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Are we there yet?

Posted by Sarah on Jun 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

Is it nearly the end of the holidays? No, it’s Wednesday of week one and I’m already over them. I must admit that it’s been a busy few days so far. We had a party at the pool yesterday and friends over today. Tomorrow is Sensational Kids and Friday Bridie has a playdate. And that’s just this week.

Beth went to a pool party yesterday. It was about 1/2 an hour away so I offered to meet them there and help out with Beth. I didn’t realise how long they were planning to be at the pool though. We got there at 10.30 and about 12.15 I asked how much  longer they were planning on staying as they were also going back to their house to do party cake decorating. I had arranged to take Bill and Bridie to Bec’s house to play with Will and Kasey and they were getting toey wanting to get going. When the mum told me it would be about 3 I asked her if she minded if I did leave Beth with her. Now that she’s 11, most of the other kids are fairly self sufficient so it was really only her they had to keep an eye on. The other mum told me it was ok so with a little trepidition I set off with Bill and Brides.

We had a lovely few hours of playing and went to pick Beth up at 4.30. She had of course taken over the house and was watching Shrek on DVD. I was told that she went missing twice but it was ok, she was just wandering to look for the other girls or off to the toilet and of course doesn’t think to inform anybody. I guess if it were any other 11 year old you’d just assume that that’s what they had done but with Beth you just never know. All was well anyway and she had an absolute ball. She doesn’t get invited to parties hardly at all anymore and it’s certainly the first time she has been without me so I really appreciated the fact that she was one of a handful of chosen kids.

We popped out to the shops this morning before our visitors. It was our turn today to have Bec, Will and Kasey. I love having them over as all our smaller kids get along so well. Bec got to see Beth and I in full argument mode when Kasey and Bridie wanted to put on Alvin and the Chipmunks and Beth was adament that no way would they. She did state correctly that the dvd wasn’t in the case but clearly didn’t want them to find it. There was a lot of back and forth from the 2 of us. I think one of the most frustrating things when I argue is that Beth’s voice gets higher and higher so it is very shrill when she’s in full force. As I pointed out to Bec though, I was so pleased with her reasoning and arguments, I could have been having the same argument with any 11 year old adolescent girl!

Bec made a point about when we yell at our kids. Beth will argue back or ignore me as do my other kids at times. It often just washes over them! Beth will accept me telling her off, she may not like it but it doesn’t faze her. If Bec does the same to Will he gets stressed out and it overloads his senses, sometimes ending with a meltdown, and she may not be yelling that loud. It’s funny what things trigger our kids, they’ve got the same diagnosis but have totally different stress levels.

We’re off to Sensational Kids tomorrow so the littlies are off to Bev and John’s for the afternoon. I have to fit in hair cuts for the girls at some stage too. School holidays are exhausting!

 
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Toy Story 3

Posted by Sarah on Jun 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

OK, the first day of our holidays has started. I’ve done the mum thing, now the kids are with the electronic babysitters and I’m with my new toy.

We went to see Toy Storty 3 this morning. It was hilarious and sad at the same time. Some great new characters, especially Ken modelling for Barbie. A very scary bit at the end and a touching final scene that had me gulping back the tears. All in all a terrific movie. One of the things I find endearing about Beth is that she doesn’t have a problem showing her younger side at all. In we went, me armed with snack foods and drinks, Beth armed with Woody, Jessie and Bullseye. Of course they couldn’t miss the movie that was about themselves. They all seemed to enjoy it! One of Bridie’s friends was there so of course Bridie dumped us and sat with her, only to come back when she needed the toilet. We managed to go only twice this time, she doesn’t seem to need that often at home. Amanda and her boys came along too so we went for our coffees, hot chocolates and milkshakes at the Reel Cafe afterwards. We made arrangements for our HAGS sanity dinner on Friday night, I’m sure we’ll all need it by then.

