Getting Christmassy and Avoiding Being Driven Up the Wall

One thing about being poorly is that, sooner or later, children realise you’re not joking when you say you’re too tired. Fluff, the middle child, today made Christmas biscuits, all on her own. I supervised from the comfy kitchen chair (designated as Mummy’s Chair), only intervening when there was An Incident involving exploding curry powder. Don’t ask. I still smell like cumin.

Christmas can be difficult for people of any age with Autism Spectrum Disorders. They like to be in control, and surprises, even nice surprises, are outside that control. This can provoke massive anxiety.Yesterday, after (what felt like) thirty hours non-stop of questions about Christmas presents from Prince, I eventually told him that if I heard one more word about his Christmas presents, I would take them all and give them to charity. He knows me well enough not to continue (because, ,as he says, I am Strict) and stomped off to his bedroom, where he was later found pacing and muttering about who he thinks is buying him a DAB radio (his latest obsession).

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Fluff made this one especially for me. I am blessed indeed!

Fluff made this one especially for me!

Merry Christmas from multicolouredsmartypants!

Autism, Dementia and Repeating the Same Conversation

As anyone with experience of autism knows, having the same conversation over and over (and over and over) becomes par for the course. As does being interrupted (because the person with autism doesn’t realise they need to wait their turn). Sometimes, one just has to bite one’s tongue, pray for patience, and take a deep breath before answering. Again.

 

But what happens if you…

 

Add two other children to the mix, one with suspected Asperger’s (very clever but lacks empathy, etc.) and one with a history of anxiety (too much empathy?).

 

Add your own turbulent life journey with which you are trying your level best to just cope and not be depressed/anxious/suicidal… only by grace…

 

because all is grace

 

And what happens if you then…

 

Add an elderly mother-in-law who has dementia and comes to stay because she can’t cope at home alone while her husband is ill in hospital.

 

And you shake it all up by repeating the same conversations with (what feels like) numerous people all day long who also have an inexplicable desire to all talk at once. At you.

 

And you gulp it all down, all at once, until you are questioning your own mental state.

 

******

 

Yep. Sandy says ‘time out, please’.

Oh well, it’s not the end of the world. 

Ford Prefect where are you at a time like this?

Out of Control

My son, who is now taller than me, hit me yesterday. I found myself thinking some of these things. We have been through these exact same phases where every day is a continuous fight and every day is so, so draining; you cannot give an inch because if you do, he runs not just one but a hundred miles. Often, too, it is not just the child’s behaviour but other people’s negative reaction which is the last straw…

This is the reality of parenting a child with autism. I really appreciate the honesty of this blog post.

Life with an Autistic Son

This post is now available in the ‘Life with an Autistic Son’ ebook available to download from Amazon.

LWAAS 3d book cover

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‘If you have never cared for a child with autism, you don’t know what it is like.’ Excellent post from Special Needs Jungle.

Special Needs Jungle

Tania writes:

It’s Autism Awareness/Acceptance Day, Month, whatever… lots will be written today about what autism is and what it isn’t.

No one expects to have a child with an ASD/ASC, whatever they’re calling it this year. Once you have the diagnosis, it’s like entering a parallel universe of impenetrable mazes with multiple dead-ends, where people speak in strange acronyms and expect you to understand what they’re talking about.

You can get lost in the battle to secure services, support, suitable education and the funding thereof. As your child or children (in my case) grow, you will encounter different challenges such as transition to adulthood, training, independence.

If your child is five or six, you’ve probably not even thought this far ahead. This is just as well; it would be too much to cope with. We are now at this stage: my boys are 15 and 13.5 and both have different levels…

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“Will You Be My Friend?”

It’s a week since we moved into a new area and a lovely new house, and today Prince and I visited the local special school. With its muted colour scheme, low-stimulant environment, multi-sensory room with aromatherapy, twinkly lights and music, plus hydrotherapy pool for the use of all pupils, it’s not the first time I’ve thought that I could benefit from such a place!

When we entered what will be Prince’s class, a boy immediately walked up to him, stood far too close,  gave him an intense eye-to-eye gaze and said, “Hello. I’m Lenny. Will you be my friend?”

Prince was quite pleased by this response to his mere presence. His face broke into a bashful smile and he gave a quiet but emphatic nod. Then Lenny came up to me, stood far too close, gazed at me intensely and said, “When he comes, do you think he will be my very good friend?”

I replied in the affirmative.

Autism. Sometimes it’s beautiful.

“…whoever welcomes in my name

one such child as this,

welcomes me.”

Matthew 18:5