Sick as a dog

Posted by Sarah on Oct 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

Finally all the lurgies that have been around this winter have caught up with me. Feeling much better now but I felt like I was hit with a sledgehammer on Sunday night.

We went out for lunch on Sunday with Paul’s family for John’s birthday (Grandpa). It’s a lovely place that’s central to all of us. Beth was a bit off her food which concerned us a bit as she’d been sick from the Friday lunchtime. She kept saying that she wanted to be sick though she wasn’t. On the way home she had the back window open most of the time and she seemed to get a bit better with the fresh air. I on the other hand started to feel dreadful and by the time I got home I had to climb into bed. I was finally sick around 8pm but basically felt like crap for the whole night. Monday morning came and I realised that thank goodness, Paul had taken the day off to help me out. But no, as is always the way, he wasn’t home to help me out at all but because he too felt like crap! Great, I can’t even enjoy being sick in peace! I ended up calling my friend Prue to pick up Bill and Bridie for school and kept Bethie home with me as I still wasn’t sure if she was ok. Bill and Brides were great and can get themselves ready and being a Monday it was lunch order day which was a godsend. I spent the day in bed and Paul spent the day on the couch. Beth seemed to be having a Charlie and Lola marathon as the whole day all I could hear was their theme song! Whatever, as long as I could sleep I really didn’t care!

Tuesday I was nearly back to normal but Paul still wasn’t too well so I took all the kids off to school and went looking at bricks for the new house with my wife Bree in tow. The last thing I wanted was to spend the day at home with a sick man!

Last night the girls had an appointment with Nerida. Nerida is going to send me some information that she thought my readers might be interested in. In America they did a blind trial on 60 autistic kids. 30 of them did the NAET elimination diet on and 30 of them they did a placebo type trial. Of the placebo none of these children were affected. Of the NAET trial children something like 23 of them improved so much that they went from a special school setting to a mainstream school setting. I guess in Beth’s case we wont see such dramatic differences because in some ways she’s not as severe as other autistic kids (though in lots of ways she’s worse) but I would love to see these findings and put them on here for interests sake if nothing else. Nerida is having problems at the moment because people who practice NAET are being sued in Australia for putting any information on their websites about it. Apparently the medical board is saying that it is false advertising. I therefore will put my NAET link to the NAET website in America so that people can read what I am talking about as it is no longer on Nerida’s website, at least for the time being.

Of course we are only in the beginning stages of our treatments but I chose to take my kids there of my own free will and as it is just dietary elimination that we are doing I don’t see any harm.  I wouldn’t profess to be any sort of expert on anything that we try or even try to convince people to do what we do, every treatment is different for every individual. I personally believe that if it doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t break the bank then there’s no harm in trying anything. I also believe that while at this stage there is no cure for autism, there can be improvement as autism can be caused by many different things. Each little improvement that we see is a milestone that people with so called ‘normal’ kids take for granted. I also believe in freedom of speech so am happy to advertise on here something that has already made a difference to our lives. Our most noticable difference is actually with Bridie who talks so much more now to people that she wouldn’t have dreamed of talking to before. And that can’t be refuted, others have commented on the change in her.

Last night both the girls were treated for the same thing, wonder upon wonders! Bridie is clearly sailing through everything though she didn’t have to do the brain testing. Both were treated for vitamin A which was fairly cruisy, no coloured fruits such as bananas, no milk products, no fish. Chicken and chips were fine for dinner. This is supposed to help with bronchial problems and eyesight so will be interesting to see if it aids Beth’s asthma as once again this will be concrete proof of it working. Will let you know.


Bad Mummy

Posted by Sarah on Oct 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

Poor Bethie. This morning she got up and told me that she was too sick to go to school again. She seemed just fine so off we all went. In assembly she said to me “See you in five minutes, meet you at the car,” to which I replied “See you at 3.30, have a nice day.” I went to the aide and the teacher and told them that Beth was trying to pull a swifty again and that there was nothing wrong with her. Off I went to art class, only to get a phone call at 11.45 to say that Beth had vomited in the classroom! Oh well never mind. I got most of my class over, just couldn’t go out for dinner with the girls. She seems bright as a button now of course.

