#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

 

27. #Autism and #SensoryProcessing:Shoes,Socks and Clothes

Time just flew out the window! It’s been a regular morning,  and the one and a half hour time limit to get to school is totally unrealistic this morning. He will be late for school. The clothes have not been washed the night before. I feel like the most disorganised mum this morn because the daily wash was not done. I feel like I couldn’t even by a ticket in a chook raffle! I am fallible and I forgot to wash his clothes last night. Actually I wash every night because my son insists he must wear the same clothes. Exactly the same, everyday!

Why do you have to wear the same set of clothes? Because they feel right. But your clothes are getting holes in them! They feel right Mum. Why do you have to wear the same set of socks (until they have worn out?) Why is any other sock not good enough? It doesn’t feel right mum! Stephen you have 10 pairs of socks! They are all exactly the same colour and size. Made exactly the same way. Why can’t you wear a pair or even one of your other socks! Mum, I know my socks, and any of the other socks are just not right!

I can feel the tick tock of the clock! But it doesn’t matter this morn because I will not be stressed by time pressure this morn. There’s a procedure to putting the clothes on. The socks must go on first in a certain order and spacing on the floor. My son must stand in the lounge for  minutes, until it feels right, and then put them on. I don’t get it. Where is this feeling? It’s a mystery to me but happens every morn. To avoid this anxiety sequence and associated vocal stress release, Zak Stephen does not want to take his shoes off – ever! I am his mother and I have to look after his well-ness, I explain the shoes must come off at night so your feet breath.

There are different times where Stephen is upset because there are holes in his socks. I explain that washing the socks every night means the sock weave will lose fibres faster. Stephen does not get that things change. Mum, there are holes in my socks! Mum, how did the holes get in my socks! Mum, I can never wear my socks again because there are holes in them which means I can’t put my shoes on – ever! That means I can’t go to school!! I love you son.

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

 

26. #AutismandCostofSpecialEducation

It is my understanding that there is atleast 3400 students with autism in south australia and rising. The government of South Australia has let the Aspect Treetops Autism specific school use the old Ashford Special School site at a peppercorn rental. The local school zoned in our area means that there are government subsidies available to help pay school fee’s. Does this apply the same at Ashford? Can I apply for the School-card? What subsidies are available to me in my situation? How much transport assistance can I get for my child? Is there long distance education?

The facts are that you can’t go to this Treetops Aspect Special School if you don’t have atleast $232/wk spare cash and thats for 1 child. If you have two children then its $500 approximately. This is compared to $40 per week for Services and materials charge at the local mainstream school. It’s prohibitive for a large number of Austistic families because they simply do not have the cash.

The thought of HomeSchooling has always been around but not something I have wanted to get excited about! I don’t know it! Although, when I was a kid I did corrospondence schooling for a while. So how much money can I afford out of my budget to send my children to a school specifically oriented to teaching kids on the Autism Spectrum? I am excited about the Satellite Programs the Aspect treetops Autism School is proposing and the Distance education Proposed Program. The issue is how to pay for it?

It seems that the affordability of education equates to class sizes! Am I wrong? Does a kid with Autism who prefers to be by himself need socialization? I think I as a parent need to make our living arrangements bearable for both parent and child.

What happens to a child if they are bullied at school? Bullying and its effects at school have been well studied. Nobody wants that for their child to go through hard times. What is the criteria for entry point to Department of Education Autism Intervention Programs at Blackwood Autism Intervention Program and the Heights Autism Intervention Program, Modbury, Adelaide? What is the criteria for entry to the Aspect Autism Treetops School at Ashford, Adelaide? Would Montessori be good? Tick it off, for a try. What about Steiner education? Not that fussed about it! It can be overwhelming to consider. Do I want to stick my head in the sand about it? Do I have the energy to get excited about the idea?

The school fees at Treetops are in the order of $10,000 or so PA which may be prohibitive for 90% of ASD cases as it may be more unaffordable for those on lower incomes. $200 per week for 1 child. How much does it cost to educate a child in a Department of Education school?

 

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

 

22. Autism and Mainstream School Socialization 2013

I took Zak to school the first day. This was a small school more suited to Stephen and prepared to be innovative in teaching we thought it the best suit. The layout of the school was open and the philosophy was nwhat 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!” or something stupidly romantisizing the notion of school.I was assured by the principle I had to step back as a parent and let Zak develop his own sense of resilience. Within the first couple of days of school he was coming home terrified.

When I picked Zak up in the car he would not talk. He cried allot. When I dropped Zak  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 Zak to point to the kid that was hitting him and pushing Zak’s hat off of his head.

I was angry and spoke to Zak’s  father. 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. Zak was to have a buddy supervize 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.

Zak 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 Zak 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 Zak 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 Stephen 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 Zak didn’t fit the categories yet? This made it hard for relevant organizations to give a definite diagnosis as Zak 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. Zak 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.

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