Tag Archives: Melatonin

When Special Interest become obsessive in children with Aspergers Syndrome

28 Feb

Special interests are great but sometimes pose a problem!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 
Advertisements

A week in Little man’s shoes

18 Nov
Animation of an MRI brain scan, starting at th...

Image via Wikipedia

Little Man’s  had a not so good week, lets just say it’s been somewhat trying! Sadly I had a funeral to attend at the beginning of the week after a family member passed over. Mid-way through the week Little man throw an unexpected yet almighty meltdown at 8 am and was impossible to clam! As his transport arrived and his escort knocked on the door to collect him, I knew it would be an impossible task to get him out that door, and it was just that! This resulted in him not attending school, despite my attempts to persuade him to leave the house and let me take him on one of his favourite modes of transport, ‘The Train’

In all honesty Little man has been a little off the wall the entire week. Of course the events of the past few weeks didn’t help, he finds it hard to understand how people pass on and especially so suddenly. It was only March this year that a friend of the family passed away, again it was sudden and confused Little man a great deal. After speaking to his teacher over the phone, I was informed that when the receptionist had called down to speak to the class teacher, Little man had answered the class phone and reported back to the receptionist when she asked to speak with the teacher, that she couldn’t come to the phone as she had died suddenly!

However it’s not just the whole situation surrounding death that’s bothering him, though I’m not actually to sure what else is.

I do worry somewhat, as I am still fighting the nightly battle to get Little man to complete any homework, this goes for the revision of spellings and even reading his reading book! He reads to himself, yet this doesn’t enable me to judge how well his doing in-order to report back to the school.

Another issue lately is the return of the tummy ache, through I think this maybe entirely anxiety related! His teacher reported in his contact book that he had suffered a good proportion of the day with this discomfort, I was called but was unfortunately out for the count (I dunno what happen that day, I just crashed out, but goodness… I must have needed it)! He did still have the tummy ache once home and after some soup and a little rest on the sofa, he perked up somewhat and trotted of to engage in a game of Sims (which I must add is driving me loony).

As for Little man’s sleeping, well, the Melatonin is now up and down! Don’t get me wrong, if he goes to sleep the pro-long release works amazingly, it’s just getting him to this stage. We made some amazing breakthroughs over the last month, he started sleeping in his own room (which he hasn’t done since hearing the horrid car crash that resulted in half a car rammed into the neighbours gate) So his progress was something to celebrate. nonetheless things again started to slip, and yes I held my ground when stating he will not drag his chair bed into my room but instead go and get back in his warm and cosy bed in his own room! Yet, my son has a fantastic ability to continue begging at my door some 2 hours after having first started and what with him and his sister needing to attend school the following morning, giving in seems my best option, well… at the time it does anyway!

That was a few weeks back, and yer… you’ve guessed it, he hasn’t slept the night in his own room since, which is also my own fault, though I’m just to tired to do consistent right now!

The upside to the week was a call I received from a psychologist at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London. They are currently running a study to piece together the puzzle that surrounds child anxiety disorders for those in children with autism and aspergers syndrome! The study in question is titled ” Evaluation of diagnostic techniques and cognitive and physiological correlates off anxiety in young people with autism spectrum disorders” and the principal investigator is, ‘Emily Simonoff’ at the ‘Department of child and adolescent psychiatry, Kings College London.’ Now, my son is no “Lab Rat” however he is a child who suffers greatly with anxiety, to the point it interferes with his day-to-day quality of life. He has the opportunity to take part in the study which just involves some task done through the use of a computer. They have booked him in for the 1st of December, and we will need to spend the day at the hospital in order to take part. Little man loves computers and he seems pretty up for getting involved. It’s my opinion that as long as little man is fully willing to do this, then why not try to help make sense of it all and maybe one day the research will benefit my son and others like him, after all childhood anxiety is a huge problem, one that I myself suffered at the hands of so greatly as a child.

This wont be the first time Little man has taken part in a study! He was also involved in the MRI scanning for children with autism research, which I must add, made me extremely proud. He faced a host of difficulties when it came to the scanner yet he did manage to stay in position and have some images taken though this was in small sections and each for a very short period of time. Just to get this far showed how amazing the little guy is.

So, as long as we get the letter I have requested from Kings which I want to give to his school in order to hopefully authorise his absence, given that they agree, then we will head to kings on the 1st of next month and hopefully have an update one day soon after.

Well, as you can see, things are really up and down at our end…. Here’s hoping we have a settled and trouble-free weekend.

Oh… and of course… Here’s hoping yours is a good one too!

Melatonin for the child with autism

8 Nov
A bottle of melatonin tablets

Image via Wikipedia

 I may have recently mentioned that Little man has had a change of medication. He is still taking Melatonin, however now his on a different brand, ‘Circadin’ which is a prolonged- release tablet.

  Melatonin isn’t a medication given to Little man as a way to control his Aspergers syndrome, it’s actually given to help him to sleep at night and remain that way in-till a suitable hour. Many children on the autism spectrum have difficulties with settling to sleep and little man is definitely one-off them. 

 Melatonin, actually belongs to a natural group of hormones and it’s something everyone’s body naturally produces. It’s the Melatonin we produce that helps us to become tired and relaxes our mind enough for us to sleep. Its thought that those on the autism spectrum do not produce enough of this hormone hence the reason why so many are unable to sleep or sleep for long periods of time. 

