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Got through school ok

Posted by Sarah on Jul 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

We didn’t end up going to the shops yesterday. Each time I mentioned it Beth stopped me. When I did say that we were off to the shops she said hurriedly “to buy the groceries, right?” She clearly didn’t want to make an issue out of it so I didn’t push it.

We had Sensational Kids yesterday. The occupational therapist is still away so we just saw Rod – the speech therapist. I explained our situation and Beth was feeling a bit out of sorts, not paying any attention at all. Rod took her into the gym to ‘speed up her engine’ and the difference was clear even as it was happening. They sat on a long swing, Beth at one end and Rod at the other, with their legs crossing over each other in the middle. First Rod got Beth to help put it up. She found this difficult but with asking Rod for help, got there in the end. Then Rod explained that to move the swing they would have to use their arms and backs like a rowing motion. Behind Beth was a punching bag so Rod got Beth to bend back and hit it with one hand, then the other as they swung towards it. Beth was loving this and counting as she went. It was a fantastic activity as it got her to open up her chest which Rod explained wakens people up. By then her engine was running just right so we went back into the other room.

Beth picked a charades game and did such a good job. She didn’t use her voice at all and didn’t cheat. One of hers was to present a weather report. We didn’t get this, I think with me because I wasn’t sure that she was as good as she actually was. She stood with a microphone, then mimicked rain. We thought she was singing a rain song but she was doing exactly what the card said. She did so well. Once again, I think I’ll have to buy that game for home!

When our session had finished Rod told Beth she could go in the ball pit so I quickly suggested that we go to the toilet beforehand. She was fine about changing her pad there, except for the bin being the wrong sort again! Rod was very sweet, he sent me an email when we got home which he thought might interest me but also to enquire about Beth. It’s a hard one because I’m sure it’s probably a bit embarrassing for him to talk about but he needed to know why she was pulling at herself and a bit out of sorts. I too don’t want to harp on the subject here as I know it is a private thing, but I feel it’s important if anybody is reading it and hasn’t been through it yet. I wish I could pick the brain of somebody in a similar situation and know how they got through this time.

Beth handled herself pretty well last night too so I’m pleased with how it’s all going so far.

This morning we went off to school with pads in a brown paper bag to give to Beth’s teacher. There was a list that I had sent them with the instructions that Beth could read through with them. I suggested taking her to the toilet at 10, 12 and 2. This would alleviate the worry of any accidents. Also, I didn’t want her to take herself to the toilet at any stage when she may not have been seen. I thought she might take the pad off and not have another to put on. If she was going every 2 hours she shouldn’t need to go again. Beth’s teacher reported at the end of the day that she had had a great day. Phew!

After I dropped her I waited out the front as Bill and Bridie were going on a school excursion and I was there to wave the bus off. Both the principal and Beth’s aide were there and asked me if I was ok. I said that yes, I was so pleased with how well Beth was coping. They were so sweet and were checking to see that I was coping ok, being my firstborn and all. I guess I haven’t had much of a chance to think about it like that. Maybe if Beth wasn’t autistic I would have coped differently and felt sad for the ‘loss of her childhood’ so young. I think that as I have been ready for quite a while it was a relief that it was here and she was ok with it. It’s certainly strange but then I find it strange that she’s looking like a woman now, she’s bigger than lots of family and friends. Here I am often still drying her from her showers , stopping her doing things that her 5 year old sister doesn’t even do anymore, helping to clean her up if she’s dirty or had an accident. Then on the other hand here I am putting her deodorant on, helping her with her little bras and now putting on sanitary pads. Then again, I haven’t known any different, this is my life as Beth’s mother and you just do what you’ve got to do don’t you. So far so good.

 
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So far so good

Posted by Sarah on Jul 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

Well we got through the night with no problems. This morning Beth got up and had her breakfast before I said anything. I suggested that we go into the toilet to change her pad which she wasn’t too happy about. Beth rolled the old pad up and put it in the bin like I asked her though she did have an issue with the bin being a home style bin as opposed to the bins in the toilets like we’d discussed. At least I knew that some of our talk had sunk in then. I then showed her how to open a clean pad and take the sticky strips off which I did for her. When I said I would be with her at these times she wasn’t happy which I took as a good sign of her wanting privacy. She was happy then to pull her knickers up and get dressed and hasn’t said anything about it since.

