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Are the holidays over yet?

Posted by Sarah on Mar 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

Bridie is being extra specially revolting these holidays and Beth’s not too far behind. Only my lovely boy Bill is being nice, enjoying the holidays and entertaining himself. It’s not like we haven’t had anything on, I think the girls are very tired and as I am too I’m not being as tolerant as I could be.

Yesterday was Bethies actual birthday. She turned 11. We started off with our present treasure hunt. I can remember my mum doing this for me as a girl and it’s now become tradition in our house too, the kids love it. Bethie got the charm bracelet that she asked for, fluffy slippers, lots of clothes and some sticker books. Bridie gave her the Hurley toy from G Force and Bill gave her some toys from the Wonderpets. Bridie wanted hers as a treasure hunt too so we did the old hot and cold game til Beth found it. Beth had her favourite brekky which was pancakes before we set off to see Nanny McPhee and the big Bang at the movies with Amanda and her boys. We all loved the first one and the second one was just as good, good old fashioned fun. Though note to self : don’t give the kids big cans of drink in the cinema. A record 3 trips to the loo between the 2 girls! We had coffees and hot chocolates afterwards at the Reel Cafe in Belgrave, a bit of a treat that I must say I’m enjoying too now that Beth has discovered hot chocolates.

We then spent some of the afternoon at Prue’s house where Bill played with Zy and Bridie played with Tabitha. Poor old Bethie had to make do with dvd’s, as she kept getting into all the wrong things in the kids rooms. I get that, she doesn’t have a lot of respect for others things and just tends to spread them everywhere or just pull things apart just because.  We took Minka with us so that we could just head straight over to Bev and John’s from there for Beth’s birthday dinner. Roast chicken and ice cream cake, yum. I reckon Beth eats faster than anybody else I know. Bev and I couldn’t eat it all as they were huge servings so Beth had our extra pieces of pumpkin, 5 in all! She got a Buzz Lightyear to complete her Toy Story collection.

Last night she was a nightmare to get to sleep. She was still awake when I went to sleep at 10.30, getting in and out of her window to collect rocks and snails. She was so hyper it was awful. I spoke to Bill today to ask if he would mind changing rooms. He said he’d rather not so I said that was ok. Then he came back in and asked me why. When I told him he replied that if that was the case he was happy to, he didn’t want Beth climbing out the window during the night. He’s such a beautiful boy! Paul’s now hammering the window shut but as this is the second time tonight I’m picturing a move.

Today we had to go to the shops to get dinner which was fun. Bridie was being a nightmare from the minute that she got up and it didn’t get any better at the shops. We had to go to Bev and John’s to sort something out for the land subdivision for our house but weren’t out for long. Both girls have been really demanding today and driving me crazy. At about 7.30pm Beth decided that she wanted to watch a dvd and really cracked the shits with me when I said no. She started doing her arguing thing, saying things like, “now you’ll put it onto av1” or “you said yes, not no, yes Beth, you can watch a dvd.” Then she decided to go off on her own little tangent and started talking about going to Africa and riding llamas. Now she’s having a tantrum because I wont let her sleep on the couch cushions on the floor of her room for her slumber party with her my little pony’s. When she’s done this before she’s either ended up under the bed or going to sleep after midnight. I’ve just heard her calling “I’m coming Mr Cushion” so here we go again!

 
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All roads lead to Rod’s shoulders

Posted by Sarah on Mar 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

We’ve had another busy Thursday. I dropped Bill and Bridie off at school this morning and then we headed off to Frankston to see Richard Malter (flaxseed guy). We had an appointment at 10am. We walked in right on 10am and there was a lady who I have befriended on Facebook who had an appointment at 9am. Richard was running really late and Lou hadn’t even been in yet. It was lovely to meet her as she’s been reading my blog and has a big interest in kids with autism. I went to school with her cousin Michelle. (I thought I’d best put that in as I know that Michelle reads the blog!) After waiting for another hour the person behind me still hadn’t been in. We had Sensational Kids at 12.30 so I told Pauline on reception that I’d have to reschedule. Luckily for me the kindly gentleman offered to swap with us so the poor bugger had to wait for 2 hours!

