Tag Archives: special interest

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! 

 

10 positives to parenting a child with Aspergers Syndrome

5 Jan

Having posted a post full of doom and gloom a few days back (Questioning your coping mechanisms) I wanted to post something a tad more upbeat and cheery today.

So… with this in mine, I have created a list of the top ten best things that come with parenting a child with Aspergers Syndrome. Yes, its full of them quirky little traits I love and the reasons while I just couldn’t live without them.

(1) HONESTY: Now don’t believe everything you read, a child with Aspergers can tell the odd porky pie, why? Because they are intelligent and learn how to do such a thing! However, 99% of the time you will find that your child, friend or family relative on the autism spectrum is indeed extremely honest! Little man speaks his mind and although this may have gotton him into the odd spot of bother (example… telling the head teacher at his old school that his breath smelt similar to that of a dog) it’s also a credit to him. When little man tells you something that sounds like it is the stuff of make believe, you’ll likely be surprised to find that… yes it’s actually true!

(2) SPECIAL INTEREST: When your child has a diagnosis such as Aspergers, you’ll find that

Wikipedia: Image of London Bus Child Ticket

Image via Wikipedia

with that title comes that of the ‘Special interest’ and if like little man, that special interest happens to be London Transport… you’ll never miss a train or a bus again!

(3) EYE FOR A BARGIN: When out food shopping with the Little man, there is a high prospect that the breakout of a meltdown may occur (what with the crowds and the tendency to become over stimulated). I try my best to keep the Little man calm and focused by getting him to help me with the shopping list! Here’s the great thing… I never end up out of pocket due to purchasing offers that secretly are not really offers at all! Little man has the tendency to act like a human calculator. I remember going to buy a bottle of coke that had so much free and at what I considered to be a good price! That was in-till my Little Man informed me that actually by buying the two smaller bottles I’d end up with more litres for less money… Clever lad!

(4) RULE BOUND: When Little man recently took a trip with a friend to the little row of shops around the corner from our house he went knowing the golden rule, “Cross at the traffic lights and only at the traffic lights!” When his friend tried to persuade him to cross the main road without the safety of the lights, little man refused and came back home! That’s my boy!

English: A Led Traffic lights

Image via Wikipedia

(5) YOUNG & BUSINESS MINDED: Many children at eleven are not sat for hours, days, weeks or years even, planing their business empire! Well, Little man is… ambition: To be the next Richard Branson (not a bad ambition for an 11-year-old kid, is it)? My little man already has a name for his brand and plans how he will take the world by force on a daily basis… Watch this space!

Image representing Richard Branson as depicted...

Image via CrunchBase

(6) TAKES A SHINE TO YOUR VAX: No… Not Fax, though I’m sure if I had one he would love it! I mean, ‘VAX’ a brand of vacuum cleaner. Oh… Yes, I can just see all them parents of children on the autism spectrum nodding their heads at speed because yes, the child with Aspergers Syndrome does have a tendency to like household gadgets or items considered odd by peers of the same age! Why is this a good thing? Well, what other 11-year-old do you know who offers to hover the living room and stairs for you on a daily basis? What a great job he makes of it too!

(7) HAVING A LAY IN: OK, OK my son isn’t the best at going to bed and falling a sleep of a night, he often struggles till 3am or later even with the use of Melatonin (natural sleeping medication) however when his head hits the pillow he refuses to move it and after a late one making sure he gets of to sleep, I deserve a lay-in! (NOT GREAT ON SCHOOL DAY, JUST WEEKENDS)!

(8) PERFECTIONIST: Not always a good thing, especially when it means they refuse to do school work as they feel they just can’t do a good job of the task at hand so outrightly refuse to try at all. Nonetheless when the child is passionate about something, they do a mighty good job of it, making the parent a very proud one (I have some amazing pictures of little man’s LEGO creations).

(9) MANNERS: Little man has huge problems with his use of swearing and at times I’m dead embarrassed when out and about a meltdown breaks out which often starts with some really offensive obscenities. Yet, when the Little man is polite and his engaged in a conversation of interest or sat talking to the elderly lady on the bus, his manners are outstanding and many comment how proud I must be 🙂 Put it this way… My son has never got of a bus without thanking the driver, always holds doors open for little old ladies and once offered FOR ME to carry someone’s shopping to their car at Tesco!

(10) AMAZING MEMORY: Little man may not have the best short-term memory especially when asking him to fetch his dirty washing or find his shoes, but when something interests him he gathers the facts surrounding the topic and stores them away safely. It is truly amazing that Little man can tell you where almost every bus in London is destining for just by giving him its number!

A fMRI scan showing regions of activation in o...

Image via Wikipedia

Guest Post, Aspergers: A holistic experience

18 Dec

It’s been a while since I featured any guest post so, when I came across Philip Walterhouse, a 25 year old guy who blogs about his life with Aspergers Syndrome to which he received a diagnosis of at the age of 16, I just had to ask him to guest post and to my delight he agreed. 

While growing up, I had no idea that I might have Aspergers.  It wasn’t until recently that I began suspecting it.
When I was sixteen years old, I was put in a position in which I had to take a participating role in my life.  It was this experience that made me realize that I could change.  I went from not caring about anything to wanting to know everything about life.  This was the moment I began to access the strengths of the Aspergers learning style. There are three characteristics of being an Aspie that I love.  The first one is the strong motivation to learn everything about a special interest.  The second is the ability to connect many different concepts.  The third is the inability to learn common sense naturally.