One of the deciding factors in buying our new laptop was that if you spent over a certain amount you got a free Xbox 360. Now this is the last thing that we need but our Bill has been saving up for one for ages so we thought we’d use it to our advantage. They are giving them away as they are bringing out a new slimline edition so we figured we’d probably get about $200 on ebay for it. We made a deal with Bill that he could pay us his $100 savings and eat one new thing every day until Christmas. He took the deal and is now onto day 2. He tried Bev’s date loaf which he horribly declared disgusting (it wasn’t at all, it was lovely) and today he had jam on toast which he decided really wasn’t that bad. He’s so bloody fussy and his problem is actually trying things as he dry reaches before it even gets to his mouth. I just have a drink handy now and make him get through it. So at the moment my life is fairly peaceful with him playing the xbox, Beth on the computer and Bridie on the Nintendo 64. I’m sure the quiet will be over shortly as Bridie really doesn’t know how to play her game properly so it’ll be abuse for Bill for not helping her or abuse for me for not playing with her. In fact I can hear it starting now! Thought it was too good to be true.

Beth has a party to go to tomorrow at a pool so I’ve offered to go to that part of the party as she doesn’t dress herself very well. It’s not that she can’t, it’s the fact that she jumps around the change rooms and now that she’s got jiggly bits and hair it’s not so cute anymore! I’ll let you know how we go.

 
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By George I think she’s got it

Posted by Sarah on Jun 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

I’m very excited as I’m writing this on my very cute new laptop while lying in bed watching Masterchef! We went to buy it today at Knox, before the end of the financial year. I really wanted a red one or a pink one but they were 3 to 4 hundred dollars more so I had to settle for a pretty blue one with a pink tartan carry bag.

We’ve started our school holidays here in Victoria, always something that fills me with a combination of happiness at not having to get up early, and dread at it being just me and the kids for days on end. Beth ended her last school week for the term rather frazzled. She was quite moody for a lot of the week but Friday she was big time. She was cracking it with me about all sorts of things but the main thing once we got to school was because I forgot to take her DSi to play with being the last day of term. Silly me, I forgot to switch on my E.S.P. receptors so of course I couldn’t read her mind until she screamed it at me at school. She carried on like a pork chop for ages. Her teacher told me not to worry, they had lots of games and they’d be fine. She also went into a tizzy about the fact that I hadn’t packed any popcorn for their class party. The problem was they weren’t having a party this term, they did cooking instead. She really enjoyed doing this but clearly also wanted a party.  I  made it clear to her that no, I wouldn’t be right back with her DSi, I had art classes and I wasn’t going to be late.

Beth’s class were doing a performance at assembly on Friday and the choir that she’s in were also singing. Beth didn’t join in until late last year but she did always enjoy standing up with the choir. This year however she has sung each time, often over exaggerating her mouth but not in necessarily a bad way. She sometimes adds a bit of impromptu entertainment also. We are having building works done at school outside our hall window so for the majority of the singing Beth had her back turned to the rest of the school. One song had the line “I’m free” in it so Beth gave us all the pleasure at turning around right at the end to lift her arms and sing out loud “I’M FREE” with a big smile on her face before joining in the applause, clearly for herself. She had also, during the starting music for the national anthem, decided that a Homer voiced doh doh doh, along with the music was appropriate. I figured they were in for a good day.

As I said, I was never told about whether she had been ok about the DSi but after school I found out. Apparently she was at one stage standing on one childs and throwing another child’s one across the room. Not the reaction that I would have liked of course but I suppose that’ll teach me for ignoring the demands of one 11 year old girl going through the throes of adolescence.

Yesterday she was cracking it again about the fact that I wouldn’t take her to Knox to buy a dvd. By the evening she wasn’t too bad though. I was most impressed with something that she said, hence the title of this post. She had helped herself to 2 bananas so there was only one left for Bridie and Bill. I told Bridie to break it in half and of course she broke of a little bit of banana from the end. Beth looked over and looked at Bill and said “That’s a quarter Bill, a quarter is like 4 pieces.” I sat there astonished. It’s taken Beth a long time to ‘get’ maths and there she was understanding a simple fraction. I was so pleased to hear it.

Beth never fails to amuse me so I’ll end this post (which I’ve loved writing on my new laptop) with a funny from the girl. We were watching Shrek the 3rd last night and Beth likes to say the lines that she knows much to the annoyance of all around her. Or maybe it’s just me. Anyway, it was at the time that Fiona was telling Shrek that she was pregnant. Instead of saying “pregnant!” which Shrek shouts out, Beth said “Shregnant!” She then realised what she said and cacked herself laughing, saying over and over again “What did I say Mum, what did I say?” It’s nice to know she amuses herself, I love to amuse myself too so I can relate!

