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Pauline Hansen

Posted by Sarah on Jun 23, 2017 in Uncategorized

Hello there! Sorry it’s been a while but I’ve been so busy since I went back to work and we’ve had lots and lots on. Beth is home sick again this week, when she’s not well it seems to last for ages. Which of course has made life difficult with work etc, having to have poor Bridie home for a couple of hours on Tuesday until I could get somebody to fill in for me at work for half of my shift. Unfortunately it’s a necessity at the moment, I know I’m not the only one to deal with these things, in fact I’ve been lucky to have been able to be at home for so long, but it does make it so much harder when your child has a disability. Nobody should have to ask their 12 year old to stay home to look after their 18 year old sister but sometimes life isn’t fair and you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.

Beth is going along pretty well. Still doing 2 days a week at school, one day a week at media school, 2 days a week home with me. Still loving the gym which is amazing and wonderful. In fact when she wasn’t well a few weeks ago I checked that she would be ok to go and she said she still wanted to! Unfortunately this time she’s just not ok and we haven’t been not only this week but last week too. Luckily her trainer is fabulous and is ok with it all.

I got a lovely comment on my blog this week, reminding me that I have to check in once in a while! It’s by far the most commented post that I’ve done, right back when I was trying to decide whether to send Beth to mainstream or special school. Before we even knew we qualified. It’s a hard one. As I said to the lovely reader (who said she’d read from start to finish!), it’s such a personal choice. My regular readers know that we opted for special. In the end it didn’t really seem to work for us sending Beth to special school though. She’s one of those particular kids (adults) who knows she has autism but doesn’t really want much to do with others on the spectrum, or any kids with disabilities at all really. I don’t think she’s (what’s the word like racist but for disabilities? Is there even one?) against them per say, I think she loved her friends so much at primary school that she doesn’t get kids who aren’t like them. It’s probably because they don’t pander to what she wants and she can’t boss them around. One thing with special needs kids, there’s no bullshit, they say what they want to say, including Beth! This brings us to the problem of what to do with our Bethie. She’s pretty high functioning as far as mental capacity goes, but she’s very dependant maturity wise. Basically she couldn’t be in independent employment, she just wouldn’t do the work unless supervised. But being with all special needs kids seems to throw her into depression and she just functions without any enjoyment. Luckily we have a business plan in mind (more info about that later) so hopefully she can work with us. We’re accessing the NDIS this year, it’s actually not as complicated as it seems though we haven’t gone through anything yet! It’s seems pretty straight forward, a bit like aide funding, tell the worst case scenario, say we need all the help we can get and see how we go! Once again we have to go through the depressing thing of making our kids out to be total basket cases, disability isn’t kind to parents at all. Our natural instinct is to talk our kids up, all our kids. In this instance we have to talk them down. It’s shit but it’s the game.

There’s been a lot over facebook lately about that silly twit (twat) Pauline Hansen and her views of removing all autistic kids from the classroom to give the bright kids a chance to shine. What a load of crap! Let’s go back 50 years shall we? Perhaps we could put them back in mental institutions so that they don’t infect any part of the precious kids lives who find ‘those children’ so offensive. It’s almost laughable that it’s actually been said out loud. The scary thing though is that it reminds me of when Donald Trump got elected. He revved up all the racist, sexist, bigoted people and they voted him in! While those of us with compassion and brains can see what she said and say how ridiculous, there will be many more who will be saying ‘Yeah, good on her, we’ve been saying that for ages!’ I know because I’ve met one of them! While as a parent of a child with autism, a bright child without, and a sort of in between child with high anxiety, I can usually see both sides of a story. We had lots of kids with special needs at our primary school. Some were disruptive, absolutely. The problem wasn’t with the kids, or the teachers. The problem was with the lack of funding for said kids. To keep these kids (some of them runners) in the classroom the teacher often had to spend extra time with them, otherwise they would run out and that would be a dilemma, leaving other kids in the classroom alone or going after the wayward child. The answer isn’t to remove the child though but to give more resources to the schools to keep all happy. The positives of the children being in the classroom by far outweighs the negatives in my opinion. My kids were tolerant of Beth so were pretty good with other kids anyway. Others hadn’t had much to do with kids with special needs and often they developed friendships that they never would have had the opportunity to do before. Most kids in classrooms with special needs children develop compassion and understanding that their parents never had the chance to learn though having these kids share their classroom space. I’ve always been very open when parents have asked me about Beth and I loved it when she surprised the other kids with her cleverness and quirkiness.  As a friend said on facebook, the real problem is that Pauline Hansen is actually suggesting taking away any choice. We as parents have the right to choose what sort of education our child needs. Whether it be special school or mainstream school, why shouldn’t we be able to choose, just like any other parents? It’s limiting enough as it is with strict criteria for aide funding. Luckily most parents that I’ve encountered don’t think like that silly woman. Luckily most kids I know are kind and accepting.  Gone are the segregated ‘blue bus’ days when the weird kids were jeered at by the ‘normal kids’. For the most part. As my niece told me when I was worried about high school for Beth, ‘It’s not cool to pick on the special needs kids anymore.’ Thank Goodness!