A person with Aspergers tends to focus on one interest while excluding everything else.  This can be a problem, but it also allows us to learn concepts and ideas very thoroughly and extensively. The second characteristic is being good at connecting ideas.  I usually read about ten books at a time, reading small sections from each book during any given day.  The books are generally all non-fiction involving my special interests like science, philosophy or
religion.  I think about what I read all day and sometimes I incorporate it into my conversations.  My mind begins to connect thoughts and conclusions from various books and conversations, ultimately converging into one thought pattern.

The third characteristics of Asperger’s is the inability to learn social common sense intuitively.  People usually think of this as something that is “broken”, something negative.  But the bi-product of this has become one of my greatest strengths.  Aspies have to break down social processes, then memorize and practice each step, something
which is intuitive to most people. One of my special interests was social interaction.  I didn’t like being around people for too long, but learning how to interact had a solitary aspect to it.  Learning how beliefs and values influenced social interactions was fascinating to me.  I explored everything from math to science to philosophy to art to religion, in the context of how it affected my social interactions. During college, I explored every subject I could get my hands on and
as I learned it, I always asked myself how this influenced behaviour. This curiosity carried over to university where I began to look at the social interactions that lead to oppression.  This was where I went through the second biggest change of my life.  It involved a child with Autism, the book Becoming an Ally by Anne Bishop and the HBO show
The Wire.

At the time I was a child and youth worker, working with a 10 year old boy with Autism.  When I started with him, he had no behavioural program and no goals.  It wasn’t long before I was constantly thinking of goals, and trying to understand and change our ways of interacting with one another. While working with this child, I was reading the book Becoming An Ally, learning about the type of power that can lead to an oppressive environment.  I was also watching the HBO show The Wire.  It wasn’t until a month into these three activities that I made the connection between them. The show was acting out how oppression happens politically when people fight for power over each other.  The book was explaining how fighting for power worked at a personal level and how it was connected to political struggles.  I was practising how to avoid a power struggle at a personal level when responding to the aggressive behaviours of the autistic child. This scenario of connecting ideas and applying them to my interactions was essential for me to understand the bigger picture and learn how to interact in that picture.  I would observe something that would seem insignificant at the time but then realize how it fit into the puzzle of human interactions.  After analyzing so many pieces, I began to see how everything worked as unit. In the scenario of the child with autism, I began to connect the similarities of how we responded to our power struggle, to how people respond generally to being marginalized.  I began to see my work as creating an environment where we were learning to behave in a way that did not marginalize or oppress. It was precisely what my Aspergers enabled me to do that most people viewed as the characteristics that I was the strongest in.  Whatever felt disabling about Aspergers was outweighed by what it enabled me to do.  This is why I would never trade the Aspie learning style for any other learning style.  It has helped me see the significance in how we communicate.  It has helped me access the small details of human behaviour that others don’t notice which has led me to a very holistic understanding of who we are.

To read more articles by Philip, visit his blog  ‘The blog of Philip Walterhouse’ by clicking HERE

Reference & Related Articles  can be found below

A Syndrome for Success

Welcome to Aspie land and what do I mean by neurotypical

HBO: Temple Grandin trailer

AS & the big bang Theory

Why is Asperger’s Syndrome considered a form of autism 

Nerf Vortex Nitron Blaster the ultimate boy toy review!

25 Nov

As you all will know by now, we have all been very busy this November with the Santa’s Little Helpers feature, though it has been lots of fun its been non stop! So… Here is our latest review of another one of the top Christmas buys for 2011 and this time we are bringing it to you in association with the fabulous Debenhams

Little man has been on non-stop about the range of Nerf blasters, for a boy who was into nothing other than transport (and don’t get me wrong, his buses still come before anything else in this world) he isn’t doing to bad discovering new-found interest, which is really something given his limited interest, a characteristic of his Asperger’s syndrome.

I do feel that not only has our Santa’s Little Helpers feature played a massive part in this, but also the fact his now in school and around other children on a daily basis, which is a welcomed change from his days in mainstream that presented us with nothing but battles and weekly exclusion.

His new special school is where he first heard about the new Nerf range. So of course when Debenham’s joined our Christmas feature and offered me a choice from their top toy sellers to review, it had to be the new Nerf Vortex Nitron.

 Nerf is a collection of blasters (I tend not to like the word gun even if these are just toys) However these pretty much resemble water guns and come in a host of shapes and sizes, and of course prices!

The Nerf Vortex Nitron is one of the bigger blasters in it’s range and includes a 20 disc magazine, 20 disc and onboard storage for additional magazines to give you maximum firepower (additional magazines and disc can also be brought separately).

It is said that the Nerf Vortex Nitron is the ultimate innovation and technology. It has a really awesome feature which is it’s electronic scope that features targeting lights to help centre your aim. It also features XLR long-range disc technology to launch disc an extra long distance which little man was all so keen to demonstrate over and over again.

It would seem that all the boys want a piece of the Nerf and little man seems to be right on up there.

His eyes light up like balloons when he came home and found this large package on the desk. I don’t really like to alert him that these things are on the way otherwise like many kids do he has the tendency to drain away my brain with, “Has it come yet mum, has it?” So yes this made an awesome surprise at the end of a busy school day.

