Bedtime and Autism

Well I must say, going to sleep with David Attenborough’s planet earth plating on the screen is a perfect tonic for sleep inducement! ūüėÄūüėīūüėīūüé∂ūüėī Attenborough’s video’ on you tube have been used to encourage sleep since the kids were tiny. When they the kids get upset they ask for David. Yeah!!!!

I would just like to add that Minecraft story mode music is a great sleep tonic as well.

 

 

 

I am Proud of my 2 Autistic sons

My son was at school. Subject of discussion was how everybody had different ways of learning and retaining information. My son put up his hand and said, “I have Autism!”. ¬†In front of the whole class!

Good for you, boy! He has always been told everybody has different brains and different bodies. Good for promoting a discussion. Discussion  promoted in the whole class and on school playground about discussing and raising awareness of Autism and disability issues. I am so proud of my son for acknowledging and owning his difference. I have always bought him up telling him to be proud of who he is. His Mum is proud of both her sons.

 

 

 

Useful bedtime techniques/Autism

After the teeth are brushed. Pop a David Attenborough nature video on if the kids want to watch something and they can’t shut their eyes. They are visual learners. The music is serene. We have used David Attenborough video’s ever since the boys were very young and it has 100 % success rate. David Attenborough we love you.

The 9 year old protests “Oh no! not David Attenborough!”. Parents: LOL. And now even when the kiddo is stressed anxious he says to us, “I need to watch David Attenborough!” LOL.

 

 

 

Autism and Useful Resources: Autism Support Groups/Reference books/films

 

1. ARC Campbelltown Leisure Centre Pool and Gymnasium, Adelaide South Australia Lower North East rd

2. If you want to have some time for yourself the Montessori child care centre rooms inside the ARC complex centre is open Mon-Fri  9 am Р12 noon, cost: $2/hr workers can cater for special needs

If you are having difficulty paying a membership to the ARC then you phone the (ARC) management (Brad Wensske, Leisure Facilities Coordinator 08 8366 9354) to discuss concessions as this is unable to be done on the website

TIME OUT FOR PARENTS 

Central phone number for all services in South Australia

Carer Link and Respite service 1800 052 222 

1. Parents Out East (POE) Carers Support centre, St Bernard’s Rd, Adelaide 85391300

2. Western Carers

3. South Eastern Carers

4.  Northern Country Carers

5. Eyre Carers 

6. River Mully Mallee Carers

7. Carers Support (Eastern and Southern Metro)

8. Carers Link Barossa (Barossa and districts

9. South Coast  Carers (Southern Flurieau)

10. Carers Link Yorke Peninsula

11. Country North Community services (Clare and districts)

12. Carer Wellness Centre (Adelaide Hills)

13.  Northern Carers Network (North Adelaide)

 

Films:

  1. Rain man with Dustin Hoffman
  2. The king’s Speech
  3. Shine with Geoffrey Rush based on story of David Helfgott
  4. Temple Grandin’s Thinking in Pictures
  5. The boy who could fly
  6. Extremely loud and incredibly close
  7. Atypical on Netflix
  8. School of the Road, an educational short film and documentary embracing Autism, www.schooloftheroad.com (currently fundraising and in production in South Australia)

Books

  1. The horse boy
  2. Crime and Autism Spectrum Disorder by Neil Brewer and Robyn Young, Flinders University
  3. Temple Grandin: Thinking in Pictures
  4. Charlotte Moore: George and Sam
  5. The boy who fell to Earth by Kathy Lette
  1. Neurotribes
  2. The history of childhood

 

Theatre Groups: Mixed ability

1. No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability, Artistic Director: Alirio Zavarce, Adelaide South Australia, 08 83635970 Mobile +61 439 811 200

2. True North Youth Theatre Ensemble, Artistic Director: Alirio Zavarce, Adelaide South Australia 0406991491

3. AUtistic theatre (AT) and “Where it’s AT!” Artistic Director Julian Jeansch at Minda Campus, Brighton

email: julianjeansch@ tutti.org.au

4. Mooms Theatre, Artistic Director Kjell Stjernholm, Malmo, Sweden, Olof Palmes Plats 1

214 44 Malmo 212 29

Phone: 46-40-218500 http://www.moomsteatern.com/

4. Theatre Terrific, Vancouver Canada

#430 – 111 W Hastings Street
Vancouver BC V6B 1H4

604-222-4020

Singing Ensemble

1. Tutti Ensemble, Mixed Ability Choir, Artistic Director: Pat Rix Adelaide South Australia

Multi Arts Hub Mixed Ability

1. Tutti Arts inc, Arts Hub based at Minda campus in Brighton, Adelaide SA

iPhone /Internet Support groups:

  1. NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) grassroots discussion (Australia)
  2. High Functioning Autism (HFA) – Support group for parents
  3. Autism Daddy (Frank Campagna) (USA)
  4. Autism: A Dad’s Eye view
  5. Autism: A Dad’s Insight
  6. Lots of Autism Mums on Facebook and WordPress
  7. Autism Parent Support
  8. Autism Research Team (Western Australia)
  9. Autism Mums and Dads
  10. Autism Mums and Dads (UK)
  11. Through the eyes of an Autism Mum
  12. Autism Mum with Attitude
  13. A homeschooling mum in Cape Bretton

Training Sessions

1. Special Education Unit (SERU) 72 Marlborough st Henley Beach 5022 SOuth Australia

2. Sue Larkey

3. Local government supports – In SA it is local council parent support groups and youth groups such as Respite Support Centre, St Bernard’s Rd called Parents Out East
Association – in SA it is AutismSA and Novita

Please let me know by replying about any other supports of others so I can add them to the list, thanks

4. PSYCHMED¬†Psychology Services is Adelaide’s leader in the provision of Psychological evidence based ¬†treatment and offers bulk billing and has a Cat Therapy room to be launched ¬†this Sunday 6th May 2018 with accompanying Jazz music, please call Psychmed if this interests you at https://www.psychmed.com.au

5 fully staffed centres in and around Adelaide

5. “Asperlutely Autsome” supporting families on their Journey through Autism with their children ` a wonderfully supportive group of people at asperlutelyautsome.org offerring a range of supports to families

 

6. Legacy Lifestyle Supports operated by Kate Turner offerring Holiday Programs,  Legacy lifestyle Supports@disabilitydailyrespite

7. Integrative Health Solutions¬†situated in Belair offers Public Talks on Women’s Health and other Health topics at http://www.integrativehealthsolutions.com.au

Topics include PCOS, Endometriosis, Adenomyosis, hormonal imbalance and fertility. Integrative Health Solutions aspires to offer the public free access to information relating to various topics from the view point of different modalities.  ph 08 7231 162

 

 

 

 

 

Autism and the Power of Laughing. Autism and a loving family life.

I love laughing with my son’s. It’s one of the things I treasure about my family. We all laugh. Laughter is the best medicine to heal all wounds.

It’s absolutely freezing outside right now! I want to create a big marshmallow which is my home. I bought a bag of marshmallows last night for all of us to roast on the fire. The home of my children. With my husband and pets. I want the grandparents and friends to come over on a weekly Sunday morning breakfast. I have this. Immediate family and extended on the weekly catchup brekky.

Most of all I want to create a place where my boys can thrive because I accept you as you are. Where it is ok to be how you are and who you are. Who you are may be different from everybody else and you know what. That’s ok! Whatever differences you have, well I just love it. I can’t do anything else, I just can’t.

The worlds a tough place and home needs to be a spongey trampoline that we can bounce around on and have fun. Because we do. We have so much fun at home. We like our home, sometimes I don’t understand why you don’t want to get out the door to go out, but I do understand that home is the same. I know your need for sameness and your anxiety shows up when things are different. I just want to be Mum, because I love being Mum. All my life I wanted to be Mum and for the last 9 years ¬†I finally have been. What a journey of highs and lows. I want to love every minute of it. I want to treasure it and sometimes things are so tough you want to run the other way! But I gotta love that too.

I encourage my son to exercise. My son was telling me the other day, “Mum, it’s so beneficial to play the X-box because you can get this great exercising of your thumbs, it helps with my core functioning!”. My son has been having lots of discussions with his class teachers about how much he wants an x-box, and what an asset an x-box would be at his school. As far as my son is concerned the school needs an x box. You know what! The kid is going to do great at debating because when he gets going you can’t shut him up. I love you son. And while this may be the case! I was referring earlier in the paragraph to him doing pushups and situps to strengthen his whole body.

 

 

Calming Idea’s that may be useful for Anxiety or Anxious kiddo

 