Richard told me that we didn’t need to take the Neem tablets anymore but that there was still a virus that was masked by what the Neem was for. Her number that was 100 and should be 1 still has to come down considerably as it’s still at 80. The good news was that because I hadn’t noticed much of a change it meant that there was still a lot of room for improvement. He said it would have been worse if I hadn’t noticed improvement but the number had gotten as low as it could. I thought to myself that it would have been nicer still if there had been heaps of improvement and the number was still high, therefore making room for even more miraculous work. Of course I kept my gob shut at that one! Back to the flaxseed oil. I’m pretty sure that once the number has gotten to 1 that’ll be the end of our visits to flaxseed guy. I’m determined to stick it out until the end, I don’t want to try anything else until we have done everything we can. It just seems to be taking forever.

We then went off to Sensational Kids. I wasn’t in at all in Beth’s Occupational Therapy with Melinda so I’m not quite sure how she went there. Rod’s session was as entertaining as ever. Melinda came and got me and told me that Beth was already in with Rod. As I walked up the corridor Rod was bent over with Beth lying backwards over the top of him. She was already trying to climb him. I popped into the toilet only to come out hearing the words “your lumpy bits are big Rod.” Beth was feeling Rod’s muscles, trying to butter him up to carry her. It’s not the first time I’ve thought how if someone was listening at the door they’d wonder what was going on! She’s always telling him how big and strong he is.

Beth picked the pirate coin game that normally has 5 keys, you have to find the right key to open the treasure chest. She was a bit peeved that there was only 1 key but they still managed. Beth has an extraordinary memory and kept trying to get the chest open with her magic words. She used the ones used many many months ago which was abra cadabra cadabra but Rod told her it didn’t work. The point was that he was trying to get her to ask what the new magic word was. She did do this the first time and the chest was opened but then she got it wrong the second time and just kept repeating the words she thought were right. She didn’t grasp the concept of asking again and either yelled it or sang it or used the word in a funny accent. They did end up playing the game with a few twists. Rod might point to something and say “I will pick this cup up slowly.” He had will and wouldn’t written down and he pointed at Beth. She quickly picked up that this meant she had to say either “I wouldn’t pick up the cup slowly” or “You wouldn’t pick up the cup quickly.” She cottoned on well.

Rod then decided that he would get Beth to write a 3 sentence story about what they had done that session. Beth’s first sentence went like this, “First Rod wanted to pick me up to choose a game.” Well I burst out laughing! She seems to manage to get that into every conversation. The second sentence was about playing the pirate game. She kept starting the sentence with ‘2nd’ but Rod wanted her to start it with ‘then’. She didn’t seem to grasp the concept of it being a running story and did the same with the 3rd sentence, starting it with ‘3rd’. Rod and I both agreed that Beth’s spoken language was going really well and her grammar was great but writing it down was much more of a problem. I’m going to do some work with her at home with this. As we talked Beth climbed up on the table then turned around and plonked herself onto Rod’s shoulders. We got the hint!

 
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Restless leg syndrome?

Posted by Sarah on Mar 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

I had the pleasure of sharing a bed with Beth the other night. She just can’t keep still. She was lying down and tossing from one side to the other, legs flailing. I used to think that it was like she would do everything in her power to make sure that she doesn’t go to sleep.

We’ve always had problems with her sleeping. It was as if as soon as she was in a bed it meant that she didn’t have to stay in it. She’d been a good little sleeper when in the cot and still had her afternoon naps. Sometimes she would just lie there during the day without having a sleep but it still meant that I could have some good quality mummy time while she rested. Once she went into a bed it was all over. She’s been a nightmare to get to sleep ever since.

We put Beth into a bed at about 2 1/2. We wanted to do this before Bill was born as I didn’t want her being  jealous when he went into ‘her’ cot. It wouldn’t have mattered in the end cos we got Bill a new cot anyway. We tried everything to keep her in bed. We watched countless episodes of Super Nanny who made it look so easy. We would take it in turns to sit next to her bed, reading to her or just sitting there. We’d try moving the bed bit by bit every night until it would be at the doorway to the lounge. It didn’t make any difference, it wasn’t that she went to sleep when we stayed there, she’d just be wide awake and moving around all the time.

Sometimes we hit on something that seemed to work. Once I can remember giving her massages for about 15 minutes which lulled her to sleep. This worked a couple of times but then she got wise to it and fought to stay awake. The only purpose that this served was that now she expected a massage every night when she went to bed! Eventually we ended up moving Beth into our room so that we could just go to bed and sleep. She was ok if we were there. Sometimes we took it in turns to sleep in her bed and she’d be in between us in one side of our bed. Then we got a king sized bed so she just slept in the middle.

