Posted by Sarah on Dec 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

Please note that I have now added the links on to the previous page, just scroll down from here on the main website and click on the little coloured words! x



Carols and finish

Posted by Sarah on Dec 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

I’ve just gotten home after picking the kids up from their last day of school. Beth is of course going to high school next year, Bill will be in grade four and Bridie will be in grade two. Gee time flies!

We had the Christmas Carols last night at school. We have a wonderful music teacher this year who has created a massive choir. With a fairly small country style school of just under 150 kids we have about 50 in the choir! Some parents and I were so jealous of how good they sounded, we asked if we could have a parent’s choir too. We had our debut performance at the carols last night. When we were announced and I got out of my seat to go up my boy Bill was mortified. He had a smile on his face to start with then it disappeared and he mouthed “you!” Even on the way home he told me that he couldn’t believe how much I had embarassed him. Sadly he believed me when I told him that is why I did it. I finally told him that that wasn’t true but that it was a bonus! I was petrified as were most of us I think but we managed to sing our way through our ‘community’ song – Lean on Me, followed by the Christmas song Feliz Navidad. We did get lovely comments afterwards, don’t know if people were being polite or not  but a few other parents said they would like to join.

I was so happy with Beth at the carols. She hadn’t practiced with her class at all and had in fact refused to go to music all year, saying that she had an issue with the music teachers voice. I do believe that anxiety heightens senses and as Beth’s main oversensitivities seem to be to do with noise, she wasn’t coping with louder situations more than usual. Yesterday before we left she told me that she didn’t want to go to the carols, then that she didn’t want to sing. I told her that it didn’t matter, she could just come and enjoy them. Well she ended up getting up with her class, holding hands with one of her lovely friends. She didn’t sing but she had a huge smile on her face. Later on when the raffle was being drawn she even put her hand up to go and pull out a raffle ticket. I was so chuffed, it was like the old Beth was back.

The other lovely development was that she was chatting to her teacher. As Beth had a fear of the classroom this year she didn’t get to bond with her teacher like she has with other teachers in previous years. We weren’t sure if it was because he was her first male teacher or if it was the classroom. A new ad is on at the moment with a man with a beard and shaggy hair like her teacher. Every time it comes on Beth waves and says “Hello Mr So and So.” (I wont use his name on here.) Apparently she was telling him this at the graduation dinner. He laughed last night and said he’ll call the ad company and complain that they didn’t show the ad earlier in the year. At least then he would have known that Beth liked him!

For the last assembly today I took a box of tissues just in case but it wasn’t a sad one at all thank goodness. Unlike all the other girls trotting around to say goodbye and having a few tears, Beth got into the car and played on her DSI, eating lollies. I was pleased actually, rather than build up a big deal in her mind it’s nice that she’s ended on a positive note. She’s happy that it’s holidays and summer and especially Christmas. I’m going to add a few more photos on here that I’ve been sent of graduation, also a couple of films of Beth’s speech and award at graduation. Please forgive the crappy quality, my darling husband isn’t known for his camera skills! Still, you’ll get the picture. Even though the microphone disappears into Beth’s mouth at the end you’ll still hear her lovely speech.



Posted by Sarah on Dec 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

We had Bethie’s graduation from grade six last night. Wow! It was a fabulous night. All the girls looked stunning and so grown up. Of course I thought Beth looked the most glamorous but that’s my job as her mum! I was pleased that they were all so dressy as Beth didn’t look out of place at all. I was worried that I had gone a bit over the top as I tend to do, especially when it comes to my Beth.

We arrived at 6pm and the place was already packed, people taking photos and no parking to be found. We had been to Bev and John’s (my inlaws) to get ready as the kids all had haircuts for the night and they live around the corner from the hairdressers. Beth was all excited, I was so pleased as she hasn’t enjoyed spending time with her friends lately and I was hoping it wouldn’t follow over to graduation. As she had her hair washed and cut I painted her nails a pretty pink. We wolfed down a meat pie to keep the kids going and got ready. I had bought Beth a lovely necklace with a heart that she wore and a blingy pink ring. We fitted the dress and off we went.

As soon as we got to the reception venue Beth was in her element. Everybody oohed and aahed over her dress and she positioned herself for photo opportunities for her friends and their parents. The kids were lovely from her grade, grabbing her hand and making sure they were all photographed together.