Little man waited for daddy and as soon as he stepped foot in the door little man put the Nerf Vortex Nitron right under his nose. It wasn’t that he wasn’t able to set this up alone, it was actually dead simple and he did this no problems at all (basically has one or two things to connect) he was just really excited and wanted to such this excitement with his father! This is when I see the big kid come out in his father though it was pretty awesome to watch father and son have some big kid fun!

Little man’s awarded score

I didn’t even get the chance to ask Little man what his overall score was because he beat me to it by stating, “Um, mum, before you ask… I give it a 5 star” Yes the top stars were award by the little man.

Parental perspective

I was happy for Little man to review the New Nerf blaster because like I’ve stated, his interest are rather limited so it’s nice to see them expanding a little. The Nerf did all that it claim to do, isn’t a noisy toy which is always a blessing in my book, and lastly it seems to appeal to the big boys as well as those younger ones (so be prepared to see the child return in your partners). Warning: This toy does require the use of 6x C batteries plus another 2 AAA batteries (I highly recommend the use of rechargeable batteries as that’s one hell of a lot of batteries for one toy). I also awarded the Nerf Vortex Nitron the full 5 ***** as it gave me a good few hours undisturbed soak in the bath so thank you Debenhams.

Once dispatched Debenhams provided super fast home delivery and throughout the customer service was Ace!

Nerf Vortex Nitron is available from Debenhams at
£45.00

So, there you have it, another great toy brought to you by Little man and Debenhams as part of the Santa’s Little helpers Christmas gift feature.

For more information or to order yours… Just click HERE

The things they say

16 Oct

I’ve talked about Little man’s Literal understand and way of thinking a number of times here on the blog. This way of thinking means Little man tends to come out with some classic lines.

When a teacher told Little man to be co-operative, he stated…“What like the Co-operative food shop?”

“To many this is better known as the Coop”

Yes quite cute, still… if he had been in mainstream, that would have been recorded as sarcasm, documented and even worse, it would have lead to a nasty sanction.

Many of the misunderstanding that occurred during little mans days in his old mainstream primary school were caused by a lack of understanding.

Over and over again I would express the importance of “Not using metaphors when engaging in conversation with my child” yet those that did, continued to do so!

It was only yesterday I came across a report by the ASD outreach team that clearly stated that teachers needed to reframe from the use of ambiguous language when talking to my child.

What really tics me off is when somebody raises their eyebrows, turns to me and states…

“Well, I’m sure he understands what I meant”

A statement I’ve heard far to often!

“No, he bloody well doesn’t! What do you think I’m stating this stuff for, the fun of it? Where I’m standing, its far from fun!”

Recently I had a conversation with a stranger (Gosh, look at me talking to strangers) actually this was an elderly woman sat next to me on the bus who seemed quite pleasant. Well, that was in-till she stated her grandson had been diagnosed as having the

“naughty boy condition!”

Hang on a minute…

“The what… ? Sorry, You’ve lost me!”

She continues and finally goes on to say

“Autism! What a load of old cobblers”

Seriously, at first I remember thinking, ‘What an oldie thing to say” (Yes I know, now who’s being stereotype).

Then I thought, “Wow, another day, another person tanked up with ignorance.”

You see I’ve faced this type of ignorance a number of times and looking at her I knew what was coming next! “It wasn’t around in my day”

I was bang on as this did shortly follow.

“Oh, my own child has the naughty boy disorder”

Needless to say her face glowed an awesome shade of red and we didn’t talk for the remaining ten minute journey time.

I wasn’t angry, I’m past all that! I just pitted her way of thinking!

How can you blame this society for thinking the they do when our national newspapers label disorders such as ADHD and others like it,

‘The naughty child disorder’ that entitles parents and carers to drive around in new cars that are paid for by the DLA.

Do they not release that in order to get a car your child’s condition is likely to be tied to other conditions that affect the child’s mobility! No, I guess not! After all the national newspaper in question only bothered to go by the one statistic, which was the number of claims that relate in some way to ADHD. My guess is these children didn’t all just have a diagnosis of ADHD like many will know it’s a condition that is closely related to autism and many children carry a diagnosis of both.

I’ve seen parents with a child who really could use that car, lets not forget, most of the cost are met by funding it through the money they would usually be given in the form of payments. This money is given to meet the child’s mobility needs, not care, this is a different thing altogether!

Yes, of course there are some driving their pimped out bimmers when yes, the car could go to a much needy family (your always gonna get them people) yet, isn’t this the same as every other benefit? The system is a mess, not just one section of it! All of it!

I wasn’t angry about the article, I don’t let myself get that way anymore, I again pity those that wrote it and pray their child is never born different in anyway (I must state, “NO I DON’T HAVE A CAR PAID BY THE STATE, THAT OF THE TAX PAYERS MONEY, I DON’T HAVE A CAR WHAT SO EVER!” You may have already worked this out what with the above description of my recent bus travels with the elderly, but I just wanted to make that clear!

I believe a great deal of the issues our children face are due to that of others misconceptions. This could be anything from the way they talk, understand or behave in public.

Another bus incident (isn’t surprising given buses are little man’s main focus within his special interest in transport). We got on his favourite bus (the one with the one very high seat with a pane of glass right in front of it). The seat is basically right up their by the driver and little man like’s nothing more than to sit in it, in-order to play the role. Only this one time somebody was actually sat in “his seat” He stood there staring just waiting for the woman (middle aged) to move and let him sit down. When she didn’t he claimed quite polity too,

“Excuse me your in my seat”

she went from a look of disbelief to a giggle when stating

“Listen sunshine, has it got your name on it?”