Tuesday we went back to see Nerida. This time Beth was treated for salt mix and Bridie was treated for grains and wheat. There’s salt in bloody everything! No weet bix, no avocado, no watermelon. I knew that bread would be a problem. I had some chicken at home so I thought I could make chicken and chips but when I opened it it was off. Not happy Jan! In the end I did boiled eggs and they dipped their chips in there. Of course Beth couldn’t have salt so I needed something to disguise the blandness of chips with no salt. It seemed to go ok. In the morning they had fruit. When Paul had gotten home on the Tuesday I had asked him to get some drumsticks so I cooked them up and they had a type of ploughmans lunch so it wasn’t too bad.

Wednesday Beth was fine for school again so Bree and I went kitchen and bathroom shopping as I have to price things for the new house. It was rather amusing as the kitchen man mistook us for girls shacked up together. When he was discussing the master robes he was saying how you could have a his and hers section and I laughed and said “or just hers” as in men don’t need closets as much as women. He answered with “oh yes, or hers and hers.” We burst out laughing and said that no, it wasn’t for myself and Bree. He then asked if she slept out the back in the spare room so he clearly thought she was my bit of crumpet on the side! Talking later we had a laugh when we realised that people must have thought that I was the bossy bitch who wore the pants in our relationship. Each shop we went into I said “we want this, we want that” and if Bree made a suggestion that I didn’t like I would just say “No, this is what I want so that’s what I’m having!” People must have thought I was such a cow!

Yesterday was Sensational Kids day. One of Beths aides came along with us. We had good sessions and I think the aide got something out of it. The O/T went through some deep pressure techniques as well as some activities to rev Beth’s engine up. They were good examples for school. Another suggestion was to have a therapy ball as a chair with a tyre to hold it in place. This would give Beth posture and balance without rolling around everywhere. And she’d have to keep her feet on the ground.

Rod’s session was a good one too. They took it in turns to do sentence writing again. First Rod told Beth to write 3 sentences about me. I came in after a few minutes and she had written something like : My Mum loves to give me hugs. Her job is a writer. She likes to cook meals. At first she had started the second sentence with ‘my mum’ again and Rod had said it had to start with something else. She then went to write the same in the 3rd sentence and same again. I thought they were good sentences but of course I’m not sure what to look out for. They were all factual which showed that she didn’t use her imagination. There was also no elaboration. He then asked her to do 3 made up sentences about me. Beth said something like : My mum doesn’t love to give me hugs, Her job is a busdriver, she likes to ride camels. (Not what she wrote but you get the idea.) The point was that she still used the same formula, not trying new sentences at all.

Rod then wrote 2 sentences. Beth wanted him to write about a duck. He wrote : The duck hates swimming in the pond yesterday. The pond was all dirty. He asked Beth what was wrong and she honed in on the word ‘hates’. Then she changed it to ‘loves’. She didn’t get that the tense was wrong. Rod then gave her 3 words to choose from, hated, hating, hates, and she correctly chose hated. She couldn’t really explain why though. He said that her spoken language in this situation wasn’t a problem but that her written comprehension  was. It was really interesting to watch and get ideas. I spoke to Beth’s teacher this morning and she seemed keen to come at one stage too.

Bridie had the psychologist coming tonight. Talking wise she’s been doing fantastic since going to see Nerida. Behaviour wise still not so good but we’re working on it. I went to a thermomix party last night and fell in love with it. They’re a kitchen device that does everything from making sorbets, chopping food, making bread, even milling your own flour. At the demo they made bread, sorbet, dip, risotto and custard, all in the same bowl (though not at once of course!) It was amazing. For something like the elimination diets that I’ve been doing with the girls it would be fantastic. For somebody like me who has no idea how to read food packets and know what’s good and what’s not it’s going back to basics using the raw ingredients. I love to cook so I’m thinking of getting one.

Have a good weekend everybody. By the background sounds I think I have a bucket to empty. Happy days!


