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

It is really important for parents/carers to look after themselves. It is a hard road. I feel defeated by OCD traits at times. But you are not alone. The, 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. Being calm in all this is what will get you through, I get stressed. 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. “raisingchildren.net.au’

 

 

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

 

 

Autism – The routine

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 cause what good will it do to cry! Time flew out the window!

So we have to get ready on Monday morning,  my 11 yr old dear son has worn his school clothes to bed. It works! Getting dressed on time is too stressful. It’s a plan that has been devised by himself and “It works” so we gotta go with it!.

Time ticks on and we have to leave the house and I am talking about literally walking over the doorstep.  One kid has developed a repetitive routine so he can get in the car, (neurotypicals would find this non functional behaviour) so it’s a walk around the car 2 or 3 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. It takes a longer time. But mum goes out, to open the boot, because she is looking to have the keys which, she can’t remember, “Have I  locked the keys in the boot, or not .. oh No I am going to reset the routine cycle again!”. If it is not done right it has to be repeated “Until I feel right!”.

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. 2. The pressure of the ear muffs on my temples is 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!” We all laugh.

 

 

 

Autism Celebration days

It is my dear son’s  first birthday was wonderful, he stared at the presents instead of opening them.

I remember his 4th Christmas when he got so many more presents than his tiny brother, No. 1 Kiddo opened a few and then seemed to get fatigued and just liked to look at the unopened presents. He liked to store them in the cupboard in his room.

We have been on quite a few journeys across Australia visiting relatives on holidays and he likes to keep a souvenir to remember the journey. I remember we were on a dirt road, central Australia, with the 4 months old and he saw a tumble weed tumbling across the dirt rd and he wanted to get it. I chased after it and retrieved it. Reality hit – Immediately presented with the problem that if we packed it in our van and tried to take it all the way home it would crack and break. I tried to describe this to him but he was too young to understand.

When we got to Kings Canyon we stopped and pitched the caravan, we had driven a long way and No. 1 Kiddo wanted to get out and play on playground.  He wanted to play with some other kids. The other kids did not want to extend themselves to include him in their play and he could not understand that. He persisted to include himself in their group and they were trying to end interaction with him. I could see what was happening and tried to get him to come and play with me but he still persisted with the other kids. They didn’t want to play with him and he started crying. What do you do in times like that. I don’t want my son to be hurt by other kids.

 

Autism Anxiety

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,  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 jogging, all over Adelaide. Beach to the the city and other areas. Raise awareness of Autism in the community and for our school. Doing what needs to be done. NO one seems to be interested. Registering for the 2017 City to Bay Fun Run. I’m tired now. How to ease his anxiety? Will I get the boys running as well? Any suggestions.

Autism Anxiety

 

 

 

 

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Autism and Passing of Grandpa

Kiddo’s have different views on Grandpa dying. The 9 year old says “It would totally freak me out” to see him dead.  The 6 year old if very matter of fact about it, doesn’t care much.

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 breath. I sat with him till the funeral people came to take him away. I looked at his 77 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. 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. That would be ok.   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

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 calmed.  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. Both my sons  are doing very well. No. 1 kiddo seems to be  quite good with his maths and science.

No. 1 Kiddo is doing science experiments in the shed science lab, and you tubing it.

 

 

 

Christmas and 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.  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. 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 for a capital gain.  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 of 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.

 

 

 

Ok, so stim! Autism

My 5 yr old stimming? 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 response. 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.

 

 

 

Autism Specific 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