 Little man has had this problem since he was baby and in all honesty it’s grown much worse with age. I wrote an article for SEN magazine back in August which describes the time I woke in the night to find my 4-year-old son frying a bit of bacon in the kitchen, a child who couldn’t understand why I would be angry about this. The most worrying time for me was when he turned all the hobs (gas rings) on and almost gassed us (We now have a safety switch located on the wall.) However Little man is now 11 years old and I feel he is that bit more responsible about stuff like this and doesn’t tend to act in these dangerous ways quite as much. Don’t get me wrong he is still so much more impulsive than most children, I’ve just banged on about the midnight cooking so much, I think his got the message!

 As he grew that bit older, I noticed it wasn’t so much him waking in the small hours that was the problem, more the fact he wasn’t settling to sleep at all. I got sick of hearing people’s advice when stating, “Take his computer away, remove the television from his room etc….” What people couldn’t grasp was the fact that these items had sod all to do with it! It was his mind he couldn’t switch off, not the television!

 Little man started taking Melatonin when he was 8 years old around 8 months before formal diagnosis which he obtained from CAMHS following numerous assessments (another post altogether). At first it worked a treat, I suddenly discovered that I’d spent the last few years a ‘Night Owl’ and now couldn’t adjust my own sleep pattern, just as I began making progress, Bang… the Melatonin would stop working it’s magic and we were back to square one! I really didn’t want my child receiving stronger medication, though I’m non judgemental to those that do take this route, I just felt it wasn’t for us. 

 I learnt that by stopping and restarting the medication it worked better, nonetheless this was only for at a few weeks at a time, meaning I walked around with permanent shopping bags hanging from under my eyes. Little man spent a lot of the earlier days out of school and at home sleeping! I knew that the best way to deal with this was to get tough and keep him awake tough-out the day in-order to sleep at night, but trust me, it wasn’t easy! Have you tried to wake a child who can become very aggressive at 7.30-am given he only went of to sleep at the ghastly hour of 5-am? As mentioned Little man didn’t begin on any type of medication till he was 8 years old, yet we had been faced with the reality of sleepless nights from day Dot. 

 When Little man started reception at age 5 years, sleeping was already a big an issue as ever and by the age of 7 years the school already had the education welfare officer on my back. I can honestly say that it was at this very period of my life that I was the lowest I have ever been to date. I was taken to court and fined like some careless mother who couldn’t give a rats arse about her child. Yet here I was screaming at the top of my lungs, “I need some help here” yet it felt like no one could hear me (the cold hard reality was no one wanted to hear me). I was just 24 years old then, seen as a young mum without a clue! The court went as far as to send me to parenting classes and stick me on a parenting order. 

 It was back then I lived my life on red bull and expressos, weighed a little over 7 stone and booked myself into a counselling . Little man’s Asperger’s syndrome was now at its height of making itself known. My own child would hit, punch, kick and bite me. I remember one day falling to the ground sobbing, I looked up to see him stood before me laughing. His grandmother later asked him why he thought it was funny? His answer, “Mummy had a red face” 

 It was such a long deliberating fight to get him on the CAMHS waiting list and I released that It was only me that could get him there. My therapist, who was a god sent, said to me during one session, “You’re not a bad mother, go with your instincts” that was the best advice anybody could give me back then! I refused to listen when teachers told me rubbish, implying it was his home life that was the issue, always telling me they saw no issues at school (note they forgot to mention to myself or CAMHS that he had been placed on the sen register, and was bullied for mimicking the opening and closing of a train door) these were things I didn’t discover till I wised up and requested his entire educational record under the freedom of information and Data protection acts when gearing up for a discrimination case. 

 I think that the school expected miracles once little man started on the Melatonin. He would constantly be brought in late, given I had spent the last three hours trying to get him up dressed and out the door! I always got dealt the same insulting comment, “What did you forget to give him his sleeping meds last night” Yer…. right, of course I bloody did. It always rattled me a little more given the fact I’d not slept a wink and spent the morning trying to persuade him to remain in his clothes instead of stripping and running away. It still makes my blood run cold, how quick someone who is meant to be a professional is so quick to judge. 

 Of course I ended up back in court, thankfully the parenting order was scrapped, nonetheless I was still fined for the hard fact that yes I was his mother and regardless of any medical reasons and so forth he hadn’t been in school on so and so day so I was therefore guilty. Can you believe that the head-teacher wasn’t able to come due to school commitments and as my sentence was said out that same head master was busy leaving me a voicemail, informing me my child was excluded for 4 days (the 3rd exclusion in around a month)! No, they were no longer stating he was the angel at school like they once did!

 It’s fair to say that his sleeping issues that are a result of his Aspergers syndrome, have had a huge effect on our lives and my (looks, ha-ha seriously bags and wrinkles are not a hot mamma look)!  My point is, lack of sleep has a huge impact on everyone’s ability to function in everyday life, combined with the effects of poor social interaction, the ability to see an-others way of thinking, anxiety and the day-to-day pressures of life itself makes life a lot more pressing for a child on the autism spectrum and therefore the family too. 

 The new medication is taken in tablet form which has been a bit challenging as his so used to the capsules. I’ve noticed that once taken his much calmer within the hour. He sleeps well though there are still nights that it starts lacking in its benefits so again we need to break for one or two days, I try to do this during weekends but sometimes it’s the case by mid-week. Despite this the medication is actually much better then the last one which was actually having no benefit at all. 

 The first week of the new meds there were a few side-effects such as a hangover effect on wakening and he become much more emotional, crying on return from school for no particular reason. He also felt really tired and would fall asleep as soon as he walked through the door, which isn’t something we are not used to, and not really ideal when he has to sleep through the night. I must note, however off-putting these side-effects may sound, they lasted a little over a week, then began to disappear so to push on is the key. 

