#Sub categories list

 

53. Autism and Problems at Mainstream school.

52. How did the kid learn to read so early?

51. Autism: Sensory Processing Disorder and Socks!

50. Murphy’s Law! Today: It’s ones of those days!

49. Autism Siblings.

48. Writing for writing’s sake!

47. Car Troubles and Laughter!

46. Comedy Radio, Laughing and walking to school!

45. Mum! Stay still I am putting a chip up your nose!

44. The 5 year old.

43. Let’s take our Xbox controller to school!

42. Autism and the 2 km walk to school!

41. Where is the demarcation line?

40. My son wants an X box!

39. Life in another Language: Auditory Processing Disorder.

38. Drama and the kiddo!

37. Don’t Let The Bastard’s Get You Down!

36. Useful Bedtime techniques for our kids.

35. Laughing and a loving family life.

34. Calming ideas for a stressed out kiddo.

33. Respite for Parents.

32. Feeling Isolated, Parental Depression, Feeling overwhelmed!

31. Autism: Clothes and Socks.

30. We have to trim your nails: “No Way Mum!”

29. “Can we wash your hair?”

28. Autism: Gloves and Bandaids.

27. Autism: Shoes, Socks and Clothes.

26. Cost of Education and Autism.

25. Swimming week 2014.

24. Autistic Meltdown 2014.

23. Diagnosis Days 2014.

22. Autism and School Socialization.

21. Why? Why? Why? Diabetes 2!

20. 9 yr old. I want an X Box.

19. Real life experience in the caravan.

18. Singing lessons? Martial Arts?

17. IPad Parental controls and Daily household chores.

16. 3rd pregnancy: Miracle Baby Jack.

15. 2nd Pregnancy: Miscarriage.

14. “No, I don’t know want to take my shoes off!”

13. Pregnancy no. 1: Birth of a miracle boy.

12. How to Survive on a camp trip with Bear Grylls!

11. Understanding signs and symptoms of Disgraphia.

10. “New Shoes! It’s Groundhog Day!”

9. Useful resources: Autism Support Groups/Reference books/films.

8. I am so proud of my Autistic son.

7. Autism and bedtime techniques.

6. Law mowing and being tired!

5.Writing therapy for parents.

4. National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and coordinating therapies.

3. Ok! Let’s talk about Autism, Poo, Toilet training and Sensory Processing Disorder.

2. Ok, let’s talk about Autism: Fixation and Obesessive Compulsive Disorder.

1. A full on Meltdown: I did not expect!

Written and Authorised by  Jane Muras, 4 Henry st, Hectorville, SA 5073 Candidate  for Hectorville Ward CCC 2018

 

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53. #Autism and problems at mainstream school

It is my underwstanding there is approximately or more 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 for a mainstream school is to have  between 21 and up to 36 students per class with one teacher and a school services officer.

I am feeling raw. I feel like I coudn’t organize a chook raffle! Things are fraying around the edges. I’m starting to get cynical.

What is the bigger message here on the grand scheme of things? Is it to learn to fit in, so the societal machine keeps working? Is it that you have to learn how to deal with your sensory processing issues or else? Or is it that you are doing something if anything so you can fit?

My darling 5 year old child having trouble at mainstream schools. It’s not the child’s fault. It’s not the teacher’s fault. It’s not the principal’s fault. Class sizes and the price tag associated with educating your child is a systemic problem. 5 years old. Autism Diagnosis. There is a policy of inclusion in mainstream schools but can schools provide if resources are already stretched. If classes are too big. If there is not enough attention given for the child with special needs. Is it because of money! I am Mum and advocate for this little Dude!

Do I park money with a limited budget myself, to start a treadmill of tests which will tell us what? Haven’t I done this before?  I take him to get his hearing checked. Heavens above! What good will that do? It’s all a matter of  perception. A two day suspension disrupts the life of a busy/stressed special needs parent. The little treasure says he gets bored with what the teacher says. So he wanders off. “Be where you are meant to be” is the mantra repeated at school.

I’ve told both of the kiddo’s if there is no school duties for the day/ then there is home duties. As a deterrant! But it seems to be a sweetener!

Each child has a bucket and they put a rocks in bucket for duties completed. A certain number of completed duties. Then they get some free time. Who is familiar with this positive reward training method? Wash the dishes. Wash the clothes.  Mow the Lawn,. Take the rubbish out! Thanks kiddo!

Turning myself upside down and inside out to try and make things fit! They don’t. Trying to do all the different suggestions from respective therapists. I’m worn out! Where is the coffee because I am already tired of this crap!

