Up and down

Posted by Sarah on Apr 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

Beth’s had a restless few days. Monday night she was still wide awake after 11 when Paul finally went to bed. Tuesday I decided that we’d cut out icecream after dinner. It’s getting cooler now anyway so it’s not a big hardship. Bridie is the main one to talk around as she does love her desserts. We had apple crumble last night but she’s just as happy with a bowl of custard so we should get by with that. My friend Bree told me that ice cream gave her restless legs so I thought I’d try cutting it out and seeing if it made any difference. I’ve also told them that bedtime snacks will no longer have any chocolate. The last of the freddos were eaten last night. Once again this has not gone down well with Brides! I bought some apricot and pear treats that Bill and Beth love so she’ll just have to get used to them.

Beth went to sleep pretty well on Tuesday night, still about 10.30 but not getting up all the time. I did rub some soothing oil on her and went in each time I heard her starting to get a bit rowdy. I think it’s a man thing but Paul doesn’t seem to hear her if she’s bouncing around or making noise. I think after years of listening to me nag he has learnt to tune things out! I try to put a stop to Beth escalating and she seems to have an easier night of it. I went to sleep really early last night so don’t know how she went going to sleep. She did however get up and go out the front door which alarmed me as it was 3am. You’d think that after going to sleep after 11 she’d be exhausted and sleep all night wouldn’t you? That’s the thing, sometimes she has come into our room to go through to the toilet at 2 or 3 o’clock, wide awake. Unless I’m with her I can’t tell how much sleep she’s actually getting. I’ve asked the doctors time and time again but there doesn’t seem to be much we can do about it. I’m off to see Mark next week for a script for Beth’s Lovan (anti anxiety) so will ask him again about it.

Beth’s been so moody lately and I’m not sure if it’s because she’s so tired or because she’s started to go through puberty. My friend Clare told me that she’s heard that if you chart a girl’s moods they can be in a regular pattern for up to a year before their period starts. I’m fully aware (I wish I could say prepared) that Beth probably will get her period this year as she has hair and boobs. Whenever I try to talk to her about it however she puts up her wall and stubbornly insists that she wants to be a powerpuff girl, her version of not growing up. A bit like Michael Jackson’s Peter Pan I guess!

I got my notes from our PSG, or SSG as it seems to be called now. (Student Support Group.) It’s good to see it in writing actually, it outlines Beth’s background, and any issues that school or myself have. It then details how we are going to deal with those issues. I had concerns about lunchtime being so long as Beth gets easily bored and tends to wander. There are lunchtime activities being started by the grade 6 captains and somebody would be allocated to go and get Beth and get her involved. We discussed modified homework for Beth as she does find this difficult. We agreed that she needed to do some of this though as it is important that she has something to contribute to class discussions. This was all in the report and I think we were all pleased with the outcome.


A pretty good weekend

Posted by Sarah on Apr 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

We’ve had a good weekend so far. Saturday I took Bridie and Bill to a party so Bethie stayed home with Paul. He usually does sailing on Saturdays but it was too windy to go which was a big help to me. The party was at one of those big slide places which Beth will either not go up or will get to the top and change her mind. It was good not to have to take her with me.

Yesterday (Sunday) was Anzac Day. We had a tribute to Anzac Day at assembly on Friday which always brings me to tears. The grade 5’s did a rendition of He’s My Brother at the front of assembly along with pictures projected onto a wall. It was so moving, as too was the bugle being played by Michaela’s husband Paul. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house. Today is the public holiday in lieu of Anzac Day so Paul has gone sailing and I’ve declared it pyjama day for the kids.

On Sunday we went to the new adventure park in Belgrave. Wow, it was fabulous. It’s like a big treetop obstacle course with courses ranging in age appropriateness and difficulty. It just opened this week so we invited Amanda, Geoff, Lachlan, Guy and Will along. The youngest had to be 5 so we just got in as Bridie and Will are both 5. It’s run by some rather handsome french men who are like monkeys as they go through the courses saving the kids if they are left hanging. They probably would have saved the mums too but not with such grace!