Off school again

Posted by Sarah on Oct 18, 2010 in Uncategorized

Beth’s got the day off again today as she woke up with a dreadful croupy cough. It’s a hard one as she’s seemed well all weekend though the cough has hung around for the last week. It started up again last night and the sceptic in me was thinking “ok, it’s Sunday night, is she starting now cos we’ve got school tomorrow?” She punctuates each cough with “I’m sick” or other things just to emphasize the fact that she really is sick. I’m sure if she was born in the olden days (even before I was born) that she would have been one of those ladies who fainted with their hands to their heads and needed smelling salt as she does ill very well.

She’s not happy with me as I’ve confined her to her room and told her that she has to read a book if she’s not well. On the way home from dropping the kids off she asked which dvd she could watch at home. I haven’t banned tv completely and have said she could watch in the bedroom but of course the bedroom tvs don’t have a set top box so it’s the boring channels that are left at this time of the day. She’s barely coughed at all since we’ve been home. She did let a big one out though when I argued that if she was well enough to sit and play on the computer then she was well enough to go to school. She’s going tomorrow no matter what!

We had a pretty good weekend. Paul couldn’t sail on Saturday as the weather was dreadful so he took Bill to basketball for the first time. I took Bridie to her swimming lessons and Beth tagged along. Bridie’s teacher was so impressed with her that he asked if we had thought about competition. She’s a real natural swimmer and I of course was so proud of her when he suggested it. I think they have to be 7 or 8 so we’ve got a while yet. Bridie told me on the way home that she’d like me in the audience at the Olympics to which I of course said yes! It’s a big commitment to train for swimming but I figure that I spend so much time and energy on Beth that it’s only fair that I do the same for the other kids.

After lunching at Bev and John’s I took Bridie off to a pirate party where I spent the afternoon in the company of all my prep mum friends. We always have a good laugh, I love getting together with my girls.

Sunday we had a quiet one. We were going to look at some display homes to get ideas for the house we are building but Bill and Beth just wanted to stay home. I figured that it was fair enough, we have a very busy week with school and extracurricular activities and are usually out all day Saturday too. It’s nice to just have a veggie day sometimes.

Beth and I stayed for a special assembly at school this morning before coming home. We have a little girl in grade 1 who has liver and lung cancer and all the kids and staff had written on material for her. This in turn had been made into a beautiful quilt that was presented to her stepmum at assembly. It was so special and once again there were tears from most of the parents. It really brings to home how precious our babies are. Also what a wonderful school my kids are at. They’ve organised counselling for kids who need it at school and have done so many wonderful things. They really are a community orientated school, looking out for each other, especially in times such as this. As a parent I think many of us feel quite helpless as there’s nothing we can really do. All we can do is appreciate what we have and not take it for granted.


A wet old day

Posted by Sarah on Oct 15, 2010 in Uncategorized

It’s literally pouring down with rain today. It’s meant to be spring for goodness sake! We had days of over 25 degrees earlier in the week, now today is like a winters one. Oh well, I guess that’s what I get living in Melbourne!

Beth’s been a little bit sick this week but not too bad. She had Tuesday and Wednesday off with a cough and runny nose but went back on Thursday. We had our PSG meeting on Wednesday afternoon so I dropped Beth off to Bev and John’s before heading up to the school. It went quite well I think. I went in there knowing that her behaviour hasn’t been the best so there were no surprises there although that certainly wasn’t the focus of attention. The Principal went through the notes from our last PSG and it was a pleasant surprise to actually see some of the goals that we’ve set in the past and how they’ve improved over the last few months. Beth has a new aide this week who seems lovely. I know they like to rotate them around sometimes which I think is good for the kids, also for the staff as I can imagine they get worn out at times. Especially with my girl. I took some therapy bands in to see if we could get Beth’s feet up off the floor issues under control. It was suggested by the occupational therapist so that she could play with them with her feet if they were tied from one side of the table legs to the other. They are like giant rubber band material. We also discussed getting Beth a bean bag so that she can observe the rest of the class at the times that she runs out of the room due to pack up noise or starting the day rabble. We all agreed that they are difficult times for kids with sensory issues. Noises that we think are ok can be excruciating for kids with autism. Noises like chairs coming down from tables and put onto floors can be like chalk on a blackboard for kids like Beth.