 
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The Powerpuff Girls get their periods

Posted by Sarah on Jun 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

Ok folks I’ve pretty much finished my social story. Tried to copy it onto here but it didn’t work so if you want to have a squiz click on here and you can see it for yourselves. Sorry for those who think it’s a bit graphic but unfortunately that’s what we’re dealing with here. I hope it sinks in cos otherwise I have no idea what I’m going to do!

 
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A catch up with Donna

Posted by Sarah on Jun 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

We had a good weekend on the whole. Friday night was the disco night at school, I was very lucky as Paul ended up doing both the junior one with Bill and Bridie, then the senior one with Bethie. Beth loves going to the discos and dancing with her friends. One in particular who is her fave at the moment was brilliant with Beth Paul tells me, pulling her in to dance with her all the time. This friend always stands next to her at assembly and is sooooo patient with Beth. While doing the friendship oath Beth listens to the Principal as she says it, then turns to her friend and repeats it to her. It’s like watching an ABBA song! During the anthem however we sometimes have to stop her from putting her arms around her friends. She clearly liked it when they did this at the Anzac Day assembly, the mateship thing seems to really have stuck. Still, it’s a nice issue to have for once.

Saturday Paul was home as he’s not sailing for a few weeks. Beth stayed home with me while Paul took the others for their swimming lessons. At about 4.30pm we set off for the Lantern Parade in Belgrave. Beth cracked the shits bigtime because Shrek 2 was on the tely and she didn’t want to miss it. We were going to her favourite pizza restaurant for dinner but she didn’t care and whinged for quite some time until I told her that if she didn’t shut up she would go to Grandma and Grandpas for the evening and they would be under strict instructions not to let her watch Shrek 2. She shut up then! It’s quite ridiculous really because she’s seen it at least 20 or 30 times as we have it on DVD. Of course this doesn’t matter. The lantern parade was lovely as we saw many familiar faces in the crowds. Lots of school and kinder mums do it every year, it’s such a nice community feel. In the end we got home at 7.30pm, just in time to watch her movie.

Sunday we went to Bev and John’s for lunch followed by Beth’s first music lesson with Donna Williams. I think Beth was a little put out that Anthony wasn’t there but she was fine. Donna had downloaded “what I’ve been looking for” from High School Musical and she put it on the tely with the words for Beth to sing along to. She started off very soft but in the end her voice was fairly strong. I got up and held her hand, swinging it which seemed to help. Donna made a point that rather than looking front on at Beth to be parallel to her, thus helping her with any exposure anxiety. There seems to be 2 streams of thought with eye contact. Therapists tend to want Beth to look them in the eye always when Beth is talking to them. I tend to be of the other side, where it is thought that if they are made to look at you they can’t concentrate on what it is they are saying to you. I do still get Beth to look me in the eye when I am telling her something but if I am teaching her something I am often showing her rather than telling her. I guess I go both ways on that one.

Beth then sat down at the keyboards and did some work there with Donna. Donna explained all about the black keys and how if she wanted to play a nice tune, if you only use the black keys you can get some beautiful sounds. She then went on to show her the notes and a ‘cat’s claw’ – the thumb, middle and pinkie fingers. Or as she called them the 1, 3 and 5 fingers. She suggested that we put stickers on the keys of our keyboard to show Beth where the notes are, then circle the c, e and g keys for her cat’s claw. Beth seemed to enjoy it which was a bonus as you never know with her.

Don’t know how Beth went at school today as she was a right cow this morning. She decided as we were walking out the door that I had to read a book to her. When I explained that we didn’t have time she insisted on taking it out to the car and tried to make me read it as we drove. Of course she did all of this in a quivery crying voice and was very oppositional, shouting out “yes darling, of course I can read and drive at the same time.” After threatening to throw it out the window didn’t work I once again resorted to threatening, this time that “I swear to God, you wont play on the computer tonight if I hear you talk about this again!” Phew, that was the end of it. At least now she seems to be responding to the threats. I’m so proud! I know all about positive parenting and trying not to focus on the negatives but sometimes it’s just too bloody hard. Especially when you’ve got 2 other kids either chattering away or more likely fighting in the back seat. I marched her into class and told them that she was being especially difficult today. Her teacher asked if she was feeling ok and I explained that yes, she was fine, just in one of her moods, sorry. Let’s see how she is when I pick her up tonight.