 If you’re a parent and your child suffers from difficulty in sleeping it can have a massive impact on your life. Little man is under the sleep clinic and although things are not always great, there is the odd few nights we get a great kip which compared to what its been like previously, its good progress. 

 I would advise any parent, whether their child has a diagnosis of autism or not, to go with their gut. Don’t suffer in silence, a GP can make the appropriate referrals and is able to prescribe a medication such as Melatonin (those in the states can obtain this over the counter and looks something like the image above). You as the parent need sleep in order to do the best job possible in raising your child, seek advice before it gets any worse (and believe me, it will)!

A somewhat weird Halloween

2 Nov

Yesterday was Halloween, and in all honesty it was a bit of a weird one.

Alice-Sara returned to school following the half-term  Little man didn’t return in till today. Nonetheless, I wasn’t having him remain in bed all day and he did finally get up after much debate & a pretty standard meltdown!

After giving the kids some breakfast, my youngest took a mid-morning nap which surprised me as he hasn’t done this for quite some time, however, with the bubba asleep and little man refusing to budge from in front of the television to let me watch some ‘This Morning’ I decided to sneak upstairs and indulge in a little twitter before catching up on some reviews (though it’s not like there wasn’t more practical things I should have been doing like, de-cluttering my wardrobe). Oh yes, the lack of wardrobe space I can no longer ignore, as much as I hate getting rid of any of my clothing some of it has to go (with the exception of footwear) that’s a big NO, NO.

Later I needed to head of to the doctor’s surgery to pick up the Little man’s prescription for his Melatonin, which has been change to a different brand as a result of the National health cuts. This basically means, he will now take a brand of Melatonin called ‘Circadian’ given in the form of a tablet, instead of the capsules he was on before. I had also raised concerns with the Doctor as the melatonin seemed to be wearing of quite quickly (or not working at all) The new medication is a prolonged release and can you believe it, I woke up this morning only to realise that Little man hasn’t woken all night not once! ‘Please God let this continue!’ This was the first time I have slept all night in… I don’t know how long!

I also had to see the Doctor who was strangely dressed as a vampire in the spirit of the Halloween. “Um… Yes, this was a pretty strange experience given I was there to talk about my need to change contraception”! This wasn’t something I saw myself doing when I woke up that morning, discussing my women’s business with a blood sucking vampire with fake blood running down his chin!

Next stop was the local chemist to exchange my prescription for something that would get the Little man some much-needed kip. This was just as weird given I was served by a teenager in a cat suit who wore the most freakish set of contact lenses I’ve ever come across (completely white with a little black pin dot in place of a pupil)!

The next stop would be my mothers to collect the children, as I walked the short distance I was passed by cute little one’s dressed in adorable costumes, trick or treating with their parents. I also passed the local yobs egging the bus then running away from the neighbour hood patrollers, “It’s all found and games where I live”!

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any wackier, as I approached my mothers turning, I noticed some random middle-aged guy rolled in a ball laying on the pavement This man was either trying to save a parking space for the wife, or maybe even dead, I wasn’t sure! Well, me being the tit that I can be, “Occasionally” decided to be a  good citizen by asking him, “Excuse me, are you dead” “Come on… if he was, I wasn’t going to get an answer was I !” Sometimes I ask the most stupid questions, but I blame it on having kids 🙂 Well, the good news is, he wasn’t dead, just as pissed as a fart, I did try to warn him it would be an idea if he moved on, (not that he was bothering me, I could just see him getting egged by the rotten lot at the bottom of the hill). He mumbled and then went back to sleep. I tried, but had kids to collect, so went on my way.

Once at my mothers I told my little sister what I had witnessed, it was only then I discovered he had been there some 3 hours before, as my sister  had seen him when collecting my daughter from school! She informed me that some local people who live in the houses near where he was laying, had tried getting him up but he wasn’t having any off it! With that I called the guys in blue, and expressed my concern. No one deserves to be left In that state no matter if it’s self inflicted or otherwise. Well, someone had to move him!

I left my mothers an hour and a half later to see the blue light only just approaching. The poor drunken dude was still laying there on the ground only now he was covered in eggs from his head down to his toes, good job the police were there at last, otherwise I fear he may have been eaten by a hungry fox or two.

It had been an eventful evening, the trip to the surgery had saved me from an evening of “Trick or treat” my sister took them instead, though I felt no guilt when tucking into their sweets when they were sleeping,! They had so many I was sure they would never notice, of course Little man proved me wrong with the screaming and shouting this morning! I’m sure the neighbours came to the conclusion that I had done a lot more than pinched a few celebrations and a packet of mix-up when he branded me a big fat thief, “Nice, I know!”

So… That was our Halloween, a tad strange and one I wont forget in a hurry. Honestly, I’ll never look at that doctor the same way again!

Well, here’s a belated Happy Halloween from ‘A boy with Aspergers’ we hope you had a spook-taculer time!

Tonight is the night

30 Sep

Can you believe it, today is the day of the Mad blog awards Ceremony where the winners will be revealed.

I will be done up to the nines in my new dress and overly high shoes. Lots of makeup is needed (a paper bag even) as I’m sure I will have great big bags hanging from under my eyes, the kind bigger enough to carry a weeks shopping in!

Of course I haven’t had a wink of sleep, not even a tiny bit. We currently don’t have any melatonin for Little Man, (not that it does much good anyway) so these last few nights have been pretty trying.

My Sponsor OptiBac Probiotics have provided me with a beautiful hotel for tonight, so I’m not only looking forward to the awards but also a good bloody nights sleep!

Tomorrow is another big day in our household! It’s the Little man’s 11th Birthday.

