Tag Archives: structure

Aspergers and Control

21 Sep

Control we all like to have it, though some more than others. It’s important to maintain control of our life’s, after all what a pickle we find ourselves in when we lose our grip.

So what’s life like for a person who feels the need to control everything around them. Is this the type of somebody that one classifies as a control freak?

My little man is a child who has this uncontrollable need to control his surroundings. From what I’ve learnt about Asperger’s syndrome and the way the mind works I understand this has a lot to do with predictability ‘Making the world a predictable place to live in’.

I sat and thought about how my own child uses control, Who he uses it with and importantly where and when!

Since little sister came along and taught the little man about the joys of play, I’ve observed him in numerous situations. I’ve watched him during games that require lots of imagination, games like schools and shops. It’s these games in particular that the little man will come across as somewhat bossy as he try’s to control the whole game using his sister as an actual play object. Once they’ve played it one way they have to play it the same way every time.

Thinking about it little mans need to maintain control of absolutely everything is quite extreme. At times it’s like living with a husband! It’s even the most simplest things that he must control. A great example being the television. Yes, sometimes I have to remind myself who’s the patent here! He will just come in switch over the tv regardless that I’m sat watching it. He will then try to argue his case.This does have a lot to do with him just wanting to watch something but its when I say no things go OTT! He goes crazy at the thought of backing down and losing control of the situation.

This is why his very particular when it comes to creating a Birthday and Christmas list! He can’t get to grips with surprises and the few times I’ve done this things have ended badly. I’ve learnt my lessons here and now discuss everything with him first.

Last year it was a case of giving him money in a card then taking him and his money to the shops to buy his own gifts.This felt so impersonal but something I know to be Practical… This I cannot deny!

Mainstream school was Incredibly difficult for him. He spent so long without any help that his need to control his environment become very over powering. Lets be honest here… It’s difficult enough for even a teacher to control an environment that consists of some 30+ kids. Little man therefore didn’t stand a chance in hell did he. As a result Little man found himself excluded on a regular basis, so regular that it was weekly at one point. Visual aids used within the classroom helped a great deal however this was too little to late and the damage had already been done.

I know that Little man wants things to be predictable and that he finds it hard to relate to the feelings of others when his trying to make it happen. I just wish that others would understand this and see that his not just the spoilt child they assume him to be.

Summer Dreams

3 Jun

Summer dreams… I’m lying on a sun lounger some place hot, the sea or pool ( I really don’t mind which) is a stones throw away. I have a generous Glass of pims in one hand and a good read in the other!

So… Ordinary, wouldn’t you agree?

I used to have summer dreams like that of the one above. But dreams change, they no longer seem like dreams, more like desires that I long to achieve. My dreams are simple in theory but often unreachable in life. Not because they are not possible, they are… If I give it all I have to live them.

Now although a holiday is much needed by all, it’s something that I’m sure will not be happening this summer, so as the days draw on I begin to kick my own backside and remind myself that I have a dream that needs fulfilling, that dream… To have a well plan out and organised summer!

Sounds boring and yes somewhat pathetic, but for me it’s the key to a long and happy summer. Doing things on a whim is a speciality of mine but such a skill is unethical when your a parent to a child with Aspergers Syndrome.

Some days you wouldn’t know my son was on that Autism Spectrum. Like everything some days are more difficult than others.

Little man is currently on half term as is his younger sister ‘Alice-Sara’ (I’m bracing myself for plenty of sibling wars!) Now, although this week will get little man into a bit of a mess with the lack of structure and routine, (Yes, I do try but I can never complete with the structure of school) the summer holidays are for a much lengthier time period, this huge change and the pending anxiety about the coming new school year (new class, teacher, ect…) can mean an explosive 6 weeks.

So, what’s the solution? Well, I wouldn’t call it a solution, but a semi one at least. Organising activities in advance, making little man aware of where and when we’re going, good organisation and structure is the key to his and of course my own sanity.

You would think that I have learned my lesson by now.There’s been plenty of trips and occasions that haven’t been planed as well as they could have been. We’ve had our fair share of meltdowns as a result.

I maybe a mum of a child on the spectrum, but I’m in no means perfect and the whole organisation thing is not my strongest trait.

So… Although the dream of a day spent soaking up the sun’s ray, while relaxing on a beach some place inviting, still exists, it’s in the back of my mine it will stay.

If all is organised and I start booking trips and planing days out now… My summers dream could go something like this…

A day out as a family some place nice, we would laugh and smile, eat a picnic fit for a fussy eater. The children would run around having fun, playing games together… No screaming, arguing… No violent meltdowns, abusive language! There would be no tears, no anxiety, just enjoyment being had by all! And If I could control the weather and public transport I would!

Ok, almost, because life isn’t always so simple, anything can happen! A sensory related trigger, a delayed train or even a wrong turning (getting lost is my little man’s pet hate)! But I will try as by planning and preparing that summers dream will be that much closer to a summers reality!