I’m just playing it cool today. I’m not sure if she doesn’t want to talk about it because she’s embarrassed or because she doesn’t want it to be happening. Either way, if I don’t make to much of a deal of it then hopefully it wont be a big deal if you know what I mean. We’re going shopping today before Sensational Kids so that I can take her into the toilets with a proper bin. She needs some new clothes so I’ll buy her some and a little pad purse and we’ll have a hot chocolate and lunch. That way it’ll be like a nice mummy/daughter day together. I must say, as far as her mood is concerned, she’s great. I don’t know whether it’s because she had pmt or because she’s relieved that it’s not that bad, either way it doesn’t matter, she’s happy as Larry. I’ll keep you posted.

 
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P Day

Posted by Sarah on Jul 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

Well it looks like the dreaded period day has finally arrived though it may be something else. I got to school at 2.30 for a meeting and was told that Beth had pulled her pants down a couple of times in the schoolyard much to the horror of the boys playing nearby. She had said something about needing to change her knickers and had been complaining of a stomach ache during the day. I went in to see her but she told me that she had had a runny bum and that she didn’t need to change her knickers after all. Tonight Paul gave her a shower and called me down to look at her knickers and they had blood in them.

After Beth’s shower I had her knickers with pad ready and she started to freak out. With a battle she kept them on and put her pyjamas on over the top. I then showed her the powerpuff girls period story which she alternatively read with me and had a little cry. I think it calmed her down a bit though. She was shaking and hot too which I at first put down to being scared and just having a shower.

We went and lay on the bed after this. I tried to talk with her and to tell her what a brave girl she was being but she has shut down anything that she thinks is to do with her period. She kept sticking her fingers in her ears. After she was lying down for a while though Beth vomited in our bed. This seemed to make her feel better and she came out to play a game on the computer. She has left the pad alone which is a win for me as the last false alarm she kept ripping it out.

I’m not sure if she is actually sick and the bleed is a consequence of whatever she’s got, or whether she’s getting her period and she was so freaked out that she made herself sick. She’s watching the new Simpsons now and seems in quite good spirits. I guess time will tell, I’ll know over the next few hours.

We’ve got Sensational Kids tomorrow, if Beth’s well enough. I thought I’d take her shopping in the morning and buy her a treat and let her pick a purse for her pads. I’ll make sure that we use a toilet with a bin in it too. I wont say too much more to her tonight about it as she keeps telling me to stop talking about it. And when Paul was looking at her before she told him to not talk to her or ask any questions. It’s going to be a pretty hard few days I think but so far so good. I sort of hope it’s not a false alarm as she’s coping better than I thought. Mind you, I’ll have to watch her most of the time to stop her pulling the pad out. Hopefully that will stop soon too.

I’ve worded up the teachers at school too, they’ll be great as they wondered if it might be this. I’ve sent them a copy of the social story and I’ll do the list with step by step instructions for her purse and for school. I feel a bit more in control than the last false alarm at least.

 
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Monday again

Posted by Sarah on Jul 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

We’ve had a fairly eventful weekend. Nothing special, just busy. When I last wrote I was telling you that Bridie’s teacher was coming over to try to overcome the hurdle of Bridie’s selective mutism to some extent. It went well. The teacher went into Bridie’s room and asked her questions to which Bridie answered with one word. Then they played the magnetic board barrier game that I got for Beth. Bridie had to give her teacher instructions to tell her where her pictures had to go on the big picture board. She was hesitant at first but soon got into the swing of things with my help. She was happy to give instructions but still wouldn’t converse directly with her teacher. Still, it was excellent progress.

It’s funny how siblings of autistic kids have little bits and pieces linked to the autism family. Beth had selective mutism also, something that we only got past with medication that she still takes. Bridie can’t remember Beth being non verbal so it can’t be a learnt behaviour. She is clearly not autistic so I find it interesting that she also has selective mutism. I think there’s a little bit of autism in all of us, autism is just the extremes of what non autie people have issues and anxieties with. Beth had it to a larger extent. Or maybe it isn’t linked with autism at all, maybe they both had selective mutism and Beth’s was just exaggerated by her autism.