This year I found we’ve had less strange gift request, such as padlocks, batteries and Dr pepper. This has been replaced with the request for money!

Sadly Little man seems to think the stuff falls out of the sky and I nearly killed myself laughing when he calmly yet politely requested the grand old sum of £400 (No my finger didn’t slip and accidently add an extra 0)!

Having Aspergers means little man normally has no shame in requesting the things he wants. Most children don’t, when the request is being made at their parents, yet little man will make such request to anyone who will listen!

His been requesting different sums of cash from a host of family members these past few weeks, so much so, that it’s driving me a tad loopy.

Another thing my son has a tendency to do, has done for as long as I can remember, is,

“ Ask friends and relatives bearing gifts, how much did it cost”

It’s times like these I feel to cover his mouth so he cannot speak. Someone gives him a present and I hold my breath in till I almost pass-out in the hope he doesn’t ask!

Of course I’ve explained that it is indeed rude, my child’s rigid thinking disallows him to see my point, he can’t get my way of thinking so therefore continues on his mission to find out the cost of his birthday presents and won’t rest in till he has.

This year he is off for a day out in London with his friend My younger sister will be doing the honours in accompanying them. Me, I’m not invited! He actually went about making his birthday plans without me! Charming I know! So I’ve decided to treat him to a nice Chinese meal in the evening.

So, that’s my Little update from my little world.

I cannot continue for I am simply zombied out, so apologise if this post is a load of meaningless rubbish!

If you fancy finding out how myself and the other finalist get on at the Mad awards tonight (that’s if I manage to stay awake through it) then you can follow the live blog where there will be live commentary and pictures posted throughout! This kicks off at 6pm this evening (Friday 30th September) just click HERE.

A boy with Asperger’s get’s sponsored for the Mad blog awards

8 Sep

 This is it guys, it’s almost here, on September the 30th I’ll be of to the “Mad blog awards for the awards ceremony in London’s Soho.

 What makes this all the more exciting, is the fact that somebody likes the blog so much that they have agreed to sponsor me!

 These day’s it isn’t just footballers and big name brands that get sponsored, but bloggers too! 

 When looking for a sponsor I wanted to find a brand or company that were passionate about what they do, in the same way I’m passionate about my family, raising awareness for autism and my love of writing and of course blogging. As well as this pretty huge requirement, I also wanted the companies brand/product to fit in with the overall theme of the blog.  So, for me this would be a brand that deals with parents but with the added addition of autism.

 Well, I’m pleased to say, that I think I found this and a whole lot more in my sponsor. Yes, I’m both incredibly excited and delighted to be working with them!

 So, without further delay…

 My Sponsor for the Mad blog awards is…  Drum roll please …

  “OPTIBAC PROBIOTICS”

OptiBac are an independent family run business with a passion for Probiotics almost as big as my passion to create awareness for autism and help families dealing with diagnosis and the challenges it may bring.

 For those who have no idea what Probiotics are and how they relate to autism, let me explain!

 What are Probiotics?

 Probiotics are live microorganisms  (more commonly known as friendly bacteria) and are something we all have, and need within our own bodies. This bacteria, alongside Pathogens, (Bad bacteria) can be found living in our intestines. It’s the good bacteria’s (Probiotics) that are needed to ensure good digestive health, while playing an important roll in keeping our immunity and energy levels high.

 It is important to have a good balance of both good and bad bacteria, and although we produce both, it is often the case that the balance needed becomes fragile. This is a common occurrence what with, Stress, ageing, travelling, high sugar levels and more, all being contributing factors.

 When our bodies experience an imbalance of the two, a person may experience symptoms, Such as, low energy, bloating, allergies & food intolerance, skin conditions such as eczema, heartburn, Diarrhoea, constipation, thrush, IBS and more.

 Probiotics and autism

 It is well documented within the autism world that the link between autism and digestive health is a pretty big One, with hundreds of thousands of children and adults with an autism spectrum diagnosis, having some type of ongoing digestive/Gut problem, that quite possibly requires some form of treatment, medication or diet requirement. 

 I, myself have heard a mass of stories from other parents of children on spectrum speaking of their child’s poor and problematic digestive health. 

 Just a few days back, a thread on my facebook page,“A boy with Aspergers” highlighted the high number of children with poor digestive health against a very minute few who have little or no issues, to be rather substantial.

 Though my own little study proves little, there has been a great deal of research involved in discovering if there really is a link between the two? Most results indicated that, yes there is!

Check out these few sites, ‘Food for the brain‘ & ‘Incredible Horizons’,  

 I have come across many parents and individuals who are trying to improve their child on the spectrums digestive health by changing the way they eat. If you are a parent to a child on the autism spectrum or you yourself are on that spectrum, its pretty likely that you have come across terms such as, lactose, gluten or casein! These naturally occurring proteins, can all be found within the foods we eat and children and adults with autism can be extremely sensitive to such ingredients (food intolerance) however it is thought that such occurrences could be due to the imbalance of probiotics and Pathogens (friendly and not so friendly bacteria).

 Most children with autism, already have a very limited diet and although there are plenty of Gluten-free and Casein-free foods now on the market, many parents experience a great deal of problems trying to introduce this to the child with ASD. Another important factor to remember, is the differing finds within scientific studies when it comes to eliminating these food groups and the true benefits for the child with autism.