 
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A fairly good Thursday

Posted by Sarah on Jun 18, 2010 in Uncategorized

Yesterday was one of our busy Beth days. We dropped Bill and Bridie off to school then headed off to see Richard Malter in Frankston. Or as I like to call him ‘flaxseed guy.’ We’ve been going for over 6 months now so I was more than pleased when he told me that he had done all he could and to come back and see him in 6 months for a checkup. All her levels were where they should be with no metals in her system that shouldn’t be there and no viruses either. I think it was certainly worthwhile to go there as apart from the initial consultation which was over $200 each visit has cost us around about $100. We’ve gone every 4 to 6 weeks so I think that’s pretty good. And I’ve definitely seen improvement in Beth. Mind you we’ve also done speech therapy and occupational therapy through this time which I’m sure has helped. The majority of improvement has been in the last 6 months however so credit where credit’s due, I think it has made a difference.

Beth was hilarious yesterday, I didn’t realise how much information she absorbs. I know she likes to read credits and tell people who voiced what characters but I didn’t know to what extent. She likes to talk to Alan who is the naturopath that works with Richard. It’s always about what movies he has seen and who his favourite characters are. Beth’s been looking a lot on you tube lately at movie clips and looks at what other movies people like who like the same clips as her. Yesterday she was rattling off all these names that I’ve barely heard of. She spoke of Willem Dafoe and how he was in Ratatouie and what other movies he’s been in. She told Alan that Bill Murray was the voice of Garfield and who also starred in Ghostbusters. She spoke of Owen Wilson as he’s the voice in the new movie Marmaduke. He was also the voice of the coach in Fantastic Mr Fox (she of course knew the full name) and how he was in Marley and Me. She then went on to discuss John Ratzenberger who played Cliff Claven in Cheers. “Did you know” she asks ” that John Ratzenberger has been in every Pixar movie since they started?” She then went on to name each movie and character that he played. It was amazing. Now how to use that memory and channel it into something that she can work towards as a job?

Occupational Therapy was cancelled due to Kate being sick which was such a shame as we started off so well. Never mind, another form of therapy took my mind off it, retail therapy,  as I bought myself some Birkenstocks at DFO on the way to Sensational Kids! Beth is giving them to me for my birthday.

Sensational Kids was pretty good. I spoke to Rod about self awareness for Beth and how she doesn’t seem to realise when she is wrecking something (like Bill’s eraser) or even if she hurts one of the animals by accident. Rod was saying that these things come with maturity and as Beth’s emotional maturity is very young it will take longer than most kids. He explained that at a younger age kids don’t see beyond what they are doing to the consequences, either with punishment or the after effects of what they’ve done. When I told him that I took the computer away for the day when she broke Bill’s eraser he pointed out that it’s hard to punish somebody who doesn’t really know that they’ve done anything wrong. Beth knew to apologize but only because she knew that an apology is what gets her what she wants. I explained that for the benefit of my other children I had to punish her, especially as she had broken something of theirs. Also, it didn’t feel right just letting it go, so maybe it was for my benefit also. Rod suggested that I do social stories and use 3 examples. It could be a boy who threw his cat that hit the wall, a girl who didn’t eat up all her dinner and a girl who said good morning to her mother. Which one of these is the wrong thing? Whilst not eating all your dinner isn’t a good thing it’s not really a wrong thing. This would give Beth the opportunity to work this out for herself. I could then write stories more fitting to her.

They played blowing bubbles a lot with Rod telling Beth that she had to blow them over the table. Once again she needed to figure out why this was preferable than the carpet. In thinking about it and being prompted Beth figured out that she could wipe the table down if it spilt, something that would be more difficult if it spilt on the carpet. It really boils down to not making it so easy for her and giving her the answers to everything. Give her prompts to work it out for herself and the lesson sinks in. It’s so easy to answer for our kids, all our kids, that we do it without even thinking.

