Tag Archives: Obsessive behaviour

Thank Goodness Its Over

2 Jan

Firstly, let me start by wishing you all a very happy new year. Here’s hoping all your hopes and dreams are granted this year.

We may only be in the first few days of 2013 but what an eventful few days these have been… Well in our household anyway! With the children still off school it sure hasn’t been quiet!

Little man’s routine has gone totally off course and once again as a result I have a child who sleeps all day and is awake all night. Yes, I do drag his backside from his pit most days but when you’ve spent most the night awake yourself it is kind of tempting to let him sleep. One, your able to get stuff done and two… Have you ever tried dragging a 12 year old boy from his bed? Especially one who has the tendency to wake in a super foul mood? I rest my case!

Still, its to be expected I guess! Christmas and New year does tend to interfere with the body clock of a child on the autism spectrum. OK, he isn’t the best of sleepers generally, its just that bit worse these past few weeks. That’s why I’m kinda glad its all over now… Well it will be once the children are back at school. I don’t wanna sound all ba humbug, I actually love this festive time of year though I also love a little normality in the house (not that we are your average family on most days but I guess you get my drift).

So… Let me tell you a little about our Christmas and New year…. There was lots of fun in our house. Christmas itself was really pleasant. Yes, dinner was a tad later than expected, but it was actually really nice and chilled. That’s as chilled as Christmas can be! I know for some it can be a really stressful day. Especially when you have a child on the autism spectrum who likes everything to run like clockwork. However, this year we managed an almost stress free day. Keeping things small really helped. There was no huge family dinner, just me and the kids and their father. We briefly popped to my mums in the morning which was really short and sweet, then we sat watching Christmas TV with a load of Quality street within reach. Dinner did ran a little late as mentioned but I blamed the Turkey! It had clearly been living in another time zone when living as it had no intention on playing by the rules and cooking in accordance with the timescales so clearly stated on the packet. Little man did get a little stressed at this point but so did I. Maybe it was a mix of his Aspergers traits and that of hunger. I’m guessing it was more of the latter as I know I was close to starting on the pudding I’d prepared at some point.

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As mentioned in a previous post, that of Boxing Day didn’t go so well. With no schedule as such little man was handed a dose of the post Christmas blues and handled this in the only way he knew how… With a Good old fashioned meltdown… Little man style.

As the days passed, Little man kinda felt as if he was in limbo. The week between Christmas and New Year is a hard one for little man and I can kind of understand why. I swear, even I was unaware of what day it was occasionally. With money spent up on Christmas I found myself with nothing else to do but watch television and even I was getting pretty bored of this. What with one day being a holiday and the next day not, supermarket opening times still up in the air and not knowing if the rubbish would be collected or not (not great when you have a bin full of turkey bones, rotten veg and a truck load of gift wrap) you can’t blame him for the confusion… or me for the lack of schedule planning.

As for New Years Eve, well, this was spent with my mum. Just myself, mother and the children. So again a pretty quiet family affair (that’s if you don’t include the noise that was coming from little mans direction)!

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You see, little man gets somewhat excitable when it comes to New Year. He is petrified of fireworks, but only when stood beneath them, so the prospect of watching them on the television is one of great excitement for him. As the stroke of midnight grew closer little mans excitement was growing off the scale. He had come up with this wild and somewhat bonkers idea to do his own countdown for the benefit of his youtube channel (have I not yet mentioned his growing fascination with creating videos for youtube? Another time maybe). Anyway this meant that he wasn’t only sat filming the mental piece clock but that of the TV. As the stroke of midnight finally came we were not only greeted by the sound of the fabulous London firework display on the TV as well as a somewhat loopy firework hating barking dog running around mums living room but the sound of little man as he commentated the whole thing in his own unique style (sweet you may thing but you were not the ones reaching for the Paracetamol so early on in the night)!

So… There you have it. With all the festivities well and truly over I’m just about ready for the year ahead. I have our holiday to butlins in April to look forward to but before that I have a monster high themed sleepover/party to organise for a very excited 9 soon to be 10 year old daughter…. The joys of being a kid!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas too…. Heres to a splendid & wonderful 2013.

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.