Occupational therapist ($120/wk) says that his sensory needs are met at home as the house has been turned into a play sensory gym as much as possible. Pay more attention to his emotional needs. Well, kiddo is telling me that he hates going to school. How do you deal with that little pearl?

I feel as though I am walking through quicksand! What to do? I guess, we will find out his hearing level from the audiologist ($80 one off appt). Oh yeah, we have to get an IQ test ($100-300 one of appt). I feel as if I’m sending therapist on a holiday to Accapoco. I’m already doing the $167 Psychology, Speech Pathology and $57/wk Social Skills group. Therapy costs a fortune.

It’s Mum’s taxi, on steroids, driving them to this that and the other. Where’s all the money for the petrol coming from! Hold on I’m losing the plot, doing all the driving, here there and everywhere. Co-ordinating school and therapy timetables making sure that therapists all talk and understand the plan of action. I’m not even sure what the Plan Of Action is but I am doing as I am afraid of not doing anything.

The kid is very smart. He is starting to snort like a horse over the last month or two. I have a little trotter running around the house. I wonder if I did assemble a race track around my house if that would do us any good.

I make a booking at Dr’s because maybe he has some difficulty with ears, nose and throat. Knows how to work the teachers. Knows how to not follow the rules of engagement by dancing on the cupboards and table-tops. Knows how to not do what one is told.

Parent: What is the matter child? Kiddo: I don’t want to go to school. How do you tell a 5 year old that they cannot stay at home all day. Chores or else! No problem Mum! It’s a joke! How do you tell kiddo in a way that he understands that as an adult you need to look after yourself/ have time for yourself to exercise/knit/do your thing to stay healthy for them? And also most importantly stand up for yourself.

The 5 yr old kiddo is abit easier to get out the door than his brother. Both anxious when they leave the sanctity of the house. He does not pick up on the rules of engagement. He doesn’t see the social cues. He finds it difficult to understand that the things he does at home, generally, he can’t take transition objects to school. He doesn’t have any emotional attachments to kids or the teachers to make him want to go to school and want to be there.

 

Written and Authorised by  Jane Muras, 4 Henry st, Hectorville, SA 5073 Candidate  for Hectorville Ward CCC 2018

 

51. #Autism and #SensoryProcessingDisorder with socks!

Having issues with socks: I recommend only giving a choice of two spare socks in bag or else it’s overwhelming/too many choices and heading towards meltdown territory.

Pick your battles

Mum: “Put your socks on!” “I can’t, they don’t feel right!” Mum: “Ok, well you can get another pair of socks from your room.” Kiddo: “No I can’t.” Mum: “Why.” Kiddo: “Because the others don’t feel right Mum.” What to do in this situation?  I have to get this kid to school (or so methinks). When he finally decides to put a pair of socks on, he says “Mum, which sock is for the left foot and which sock is for the right foot?” Mum: Oh for Goodness sakes! (for want of a better word!) Mum: “Honey you have 20 pairs of socks and they are all exactly the same.” Kiddo:”No, they aren’t Mum! I know my socks!” , can we make friends with the two black socks, and give them names.  (“You would not read about it!” and I can’t help smiling because the socks just got animated in my brain, the socks have the power to  make my child’s life  suck! You wouldn’t read about it!)    😄 I love you son. (To me  they are 20 pairs of exactly the same socks but little do I know  that the fibres in these socks, do these socks have names?  How do you tell which sock is  the left and right sock  if both saocks are black, the answer is #Drum roll please! and this is a Zak self regulated solution! One black sock is slightly longer than the other! Who would of thought because I thought the difference was ahow emaciated the socks were and that is how you could work out which pair of sock actually were the one’s that felt right ! They were also the only socks that could be worn for all eternity!

 

Written and Authorised by  Jane Muras, 4 Henry st, Hectorville, SA 5073 Candidate  for Hectorville Ward CCC 2018

 

50. #Autism and Murphy’s Law: Today, it’s “one of those days” !

I did learn that popping disco music on and disco/rap dancing while getting dressed is fun and helps them get ready for school. Let’s dance as we forget about sensory.

So today it’s “one of those days!” Where according to best intentions it’s just not going to happen. The too hard basket is the bracket category for today! Is it because it is Monday? I thought, you know what: My son’s socks are no big deal, we can deal with this! It’s no biggy for us! Son: Mum I can’t get up without my Sustagem Dutch choc milk before I put my socks on! Mum and Dad: There is no choc. Oh no! The thought of going down shop 7.30 am not appealing to us. Thinking ahead is what I do to plan day or I do try! There is nothing for it – it’s plain as day, so with a spring in my stride I’m heading down shops to get kid to school and save a meltdown!
We will just get to school when we can, so then school drop off/Walked dog/ off to gym to swim/ have an assessment for gym which is cut short because relization that there is a time clash with another appointment. When we finish the swim and To top it off, it’s raining and my slightly dodgy electronic lock in car, which has seen better days, has just kacked itself! I can’t open car door! The appointment. It’s not happening. You have to laugh!!! Today!

