Asleep before 10pm – unheard of!

Posted by Sarah on Oct 6, 2009 in Uncategorized

I can’t believe it but Beth has gone to sleep already, I’m so excited I had to write it in straight away! Usually Beth goes to sleep at about 10.30, sometimes a bit earlier, sometimes even later. There were 2 or 3 nights there when we first started this treatment that she actually went to sleep just after 9.30 but it was only for those few nights. I put it down to her body preparing her for daylight savings as she seems to have this inbuilt body clock that adjusts her anyway. Since Sunday however she’s been going to sleep at about 11.30 so I thought she might take a bit longer to get used to it this year. I’m not sure how long she’s been asleep either, I was loath to go in and check in case she was just drifting off and I woke her up again! Wow, this is like 9pm in last week’s time!

School’s been back this week so that might have something to do with Beth’s exhaustion. I spoke to her teacher Helma this morning about how she went yesterday as I was curious to see if they’d seen much difference. She had noticed that they had been getting some good work out of Beth, also a bit better eye contact and that she had started to chat to one of the boys she sits next to which has never happened before. I just love Menzies Creek PS, they really put themselves out there and have always listened to what I have to say in regards to Beth’s education and wellbeing. In I went armed with the flaxseed oil mixture and the magnet with a note detailing what needed to be done and Helma didn’t bat an eyelid. I’ll go in with notes from Rod at Sensational Kids as to different things to do and different exercises to try for Occupational Therapy and Helma and Shelley (Beth’s main aide) will copy the notes and put them into practice. Helma even called Rod and went through different things that they are each doing with Beth. It’s such a personal school, there’s only about 150 odd kids (meaning approx 150, not odd kids!) I recommend our school to heaps of people and once said jokingly to our Principal Tanya “sorry, you’ll be known as the school that takes all the autistic kids” to which she replied “that’s just find by me.” And she meant it. What better recommendation is there than that.

I was just going to settle in and watch the Batchelor on Go now that we’ve got it but I think I might just go to bed instead. Nite nite all, speak soon. xxxxx


A fabulous haggy afternoon

Posted by Sarah on Oct 4, 2009 in Uncategorized

What a fantastic afternoon we had at the Knox Gymnastics Club! It was just such a feel good afternoon for young and old, with some new members joining us originals, always a good thing to welcome new people to the gang.

I met Richard, father of Tilly who was so full of enthusiasm it was great. I had met his partner Gwen a few times over the last couple of years but hadn’t really had much of a chance to catch up. Gwen had work so came along later but Richard bravely faced the sea of hags that he had never met before! At the end of the day he seemed so pleased to meet us all and even offered his services for future school holiday activities, suggesting a circus school (fantastic) and a pottery workshop (bathtime bigtime but fun!) It inspired me even more to speak to somebody as enthusiastic about our kids as I am.

Kirsty came along for the first kids activity time with her partner and sons Thomas and Oliver. We hadn’t seen her since she was about 8 months pregnant with Oliver which by the look of him was a while ago now. Karen came with her boys Liam and Aiden, also the first time she had been to a hags activity. Lyndy came along with her boys Shaun and Ryan which was lovely as we don’t get a chance to catch up as often as we’d like.

And of course the stable of the sisterhood of the hag (or should that be nag) Amanda, Bec, Clare, Linda, Nicky and Nicki who are always there making up the numbers. It doesn’t matter how often I see the girls, I still always look forward to our time together.

Surprisingly there weren’t any tantrums and the kids all behaved really well. Some went off and did their own thing which was to be expected but the coordinators Andrew and Yeayea (still can’t get past the visual of Shane Warne on that hair ad!) were great and very tolerant of our little buggers and all their idiosyncrasies. The great thing about getting together as a group was that it wasn’t just my child that held up the line with one issue or another or tried to jump on the trampoline when others were clearly having their turn. Kids just wandered in and out of the places that they probably shouldn’t have been and nobody (pardon my french here) really gave a shit because we all got it.

Afterwards we all had party food in the party room which was just long enough for the kids to hang out and get their participation certificates. There was a mysterious smell in the air that smelled suspiciously like a dirty nappy that made a number of us glad that we didn’t have kids in nappies any more but that was ok, it was contained to another room!

And you know the other thing that was great about the afternoon?  It really showed me how fantastic our kid’s siblings are. From Oliver asking Marcus what sort of jump he’d like him to do into the spongy squares pit to Guy offering his hula hoop to Will and Lachlan when musical hoops was being played. Or when Bridie was too scared to jump into the pit and Bill was there saying that it was ok, not scary at all. Those things give me a lump in my throat because it’s just so lovely to see in this world of others thinking what weirdos our kids are, through stares and even blatant comments, that like us, our kids get it too.


Off to a Hag party

Posted by Sarah on Oct 3, 2009 in Uncategorized

This afternoon we’ve booked the Ferntree Gully Gym for a hags party. I can’t wait, it should be good fun. We’ve got 20 kids and who knows how many adults coming. It’s a great gym, they have kinder gym there and my kids have been to parties there in the past. It’s a facilitated program so the kids will all have 2 staff co-ordinating them for about an hour(poor buggers don’t know what they’re in for!) then we have an hour for a party which we’re all taking a plate. It’s been a while since we all got together with the kids and husbands, us mums get together a lot. We had a HAGS and SHAGS dinner last year but it’s often difficult to get babysitters for our kids, often in families like ours the parents go out seperately or are in fact single parents.