Firstly we all had to get a harness on, and helmets and gloves. Each obstacle course has 7 or 8 different things to do on it, ranging from flying foxes to wobbly bridges and you are clipped on to the ropes that surround them. They are about 2 or 3 metres off the ground for the easiest course so it’s quite scary when you start off. I had in my mind that the beginners one wouldn’t be too far off the ground at all but I was wrong. I was so proud of Bridie and Bill as it was so high up for them but they managed to do it. Bridie got a little teary but worked through it and was so proud of herself. Bill was quite scared by one bit too but he loved it and wanted to do the older kids courses too.  A couple of times on the flying fox the kids would get all the way then slide back to the middle. The staff were there in a jiffy to save them. Bridie cottoned on to this after the first time and, although she could make it to the end, the second time around she let go so she could be rescued! (Don’t know where she gets it from.) Beth unfortunately climbed up at the first bit and changed her mind so Paul and I had to take it in turns to be on the ground with her and in the trees with the others. She spent most of this time whinging that she wanted to go home or go to the toilet or anything else to get her out of doing what we were. It was such a shame as she does this sometimes and I feel like shaking her to tell her that we’re trying to do something nice as a family, hoping that she’d enjoy it. She was really argumentative too. Paul must have told her to shut up at some stage as I heard her wailing “no, open down Beth, open down!” Oh well, at least she knows her opposites!

The central station looked like the house from Swiss Family Robinson as Amanda pointed out. They have done such a good job as there were round platforms to land on with steps. While we were on the lower ones I saw Amanda and Lachlan whizzing by above us. It was a real island paradise in the forests of Belgrave. Amanda and I decided that it would make a great mums day out so we’re going to organise it as a HAGS fundraiser. I think I’m quite an adrenaline junkie!

Afterwards we went to Flippin’ Pancakes in Sassafras for afternoon tea / early dinner. All in all it was a good day. I would have hated not to have taken Beth with us as if she’d tried it she probably would have actually loved it. Now I would be ok with taking the other kids because at least we could give her a choice and she’d know what she was saying no to. I think it’s important to try them with everything that you can and they are very accomodating with special needs kids. On the other end of the scale, Lachlan seemed to have found something that he absolutely loved so of course it can go both ways.


A forum added

Posted by Sarah on Apr 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

Hi folks, just a quickie. My lovely friend Paul has added a forum to the blog so that people can share ideas or ask questions, whatever they like really. I haven’t put a forum section on the blog yet (as I don’t do any of the technical mumbo jumbo I have no idea how) so I’ll put a link here so that you can make a start.  Anyway, if you’re a subscriber then you wouldn’t look directly at the blog itself, therefore not seeing it. I’ll do it in the fancy way that I can by highlighting it (thanks again Paul!) It’s www.autisticchildren.com.au/forum or if you prefer – forum!

Enjoy xxx


A quick Saturday post

Posted by Sarah on Apr 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

Just thought I’d pop a post on here while the kids are busy watching a dvd.

Beth’s been quite up and down again this week. We had a huge fight on Wednesday over the fact that she had watched a dvd when we got home and just went to put another on. I explained that no, she had watched one already and she could play on the computer after dinner so she’d have to do something else to entertain herself. Well it escalated into her flinging herself around and actually scratching herself, something she’s never done before. I ended up banning her from the computer for the evening. This is fairly drastic in our house as I try not to punish with things that make my life more difficult but it had to be something that she actually cared about. Once the Simpsons came on at 6 she calmed down and coped ok with reading and playing after dinner but the whole incident left me actually shaking. It really reinforces the fact that you need to pick your battles because they have to be worth it.

Thursday we had Sensational Kids. Melinda (OT) is leaving so it was our last session with her. There is a new OT called Kate who is starting in a month so we’ll see how we go with her. I really believe that if we couldn’t claim this under the Mental Health scheme through Medicare then we probably wouldn’t bother with OT as I don’t see much improvement on that count. Speech however is a different matter as I’m constantly seeing advances with each session. Beth was a bit scatty in speech but we still had a good response. Rod knows how to perk Beth up and can read her well. They ended up playing Hullaballoo, an old favourite of Beth’s. Rod got lots out of Beth with playing rough and tumble with her, taking the cranium pads away and almost wrestling with her, she loves this and it speeds up her response times and alertness. I’m looking forward to how the alert / how does your engine run suggestions for the classroom go as I think that once Beth knows what level she is on she can self correct, therefore keeping her in a ‘just right’ frame of mind.