We went upstairs for the speeches and Beth waited fairly patiently until it was her turn. She got up to do her speech with her friend Megan by her side. She did it in a clear voice, the only issue was that by the end the microphone was in her mouth so it was a bit muffled! I’ll put a video link on to here with some photos. She also went up to receive her mathletics award from her teacher and principal. The only wardrobe malfunction was when she loosened it at the back and her boob popped out slightly before one of her aides sprang to her side to fix it! She then stayed on for dinner with the other children and staff and Paul picked her up at 9.30pm. Today she’s still in a great mood and has gone to school happy as Larry. We’ve got the carols tonight at school then tomorrow is the last day. The grade sixes are having a sleepover tonight but Beth doesn’t want to do it so I wont push her. She’s ending her schooling on a more than positive note and for that I couldn’t be happier. What a wonderful community we have, Beth will miss our little primary school and I’m sure she’ll be missed by them too. She’s an amazing kid with a fantastic sense of humour, very self assured and beautiful to boot! Here are some photos of the girl :



Sensational Kids and some Beth funnies

Posted by Sarah on Dec 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

Beth had a fabulous session at Sensational Kids yesterday. We met the new Speech Therapist whose name is Cassandra or Cass for short. She seems really lovely. Beth was alert and on task, in fine form actually. Rod was still in session with us and he told us that we all had to write a sentence. Beth’s was “I am 12 years old and I am inventive – because I am an inventive chef and artist.” When asked to elaborate on this she explained that she had made fritatas and pancakes at school. She then drew a picture of herself with a chef’s hat. My sentence was “I love Christmas because I love chocolate eggs.” Beth corrected me and made it presents. Cass’ sentence was “On holidays I like to stay at work.” Beth corrected this with “sit in a pool at a hotel.” Rods was “I like to drink socks.” Beth made this a banana milkshake and explained step by step how to do this. She enjoyed Rod pretending that she was in a blender on a chair on wheels, turning her around and around and whizzing her. We all had to draw our sentences and Beth had her last carry on Rod’s shoulders to the ball pit. Beth was happy and ‘there’ which often is not the case.

Beth’s next session with Whiskas (not her real name), our Occupational Therapist went well too. They discussed big girls things and school and Beth drew an excellent poster.

This morning I went to school and helped Beth write her speech for graduation next week. She put a bit of her ‘Beth’ humour in there, I wont tell you what because I’ll put a link to the film that we’ll do of her speech and I don’t want to spoil it. One of the things that tugged at my heartstrings was when we asked about her friends in the final paragraph. Beth said “I’ll see all my friends next year when we come back to Primary School.” I thought that was so sad, she clearly doesn’t want things to change. I would imagine there would be quite a few other grade 6 kids feeling similar things. Beth does know that she wont be with them, it wasn’t that, she was just letting us know how she feels. We ended up putting in a paragraph about seeing them at next year’s school fete and talking about their new schools together.

Now I’ll share a few Beth funnies.

Bree told me yesterday that I missed out some of Beth’s comments about the dogs having sex. Apparently after telling us all that the dogs could have puppies if they had sex, she went on to say “All dogs need sex, just like all people need sex. We all need sex, just like mum and dad!” Hmmm maybe I shouldn’t fall asleep when we’re watching tely. I certainly haven’t told her these things, in fact I am by far one of the most prudish people in my friendship circle. Not sure if Bree’s mum knows that though of if she thinks I’m a very forward parent!

When at Bree’s mums house Beth noticed a pram in the spare bedroom where she was getting changed. When she came out she asked Bree’s mum if she had a baby. BM thought she meant the doll that she’d seen on the dressing table. As BM makes realistic baby dolls she got one out and brought it out to the loungeroom to show Beth, stating something like “Here is the real baby.” Beth looked at it and said rather scornfully “That’s not real, it’s plastic!”

Also while we were there Bree picked up her mums cat for a cuddle and it scratched her. Beth started off concerned about Bree’s scratch saying “Oh, how is your scratch, and your heart?” When told it didn’t hurt the heart she asked “The lungs then?” We told her that no, it’s just Bree’s skin. “How’s your skin and your kidneys then?” Clearly things have to be more dramatic than they actually are.


