#Autism Parents/Carers – Look after yourself Too! Are you?

It is really important for parents/carers to look after themselves. It is a really hard road. But you are not alone. The “raisingchildren.net.au’, Children with ASD & Disability website may be of assistance. Find a suppport group, go for a run, do what you need to do to have a relaxation. It’s so important for your own peace of mind. Painting is excellent. Go for a walk. Swim. A calm place just for you. Essential oils. Massage. Gardening. There are so many things pressing on your time. Your calmness in all this is what will get you through. Your child is still your child. The importance of having fun with your child and sharing a smile and laughing. It’s everything to me.

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#Autism The routine

So we have my family, and this morning it’s kinda be of like the four stooges trying to be on time! Is it Monday-Itis magnified? I have to laugh! So we have to get ready on Monday morning, and 10 year old Zak has worn his school clothes to bed, the night before, because getting dressed in the morning and keeping on time is too stressful. It’s a plan that has been devised by himself and It works.

Time ticks on and we have to leave the house and I am talking about literally walking over the doorstep. Oscar gets in the car. Zak has developed a repetitive routine so he cAn get in the car, so it’s a walk around the car 2 times, a tap on the door, etc. almost like he is developing a kinesthetic awareness of body mechanics, before he gets in, behind the driver’s seat. But mum goes out, to open the boot, because she is looking to have the keys which, I can’t remember if I have locked the keys in the boot, or not.

Oh darn, it I have ruined his routine and he tells me so “so bloody hell mum, you have stuffed up my routine and now I have to do it all again.

Those words, those words. I hear them often. I assure him that he does not need to, I try to affirm that his making a choice, but in his world – he must do it. Time fly’s out the window.

I must remember to wear my industrial strength ear muffs in the car which. Solves two problems. It dulls the shrill pitch in my son’s voice so I driving to school in a tin can has a modicum of ease about It. It’s comforting.

Then his father comes out and ready to get what he needs out of the car boot, it opens, “Oh bloody hell Dad, my routine!” Both Mum and Zak say! We all laugh in hysterics it’s the four stooges skit at my house this morning.

61. #Autismanxiety

I don’t know how to control it. Keep things at a low stress level all the time. Let him do what he wants to do. He loves playing games on the computer so I try to inspire both my boys with the idea of coding, get them doing code kingdoms to learn how to code so he they are not just a passive viewer/watcher of you tube video’s but a creator. It’s all very tiring. Gosh I am tired right now as all day I have been 1. actively driving for school pick up and drop off, 2. paying household bills, 3. House chores, 4. Literally running all over Adelaide, from the beach to the the city and other areas to raise awareness of Autism in the community and for our school, doing what needs to be done for that, and registering for the 2017 City to Bay Fun Run. I’m tired now. How do ease his anxiety, shall I get the boys running as well? Any suggestions?

56. #Autism and Passing of Grandpa

Zak (who is 9 years old) and Oscar (6 yrs) dont want to see Grandpa in the coffin viewing, Zak says that he knew him when he was alive and that “It would totally freak me out” to see him dead.  Oscar says he doesn’t care that Grandpa died, the 6 year old if very matter of fact about it. Oscar saw Grandpa’s deceased body in the coffin at the funeral.

Going through the last stages of Grandpa’s life with him I hoped would teach the boys about the transient nature of life. I was there when Grandpa took his last breathe and I sat with him till the funeral people came to take him away. I looked at his 75 year old aged body and I look at a photo of him when he was 1 years old.  I held his hand all the time in those last hours, and I did not want to let him go. All the things you have to do fell by the wayside because this was my time with my Dad. I could feel his spirit in the room. I know his spirit was with me. I played him some music on the ukelelie.

I strummed a few notes, and hummed a few words, we watched “Star Wars” and “Dr Who” video’s in those last days. Grandpa  wanted to know where he had to go next. Grandpa was asking where he had to go. In the last hours I told him that he could go if he wanted to and that would be ok or he could stay and that would be ok. And then he  took his last breath. He was in pain when alive and now he is in the “Dr Who” Tardus, his spirit waiting to be reborn if you believe in rebirth. Two days later I heard that his former employer and good friend had just had a baby grandaughter called Natalia and I joked that it may be my Dad being reborn which bought a smile to my face.

Autism special school

I am so pleased with the new school. Visual charts, positive reinforcement, small class sizes, class is taught in a structured way where students can learn and their anxiety  is abaited enough to let the learning happen. I am pleased and proud that we are part of an Autistic specialist school that works with children’s abilities as well as their fixations etc. Zak and Oscar are doing very well. Zak seems to be  quite good with his maths and science. Oscar is learning his reading.

Zak is doing science experiments in the shed science lab, and you tubing it.

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 clueless. 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.