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!

 

Autism and Sensory Processing: Clothes and Socks

My Kiddo did not like to wear his socks. He hated feeling the seems in his socks. This was frustrating for me! So instead of tearing my hair out:

So I turned the socks inside out! When I finally did get online to order the seamless socks that you could buy, which people talked about, Well, I could not order them anywhere and they were pretty much always out of stock. I just turned the socks inside out which did the trick!

By the time I had gotten a pair of seamless socks my son said he did not like them anyway!

I was finding it hard to get my kiddo’s shoes and socks on, I was finding it hard to get clothes on my child until I realized that the weave of the fabric of the clothes was not suitable for him. The material weave was not breathing enough. What I mean is that polyester fibre weaves of clothes nowadays make people hotter. Cotton clothes breathe easier and they absorb perspiration. This means if the clothes the children are being told to put on are not feeling right because they are too hot well then this is why the don’t feel right. The clothes may feel itchy, hot, etc. and the child does not have the words to explain this to you.

My kiddo had a few thermo regulation issues, it could be freezing outside and he would be walking around in a pair of boxer shorts. He hated putting his socks on, I looked at the label which said polyester. Its hard to find cotton anything nowadays. But cotton and wool weaves it must be. I have found a few cotton socks in Target, David Jones has pretty expensive cotton ones too.

Also cutting the tags off kids clothes may help if kid is bothered by tags.

Hopefully this will be a helpful hint for parents/caregivers of your child with similar sensitivities. Cheers Jane

 

 

 

Nail Trimming and Autism

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.

Soaking the hands in the water of the bath softens the nails up so they are not hard  to the cut of the scissors. Hates his nails being cut! He dreads it and  Dad 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 my dear son. 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!

 

 

 

Autism and Sensory Processing: Gloves and Bandaids

Dear Mums! If you think bandaids and gloves are a good idea to cover hands: think again as the glue on the underside of bandaids causing skin irritation.  Leaving gloves on can also make hands sweat depending on material of glove. The kid does not get the sensory input from using bare hands.

My experience  with my kid is this:  The kid would have a minor abrasion on hands or other body parts and a bandaid would have to go on to cover. This happened again and again until we were going through so many packets of bandaids. Kiddo would not like to take the bandaids off either but preferred to leave them on. So: doing regular maintenance health check Mummy notices the bandaids are getting old and dirty and there is quite allot on the kids hands. This was not a good look. I find out that the bandaids are there to cover minor scrape and falling injuries (nothing to worry about but very) hyper painful to the kiddo. I notice that skin is peeling and irritated redness on fingers underneath the sticking part to bandaid.

Being a kid with Autism and sensory challenges is not easy by any means. The bandaids are kiddo’s attempt to armour himself (with bandaids) against an abrasive world. I understand this, but also not wanting the bandaids to get out of hand and turn into a fixation or Obsessive Compulsive thing I limit supply of bandaids. I’m also “caught between a rock and a hard place”  because I don’t want to injure a developing self esteem and self preservation ideas in kiddo.Its a double edged sword. I look for alternatives. I think, well its cold and winter is coming on and the obvious solution is the wooden gloves for winter.

I thought it was a great idea . So kiddo wore them everywhere, at school, at home, to bed. The hand was warm and protected in the glove.

I realised that getting the glove off him for washing was going to be a big deal. We eventually worked out that I was to wash the gloves at night when he was in bed. HE was to take gloves off while in bed to let the skin on his hands breath. If I didn’t wash them at night then there would be problems.

If you are going down the glove road with your child just beware that if the fabric of the glove is made of a polyester or poly fibre then your child’s hands are more likely to sweat underneath. This can be a breading ground for bacteria leadings to infections if not properly maintained.