Saturday Bill and Bridie had swimming lessons in the morning, then my Dad and Helen and my sister Deb came over to see me for my birthday. Yes, it’s now finished! I celebrate for about a week! Saturday night was a girls pamper night at school so I went along to that. I love our school. It’s such a close relationship with parents and staff alike. Meals were cooked and sold and everybody chipped in with something, it’s a real feeling of comradeship.

Sunday was Aullin’s party, it was at Emerald Lake Park. It was a lovely day for it. I’m always in 2 minds about taking the whole family to parties. We were all invited but depending on what sort of mood Beth’s in means that I’m never sure if she’ll have fun or try and spoil it for the rest of us if she doesn’t want to be there. We took 2 cars anyway just in case. I didn’t take her DSi with us as I hoped that she would join in with the other kids. I wish I had though as she kept wanting to run off to the playground where nobody else was so we either had to hold on to her where we were or Paul had to run off after her there. When we did think we could give her a bit of leeway she was found helping herself to maltesers at somebody elses party!

One of the mums from prep had brought her dog and it once again made me so glad that Minka is a girl dog. The dog was tied up to a table where we were all standing and Beth was sitting next to it and patting it. At one stage I looked down and she had her hand on his you know what, looking absentmindedly off into the distance. She didn’t seem to realise what she was doing so I just got her off the chair and moved her to somewhere else. Another friend had told me once that her male dog’s private parts get red raw at times because her son wont stop playing with them. There’s nothing sexual about it, it’s just that it’s there begging to be played with!

We had swimming tonight and Beth worked really well for Caprice. She’s coming along so well now, using her big arms and doing her breathing at the right times. I’ve been so pleased with her progress this year, Caprice is an excellent teacher.

I thought I’d start to add things that are in the news at the end of my posts to give it a bit of a timeline. The big news of the day seems to be the fact that Adam won Masterchef last night! There’s also heaps of stuff on the upcoming election between Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott.

 
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A good week, so far

Posted by Sarah on Jul 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

It’s Thursday today and I’ve had a good birthday week. Monday morning after pilates we had a HAGS meeting (Happy Autism Group Support). Clare and Bec came along with Jen popping in to kindly give me a bunch of flowers. Bec had brought cake and Clare had bought bikkies. Amanda is away in America and Margaret is away in London (life is good for some hags hey) and some of the others had a few things on so it was a bit on the small side. If it hadn’t been advertised in the Community House newsletter we probably would have just gone out for coffee but you have to hang around just in case.

Tuesday I went shopping with the girls for Bree’s son’s birthday present. He had come for a play on Friday and I had asked him on the way home what he thought he might like. Beth was funny as she sometimes decides that she wants to join in on conversations in a very Beth way. Here’s how it went :

Aullin – I don’t have a boy cow for my farm set

Beth – what about a goat, do you have one of those for your farm collection?

Aullin – no, I need one of those too (mental note by me here)

Beth – What about a panda for your zoo collection, do you have one of those?

Aullin – no, I don’t have a panda

Beth – What about a giraffe for your zoo collection?

Aullin – no, I already have a giraffe

Beth – what about for your swamp collection, do you have a puss in boots?

Aullin – I don’t have a swamp collection

Beth – What about an ogre for your swamp collection?

Aullin – I don’t have a swamp collection

Beth – What about a snow white for your fairytale collection?

Aullin – I don’t have a fairy tale collection

and so it went on until we got home. I do love the fact that most kids don’t seem to care that Beth is crapping on about the same thing over and over, that’s just the way Beth is and they’re used to it. Anyway, we all went shopping where I did indeed buy Aullin a boy cow and a goat and lots and lots of other farm animals for the collection that I’ve decided that Bridie needs because I thought they were so good! Too bad if she doesn’t, that’s the way it goes.