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This post was inspired by this weeks Britmums blogging prompts! If you’re a blogger why not check them out and join in.

Preparing my child with Aspergers for our family festive break

8 Dec

17

Days till Christmas

We’re off to Butlin’s this weekend and are all rather excited about it.

 However, it’s really not a case of “just up and leaving” for us! Well, I suppose it isn’t for anyone really, but for us such a trip means extensive preparation.

 Little man is looking forward to the trip, however he has many concerns, things that for most add to the excitement of a holiday!

English: Skyline Pavilion, Butlin's, near...

Image via Wikipedia

 Little man wants to know, how everything will plan out! Just how will we get there; how long will it take; how long does each and every activity last; what are the bedrooms like; what do they use to clean the pool; does the hotel smell of bleach, will there be a shower?

 OK, OK… Most kids ask questions but for Little man it’s not just a question but a real concern!

 When it comes to days out we need to ensure good preparation has played its part, otherwise Little man will suffer and the entire family will pay dearly. The truth is, I’m unsure why god considered me the “Right” person to mother a child on the autism spectrum! Organisation has never been my strong point! Well, when it comes to actually getting somewhere on time, I’m the worst ever! Seriously no matter what I do, something always seems to happen… always!

 We went camping back in July and absolutely nothing went to plan. It was extremely hard work and at certain points of the holiday I did have to stop and ask myself why I was actually putting myself through this. Yes, that may sound selfish and maybe a thousand adults on the spectrum reading this will now jump on my back! I know it isn’t easy for the Little man either, but at the time when his having an almighty meltdown in the tent at 2am, I did ask myself why!

 I always come up with the same answer! His my son, and just because he has Aspergers doesn’t mean he should miss the experiences that all children are entitled to. As a family, we are all entitled to a holiday and as hard as this may be, I’m determined to keep on trying! It’s my belief, the more we do these things, the better Little man is able to deal with them. It’s not that he don’t want to go on holiday’s or have day’s out, if this was the case then of course I wouldn’t push him, the fact he does want to engage in such activities, no matter how hard these things become it gives me that nudge to keep trying.

Camping wasn’t ideal for a child on the spectrum, especially camping at a festival, to be honest, it was the most unstructured place to take a holiday and as much as he now declares his a big camping fan, I would need to be thinking long and hard before embanking on such an adventure again.

 Now, we have been Butlin’s before! Little man was around 5 and this was prior to his diagnosis. Nevertheless things went surprisingly OK. I know his that bit older and yes, things do tend to unfold quicker and normally in a bigger more explosive way, but considering how structured Butlin’s can be I think it may actually be a really good place for a family consisting of a child with Aspergers to take a break.

 Well, we’re leaving on Friday, after school so it really is upon us.

 Here’s what I have done in preparation so far.

 We are staying in the Butlins hotel and I’ve checked with facilities are in our room (tv, shower, single or bunk beds etc.)

English: Ocean Hotel - Bognor, near to Felpham...

Image via Wikipedia

 Packed his clothing separately from ours, making sure they have been tumble dried for maximum softness.

 Made sure I’ve packed him entertainment for the journey (Lego, books etc)

 Downloaded the Butlin’s iphone app which has the full weekends entertainment, including opening times of certain activities, shows, the weekend line-up and any additional special bookable extras. Also includes a Map which is a bonus as Little man is driven mad when we get lost.

 As we haven’t been for sometime (I last went about 6 years ago) I’ve been speaking to some mummy bloggers on twitter who have been telling me what we can expect (What to avoid and what not to miss) I’d like to personally thank @TiredmummyofTwo who very considerately contacted me to ask if there was anything I wanted to ask as she was aware of my situation (please note, this isn’t someone who works for Butlins just a fellow blogger) I really am grateful that she took the time to contact me and offer that bit of support (it really is the little things that touch a person’s heart)

OK…  I’ve planed transport

 As the children’s father is now unable to attend, I’m now taking a friend who knows little man really well and is as good as family. This is important as on the Saturday I’m at the Tots100 Christmas party and my friend will take care of the children (a great mate)

 Trying to plan Sunday as-well as I possibly can as it’s Harley’s second birthday and little man can find other people’s birthdays difficult at the best of times.

 Making sure Little man knows exactly how many days in-till we leave and the times in-which we are leaving.

 Plus a host of other things that are actually rather jumbled in my head right now!

 Oh… and you better believe it! I have spent so long worrying about the Little man, plus ensuring all three children’s belongings are packed that I haven’t even thought about what I’m taking! That means packing when his at school today!

I can’t wait till everything is sorted so myself, friend and the children can look forward to our festive break which is promised to be filled with Christmas Cheer.

So… Wish me luck people! I’ll have the Mac so let’s hope that the holiday update is just that, “An Update” and a happy one at that, avoiding a festive holiday “Rant!”

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