Tag Archives: obsessive

Our very own “school” trip

5 Nov

So this week myself and little man had our very own school trip.
Ever since all this horrible business of little man missing out on school trips started his confidence has been at an all time low.

“Ok it may not be a “real” school trip but it’s our school trip” and I had to do something to help repair his dramatically disappearing confidence, to make him feel better about himself & more confident in who he is! I’m not saying little man isn’t sometimes a bit of a handful when out & about, his no “angel” but then again what ten-year old boy is? He does have difficult times & always will when his out on school/family outings but a great deal of his difficulties are caused by anxiety, over excitement and more recently… Pure apprehension of what’s a head. It’s like he won’t allow himself to look forward to anything as his learnt how quick it can be taken away. On a recent trip to swimming (sadly only his second time attending since the new school year) he suggested we didn’t walk with the class as a way to avoid something going wrong resulting in him missing out! How crazy is that? Sadly things didn’t go well at swimming but that’s another post for another day,and one that’s to long and upsetting to report on just now.
So the point I’m trying to make is… All the above is directly connected with his Aspergers and let’s face it he was born that way he didn’t ask to have the condition so therefore he shouldn’t be treated as if he has himself to blamed every time something goes wrong. If little man is just being a ten-year old boy then I will be the first to put my hand up in agreement and have done when needed.

Well, to be honest I was quite excited about taking little man on a trip! it was only possible due to the fact his currently on half day schooling. So as this was the perfect opportunity we went for it.

So… wondering where it was we went? “No…. for once it wasn’t buses riding on the 450!” though that’s not far off! We actually visited London’s Covent Garden where you can find the all exciting Transport Museum. Not only was this ideal given that it was full to the rim with little mans interest, *buses* followed by tubes, trams & trains, but it was also very educational. The Museum does have learning facilities within the building and after a little conversation with a helpful member of staff on the Ins & outs of little mans situation he was shown into the learning lounge where he could use the IT software or read one of the many transport reference books. What made it even more great was the fact he did these things a long side children on a more “formal” school trip. He didn’t try to interact with these children but he didn’t abuse any off them either. I was grateful to that member of staff, he didn’t judge him and regardless of my shared information on the good and the sometimes challenging behaviour associated with his condition, he responded by stating “Everyone deserves a chance, and just because his not responded well before, who’s to say he won’t this time?” I stood thinking “Wow, people like you are like gold dust”

Well, Lucky for me my friend had come along on our “school trip” I was in need of some adult non bus based conversation and while little man did his stuff on the PC me and my friend grabbed a ten minute break (that turned out to be our only break of the day) Still I’m not complaining we did have a fantastic day, especially little man and that’s what we were there for, to give him something to enjoy! Of course there were times when little man was a little over excited, hyper or even frustrated (mainly because he wanted to be on the next item of transport before he had even left the one he was currently sat on) but through a collection of strategies we were able to successfully keep him on the right track. We did encounter a small episode towards the end off the day when leaving the Museum at closing time (yes we were there that long) but it could have been a whole lot worse. It was essential to spot any potential triggers and remove them or him before they had any undesirable effects. undoubtedly there is no need to explain why this is to any parent(s) of children on the spectrum, because they are likely to be the ones that “really” get it! But for those who don’t or just think they do….. Let’s just say.. if I hadn’t approached issues in this way the outcome would have been explosive!!!


I’m so…. pleased with the way our creation of a school trip planed out. After some essential planing that took place in the weeks leading up to the trip, these included little mans ideas and views on all aspects of the trip, a social story, countdown tick chat (visual aids), and journey planing (Little mans job, of course!) things went remarkable well.

And the fun didn’t end there! After the Transport Museum we went for dinner, followed by a short walk around the city, a fun-filled visit to Trocadero where we experienced the realisation of the 4D simulator and drove the bump a cars till I felt sick, finally hitting Starbucks for an espresso followed by a large skinny latte with cinnamon sprinkled on the froth  yummy.