Wednesday I had a Chef’s Toolbox cooking party. I am the party plan queen as I don’t believe in paying full price for something when you can get it for half price or free. We made sticky date puddings. There were a few left over but the kids didn’t want a bar of them. I thought Beth would love it as she loves puddings normally but not this time. I think that she knew that she’d have to get off the computer for it and she was firmly set in her game by that stage.

Today I had a french cooking class with my good friend Clare Bear. Yummmm is all I can say. Not much that the kids would eat but plenty for Paul and I. There was a very easy crumble at the end that would probably go down ok though. I love to try new things, unfortunately I love food too much and will be going back to Weight Watchers next week.

Bridie’s teacher is coming over tonight to try to overcome the hurdle of Bridie not talking with her. The school psychologist called me yesterday and we both agreed that Bridie’s selective mutism has got much better, but she’s still not talking to teachers at all. Will let you know how we go.

 
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It’s my birthday!

Posted by Sarah on Jul 19, 2010 in Uncategorized

Just thought I’d shout that out, somebody’s got to! I must say I do enjoy my birthday and usually celebrate it for about a week. I’m sure when I’m old it’ll be the whole month of July that is dedicated to my birthday. Why not I say, it only happens once a year so make the most of it. I’m so glad that I’m going back to weight watchers next week because I’ll need it after all the celebrations this week.

We’ve had a pretty good weekend. Bec brought the kids over for a play on Saturday afternoon which occupied Bill and Bridie, always a good thing. Paul sails every Saturday so we do get a bit bored at times. Will and Bill are such good friends, I’m so proud of my Bill as I’m sure I’ve said before. Not that you can tell that Will has autism half the time. Still, if he has ever had a meltdown Bill just takes it all in his stride, talking all the way through!

Yesterday was Sunday and we had choir with Donna Williams. We have decided not to do music lessons with Donna, mainly because Beth doesn’t really want to and I thought that if I pushed it then she may not go to choir either. Also, the bloody rabbit has chewed through the keyboard wires so she couldn’t do her homework. Donna has split the choir up into girls and boys. There is a lovely girl that goes who is the same age as Beth, (I’ll call her Chelsea) I’ve spoken to her mum about maybe getting together for a playdate, though they live in Mornington and we’re in Belgrave, about an hour from there. Maybe we could have lunch after choir one week.

They started off the session with some songs that have been rehearsed. They sang High School Musical which was the song that Beth picked all those weeks ago. Donna got it up on You Tube so that they could read the words but Beth was a bit funny about it. I think she likes a slower version which she has seen so she kept asking Donna to pick a different one than she was. They also sang Bananas in Pyjamas for the younger girls and when they had to catch the teddies Beth and Chelsea were very cute, chasing each other and catching the other one. Beth was in an argumentative mood however and kept correcting people if they sang the wrong words or calling out silly things.

Donna was fabulous to watch as a couple of the younger ones either didn’t join in or hung on to their mums. She made up songs and just improvised. One of the girls wanted to sing a song about bubbles and Beth said it should be about blesbub – the 2 sylables back to front. Donna just went with it and as Beth rudely called out other things Donna just added them into her song. She ignored it when Beth yelled out that it was a stupid song and just kept singing. Then Beth cracked the shits about going to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for lunch afterwards, saying that they were too old and too poor. I guess it was because they don’t have a heap of electronic games like we have, though she plays on the computer there a lot. Maybe because she has to share it with Bill and Bridie, who knows, she was just being difficult.

The first time we went to the choir it was down in a little room at the back of Donnas garden, the last few have been in the house though. I’m not sure whether it’s too echoey or too many distractions are there but Beth hasn’t really enjoyed it since the first time, though she does look forward to going there.

We went to lunch at Bev and John’s afterwards where Beth ate a bowl of soup and a huge plate of roast beef and veggies. She has an amazing appetite, not that you’d know it, she’s skinny as a rake. She eats more than Paul and I eat and we have to slow her down as she shoves it in her gob so fast that her cheeks are full. We’re very lucky as I know that a common problem with autistic kids is their fussiness with food. Beth’s not keen on spicey foods but she eats pretty much anything and loves her veggies and fruit.