 Little man is a child who has some degree of problems with his digestive health, mainly maintaining his regularity and the stomach cramps this causes him. His diet has improved over the years though not greatly! It lacks a lot of the healthy foods. His eating habits are quite limited and he therefore quite shamefully gets by on chicken or bacon. He also has a great fear of public toilets and certainly wont do a number two anywhere but when at home or when visiting one of his two grandmothers, which of course does nothing for his digestive system. So, of course I put these issues plus his terrible habit of wind breaking down to the above, but lately I’ve been forced to rethink, looking at the whole picture. You see, I don’t really know if little man has any food intolerance, though even if  he did, the work needed to change his whole outlook on food would be a great challenge! So, if there is a possibility that a supplement of probiotics could help balance out his good and bad bacteria, I’m up for giving this a try!

 You see, it’s not just problems with the gut that children with autism experience, but also a mass of other problems, such as, behaviour problems, poor sleep, anxiety and more! Again little man suffers quite severely from all listed.

Research into the probiotics has found that a daily dose of certain strains of probiotics given to a child with autism can dramatically improve areas of concern such as those listed above (especially poor behaviour and concentration levels).

  More about the, ‘A boy with Aspergers’ sponsor, ‘OptiBac’

 These guys are awesome, and yes, they know all there is to know about probiotics! They are in-fact the UK’s best selling probiotic range and are unique in the fact they use specific probiotics for specific health conditions, meaning there is a probiotic supplement right for each and every one of us. OptiBac Probiotics are so safe most can be used while pregnant, breast-feeding and some can even be given to children as young as 6 months old. With this and the fact OptiBac offers its customers affordable probiotics, aimed at each ones particular concerns, makes this a really trusting brand.

 Strains of Probiotic

Lactobacillus acidophilus Rosell-52 is one of the most commonly known probiotics and is actually used within five of the nine OptiBac supplements. The probiotic strain is often combined with prebiotics (prebiotics, is a source of food for probiotics to grow, multiply and survive in the gut) and is a good aid for health conditions such as IBS, reducing the risk of yeast infections and can even minimise the risk of diarrhoea, especially in travellers. Rosell-52 is used within the children’s range (from 6 months-12 years) This same supplement is also safe to take when pregnant or breast-feeding , so is therefore recommend to both children and expectant and breast-feeding mothers. (this is the supplement Alice-Sara and little H started today). The species ‘acidophilus’ can also be found within the premium range, such as, ‘Extra strength’ which consist of a further four strains of probiotic and contains 20 billion live probiotic microorganisms per capsule. This is the species we have started little man on this morning, which is given in the form of a capsule! Little man is used to these as he takes Melatonin to help aid his sleep at night, so, he had no problems taking it!

 There are many other strains of Probiotics that OptiBac use in their products and with each strain a different dosage helping to combat a persons health concerns in the most natural and healthy way possible . The above example is just one of many strains and more detailed information can be found over at the OptiBac website within its resource centre, You will also find a full list of the probiotics on offer and what each can do to benefit your health. 

 You will find that most if not all, probiotics are approved for use, if you are a vegetarian or on a gluten or Yeast- free diet. They all contain no added sugar, (Sugar can actually counteract the benefits of the added friendly bacteria, which is while Probiotic yogurts are not really recommend, due to the added sweeteners and sugars) lastly they are free from artificial colouring.

 OptiBac really impressed me, yet we’ve only just began our journey discovering the potential benefits for children on the spectrum, like my little man, and my families health as a whole ( Yes, that’s right we’re all having a go !) 

Alice-Sara and baby H are taking the,For your children’s health supplements (for their general everyday good digestive health) £16.34

Little man is taking the, ‘Extra strength’ capsules (to help with digestive health and improve his bloating and stomach cramps, that maybe a symptom of his autism). £22.49

and as for me, Im taking the New, ‘Maintaining Regularity (for my IBS and bloating, though don’t worry, I’m not about to start blogging bowel movement updates). £24.98

 Other products that look great are, ‘Flat stomach’ and ‘For those on antibiotics’ (That’s the actual name of the product) which is a fantastic supplement designed to replace the bacteria’s that antibiotics kill, causing symptoms such as trash (it’s happen to me and I only wish I had known about Optibac)!  This is just one of the many side affects that can result from taking a dose of antibiotics. 

 So, there you have it. The brilliant OptiBac are my Mad blog awards sponsor and will be so kindly putting me up in a lovely hotel on the night of the awards. 

In the meantime I’ll be taking my daily supplement and hoping my bloating stays away on and before the 30th

 Make sure you all look out for updates, to discover how the probiotics are working for little man! Will there be improvement in his digestive health, sleep, behaviour, or very poor concentration? Let’s just wait and see.

 Please show some Love and like OptiBac on ‘Facebook or follow them on twitter. Also don’t forget to check out the OptiBac website Just pop on over to any one of these and say hi. I would really appreciate it and I bet they would too!

OptiBac in London … Catch OptiBac in London between the 5th-9th September 2011

The guys at OptiBac, have one of their very own Naturopath’s visiting a number of London stores and are inviting you along for some free health advice and special offers. Check out the site for locations. 

NOTE: We are not after a cure, we love Little man the way he is. OptiBac nor myself are claiming such nonsense. I’m just pointing out that yes, children with autism do tend to have digestive/gut problems and Probiotics may help improve this and maybe some of the difficulties listed above. If you’re looking for a cure, then I’m afraid you wont find one in probiotics or any other source for that matter!

I’m a mum get me out of here!

1 Aug

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A fresh start

24 Jun

It’s 3-Am the early hours of Thursday morning, Little man is running around the house like some headless loud chicken on pro-plus and redbull. 

“Come on, you really have to settle down now! You know you start your new school tomorrow, don’t you think you should get some rest”? This was me, trying to unsuccessfully reason with my ten-year old little man! He seems more lively than ever despite the 8 mg of Melatonin he had an hour before! 

