Tag Archives: ASD

Runaways

Today the boys got off the bus at daycare and decided to walk home. The staff inside realized that they had not come in and chased them down the street, they got about a block before they were caught, about a fourth of their journey accomplished.

I think the new director had better appoint someone to meet the bus, like they used to do.

I asked the boys what they would do once they got home, how would they get in? The lightbulb went off and all they said was “Oh..”.

So they are in a bit of trouble tonight, lost a privilege or two. Because, as I explained to them, if they cannot leave the house without asking an adult, how could they think they were allowed to leave the daycare?

The director replaced nearly all the staff recently. The children do not know their new teachers. The teachers do not know that Oldest Child is fitted with a tracking device that pings straight to the county sheriff. Because he is considered an at-risk wanderer. And, a week after I began mulling over having the device removed, I’ve decided to keep it on him. Because today.

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Diagnosis For My Son

The doctor I saw today told me I was not autistic. He said I have Asperger’s instead, that I was definitely on the spectrum but fit into the category of Asperger’s far better than into the current DSM definition.

Just like my son.

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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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The Fastest Way to Piss Me Off

Is to tell me you don’t like my kids because of their special needs.

Because when you complain about my autistic child’s table manners, that is what you are doing. When people cannot feel sensations on their mouth and chin, they will not learn to eat properly. You can try to teach them to clean it up when they are done. When they have no awareness of personal space or distance, they are going to miscalculate leaning over their plate or how to position their plate. You can teach them to clean it up, to press their tummy to the table, but because they are autistic and ADHD, they will forget. I think he does very well.

Because when you complain about my PTSD child not speaking openly with you, not trusting that you have good intentions, then what you are complaining about is his PTSD. When you complain about him leaving the table, to feed the squirrels his cherry pits, you are complaining about his good heart, fueled by his ADHD, and that might be even worse of you. His PTSD will not get better if you confirm to him that he oughtn’t trust you by criticizing his kind deeds.

Special needs kids need guidance and support rather than their grandmother’s rejection.

And certainly do not complain that you don’t have conversations with the children, not when the baby chatters away at you and you tell her to “go read a book”. Because she is four, not stupid, and you hurt her feelings. That is why she is reluctant to speak to you.

My kids do not have supportive family. It makes me feel like I am crazy- again.

I remember being so depressed as a child that I would beg God to let me die and I tried to commit suicide at eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen. I could not handle the constant correction, emotional rejection, sibling abuse, and criticism. I could not handle the lack of concern for my well being. I did not even learn how to wash my hair until I was well into adulthood, because my mother did not do it, nor did she teach me. My father tried, and it upset me so much that I could not learn from him how to do it. He should have showed me over the sink as he washed his own hair, instead of putting me naked into a tub-it just shamed me.

I remember it all too vividly when I look at my own children in my mother’s presence. I am terrified they will fall into such a mental decline. No one liked me as a child, either. Well, my best friend’s mother did. One.

I want them to be happy. What I have been doing so far has been working, and what I have been doing has been to support and encourage them, teach rather than criticize. I am going to keep doing it, to give them their best shot at getting through school. I hope I can help them with college.

I hated eating with my mother when I was a child. Hated it. I still prefer to eat alone.

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Regression and Excuses

Middle Child hit Oldest Child today. When asked why, he told me “I just can’t control my anger!”

Not gonna fly, I told him. He lost some privileges, made his apologies and I let him know in no uncertain terms that nothing is going to slide around here. When the tears came out I comforted him. I told him I know he will make the right choice next time, and keep his video game privileges.

He stood up for his sister against a bully a minute after the hitting incident, and I did not let that go unnoticed. I reminded him of all the times he had stood up for his siblings this summer and let him know how proud I was- but I waited an hour after he was reprimanded. Just so I knew he would be receptive. He told me it was hard for him to stand up against bullying when he was younger. I told him I knew he would keep doing it, that he is acting like a hero. As he should, coming from a family of heroes.

His sister cried her little heart out before she came in for the evening. Her best neighborhood friend had cruelly covered up her hard work, a dirt puddle that she had created as a gift for the friend. Something to do with pretending to be lemurs. Middle Child assures me that his sister experienced an act of cruelty.

It could have been retaliation. I did tell the children not to pull down the sapling they were messing with. I did tell The Baby she was not allowed to hurt trees, which caused her to blurt out that it was not her who pulled off the bark, but rather Best Neighborhood Friend. I had nothing to say to that. It would be up to her friend’s mother. But her friend might have been embarrassed on being ratted out.

If The Baby were older I would explain it all to her.

Instead one of the older girls who had experienced similar cruelty from the same individual had a small heart to heart with her and then she came in smiling.

So we had some good with the bad this evening. I much prefer that to only bad.

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Friday with the Child Psychologist

Today both boys had an appointment with the child psychologist.

She asked me what we should be working on today, and I reminded her of the current issues. I asked my middle child what he should be working on, in case I missed something, and he said he is about ready to graduate. Not the answer I expected.

