Hypnosis

My very afraid and ever anxious autistic Oldest Child underwent hypnosis on Friday to overcome his fear of being alone, or as is often the case, fear of being separated by a wall/door from me.

It did not work. I did tell him he was in the Minecraft Combat Room, and to pick a weapon, and he did close his eyes. But I think he had decided it would not work, beforehand. Whether he tried, or not, it did not work.

I left him alone at the computer to see if he noticed, and he came bursting out of the house, panic stricken and shoeless, each time. Like always.

I have to call the psychiatrist tomorrow and request something for anxiety. With any luck it will put a little weight on him, too.

I dragged him into the clinic today to see if anything could be done about his wet cough that he has had for a month, and was disappointed to hear that I was doing everything that could be done already. I mean, I was glad that the doctor said I was doing the right things, but disappointed that there was no magic wand. Because really, when I am going to doctors and psychologists and psychiatrists for help with myself or my children, I am not looking for science. I am looking for magic.

Hypnosis is not magic. Neither is the urgent care.

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Peek Inside a Classroom

Peek Inside a Classroom.

You can do something about this. You can help children affected by trauma. Not every child has a medical team like mine. Some need help in their every day environment, or they will get none. Most, actually need help where they learn.

Please follow the instructions at the bottom of this article.
Please read Lost at School and The Explosive Child for more on how to help children you teach or love.
Thanks to Daun Kaufman, LucidWitness.

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Two Weeks of School

This week was a better week for my youngest son. He flew through the first three days of the week with flying colors and then started a fit on Thursday morning. He had a bit of one this morning, too.

But I was expecting it. So I didn’t even badger him for an apology. I will do that and brainstorm with him on solutions for it when he is rested and back in his right mind. Saturday afternoon, I assume, after his nap, he ought to be receptive.

The family meeting this week will be about emergency preparedness. We will practice what to do in emergencies (I yell “Time to go for ice cream!” and we get into the car) and talk about stranger danger. I am keeping a close eye on the kids when they are outside,  because meth addicts have been hanging around the neighborhood. It takes all my self control not to grab the neighbor’s kids and take them home with me. I don’t know why you would host meth addicts and let them smoke up in your bathroom when you have two little kids in the house. Another neighbor is watching and will call the police next time. Right now someone is yelling outside and I think every word is the f word. Please, people, every one of these houses has children, and some of them are listening.

I am going to include social stories for discussion at every family meeting. I really want to follow through with that. The boys need to have their social skills explained to them, and I feel like I rely too much on the psychologist and skills therapist and social skills class and don’t do much at home, because I understand my kids and don’t notice what needs work. Maybe if all the skills become familiar in every environment they will sink in.

Middle Child did tell me that his stomach hurts a bit every morning. We discussed his breakfasts and other things he could eat and then we figured out he does not have tummy issues on weekend mornings. I asked him if he was afraid or nervous about going to school and he scoffed at that. I told him his body might be afraid even if he is not. Then he told me his tummy felt upset whenever he was not home. So perhaps the anxiety is comorbid with the PTSD, too, rather than just the autism, as this one is not autistic. If he is experiencing social anxiety or generalized anxiety or a bit of agoraphobia, then that would actually make sense. I figured out long ago that much of his misbehaviour is due to exhaustion and transitions, and if anxiety is in the mix maybe we can treat it and get some results across the board.

Oldest child will be undergoing hypnosis a week from today in a last ditch effort to avoid anxiety meds. I hope middle child never gets it as bad as Oldest Son, who cannot go up the stairs without me.

The school called me this week, and asked me straight off if my oldest was adopted. Why would it matter? This is the second time they have asked me. They asked me so many questions. I called back and asked them, what’s going on, is he disrupting his class? No, they said, “we are observing at this point”. This is where I have problems, because he is the oldest. He is normal to me, I don’t see what others see when they look at him, I see what I know best, I see my own understanding of children. He is the normal one in my opinion and my neurotypical youngest child is the odd one. I took a look into their files and the old school did not send over his evaluations or his brother’s speech testing. If I get those files transferred maybe the school will cheer up at his IQ. I need the psychologist to administer an IQ test that is pertinent to his age, the old school’s test was not an appropriate one, and they probably have him lower than he is. So he tested bright instead of super bright, or whatever they call it. Neon, I would say.