To avoid this hand sweat thing kiddo would clap hands and demand that Mummy blow dry them at a certain place in the house many times a day. I got sick of this quick as it became time consuming and not functional in the daily routine. I tried to envisage myself doing this routine for a long time and I just did’t like what I saw. So that moment, I just said “No I am not doing this any more!” I got all the pairs of gloves from that had accumulated in the house and I drove to a bin somewhere, I don’t know where, and I just dumped them in the bin and went to my piano class. I did this in full view of my kiddo so he could see there were no more gloves ever to be in this house again. Kiddo did not like it one bit.

 

 

New shoes! It’s groundhog day!

New shoes mean allot to us. It’s not simple. Being a child  child with Autism and with sensory challenges is not easy by any means. The shoes have to look exactly like the previous pair because the visual change (in look of shoes) is too much to visually process. The new shoes have to feel the same and of course they are not worn in. So they don’t!

I need the kid to wear his shoes to protect his feet from weather conditions. The kid needs to wear his shoes. Shoes we have bought have always been Velcro shoes instead of laces for ease. Some time in the fit of these last pair of shoes kiddo has decided that he will not undo  the velcro, (which means putting strain on the design of the shoe and increase to its eventual demise)  but slip them on and off such as in slip on shoes. If anyone even tried to undo the velcro of his shoes the result will be that the kid will get upset. And very loud!

Why will he get upset? Because (whoever it is will be changing the internal environment of his shoe). In other words: pressure of shoe on foot will be different. The brand spanking new shoes are lovely and leather and all of $80 which is expensive to us one our budget. They are brand new and do not have the give or flexibility of the old worn in ones. Stephen tried to slip the new pair on. It’s too hard.

The growing foot needs new size shoes at different times. I know there will be an element of discomfort for  him in coming to terms with his new shoes. I brace myself for the eventual marriage of foot to new shoes… It will be a time of transition.

I think perhaps trying new shoes on, and wearing them 10 minutes  every day for a period of a few months until we have realised the entropic nature occurring with the old shoes. We will have to “ride the new shoes “in”. Riding around  the coral enough times to “break in” the new shoes making them submissive and lenient to us. Kick them around bit and soften them up.

It will be a struggle to accept the new conditions but will slowly and hopefully mellow into acceptance and comfortability. Is it the right fit. I mean is the sensory  experience of the foot  in the shoe: just the right pressure. And adjusting  the shoe to the right tightness around his foot….. Wait!….. I think I need to meditate on that one a little….. its all so very zen.

Essentially its a marriage. It may not be perfect but hopefully it may be ok, he may grow eventually to love his shoes. We live in hope!

What do “they” say  about shoes? Some say “Just throw the old shoes away!”! He will have to get used to it. I know there will be loud protestations about that from the young person in question if we so that. I think he loves his old shoes that don’t fit anymore and now have holes in them. It is raining and the old shoe’s have holes in them. Result: wet socks.

Where’s my Nanna’s old sayings! She always had a witty retort to counter harsh words. I need those words to stoke me up now. To get my spirit heated up like the coals in a fire, to give me warmth in this freezing winter.

 

 

 

 

 

Autism Diagnosis Days, 2014

I can’t write today! I love it and need to blog. I’m tired! It’s very cold outside blowing a gail. Its freezing. It’s been bucketing down overnight. I can’t believe how much actual rain there is and my dear son is going on a school excursion, to the Zoo today, with assistance of his father.

Confusion. “He doesn’t have Autism”!  And the teacher at school is waving a red flag. Get his hearing checked. Go to Speech Pathologist. Go to Peadiatrician. Does he have enough traits to fit the criteria for Autism Spectrum. In the grand scheme of things does it matter? No! This piece of the jigsaw doesn’t fit here. It fits there. No it does not but ….?! You are supposed to do this and you are doing that?! Its ok, I accept my son’s as they are. To be realistic, I don’t understand.  I don’t understand and this is driving me crazy.  It doesn’t fit. My kids struggle at school. I can’t hear. I can’t process.

O rightio! So can you hear me? Yes Mum! But I think you can only hear parts of the words that I say and not the complete word. Is that it?!