  1. Singing Lessons and singing, lying on the floor and hums. Feeling the vibration of the voice which is self calming. It is preferable to lye on floor boards to feel the vibration of humming through the floorboards and associated effects felt through body.
  2. Martial Art  Рa routinized sequence of self defence movements the kid can resort to when feeling overstimulated.
  3. Dancing
  4. Movement based activity
  5. Massage the kiddo to remind kiddo that he has a sensory body and tends to distract him from his distress.
  6. Books
  7. Sunglasses – to shade eyes
  8. Put the child in room and tone down light stimulation.
  9. Jumping and rolling around in heaped up pillows or old mattress on the floor.
  10. Go walking/running.
  11. Ball pit
  12. Trampoline
  13. Cooking
  14. Piano or guitar, instrument where kiddo is moving his hands or fingers
  15. knitting
  16. White board on wall with morning routine and afternoon routine on it to refer to, it is so helpful for me to track morning procedures and be on time.
  17. Laminated routine sequences instructions are written down, where you can just show your kiddo instead of you having to repeat things one hundred times.
  18. Structured time on the computer, if they insist that they like the computer then use it as a reward based system. You do a household task and you can have 20 mins computer time. Great technique for helping out with housework. That’s all I can think of at moment.
  19. Set tasks such as mowing the lawn, wash dishes, cleaning, washing cars is a way to earn points or money towards something he wants to purchase. This is a great way to encourage writing practice.
  20. Butcher’s paper roll, use it as a table cloth. While you are eating at table you can leave some pens lying around on table. While you are eating or talking or just sitting you can use your hands and draw/write or play a game like O’s and X’s on the table cloth. It’s fun and interactive also exercising manual dexterity of hands and encouraging writing/maths.
  21. Playing Rock/Paper/Scissors with hands
  22. Search and find games
  23. Get a wall full length body mirror so the kiddo’s can self check their own skin and cleaniness when going to loo. As the visual information input will challenge the other sensory feelings that he may have. Helps to instill a sense of self confidence in child and independance. Very helpful strategy for a stressed out parent.
  24. Get a paper bag from Coles (easy to leave some at school or pop some in schoolbag) which are there for him to use as a calming devices, as my son can get so distressed in a meltdown that he feels he is  blowing out too much air, blow into a paperbag to help stabilize breathing. Pulling one out at times when a meltdown is triggered can also be a visual emotional soother which can help as well. (100 paper bags at Coles is a few dollers). Also can be turned into a fun thing by blowing them up and popping them/drawing faces on them.
  25. Swim
  26. Pop a David Attenborough nature video on which  are very good for getting kids to sleep, wonderful soothing nature music

 

A full on Autistic meltdown, I didn’t expect.

One day in 2015, I went to pick up the my dear son from school and it was just about his birthday party. His 7th Birthday party was due the next day. My son had been doing pictographs on the computer with his class. He was very attached to it. I entered the school to get him. He was sitting at the computers. Everyone else had gone. He was very hesitant and seemed to want to recreate ¬†or retrieve the page that he had done previously on the computer. He didn’t know how to do it. It was time to go home but he just could not ¬†stop. The teachers wanted to close the school. He was visibly anxious. Tapping anxiously at the keyboard. I helped him out of the class room, ¬†as I thought that he couldn’t help himself to follow the instruction of leaving the room and go outside for a change of scenery.

Once he was outside he went to get his bag but he could not find a former picture he had done earlier that day, his picture, he found it lying in the dirt. He got terribly upset about it. The picture had got a tear in it. That tipped the meltdown scales, the paper had ripped and he was so indignant that this had happened. He turned into a mess.  I kept telling him that I wanted him to calm down and walk with me to the car. He could not. He was so caught up, getting stuck on the picture in his mind in his. No flexibility in this situation. He was pacing anxiously.  

I didn’t want to have to carry him (20 ¬†kilos’s) to the car. Thinking back now, I should of just picked him up and popped him in the car. In hindsight putting him in the car, a smaller space where he is emotionally more comfortable would have been the perfect place to put him. I should of popped his sunglasses on to limit light filtering into his eyes and overstimulating him.

I was upset and I was unsure of what to do. I was embarassed that I could not control his behavior because he would not do anything I asked. I never wanted to be embarrassed and only loving and accepting. I struggled and felt uncomfortable. Why do I feel this way?

I really didn’t know about Autism at the time or I was in denial about it. I wanted the happy family picture where everything was calm and alright but it was far from calm at times. The one that is portrayed in the media but is far from reality for allot of people. I couldn’t explain the anxiety and all I knew was that I loved him. I knew that I just had to love him whatever he was going through. I had to tell him that I loved him. I heard the words of my Nanna in my head “Don’t let the Bastards (other people’s expectations) get you down Jane!?”. ¬†“Don’t let the Bastards get you down!”

The next day was his Birthday party. ¬†Most of that night I lay awake resenting my son’s behavior. Not one of my finest all loving mummy moments. I did not understand at that stage that his Autism fixation was a significant factor to making him act like this. ¬†I felt distant from my son. I felt that I was going through the motions of the kid party routine without feeling really great about it.

What did I do about it:

  1. read allot of biographies about Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  2. Found support
  3. Found respite
  4. I understand now that his high pitched loud talking at times is his own regulation control mechanism to motivate himself to do something he doesn’t want to do. I’m ok with that. Maybe when he gets into an anxiety/fretful state he may use his voice/loudness as a sonar to detect where he is in space?