After picking the other kids up from school I dropped Beth off at Bev and John’s and took the boys to Karate. My Bill got his yellow belt, first in the class! I’m so proud of him, he’s got so much more confidence since going to Karate and now cubs too.

After such a big day I was looking forward to going home, having our Thursday pizza and getting into my flannies. Wrong. Got home and a tree had come down on some powerlines so we had no electricity. We had our pizza by candlelight/torchlight then popped over to Bev and John’s for a couple of hours. When we got home the girls got into my freezing bed while Paul bunked in with Bill. Thank goodness the power was back on when I woke up, it would have been hell getting the kids ready in the freezing cold.

The lantern parade is on in Belgrave tomorrow so we’re going to go with Amanda, Geoff and their boys. We went a couple of years ago when the HAGS did a lantern making workshop. Mine was like a teepee it was so big! This time I bought the kids ones from the 2 dollar shop in Belgrave. Much easier!

 
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What a week

Posted by Sarah on Jun 14, 2010 in Uncategorized

Hi folks, sorry it’s been so long, the week has been so hectic. Beth’s been all over the place this last week, she wasn’t well on Wednesday or Thursday. I had her home all day Thursday and she was a right bugger. Bill got given a rubber that was his pride and joy and I told him to keep it in his room. Of course he left it in the loungeroom and Beth, while absentmindedly watching a dvd, bit it’s head off. I called his teacher which is where it originally came from as it was a Star Wars eraser. He informed me that it was from his private collection from when he was a boy! Bill loved it so much that he had even taken photos of it in various locations throughout the house. I googled it and ebayed it to no avail. In the end we managed to salvage it by sticking it’s head on with superglue as the break was at the same place as the helmet ended. Thank goodness. I hate that Beth has no idea of what she’s doing at times and no idea of respecting others property. I know she doesn’t do things like that on purpose but she seems to have no concept of breaking or ruining things, she just does what she does and things get broken. I’m going to ask the new occupational therapist if there is a type of program that raises self awareness. When I asked her about the eraser she seemed truly surprised and stated that no, she didn’t do anything, even though it was still wet with her spit. In a way I believe she meant what she said. It’s so bloody frustrating though, poor Bill shouldn’t have to hide his toys away from his big sister. I banned her from playing on the computer for the day. When we got home from picking the kids up she asked very sweetly “If I’m a good girl now can I please play on the computer.” To which bitchy mumma stated “No!” I have to follow through and she seemed to realise what she had done wrong.

Friday I stayed for assembly at school and Beth got all teary when I went to leave. We were going to see Shrek Forever After on the weekend so I managed to bribe her with that.

Saturday Paul was out for the whole day as he was sailing in the country. Bill had had a sleepover at cubs so we didn’t have swimming and instead picked him up at midday. We then went to the afternoon session at the local cinema to see Shrek. I really enjoyed it which surprised me as sequels often aren’t as good. Number 2 was better than 1 but 3 wasn’t as good. Number 4 was great and a good end to the series. The kids all behaved themselves, it’s a nice way to spend the afternoon. Beth and I got our takeaway coffee and hot chocolate to take in with us. And we only had to have 1 toilet break.

As Paul was so late home on Saturday night we all had a sleepover in my room. Bridie still fits on her little fold up couch and Beth and Bill fit with me in our kingsized bed. Charlottes Web was on, I seemed to be the only one with a tear in my eye!

Sunday we had Donna William’s choir. Donna’s teaching the kids Mr Mistofelees from Cats, or at least the chorus. There’s an autism expo coming up which Donna’s band is playing at and she wants the kids to come up on stage to sing that and Beth’s pick, Pinky and the Brain. They were singing these well until Beth realised that they hadn’t learnt her other pick from High School Musical. She had quite a few teary tantrums with her jumping up and down and screaming. I hate it when she does this as she bangs her hands on her legs while she’s screaming. At least we were with others that got it I guess but it’s still so hard and really embarassing too. We then went out to lunch with Paul’s family which went well and was a lovely feed.