After waving my friend off at Charing Cross station. Myself and the little dude boarded our train. We found a spot that just had the two seats (little man hates having to sit with all these “strange commuters” his words not mind!) and as I suddenly realised I was beat and was potentially asleep I felt his arms interlock around me, very tightly. Then came the kiss that he gentle placed on my forehead. “Thanks mum, I love you” came a voice… Wow getting kisses is like getting a night on the town (rare) “I Love you”, well they normally pop along when his done something wrong or wants something. This wasn’t the case today! And it felt so great that it wasn’t. Me and my little man were happy… really…really happy, and that my friends is priceless!

 

 

 

Where will you be in ten years time?

1 Nov

Where do you see yourself in ten years time? What is it you want from life? What are you aiming for?

What did you answer?

I remember being asked this question (a good few times in-fact) the one time that really stands out though, was being asked the above as part of a job interview. I was just eighteen at the time and pregnant with little man. Was I scared at the prospect of becoming a young mum? “I don’t really think I actually considered myself to be one at the time” , Though yes eighteen is very young and I would soon become a teenage mum, I felt excited for what lay ahead.

I knew what the interviewer was thinking, you could see it from the moment I walked in the door! I knew it was a waste of time, and though it wasn’t the best job in the world “Being a bingo assistant” It was a job, and when your on such a low-income with a baby on the way, you grab anything you can get.

So where did I see myself in ten years time & what was it I was aiming for?

*Giggle* “Mmm… a successful career woman, who was also a mummy to a few beautiful kiddies, a house covered in ivy that was picture perfect, my prince in toll and a few horses to make up the numbers!”

Of course I didn’t say this! No…. I rambled on about this & that, all the normal interview talk about climbing the ladder.… Blah-blah-blah.

Well, needless to say I didn’t get the job! Who wants to employ a young lady and her bump, who would be wanting maternity leave a few months down the line!

I’m now 28 years old and yep, its ten years later (I have the bags under my eyes to prove it) I may not have the complete picture perfect house in the country. I certainly don’t have the career! But I do have three beautiful children & do you know what? “I’ve discovered my passion! Raising awareness for autism spectrum disorders, campaigning for change! ” Who gives a horses *beep* about the ivy covered cottage with the high-flying career?

When I discovered little man had Aspergers I knew I had to search for every bit of info I could (No matter how small or insufficient it may seem) It was like stepping into a whole new world that was both amazing, yet heartbreaking. “What the hell is wrong with him” or another common one… “How can my own son act so emotionless towards his own mother?” How many parents of children on the spectrum have asked themselves that very question I wonder? Now I was beginning to understand why!!!

So many times I questioned things, so… many things: “Why would he ask for padlocks for his birthday? What’s with the tiptoe walking & the refusal to wear certain clothing? Does he really need to get naked as soon as we step through the door???? The thing is when a child is on the more “low functioning” end of the spectrum, it’s that bit clearer to the outside world that, “Yes this child doesn’t seem to be developing as they should be” With the child that is on the opposite end of that spectrum, the child who meets or even exceeds many of their developmental milestones, will not likely encounter such views!  I’m not saying those children who are said to be “Classic Autistic” have it easy, Hell no! These children are often seen as little toe-rags by many despite how profoundly autistic they maybe. There is no way of getting away from the ignorance of society. I’m merely saying that when your child has Aspergers, it can be hard to get those you need to listen to do so!

So… My point is ten years on, things are a lot different then I ever imagined! If you had asked me how I felt about having a child on the spectrum a few years back, you would have been greeted with a blubbering woman who couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. A primary school who reported no problems, a mother & a father who endlessly thought up tactics & strategies to get our child into his bed of a night (Sleep is another matter all together) The need to give the never-ending reassurance little man required to lessen his anxieties… “Yes, daddy is fine, his not going to get hurt when his not with you” or “of course mummy will cross at the lights” Yet enduring his inappropriate use of language and insensitive remarks when he tells you, “GET OUT MY FACE MUM, YOU SPY, YOU BITCH!” The heartbreak you feel every time your child looks at you and tells you in the most serious of faces, “I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU, I DON’T EVEN LIKE YOU”, worse still “I DON’T LOVE YOU” All the time there’s this little boy in there and something is making him feel so angry that his screaming inside, his sat on a step hands together asking.… “god, why is she doing this to me?” when you’re trying to be consistent in dealing with challenging behaviour. He goes into full meltdown, resulting in you “the parent” asking god that very same question that he did.. “GOD, WHY IS HE DOING THIS TO ME?” some six hours later, while sat in a crying heap on the floor.

