice bright red colour for the little man and he loved it.

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The Kids Baz bag® can be positioned anyway you like. Sit on it, lay on it, it’s up to you. There are endless ways to use your Baz Bag® and to demonstrate this the guys at Bazaar have created a short demonstration video.

Little man isn’t a great sleeper even with the use of melatonin. His often come home from a hard day at school and crashed out on his Baz Bag®.

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That’s not to say the other children haven’t fallen in love with the Baz bag® and it looks like I’m going to need to get little sister Alice-Sara her own.

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The Baz Bag® is made from water-resistant material, making it easy to sponge clean from spills and marks. Which for me is essential given its for the children. Baz Bag® has robust strong fabric making it extremely hardwearing and less likely of exploding like that of some of our previous bean bags. The little man is always bashing and crashing about and he tends to just dive onto his Baz Bag® when home from school.

Little man certainly appreciates having a Baz Bag® to chill on and provide him with sensory comfort. His sensory pad isn’t yet complete but I’ll be sure to share some images when it is!

There are so many different styles of kids bean bags over at Bean bag Bazaar, there really is something for everyone. I love this Lion BazZoo animal from the Bean Bags for kids range

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The Kids Baz Bag® is exclusive to BeanBagBazaar and is currently on special offer… Was £89.99 Now £42.99

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!

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