Now their was a double whammy right there! ‘Sunshine’ & “… has it got your name on it?” was bound to confuss

“My name isn’t Sunshine”

he claimed while giving the chair a once over to see if it had his “Name on it” Of course I was trying to get him to come and sit somewhere else without any bloody luck what so ever!

He actually went as far as asking her to stand up so he could check the cushion for his name.

“Is this kid for real?”

was something she asked aloud!

before mumbling under her breath something that sound like,

“sarcastic little…”

Again she displayed that adorable shade of red all over her face when I annouched that.

“His for real all right! and so is his autism”

We don’t tend to use the word “Aspergers” some don’t seem to have the foggiest idea what I’m banging on about when I do!

So, there you have it! My little dude can say the funniest of things but these can also have a flip side, one that unfortunately leads to the same old thing…

“IGNORANCE”

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!

From the heart of an eight year old

15 May

Today’s post is a very special one!

Yes, it really is! Today is the day I write and publish a very special interview, one I’ve contemplated writing for sometime now.

I wanted to raise some awareness, not only for children on the autism spectrum, but those children closely related to them.

Well, you can’t get much closer then a sibling, well maybe if that sibling happens to be a twin! But a sibling is the closest I’ve got  (no twins in this house)

My daughter is a very outspoken little lady, she’s eight and like many little girls her age, she’s sometimes a bit big for her own boots.

Still I have no complaints, my little girls a treasure, a real joy to be around (99% of the time) But as I’ve written In a very recent post, these siblings fight like cat and dog.

Little Man and his sister couldn’t be more different! Yes I love them both the same, just as I do my youngest, ‘The walking home-wrecker’, “No, his two young to be a ‘marriage wrecker’ but he is an eighteen month old vandal who I’m considering awarding an ASBO!” Of course I’m joking, then again ask me that when his feeding the DVD player ‘Whootis’ and watering the plants with fruit juice.

My point is, “IF I EVER QUESTION LITTLE MAN’S DIAGNOSIS BY ASKING MYSELF DID THEY GET IT WRONG?” I just look at the differences in the way my two eldest children interact, play or socialise. This corrects my way of thinking almost immediately, even when things do seem relatively ‘normal’ and the questioning sets in there is always something around the corner to point it out.

Well, as usual I’ve done enough rabbeting for one post! So, with that I will now introduce an even bigger chatter box, ‘Miss Alice-Sara’


AFTER WHAT SEEMS A LONG WAIT SHE COME’S FLYING THROUGH THE DOOR LIKE A WEST-END THEATER STAR!

Umm… As I expected, she’s dancing around, flicking her hair and striking a pose. A gentle reminder from mum ( yes, that’s me) reminds her this isn’t television.

Mum: So,  if your finished giggling Ally would you like to start?

Alice-Sara: I’m finished, just one last *giggle* That’s better! What you waiting for mummy?

Mum: *cough, cough* shake head, ready now are you Ally? Right… Can you please tell me what your name is, how old you are and what school you go to?

Alice-Sara: Well, My name is… ‘Alice’, I’m 8 years old and I go to XXXXXX Primary school.

Mum: Very good! So Alice! Can you please tell everyone a little bit about your family Alice!

Alice-Sara: what like who they are and that?

Mum: Well, who do you live with, do you have brothers or sisters? Remember the readers don’t know you, just me!

Alice-Sara:  Oh, I thought so! Ok, I have no sisters (rolls eyes, sticks up bottom lip and crosses arms). I have two brothers! A baby brother and a big brother, who is sometimes really bad! Well, most of the time actually! Oh, I’ve got a kitten, well, we have two kittens but ones my brothers, and guess what they were really scared but now they are getting used to us.

YES, ONE VERY EXCITED LITTLE GIRL WHEN IT COMES TO THE NEW ADDITIONS TO OUR FAMILY!

Mum: That’s really great Ally! So, do you remember why mummy asked you to do this special interview today?

Alice-Sara: Yep,  Sure do mum! It’s so I can tell everyone what it’s like to have a brother with Aspergers!

Mum: Yes that’s right! Do you know what Asperger’s is? Should mummy explain it first (Not like I expected her to agree)

Alice-Sara: No, no… I can explain myself! Well, Aspergers is something that makes you a little bit different, no I mean a lot. He can be very naughty for sure! It means you like buses, or something else like buses, you like it a lot a lot, and that’s what you like to play all the time….., Isn’t it Mum!

Mum: Yes, I see what you mean! Little man has a special interest in buses! That’s right Alice! So, anything else you want to add or are you finished?

Alice-Sara: Umm… Your brain is a bit different I think, and you do things in a different way (looks my way for clarification, to which I give a gentle nod) Oh, You can cry if someone is just looking at you, can’t you mum! My brother hits me if I look at him, he says I’m pulling faces!

Mum: Does he hit you a lot?

Alice-Sara: Err Yer Mum, you joking? You know he does! I sometimes get so angry that I want to burst open… I say things I don’t mean sometimes, like… I wish you wasn’t part of our family! But he always says horrible things to me.

Mum: Like what?

Alice-Sara: Well, I don’t want to swear mum, or am I allowed to so that I can tell you?

Mum:  No…. I’m sure there’s other names he calls you that don’t require any swearing! (though I’m struggling with that one myself)

Alice-Sara: I know! He sometimes calls me butt head and fat!