Rod told me that somebody started at Sensational Kids last week and when he asked where they had heard about them they said they had read it on here! Yay, I’m so pleased that I could (hopefully) help somebody out as I find them amazing. He also told me that they are talking about opening up a new Sensational Kids somewhere over this way. He said that he would probably work between the 2 which would be good for us as I wouldn’t want to change therapists but would love it to be closer to home.

Beth ran off this morning. We didn’t realise until I heard the front door slam and in she came. I asked where she had been and she said she had taken Minka out. I was so cross as Minka never goes out the front to toilet but out the back door and Beth knows this. Luckily there was no traffic around as she was across the road when I found her. You just can’t let your guard down for a moment. Beth has barely done that at all in the 4 years we’ve lived here but just lately she’s been doing the odd thing here and there. I know she knows that it’s the wrong thing as she often announces herself after it’s done and that pisses me off even more. I don’t know what it is, the treatments, puberty, or just pushing the boundaries. I remember early on being told that the preschool years are awful (which they were), then they settle down in primary school, only to get bad again during the teenage years. I must remind myself not to get too complacant as those years are fast approaching. Cyclone Beth is gearing up peoples, brace yourselves!


An evening with Donna

Posted by Sarah on Apr 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

I went to an evening talk by Donna Williams at the church in Emerald last night. It was a free evening followed by supper. There were a few familiar faces which made me realise how big my circle of people has become all because of the fact that my daughter has autism. Bec came along as did Margaret from our hags group and there were several others that are on the hags mailing list but who often don’t come to meetings or dinner due to work / family or other commitments. Two of our aides from school were also there. I went with Laurine as I was a bit worried about driving up the hill to Emerald in the dark and Shelley came along too and met us there. There was our after school coordinator Jenny and two of the ladies from the occasional care room at Selby Community House. It’s always heartening to see people who no matter how big or small a part, have something to do with an autistic child and want to learn more. It was lovely to catch up with everybody afterwards too.

Donna is such a complex and interesting person to me. I interviewed her earlier in my blog and I find her fascinating. One of the things that dawned on me last night is how very different everybody is from each other. Donna has said how well Beth is doing and how much more socialised she is in comparison to Donna at the same age. I often think about how capable and able Donna is, she’s married, she can drive a car. Then there are strengths that Beth has that Donna hasn’t. Donna has told me how she often has no concept of time and will only realise it is time to eat when her husband is cooking or eating. Beth has no problems with this and often will ask for breakfast if I am on the computer or still in bed. Beth also has an amazing inner clock and knows when something such as the school bell is about to happen. I didn’t realise how well she can tell the time until we were running late for swimming on Monday and looked at the clock and said “it’s 3.30 mum.” She’s never commented on the time before and I was surprised that she knew that in fact that was when her lesson was about to start.

It got me thinking. Donna talks about the ‘fruit salad’ of autism with all the different fruits being some part or condition associated with autism. Somebody could have face blindness and social anxiety and dyspraxia. Somebody else could have tourettes and adhd and gluten and casien intolerance. Donna had a very different upbringing than Beth has had. And even if the upbringing was the same, the fruit salad was the same, even the star sign was the same they are still different people with different personalities. I don’t assume that I am like my friend because we are not autistic so why should people assume that all autistic people think and feel the same. It did give me a lot to think about.

I had my first psg for the year this morning and I think it went really well. I had been a tad concerned about Beth seeming to be wandering aimlessly at times that I had shown up to school but Meredith explained to me that as Beth is now in grade 5 the expectation for her to make her way back to class by herself was there. When she has stretched the rules as Beth does she had then been told to stay in during playtime. Beth hadn’t liked this and had had one of her whiney fits but Meredith had stuck to her guns and the next lunchtime Beth was back in straight away. Meredith wanted to run by what strategies I would use and how firm to be with Beth. I have found from experience that the softer somebody is with Beth the more she’ll walk all over them so I was pleased that they were doing as they were.

Tanya asked me about any strategies that I could bring to the table and I gave Meredith a catalogue from the place where I got Beth’s conversation cards and magnetic barrier game. I explained that the cards were conversation starters as Beth’s conversations usually start with “What’s your favourite movie?” followed by “Who’s your favourite character?” Once she has the answers she runs through the hundreds of movies she knows and asks about them too. Sometimes she’ll branch out to “What’s your favourite part?” or shares who her favourite character is. These cards help to broaden the language. I also suggested getting the strategies for the ‘how does your engine run’ program that we’re starting to implement. Meredith said that Beth is starting to know when she’s running low or sluggish and when she’s just right. We need to now have some strategies from Sensational Kids to speed her up or slow her down.