Tears, Buses and awards

9 May

So it’s been a while since I’ve updated on the subject of life at home and school. So heres the latest.

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The behaviour chart seems to now be having a sight effect on little man. He didn’t really care about stickers before but since his sister Alice got her bonus reward of ÂŁ10 on top of her normal pocket-money little man has sat up and took note. But my did he go on and on with his blandishments and pleas for the same reward as his sister! Yep mummy was a BAD MOTHER and he went on to more inappropriate name calling, So much so it’s better I don’t write them down here in the event I may offend others. He spent the whole day till the next day swapping from one technique to the other. None being particularly helpful to his case but nevertheless he consider it to be wroth a try! Well I am exceptionally pleased to report that despite his tantrums escalating into full on meltdowns and me heading to bed early hours with a pack of painkillers in hand due to receiving a verbal head bashing for hours  I stood my ground showing no mercy and indeed not giving in.

Little man has decided to put us through the hell of bedtime once more. As most know already getting little man into a bed time routine is hellish. Yes children with ASD like structure and routine but when it comes to bed then well a lot of that flies out the window. It’s like the Melatonin has stopped working. I know he can over ride the medication but he often goes with the flow resulting in him getting some much-needed sleep. The thing with children like Little man is there tends to be no in between. Your tired or you’re not! Your staving hungry or not hungry at all. There seems to be no build up to anything little man does. When he goes to bed and to sleep he just goes, One moment his wide awake the next his sleeping. And when his awake well it’s the same his WIDE  awake. Being his parent  who is observing his recent changes in behaviours and reluctance to sleep I have come to the conclusion that the worries little man faces surrounding school and his continued obsession with buses are both contributing factors. School is up and down for the little man right now. He recently had a physical fight with his “best friend” Alex that had escalated as a result of a play fight which took place in the classroom. Little man ended up with a pretty nasty mark behind his ear. I will write more regarding school a tad further on in this post right now I want to write a little more about Little mans obsessive behaviours and how these are now beginning to affect everyday life. Little man used to like both Trains and buses but it’s easy to see that now buses are top of his interest list. He lives and breaths buses. I’m not extracting when I say buses are his LIFE. From the moment he wakes till that last moment of conciousness they are fixated firmly  on his in brain, No wonder he has trouble working in school. It’s become very intense and he is very focused on anything resembling buses. His Father got him up and dressed and out the house for school with only minor problems. All this because of a promise made by Dad. Get up and ready for school and I will take you on the bus. Not just any bus but the 194 to west Croydon and back after school. How in god’s name he got through the school day with that extent of excitement mounting throughout the day surprises me. Don’t get me wrong I’m pleased he has an interest and what the hell buses aint that bad a thing to like BUT it’s just very over powering at this present time. Yes we can use the buses as a reward to engage him in displaying good behaviour at home and school but at times I wanna scream “SOD THE BLOODLY BUSES” No I haven’t done this but I’m not denying the moments been close. Having an important conversation with your child only for them to start beeping like bus doors is more than annoying but please go into any conversation with little man with caution because the possibility of him dominating it with his “special interest” is pretty likely. I have been lucky enough to be excepted into a course which I think is run by the ASD outreach in my area called Early bird plus. It’s a new course as it used to just be the early bird which was for parents of very young newly diagnosed children. Now its up to 8 years ( Little man is 9 but thankfully It was over looked ) It is fantastic it’s a small very personal course with about 10 parents but we are all given the opportunity to take two others one being family or close friend the other being a professional from school. I have researched and read a ton of books relating to little man’s Aspergers in order to educate myself but there is always room to learn more. It’s great meeting like-minded parents and the organisers are so nice and more than understanding. I loved that you could see it was more a passion to bring awareness then a job. I got to voice my main concerns at present when It was my turn to speak about my child. Well as you may have guessed School and obsessive behaviours were at the top of my list. These were followed by concerns of bullying towards his sister and use of inappropriate language already after the first class I feel a much more positive person and parent. Looking forward to the coming Tuesdays when I plan to attend with a close friend who relates and is non judgmental towards my little man.