When I found out I was pregnant with Bridie we decided that enough was enough so we bought Beth a double bed. That way we could lie down next to her and fall asleep if we had to and it didn’t matter. I always hoped as she got older and learnt to read that Beth would be able to entertain herself. It didn’t necessarily matter if she was awake as long as she stayed in bed. To a large degree that has happened but it doesn’t mean that we can go to bed when she’s awake.  She loves reading books to herself and listening to music. She’s also got a tv in her room that depending what’s on we let her watch. I know that tvs in bedrooms are not meant to be a good thing but hey, whatever gets you through the night is my motto. Still to this day we take it in turns, one goes to bed and the other stays up until Beth is asleep.

There are lots of times when my sixth sense kicks in and I go in and find Beth doing something that she shouldn’t. Sometimes she’ll be under her bed or curled up in Minka’s dog bed that she’s snuck in there. Lately she’s been climbing out of the window and gathering rocks for her rock collection. They are just outside the window so she doesn’t have to go far but I still don’t want her doing it. During my shoe party last Thursday I heard her out there, she had a bloody huge piece of concrete that she couldn’t fit back through the window! I went right off. Obviously she knew I was distracted with other things so why not give it a try! Luckily Minka usually barks at these times to warn us that Beth is being Beth.

After sleeping with her the other night I made up some aromatherapy oil to rub on her legs and her back. They say that if you put certain oils on peoples feet it grounds them or settles them down so I thought I’d give it a try. I’ve used it before with varying degrees of success. She did go to sleep nice and early and last night seemed a bit calmer too although still awake until 11pm.

I went to the doctors yesterday and asked him about Restless Leg Syndrome and he told me that it’s not common in kids but that some do get it. He said that in adults they give them Parkinsons medicine which of course I wouldn’t want to try. It can be related to diet and is sometimes linked to ADD or ADHD. There was no link to autism on the site that I looked at when I got home but of course not everything has to be related to the fact that she’s autistic. It does confirm to me that our next step is to see an allergist. We need to know what Beth’s allergic to and what she can’t tolerate. If her sleeping still isn’t any better after that we can request to go to a sleep clinic and see if she really does have a problem.

We’re off back to flaxseed guy tomorrow and then on to Sensational Kids so one of our busy days again. I’ll let you know how we go. xxx

 
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A lovely birthday outing

Posted by Sarah on Mar 21, 2010 in Uncategorized


As I’m sure you can tell by the photos in this post Beth and her friends had a lovely time today. 3 of the girls arrived at our house between 10 and 10.30 this morning and off we set to the movies. Beth did the greetings at the door and the thankyou’s for the presents with a bit of prompting. She’s never too sure exactly what to do when friends are over and usually lets her guests take the lead but we weren’t home for that long this morning before we left.

It was nice talking to the girls in the car about things such as what high schools they were going to. I’m still unsure of what to do there with Beth as she does have some nice little friendships there with the kids at her school. I think I’ll have a look at Emerald High just to get a feel for it. I still prefer the idea of the autism specific school if we can get it but only if Beth is with other kids like her. She needs to still be in an education environment rather than in a life skills environment. We’ll see.

Aimee’s mum Colleen had told me that she hadn’t been well so I kept an eye on her. We also had Jessica J and Steffi in our car and were meeting Jessica S at the movies. A friend and aide at our school, Laurine had joined us also as she really wanted to see Alice in Wonderland. Beth was rapt that she joined us and it was nice for me to have company too. All started off well, we all filed in to the movies. Laurine and I sat in the 2 very back seats and the 5 girls sat directly in front of us. I doled out the drinks, popcorn and the maltesers, all brought from home to save us a fortune. Beth being Beth has no concept of being quiet in the movies so of course every once in a while I could hear the demands of “I’m thirsty” or “I want some maltesers”. Of course then I had to help her with opening her drink which had one of those stupid seals on it. Then she couldn’t open her own malteser packets. All this was done with the confusion of whether to take off my 3D glasses to see properly! After all were settled I whispered to Laurine that I was off to the loo for a second. When I came back poor old Aimee was standing at the bin with vomit all over the floor! Thank goodness Laurine took charge, vomit is one of my biggest phobias. The problem was that I didn’t have Colleen’s number. I messaged Bec who said she’d send it to me as Paul couldn’t find it on the internet white pages when I phoned him. As I walked out to call I ran into Lisa from school just walking past, what a godsend! She called Colleen for me who came to pick up Aimee early. Poor love, at least she got to watch the end of the movie though. It was fabulous, very dark, and of course when you get very dark, you get Johnny Depp at his best.