Francoise was in the meeting also and asked about Beth not sitting still or putting her feet down. I suggested one of those rubber flat ball things that they move with their feet or some sheepskin. Also some tactile toys for Beth’s hands. I was very pleased as all at the meeting took what I said and are more than happy to implement the suggestions that I made. Tanya did ask me about respecting other’s property, bringing up the fact that Beth had cut somebodies hair ribbon in half. I did tell her that I really have no answer for that one as we have the same problem at home. I wish I did have the answer. Unfortunately often this seems to be quite common in autistic kids. In Beth it seems to just trigger her “Oops, sorry” response. If anybody has any suggestions, please feel free to share.


A few good days

Posted by Sarah on Apr 20, 2010 in Uncategorized

We’ve had a fairly quiet few days. Sunday I went to another shoe party so Paul took the kids to Knox to spend their pocket money. Bridie bought one of those dogs that come with a carry case and a grooming kit so we’ve been playing that ever since. Bill got a game for his playstation from the second hand shop. Beth picked a Wonderpets dvd. The older Bridie gets the younger Beth appears at times. Bridie has watched it with her a couple of times but she is so aware of what’s cool these days for 5 year olds and what’s not. Bridie’s still into Dora but I’m sure that wont last for much longer. Beth on the other hand likes what she likes and is oblivious to other’s opinions. I love that about her.

We had a HAGS meeting yesterday and a new mum came along who has a daughter with aspergers and is in grade 1. It’s more and more clear to me as time goes on the difference between autism and aspergers. Things that asperger kids are aware of and have issues with just aren’t there for Beth. Of course I would like it if she were more aware of things and if she had ambitions but at the same time I love her carefree nature and the fact that although she knows she is different she doesn’t have any hangups about it.

We discussed yesterday about the need for getting onto our local politician about the need for a high school for our higher functioning kids with autism. While there is talk of the Ferntree Gully College site being a primary school / high school for autistic kids it doesn’t show any signs of having any work done to it at all. They also have no idea whether they will be catering for kids with an above 70 iq. As this is becoming more and more common with kids with autism there seems to be a middle of the road solution missing. Primary school is fine if our kids can go aided but high school is a whole different kettle of fish. Many of these kids would not cope at all in high school but there seems to be no alternative for them. While I have seriously considered the option of home schooling, many people don’t have that luxury as they have to work. We’ll go to the local papers also, hopefully something will be done but I’m not holding my breath.

Beth had swimming lessons last night and went really well. She seems to be really learning now and did some lovely back stroke for Caprice last night. She had a rough nights sleep though and woke up this morning with a huge blood nose. She came in at 6am saying she was bleeding and I wondered for a moment if the dreaded period had reared it’s ugly head already. It was quite bad and she had to shower and I’ve had to throw out her pillow. It’s been happening a bit lately. She used to have lots of problems with blood noses and just when we got to the stage that the doctor was going to do something about it, they stopped. Hopefully it’s not going to happen too often.

I’m off to a talk by Donna Williams tonight. I’m quite looking forward to it as it’s always good to hear people in the know speak of autism. I’ve heard her talk before and often marvel at how well she is doing compared to her descriptions of herself as a child. She has even told me that Beth is so much more socialised and communicative that she ever was at the same age, giving me such hope that if she – Donna can overcome (or perhaps cope with) her autism so well, maybe so can Beth.


My kids are driving me mental

Posted by Sarah on Apr 17, 2010 in Uncategorized

Paul has taken up sailing on a Saturday so it’s me and the kids. This means I have to take Beth to Bill and Bridie’s swimming lessons which span over 1 and a half hours. Paul isn’t home yet, he’s usually in the door about 8, not quite the 4ish, 5ish that’s promised but then I didn’t expect that anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for Paul to have something that he loves doing and he used to sail all the time before we were married. It’s just that Saturday is such a dreadful day for it. Both the younger ones have had issues with new teachers at the pool and they’re now settled nicely into their classes so I am loathe to change them to an evening class.