We always get together at Christmastime and occasionally meet at Macdonalds for breakfast in the school holidays before the crowds get there. We had a fundraiser pamper day earlier in the year (Hag Day Afternoon) and we decided that the money that we raised would go towards school holiday programs for the kids.

There are programs that do have school holiday activities but we wanted it to be all inclusive with siblings and with parents too. I don’t know about other mums but I hate the thought of Beth trying something new and missing seeing the enjoyment that she gets out of it. I also feel guilty if I’m dropping her off for an activity and my other kids don’t get to go. Also when Beth went she didn’t know any of the other special needs people that went and said when it came up again that she didn’t want to go. I thought about it and realised that just because she’s autistic doesn’t mean that she doesn’t realise that she’s with a group of strangers, all with their own issues. At least with the hags group she can get to know the kids at her own speed and if she doesn’t want to play with them then so be it. Amanda and I always laugh that it took over a year for Beth and Lachlan (their oldest son) to even acknowledge each other. We’re lucky in the sense that all our kids are similar ages so that Bill and Guy are good mates and Bridie and Will walk around holding hands half the time. We’d go over to their house or they to ours and Beth or Lachlan would just walk in and plonk themselves down as if they owned the place, oblivious to each other. Now finally they will ask where each other is! That’s usually about the extent of it but that’s ok with me, they’re cool about each other, that’s all we can really ask for isn’t it? So off to the gym in an hour, will let you know how it goes.


Sandy Point in Springtime

Posted by Sarah on Oct 2, 2009 in Uncategorized

We’ve not long come back from 3 nights at Sandy Point. We’ve been there 3 times now and it’s definately a favourite with our clan, we’d love to one day own a beach house of our own down there. I took the kids down by myself once last year as we have some friends who have a house down there. It’s Tiffany’s mum’s house but Jill and Tony are happy for them to use it whenever they want to. Tiff’s Wilson is the same age as Bill and Scarlett is the same age as Bridie so it’s always fun to catch up. We stayed at their place the first time. Then we went down over the summer for a week and hired a huge house that slept 10, we spent 5 days with Amanda and Geoff and their three kids (HAGS family and very good friends) and 2 days with my mother and father in law Bev and John.

This time we decided to go it alone. My sister Deb and her family were hiring a place at Waratah Bay which was 5 minutes down the road so we thought we’d all go down at the same time. The weather was a bit crappy so the first day we really just settled in and caught up with Tiff and kids. Deb and Neil arrived a bit later so popped in after dinner and then we popped around to their place to check it out too. Ours was a bit of a hike from the beach but their’s was just near the caravan park so a perfect location really. Bill of course didn’t want to leave their house because he got to play their Xbox 360 which he hadn’t played before!

We all had reasonably early nights so got up the next morning ready to check out the beach. Being spring meant that we could take our black lab Minka to the beach so off we went, stopping in at Tiffany’s along the way so that the kids could have a play. The sun was out but it certainly wasn’t that warm but of course Beth doesn’t worry about that and wanted to go for a swim. Sometimes I forget how far we’ve come with Bethie, she can be so good about some things and then she does something SO autistic and it brings me back crashing to the ground again!

I had told the kids that they could paddle up to their knees if they wanted to, Beth had leggins that come just below the knees so we rolled them up and thought it’d be ok. Old dopey me! She got her pants a little bit wet so we didn’t worry too much. Clearly that’s when I should have pulled her back and given her a stern talking to. Instead we ended up fully clothes at the shore screaming at her to come in. By the time she turned around she was up to her armpits and having a lovely time! She hasn’t done that for years, it used to be a common occurance once upon a time.

I can remember reading in the Mother Warriors book that I read recently that while one of the children was getting rid of the virus in his brain (what Beth is doing at the moment) there can be some temporary regression. In fact he said that it’s like the autism volume is turned up so that behaviours that seemed quite manageable became quite severe. Richard Malter never told me that would be the case but another friend of mine has taken her son to see him and is doing the same types of treatment and has noticed a marked regression there also. It will be interesting to see how it pans out as I know in our case Beth is full on hyper even more so than usual, bouncing everywhere and doing facial grimaces, she just can’t seem to keep still. On the plus side her communication and response times have been terrific so hopefully the regression is a temporary one.

The rest of the holiday was pretty much incident free. We spent that afternoon back at the house, Tiff and kids came over for bbq lunch and stayed for pizza dinner. On the Wednesday we caught up with Deb, Neil, Ali and Rick (their kids), Dan (Ali’s boyfriend) and Callum, a friend of the kids. We went out to lunch at the Toora pub which was beautiful and not weight watchery at all! We went to the park beforehand and did have a bit of a worry when Beth ran across a driveway area to fling herself into the toilets, luckily there’s not much traffic around those parts. We went back to the Waratah Bay beach house and went for a lovely walk along the beach, the kids found a storm water drain that had made a bit of a wall in the sand so they played there for ages. Minka loved running along the beach though Deb’s dogs kept barking at her, poor thing was scared to death, she’s such a wimp!

We came home on Thursday, all pretty much exhausted after stopping for the obligatory lunch at McDonalds! Hopefully we’ll be able to get back to Sandy Point over summer at one stage but for now it’s back to real life!

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