Bethie was so sweet this morning. Bridie and Bill got up and gave me my presents that they had chosen. Both of them had picked boxes of chocolates, clearly so that I would share them with them! Beth got up a bit later and as I put her breakfast down she exclaimed that as it was my birthday she should have been making me breakfast. I had already eaten mine, otherwise I would have taken her up on her offer. She’s very caring in that way and when she says things like that I feel so good inside, like a mummy should. It makes me truly believe that she loves me and wants to look after me, not like her keeper that I sometimes feel like, here to feed and clothe her. It makes me feel like we will get there, because if there is love there, everything else is ok.

 
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A week of mixed emotions

Posted by Sarah on Jul 17, 2010 in Uncategorized

We’ve had a pretty full on week. Beth has been a bit all over the place emotionally. We had Sensational Kids on Thursday. The Occupational Therapist has a couple of weeks off which is a shame as we’ve only seen her twice. She had an overseas trip planned before she took the position so it couldn’t be helped. We still saw Rod though but Beth was a bit scatty throughout the session.

Beth got from the cupboard one of those things that has lots of metal rods that you make a shape with. You can push your hand on one side and the shape of it comes out the other side in the rods. I hope you understand what I mean! Rod decided to use this as a game and got a tub of plastic foods out of the game cupboard. He would put a piece under the rods and out it would pop in metal for Beth to guess. As she had to shut her eyes when he was putting it there she couldn’t quite grasp the idea that she could then open them again to play the game. She kept waving her head from side to side in what, for old folks like me, looked like Stevie Wonder when he sings! She was repeating a lot of what she said and couldn’t grasp things very well. Rod divided the food groups and wrote them down so she had to ask questions such as which food groups, what colour, what size, how it tasted, you get the picture. Beth didn’t really volunteer any of these suggestions unless asked and it was a pretty fruitless (pardon the pun) exercise really.

Near the end Beth kept wanting to climb on Rod’s shoulders and he said that yes, she could, if she could try to guess the last piece which was celery. She fluffed about and finally lifted the thing up to reveal the celery, saying that she had guess it and it was time for her reward. Rod had run out of time by that point and as Beth hadn’t done what was asked, told her that no, there wouldn’t be any ride today. Well, Beth decided to have a full on tantrum with high pitched voice and screaming. Rod hadn’t seen her like that before. She ran up the corridor to give him a hug so that she could then climb on his shoulders, crying and carrying on but he wouldn’t back down. It hopefully will only take this once as she has to learn that there are consequences if you don’t do what you are supposed to. Once we were in the car and she had her magazine and something to eat she was fine but it’s horrible when it happens.

Yesterday morning was a bit of a tanty one too. With her magazine had come 2 necklaces which said gr8 M8’s, as in great mates. Beth had worn hers to Grandma and Grandpa’s while I took the others to karate and I had forgotten all about it. When we got in the car to go to school Beth had seen the one she was to give to her friend and had a full blown tantrum because I didn’t know where hers was. Then when we got to school her friend hadn’t arrived yet. When she came into assembly she was all teary but luckily her friend showed up late and she gave her her necklace then.

My Bridie got an award yesterday which was wonderful as she got up to receive it, something she hasn’t done before. The kids at school were asked to design  shed and hers was the favourite out of all of them because it was so pretty. Each year had a child who got a certificate and a bottle brush. She was so proud of herself.

After assembly yesterday I went to a funeral for an old friend. I wont go into details out of respect for his wife but I will say that he was too young and has left a young family behind. Things like this really bring life into perspective and make you appreciate what you have. It also makes me think that people should live life the way they want to. We put so many rules on ourselves, whether they be societies rules or religious rules or any others that you can think of. I believe if we are doing the right thing by ourselves and by others around us then who cares what we do. If you are not hurting anybody then live the life that makes you happy.

The day ended with a group of mums at Bec’s baby blessing. How odd the day was, with a Funeral and a baby blessing all in one day. Bec is one of my closest friends and she deserves this much wanted baby so much. And Will is the most excited kid in the family. They say kids with autism and aspergers don’t like younger kids sometimes but he can’t wait. I wish Bec and her family all the love and luck in the world.

