Navigating social interaction and holidays

When Zak (currently 10 years) was very young, maybe 3 years old, went bouncing on the jumping pillow at Port Elliot Caravan Park on a holiday. He wanted to bounce all the time I remember him wanting to watch prerecorded Bear Grylls videos over and over again as if they were instructional video’s on skills needed to face the day.

When Zak was 5 years old I remember him playing on the jumping pillow at the caravan park holiday and he found some boys to hang around with who Zak thought were his friends even though they clearly found him an annoying tag along and made fun of him. This made me angry. Zak did not recognize  the unkindness in these boys and he wanted me to go away. I cautioned Zak, wanting to protect him but also realizing that he has to find his own way in navigating this social interaction.  These were mean to him.  They made fun of him and took advantage of Zak’s naivety and he couldn’t understand that they weren’t being friends. HE could not understand that they were not looking after him.  Zak used to jump on the jumping pillow. I remember when he was 5 years old and started school.  (Post in progress)

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Sub catgory list of earlier post/topics

 

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 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.

#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.

#Autism Celebration days

Zak’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 Oscar, Zak 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 rellies on holidays and he likes to keep a momento to remember the significant time or journey, I remember we were on a ndirt road, central Australia, Oscar 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. 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 Zak  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 kept on trying to include himself in their group and they were trying to end interaction with him. I could see what was happenning 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 #Birthdays #Central Australia #Kings Canyon #Uluru

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.