When we got out of the movies Paul was there with Bill and Bridie. They’d never forgive me if I took Bethie to Hogs Breath and they weren’t invited, they love their curly fries as much as the rest of us. It was a good setup actually, the tables only seated 6 and they were attached to the ground so couldn’t be moved. We sat outside on 2 tables, the 4 big girls on one and myself, Paul, Laurine, Bill and Bridie on the other. Beth had to do as the other girls and tell the waitress her order and we all had a very pleasant lunch. Afterwards all the girls came back to our place and had a quick play before being picked up at 3. I half wished that I had said 4, they all got into dressups with Beth (she got a much loved coloured wig from Steffi for her birthday) and played hide and seek. When Steff’s mum Karen came to pick them up they were hiding downstairs not wanting to come out. I had to go and find them and they all had a good laugh at my surprise when I found them all in the cupboard! They all seemed genuinely excited when I told them we were getting a house with a pool that they could all come over and swim in. They really are a gorgeous group of girls.

I can hear Beth in bed now, quite overloaded. Bill had a bit of a bad dream last night so Paul slept in his room. I told Bethie that she could sleep with me and she just couldn’t keep still, she was so restless. I made up an aromatherapy blend tonight to put on her legs and the bottom of her feet to ‘ground’ her but so far it doesn’t seem to be working. She’s singing away at the top of her voice. Looks like another late night for me!

 
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A very autistic day

Posted by Sarah on Mar 20, 2010 in Uncategorized

We’ve had a pretty full on day today. This morning Bill and Bridie had swimming lessons. Usually I would take Bill and Paul would bring Bridie and Beth up a little later as Bill’s lesson is at 11 but Bridie’s doesn’t start til 12. I’m not sure why we didn’t do that this morning. I wish we had! We’ve had a couple of late nights this week, Thursday night I had a shoe party which kept the kids up and mucking around a bit, then Friday we had the school disco. I took the littlies for 6 to 7.30 and then Paul took Beth from 8 til 9.30. Bethie loves these dances and literally bops til she drops. She was exhausted when she came home but for some reason still woke up at the ungodly hour of 6am this morning!

Anyway, back to swimming. Bill went in for his lesson so Beth and Bridie were in the play lane. Beth was all over the place, flinging herself in the air and backwards, without bothering whether there were people behind her or not. Often there were. She was jumping up and down and making all the noises that she does. She lay across the width of the lane, not moving when people were trying to get past at all. She was having one of those moments when it appears she is deaf and is her own little world. Problem was the moment went on the whole time! In the end I got her out with the promise of a hot chocolate from the machine in the foyer. Of course when we got out there they had run out of cups which pissed her off mightily!

We went to Bev and John’s house for lunch. Paul caught Beth drinking something from a little medicine cup that she had found. Now don’t tell me that autistic kids can’t lie. We think she had just mixed some soap and water, there’s never anything dangerous left out when Beth’s around. But the lies she told! She said that it was some chocolate that she had found on the kitchen counter, and had a very good and reasonable explanation as to how it got into her cup and why she drank it. She kept saying bye as she wanted to go home and putting her hands on her hips as if to emphasise her seriousness. I can laugh about it now but at the time it frustrated the hell out of me. When she’s like this she’s sooooo autistic!

I must say it’s been a pretty big couple of days. Yesterday was fabulous, just confirming to me what a wonderful school Menzies Creek is. One of our teachers has a lymphoma so we decided to register the school in the Worlds Greatest Shave. We ended up with the largest team in Victoria. Not bad for a little country school! We are the 7th highest fundraising team in Victoria. It was such a overwhelming feeling of community spirit. We even had a representative come out from the Leukaemia Foundation who had been watching our progress online. He was at a loss for words when he spoke of how we do a walk to school on the mornings that Rianne has her treatment, giving a gold coin donation to go towards the Leukaemia Foundation. We were all teary when Tanya spoke of what a brave and selfless person Rianne is and how loved she clearly is by the Menzies Creek team. Beth and Bridie had their hair sprayed before we went to school and I had my hair coloured for the fundraiser. Bree shaved the back of her head (and her legs which hadn’t been shaved in 15 years) and Prue shaved her whole head as did a couple of other brave mums. Bree even drew an eye on the back of Prue’s head to prove to her kids that mums do have eyes in the back of their heads! Beth decided that she wants to colour for a fundraiser next year so I think it’ll be a family effort.