 
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Talks and High Schools

Posted by Sarah on Jul 14, 2010 in Uncategorized

I’ve had a busy few days since school went back. As you know I couldn’t wait til the kids went back to school so I’m feeling much better while writing this post. Monday was a pretty good day, Bethie had swimming lessons which she seemed to enjoy, she’s doing really well there at the moment, I’m so happy with Caprice as her teacher, she has the right blend of fun and toughness for Beth, they work so well together.

Tuesday was a combination of fun and work. The fun part was in the morning. The girls and I (Bree and Prue) went to Bec’s house to do a belly cast. For those of you who don’t know what this is, it’s when a pregnant woman has a plaster cast made of her very pregnant stomach. Bec is due in a few weeks so we popped over to cast her tummy, then she can decorate it and hang it in the babys room. It’s been a long time coming, this baby, and Bec is so excited about it. Will is over the moon because it’s a boy, he’s been terrific lately so it’ll be interesting to see how he copes with having a baby in the house. I think he’ll be fine as he’s pretty excited too.

Last night was very nerve-racking as Jennie and I did another autism talk, this time at my school. I think it went well. It was for all of the teachers and most of the aides. My side of it was on the impact that autism has on the family as a whole. First I spoke of siblings, how if they had older siblings that often there was some resentment for how the child had changed their life. Also of the younger siblings like ours who don’t necessarily understand why that child in particular seems to get, what is in their eyes, favouritism at times. I then went on to talk about the impact on parents. First the grief at losing the child that you thought you’d have, the impact on a marriage and how high the statistics are of divorce in families dealing with autism. In some cases loss of friends and no support, something that luckily, we haven’t had a problem with. In our case we have in fact made some wonderful new friends. I mentioned the fact that there are sleep problems so there is no couple time at all. And above all the fear that we have when our kids start school. How any child starting school puts fear in our hearts but when it’s our ‘special’ child it’s ten times worse as it’s literally putting their lives in somebody elses hands. I found it a very emotional experience and have worried since that perhaps it was too confronting. I didn’t want to do a ‘poor me’, but I did want to stress how we have to look at the family as a whole, from the sibling embarassment to the parents often on anti depressant medication, the whole family is deeply affected.

Jen then went on to talk about different strategies. She grouped everybody up and got them to discuss amongst themselves strategies already used. There was lots of chatter which was terrific, it wasn’t just a boring exercise for them. She then got them to share these and went on to elaborate on some and to suggest some others. I discussed the ‘how does your engine run’ program, something some of the teachers are already practising with various results. One of the suggestions that Jen made I loved. It meant getting the class in groups of 4. You then send one of them out of the room and the remaining 3 have to come up with a social rule that they wont share with the 4th. It may be touching their ear before talking, or holding your finger a certain way. They would then reintroduce the 4th person and do an activity while practising this rule. The 4th person would have to try and figure out what that social rule was. This then shows them the difficulty that our kids have reading social cues. What a fabulous strategy! I know Beth’s teacher and aide were very interested in this concept as their kids are of an age to understand this.

The talk went for 1 1/2 hours and as usual we could have gone on forever. I don’t really enjoy the talking side of things, especially emotional things, but I do enjoy the question time, it’s much more relaxing.

This morning I went back to look at the high school that we’re thinking of sending Beth to. I had called them late last term to discuss sending Beth there when aided and her coming home for the rest of the time. Prue came and had a look with me as she’s looking at sending her kids there too. One of the aides showed us around which was terrific as I got an insight from her perspective. I was so impressed. The school itself is quite big which scared me off at first, but it doesn’t seem that crowded once you’re in there. The one thing that stood out for me was that all the kids seemed happy. I’ve been to high schools where all the kids were sullen and I’ve hated it. This was the 3rd time I had been to this school and each time that has struck me, the kids are friendly and seem to be well respected by the staff.