 

Written and Authorised by  Jane Muras, 4 Henry st, Hectorville, SA 5073 Candidate  for Hectorville Ward CCC 2018

 

36. #Autism and Useful bedtime techniques

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.

 

.Written and Authorised by Jane Muras, 4 Henry st, Hectorville 5073. Nominated for Hectorville Ward CCC.

 

2. Ok, so let’s talk about #AutisticFixation or #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder

My son finds it hard to get out the door to perform the daily routine. It’s hard for him. He gets physically anxious and repeats a number of rituals before he attempts to cross the thresh-hold between inside and outside of the door. Is this a Sensory Processing issue or Anxiety or a bit of both? Once over the mantle of the front door Anxiety spikes. From my observations the rituals  seem to be re-enactments of the Pixar movie called “Wally”, where when Wally wanted to leave his trailor he went on top of the roof and opened himself out bearing his chest and arms to the sun to get energy from the sun ie a solar battery. Our trailor is our house. And yes he would get up on the roof if he could, he loves it up there when he gets a chance.

This process does take some time and can be complicated by his little brother, who when feeling mischievous little brother knowingly upsets the door routine, the result is “Oh no! Now I have to do it all again!”. I can feel the clock ticking cause its time to go to school but I also understand that if he does not go through the beginning ritual then he thinks “Oh no! I’m going to have a bad day!” and although I point out that things are changing all the time and nothing stays the same it doesn’t matter. He is fixated in his head that he will have a bad day . I point out that good and bad things happen all the time and whether or not he does the ritual does not make bad things happen. Doing it makes him feel better! To cope with a day at school filled with variables that he can’t control.

Its’s hard to see him go through this but this physical action that he seems to need to perform for self motivation to do something seems to be what needs to happen and time just went out the window.

Sometimes he will not go in the class room or into a door, or he will not move and demand that other people do certain things and when told they will not do it, he just stands in one place barking orders! Also he seems to need to walk/pace in school class, this is a sign of coping with anxiety of being at school, or learning. He does not sit down sometimes at school.

When he fixates on some idea that he just can’t get past I question him and say “Are you fixating…?” Or “Are you respecting me?” and this seems to cut through the fixation and bring him into the here and now or whatever I am asking him to do.

Written and Authorised by  Jane Muras, 4 Henry st, Hectorville, SA 5073 Candidate  for Hectorville Ward CCC 2018

 

 

30. We have to #trimyournails! No-way Mum! #Sensory Processing issues

Soaking the hands in the water of the bath softens the nails up so they are not hard  to the cut of the scissors. Zak hates his nails being cut! He dreads it and  Shane and I dread it because he perceives the cutting of the nails as painful! It’s agony for him. But, I as a Neurotypical do not understand I know it is painful for him. It would be great to leave them but we can’t as we have found out from experience that he can scratch himself or the nails will grow too long, get brittle and snap off!!! Oh for goodness sakes!

Once when we were putting on his  wetsuit to go in the ocean at Port Elliot, we were getting ready for a surf-lifesaving class. While putting the tight suit on, his nail of the big toe totally snapped off exposing the fleshy underbite. It Bled! This was all too much. It was painful! The associated screaming and crying went on for longer than you could have reasonably thought possible. We only had a day tent for him to curl up into.

Eventually he did join his group much to encouragement of  his Mum. In order to join the group he had to do some walking. He would not walk on the sand. He’d had to take the most difficult of paths to get there and I was worried he might injure his foot again. I did not want him to embark on the loud exposee’ again. Regardless of what I think, he has worked out that raising his voice and screaming demands at Mum is going to get him what he wants.

He was encouraged to put his damaged toenail in the water to help it heal and this of-course pre-empted another explosion of loudness (screaming and crying) from Zak. Oh, this is so boringly normal to us! As I had been commanded to go back to campo and get his shoes or something, I was not there when it happened and came back to find a sobbing little boy on a rock! I know that sea water would help but to my son (with broken toe nail!) it was devastating and a bad day!

Moral of the story: My experience has taught my regardless of crying at home: keep nails short as Stressful Shit can happen with nails when out in public.

 

Written and Authorised by  Jane Muras, 4 Henry st, Hectorville, SA 5073 Candidate  for Hectorville Ward CCC 2018