A good day

Posted by Sarah on Dec 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

Beth had her proper transition day at Emerson today. I was a bit apprehensive as last time hadn’t gone as well as the first two times had. I read Beth her social story last night. She had worn her new school uniform, bag and hat and I had packed her a yummy lunch of cold roast veggies and lamb. I had covered all bases! As we drove to Emerson this morning we talked briefly about the other new kids that would be there. I didn’t want to harp on about it too much. Beth was happy enough to go in and we went into a hall area to see a powerpoint presentation.

I was impressed with the talk that we saw. Even though I have done three or four tours it was good to get an overview of the school. They do such a lot of activities there. The school is very sports oriented which will be good for Beth as she needs encouraging in that department. Mind you if she’s anything like me at school she’ll  bung on a sickness or period to try and get out of doing sports! They have a rule that there cannot be any piercings other than studs in the ears. The vice principal said that the kids are welcome to get  piercing on the last day of term four and keep it all holidays but it WILL be out on the first day of term one. They have lots of incursions and visitors to the school such as footballers and basketball players. Maybe if they had Disney Stars on show Beth might have been interested but she sat through the whole presentation looking bored shitless! I however thought it was great. I was amused at the attitude towards mobile phones. Under no circumstances would they be allowed. If one was brought to school it would be confiscated. If the child refused then the parent would be called and the phone and or the student would be sent home. If the phone is brought to school and is lost DO NOT call asking if it has been found as it shouldn’t be there in the first place! It’s good to see that they are not slack at all and have some fairly strict rules.

When I went back to pick Beth up all the new kids came out in dribs and drabs with each other or with a staff member. Beth came out with some girls already at the school. I don’t know if it was a coincidence or not but I like to think that she was already so at home there that she was either comfortable with the kids or confident to come out to find me. It may be something entirely different but that’s what I’m going to believe!

We stopped in at the shops for a hot chocolate and to buy Beth some new pyjamas. How lucky that the ladies pjs in Big W have got Cookie Monster and Elmo on them. Beth was rapt. We then headed off to Bree’s mums house as she is fantastic at sewing by all accounts. The fairy princess dress had become too tight for graduation next week (thank goodness we tried it on again), the little bugger just keeps growing. Bree’s mum (don’t want to mention her name as I haven’t asked her) lengthened the straps and gave me a few hints and once again it looks perfect on her.

Beth enjoyed playing with their dogs. They have three dogs and two cats and Beth lay on the floor cuddling them and not trying hard enough to push them off as they licked her face. At one point she suggested that the boy and girl have puppies. When told that they wouldn’t have puppies Beth suggested that they started having sex so that they could! Classy Beth! She was in a very entertaining mood which is always nice to see. It’s so nice to go to places where people get Beth and don’t mind her being herself. She had a ball playing with all the pets and even scored a jewelled shell at the end.

My Beth funny for the night is about the Big Bang Theory. Beth has become obsessed with Sheldon and keeps quoting him or worse still asking me to quote him from various episodes. She also likes me to play the part off Howard’s mum. For those who watch the show and know me you’ll know it’s not such a stretch for me to do her! Beth always puts the sub titles on so that she can get the full benefit of all the Sheldonisms.

We’ve got Sensational Kids tomorrow. I’ll let you know how we go.


Emerson social story

Posted by Sarah on Dec 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

Here is the social story I wrote for Beth for today – her first official transition day. Hopefully it’ll go better than the last one.

One day Bronte was going to her fourth transition day at big
school. Bronte was 12 years old and was a bit nervous as she was finishing off
at her Primary School. She loved Primary School and had been there nearly 7

Bronte had been three other times to her new school. The
first two times she really enjoyed herself. It was a bit different to her other
school though. At primary school Bronte had a lady to help her all the time. It
wasn’t always the same lady but she always had somebody with her. Bronte loved
this as sometimes she didn’t want to do things for herself! At the new school
there was no lady to help her, just a teacher at the front of the classroom who
was there for all the kids.

Bronte did worry a little bit about a boy, who she told her
mum had bullied her. He had called her names and made fun of her dancing. When
Bronte went back a third time she didn’t enjoy it as much because she was
worried about the boy. She was also worried about some other kids who had been
a bit mean to her.