We had a look around the whole school and then went to the special needs room. There were 2 aides there and 2 kids working, a great setup. When I finally met with the coordinator that I had spoken to on the phone she made me feel totally at ease. I expressed my desire for Beth to be supervised fully at the difficult times such as moving from classroom to classroom, also at recess and lunchtime. She said that if that’s where I thought she’d need help then that’s when she’d get it. She did seem open to my idea of part time schooling but suggested we wait and see if it was necessary. She had worked with a student who had gotten wise to the fact that they would go home if not aided and had expressed concern that they were not wanted at school. I personally don’t think that Beth would have an issue with that but time will tell. There are 2 special needs coordinators and I was told that if Beth didn’t have aide time for a particular class they would take her with them into one of their classes to do extra work or make sure that the common room was supervised and take her there. On the whole I was really happy with their willingness to take on board my suggestions. They suggested that Beth comes once a month to start her transition through grade 6. Her aide from primary school could come with her and sit in on some classes, meet some teachers and get familiar with the school. If I end up having to go down that road of High School, I’m happy with the school that I’ve chosen. And it’s literally a 5 minute walk from where we’re building so it couldn’t be more convenient.

I’m feeling pretty positive at the moment. It’s amazing what a few days to myself will do!

 
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000

Posted by Sarah on Jul 10, 2010 in Uncategorized

Beth gave herself a bit of a scare today. We were at Bev and John’s house for lunch. Beth as usual had run in the door and down to John’s study to play on the computer. During lunch Bill and Bridie were both vying to play on the computer after lunch and I had told them that I would make the decision after my lunch and give Beth warning that it was somebody elses turn. Bill clearly had other ideas and jumped on before Beth had got back to the computer.

After lunch the adults were all sitting on the lounge chairs when Bridie comes in to tell us that Beth had called the police and told them that Bill had to be arrested. As we got up to check and see what was going on the phone rang, only to be picked up in the study. Paul went down to see what was going on and Beth was talking on the phone in a panicky voice saying that she had been lying. Paul got on the phone and it was the police calling back to see if they still needed to send a squad car! Paul assured them that they didn’t. Little bugger. She came out and saw me and kept saying sorry that she lied, that Bill was a good boy and hadn’t done anything. What I think must have happened was that Bill had jumped on to the computer in the middle of Beth’s game and she had threatened to call the police and tell them so that she could get back on. We had been talking last week about the difference between the emergency numbers here in Australia and in the USA. This had clearly stuck in her head. Then she had panicked and worried that the police were in fact going to arrest Bill and take him away. It probably did her good to get the return phone call and make it real for her.

Beth takes threats and warnings very seriously and takes peoples word at face value. Bad mum here has threatened to leave Bridie or Bill behind on many an occasion such as when they wont get off the playground and get in the car. (I’m not the only one either.) I’ll get in the car and turn it on, calling out “See you tomorrow then, hope nobody pinches you while I’m gone!” Beth will actually grab my arm and say “No Mum, you can’t leave Bridie here and drive away.” She doesn’t yet get that I obviously wouldn’t do that no matter how much I might feel like it! Bridie on the other hand  at 5 couldn’t give a stuff and keeps playing!

We had the psychologist over yesterday to assess Bridie for her selective mutism and dreadful temper. She was lovely and came armed with games and textas and papers for drawing feelings down. Of course Bridie spoke to her the minute that she walked in. She was a delightful child, laughing and drawing lovely pictures of mummy and her giving each other kisses at the ‘things that make me happy’ stage. Unfortunately at the ‘things that make me sad’ picture she said it was when her brother hits her. I explained that no, this didn’t happen often and when it did it was usually warranted! The psych wasn’t fazed at all and said it was quite a common response. She gave us some things to do with Bridie to keep her occupied as she needs me playing with her all the time. We are also to do a chart of the week so she knows what’s coming and what to look forward to, and backup plans for when things didn’t go her way. She’s coming back at the end of August.

I took the girls for a haircut this morning, they’re both spoilt now and love to have their hair washed. At least they don’t look like ferals now, they’ll look good for school on Monday. Our big news for today is that we bought a new car! We’ve been thinking about it for a while but as my car rego is due next Friday had to decide if it was worth renewing it as it has a cracked windscreen, 3 broken doorhandles and the indicators have stopped turning themselves off. Oh, and it has a broken taillight. Besides that it’s great! And it’s a 1996 model. We put the kids in the back to see if there was much room and it had heaps, it was such a luxurious feel. If it’s not ready by the time my rego runs out they said they’ll lend me a car until it comes in. I’ve never had a new car before so it’ll be a bit nerveracking to start with but I can’t wait.