We have Beth’s birthday outing tomorrow so we’re really looking forward to that one. Off to Alice in Wonderland followed by lunch at Hogs Breath, a real grown up treat. Can’t wait, will let you know how we go, hopefully with a few photos. xxx

 
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Birthday shopping

Posted by Sarah on Mar 15, 2010 in Uncategorized

It’s Beth’s birthday in a couple of weeks so I’ve been to Knox to look for birthday presents. It’s one of the only times I can spend money without feeling bad. I find it hard in a way to buy for Beth because she’s turning 11 so is wanting things other kids her age want but she is also so young for her age that I want to get her things that she will actually use. She has been asking for a charm bracelet for a while now so I decided that I would get her that for her ‘big’ present. Those bracelets that you can make up yourself are all the rage at the moment and they’re great because they don’t break easily. I picked some nice pink beads and some charms that she will love such as a little dog, a dolphin and a pink heart. A handful of beads later and the bracelet came to $61! Still, it’s in a pretty gift box and looks very special so I know she’ll like it.

I also bought some of those funny looking fluffy slippers. She’s been asking for some for ages. They had some white and some rainbow ones to choose from. Once again I had to remind myself that I was buying for Beth and I knew she would prefer the rainbow ones so that’s what I got. I also went to Toys R Us as I wanted to get her some sort of a toy that Bridie wouldn’t snaffle up as her own. I thought about a barbie but being a doll it would end up in Bridie’s dollshouse horde. I wanted to see if there were Alvin and the Chipmunk toys or G Force. I found some G Force dolls on the sale rack and got her a Hurley. They had 3 of the 4 to choose from, if they had all 4 I probably would have got them all so I hope I picked the right one. I’ll have to ask her tonight which character is her favourite again as I think it changes. I also got her some wonder pet toys, just little figurines really but she does love the little ones and reads them stories so I think she’ll like them.

It’s now nearly 1.30pm so basically there goes my day of cleaning! The plan was to be out for a little while but I did lots of wandering, checking out nose rings (I have to pluck up the courage for that one) and clothes that I can buy myself when I lose weight. I was meant to come home and have a diet shake but as I didn’t anticipate being out for as long as I was the lure of a bacon deluxe from Hungry Jacks was too tempting. I only had the burger and not the chips so it can’t be that bad for me can it? And I left the tomato and lettuce in there so really it was quite healthy!

Whilst there I went to the Village Cinemas and bought the tickets for Alice in Wonderland. Beth has chosen 3 friends to take with her to the movies and then to Hogs Breath for lunch. It’s a good movie for her because it’s a bit scary for Bill and Bridie so they don’t want to go. I told her 3 friends so that we can all go in one car so it’s quite a grown up version of a party. As the kids meals at Hogs Breath include ice cream after the meal it means we wont need to do cake and I wont be doing lolly bags either. Hopefully the girls wont be expecting any.  She’s chosen the 2 Jessicas and Stephanie from school who are just fabulous with her so I’m expecting it to be a lovely afternoon. If all goes well, we’ll be in the new house by her 12th birthday and I’ve promised her that when she turns 12 she can have a slumber party. Hopefully she’ll be over the whole ‘rolling in the mud’ by then!

 
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What a Sensational Kid I’ve got

Posted by Sarah on Mar 11, 2010 in Uncategorized

As I sit here I can hear Beth singing at the top of her voice to her Pink CD. She sounds just like any other 10 year old girl enjoying her music. She’s been getting into the groove lately. I found a list she wrote for when and if she has a friend over for a sleep over.  The list was quite varied with things to do like makeovers and watching dvds. It also had ‘rolling in the mud’. My personal favourite was ‘busting some moves’. I love her imagination and I hope that one day she’ll have the chance to do that. Maybe not the mud one though. When we’re in the new house all the kids will have their own rooms so I’ve told them  that they can have friends for sleepovers then.

We had another very successful afternoon at Sensational Kids today. One of the receptionists there is a male by the name of Dave. He’s a lovely guy and luckily has a good sense of humour. Last time we went Beth decided to call him Ernie. We all had a good laugh at this as when you have a proper look he does actually look a bit like him! The staff gave another receptionist Julie the name of Bert. This week Beth decided that he wasn’t Ernie at all and called him Hurley. I had to explain that it is because of his hair as one of the guinea pigs in the movie G-Force is called Hurley. I didn’t want him to think it was because of the guy from Lost! I must say, Beth does crack me up at times!