I can handle the pool stuff, Beth can either get in and have a play or she can sit and play on her electronic babysitter, the wonderful DSi, as she did today. But next week Bridie has a party to go to and I’m torn between trying to get somebody else to take her or taking all 3 kids to a playcentre. It sounds awful but Beth is such a pain in the arse at places like that. She’s oblivious to the other kids and goes on her merry way, taking things that she wants, even if others are playing with it, or leaping about with merry abandon not realising that others are where her arms are going. I think it’s one with a big slide which she’s not so keen on so at least she wont be clambering over others to get to the top. It’s just me that has these issues, Beth couldn’t care less at the looks the other kids give her but they always make me feel sick. Still I’ll wait and see what happens I guess.

Since we’ve been home it’s like my kids have been on speed. Bridie is a challenging child at the best of times and has been on me all afternoon wanting me to constantly do things with her. Beth has been on the computer for a lot of it but when I dared to go on for 5 minutes to check something out she basically ran up and down the room asking me if it was her turn yet. She was like a dog at a fence when somebody walks by, almost salivating at the thought of getting back on the computer! They’re watching a movie now but just before hand she got it into her head to say in a funny voice “Hello, I’m Ranger Tim.” Well stupid me laughed at her and asked her where she got it from. It’s from some show on Go, but I swear she did it at least 30 times after that. Not only does she say it but then she asks me to repeat it, saying “what did I say Mum” over and over. In the end I yelled “enough with the Ranger Tim Beth” to which she smiled to herself and walked away. Tick, pissed mum off, job done!

Bill’s pretty easy though him and Bridie have been fighting all afternoon. He has got a dreadful habit of telling me exactly what’s happening in the tv show he just happens to be watching though. Then of course he misses the bit that he’s talking through. Sometimes I am even watching the same show and I have to let him know. He does this in the car especially. When driving home from Will’s the other night it was dark so I was a bit on edge as I hate driving in the dark. Bill just kept talking about utter crap. Example : I wonder what Santa Clause is doing right now. or : What do you think we would name a bear if we had one? or : do you think one day you’ll be on tv? (I didn’t mind that last one!) In the end I just had to tell him that he didn’t have to talk ALL the time, it was ok to have silences sometimes.

I had my art class Friday morning which as usual I loved. Tiff is a great teacher so I’m going to put a link to her blog on her name seeing as I’ve now been taught how to do this! Tiff, Bree and Prue suggested that I go over how Flaxseed Guy came about as if I’ve got new readers they hear me talking about him but don’t know the origin. So here it is.

Richard Malter is a practitioner called (I think) a relflexologist who works in Frankston in conjunction with a Naturopath called Alan. He was suggested to me by a friend who had heard that he had worked with varying success on autistic people. I took Beth along and he told me that she had mercury in her brain. We started her on cilantro drops which is called chellation and we saw obvious improvement in her communication. Along with the drops was little magnets that are on bandaids that go in a particular spot depending on which area is being detoxed. With the chellation as it was in the brain it was on the tips of the middle fingers. Once the mercury was gone we then found that there was a virus in Beth’s brain, like a dormant herpes virus. She also had this in her tummy. Flaxseed oil is what is used to treat this, hence the name flaxseed guy! We have been using this to get rid of the brain virus and at one stage the tummy virus which required the magnets to be on the tummy. We then did some more cilantro as there is a figure that has slowly been going down that signifies damage still being done to the brain, this should be at 1 but at last count was at 80. This meant that something else was going on and other metals were found. They in turn masked a type of influenza virus, also dormant so now we’re back to the flaxseed. This time round we’ve found more improvement again, probably the first lot since the first chellation started. It’s a long and drawn out process and our next stop is an allergist. I’m a big believer of finishing what we started and I think we’re nearly there. Richard will then give me a report to take on to the DAN (Defeat Autism Now) practitioner who is an allergist, so we don’t double up. Confused? I used to be but now I’m not so sure! (haha, copyright to Clare Bear on that one!)


Wired big time

Posted by Sarah on Apr 15, 2010 in Uncategorized

Beth has been so hyper this week. Big time. I’m hoping it’s the latest virus coming out of her as when we first started this flaxseed oil treatment all those months ago she was like it too. We had seen huge improvements during that phase as far as communication was concerned but her behaviour was almost out of control. It’s the same this time. She’s (in my opinion anyway) communicating really well and very alert but a bit of a nightmare at other times.