We also discussed high school and the Principal was confident that when it comes time to scoring Beth in the grade 6 assessments with a psychologist we could more than likely get her scores to below 70 which is needed for the autism specific school. This is of course if it is ready in time and they will take her being older than their other year 7’s. Still, it’s a step in the right direction. We also discussed me taking Beth’s new aide with me to Sensational Kids next time we go which I think would really benefit the school. Any information that I pass on is third hand and while I can explain what to do I can’t always explain why.

All in all I was happy with how it went. Beth is in with the grade 3s and 4s today as the grade 5s are at indoor soccer. She was really looking forward to it so I hope she’s had a good day. I’ll be interested to see if her behaviour has improved though of course in a different setting it’s hard to tell. She seems a bit better at home but her not feeling well can change things either way. It’s Friday afternoon so will see how the weekend goes.


Interesting turn of events

Posted by Sarah on Oct 12, 2010 in Uncategorized

Beth and Bridie both went back to see Nerida at the Natural Healing Centre tonight. Beth had today off school as she’s got a terrible cold.

When I picked her up from school yesterday her teacher told me that she’d been very oppositional. For example she may have wanted some water but she’d been told that she would have to do something before they went to get it. Beth just ran off to get her drink. I’ve experienced this at home also and it drives me crazy. If she asks to play on the computer and I say no she’ll just go on anyway. When I call her on it and say that I did in fact say no she’ll lie and say that in fact I said yes. It’s amusing afterwards  as she does it very well, putting on my voice and saying “Yes darling, of course you can go on the computer” but at the time it frustrates the hell out of you. I think they had one of those days at school yesterday.

Today when Beth woke up and said she was sick I wasn’t sure so I made a point of not letting her play on the computer or watch any dvds as I didn’t know if it was just her way of staying home with me. She has been coughing a bit and is quite snotty so I’ll concede that yes, she wasn’t well.

When we saw Nerida tonight I told her about Beth being such a cow and how defiant she has been. She wondered aloud if it might mean that the last treatment hadn’t work. Sometimes if it has been treated but isn’t cleared properly it has an adverse effect. Sure enough one of the biggies showed that it hadn’t worked. This was the food colouring and food additives, something that effects lots of kids. Hopefully she should settle down a bit now. She also tested for emotions with the Bach flower remedies. The emotions that were problematic were no surprise either. There were sadness, betrayal and disappointment. The ones that made me laugh and had me thinking about probably most kids with autism were ignoring and exhibitionism. Not sure if that last one applies to all autistic kids but certainly in mine. Though I did think this way a trait that she got from me! Once again, I do believe there’s a little bit of autism in all of us! There was also disengagement, something very common. It’ll be interesting to see if anything shows in the next few days.

Bridie has been going really well and has been talking heaps at school, also seeming to be calmer in some situations. She was treated for yeast. I’ve had her on a candida diet for a yeast infection and have found it very difficult as it’s very limiting. She’s been a real trouper and has accepted the diet well but she’s not meant to eat much fruit and I must admit that I hadn’t limited it too much as she couldn’t have sugar. I would give her fruit for dessert.  Hopefully this will speed things along a little.

I’ve got my psg tomorrow so I’m bracing myself. I know what Beth’s been like and it hasn’t been pleasant so hopefully we can come up with some strategies. I’ll let you know. xxx


Been a while

Posted by Sarah on Oct 11, 2010 in Uncategorized

My apologies for not writing sooner this week. With Beth at camp there wasn’t much happening and since she’s been home I’ve just been flat out.

Beth came home from camp on Friday, tired but very happy. By all accounts she had a wonderful time. One of our male aides went out of his way to tell me that he got to know Beth a little better as they walked back together from an activity. He told me what a lovely nature she has which was so nice to hear. People are often quick to tell you about things that your kids (or yourself) do wrong and not comment on the good things. It’s a lovely thing to have a compliment. Another aide made me laugh. She told me how Beth had decided to accompany the other children on a bike ride. When she looked down at the wheels she asked “Where are the stabilizers?” That’s what they call training wheels in Charlie and Lola. She decided not to join the other kids after all when informed that bikes that size generally don’t have the extra support. It was strange not having Beth around for 2 days. We took the other kids out for indian and had a lovely meal. It’s so much easier with just 2. I don’t even think it has anything to do with Beth’s autism, it’s just easier when there’s one less child.