2 more sleeps to go then school starts again. Yippeeeeeeeee!

 
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Nearly over

Posted by Sarah on Jul 7, 2010 in Uncategorized

It’s Wednesday today and I’ve just got home from taking the kids to a party at a playcentre in Fountain Gate. It was a friend of Bridie’s who also happens to be Beth’s buddy at school so she scored an invite too. Beth’s best friend shares her buddying duties so luckily she was there for Beth to play with. They all had a wonderful time though I think my autistic side came out when I found the noise all a bit too much. I hate the big playcentres, they’re so noisy and crowded.

We got back from our night in Lorne yesterday. It’s such a long way to go but we got a voucher so we thought we’d use it up. The kids were all excited about going so off we set on Monday morning. Let me just state this for the record, never again will I go on a three hour drive in a hatchback with my 3 kids! We took along the trusty laptop to use as a dvd player but even that wasn’t enough. Bethie was pretty good as she always is in the car, she’s happy to read or look out the window. Bill and Bridie however are a different story. They’re just so bloody loud. And Bridie is the professional whinger, the real ‘are we there yet’ girl. Every 5 minutes. If the answer she gets isn’t the one she wants to her she lets out a wail. Hence there were lots of wails all the way to Lorne.

We got there in pretty good time and booked into the restaurant for lunch. Paul and I both agreed that it was the best food we’d ever eaten. We took it easy over lunch, figuring we’d do the massive pig out over dinner. The problem was that when we went back for dinner the restaurant was closed. We decided on the Tuesday that instead of heading back first thing in the morning we’d go there for lunch again as the voucher still had $175 on it. We ended up eating so much that we owed them $10! Mind you, it wasn’t cheap and we all had desserts. The food was lovely too.

We stayed in a 2 bedroom apartment though we may as well have just got a one bedroom one. Bill had decided that he and Paul would sleep in the loungeroom so that he could get the ultimate Foxtel hit. Bridie decided to join them so Paul took a mattress off the single bed in the kids room and lugged it down to the lounge. Beth and I had the big bed. It was quite a nice apartment though I didn’t like the fact that the outside door was up the front near the bedrooms. Whenever a character or a tv show came on that Beth didn’t like she headed for the bedrooms and we’d hear a door slam. We had to keep checking to make sure she hadn’t run out the door as it couldn’t be locked. The kids all had a swim in the heated pool then came back to the room for a spa bath. I like the setup of the bath, the window overlooked the lounge so you could watch them from the living areas.

Our balcony window overlooked the beach. I was amazed to see people having surfing lessons as it’s the middle of winter here. I watched them having little fantasies of learning to surf myself. Watching Puberty Blues the other night probably added to that though! Maybe I should learn to swim first.

Yesterday morning we went to look at Erskine Waterfall which was beautiful, before going for a play at the fabulous beachside park and a walk along the beach. Bridie wanted to bring some shells home and picked up a couple from the beach. She also scored the 3 big shells that our scallops came in on our seafood platter!

I must admit that although I know the rest of the family enjoy our time away I prefer to be at home. I don’t mind if it’s somewhere like Sandy Point that we go to frequently as it’s all familiar, I love the idea of having a holiday house down there one day. I don’t feel comfortable in places that I don’t know well and I’m always so conscious of how Beth acts and how people perceive her. Maybe I’m different when I’m with other families, safety in numbers, I don’t know. I guess it’s a combination of all of those things but I was happy to pick up our lovely Minka and get back home.

We’ve got a few friends coming for a play tomorrow afternoon so that should be a nice day, probably one of the quietest ones these holidays. I do find it easier to have people here as I don’t have to be constantly looking to see what Beth’s up to. She loves to explore other people’s places which I hate as she has been known to tip out a bottle of perfume or break the top off an ornament at times. At least here I know what she’s up to. Roll on Monday!

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