Beth worked well with Melinda, working on her pencil grip and then doing a picture with pins which she had excellent concentration for about 30 minutes. Melinda had ‘revved up Beths engine’ so to speak and noted how much work she got out of her so I’ll let her teacher know that perhaps every 30 minutes Beth needs to do an activity to wake her up a bit.

As usual Beth’s session with Rod was fabulous. He knows what to try with Beth to get the best out of her and today was no exception. It’s usually something old mixed in with something knew so that it’s a bit unexpected, that’s when you get the good stuff from Beth, when she doesn’t know what’s coming. Today we got her old favourite Hullabaloo out of the cupboard, picked by Beth, and the card match up game again picked by Rod. Before we could play Hullabaloo the usual way Rod wanted to use the game to his advantage. He opened the box of matching cards and spread the Hullabaloo pads out all over the floor. Usually it has an electronic voice telling you which pads to move to. There may be 3 square ones, 3 food ones, 3 musical instruments. Also about 3 of each colour, so there’s always more than one option to choose from. At the end if you’re on the pad that is named you get to do a victory dance. Of course Beth does this even if she doesn’t win. I must admit there is great satisfaction in doing the victory dance or the monkey dance if I win so I get it!

The difference in todays session is that Rod decided to instruct Beth with actions rather than words. He would point to a cranium pad and at the box of cards. Beth cottoned on amazingly well that this meant that he wanted her to put these cards on the pads indicated. Rod would do something like move his arms back and forth rapidly and Beth would guess that she had to find something that went fast. She had to find something wavy, something red, something that was smelly, all sorts of things. I was so impressed with her. When Rod asked for something big she took it that one step further and said she could find something massive.

It was more difficult when the tables were turned the other way but Beth got the picture eventually. Rod wanted her to let him know which cards he had to put back in the box without her talking. She did cheat a bit by making noises like a moo for the cow but she still understood that no words could take place and gave it her best shot. It was such a good session, almost like if you take one thing away it makes way for the concentration levels to be higher. Beth had to use her eyes and really think about what was required and she was 100% focussed and there. Both Rod and I agreed when I told her that her engine level had been ‘just right.’ Once the hard game was over Beth got to play hullabaloo the proper way and do the victory dance even though she didn’t win.  And of course the big reward, being carried on Rods shoulders and tossed into the ball pit, that one never changes cos that’s the one Beth asks for all the time.

 
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Confusing? – Not to Beth

Posted by Sarah on Mar 7, 2010 in Uncategorized

For many years I wouldn’t let Beth touch the dvds and cds because she had no respect for things, scratching them or breaking them when using them for things other than what they’re meant for. She never understood why if she broke something we couldn’t just replace it, still doesn’t in a way. I even had to cut a dvd off of her finger once cos she had pulled it down right over her knuckle!

Over the last year though she’s starting to understand better and she rubs the dvds before putting them in the player, and always puts them back in the case. The problem is that she puts them into the wrong cases! She was looking for Ice Age 3 yesterday. I asked her to look for the case. Her response “but Shrek is in the Ice Age 3 case.” “Where is Ice Age 3 then, in the Shrek case?” I asked. “No, Ice Age 3 is in the High School Musical 3 case.” Der Mum! I should have known. And on it went, HSM3 was in the Powerpuff Girls case, you get where I’m going here? What she does is to go up to the dvd player with the case with the right movie in it. She’ll then take the old one out and put it in the case that she’s taken the new one out of. She knows exactly where all of them are because she’s put them there in the first place. It all makes perfect sense to her, just not to anybody else in the house! I think it all goes back to the sense that she thinks we can all read her mind so we should know where they are. She’s rather scornful when we don’t get that Shrek clearly wouldn’t be in the Shrek case. After all, why would it be when she had watched Ice Age 3 beforehand. How dumb am I! I think it’s time to buy one of those big cases where you take them all out of their hard cases and put them all together. It sure would save a lot of room too.

I’ve noticed over the last few days that Beth’s language has been better, she’s been using more words to get her point across. For example if she doesn’t want something else to eat, instead of just saying no she’ll say something like “not just at the moment thanks” or “No thankyou, I don’t want anything else.” She even pre-empts what you’re going to ask such as on our pizza night on Thursday. She saw that I was going to ask if she wanted anything else so she jumped in with “I don’t want any more chips, or pizza, or drink thankyou.”