We have bacon and eggs every Sunday morning but Beth always still has her 3 (sometimes 6) weetbix instead. Yesterday however she decided (after her weetbix) that she’d like to have bacon and eggs too as she’d had that one morning at camp. I don’t know where it all goes, she’s skinny as a rake. There’s not much else that we got out of her re the camp. She’s closed up a bit with information, it’s like she doesn’t want to share her worlds at the moment and doesn’t like to talk about things she does without us. I think she’s becoming more aware of us when we talk about her and she’s there. I get this, it’s a good thing to have a bit of privacy about things, especially if I’m telling professionals personal things about her. We need to respect this and hopefully there’ll be a middle ground.

We had a fairly uneventful weekend. Bridie and Bill had swimming lessons on Saturday and we spent the afternoon at home. Sunday we went to Bev and John’s house for lunch. This time I told Beth there was to be no pulling plants out and no smothering herself in mud! She did the right thing this week.

Beth was a bit out of sorts this morning at school and wanted to come home with me when she saw me chatting outside the prep room. She came out with a quaver in her voice telling me that she had a sore throat. When I commented that it had been fine 10 minutes before she gave a little cough. I called out “goodbye!” much to her annoyance and left!

I had a hags meeting this morning. It was lovely to catch up with the girls. Cat brought her son’s ipad to show us, it’s amazing to see what organisational things there are for any kids, let alone autistic ones. I’m going to see if somebody from Apple can come out to a meeting and explain all the things you can do with it as it would be fantastic for high school. You can even put photos on their schedules such as classrooms and other areas that they have to be at. Cat’s son is going to high school next year and she seems to be having the same problem as me, he doesn’t want to leave primary school. Beth clams up every time I talk about high school, I think it’s the fear of the unknown. And also that fear that it means that she’ll be a grown up. I’ve asked the teacher to broach the subject at school a bit to get all the kids talking more about it.

We’ve got a psg tomorrow so that should be interesting as Beth’s behaviour has been somewhat challenging lately. Adolescence has hit big time and it’s not been pretty! Will let you know how we go.


School’s back

Posted by Sarah on Oct 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

It’s Monday today. I’m having a lovely day as it’s the first day back to school. I really enjoyed the holidays this time around which surprised me. Friday was the only day we didn’t have anything planned though and Bridie was a bit of a nightmare. I took a leaf out of Bec’s book and collected all the old boxes and recyclables, bought a heap of sticky tape and let Bridie make whatever she wanted. We had fun for a while but it just wasn’t enough.

Saturday was Grand Final Day take 2. Once again we headed off for Bev and John’s for lunch and to watch the game. This time however the Saints got slaughtered with Collingwood winning by a landslide. I didn’t enjoy it as much as last week as when you know somebody is definately going to win there’s no challenge.

Beth was particularly naughty all day on Saturday. She didn’t want to go to Bev and John’s and let her annoyance out big time. It’s like when we go out for lengthy periods of time, Minka the dog will chew on something or pull rubbish out of the bin. Beth was like a naughty dog, doing everything she could that she shouldn’t. Firstly, as it was a nice day, she went out and dug in the garden. Usually I don’t mind this as it’s dry dirt and she often pulls a worm or a snail out of the garden to play with. It’s fairly harmless fun though Bev has said that she has found snails in the house crawling up the windows at times! There’s a hibiscus that John has planted and Beth decided, yet again, to pull it out. Now there’s heaps of weeds and other plants to choose from in this area so I can only guess that it was done knowing that it shouldn’t be. Last week she upended all the pots of rosemary clippings that John was trying to grow. Bev and I took Bridie across the road for a treat as she’s been so good with her diet. When we got back we found Beth smearing mud all over herself. I ran her a bath and while in there she went back and forth so that the floor would get flooded. She knows not to do that and wouldn’t even admit that she was in the wrong, instead coming up with smart arse (and I must admit amusing) comments such as “but it’s a work of art.” In the end we banned her to the room with the toys and books and she read nicely. Sometimes she can be so good and then she goes and does something so childish that it frustrates the hell out of me. When is she going to grow out of this behaviour?