 
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She’s 18!

Posted by Sarah on Mar 30, 2017 in Uncategorized

I can’t believe it, my big girl is 18! She had her birthday yesterday and her party on Saturday. She’s enjoying being 18 and makes sure that we know by saying ‘I can do what I want now that I’m an adult’ when told not to do something!

I had a bit of a mind dilemma thinking about the blog last week. Being a bit OCD (unfortunately not with cleaning the house) I feel like things must be ‘right’ and can’t cope that well when they are not. As you know my blog is called Autistic Children and the issue that I have is that Beth is no longer a child. Do I keep writing on here because I have gathered a band of loyal readers. Or do I start a new blog with a current address, sharing the name with you all so that you can jump page. I think I’ll probably keep it because it did start with Beth when she was much younger. And she is still my child. Maybe once she’s grown up at say, 30, I can revisit my issues with it!

I’ve made a big decision about Beth’s 21st too. I know it’s still 3 years away! Bill will be turning 18 2 months before Beth turns 21 so I want him to have his own individual celebration. So I’m thinking Disneyland! It’s the perfect place for her, and the perfect amount of time to save and plan for it. Of course we’d all go. And it’d probably be Euro Disney rather than America because then we can visit with family in the UK. But, how exciting!

Anyway, I’ve been really happy with Beth’s reaction to turning 18. She’s always been worried about the whole idea of growing up. When she was younger I realised that she was worried when she turned 13 that I might die like my mum did when I was 13. We got through that by me figuring out that it was worrying her. I talked to her, telling her that if Nanny was alive today that she probably would have lived, because there is so much more advancement in cancer treatments these days than back then in ‘the old days.’ Beth talks about my mum often. She said the other day that she wished that Grandsha could have been at her party, and Nanny, and I told her that they would be watching and wishing the same thing. I also wonder if her whole thing about not growing up (remember wanting to be a PowerPuff girl because they didn’t grow up and get their periods?) is because she thinks it means getting a job, moving out of home, having sex, drinking, all of the scary unknown things. I think that talking with her about us working together somehow has helped a lot. It’s not just about leaving school and the unknown now, it’s about the plans that we have. Her going to Your DNA next year 3 days a week. Her working with me at the gym once we open it. Her going to the gym now and realising that she’s enjoying it and will enjoy our own. I think she’s relieved that she’s turned 18 and nothing bad happened. Just like when she got her period and, yucky as it was, it wasn’t as bad as she’d built it up in her mind.

Anyway, Beth had a great party. She was good as usually she takes herself off to her room when we have people over, even at a party. She’ll come out and say hello, she’ll even eat with us, but then off she goes back to where she can do what she wants to do. She spent most of Saturday afternoon on the couch opening presents! Lots and lots of people came, family, friends who are like family, friends from school (primary and now), even her trainer and her art teacher from school were here. It was so lovely. And it was all about her. They sat with her and helped her open her presents and she loved it! We got a lovely cake (Maxi Foods is fabulous, and very inexpensive). We ran out of many things thanks to me leaving some of the shopping to hubby, but luckily we have shops literally across the road from us. She got lots of goodies, workout gear and equipment, Disney books and dvds, jewellery, lots and lots of lovely presents. She also got some gift vouchers and money so next week (school holidays) we shall go to gold class to watch the new Smurfs movie then do a spot of shopping together. Here are a few photos of her big day. Beth dressed as Minnie Mouse. There were some great outfits! I chose to wear a dress with the white rabbit on it rather than do a dress up, a cop out I know but at least I’ll wear it again!