Mum: You know your not fat though Alice don’t you?

Alice-Sara: Umm… Yes…., but I’m not a butt head either you know!

Mum: I know your not! (Flash her a smile and she gives me a quick hug) So, what’s it like at home? Do you play with your brother?

Alice-Sara: Not so much anymore. We always have to play school’s but he would always be the teacher (she is really exaggerating her voice). He just shouts the same thing all the time, like, “SHUT UP AND DO WORK, YOU’RE NO GOOD! NOW GET OUT MY SCHOOL”  That’s not the only way I showed him how to play schools! (Big shake of the head with hands on hips lol)

Mum: What, you showed him how to play schools?

Alice-Sara: I teach him all my games, but he just bosses me about and always puts a bus in our game somehow, even when I say no”buses allowed!” I’m not allowed to stop playing when I’ve had enough but he just walks away and stops playing half way through a game, “Yer that’s so annoying” Oh, and he don’t say anything, just leaves! He goes of making that noise! (Again roll of the eyes and raises her eyebrows)

Mum: Noise………?

Alice-Sara: Yes, you know mum (she says in a very low voice, almost as if she’s whispering), the noise… he always makes… I will do it quietly because he will go crazy if he hears me, I’m not allowed to like what he likes am I! “Beep, beep ,beep ,beep… but a lot more fast, then he goes sussssh it’s the beeping of the bus doors and the noise they make when they open and close! He loves that! It gives me and mummy a headache sometimes, don’t it mum, don’t it!

Alice-Sara: Oh… Mum, mum, I forgot! He uses strange things to be the front of the bus, *giggle* He uses a spoon or pencil and holds it in-front of his face, Oh, one more thing… he uses mum’s sunglasses as the bus doors (her voice lowers and as she giggles that cheeky giggle she says, “He always breaks your glasses don’t he mum!”)

Mum: Yes, he certainly does Ally!

Mum: Ok, just a few more questions now Alice!

Alice-Sara:  Oh, I’m having fun 🙂

Mum: I’m glad! So, how about school! Does your brother go to your school?

Alice-Sara: Not anymore! He goes to learn at the library and gets to do fun stuff, *Huff* “I wish I could go to school in the library!”


Mum: You wont say that when your bored with no one to play with!

Alice-Sara: Yes I will!

Mum: Alice……

Alice-Sara: OK, OK, maybe not! I do have lots of friends in school! My brother was a little bit bad at school, but sometimes people were horrible to him and that makes him more naughty.

Alice-Sara: I do love him because his my brother! Mum, Is it Ok if I don’t always like him though?

Mum: Of course it is honey, of course!

“Please Save me from the falling buildings”

13 May

It’s the 29 Th. April 2011 and the day of the Royal Wedding. Its getting late and has started to rain, within what seems like a second I’m wet through.

Stood on Waterloo bridge in bight red heels, “Heels I so, regret wearing!” I’m tired, becoming cranky and just wanna go home!

One problem! Little man wont cross the bridge.

Myself, a friend and my daughter had just started strolling across the bridge when little man shouted, “No, no, no! I’m not walking across that!” He stood very still with an expression of fear spread across his face. He shook his head repeatedly and started to mumble something which normally indicates his nervous.

Did I know he had a fear of this kind? Nope I truly didn’t! I can’t remember us ever having to walk over a bridge before (his fine with driving over them it’s just walking that presents a problem).

It hadn’t rained all day despite the predictions, the Royals married on a gorgeous sunny day. Well, that was in-till now! I was quickly losing the will to live as I tried desperately to persuade Little man to cross the bridge! The prospect of having to get the train one stop to avoid it was one I didn’t fancy having to contemplate. Then there was the fact I wanted to get a picture of the stunning views of the River Thames that I must say looked stunning on this particular night (despite the rain). The London Eye looked incredible, all lit up in blue and red, the colours of the union Jack in honor of the newly weds.

My friend took over and somehow after what seemed like ‘forever’ little man walked across the bridge.

The rain had stopped and despite how heavy it fell, it lasted no more than a mere 30 minutes (nonetheless it was enough time to soak an entire family)

The mission back to Waterloo east station would require us to walk past the London Eye. As we got nearer I suddenly realised another problem was about to unearth itsself! Little Man was now refusing to walk past the wheel. His anxiety levels rose and he become quite panicky.

“Please mum… I don’t want to walk past it, it’s to big, I’m scared!”

“What are you scared of darling?”

“What do you mean what am I scared off, I’m scared of that thing, that’s what I’m scared of!”

Well, didn’t that tell me!

This time there was no reasoning with the little guy and it was apparent by the frustration on my daughters face that she had now had enough and looked forward to a hot chocolate and her lovely warm bed. I looked at little man who now had his hands spread across his face in a desperate attempt to conceal his eyes from his surroundings, while shouting, “COME ON MUM, COME ON! ITS GOING TO FALL ON US IF WE DON’T GO RIGHT NOW, FOR *#*# *#*#”

Yes, bad language was flowing freely from the mouth of my little guy, he normally does when anxiety kicks in!

I knew from that moment we wouldn’t be walking past the beautifully lit London Eye and that this time not even my friend would be able to use her magic ways of persuasion, just as she had done on the bridge.

Now, did I know he feared the London Eye? No! However I had learnt through recent events that little man feared very tall buildings.

