Filled with pride when Theo graduated from Junior School, so nervous about the change for him after the Summer break tho!
What we received in his graduation pack.
After a lonnnnnnnng time away I figured that I wanted to blog again … so I’m back friends! (Also of course … Friends to be!)
As it’s been literally months since I last blogged here’s an update on our life!! I won’t go into detail here however as I’ll probably blog about most of it along the way!!
- Ali’s into his final year at school … College next year!!
- Theo’s started his Secondary School at a school just as amazing as his primary school!!
- Faith’s 6th birthday and anniversary has just passed
- Stu and I are beginning to plan our wedding!! (Nervous muchly!!)
- We’ve just passed an incredibly anxiety heightening and petrifying Hallowe’en and Guy Fawkes for Theo
- Alex is beginning to prove that he has actually walked this earth before with how phenomenally good he’s doing at his English Literature!
- I’m nearly finished my Xmas shopping!! (Getting earlier and earlier each year yay!)
So as you can see there’s been high’s n lows along the way however as I said I’ll go into detail soon 😀
Yup slightly late I know … I’ve been a busy bunny over the festive period however!!
The Christmas Holidays were certainly filled with surprises with our family!! Theo especially, Christmas is normally something that goes completely over his head, he hates the mess of the decorations and just wants to clean them up … that obsession stayed … he still wants to “Tidy up”. This Christmas however, he’s actually been quite excited about Santa coming!! Don’t get me wrong, he is still terrified of the big cuddly jolly man, he did actually count down the days of Santa coming!! As you can see in the following video …
I genuinely can’t put into words how much it’s actually meant to all of the family how much his understanding of Christmas has meant to us, lets just say that over the moon doesn’t even cover it!!
All three of the lads had a magical time on Christmas Day, Ali spent the day with us and Stu’s family then headed off up to Scotland early evening so that he could go and have another Christmas Day with his Dad’s side of the family (two Christmas dinners in two days the lucky lil thing!!). Then Alex and Theo were engrossed in their new things, Theo hid himself away in his bedroom wanting to just obsessed over his new DVD player and new DVD’s. Alex on the other hand had me reading all his new stories, playing with his new lego and other super hero toys. Again to say he was happy is a massive understatement that cannot be put into words!!
Grandma Julie got Theo a Talking Tom cuddly cat, (you may have seen Talking Tom free applications on your smart phones … They’re fantastic for getting the kids to interact with!! There’s a multitude of characters to choose from but if you look for Talking Tom you’ll be linked straight too them!!). Theo has “Eeoo’s Om Caat” talking away to him constantly now and has started repeating more words and phrases finding it hilarious to have a talking cat. He is now however getting rather frustrated that our cat wont talk back to him haha!! Very cute too watch!!
I’ve had a couple of nights out with my inlaw family (an absolute luxury to me as I hardly ever go out at nights!), Christmas Eve (birthday celebration as my birthday is Christmas Day). A meal for a cousin’s birthday which ended up in us staying out til the nightclub closed and then not leaving (Stu’s) Mam’s until silly o’clock in the morning!! On New Years Day Mother-in-law and I went to our local for what was going to be a few drinks in the afternoon and well, we didn’t leave the local until closing time!! It was an absolutely fantastic time because so many people I hadn’t seen since giving my job up at the bar were in and I got the chance to have a catch up with them. (Thankfully I (think I) remember it all!!).
Stu and I also had a chance to catch up with friends at home that we hadn’t seen or spent quality time with for such a long time. It had been far too long and will definitely be remedied, we’re definitely not leaving it so long again!!
Yesterday Alisdair and Theo went back to school and I think it was a relief to both of them to be fair. Deffo was Theo, he was such a happy little boy when he came in from his school Taxi. I think it took a hell of a lot out of him though, by 6pm he took himself off to bed and we didn’t hear him for long!! Thankfully over the holidays he found out what it was to stay in bed and just relax!! So hopefully that’ll be him for at least another hour going by holiday routine, what’s the bet school puts him back into his previous routine lol. So far so good however, it’s 6:15am and he’s still asleep, before the holidays it was a 4 – 5am rise! *keeping my fingers and toes crossed that Stu and I can fall back into a routine where we’re not getting up at pre-Christmas times still for long if it does last!!*
The only thing that has let the beginning of the New Year down is the break down in the central heating and the boiler however it’s all good now so we’re back on the right tracks!!
I hope you’ve all had a magical Christmas, the most fabulous of New Years and I hope that 2013 brings you health, wealth and happiness!!
Thanks again for reading!!