 
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Gym junkie

Posted by Sarah on Mar 16, 2017 in Uncategorized

I just wanted to come on here and have a huge brag about my wonderful girl! She’s doing amazingly well at the gym! We are now going twice a week; once on the weekend and once for her personal training on Thursday mornings. I can never be fagged going at the weekends because it’s always after I get home from work and I’m usually stuffed. I did in fact put it off last weekend but as Monday was a public holiday I told Beth we’d go after I got home. Well…. I was so tired but I said ‘Do you really want to go to the gym today?’ and as the answer was an excited “Yes please!” I just couldn’t say no! As always I am glad that I’ve gone as it gives me so much more energy. We ran into her trainer Mel when we went, I think she was pleasantly surprised to see Beth there.

We just got back from a Thursday session and Beth asked me to join in. I’ve done that once before, with boxing, but I’ve not done it for a while. Mel has said to me that Beth is doing so well that she’s doing normal exercising with her now instead of the easier and more fun things that they started with. Well I was blown away this morning. After our usual 5 minutes on the rower we went downstairs to use the equipment. I did a 12 week challenge last year which really got me out of my comfort zone as I’m used to using the weights in the ladies section of the gym. The ones downstairs in the big gym are much more hard core. Beth did the leg press while I did leg curls, then when she was doing floor work I had a go at the leg press. Then I joined in on the floor to do some of those exercises. We then went to the free weight section where Beth did some on her back and some kneeling on the weights bench, and some on the big balance ball. Not once did she grizzle! I did most of the same ones with a heavier weight and it wasn’t dissimilar to some of the exercises I did in my 12 week challenge. Mel said that Beth has never given her any problems, she needs a break now and then and a drink but does it all. O M G !!!! I think she’s like me. I hated PE but once I started at the gym I loved doing the weights so I know what I like in exercise now. I’m so excited!

Here’s a photo I took a few weeks ago at one of our mum and daughter sessions. I bloody love this girl! xxx

 
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Everything going swimmingly

Posted by Sarah on Mar 9, 2017 in Uncategorized

I can’t believe we’re in March already. It feels though I’ve just taken down the Christmas tree, and I take it down a couple of days after Christmas! March means that it’s our Bethie’s birthday. And she’s turning 18 this year! OMG, yes that’s right, 18!

She’s really happy this year. She’s at Emerson Mondays and Tuesdays and seems to really like her teacher. I also think she’s enjoying it because it’s not as hands on as cooking was. She really enjoys reading and loves to absorb knowledge so quite likes the sitting down and learning side of school. She can also take a book with her to PE rather than participate so that’s a good solution for her rather than hiding in the broom closet like she did the first year there!

Wednesdays Beth goes to Your DNA, a media studies school for special needs adults. Next year she’ll more than likely go there 3 days a week, unless I can find something more local which would mean we may get transport from home rather than having to drive her into the zone to catch a bus. I seem to find places that aren’t really in our area but I guess that’s the job of a parent isn’t it, it’s not what’s easiest for us, it’s what’s best for our child. Beth is doing a creative writing course there every Wednesday. I was going to enrol her in a different class each term to give her a taste of other things but she really enjoys the writing aspect of it. Here’s a link to their blog so you can read her poem. It’s written about a TV show which doesn’t surprise me. I think it’s called an acrostic poem? She has excellent use of language, reading a dictionary at lunchtime for the last 6 years has really paid off! The words are descriptive of the bigger word, or in this case of the name of the person. I love how direct she is, no pussy footing around sensitive subjects, one man she used the H to say homosexual because well, that’s what he is. Another she says is Yummy. I asked if she fancied him and she said she fancies all of them! I also love that she used my favourite word Fart!

On Thursdays Beth goes to the gym with me for personal training. This has been my most exciting development. She loves it and her trainer is amazing with her. Her name is Melissa and she told me this morning that Beth has really improved and that today she was really attentive and did everything that was asked. Probably because I told her that there would be no treats if she didn’t as she’s fluffed around a bit the last 2 weeks. Melissa said that they had started out doing fun game type things but she’s now got her doing weights and working on her biceps. Our lovely osteo Steph also write a letter to Melissa saying how happy she is with Beth’s strength now and explaining that Beth needs to do work to make her knees go out instead of turning in. Straight away Melissa got Beth doing squats to work on that. The next day Beth said she couldn’t walk and was walking around like a robot! I’m so very happy with this development and so very proud of her. We’re even going together on a Sunday and doing a routine together. It’s making me want to open up our own gym even more now!