It was about three weeks pervious, when I decided to take the little dude on a visit to Canary Wharf during one of our ‘special transport days’ For those who are wondering what this crazy lady is chatting about, a ‘ special transport day’ involves little man super indulging in his special interest of transport by riding on the trains, tube, bus, dock-lands light rail, and not forgetting the clipper that jets across the River Thames into Greenwich or Westminster. Though this mum would like to see her little man splashing about at the swimming baths or playing with the other children in the park she wouldn’t have it any other way as seeing the enjoyment in his eyes makes it more than worth it (even if it does mean she has to be a transport enthusiast)

However once at Canary Wharf I could no longer see that same ‘enjoyment’ in my little mans eyes, Instead I saw fear. Stood amongst the skyscrapers Little man dropped to the pavement to the safety of the ground. I had never seen him react to anything in such a manner. I had clearly brought him to an environment that he could not tolerate.

Canary Wharf Isn’t to far from the London City airport and as a result the skies above see quite a bit of air traffic. As you can imagine this creates quite a noise as the sound of the aircraft bounces of the skyscrapers. This sent the little guy into an even bigger frenzy of panic.

As per-usual there were those that stopped for a look, this time it was different though, purely because my son wasn’t having a meltdown, this was in-fact a lot different, he was reacting like the terrified child he was instead of a child who come across as ‘challenging’ Nonetheless this was challenging for me, I still had to get him off the floor and back onto the tube.

Of course I succeeded but this wasn’t without lots of reassuring and encouragement. Back on the tube little guy questioned himself, he said he never thought he would be scared of buildings and couldn’t understand what went wrong! He said he was now feeling a little stupid. I explained that he shouldn’t feel stupid as it was a common occurrence, more than some may think. I wasn’t just trying to make the little guy feel better (even though this was of course my first priority), I was actually stating what I believed to be true, after all I was the same as a child. Once I explained to him that Mum had once felt that way, he really engaged and we discussed it all the way home.

It turns out that like me as a child, little man had felt dizzy and sick, his head went funny and his body wobbled! He even described a butterfly feeling inside his tum which he informs me was a very strange feeling. I think what he meant or at least tried to describe was the  feeling and  an experience of vertigo caused by his vestibular processing.

From the age of two I used to throw myself out of my buggy and lay on the floor every-time my mother or father pushed me past a bill-board poster. It took sometime for them to work out what was going on but they finally did, especially when my father took me on a crane where he worked and was presented with a little girl screaming her head off while shaking so forcefully that the crane wobbled (Well, at least that’s what my dad claimed *giggle*).

It’s funny as now I’m older I realise that I myself had quite a lot of sensory processing problems. I like my little man was and still am to some degree… tactile defensive!

You see, it’s not just the issue of fear here! This was a sensory issue for my little man. Well, it was defiantly a contribution of the two. Little man is also worried of a terrorist attack, something I should have considered before taking him there! Skyscrapers, aeroplanes and the feeling of being out of control on top of the vertigo was a tad too much for Little man while at Canary Wharf and seemed to be that same way now.

After a long day and night I decided that we would not walk past the London Eye, after all he had already faced his fear on the bridge (proud mummy)

I wrote this blog as I wanted to show how such issues can pop up out of nowhere, how it’s important to be aware of the possible triggers of anxiety, the achievements our children can make (the bridge), and also how I see a little bit of me in my little guy! No I’m not an Aspie but I’m his mum and his bound to be a little like me after all 🙂

It’s funny as a child I considered myself a bit of a nut job! what with the need to bite my sleeves even though it drove me mad, the fact i couldn’t deal with polo neck jumpers and school shirts, the way I hated G-strings in my early twenties lol (comfort babe is me) Oh, there are many more and I assume such issues of sensory processing disorder (SPD) were non-existent when I was a kid (now i feel old) Maybe if they were I may well hold the label, but then again I guess many of us would.

A love hate relationship

1 May

So, today I’ve been inspired to write this post by my beautiful daughter.

You see, my little princess is feeling a little left out! I guess I haven’t really treated her like the little princess that she is just lately.

I hold my hands up, life has been far to busy and she hasn’t received quite as much attention as I would have liked to have given her. I’m not stating I’ve neglected here, “As if my little diva would let me,” I’m merely stating that we need some one-on-one time without big brother! There has been less chick flicks & girlie pampering but far to many tears.

I look at my daughter with such pride, she is this truly amazing little girl who never fails to melt my heart. Like most siblings of Children on the autism spectrum, she seems quite mature for her eight years.

Over these past few months, which I must add have been pretty emotional for all, I’ve noticed my little girl has mimicked one or two of little man’s behaviours. It doesn’t take a genius to know why she has done this, after all little man gets quite a bit of attention when displaying such behaviours. Alice-Sara (My daughter) has claimed that she can no longer use certain cutlery when eating her dinner as it makes her feel fuzzy (tactile sensitivity). She has stated that it’s to noisy in school and has gone as far as throwing a tantrum over a miner mishap that wouldn’t normally bother her. This isn’t all! More recently see seems somewhat resentful towards her brother. It’s understandable given a good degree of the time he isn’t very nice to her and is extremely hard to live with, but it’s also to do with how much time I need to spend attending to Little mans needs, both social and educational. Last week I almost died of shock when my daughter, who enjoys school refused to attend. She throw me with her claims that she hated it and certain teachers didn’t understand her, yes, something her brother has stated through sobs of tears! She insisted that in-order for her to attend I would need to write some letters and sort things out in terms of her education! She also informed me that maybe it would be better to home educate her for a a bit while things settled down, Her worlds not mine! “Guys this little girl has a stack of friends and is popular with both the pupils and the teachers. Her reports always come back glowing with nothing but prise written all over them”. I knew what this was really about! With Little man’s pending Sen tribunal due to be heard in June, I have been writing statements, emails and filling out a ton of paperwork, mainly parental information needed to form part of his independent SALT and EP assessments. I have also been doing quite a bit of casework for my role as a TSS volunteer. Alice-Sara confirmed this to be the issue when I insisted we talk about it on the way to school when she so angrily stated why storming towards the front door, “Oh, You would have done it for him.” Yes, ‘him’ meaning Little man!