SCHOOL

Well we had the Meeting and lets just say it wasn’t what I expected but then again what did I expect? What I was most disappointed with was the fact it was only the headteacher , the Senco/assisting headteacher and Little mans class teacher who I must add has always been extremely happy to discuss my sons progress and he really seems to care what happens to him. What a shame he has a classroom of 30 something other children. I took a friend and some on from the parent partnership service. Yes I expected a good deal more professionals to attend, We had already postponed and one of the reasons was in order for it to be convenient for others. Regardless of this disappointing turn out the meeting went a head as planed. There was a lot we didn’t agree on and a reluctance to discuss past events given some were only weeks if not days ago. I do wish I had been so much stronger as at the very end I did cry a little. I tried so bloody hard not to but I’m just human at the end of the day and this is my child we are discussing. It’s not easy having him excluded and as his mother being powerless to stop it. The parent in partnership worker felt the meeting was extremely tensed we were in need of someone outside the cycle to help the strained relationship rebuild as yes it was clear to all there is a huge breakdown between myself and the school. She did suggest a mediator which I’m good with however the school seemed a little less keen but you never know maybe. Well the good news is that little man now has good provisions and accommodations in place. He has his own TA for the best part of his structured day ( sadly not much of unstructured time where I consider much of the problem to be ), his own workstation with laptop and visual timetable. He has been taken of the going for gold system as it isn’t working for him. The going for good is a system setup for every class. Each child starts on a gold card and throughout the day can have it turned due to bad behaviour, Once your on RED your out that class and mum and dad are getting a phone call or letter. Well as you can guess little man hit red a lot of the time. I would go as far as to say he sometimes had his card on red before morning play. So he now has his own behaviour chat and with it his own rules which to me seems better for now. We have also started a contact book which seems a good move as I can warn them of his morning moods and report anything I feel will distract his day at school. I also get to read how things are going and see his progress daily. This is something I wish we had started long ago. So yes at present the level of support is good but the Headteacher said the problem is that the current level of support on offer is not for a long period as the resources and staff it uses hence the reason an educational assessment of needs is needed. But the likely hood of this being grunted is low and this was something we were both in agreement on.

In relation to exclusions have they stopped? Well I really thought that progress had been made and yes exclusion were being avoided. On the return from the Easter half term things seemed pretty good but nothing lasts forever and he was excluded on the 5th May for hitting the teacher. It was said he threaten to hit her then swung his arm and his hand hit her face ( This is what the letter stated ) And then there was a number of other reasons basically the same ones as always so lets skip that and go back to the hitting afterall that’s pretty massive stuff. Little man again got upset claiming to be playing with the teacher he said he threaten in a playful way and the teacher was laughing he said he did put his had on her face but didn’t slap her it was soft just playing. It’s my opinion that my son has problems relating with adults in a different way from children. He don’t see a difference and if anything sees adults as peers. He regards a certain TA as his buddy. This lead to another exclusion where it was said he hit them, Again he says it wasn’t meant this way he was playing. The only positive thing is that it’s for the shortest time possible this being just one day. Still will exclusion have a good effect on little mans behaviour? I don’t thing so, It hasn’t so far, why now? We still have to reintegrate him back into school which is always a difficult one as he has to attend part of the reintegration meeting which mostly gives him the hump as he wants to go to class and not sit and discuss past behaviours. Needless to say this has to be done and is an important part of reintegration but that still don’t make the situation any easier.

So school has been a very mixed bag these past weeks but I do wish to end on a positive as often this isn’t the case. Well Little man received an award at school for his mathematics. The ward meant a certificate which stated Math genius. It was presented in school assembly a place little man often struggles resulting in him shouting out and disrupting the whole school, so it was nice knowing something really positive was taking place. I was so proud I almost cried when he showed me. Ok that same day he had a classroom fight and kept leaving the class without permission and was a bit disruptive in class but to say I was proud was an understatement. To see him with that certificate was so much more for me then it maybe would have been to another parent with a child presented with the same award. I’m not saying they wouldn’t be proud of course they would but for little man its massive! I can not tell you the last time he brought a certificate home. His sister yer all the time which made this extra special it was like a rare gemstone. I have displayed it proudly on the fridge and I’m hoping it’s given some company really soon.

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