We were supposed to go to the zoo tomorrow. The kids voted to stay home. I will pitch it again for Sunday and we will see. My father has been after me to bring the kids up to his house to go fishing. I am like my kids. I want to stay home and clean and cook and have no obligations to go anywhere. We are hermits at heart.

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Self Analysis

I have not been doing well. I am very stressed out, though I have been more so in previous years. I am trying to focus on the positives and in the process of that I feel like nothing gets resolved. I want to pull my brain out and examine it. I wish my easy going therapist was a psychoanalyst, who would hammer away at my issues until all that was left was me.

I don’t want to get depressed, I don’t want to be lonely, I want to recognize my successes. I am far too ambitious and accomplish far too little to ever properly be satisfied.

I am so very afraid. I am afraid of being found, despite the help of the DA where I moved from and Secretary of State in my new state. I am afraid the children will blame me, despite saving them. I am afraid my middle child will never be happy and my oldest will never be self sufficient. I am terrified that my normal child will feel neglected amid the demands of her special needs siblings.

I am worried that the family critics are correct, that by demanding little from my children to decrease their stress and increase their healing that I am in fact making them dependent and not letting them see how competent they are.

I am ashamed that I cannot conceal my irritation for my mother from my mother. I am ashamed that I have internalized her rejection again and have found myself back at age twelve, asking her to be my friend with my heart in my mouth. I should have grown past that years ago. Should have gotten over it the moment she told me I was not her problem when I cried to her that I did not want to be on the street at eighteen. I should have gotten over it at eighteen. I should have left and not looked back. She did not want to be my parent, so I should have stopped looking to her as one. Why did it begin to bother me when I had my own kids? I want to let it all go.

I am frustrated that I have not taken the entry tests yet for community college. Surely it is easy to flunk the math and pass the rest? All I have to do is get a sitter and then go. I will never start if I don’t do it step by step. Why am I standing in my own way like this?

Yoga. I am going to try yoga. Fifteen minutes.

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The First Week of School

Mostly went well.

But I have been back to yelling. Which is not where I want to be. Middle son has been missing his naps because of first grade. He is not laid back and pleasant any longer, but prickly and bossy and rude. I held it together for the entire week, only to lose it on Friday and give him a piece of my mind.

He threw fits on mornings Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. The Wednesday fit reduced me to tears and Wednesday evening I told him I couldn’t take it anymore, that the fits would have to stop. He held it in on mornings Thursday and Friday and then had multiple fits on Friday evening, which wore me so thin that I can’t blame myself (though I do). Friday was also the day of the child psychologist appointments. Who, as I left with the boys, told me “I don’t know how you do it.” Which is hard to hear from a trained professional, though it does not phase me coming from laypersons.

The child psychologist said that if this medication is no longer effective that he would have to move to an anti-psychotic. My face must have look alarmed, as she immediately reassured me that this class of drugs gets a bad rap, they are simple and just help the dopamine something etc. A little over my head, as I had done no reading on it. Oldest son she wants on Zoloft, to ease the anxiety.

The baby has been pretty rude of late, too. So this morning we had a meeting at my house. I told the children we had to remember our manners, and reminded them that they used to be known for how politely they spoke. They assured me they remembered how to be polite and I informed them that any sentence delivered impolitely would be ignored by myself. I also told them that the cost of any food they request and then refuse to eat would be taken from their allowance. Because if they ask for it and get it then I expect them to eat it.

These meetings will occur once weekly. I had the first turn, where I gave out compliments of things done well and laid out what needed to change, then each child had a turn. They did not contribute anything, though, and I had hoped that they would. Maybe next time.

Middle child promptly fell asleep after the meeting. Allergy meds, and exhaustion, combined. Perhaps we don’t need to go to the beach, then, if we are so sleepy. I went through the boy’s backpacks after the meeting and found a note about middle son’s behaviour on Friday. He was only there for a few hours before I took him out of school for his appointment. The note said he was off task and laying on the floor a lot. So he was tired before I picked him up. He sleeps ten hours a night, and has a little trouble falling asleep while the sun is out. I am going to move bedtime back a half hour and see if there is an improvement. It would help if he did not wake up an hour before the alarm. It would help even more if he did not wake me up, too… all of which happened on Friday morning.