Alice-Sara loves her brother, however things are not always easy for her. All brothers & sisters normally quarrel, I’m not denying that, but come to our house, I promise you its beyond ‘Normal’!

Now, it’s not always the little dude who is the one to kick things off, my daughter has become accustomed to setting him off and she’s learnt how and what buttons to press in-order to get her desired reaction. However his rigid thinking and tendency to be inflexible and controlling has either brought her to breaking point or reduced her to tears. Lately she can’t seem to breathe without it bothering him. Just a few days back little man treated the family to a night on pain-killers. My daughter needed Calpol (children’s medicine) for her headache and although I had just taken a couple of good old paracetamol for my own chronic headache, I could have done with something a tad stronger like a few handfuls of tranquillisers to knock me out for the rest of the week!

Alice-Sara decided that having tried a ‘Fish Finger’ for the first time they were actually quite yummy. When dished up and the kids sat down for dinner, little man’s eyes wondered across the table in the direction of her plate. “OH NO…”

Little man: “Mum, you’ve given Alice the wrong dinner!”

Before I could answer…

“No, she hasn’t. I like fish fingers now.” Announced Alice-Sara.

Well, what happened next wasn’t anything unexpected as it happens on a regular basis! A full-on blow up was had that consisted of him claiming that his sister shouldn’t be allowed to like fish fingers as he likes them! “She’s copying me,” and “You’re horrible mum! They were my fish-fingers!” Those statements and a load more, accompanied together with kicking doors and throwing whatever was in his reach went on for a good proportion of the night. A real head banging event!

Last spring when things were really difficult at school for Little man which resulted in some challenges at home, I began to worry for both my Little man and my daughter. His aggressive behaviour was at a point that was deeply concerning. We went on a day out accompanied by my friend who ended up having quite an eventful time and one I’m sure she wont forget for some time! It was during this day out that I decided we as a family needed to seek professional help & support! Alice-Sara was happily flying a kite on the heath following the ‘Bike & Kite’ festival we had just attended. Out of nowhere came little man who had decided it was time she stopped! He run over giving her a massive shove that saw her fall to the ground. No tears followed, she didn’t even complain, just got up bushed herself off and returned to the joy of flying her kite. In that exact moment I realised that I had just witnessed something that scared the ‘crap out of me!’ Was this the ‘Norm’ for her? Did she consider it an acceptable thing for her big brother to have done? Would this little girl ‘my little girl’ grow up thinking it was Ok to be pushed around? I don’t want my daughter to ever allow herself to be treated like this, not by anybody including that off her big brother! It was lucky that at this time I was in contact with a lady who works for the autism outreach service for our area and how lucky was I when she agreed to visit me at home and have a chat with my little princess. I also gained some good ideas on strategies that I could implement that would hopefully stop little man becoming so physically aggressive towards his sister. It took some effort but results were seen, his hitting faded out and Alice-Sara would no longer turn a blind eye to his behaviour.

Sadly these past few weeks something has changed in the little man and myself and daughter have received some unwelcome attacks as a result. He even attacked his sister on a packed train when returning from the West End because she, ‘Disrespected Transport for London’ when placing her tired little feet on the seat she was sat on.

How can I make it stop? Consistency is our only hope. Strategies that we used last year have been tried but sadly failed, however this mum is on a mission and won’t give up on finding another strategy that works!

I’m guessing a number of parents of children on the autism spectrum will agree… consistency is a ‘must’ for all children but isn’t the easiest thing to apply when dealing with the child with Aspergers and they’re challenging behaviour.

To bring this post to a close I’ve finished with something positive. After all this talk of violence I think I need to! So, besides sharing some contact details for sibling support groups that some off you may find helpful, I’ve also included this beautiful picture that I captured yesterday on the train when on our way out for the evening to see a show in the West End to celebrate the Royal Wedding. Little man has his arm around his sister who happily excepted a hug as opposed to a slap or a punch! No-one requested he gave her a hug, it’s something that you just don’t see him do! I don’t know who was more surprised me or my daughter!

The Charity Barnardo’s run a number support groups for siblings of disabled children around the country. Some groups are mixed for both the Sibling and their brother/sister with a disability, whereas others are dedicated to the sibling alone. (028) 90672366 is the contact details for the London regional office. If anyone requires the number for their area drop me a comment or contact the above number as I’m sure they will help.

Contact a Family is another organisation who cater for siblings of children with disabilities. Further info can be obtained by calling… 0808 808 3555

Mencap are happy to put people in-touch with their local sibling support group. The number for England is: 0207 4540454

Kids are an organisation which runs play, education and social initiatives for disabled children and it is suggested that siblings may also benefit from their clubs, outings and residential weekends, and can be contacted on: 020 7359 7635 email: enquiries@kids.org.uk

Just one wish

21 Apr

hello readers

So, there’s a few days left of the Easter half-term and as it draws to an end so does my ability to stay calm cool and collective.