Fridays we alternate between art class and piano lessons. We’ve been doing art for a while now, Beth participates for an hour of the 2 hour session. She started piano just a fortnight ago and I nicked off so that the teacher Tina could do what she had to do. I could hear her fumbling for a little while, then I could hear the song Ode to Joy,  played hesitantly at first then really quite well. We have our next lesson tomorrow. We got Dad’s piano after he died and as I’ve always wanted to learn it’s a great opportunity. Thank goodness I’m working now, this is all costing a fortune, but well worth it.

So, I’m busy getting organised for madam’s party. She hasn’t had a really big party for a while so we’re having the works. An adult sized jumping castle and a popcorn machine. It’s Disney themed and we’re having a mad hatter’s tea party. And face painting. I think I’m probably more excited than Beth!

Hope you and yours are all going well. I think I’ll do a post next on how far Beth has come in all these years. I don’t know about you but sometimes it’s nice when we’re feeling bad to look back and see how well our kids are actually doing. Also for any of you that have just got your diagnosis. It does get better, it really does. And they do grow up – eventually. I know that Beth may be 30 before she is truly an adult, maybe even older. She just seems more attentive somehow now. Even little things such as when unpacking the dishwasher, saying excuse me to me because I was in front of the drawer she needed. Rather than just pushing past me, not really seeing me. It’s the little things isn’t it?  Ciao for now! xx

 
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3rd session at gym

Posted by Sarah on Dec 1, 2016 in Uncategorized

Well Beth and I just got back from the gym. I never thought I’d see those words written, let alone come out of my mouth! Here’s a photo of her with her absolutely gorgeous trainer Melissa.

bethandmel

She’s such a nice person. So far personal training is going really well. There was 3 trial sessions at a special price and today was the last one. We had also been doing tennis lessons with the whole family on alternate weeks but Beth wasn’t really enjoying them and sitting out after 15 minutes. I spoke with the gym last week when we went and asked about having the training every week instead. So now she’s actually a member! Tomorrow we’re going and Melissa will do Beth’s assessment for her and show her how to use the equipment. That means that once a week Beth will have personal training, and once a week she’ll go with me and we’ll do a workout together.

I was pleased when she finished today as she had gone on to the rower. I really enjoy the rowing machine myself and she enjoyed it lots too. So that’s something we can do together. Here we are after getting home. Bridie’s home sick so I got her to take the photo. As you can see she got a bit of herself in. And Maggie too!

bethandiatgym

I spoke to Beth’s school yesterday as they have a short baristas course that I’d like her to do. That way, if we do end up buying a gym, or a different sort of business, Beth could make coffees for people. The person coordinating it said he wasn’t sure she’d cope (I asked him what he thought to give him an opening), but it would be good to give it a try. So I feel like we’re getting some sort of plan together for the future. Hopefully!

 
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Gym

Posted by Sarah on Nov 10, 2016 in Uncategorized

Well I’m feeling really happy with Beth this morning. One of the conditions of her staying home with me for 2 days a week is that she needs to get more active. This means of course that so do I! Which is good for us both. I’ve let my gym slip somewhat since starting work as I’m on my feet for 9 hours and am stuffed by the time I get home. Now that I’m just working weekends though I really have no excuse not to go back to the gym during the week. I’ve done a couple of classes but always liked to do the early morning workouts before. Anyway, they had a ladies night at the gym a couple of weeks ago so my partner in crime (and gym) Eloise and I went for a sticky beak. We did a butt workout class. Luckily I was standing at the back because it was rather windy! I put it down to age. And poor core muscles. I reckon if I had a baby now it’d just fall out. Anyway, I digress……  You got a prize if you referred somebody so I put my hand up for Beth to do personal training sessions. Anything for a freebie! We’ve also started family tennis lessons at which she does about half a lesson before reading for the other half. I’m ok with this, as long as she tries hard for that half.