When he wakes up and has got his bearings I will talk to him about it. He is going to be disappointed but I hope the behaviour is just from being sleepy.

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Domestic Violence Advocate

There is an opening at the local DV advocacy. Two of the staff told me to apply.

My heart sang all afternoon, thinking I could do this for a living instead of as a hobby. Then I started to cry, torn between what I want to do and what I already do. I wish I could do both. But both are full time.

I love my job. The work is not challenging or fun, but I do it really well and I love the people I work for and work with. I don’t want to leave them looking for someone who can handle my workload. I don’t want to miss the company Christmas party. My job is no stress. I stress out, anyway, but imagine how much worse my stress would be working with traumatized people day in and day out who are hanging onto every word I say. The burnout is super high. Only one woman there has managed to stay longer than a year. There has been a new advocate every year since I got here.

I don’t know what the pay would be. Probably comparable or more than what I make. Which is well below the poverty level. It would not bother me to lose a little income, I know how to make do.

What if the stress made me less available to my children? What if I am once again robbing myself of a fantastic opportunity because I am comfortable where I am and too afraid to move?

I wanted to do this after I got my degree. Years from now.

I am so paralyzed by hope and fear that I can hardly breathe. I know this feeling. Ultimately I will do nothing.

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Old Habits

Today my youngest son was playing with his RAD friend, and they both had NERF guns. They were not any toys of mine, we haven’t got any guns. RAD friend fired a bullet and they both raced for it. My son won and his RAD friend was trying to grab the bullet as my son tried to load his gun with it. His RAD friend reached around both sides of my son, grabbing with both hands, until my son was caught in a wrestling hold.

At that point I yelled over to him to drop the gun and the bullet and put his hands up and go in the house.

He did. I followed.

But he went back out a few minutes later. I should have run after him.

I did run outside when I heard him hysterically crying, not long after. Not long at all. His RAD friend, calm and collected, came to tell me that my son had hit him. He showed me the spot, there was no mark. He was not hurt, I did ask him.

I went to my son and he told me that his RAD friend had hit him. The bystanders told me no, and I do not know if they were there or not when it all went down. My son told me his RAD friend had taken his bike, and had grabbed his toy back that my son wanted to use. I yelled at him, in public. I told him to come to me if he had a problem, to give his friends toys back when they ask, and never to hit. Then I yelled at him to go home. I hope he remembers the consequences of his action. He has been crying over the loss of privileges. I feel sorry for him, but he knows the rules, too.

I don’t usually yell at him in public. I decided to try it, because the last time I did so, he paid very good attention and did not repeat the violation. The psychologist has told me to react very noticeably to violence, because I normally do not react to it at all. I am so accustomed to it.

He and his RAD friend had been going at it for weeks, sometimes friends and sometimes fighting. His RAD friend is older than my son. He now knows all the right buttons to use with my son, and he knows how to upset him or keep him calm. Our RAD friend is brilliant, so I know he knows.

It is beyond important to me that I teach my son other ways to deal with extreme frustration. It does not matter if he were pushed to his limit or if he reached it by himself. Whatever brought him to hitting is not as important as the necessity of him choosing NOT to hit.

We have some new rules, which are actually old rules, reinstated. He is not allowed to play with his RAD friend. I will miss his friend at dinner and I will miss him playing at our house, he is one of my favorite children. But I see no other way around it. My son has to be supervised while outside, no more playing in the yard. He has to ask my express permission to go outside and then wait to be accompanied. He cannot leave my sight. These are the things I did in years past to protect him from abusive children in the shelter and to keep him from getting into trouble. I am sure he will miss his freedom but I know he will also appreciate the peace and quiet of being inside until the hour after dinner. School starts Monday, anyway, and homework will require his immediate attention before all else. So the change will not be immediately apparent, with the altered schedule.

I just keep seeing him crying, uncontrollably. While his friend was calm. It is only this friend that he has any problem with.

I wish I could fix it. I wish I had called him back in right away. I wish he were not so hurt inside by all of this.

I ought to start having house meetings with the children again. I think I will follow the formula of the 3 Minute Mother, setting goals and etc. I want them to look forward to a bright future, and to see their own progress, to KNOW that they can make changes and set things in motion. I want to give them more power, so they can gain more confidence.

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