I always long for the half-term due to the whole mess that is, ‘Little Man’s Education’, however with him no longer in the mainstream setting that caused him so much confusion and instead receiving an education through a tuition plan applied by a tutor on a one-2-one basis at the local library his been longing to go back. The lack of routine this Easter is driving him loopy. Yes, I try my best to make things predictable but life isn’t always agreeable. What with a string of assessments in preparation for our upcoming tribunal and the fact I’ve been so unwell, resulting in my shorten temper, things have just turned crazy.

His spent much of his time indulging in his ‘Special interest’ by getting stuck into and memorising a stack of bus routes, but come the second week his perched on the edge like some ticking time bomb.

Off course the bomb went bang and so did my head. His been a complete nightmare the entire week!

Will he comply with any request… Hell no! He seems to think the world is plotting against him, yet I’m starting to think it’s me it’s plotting against! His arguing with his sister day and night (yes, kids argue but come to my house and tell me this is normal)! His also disturbingly loud (ask the neighbours) and has trashed the house more then once!

Meltdowns… I know all about meltdowns… Do you? We are not talking tantrums here, are you crazy! This is some hardcore S***, “Excuse me”, but this is something that I his mother will refer to as ‘Torture!’

Unless you’ve been there, lived it and breathed it, you can never begin to understand just what it is I’m rambling on about! It’s not like the ‘terrible twos’ nor is it the ‘boys just being boys’ scenario ! No, it’s the, ‘AUTISM SPECTRUM SCENARIO!’ If I ever need reassurance that such blow-ups are a direct result of his AS then I just look at his eight year old sister and it’s confirmed in a blink!

I can’t fully explain what its like for him! His low tolerance for certain everyday situations that trigger stress, his inability to control his emotions in a more socially acceptable manner! The reason I can’t explain is simple,”I’m not in side his head, I’m on the outside peeking in, just wishing I could fully understand!”

As his mother it’s my wish that I could fully understand what his thinking, what makes him tick! Give me a wish and that’s what I’d wish for, “TO BE INSIDE HIS HEAD”, It’s hard not to become frustrated for I have tried to learn so much about his condition, but not even a masters in autism will ever get me close enough! I’m a parent to a child with Aspergers, I’m not a mother with Aspergers!

Nevertheless there is something I can share with you… What a meltdown is like for me, a parent of a child with Aspergers! I have plenty of experience as I’m sure many of you have! Meltdowns are one of the hardest things I have to deal with in terms of little mans difficulties and although my son has a huge amount of great qualities that make up his personality , I wont pretend like its all Little professors and I don’t believe in the sugar coating approach… Sometimes things are just dam right bloody hard!

The ‘Daddy’ of meltdowns (not like there’s a type) normally drives me to the point of insanity, it causes me to question my own parenting skills and ability to cope with the situation at hand. I’ve quite literally stood on the spot and let out a high pitched scream, fallen to my knees & begged god for a break regardless of my current company, I’ve cried and asked god, “why me?” I’ve even had a full blown panic attack (YES IN THE SUPERMARKET)

Little over the top you think? No, in-fact this description actually does the ‘DADDY MELTDOWN’ no justice. There are no boundaries, no limits in which he knows he shouldn’t push… his impulsiveness that causes a worry inside me that I cannot explain.

Have you ever took you child out and feared them having some kind public tantrum? I have! I do!

But at least now I have learnt to cope… “TO some degree”, at least! I suppose its like anything, it all depends on ones frame of mind at the time! Sometimes I’m super confident and use a number of self-coping skills why trying an array of learnt techniques to discover the underlying issues surrounding his challenging behaviour! Sometimes these ‘ISSUES’ are clear, other times its mind-boggling!

Then there are the times I feel like grabbing my coat and legging it! Running like Forrest Gump in the direction off the unknown, but anything is better then here (Well of course I don’t leg it! But yes the thought does cross my mind)

A meltdown in our house can least an hour, an afternoon, the entire day and night, and sometimes…. A good few days!

Of course we will normally be over the screaming and the smashing things up by this point (Oh yes he loves to beat the hell out of the doors or the staircase) If the meltdown is one lasting over a day, his normally more tearful on day two, he wont let go and feels so wronged. This can be hard as he likes to go on and on about it, ear bashing me all day! He will sit sobbing, telling me I’m the worse mother in the world and how could I be so selfish when I didn’t agree to him having something or another. To some point its like talking to a person who has consumed to much alcohol simply because there’s no reasoning with him!

Of course it’s much better for him to have a meltdown in the safety of the home! Yes, I like it behind close doors too! Who don’t!!! But unless we are happy to confine ourselves to a life of isolation, then we have to deal with it! I was looking through some pictures on my iphone taken during the summer of last year. With every trip (Well, almost) is a picture of little man at the start of a meltdown.

If your out and about and you see a child with an expression like that on his face, “BEWARE HE MAY BLOW!” In all seriousness, seeing a child having a meltdown isn’t something to stick your nose up at, Nor is it your job to judge the child or the parent in that situation! After all… You never know the underlying causes, all you do is contribute to a very stressful situation.

Basically if don’t fancy mum giving you the finger in the supermarket, then keep your eyes on you’re trolly and your nose in your own business!

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