We had swimming on Monday night which she enjoyed. She had Bridie’s teacher Sarah this week because Caprice was away but it didn’t bother her and she worked well. She did start making some awful noises that she does occasionally, an awful croupy cough sound from the back of her throat. It sounds dreadful when we’re there because there’s a real echo because of course public pools are so big. And the time that she has her lesson there’s only usually 3 or 4 people there at the beginning as it’s before school ends, so it’s even more echoey than usual. I cringe when she does this noise cos I think that people will hear it and think what an awful mum I must be to send such a sick child to swimming of all things. Luckily she stopped pretty soon.

Tuesday night we had friends over for dinner and I let Bill play on the computer after they left. Well this just wasn’t on as far as Beth was concerned. She went right off on one of her doozys of a tantrum, saying what she thought we should be saying. Bad mother here finds myself argueing back sometimes even though I know it makes no difference. I tried to explain how she always gets to play on the computer and that it was Bill’s turn tonight etc etc. When she tried to argue the point I was so over it that I just turned around and said “Too bad, you can’t play on it all the time Beth.” To which she of course replied “Too good Beth, you can play in a minute!” I shouldn’t have bitten back but sometimes I just can’t help myself. She got more and more frantic with me offering to read to her amongst other things and every answer she gave ending in “and then I can play on the computer.” In the end I got some massage oil out and lay her on our bed. It’s the one that I made up for helping her to get to sleep but it didn’t work that night. It did however calm her down and we read books until bedtime. I hate it when she gets like that. It’s so hard at times too because of course we’ve got other kids wanting things too. Bridie cracked it because I wasn’t massaging her too and Bill might just interrupt in the middle of the tantrum to ask for a drink! I guess they’re so used to her being like that that their lives still have to go on. And of course when you’re young you think the whole world evolves around you.

Bedtime came not soon enough and I settled in for what was a fairly uneventful evening. The only problem was that Beth just wasn’t going to sleep. I thought that we’d get a few weeks in after daylight savings ended, that we would get a few earlier nights but no, if anything Beth is going to sleep even later. At 11 I went to bed only to hear her light switch on again. When I went it she stated that she had to read one more book and started to get a bit frenzied when I told her that no, she couldn’t, it was 11pm. Of course time doesn’t seem to mean much to Beth but she did know it was late. In the end I told her that if I heard or saw her turn the light on again then she wouldn’t be able to play on the computer the next night either. That shut her up! Thank goodness.

Last night we had Will over for a play and dinner and seemed to be a pretty good night with Beth though I went to bed and Paul stayed up so I’m not sure what time she went to sleep. It’s my turn tonight. I’m not very happy because Medium isn’t on so it’s thrown me for tonights viewing!

Dropping Beth off at school this morning wasn’t smooth sailing either. She’s always had a thing about going to the toilet as soon as the bell rings but lately she’s been coming around to the prep building with a quivering chin looking for me. When I come out she wails at me “Muuuuuum, I need to go to the toilet.” Once or twice last year it had been locked but it hasn’t been lately. I’ll have to talk to her teacher about it and try and knock it on the head, otherwise it’ll get bigger and bigger. She’s done this every morning this week. I don’t know why because I just say “Go on then, it’s open” and off she goes. When one of the other mums laughed and said “oh that’s ok, she’s just checking with you” I replied with “No it’s bloody not, where’s her independance!” She’s quite capable of going to the toilet by herself, she’s 11 for goodness sakes. Luckily I can laugh about it now!

On a positive note to my day I just received a $50 cheque in the mail for the That’s Life letter that was published about my blog. At least now I can say that I’m a paid writer!


Oops, sorry

Posted by Sarah on Apr 12, 2010 in Uncategorized

I don’t know about the rest of you who have autistic kids but my experience with Beth is that she has no concept of respecting other people’s property. She feels the need to play or chew with something constantly so will have whatever is nearby to do this with, often breaking it in her absent mindedness. I know when she’s done this because she’ll say “ooops, sorry” straight after as if that makes it all ok. She’s not selective to who’s things she’s playing with, she’ll do it to her own stuff too. 