Today is the Queens Birthday public holiday so I went to Knox to do some Christmas shopping in Toys R Us. I did enjoy myself I must say! It’s the only time I can shop til I drop and not feel guilty. I got Beth some toy guinea pigs that make noises and run around with little tubes that they can go through like an obstacle course. I find it hard to buy Beth presents at times because she still loves to get toys but then often doesn’t really play with them. I thought they’d keep her attention. I also bought them all a rubber surrounded digital camera which I’ll pass on to Bev and John to give them for Christmas. I always buy too much but all their birthdays are around Christmas too so often I don’t have much to buy then either. I can always return things if I need to. Not that I often do.

Both the girls have been ratty today as once again I had to ban Beth from the computer. Bridie was banned after running off in the carpark yesterday. Beth’s was because the rabbit went missing this morning. Bridie came to me frantic because she couldn’t find Sam. I went into Beth’s room as she had gone back to bed and she swore that Sam wasn’t in there. When I went back in she had him in bed with her! I told her that because she had lied she couldn’t play on the computer for the rest of the day.

At the toy shop I bought a game of Jenga which we played this afternoon. It’s a girly one with questions like ‘what movie do you like?’ or ‘what boy do you like?’ One of the questions was ‘what do you wish you hadn’t done?’ Beth’s response was “I wish I hadn’t lied.” Maybe her punishment is sinking in after all.

 
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An interesting meeting

Posted by Sarah on Jun 9, 2010 in Uncategorized

I went to a smallish meeting held by some local groups and the local ALP members last night. Linda and Libby came with me thank goodness as I was there as a representative of the HAGS group. The gentleman that organised it, James, had got our name from a local member of parliament and had been told all about the HAGS so I felt it was important to go along and let us be known. It was a bit nerveracking as generally as a rule I don’t like to speak in front of others. Yes, it’s true! Hard to believe I know but I’m actually quite shy in those sort of situations.

There wasn’t as many people as I thought. James introduced us and then asked me to talk. I basically talked about why we started the group and why we are called the HAGS. (Happy Autism Group Support). One lady actually commented on the ‘unfortunate’ name to which I proudly laughed and said that we loved it! We chose it after all. And it’s a name that is remembered and known all over the hills now.

I then went on to talk of my personal frustrations with the problems I am having re the high school. I explained that there are more and more kids like my Bethie who are too high functioning to be considered for special schools but too dependant to go to mainstream high schools. Most of the kids in our group are in the higher functioning category. In fact the ‘typical’ autistic child seems to be these days. I then went on to say that unfortunately it’s probably too late for Beth as far as the autism specific high school is concerned but the laws needed to be changed. I explained that it was ridiculous that the fact that Beth is autistic doesn’t mean that she has an intellectual disability. That should speak for itself. I was quite proud of myself. My voice cracked near the end but I stopped the tears – just – and finished off. I think that people knew but that it made it all the more personal which we needed.

Libby spoke well as if she was a seasoned professional. She spoke of her frustration of having to battle all the time to get her son an aide in his classroom full time. She has worked with advocates writing letters and done so much, I was in awe of her. I personally can only speak of my plight and I do so with passion but Libby can speak on behalf of others and she knows what she is talking about.

After all the groups talked about themselves some of the pollies came over and sat at our table. They were very sympathetic to our needs and we got cards and suggestions. Libby wants to start a lobbying group. One of the men spoke of getting the secondary school off the ground fully by 2012, an enormous undertaking but hopefully one that may give me my dream. A lady from the Tecoma action group that won the battle to stop a huge supermarket being built said that we had to have steps to aim towards and a plan of how to get there. Another lady said to study up on overseas schools and see what they have done in this situation. And above all get letters and local support from everybody that we can, teachers, parents of other kids affected by our kids, anybody we can think of. As Libby pointed out, it’s not just your child affected but all the others in the classroom. James had the example of a small school who had 5 kids not funded who needed it in prep one year. They had to cut the schools arts program to fund the aides for these kids. How unfair that the whole school should have to suffer because our higher functioning kids aren’t recognised as being ‘needy’ enough. How disgusting.

Unfortunately, as I wrote, it may be too late for Beth as we only have 18 months til she’s due at High School. I just spoke to the local High School near to where we will be living. I suggested Beth be there for the core subjects and instead of being supervised in their integration room, having her come home to me. The lady I spoke to is going to call me back. She thought it sounded like a feasible plan. I need to put something in place to be prepared in case my first option isn’t available. And the reality is, I don’t think it will be.