No denying it! It’s one road that’s long and full of road works a long the way. But having that, “Label” somehow makes it so…. much easier. I’m not talking about public services (though this help) I’m talking about the change in yourself! Your now able to read, read, read.… because you have a focus, something to go on! With every page or website, new friend,  fellow parent you meet, you find an answer for one of them many questions you’ve asks yourself! Like most things in life the answer to a problem, ultimately gives you the solution needed to “mend it” & others well you turn them into positives… “Obsessive interest can become tools to engage the child in learning or used as a meaning full reward..e.g.” It’s no easy ride, and though I’m more confident in parenting my son, “more than I was before & in the early months following his diagnosis” I still find myself having one of them “Low” days, when ignorance bloody makes my blood boil & one more stupid, insensitive, dam right judgemental comments will push me off the edge of the cliff I’ve been stood on the entire day, week, or even month. “I’m used to it” I mean “ignorance” I spent too much time worrying about the probability that the shop assistant, teacher, parent…. would think his a “Brat” or “Devil child” (Yes his called this, comments referring to the three sixes on his head et.…) The worry about your parental skills being looked upon. I become sick of the worry and self loathing. Now I smile a cheesy smile. If I feel the need to explain a behaviour I will, but only because.… “I FEEL IT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED!”  Though things are so, so tough at present, with part-time schooling due to his complex needs in school, leading to constant exclusions, and the ongoing statutory assessments, I’m sane!! (Just about) and extremely happy and proud in broadcasting to the world that… I HAVE A CHILD WITH ASPERGERS & A LONG WITH HIS SISTER AND BABY BROTHER, I THINK HIS AMAZING & MY GOD I LOVE THAT LITTLE ASPIE MAN OF MINE!

This post has been linked to the awareness campaign:”All bloggers unite for Autism” created by Tammy over at Autism Learning Felt. Instead of  participating in the Autism communication shutdown that also takes place today, Tammy decided it was better to be heard then be silenced and therefore went about uniting all mum bloggers to blog about autism and contact the blogs together to form a chain of great articles and better autism awareness.


The sparkle in his eyes

20 Jan

My little man’s face was a picture.
His big eyes were wide open.
I could see the delight in which he was living. He was in one of his favourite places’ he was on the 136 bus.

Yes that’s right my boy was enjoying a trip to the supermarket on the big bright red London bus. There is only one other place that I see that look on his face and that’s the train.
For a long time G has had a great interest with trains and buses. He loves to board the bus where he can then observe everything in great detail’ and then process it in his brain.
The doors and how they work is where his true love is. He often’ well always acts out the opening and closing motion that they make. He can do this for hours at a time. He likes to know where each and every train and bus is heading. He will then store the information and later repeat it over and over as he walks from side to side demonstrating the moving doors with his arms or even using household objects such as a pair of sunglasses or two pens.

Watch out. If you happen to be wearing a British rail uniform or any uniform that shows that you are employed by London transport. Because if you catch my son’s eye it is extremely possible that you are about to undergo a extensively long interview. This is near on impossible to avoid.

My little boys interest is nothing less or other then pure obsessive.
He can wear you down with his consistent chit chat regarding the Hayes train line or the 181 bus having just installed new green bars where these used to be yellow.
I would be lying if I said sometimes I don’t think “PLEASE GIVE IT A REST MATE” But when I see that sparkle in his eyes and that smile across his face I know in a instant this is what makes him happy. And if his happy mummys happy:)

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