Beth and Bridie both bought those flashing thingys from the school disco. You know, they’re rubber and have spikes all over them. In this case they were in the shape of an animal, they’re filled with air and have the flashing thing inside them. They also have a little loop so that you can tie something on to them to hang them up or to hold onto with your finger. The problem is that Beth seems to liken these to a plug. Or a chew toy. Either way within a very short time Beth has either taken the plug out of the animal or chewed it so that it’s popped. She did this to her own one and I tried and tried to keep Bridie’s away from her but of course I can’t keep an eye on her ALL the time. I didn’t realise til she had stretched the empty animal over her foot and decided it was a slipper. The kids know what she’s like and to keep their things away from her and I do feel so bad for them at times. It’s really not fair this autism thing. Why does Beth want to ruin things all the time, only to say “oops, sorry” and think that makes it ok. If it does happen to be something that she likes she then cracks the shits with me because I can’t just fix it or go and get another one.

I remember being a little shit as a kid too mind you! I was compelled to do things, just to see what would happen. In class one day in about grade 1 a girl tied her shoelaces together. The teacher took ages to untie them and told the rest of us to make sure we didn’t do it too. Well that was like a red rag to a bull, I just had to try it then! Maybe I could get my knots out better than the other girl. Of course I couldn’t and got into trouble for being so stupid. I used to play vets with my sister’s dog Patchie, even using drawing pins as needles. I ended up at the doctors once because I tried to shave my face. Dry. The thing was that I bled but I just kept going, it hadn’t started hurting yet. Sometimes I just couldn’t help myself. So sometimes I look at Beth and I get it. Sometimes you do have to pour the can of soft drink (or as we call it – bubble juice) out just to watch it bubble and hiss. Or spray the stuff in the bathroom to see what happens. Or draw over the wall, after all it is a big blank canvas. I mean really, the question should be ‘why not!”

At times like this I berate myself for letting the house be messy, for leaving the pens and the sprays around so that she can get into them. I know that she does these things yet sometimes I fool myself in thinking that she’s grown out of it. She doesn’t do these things as often as she used to, I’ll grant you that, but she still does them. And really, in real life these things are around the house. And if I make this a sterile environment with nothing to tell her not to do, she’ll just do these things at somebody elses house. There’s a fine line between making my life easier by having a Beth free zone and wanting the normalcy of visiting peoples houses without constantly worrying what Beth’s into. We’re very lucky, we’ve got some good friends and family who will put anything breakable away saying that it serves them right if they forget and it gets broken. We’ve even joked that if there’s anything they hate that has been given to them to leave it out, Beth’ll take care of it for them! Still, it’s incredibly frustrating at times, sometimes I’ll look at her and say “Beth, you’re 11 now, you need to stop doing these things. Are you a baby still?” To which she of course answers “no mum, I’m not a baby, I’m 11.” Very matter of fact.

Oh well, at least she’s learning to say sorry. And she does have empathy. She does say sorry to the appropriate person. If she sees Bridie crying for some reason she’s very concerned, asking her if she’s ok. Some kids wont even do that. So, frustrating as my gorgeous girl may be I’m still incredibly grateful for her. She’s a nice girl. And I’ve met some horrible kids with no disability that are vile! Give me my Bethie over them any day.


Got the house to myself – woohoo!

Posted by Sarah on Apr 9, 2010 in Uncategorized

Paul’s taken the kids to the museum – by himself! What a brave man. It’s so nice to have the house to myself. I know that the kids will be back at school next week and all will be quiet but it’s still a nice surprise when you’re not expecting it.

I took the girls for a haircut this morning. Beth likes her hair to be really short. I’ve tried to get them to keep some girliness in there but she makes them cut it all off. I suggested that they left the sideburny bits this morning. Beth looked at them and told them that they had missed a bit so they had to cut them too. This morning madam decided that she wanted them to wash it too, something that she’d never had done before. She sat like a cat purring while her head was massaged, she loved it so much! Let’s face it, who doesn’t love their head being massaged. Of course this meant that Bridie had to have her hair washed and dried too. They were very good at the hairdressers, still only charging me for the cuts.

I’ve got the afternoon free now so just thought I’d pop a quickie in while the troups were away. Unfortunately I think I’ll spend most of it tidying this pigsty that is even worse than usual in school holidays. And I stupidly bought a tin of anzac biscuits – because I liked the tin. I feel sick now! Have a good weekend everybody if I don’t speak to you beforehand. Roll on Monday!

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