It’s the night before the big event! This is quite possibly the biggest event in little man’s life to date, for the morning will bring with it a new beginning, a chance to start a fresh! Don’t all children deserve this? 

Over the course of a few months I watched my child lose every last stripe of his self-esteem. I watched him being gradually excluded from everything he had learnt to love, socially isolated from the friends it had taken far to long for him to make! I battled a system that took every last inch of my strength to break, the endless meetings, the tears from both myself and my child. I listened to the professionals each one slowly giving up on him, the constant calls to collect him as he was said to have been a danger to himself and others, maybe he didn’t fit in with the daily activities planed for the day. I went to court where I found myself prosecuted for my child’s school refusal, not once but twice. I watched him cry, hit his head and ask god why? When my child stated, “I just want to be normal” I cried and continued to cry for nights, days, weeks even months after. I was scared for my sons future, for what lay ahead. I felt lost, wanting to remove my child from the school I felt was truly damaging him, the school that taught him in isolation like some mass murder. I battled for a statement, I got one, then battled for the appropriate amendments to be made! I got brave filing a claim for discrimination and getting the result we wanted although knowing this already tough relationship would now get tougher. Finally I removed my child from the educational setting that was so, so wrong for him, and watched the slow improvements as he was taught 1-1 for five hours a day at the local library by a great tutor supplied by the LEA. I found a school, an independent special school, solely for children with autism! Yet the Lea were not about to hand it to me on a plate and only after every single state maintained special school failed to offer him a place did they finally give in, agreeing to his placement at my preferred school. Little Man had spent the last six months out off school, prior to this, for the period of a year or more Little man was either home on exclusion, educated at school for the period of just three hours per day given in an isolated environment, spending the afternoons at home where he was home schooled. Now he would take the steps needed to make a slow transition to his new learning environment with the help of his tutor, his now best friend! 

This was a big deal for him, I understood that! It’s a big deal for me too! His excitement was electrifying, yet his anxiety was closely hovering by! Little man is wide-eyed at 3-Am almost every night, So this night wasn’t any different! However his this degree of hyperactivity was at a high and risky level, one I hadn’t seen in a while.  

It was something past 4-Am before little man finally gave in, surrendering to his bodies cry for sleep. I tried hard to stay awake, the fear I would somehow sleep through the alarm having fallen asleep so late was within me! Though I gave it all I had but was defeated, just as Little man was an hour before. 

What seemed like five minutes later (God I hate that) I was rudely but thankfully awoken by the horrid buzz of the alarm clock. Rubbing my eyes and seriously struggling to see a thing I faintly made out the numbers on the alarm establishing that it was 7-Am. I could have so easily closed my eyes, reasoning with myself that five minutes extra would do no harm, that I somehow would be able to remain in touch with my head that would remind me that I needed to get outta bed. But I didn’t… Though I have in the past, I made myself get out of that bed and get on with it. 

Waking the little man was like waking an angry dinosaur that or an over hormonal teenager (at ten, this isn’t great… meaning I would preferably go with the dinosaur right now) He angrily gave me an unwelcome gesture of his middle finger then so kindly asked me to @%** Off! I persisted in-till I had movement. Up he got with an awful load of abuse in toll . This little guy had only been a sleep a total of three hours and of course he was filled with both the fear and excitement about the new school . I tried not to escalate the situation and let him dress at his own slow pace. Eventually I was greeted with a somewhat more pleasant child, who sat next to me and said, “Mum, I’m terrified”  Holding on to his hand, I told him it was gonna be Ok! But if the truth be told… I was terrified too!

I would not be joining him for his first morning, It was decided that he should instead start the transition process with the help and support of his tutor. He would only go till 12 p.m. slowly working his way up to full-time. His tutor would go with him for the first two days to settle him before his contract to teach Little man would reach an end. (This was going to be hard) The taxi came and the escort came to the door. Little man walked out to greet her, I shouted that I loved him, to relax, enjoy it, to have some fun. His reply, “I love you too mum” His eyes were so tired and filled with fear, yet I knew he was also excited. I was incredibly proud at that moment… I could have exploded with pride, for after all his been through he was now taking this giant step into the unknown. The morning dragged I sat by the phone on tender hooks, ten, then eleven o’clock no call. I just wasn’t used to this! 12.30 I heard the knock, I ran down the stairs like sonic the hedgehog and flange open the door. There he was, my little man and his tutor. 

Indoors, feed and settled, (this has to be done before probing begins) I asked… “Well, what was it like?” To which he replied. “It was the best mum. I even made a friend! Oh guess what? He has aspergers just like me”  It was then I realised that the tears & the battles had finally amounted to something. I’m not stating they were all worth it, just that for once they lead to something positive. This time I cried the tears of happiness! 

 It’s early days yet, but for once I’m opting out of my usual pessimist attitude and holding on to the hope that this is really it…

A fresh start!

On top of the world

19 Jan

So this morning little man leaped from the comfort of his bed, washed without my pleas and got his clothes on super fast, “Ok most items were back to front or inside out” but when I told him so, there was no swearing or exaggerated body movements just a little boy who giggled and started over again. You see mornings like these have been far and few between… In actural fact they have been absent for some time. Yesterday morning little man was filled with excitement with a scoop of anxiety for he was about to embank on a journey, a new routine that no longer involved the mainstream primary school he had attended since he was five, the place he had grown to trust only to have it all fall apart and his spirit crushed. He had started to believe that he was so different from others that he would never be accepted. He started to state he wasn’t “normal” and created this image in his head of what he considered to be “normal” sadly in his eyes he didn’t fit into this image.