Yesterday we got up and realised that that time of the month had come 4 days early. Not sure if that would explain the vile mood, I hope so. I was cleaning my teeth while she was attending to myself and she noticed that there was a bit of blood when I spat. Out came another Beth classic. “Your mouth must have a jawiod.” She decided this was the name for a mouth period! She does crack me up at times.

We went to the movies in the morning to see Cats and Dogs 2. It was organised by a lovely lady, Annette, from a group called Camp Autism. The movie morning was a fundraiser for them and it was designed for the kids on the spectrum to try out movies who don’t normally go. Lots of kids with autism have sensory issues with sound or lights so it was a good chance for people to check it out amongst people who understood where their kids are coming from. The whole theatre was booked out and there were 140 people all up. I think it’s a fantastic idea for the younger kids but as Beth doesn’t have issues with the movies anymore we’ve sort of grown out of that need now. It was very very noisy and the movie seemed to be lower to compensate for the kids with noise problems. Beth wasn’t happy because it wasn’t in 3D and Bill couldn’t hear at all bless him, because kids were running up and down yelling in front of the screen. Also, often when we go to the local theatre, there’s hardly anybody there. Here, it was packed and most of them were kids with autism. You get the picture! Anyway, I’m still glad that we went as it’s certainly for a worthy cause and I think Annette does an amazing job. We’re hopefully going to go to one of her camps in January. If anybody wants to know any more please let me know and I can send you some information.

Beth has camp on Wednesday til Friday. She still wont talk with me about it but she would concede that she is looking forward to it. I was worried about her getting her period on camp but I’m pleased that she’ll already have it if you know what I mean? At least then they’ll be prepared. I’ll miss her dreadfully, she’s so much  more dependant on me than the other kids and we do do a lot together. We don’t have swimming tonight for the obvious reason so not much happening on the therapy / treatment front. Enjoy your sanity folks, school’s back, breathe!


A wonderful development

Posted by Sarah on Oct 1, 2010 in Uncategorized

I’m writing this at 7.30 in the morning and Bridie is whinging at me in the background so I don’t know how coherent I sound. But hey, coherence is very overrated anyway! I’m excited that we’ve had some progress with Beth and really wanted to share it so I’ll have to write through it.

We went back to see Narida on Tuesday and I took Bridie for an assessment this time. Wow, it blows me away how things are detected. Nerida started with Iridology and noted that Bridie had a candida or thrush infection. She asked if she had experienced an itchy bum. I can’t remember how long it’s been since Bridie has had problems with a rash on and off. When she got out of nappies I figured it would get a bit better which it did but it’s still been there at various times. I’ve taken her to the doctors and they’ve taken swabs and it’s all come back clear. She’s been put on a candida diet for a few weeks which is very limiting but Nerida told me that this can effect her moods greatly. Fingers crossed. She’s not liking the diet at all as there’s no sugars and no bread. We’ll stick to the diet as closely as we can as there’s going to be days that it’s almost unavoidable to cheat. The good thing is that if you cheat once in a while it just stalls the healing, you don’t have to start all over again. So I think we’ll play it by ear. She was also treated for the vitamin B one that Beth took a while to clear. This is also for moods but I haven’t seen much difference there yet. As usual we came home armed with various medicines/drops/vitamins that cost us an arm and a leg. Luckily for Bridie it’s drops and powders that go into juice. Beth takes drops and powders and tablets but she’s older.

Beth was treated for artificial things. This was flavourings and sweeteners and anything chemical in shampoos and toothpastes. This was surprising very limiting as we were getting a hair cut in the afternoon and she couldn’t have her hair washed, or clean her teeth. Bleach was a problem too and the revolting thing I found out was that chickens are bleached unless you buy the organic version. Also frozen chips as they bleach them to keep them white. As Bridie was on the vitamin B detox for 24 hours we could only have fish and chips again. This meant in Beth’s case we couldn’t have them from the fish and chip shop or even frozen ones. Also the fish from fish and chips as she couldn’t have white flour. It wasn’t a big deal and I made it all myself though it’s such a treat buying fish and chips and that seemed to be my reward for sticking to the diet in the past. Still, we got through it fine.