The Situation –
My first piece of requested advice (yay!) has been from a respite carer based in America who has been caring for a 7 year old Autistic lad for four months. Her problem is that while out and about the little boy has very openly and matter of factly pointed out the differences of other people, it hasn’t mattered on the situation, colour, ability, disability, walking aids, wheelchairs, you name it as soon as a difference is noted the little boy feels that he has to comment on it. With it not being visible that the little boy himself has Autism the carer has faced verbal assaults, disgusted and judgemental comments and facial expressions, being judged and labelled because she “hasn’t brought up her son properly”. The family have tried talking to the little boy about how he’s making others feel by doing it, he doesn’t understand or remember this and continues to do it.
Personally I’ve never come across this situation, well, the judgemental people towards my parenting and looks I have but it’s always stemmed from public meltdowns or overly loud screaming etc. it’s never been because of comments about others. So any advice that someone may be able to offer would be greatly received!!
My Suggestion –
The way that I would gear Theo up to acceptance of others, if he wasn’t obsessed with the program already, would be to let him watch “Something Special”. The program is shown on a BBC channel called Cbeebies, which is aimed at children with development delays. They include the use of Makaton signing (for visual learners), show clips of children with various disabilities and difficulties, cover situations that can seem terrifying to children like the doctors, dentists, hairdressers etc. Lots of the program is directed to children through song which helps to keep their interest too. I hope that you’re able to view the video but if you’re not able too try searching http://www.youtube.com to see if there is any that are viewable out of the UK (Damned licensing laws!). If you are finding these clips available to view there are loads of them on there, plenty of viewing if the little boy will tolerate it!!
Failing that perhaps your SALT could suggest visual books that would be appropriate?
I genuinely believe that the more common and normal it is that children with or without ASD see people with differences the more that differences are accepted! I hope this helps and I hope that other people come forwards with their suggestions!
It’s been almost a week since I last posted an entry. I had hoped to elevate others’ moods (and my own) this holiday season with the last entry “Autism Night Before Christmas” but as with the universe, the plans of mere mortals often go awry.
I did not want to post something here until today because I wanted to be sure of my own convictions in light of the horrific tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut last Friday. Not that I was unsure of them per se; I guess the enormity of the whole situation was overwhelming and numbing.
The inevitable link made by the media over the gunman’s possible Asperger’s diagnosis and his nihilistic action did not make sense to me. I am a parent of an Autistic child and work in a large residential setting for Developmentally Delayed adults, some with Autism, most with Mental Retardation and co-existing…
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Christmas and Autism means a whole mixed bag of emotions and feelings for our family that most others take for granted.
While most readers of this blog are busy spending December decorating their houses with beautiful decorations, we have to keep them minimal as this causes Theo to get anxious and highly strung. Where most people are taking their children to see Santa, we’re trying to teach Theo that this jolly happy person isn’t someone that is supposed to terrify him. While other people are taking their children to deliver presents and cards to friends and family we’re trying to get Theo to accept a change to his normal routine to be able to do this. While other people are taking their children to Christmas parties we’re trying to get him settled because he’s came into contact with too many people that have given him a sensory overload. While other people are putting Christmas presents below the tree and watching their children getting really excited to see them grow in piles and guessing what’s underneath the wrapping we’re locking the presents away because anything with wrapping paper around it makes Theo nervous because he doesn’t understand that it’s something that’s to be saved for a specific day and he can’t have it til then!
Theo absolutely loves Christmas Day however, Christmas day to us is like most other families, getting up at silly o’clock to see the kids opening their presents however that’s probably where the similarities end to most families,
Theo tears through his paper, carefully making sure that every scrap goes into the rubbish bag, neatly organising his new things into their specific piles, clothes in one pile, toys into a box, books in a colour specific order, money into the money jar and so on … If one of his brothers are making a mess he’ll stop opening his presents to make sure that their mess is tidied up then return to his when he’s satisfied.
At dinner time we’re at his Grandma Julies, with many other members of the family, which in hand makes him anxious and will melt down until he can start eating dinner, he’ll do things that he knows that he’s not allowed to do, keep pulling at either his Dad’s face or my face to get our attention focused onto him again. When dinner is served he’ll settle again and we’re sorted out, as long as there is nothing green on his plate! After dinner we’re back to the Mum and Dad attention seeking until the buffet is put out for when the rest of the family arrive. When he’s eating again he’s all happy, however Theo has no understanding of what feeling full or being hungry is, so he’d pretty much eat until he is sick.
When we return home he wants straight to bed, the day has been far too much for him and he just wants to be in a dark room with his familiar surroundings.
On Boxing Day he takes a bit more interest in his new things, he’ll take them into his room and self adapt to them being there, if there’s anything that he doesn’t like he will not accept it being in his room until he’s gotten used to the item. We spend the day encouraging him to interact with his new toys, sometimes he’ll cooperate! Mostly he wont however because they’re a change in his routine.
Autism makes our Christmas a very interesting time! I wouldn’t change it for the world tho!!