Her mum spoke to the lady in charge when she dropped Bronte
off the third time. She was told that when kids are new to a school it takes a
little while for them to settle in with the other kids who have been there for
a while. It will take Bronte a little while to get used to the others. It will also
take the other kids a little while to get used to Bronte. She reassured
Bronte’s mum that the school wouldn’t let anything bad happen to her.

When Bronte’s mum picked her up she was told the Bronte
hadn’t had a very good day. This made her mum sad. Bronte said she really liked
the school but she was in a bad mood and didn’t want to do anything. She had
also tried to get the teacher to put things away instead of doing it herself.
She didn’t like having to do lots for herself.

Bronte’s mum explained that it might be hard to get used to
the new school at first. She said that Bronte would start to feel really good
about being able to do things independently which means by yourself. She also
explained that there would be other new kids starting on the forth transition
day and that Bronte might make some new friends who were a bit nervous too.

Bronte started to feel excited! She had already had three
days there so she didn’t feel like the new kid anymore. She also had the school
uniform ready to wear on the day. She got up excitedly on the day and had a
fantastic time! Her mum got to stay for a while and make friends too and Bronte
felt really proud when she did things by herself.

At the end of the day she went home happy and excited to
tell her mum and staff at the primary school about the good day she had had.
She was very excited at the thought of having lots of new friends the next year
and her mum promised that when they moved into the new house Bronte could have
friends over for sleepovers! She couldn’t wait!


I can’t sleep

Posted by Sarah on Dec 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

It’s 6am on a Monday morning and I’ve been awake for over two hours and up for one. Before I was diagnosed with depression six years ago I used to wake up really early. It started with waking at 3am and not getting back to sleep. By the time I went to the doctors about it I would sleep until 12.30am and that was it. It didn’t matter if I went to bed at 8pm or 10pm, I would still wake at 12.30am and not go back to sleep. By the time the kids woke up I’d have been up for a good seven hours and was already exhausted. I remember going to the doctors to ask for a weekend sleeping pill. I figured that if I could get one good night sleep a week then I could function ok. Bridie was a baby then and it wouldn’t have been fair to expect Paul to get up every night but on the weekends it would be ok for just one night. The doctor asked me about my life and I collapsed in tears. He gave me an anti depressant with the side effect of sleepiness and it’s worked wonders for the most part ever since. I did try to go off of them after a year. During that time I had given up drinking, started pilates and been to counselling. I’d sorted myself out. It didn’t work though. I started waking at all hours of the morning and ended up back at the doctors in tears. He told me that there’s no shame in depression, it’s a medical problem and if medicine could fix it then take it. If I was diabetic would I be ashamed to have medicine every day? Also, much as I had tried to sort myself out there was (is) lots in my life that I can’t do anything about. Sometimes life is shit and you have to deal with that. If something helps you then why not take that help.

Anyway…. back to today. As I said, for the most part, the sleeping is great but every once in a while I have an early morning and I realise that there’s nothing I can do. I’ve been really tired lately so I’m tipping it the whole end of school thing for Beth and the transition day tomorrow that has me stressed and waking me up. I read Beth the social story for primary school and she hated me reading it. Maybe I made it too similar to her situation and it made her uncomfortable, I don’t know. She of course wont tell me, she just doesn’t want me to read it again. I do have another one that I wrote about the new school, also starring Bronte, the girl in a similar situation to Beth. I will read that to her tonight.

Beth tells me that she’s looking forward to her transition day tomorrow. I’m making a roast dinner tonight so she can have lots of cold potatoes and pumpkin for lunch tomorrow as she’s been awfully fussy with her lunches lately. To keep her busy and happy she’s been cooking her lunch at primary school. I haven’t minded as she’s enjoyed going to school but obviously she wont be able to do this at Emerson next year so I have to try and make up some ploughman’s style lunches for her as she’s gone off bread big time. We’ve got Beth’s uniform for tomorrow and there is a parent information time so I’ll be there for some of the day. Also, it’s only from 9.30am to 1.30pm so it’s not like the other trial days that Beth did last term. Hopefully I’ll meet some other parents that live around here, maybe we can do a bit of car pooling? If not it’ll be good to meet other parents anyway. I don’t know if they have a parent support network or not, there’s a few questions I’ve got so tomorrow should answer some of them.