After the treatment we had an appointment at the hairdressers. The problem was that High School Musical 2 was on the tely at 12 noon and our appointment was at 12.30. Beth cracked it big time and was very oppositional. We managed to get home for the second half. I even suggested that she stayed with Grandpa while I took the others, that way she could watch it at their house. No, it had to be at our house. Once again, we do have the dvd, but when it’s on the tely that’s what you watch it on.

Wednesday Paul had the day off and we went to see a play called The Great Big Story Book. This was organised by a friend from HAGS and her husband. It was good fun and the kids enjoyed it. We popped back for a visit to Grandma and Grandpa’s as they had friends over, then I took Beth off to Sensational Kids.

We had a good session. Whiskers had Beth with her for most of the time by herself and said she enjoyed getting to know Beth one on one. She started a book to record their progress and Beth had a hand in naming and decorating it. This will be a communication book between her, myself and school. Rod had Beth on a swing in the middle of the room for their whole session. He was asking questions of Beth to see if she got why sentences related to each other or not. For example he might say “My family likes to clean their teeth. I played tennis with my friend.”  The fact that one sentence was about family and one was about self made them not relate, also the fact that they were 2 unrelated statements. Beth picked this up quite well and Rod was pleased. I found her to be a bit vague but her work was very good, picking up cues Rod wasn’t expecting.

The big news came yesterday morning. My regular readers will remember that Beth has issues with different tv shows and movies. She’ll watch something for a while then something will happen that often only she will know. It’s more than likely a sudden noise and she’ll get an aversion, starting to avoid certain parts of movies if she knows it’s coming, or whole tv shows if she doesn’t. Oscar the Grouch is the main problem, just in case he has his elephant with him. It started off with Oscar, then the whole of Sesame Street, then the ads on ABC kids, then the whole of ABC kids, just in case Oscar ever came on. She’s lessened that somewhat as I got fed up with pandering to something that effects the other kids but she always was ready to run during ads and had her fingers in her ears. Another biggie was Bananas in Pyjamas. Once again, she loved it but something happened and it was dumped.

Yesterday morning she changed the channel at 9am and I thought she’d put on ABC3 which doesn’t have any of the little kids shows on. In a Night Garden came on and I thought to myself that it was a show that she didn’t like but figured that I got it wrong as she sat and watched it. While I was cleaning my teeth Bananas in Pyjamas came on and I poked my head out to see if she had run off but she was sitting their watching it. Wow, I was right as she would avoid the whole 9 – 9.30 viewing on ABC kids. We then headed off to Bec’s house for a play, Bree has just come back from 2 months away and Prue popped over so all the kids had a huge play and we had a good old natter. Beth decided to pick a dvd and after much deliberation chose The Piglet Movie. This was a movie that she had loved years ago but then had a reaction to some bees at the start of the movie as they make a noise that Beth didn’t like. I couldn’t believe that she had chosen that one. It was like she was deliberately choosing to watch movies and tv shows that she had avoided for so many years. Her anxiety levels must be going down, allowing her to do things that she never allowed herself to do before.

I’m so happy with this new development as I’ve always believed that autism is about extremes of what we all feel. Extreme anxiety about things rule their lives, whether it’s about trying a new food or going to a new shop or hairdressers, even going a new route in the car. If we can combat the anxiety then the behaviours should lessen. Once again, as with the chelation and flaxseed treatment last year, Beth’s autistic traits are coming out big time, lots of jumping up and down and making noises. Lots of oppositional moods too. I don’t know whether it’s the body’s reaction, a sort of confusion to these new feelings and awarenesses that are going on or whether it’s a coincidence. It doesn’t really matter, there’s improvement in areas that I never thought would happen. This is the first behavioural improvement we’ve seen. Through both treatments there’s been improvement in communication but I’m never sure if it’s through treatments or therapies which have been doing wonders. It’ll be interesting to see how she’s go with Oscar the Grouch, or with the doctor in the Simpsons that, due to her incredible memory, she knows is coming in episodes that she’s only seen once. She will run out of the room when he’s about to appear. Still, one step at a time!

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