I spoke with the gym manager, Jade, about Beth. I said that she won’t want to do it. She’ll say she’s tired/sore/out of breath/thirsty/needing a wee. You name it, she’ll say it. Also, if she had a male trainer she’d try and crack on to him. So, I had a phone call the next day from a lovely young woman called Melissa. She said that they’d do lots of games. So off we went today. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Melissa was gorgeous. I told Beth that she had to do the right thing by Melissa. I was pleased that it was ok for me to go off and do my thing. I tend to over interfere which I know isn’t helpful but I almost over compensate for Beth’s lack of effort! While we waited I showed Beth the interactive bikes and we had a little ride. (Thanks Lois for the suggestion, she loved it!) Then, after filling in paperwork, off I went to do my workout and off Beth went with Melissa. They went to the workout room and I could see them if I looked over the edge of the ladies gym. I tried really hard not to though!

Here’s Beth chasing dragons on the bike. bethdragon

Afterwards Beth came up with a big smile on her face. She said they did an obstacle course, just like she used to do when she was 4 at Irabina! My god she’s got a memory like an elephant! She did throwing the ball to Melissa, she did bowling a big ball, she did the big ropes. Melissa had devised lots of games so as Beth got tired of one (quite quickly) she could pick the next thing to do. And of course with breaks and drinks throughout. The good thing is that she enjoyed it though. It made me start thinking about what she can do with life again. Really, it’s always in my mind. As I’ve been thinking about my career too though I’m always thinking of businesses that we could work together. And I love the idea of a special needs gym! It would have to be fun, with interactive equipment and games, an OT type approach to all the exercises. I know from my own experience how exercise helps my moods and gives me energy to do other things. Kids like Beth can be very sedentary, she likes to lie on her bed watching telly and playing on her tablet. She does like to take the dogs for a walk and I’ve seen how that will regulate her mood. Anyway, we’ll see how we go, it’s early days yet. I’m so proud of her though. We went to the local supermarket afterwards where she chose her crispy m&ms for her reward.

Speaking of memory, we went trick or treating for Halloween. I decided this year to put a post on facebook asking who was doing it to save the embarrassment or annoyance of people who don’t celebrate Halloween. So we drove around rather than walking. An old friend from my HAGS support group said that they were doing it. Beth hasn’t seen her in several years but when we turned up she said ‘Hi Nicky, I remember you babysitting me!’. I can’t even remember it but it was years and years ago! She’s just amazing my girl.

 
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Going well

Posted by Sarah on Nov 3, 2016 in Uncategorized

Sorry, I just realised that it was May since I last wrote. I had to read over what I had written to see where I was up to! Lots of things have happened this year. I turned 50 in July. I got a job. I became a finalist in the Rapid Challenge competition. I go to Bondi in 10 days and 21 hours for a few days with the other finalists for pampering, yoga and makeovers. Not that I’m counting…..

Beth has been rather excellent I must say. After going and having a look at the media school in Ringwood she had a trial day which she loved. The subject she chose was creative writing so I believe she wrote for their newsletter.  Next year she’s booked in for one day a week. For the first term it’s the creative writing class that she’s chosen. I think it’s partially because she likes the Wednesday as currently she’s doing cooking at school and doesn’t like standing on her feet all day.

She’s currently at school 3 days each week. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. When she starts at Your DNA one day a week next year she’ll still only be gone for the 3 days at this stage. We’ve upped her medication which has done wonders but going part time has also worked a treat. She knows that she’s not allowed to whinge about going on the other days. Even if she’s not feeling fantastic she has to suck it up for those 3 days, otherwise we go back to the other way.

I’m trying to get Beth involved in doing things with me on the Thursdays and Fridays but it’s going slowly. She does art class with me every second Friday morning and is going fairly well. The compromise is working for an hour, then she’s allowed to read for the second hour. Tiff is really good with Beth and we’ve had varying success with artwork. We’ve also started family tennis lessons on a Friday night. We’ve done this twice. The first time she was more interested in perving on the boys. She’s needing to wear her glasses most of the time and she forgot them that time so wasn’t great. She worked ok for 5 or 10 minutes though. Last time she was pretty good. She wasn’t happy about going mind you. Gilmore Girls finishes at 6.30pm and we can’t tape it. Lessons start at 6.30pm and we walk there. So she carried on big time but ended up going. The deal was that if she played well for the first 15 minutes she could read her book for the rest. She chose to take her dictionary. She did really, really well actually and played for a big longer, then she sat down and the rest of us continued on. It worked well and I was ever so pleased with her. When walking home she was nearly running up the hill, something I’ve never seen her do before. Unfortunately her pants seemed too tight so half the lesson she was pulling them up! I got her Disney workout leggings yesterday though so she can wear them now! The other exciting thing (let’s hope I say the same thing next week) is that I’ve got her into personal training! She starts next Thursday morning at our local gym. They have a special 3 for $90 to try it out. I’ve spoken to the trainer who plans on organising games to get her into doing it. I’ve explained that Beth will whinge and carry on and say that she’s sore but she needs to do something and it will be really good for her mentally as well as physically. And I can do a workout while she’s doing it so it’s win win. I’ll let you know how we go.