 
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A dreadful night

Posted by Sarah on Jun 8, 2010 in Uncategorized

Beth had such a crappy sleep last night. I’m not sure what’s going on as I’ve been sleeping really badly lately too. She wasn’t asleep at 11pm when I finally got off to sleep, then she was up going to the toilet wide awake at about 2am. I don’t know whether she was awake all that time or whether she had had broken sleep up until then. It was suggested to me to try giving a half strength of melatonin so I will try that tonight. I did try it last week but it didn’t seem to make much difference. I’ll turn her mattress today and change her bedding, she doesn’t seem to want to sleep in her bed at all lately. I keep finding her on the floor. The problem is with her mattress is that she keeps bouncing on it so they don’t last that long. She’s even broken the slats on the bed at times but I can’t stop her doing it. I’ll make up another aromatherapy rub for tonight so hopefully that with clean sheets might help.

Paul took Beth swimming last night and said that she had been really good with Caprice. I think they’ve got a good rapport and Caprice doesn’t take any of Beth’s bullshit which is what we need. She really seems to be learning a lot, doing her breathing well and good strong strokes when swimming.

I’m going to try writing up a social story tomorrow. I’m going to include the powerpuff girls getting their periods. I’ve also found a picture of a 4th made up powerpuff girl so I’m going to try and superimpose Beth’s head onto that one as she’s always saying that she’s the 4th powerpuff girl. It helps that her name starts with a B. There’s Buttercup, Bubbles, Blossom and Beth! I’m looking up Wikaipedia to get the way they talk right, otherwise it wont be believable. Maybe this could be my calling, writing books about periods with cartoon characters! Oh well, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. I’ll put a copy on here when I’ve finished.

 
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Camp Autism here we come

Posted by Sarah on Jun 7, 2010 in Uncategorized

We’ve just had a fabulous HAGS meeting. A lovely lady from Camp Autism Victoria came out to discuss with us the camps that she coordinates for the families of kids with autism. She’s going to try and organise one for the HAGS families in January for a few days. I’m always humbled by people like Annette and Mary who have made it their mission to make life easier for people in the same situation as them. It’s a huge undertaking to try and coordinate groups of people for a weekend or week away break. I can imagine not all are easy to deal with and my personal experience has been that sometimes you get the parents who basically think that the world owes them because they have a special needs child. You have to tread very carefully with these parents as they know their rights and you ‘get’ that but there is a time and a place for confrontation and this isn’t when dealing with volunteer organisations. Annette doesn’t seem to have had any issues so far. Luckily with our HAGS mums we respect each other and don’t push the boundaries. After all we are all in the same boat.

We’re tentatively trying for the end of the summer holidays, a time when parents find that their patience has often worn thin! Now to try to gets the Dads to agree.

We’ve had a good weekend. We bought a new bunny rabbit for Bridie yesterday, a little boy named Sam. I find Bridie difficult to bribe as she’s not a big dvd watcher, nor much of a computer girl. We had the prep guinea pigs home for the weekend and Bridie spent most of it wanting to carry them around. This was great as I could use this to my advantage with things like meals, getting dressed and bathtime. I talked to the other kids about the fact that it would just be for Bridie and be her responsibility and they were fine about it. It was suggested to get a boy as they don’t have as many hormones as girls, therefore not as likely to be horrible as they get older! Beth thinks he’s lovely too but Bridie is the one who says who can hold him and for how long.

Talking to a friend last week made me realise that we don’t actually have many chores in our house. This is one of the reasons that I wanted to get Sam, to show some responsibilities. Bridie’s is now Sam and Beth and Bill share the dog and the cat. They also have to pick up 10 things in the morning and 10 things at night, and make their beds. I’m sure I will think of some other things as the week goes on! I figure I can give them pocket money at the end of each day to make it more ‘real’ as Beth has absolutely no concept of money. She seems to be rising to the challenge though of course with me supervising all the time.

We’ve got swimming this afternoon so let’s see how Beth goes this week. I’ve been so happy with her responses with teachers and therapists lately. Last weeks swimming was terrific so hopefully today will follow suit. Though often she seems to finally ‘get’ something, then not do it again for weeks. Fingers crossed!

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