After session, she told me she thought he might be ready to cease his sessions with her. She told me she remembers how they were when they first started with her, middle son at two years ago and oldest child at a year ago.

She said they were bouncing off of things. Had no focus. Became upset every minute. Did not share. Argued with everyone and each other.

Middle child did not talk about his father and did not want to discuss his feelings AT ALL for a year.

I was surprised she felt he might be done with therapy. He is doing remarkably well right now, true, but I just did not know if it were due to his medication or due to his emotional growth.

She walked us to the door and turned to me and looked me in the eyes and said “good job”.

Last week a social worker visited us in our home and attributed my kid’s good behaviour to good parenting.

After years of criticisms from their father, my father, the shelter staff- I can scarcely believe it.

I hope the children do. They worked really hard to get here.

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Summer Flu

My oldest child has the summer flu. He also has so many mosquito bites that he looks poxed. Depending on the thermometer tomorrow, we may have to keep him home tomorrow and then cancel his equine therapy on Tuesday.

I saw cotton floating on the breeze and thought it was a tree allergy for the first few days of nose blowing, but tonight he had poor appetite and spiked a fever. Poor kid.

When he is stuffed up, too much mucus or too much saliva, he will drool it out of his mouth and let it fall on his torso. I want him to spit, to use a handkerchief, a tissue, something. I have tried to teach him diligence about it for years. It makes me feel so sad to see him do that. It is not well received in this culture, and maybe not in any. It marks his difference out very clearly.

I keep handkerchiefs on him at all times. His teacher kept a box of tissue on his desk. The only desk in class so adorned.

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Last Day Of School

My son has been quoting Fred (Fred 3: Camp Fred) all week regarding the last day of school. ¨The last day of school is the best day of school.¨

But tonight when I went to turn off his light for bed I found him bawling under the covers, waiting for me to comfort him. He never cries like that unless he has lost computer privileges for a week or more.

He has had the same Special Education teacher for two years. He would have had one more year with her, had I not switched him to a new school that has the best reputation in our area for autistic children. Now, instead of looking forward to seeing her in the fall, he is going to be with people he does not know, in a room he is not familiar with, and he will not be called on to fix all the electronics anymore. They will not have all the same electronics, even.

We have an agreement, that if he does not like his new school after six weeks that I will switch him back. I am going to stick to that.

Why didn’t I give him one more year with her? Because his new school will allow him to attend into middle school, and perhaps by the time he gets to middle school age they will have expanded to all those grades, too. He can go to the same school, with the same people, for years. Smaller classes, focused on the arts and sciences, and insisting on mastery. I don’t think they will be content to pass him along, as so many special education students are.

I really hope he likes it. As much as we both love his special education teacher, and as good as she is for him, I have to try what has worked for so many others. I want to start planning for those years that are often so painful for autistic children. I don’t want all he has learned to be lost in the teen years, due to bullying or being passed. I want his spirit to continue to grow. I don’t want him to cry in the mornings before school, begging me to let him stay home. I want him to be happy.

Nothing makes you second guess your decisions for your children like their tears.

He is learning healthy emotional expression, and having an appropriate and ¨normal¨ reaction. It is a relief to see this sort of emotional intelligence in him. I just wish he did not hurt so much.

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Equine Therapy

My autistic child took to equine therapy literally like he had grown up in a barn. He was walking the horse through the obstacle course alone within an hour.

My middle child was terrified. He had to lay on the horse backward, while a trainer held his arms. The trainers asked me twice if I was sure he was not autistic.

Totally worth it. I think this will be good. This is the second time my oldest has found something he is naturally better at than his little brother.

The other is making Lego creations from blueprints.

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My Son’s Bullying Solutions

My son has talked with me and with his psychologist about what to do when bullied. We all agreed that if known bullies show up, he should come to me so I can supervise him if he wants to stay outside.

The psychologist wants him to have a whistle, which is an awesome suggestion.

My son decided to wrap his leg in bandages. He reasoned that if his leg appeared to be broken or injured, perhaps no one would hurt him for fear of worsening his injuries. I told him how it was when I was a kid, when other children would not fight you if you had glasses. They would yell at you to take them off first. But the kids he met the other day did not care that he had glasses. So I told him the boundaries change. Some kids don’t care if you have an existing issue, especially kids that just barge into your compound and decide to fight you. He loved his bandage, though, he kept it on all day. He had a spare in his pocket, but I have no idea what he has done with it. Today he has forgotten about his bandage. He said he loved the feel of it, the pressure of having something tight on his skin, which is a score for long underwear. I explained that if he would just wear his, it would feel like that all the time in winter, and he would not be so cold. I don’t think he will fight me on it next winter.

So I will be getting him a whistle. I wish I had that dog. Not that I expect the dog to protect him, which assistance dogs do NOT do, but because having a dog makes you look less like a victim and more like a friend.

I will speak to the grandmother of the children the next time they come around. I will probably bring her something baked. Because that softens one up a bit, and because she probably needs it. I don’t think her life is very easy.

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