The Speechy helps me understand that my dear son only hears parts of words and it is the same for kiddo no. 2. I find out that instructional video’s o “How to..” do things is what is needed. I find jollyphonics. I find many things and some of them are useful.

 

 

 

Autism and Mainstream School Socialization 2013

 

I took my dear son to school the first day. This was a small school more suited to my son and prepared to be innovative in teaching we thought it the best suit. The layout of the school was open and the philosophy was what we liked. I was worried and anxious how he would cope, I can remember saying to him on the Oval ,”I love you! School is an exciting journey, so go run into the field of life!”. I was assured by the principle I had to step back as a parent and let my son develop his own sense of resilience. Within the first couple of days of school he was coming home terrified.

When I went to collect him he would not talk. He cried allot. When I dropped my sweet boy off one morning he really did not want me to leave him and he was actually petrified and shaking. I could not endure to see him like this. I got my son to point to the kid that was hitting him and pushing my son’s hat (and his identity/transition object) off of his head.

I was angry. I organized a parent/teacher meet to clear this through school policy. I didn’t realize this was the non verbal behaviour of Autism.  We had a meeting with the parents of the other kid, teachers, our kids to get an outcome which was that the other boy could not play in the schoolyard at lunch and recess time. The strategy to address grievances were to  have a buddy supervise him in the yard.

I didn’t even know about Autism per se at the time. I didn’t know that one of the ways Autism presents itself through non-verbal communication. According to us, as his parents, and extended family,  there was no developmental issues for our child. I was busy at home bringing up a new 2nd baby.

I didn’t see the anxious pacing in the classroom. I knew that my son could read very well and was above the reading level of allot of kids his age, called Hyperlexia. But I didn’t know that asking him to describe the book back to me was an issue for comprehension. I wasn’t too bothered about his writing as he was a good verbal storeyteller. I did not see the  blank gazing, that he just did in front of him instead of following task, I didn’t know he was not hearing her instructions. All he heard was a jumbled mismatch of conjunctives because there was a glitch in his processing speed. Things didn’t match up. I couldn’t put this jigsaw puzzle together. I didn’t know that his core functioning was not strong and that this is why he was finding it hard through a weak pen grip.

My son was getting teazed in the school yard because when he spoke he had trouble pronouncing his “L’s”, “R’s” and “W’s”.  So we had to fix that. Although, Autism is a lifelong condition, you can’t fix it but only work towards passing in public. In the school yard other kids teazed “You sound like a baby!” and my dear son would say “I’m not a baaby!” I didn’t know that all he was playing in the playground, was one particular game, “cops and robbers” which the other kids found boring. I didn’t know that my dear son would get upset that when he told other kids what to do then they were bored and would not do it.

The teacher took me aside in mid 2013 indicating that there are learning difficulties, I stupidly said to her. “Do you think he has Autism!”,  I grew increasingly upset. The teacher seemed to be indicating this. I cried to the principle in the schoolyard. It was the end of the second term and his birthday I had arranged for the next day at a play cafe with most of his school friends from school and a few from kindy. I didn’t want my children to go through the crap of trying to navigate the maze of disability in their young lives. I didn’t want them to be hurt. I cried on the phone to my dad, he told me to stop worrying and do somethng about it.

So I did investigative work to get a quick result. Little did I realize I had to get a quality diagnosis.  How to pay the $1500 or so that it costs to get a diagnosis, a set of three therapists who concluded that my son didn’t fit the categories yet? This made it hard for relevant organizations to give a definite diagnosis as my son was not yet 7 years. Another load of money, he was diagnosed by a speech pathologist and psychologist, Occupational Therapy was sort. Application was made to the National Disability Insurance Scheme to help pay for therapy. Paper, paper and more paper. All the therapies take simply ages to organize as everyone is booked up 6 months to 1 year ahead. I really went into overdrive to try to help my son.  My son was so demanding of my attention and that I do things for him. I found it difficult to focus on my second son, much to my dismay.