Beth has been so good since I started work. I was working all weekend plus 2 days during the week and she was just fine with Paul taking her on those days. Once she even had to change her day off but it didn’t worry her at all. Now I’m just on the weekends until business picks up. I’m missing being with the kids  but the money is good as I get penalty rates and after Christmas I can change my days around hopefully. It’s actually been really good for Beth I think. She’s ok about me going to Bondi too and wants to come with Paul to pick me up from the airport.

I’ve got a few things up my sleeve but until I know further details I won’t share yet. Suffice to say I’m sussing out a promising lead that links the gut to some symptoms of autism. Beth has always had gut problems so hopefully there’s something we can do about it. I’ll keep you posted.

See you after Bondi! xx

 
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Feeling positive. May 25th 2016

Posted by Sarah on May 25, 2016 in Uncategorized

I took Beth to the media school that I have talked about in previous posts. I picked her up early from school and we had a 3pm appointment. The first thing I noticed was that it’s not terribly big. It’s in a group of businesses in a row, the type that has parking in front of each one. I think both Beth and I were expecting a school type of place, or even a place like Irabina (early intervention) was with lots of rooms off of corridors. This was a big room that you first go into with a few smaller rooms off to the sides. There was an animation room (they had Gumby) and a room they do they TV presenting from. There is an animal lovers group. Next year there will be a radio announcing group. They have a creative writing group. All sorts of things. The kids (I know they’re not kids anymore but I think I’ll always call mine my kids) learn and organise their day first, as in writing their script for the tv presenting. They can have their own little segment and it was quickly caught on that Beth’s segment would be on – drumroll please – Disney! She seemed rather keen on that idea. If they are doing the tv presenting then they also learn how to do the filming and the sound and all the other things that go on behind the cameras. If they do the animals then they do excursions once a month, then spend the other 3 weeks making something to do with the animals that they visited. Or making money to help certain animals or organisations such as the guide dogs. The activities are for the whole day so if it’s something that Beth is interested in she doesn’t have to dread part of the day, just look forward to what she’s doing.

I was so impressed and James, the driving force behind it all was fabulous. He was so enthusiastic and said he grew up with his mum being involved in organisations with disabilities so it’s always been in his nature to enjoy kids like ours. They even do travel training. So (eventually, and I mean a long time in the future) I could potentially pop Beth on the train to get there. It’s very daunting but at the same time seems that it could be manageable one day. I could go with her on the train so that I can remind her where she gets off each day. Then eventually they said that some parents put their kids on the train and sms them the carriage that they’re in. Then the staff are at the station to pick the kids up. It’s not far from Ringwood station and they either walk or if it’s raining they will drive. Of course I’m anxious but I could even follow her for a while to check that she’s looking out for the station. As they said we’re talking a year or two into the program. Good to think about anyway.

As we don’t have the futures funding yet we can still access their services now but pay ourselves. So we discussed this and said that it would be good for Beth to go one day a week to try out all the things they have to offer. She could try something different every week. This would be about $75 per day so once a week would be manageable. That way she will transition and once we get the funding when she’s 18 she can choose the subjects she wants to do and she’ll already know them.

I spoke to Beth’s teacher last night and we discussed the whole rewards system thing. She agreed that she would let Beth read after lunch if she had cleaned up after herself to the teacher’s standards. She came out with Beth to explain what a good job Beth had done today and how she got to read a book this afternoon. And Beth looked proud as punch, so chuffed to tell me what a good girl she’d been. So so far so good, it seems to be working!

 
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ASD Clinic

Posted by Sarah on May 16, 2016 in Uncategorized

I went to the ASD clinic in Kew this morning.  Those who read my blog regularly know that I’ve been petrified of the whole adult thing with Beth. I almost pretend in my mind that it’s not happening as it’s such a scary prospect. But, as you know, things have come to a head lately and it’s time to get my head out of the sand and to admit that she is growing up and that I need to be ready for school finishing and either other training or working happening. Oh My God!