We’ve had our old cat Henry inside for the past couple of weeks. She’s 16 and was sent outside when the kids were born. She hurt one of her feet so after taking her to the vets and getting medicine for her I decided that she could come back inside. She had pooed on the bed last time I tried this so I made sure she had kitty litter handy and she’s got used to using that again. She can still get outside but I think because she’s so old she’s getting a bit senile. Beth’s loving it. Henry got up on our bed last Thursday and Beth was cuddling her but rubbing her eyes afterwards. The next morning she woke up with the biggest swollen eye it was awful! I took her to the doctors on Friday afternoon and all he could say was that yes, it looks like an allergy. It went down by that night. Beth must have rubbed some fine hair into her eye because it hasn’t happened since. I’m so paranoid about graduation and something happening like that on the day. The dress is already a bit too tight for her so a friend is adjusting the straps tomorrow. I’d hate it if her eyes were all swelled up too! Beth’s also been having staring competitions with Henry. She keeps telling Henry that she’s (yes Henry’s a girl) won as if Beth’s letting her win. As if she has a chance at a staring competition with a cat!


Introducing Bronte

Posted by Sarah on Dec 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

I’ve done a social story for Beth involving a girl called Bronte who is in the same situation as Beth. I’m going to do a series of them as other issues arise. I thought I’d go with the B theme, we have Beth, Bill and Bridie. Bronte would have been my third girl’s name if I had had one! It also goes with Beth’s Powerpuff Girls theme, Buttercup, Blossom and Bubbles if I remember correctly. Here’s the first one :

Once upon a time there was a little girl called Bronte. Well
she wasn’t that little really, Bronte was 12 years old. The thing was that
Bronte was scared of growing up. She was nearly finished at her Primary School
and she was feeling a bit worried about going to high school.

Bronte had had a lot of fun at her primary school. She had
lots of friends but the older she got the more confusing friendships became.
The girls were starting to have just one or two friends at a time and they
often liked hanging around with the boys more than each other. Bronte didn’t
understand the way they wanted to play sometimes so she wandered around a lot
by herself.

Sometimes kids would be mean to Bronte. They would tell her
fibs like that other kids didn’t like her or that she didn’t have any friends.
This hurt Bronte’s feelings and even though she didn’t know whether to believe
them or not she thought that being by herself was easier. This made her friends
sad. They really liked Bronte and didn’t understand why she didn’t want to play
with them anymore.

Sometimes noises scared Bronte. Once in the classroom there
was a funny noise and it startled Bronte. She also hated the noise that the
chairs made when being taken down from the table or being put back up. Soon
Bronte was scared to even go into the classroom.

Everything was changing. The girls started getting boobs and
their periods. The boys started getting deeper voices and everybody started
getting pimply spots on their faces. Bronte just wanted things to stay the same.

One day Bronte met a girl who was just like her. Her name
was Jenny. Jenny was a few years older than Bronte. Jenny said that just
because Bronte had her period and was finishing grade 6 it didn’t mean that she
would be a grown up. She still had years and years until that happened. Jenny
had been scared too but she had talked to her mum and her teachers about her
fears and they had reassured her that everything would be ok. She said that she
had hated becoming a teenager and didn’t like all the things happening to her
body, it made her feel yucky. Soon though she saw that she could still have fun
with her friends and do all the things that she used to do. Just because she
was getting older didn’t mean that she was a grown up. She still saw her
friends from Primary School sometimes too.

Bronte decided that Jenny was right. She didn’t want to
spoil the rest of her primary school years worrying about things. She started
playing with her friends again and they were so happy! They had worried that
Bronte didn’t like them anymore. Bronte decided that the other kids were wrong,
people did like her still!  She even
decided to try to go back into the classroom. Guess what? Bronte didn’t even
remember what it was that had scared her in the first place! Bronte realised
that she didn’t have to be a grown up but that she had to try really hard not
to be so scared of things anymore. When she tried she realised that the things
she worried about really weren’t that bad after all. She remembered how she
used to be scared of a character on the TV – now she wanted to watch him all
the time! She sure wasn’t scared  of him anymore.