This hasn’t changed, I think it will take sometime before he excepts who he is (my fantastic little man) but on day two of his home tuition his already making progress. It’s very early days but I already see a child who wants to learn, a child who packs his school bag the night before and looks forward to the following days learning. So… Many parents take that for granted Not me and though I know this can change as quick as it started I hold onto these days with both hands and remind myself of them whenever things get bad.

Well, Friday was the day we first met his tutor (as not to disclose his indentity we will refer to the tutor as James)
We met at my home around 5pm. Little man sat looking at the tv he had refused to Switch off. He made little eye contact with James and instead of acting silly or rude like he often tends to when his anxious or just in a new situation, he was instead quite not saying much at all. We spoke for a while, discussed little mans needs and how mainstream school dealt with those needs. We talked about the effects isolation had on him and work we had been doing at home. I like to think of myself as a good judge of character… as I had a good feeling about James, I didn’t feel as if he was sat judging me or little man. James had already read the proposed statement (that is in need of amendments) and also read the appendices which included my ten pages of parental advice. He has experience of working with children on the autism spectrum and didn’t seem worried about teaching little man a job many would refer to as a “challenge” towards the end of the meeting James asked Little man if there was anything he would like to ask. Little man rolled his eyes and pulled his thinking face. Having thought for a few seconds replied, “fancy educating someone like me in a library!” He turned to me and said, “mother I will do my best to be quite” bless him… Though he was making a some what valid point as he is naturally a loud speaker, tending to shout as opposed to talk. Jame’s response was great… He made no big deal and said that all will be cool.

During the weekend little man seemed less anxious about Mondays leap back into education and getting him to sleep Sunday night wasn’t as hard as first expected. He had again been awake all Saturday night not sleeping till the early hours of Sunday morning… I didn’t let him sleep the whole of Sunday daytime and though it was hard work and resulted in a crying moaning monster throughout the day I managed to keep him awake. So after a few melatonin and a warm drink and bath, he slept on Sunday night (Ok it wasn’t till 1am and was my bed he slept in not his own… But this was good enough for me!)

It was pouring with rain on Monday morning, I mean pelting it down bucket loads, For this reason I changed the clothing I had already laid out for little man as I knew the jeans would get wet and rub on his skin causing a sensory related meltdown. I waved my daughter off at 8:30 am and set about the morning challenge one I hadn’t had to do for weeks (near on a month) waking little guy up for school. To my surprise little man rose to the challenge and with plenty of reassurance got ready for his big day. We got a lift with the promise of taking public transport the following day (which put a smile on his face) As I waved him off it felt totally strange… I was leaving my little man with a complete stranger, who I was trusting to take good care of my child, to have patience and understanding when it came to his “odd” or “challenging” ways… I felt that same sickening feeling in the pitt of my stomach on his first day of school I wanted to cry then and wanted to cry now.

Most of the day I was on edge… Everytime the phone rang I held my breath, “please don’t be James” I would think! But the call never came and to my relief on collection from the library little man was smiling. We took the train home and little man didn’t stop, “James showed me this, James told me that, James said this, James laughed at that” he was the happiest I’d seen him in ages. The only downside side to his day was the headache he had brought back home with him. He mentioned the lighting was some what strong and flickered at times. He also told me all the lights were different… Some brighter then others. With this and the fact he had engaged in work throughout the day his head was paying the price. However he still spoke about James all the way home and once back indoors… That was in till he sat on my bed only to fall fast asleep. This was at 4 pm and he wouldn’t even wake for dinner!

So yes the next day was just as postive if not better. His father took him on the train and I got a lay in:-) well that was in till a certain cheeky one year old woke me with a slap in the face!
His home book stated that the day was perfect with little man having had engaged in plenty of work. Once home he had continued in learning mode and was on the PC creating a presentation on bullying.

I really do hope that things continue to go as well. I am worried that little man will have problems reintergrating back into a school environment and the effects his mainstream school has had on his confidence and social skills… But for now I’m just going to enjoy seeing my little guy smile.

Positive Statements made by little man these past few days…

“I can’t wait till tomorrow”

“I think James likes me because his kind to me”

“Mum did you know James never shouts”

“James understands me”

“We went tescos together and we even got a trolly”

“He trust me and don’t mind being out in public with me” (effects of never going on school trips)

“His my friend and my teacher”

“I like being with James he treats me like a normal boy”
(breaks my heart knowing he often feels so different)

Positives I’ve noted in two short days…

Lots more smiles

Keen to learn

Less tears

Positive feed back in his home book… Day one stated how well they got along and little man even tried hard and completed some work. Day two even better… He engaged in all his work and was a joy to work with.

Comments like these were sure to make me cry. I couldn’t help it! I had waited for what felt like forever for some positive feed back on little man. I’m so proud of him and very thankful to his new friend james.

My little man is on top of the world and it’s been a long time coming!!

All burnt-out!!

12 Jan

So with no school little mans sleep routine has gone bonkers. It’s gotton so bad that were lucky if he sleeps at all during the night… But here’s the problem… His sleeping throughout the day! I’ve tried my damn hardest to keep him awake during the day in-order for him to be tired by the time evening comes back a round. But it’s just not happening! If he is tired and wants to sleep in the day then trying to stop this is a risky operation Abuse and meltdowns are likely as a result. He will often sit swearing while crying (swearing normally directed at me) this means his getting zero work done, as trying to home school a child who’s been up the entire night Is a challenging job for any. But with the baby needing constant attention it’s even harder to conquer.