I look up Richard Eisenmajer because I have been to see him talk and I find him amazing. He works with adults on the spectrum and I thought it was about time that I dealt with Beth’s issues as a 17 year old going on to adulthood. If I am going to develop a working relationship with myself, Beth and a professional I don’t want it to have to be cut short when she reaches 18. I saw Laura Addabbo. I was so impressed with her. She just ‘got’ our issues. When speaking about things such as Beth’s organisational skills (she basically doesn’t have many) or her ‘I am a queen’ attitude Laura nodded and said that’s really common for people on the spectrum. She said that they need motivation, if there’s nothing in it for them then why would they bother doing it. That is soooo Beth! I was explaining about teaching her to do things such as folding towels, a pretty easy task. She hates it. And all the other things I am getting her to do. Again, if there’s nothing in it for her, why bother.

We discussed her attitude at school. About how there needs to be a link in with me so that behaviours are rewarded with the things she wants at home. The teacher she has this year is very open to me being told if Beth’s behaviour is bad, so that Beth knows that the consequences will be followed through with. But instead of doing the negative as in losing tablet privileges, make it positive such as a sticker chart or money to go towards a magazine at the end of her week. And of course when she said this I said inside ‘bloody hell, I knew that, that positive consequences work better than negative, why haven’t I been doing that?!’

We’ve also booked in to see a new paediatrician in Camberwell. Mainly because they have been recommended as knowing what they are doing with ASD kids and they come recommended. As far as Beth’s medication is concerned it was suggested that I see a new paed before she turns 18 to talk about her medication. She hasn’t had a review for a couple of years, there is room to move as far as amount and type is concerned. And, as Laura pointed out, Beth’s sensory issues could be worse if her medication isn’t at the right dose now. I’ve made an appointment for next Monday for us.

I’m already dreading tomorrow morning. Beth went next door to my inlaws house while I went to the first session with Laura. I went to pick her up and Bev (my mother in law) told me that Beth is complaining of having a sore throat and a tummy ache. I’ve told Beth that that’s not the way it’s meant to work, that she has to go willingly on the days she is going or we’ll have to do something else. That we’ve already got Wednesday off this week for our family trip to see Sound of Music on stage. The reality is though that she is the way she is and she can’t help how she feels. I will have a meeting with her school about not only the positive rewards but about the behaviours that we will be rewarding, such as leaving that boy alone that she has an issue with. I think I’ll also do a social story to try and help it along. Who knows though, it may be too late.

Anyway, I’m feeling much more positive this week. Even though I pooped myself driving on the Eastern Freeway! I feel as though we are moving forward slowly, and we have a direction to go in. Let’s hope it’s a positive new start. Hopefully if I can get things a little sorted, she’ll be all ready to start her transitioning to her future by the time she turns 18.

 
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Feeling better today

Posted by Sarah on May 12, 2016 in Uncategorized

What a difference a day makes! I’m feeling much more settled about things today. I spoke to Beth’s school yesterday afternoon. We’ve come to an arrangement that she is going to go 3 days a week. We’re going to look at the Your DNA media school in 2 weeks. They have said that they are pretty full at the moment. I found out that we don’t get the futures funding until she turns 18 anyway. The funding is for young adults who need extra help to train for an eventual job. Now that the school is aware that she isn’t happy and that we’re looking at other avenues, they’re going to start the ball rolling on the funding application. Then when she turns 18 in March next year she can go to either the media school or another type of training centre. She’s open to all of this and seems to be much happier since I told her that’s what we’re doing. Let’s see how she goes next week though. It’s easy to be happy when you’re still at home!

I’ve told her that she’s going to start doing jobs around the house on the days she’s home. I think it will be really good for her to learn to fend for herself somewhat. Today she’ll be picking up the leaves in the back yard. I’m going to teach her how to do washing and make her own breakfast and lunch. And put the clothes away. And, something she’ll no doubt hate, she’s going to go to a personal trainer! I went to the gym this morning and spoke to them about her. They said their exercise physiologist would be the best bet. I can claim 5 sessions with him under the enhanced primary care. He said he has worked with people on the spectrum before. Beth has really low muscle tone and poor gross motor skills. So she can come with me when I go and she can have a one on one session with Ben. I’ve told him the 2 things he’ll have to watch. One is that she’ll be very resistant to doing anything he tells her to do. The other is that she will probably ask him out! Watch this space to see how we go!

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