Bronte ended up really enjoying her last two weeks at
Primary School. She had her graduation where she looked like a fairy princess,
and she sang her heart out at the Christmas Carols. When she started to get
worried she just remembered what Jenny had talked to her about. Sometimes she
spoke with her Mum about her fears. Soon she realised that everything was going
to be ok.



Posted by Sarah on Dec 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve written. Life as usual has been fairly hectic but not for any major reason, just life with three kids, a dog who needs walking, a cat who needs medical assistance and a husband who works long hours then sails every Saturday. Anyhow…..

Beth’s muddling along mood wise. She’s still not happy at school. She has a new aide (sort of, she’s been on Beth before) and they’ve been doing lots of lovely things together, anywhere but in the classroom. They do cooking and they’re making a memory book which all the grade six kids have to do about their time at Primary School. I sent along some lovely scrapbooking paper so I’m looking forward to seeing the finished result. Beth isn’t particularly interested in anything and mopes around a lot, taking herself to the sick bay at whim as if it’s her bedroom. Her aide had told me last week that she was still pretty miserable and I ended up bursting into tears. I don’t know what else I can do, she has changed medication, we’re aware of how she is and she is almost a teenager so maybe it’s how she’s going to be for a while? I did speak with the paediatrician about maybe her meds not being the right ones for her and he wants to see how she goes for a few more weeks. The problem with that is that it’s most obvious how she’s feeling when at school and she’ll be on school holidays and starting a new school soon so we wont know what is nerves and / or annoyance at the new school and what actually is her medication.

We went to Sensational Kids last Wednesday. Beth had an excellent session with Rod with all three of us drawing a design for us each to make out of some sort of foam bally things. It moulds like playdough but is made up of tiny balls of foam. Beth did well, not only at making the models but at giving directions. Once again Rod explained about not asking Beth direct questions but instead being very vague or making statements and making Beth work harder at understanding what you want from her. When it came time to see Whiskas (not her real name) Beth ended up playing in the ball pit while Whiskas and I talked about our issues. Once again I ended up in tears, I hate thinking of Beth feeling helpless and me not being able to do anything about it. Whiskas suggested seeing a psychologist or a mental health professional which I like the idea of as it does seem to be an emotional issue. I’m also going to do some social stories, one about primary school and one about a new high school, talking about another girl in Beth’s situation to try and alleviate her fears of where she is and where she’s going to. I don’t see the point of seeing a mental health person until after Beth’s started at Emerson as we’re pre-empting issues that we’re not actually sure she’ll have yet.

We’ve spent the last two Saturdays at my friend Catriona’s whose son Jose has aspergers. He’s the one that Beth quite fancies who has a house down at Inverloch. They live in Emerald and we always have a lovely time when we go there. This week Bec came with her kids Will and Kasey so Will, my Bill and Jose played boys things, Bridie and Kasey rolled around on the grass and did lots of drawing and Beth watched dvds and kept annoying the neighbours dog who she christened Sparkles even though her name is Bella. Cat’s husband Ian came home during the afternoon and he and Beth delighted in playing The Upside Down Show. Ian pretended he had a remote control and made Beth go slow and fast which highly amused Bec!

I’ll leave you with a couple of amazing Beth facts and a Beth funny.

Beth’s aide sent her a Disney Movie theme song quiz last week. It was on You Tube and there were the beginnings of 20 songs. You had to guess which movies they belonged to. Well…. Everybody else was saying they got eight or ten right and how hard it was. Miss Smartypants not only knew the name of the movies but the names of the songs to 18 out of 20! When we went to bed that night the beginning of Meet the Parents was on. Beth said “That sounds like Randy Newman singing.” Next thing on the screen it’s telling us that yes indeed it is Randy Newman. He must have sung a Disney score as Beth studies everything Disney. I wonder how we could channel that knowledge.

My funny is that at assembly last week our principal was reading out the awards. Beth got one a few weeks ago so I knew she wasn’t due one. They read the awards out then announce the child’s name. Well it must have been a good write up because just as the name was to be read we heard “Beth O’Connor” come from her majesty in the audience! My God she’s funny! Nobody minds as they know what she’s like. She sure does amuse everybody!

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