58. #Autism and Christmas= Sensory Overload/Marketing hype

Santa and Autism? How do you explain the story and marketing hype?  We have watched the “Elf” movie with Will Farrell. In the lounge room on a night before Christmas and my 6 yr old son is sitting on the lounge, enraptured with the moment and the story and says “Mum, I am going to stay up all night and wait for  Santa Claus to come to our house.” While he looks out the window. And I look at him. I look at his father who believes in telling his children the truth. What a killjoy!

I want my son to enjoy the fairytale of christmas and encourage him with whatever he wants to believe and do but as a parent I feel conflicted because I want him to be able to identify reality from the fairytale marketing rubbish where the story of Santa Clause is used to sell toys to parents/kids for money.  In his life he must know  the difference so he is not tricked into falsehoods. I want him to identify a tall story from a short one.

I look at my beautiful boy and say, “Darling life is full nof stories and the story of Father Christmas, dressed in Santa Suit, flying all over the world, through the air in one night on a sley and reindeer is one of them!” I explain the Santa story defies the laws of physics and is a slick marketing campaign to make people spend their money on products manufactured in warehouses. All of which mean nothing to my boy who, earlier in the year, wanted to fortify his room because he lost a tooth and was scared the tooth fairy was going to come in the night and steal it.

Eventually he did fall asleep on the lounge.

 

 

 

57. Ok, so stim! #Autism

My 5 yr old stims. A self regulatory behaviour in response to too much stimuli.  Where are the filters? Is it the pressure he needs? I don’t know! He  rubs his legs together allot.  I  love you son, so lets work with the unique makeup of you. I’m sure the child will get knock knee’s! Or cause a friction burn on his skin. Where is the vasoline!  Is it something to do with the Atopic Eczema he had as a baby I wonder? But this is his stim and apparantly, according to experts, like biting nails, it is a self-sooth. A response to outside stimulus and anxiety. I was rather concerned when the child dropped to the floor, and rubbed when on social outings. But not wanting to make a big issue about it just went with the flow. Keep on moving on. Don’t draw attention to the behaviour and it will go away. Well it has not!

I thought maybe he needs to have the sensory pressure.The light pressure of water flowing over his skin, awakening the proprioceptive factor. He finds it hard to follow instructions from his teacher. I enrolled the kid in swimming classes, which seemed to do the trick for the 10 weeks that classes lasted. Then things changed, our particular instructor moved on and it is so hard to find a special needs swimming instructor.

Why is it so hard to find a special needs swim instructor? Around $300 to get a 2 day swim teacher registration with a reputable organization, then another couple of hundred to be a special need registered on top of that. No wonder they are hard to come by. Apparantly you can do Aquatic therapy classes, I think this is water skills without the stop start time frame and meant to be stress less.

He has been doing it for atleast 8 months now, on and off! I thought perhaps he needed to go to the toilet, because it sometimes does look like a potty dance! Is this child holding on too long!  Then I thought I might like to get him horseriding, as sitting in a saddle might be an acceptable or suitable outlet for this stim. The appropriate term for it is equine therapy. I have not jumped through the hoop yet. I thought maybe they could get a saddle chair for him at school.

 

 

 

56. #Autism School first day

In 2017 It was my understanding that there is atleast 3400 children with Autism in South Australian Schools.  More than 50% of children and students with Autism are enrolled in a school without a  specialist unit or specialist education teacher. The Department of Education policy fora mainstream school is to have  between 21 and up to 36 students per class with one teacher and a school services officer.

Well, if your child needs more attention in school to help their learning, then you really can’t beat 4-7 students per class with 1 teacher and 1-2 Student Services Officers. The 2 boys were all geared up to go to their new school that catered to the needs of children with Autism.

Upon asking the 5 year old No. 2 Kiddo  how much he liked the new school he stretched his arms out to show me how much. That was huge!! I hoped that the two transitions the previous month, before starting, would introduce to the physical layout and make  them comfortable with the new environment. I think it did. I think they like to wear the uniform, although there was protest about entertaining the idea. I think they liked going into get the uniform from the  reception area.  While sounds of jackhammers filled the air, (capital works in tow to get school up to scratch before start of school term) we attempted to pay our uniform fee’s. A  slightly perplexing assignment for anyone with hypersensitivities in the current context.

Low and behold! My  9 year old No. 1 Kiddo,  liked it the first day! He wants to go back after the first day. I can’t believe it. He liked the activities and schedules that they did. As soon as he went to class he got to sit at his own desk and play a word search game about his favorite video games in it. He went in with a mission, he was going to do the day! Alright! Wow! Well, I am shocked to see the ease into the siituation. There were visual schedules and visual plans around to direct the visual learners. There was a visual plan for the day. There were many sensory objects all aimed to reduce anxiety. I felt these were learning essentials catered to an Autistic learner that I had to fight long and hard for with the former school. Kiddo was tired from processing the new  environment and activities, he fell asleep in the car on the way home.

The youngest kiddo, the 5 year old did great, but by lunchtime he was pooped. The new environment and new faces! Turning to a blurr! And where is my Mum! The beginning reception students were picked up at lunchtime, as half a day was thought to be enough for them, yet my No.2 Kiddo had a year at (a different mainstream) school and thought to be more experienced at the whole school thing.

But I had blown it!! I did not pick him up at lunchtime with the other kids.  Boy oh boy he let me know it. Oh shite! Oh dear! After storming off, screaming at me and throwing himself on the ground. He turned on the waterworks! I was actually a little pleased that he was firmly moulding/imprinting the shape of his body in the pavement. This kid will be remembered. I asked him “So do you want to sleep at school all night? Or are you coming home with me!”. He thought about it then and off we toddled back to the car.

We will see what the next day heralds! I am pretty sure I shall be commanded to pick him up at lunchtime, the kid has me twisted around his little finger and I for sure do not want to break the bond  between mother and child. The sacred trust! Oh darn it! I had stuff planned today! Lol