This confidence with words has also brought with it a bit of an attitude. When Paul went to check on her last night in her room she looked at him and asked “What do you want?” When he said he wanted to say goodnight she answered with “You can go now then.” Now for those of you who know Beth you know that she’s not a mean girl or usually a rude girl. She wasn’t saying it to be horrible, she just wanted to be left alone. I’m sure that most of you who are reading are doing so because you know somebody yourself who has autism. They just say what they mean. You have to have a thick skin to be a parent to an autistic child because they can be blunt and downright hurtful. This doesn’t mean that they don’t care or want to hurt your feelings, it’s just the way they are. It can be quite embarassing at times but also quite hilarious. At times I feel like if I don’t laugh then I’ll burst out crying so laughter has to be the best option. I’ve done the other and believe me, it’s hard to stop.

I’ve had an email from a lady called Brita who asked me to put a link here for her program called Fast Forward. I have heard of this which is a type of Early Intervention Program. They are doing a seminar called Building Brains for Learning and can be accessed by people with or without FaHCSIA funding. I told her I would be happy to do this, anything that I can help get out there that would be of benefit to families such as ours is a no brainer. I was also happy to get an email from an obviously professional organisation that I had heard of. This means that people that I don’t know are reading my blog! Yay! So here it is (hope it works!)

http://www.fastforword.com.au/Content_Common/pg-Fast-ForWord-and-Autism.seo

and here is a link to their seminars page

http://www.fastforword.com.au/seminars2010

 
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Nothing much going on

Posted by Sarah on Mar 2, 2010 in Uncategorized

Hello all, sorry that’s it’s been a while but we’ve had a pretty non eventful week.  The weekend was nice, we took the kids swimming on Saturday for Bill and Bridie’s lessons then on Sunday we all went to the Billy Cart Races in Upwey and then back for lunch to Bev and John’s.

Monday Jen and I did another talk on autism. This one didn’t go for as long as the one at the swimming pool, it only went for about an hour. We both enjoyed it, there were lots of professionals there this time and we only knew one person so a whole different ballgame. I have noticed that the people that are there to listen really seem to enjoy hearing the parent’s perspective on autism, also to a certain extent the children’s perspective as seen through our eyes. I’d like to do more, maybe at schools for the aides so we’ll see what happens in the future. We didn’t end up going swimming that night because I forgot to take Beth’s bathers with me to school! I had received a call from the pool to say that somebody else would be taking her as Caprice was ill which was fine, so I just told Beth that Caprice was sick and forgot the rest!

Tuesday the HAGS mums all went to Clare’s new house. She has moved away from us, all the way to Blackburn. It’s very sad as she’s a founding member of the HAGS and probably the one that makes me laugh the most. It  only took us 1/2 an hour to get there so it’s not too far. We’ve decided to go to Daylesford for our night away this year, we’re going to rent a house overnight and book some well earned pamper packages for us. Last year the Bendigo Bank kindly donated $200 for our night away so I’ll have to see if I can get them to agree to it again. We don’t do it often, in fact last year was the first time I’d been away overnight with my friends since we had the kids so we do enjoy it while we can.

I did have some good news on the way home. We had been to VCAT to appeal the denial of our local council to let us build next door to Bev and John. This was overturned so now we can divide the land up and start building. I’ve never had a new house before and have lived in ‘renovators delights’ since I bought my first house 20 odd years ago. I’ve been sorting through all of my crap and purging, it feels great! I’ve decided that if it’s not worthy of my new house then it’s not going with me. Most of our crockery was mine when I moved out of home. We still have towels that were wedding presents 13 years ago. I’ve started a glory box for the new house, if I don’t love what I’m taking then it’s not coming with me. I wonder if it’d be considered rude to have a gift registry for a house warming party! The kids are so excited that we’ll have a pool too so it’ll be a whole new start for all of us.

Beth is doing better than expected taking her Neem capsules, she swallows them down with no problems at all. We do however keep losing the magnets! Each time we go to see Richard he asks if we need any and each time I take 4. We usually lose 3 really quickly and then end up with 1 for 2 or 3 weeks. There must be some sort of magnet monster who takes them. My dad has a theory that for each sock you lose you find another wire coathanger hanging in your wardrobe. Maybe that applies in this case too!

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