Well the good news is little man should be working with a tutor hopefully at the local libary ( I can’t see it working out at home, to many distractions) The tuition is for 5 hours a day 5 days a week. So that’s a total of 25 hours which Isn’t a full time education but it’s better then the nothing his receiving at present. I will at least be able to get things done that need doing without the constant worry of having to drag him from his Pitt encourage him to dress in-order to come with me when I need to put some food in the cupboards “Its not great making your ten year old aspie follow you round the supermarket when his howling abuse and throwing himself into the boxes of cocopops because he hasn’t slept the night before and anything and everything is a potential trigger” So for most of this week I’ve just left him to it, if his gonna sleep the day away so be it! He won’t have that choice for much longer! My god his going to be a zombie… I can just see it!

Melatonin is something I’m fast giving up on. It is having little if not any effect on him whatsoever.
Maybe another visit to the doctors is in order! Though I hate the thought of strong meds, I just don’t think we can do this anymore!!

When little man was four years old I once woke to find him cooking some bacon at 4am. “Remember that this is a four year old boy I’m referring to” I swear it was the smell that rose me from my bed. I half sleepingly staggered down the stairs thinking it must be his father who was over for the weekend. I walked into the kicthen… “Bacon Mum?”
The sight that greeted me took me from a half dazed and confused woman to a fully wide awake screaming mother!! He looked at me as to say “what’s the big deal here, it’s just a bit of bacon”

You see I grew up as a child suffering from bad OCD. I concealed it for so long it finally drove me insane and age 12 I ended up in hospital.
I had a loving family and great homelife… But deep in the background, buried in my head was the horrid monster that was OCD. I dealt with it alone for five long years without ever telling a soul and as a child this was a lot to contend with. The OCD first reared it’s ugly head when I was just 7 and it all stemmed from anxiety brought on by the fear I had developed of fire. It was the wake up get a smoke alarm ad on the tellvision that kicked it all off. The advertisment showed a lit cigarette fall from the ashtry onto a brown leather Chesterfield sofa that happen to be the exact model we currently had in our home. I checked my mother’s ashtrays filling them with water to ensure nothing was alight. I counted plug sockets to ensure they were switched off. I couldn’t reason with my own mind… It was ludicrous I know! But your powerless to control the urge. I would end up rechecking 8 times plus a night… So to see my little 4 year old grilling a bit of bacon and the prospect of what could have happened shook me to the core. For a whole year after that episode I found myself counting and checking once more… Like so many times before!

Being a parent naturally means you worry more about the things that could put your children in the danger zone, however I constantly worried to the point I was driving myself la-la!!!

My point is little mans fearlessness became my fear! Inevitable Little mans sleeping problems became my sleeping problems too. He never slept because he didn’t have the natural ability to shut himself off from the world, from his thoughts and interest… I didn’t sleep because I needed to watch my child and ensure his safety along side everyone elses. This had became the norm and continues to be for the forseeable further.

In late 2008 little man started on melatonin, at first it seemed to be working. Ok he still may not sleep till 1-2 am but when your child is able to stay wide eyed for a whole 24 to 48hrs hours at a time you appreciate this huge improvement. I’ve always said 4-5 hours sleep a night is a hell of a lot for my little man. Problem was I had become so used to having to be a night owl that I now had trouble adjusting to this new routine, I would often become overfatigue which isn’t a great place to be! You see once I finally manage to revolve my sleep routine around that off little mans it suddenly changes again and were back to square one.

As a parent of a child with extremely bad sleeping habits there are times I fall to pieces. However I consider myself to be some what a pro by now… Though It’s not easy holding yourself together, trying to stop yourself crying for the most silliest of reasons… There are days I’m a walking emotional wreck and other days a ticking time bomb. I’ve fallen asleep standing up and I swear I once fell asleep walking! I remember when I had my youngest child in December 2009… I would only have to yawn and the stranger next to me would say, “aww is the little darling keeping you up all night” as they glance over into the babys pram. Sometimes I smiled and nodded, other times I’d reply, “No his fine, it’s my 10 year old that keeps me up through out the night!”
The look of pure horror slapped across their faces. Many would preachify & instantly assume it was down to disobedience! I would be offered the ignorant suggestions as if they somehow knew my child,”Take the TV/Games console out off his room” Or even,”Shut his bedroom door and refuse to let him out” Some would refer to him as some kind of rebel out to make his mothers life hell!
If having a child with Aspergers has taught me one thing… It’s not to generalise… As we are all guilty of having done so at some point of our lives!!

My child is a child who walks around beeping and repeating bus destinations… He don’t care if I take his TV away or romove the xbox from his room. I can’t take away his thoughts… I can’t shut those out. If I could remove his thoughts just for the duration of night in order for my little man to catch some zzzz I would! But sadly that isn’t an option.

Some people will never really understand what it’s like to have a child that suffers with insomnia… the way it impacts on the parents and the child… on ones ability to function throughout the day… Those of us that do it everyday learn to adapt and somehow survive and go on having had such little sleep, if anything we get good at it. I’m told some people are designed to need less sleep then others… I suppose that’s the way my little man is designed to be… And though I wasn’t born to be this way, I learnt to be, because I had too!

I’m not under any illusions that there is a magic potion… But I hope that god is on our side and one day this issue will at least ease!

But the one thing I wish for more… is better understanding… When your child is late for school there is no eyebrows raised when You state your child has been awake thoughout the night. That everyone involved in your childs life understands or at least trys to understand the seriousness and significant impact the issue has on the whole family… To speculate and blame is never going to help… No parent needs criticism but understanding

Well… I write this with half open eyes but given it’s not even 9 pm the night is still exceedingly young for me! So for now I wish you all good night and hope that you all get some beautiful shut eye 🙂
Below is an example of my mood as a result of a sleepless night.

%d bloggers like this: