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Big Bang

Posted by Sarah on Feb 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

Beth’s become quite obsessed with the Big Bang Theory. She hasn’t liked comedies ever as she doesn’t like the laughter track. On the rare occasion she did watch a comedy it was almost painful to watch as she falsely laughed at things that she didn’t really understand. With the Big Bang Theory though she gets the jokes and laughs because she thinks it is funny. She loves the characters, especially Howard and his mother Mrs Wolowitz. Lately I’ve found her looking up clips on You Tube of the scenes they are in. We went to a 70th party of an old family friend on Saturday. Beth had her headphones on in the room that the food was set up in. She was playing herself clips and doing the voices. For the most part this was funny but on occasion there were rude bits too. All would be quiet and then you’d hear “Who’s that, is it a sex criminal?” in a loud, trying to be Jewish sounding voice! I kept telling her to quieten down but she was in the moment and loving it. She then played on one of those animal games where you type things in and they speak it. Still on the Big Bang track (at least I hope) she asked me quite loudly how to spell condom! I don’t know what people thought, I think most people ‘got it’ and she was very entertaining.

On Sunday morning Beth must have been excited as Big Bang isn’t on on Saturdays. She woke up and announced “Happy Big Bang Day!” Yes it was on that night.

One more funny. Beth has discovered that becoming a young woman isn’t all bad. When I tried to get her to independently dress herself for the party I came back in the room to find her cupping her breasts and looking in the mirror smiling. I told her to hurry up, that we had to get going. She said “But they’re so squishy!” Maybe boobs aren’t so bad after all.

I’ll be interested to see how Beth goes at school today as she had her walk to the Menzies Avenue shops to buy her lunch. This was a reward for being a good girl last week. She’s informed me that she’s buying chips so she must have seen somebody with them last week. Hopefully she’ll still continue her good behaviour.

 
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A good end to the week

Posted by Sarah on Feb 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

Well Beth has had a great week this week. Her teacher has told me twice that she’s been really good and enjoying school. They have a thing they call Menzies which is a reward. Miss X told me that Beth had said that she had been really good and that she should get Menzies. This means that they get to go to the local shop on Menzies Road and buy their lunch with a supervisor. Miss X had agreed with Beth and told her she should wait and see. Beth must have been trying hard to get her reward because today she came home with a slip to say that she gets Menzies next week! She’s very excited about it.

Yesterday was parent teacher interviews at Bill and Bridie’s school. As we had a playdate organised for Bridie after school I didn’t want to be doing them after school so as a special treat for Beth I picked her up at 2pm – 45 minutes early. It was good for her to see people from Primary School as she can see that they haven’t just disappeared from her life. She took her Ipad in while I did the interviews. One by one either her old aides or teachers came to talk to her, genuinely pleased to see her and see how she’s going. She looked gorgeous in her new school dress and they all commented on how nice she looked. Beth told a couple of the staff that she missed them. We then saw a boy called James who had started school with Beth. He’s always looked out for her, making sure her shoes were on in the playground and never being embarassed to care about her in front of his friends. We saw him yesterday and Beth was so happy to see him, saying “Hi James, I miss you!” He was with a friend but still said happily “Hi Beth, I miss you too!” What a honey he is.

When we went to wait for the other kids to come out we saw my friend Bree. Beth was playing a game on her Ipad in which she put funny things on the faces of the characters of The Big Bang Theory. Bree loves the show too so her and Beth had a lovely conversation with the two of them quoting scenes from Big Bang. Beth’s particular favourite is a grumpy Jewish mother called Mrs Wolowitz. She makes me do her voice and quotes quite often. You never see her on the show, you just hear her yelling. Beth made Bree do her voice then Beth would play the character of her son Howard. It was hilarious. Bree commented how chatty Beth was. It was so nice to see Beth so relaxed and clearly happy spending time with the people she’s been with for seven years.

Paul went to the information night at Beths school last night and was really impressed. It’s amazing that for under 400 children there are 100 staff. They are so committed and passionate about the school. Paul said that there is a vocal coach on staff for music now so I’d love Beth to have a chance to sing, she has a lovely voice and no stage fright at all. Interestingly the middle school has the most amount of children with the junior school only having 82. So if anybody is thinking of sending their kids there they’d more than likely have a good chance in primary school.

I’ll leave you with a Beth funny. When I went to pick Beth up today she had paint all over her brand new white shirt. I asked what had happened and she said she had done art for her electives. I asked why she had paint on her shirt and she told me she wanted to be the 102nd dalmation! Cheeky bugger, hopefully stain removal will get it off, otherwise she’ll bloody well wear it with stains on it!

 
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Tuesday 21st Feb.

Posted by Sarah on Feb 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

Well things are going along pretty well. We’re all getting in to our routines, leaving that bit earlier to drop the littlies off and driving Beth to Dandenong. It’s usually a 1 1/2 hour round trip by the time I get home. Doing that twice a day is exhausting but it’s amazing what you get used to.

Beth seems happy at school. After the bullying incident last week other kids have been asked to include Beth and that has been happening. She seems to be finding her way and tells me about the kids she plays with. She’s told me about playing Pictionary, tic tac toe and dancing. She told me that they made pancakes for Shrove Tuesday today, she got to do the shaking and she wants me to buy a pancake mix so that she can do it at home. I still get her in the mornings telling me that we have a doctors appointment or that I have to pick her up early though. On Thursday we have parent teacher interviews at Bill and Bridie’s school so I opted for the earlier timeslots and told Beth that I’d pick her up at 2pm for a change. Bridie’s having a friend over and I don’t want to be hanging around the school for ages while I do the interviews.

The thing I have noticed that is different from last year is that Beth is happier at home. She sings along to the radio in the car and is more chatty. She’s certainly telling me more about her day at school though I don’t give her the ipad in the car until she does! She seems more settled and I’m thinking that it’s because she knows where she will be going for the forseeable future. Last year was so scary, leaving a school that she had attended for seven years and not being able to picture what this year would be like. I’ve been very happy with her school, there’s been a few hiccups but nothing like I expected. Even if she’d gone to mainstream school she would have only known one or two kids, she’s done so well for being the new kid.

I spoke with Rod who used to own Sensational Kids yesterday. He had been Beth’s speech therapist for three years and is taking on a few clients again. Beth is excited about seeing him again, we haven’t set a date yet but I’ve told her about it. He’ll be working on Fridays so if we saw him once a month it would fit in nicely. Our Primary School assembly is on a Friday morning so I could attend as I can’t with dropping Beth off at school. If she has the day off I can go once in a while.

I’ll leave you with a funny Beth story.

I got to her school yesterday and was talking to a couple of other new mums. One was asking the other how her son was going. The reply was that he had hidden in a cupboard during PE. She said she doesn’t know where he got it from as he’d never done it before. I had to laugh as I apologized, explaining that Beth had done this earlier in the week! Cheeky bugger, there’ll probably be a lock on the cupboard next week.

 
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Tuesday

Posted by Sarah on Feb 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

Well after the dramas of yesterday and lots of tears (all of them mine) Beth went off to school today happy enough. I asked her again about what had happened and once again she told me that she had been called a slut and that she had been sitting eating her playlunch and the boy who said it had dropped noodles onto her head. She said it had happened before. She couldn’t tell me his name but she said she knew him from last year so it may have even been the boy she was scared of when she went for her trial days.

I went straight in to see the middle school coordinator this morning, she apologized, she had gotten my message last night but didn’t get out of her meeting until 6pm. She wasn’t impressed with what I told her had happened and said that she would tell the yard duty teachers to keep a closer eye on Beth. As she pointed out though, kids can be sneaky so may not do anything if they see a teacher. Hopefully they can be caught out without knowing that they are being watched. I asked how Beth was going and she said she seemed happy. She said that lots of new parents had concerns about their kids not making friends but that it’s common, especially in a special school setting. And it has only been just over a week. All activities are group based to give the chance for kids to make friends that way and from what Beth tells me, that’s what she’s been joining in with and playing with other kids. Once again I think it’s my hangup more than Beth’s, she doesn’t come home saying she’s lonely, in fact she does tell me of different kids from time to time.

On a different note, my girls aren’t very happy with me! I’m doing the World’s Greatest Shave this year. I did it a couple of years ago and coloured my hair but this time I’m going the whole hog, it’s all being shaved. I think the girls reactions almost made me want to do it more. It’s a big year for me this year, with Beth starting high school, building and moving to a new house and trying to sort myself out, mentally and physically. The shave is for a wonderful cause and I can’t think of a better way to say off with the old, bring on the new. One of our lovely teachers at our primary school is organising it as she knows first hand what cancer can do to you, she had it 2 years ago. We also lost a little seven year old at school just over a year ago from cancer. I’ve watched my mum battle from cancer and eventually pass away at the way too early age of 40. It’s a cause that’s clearly close to my heart. Beth is freaking out somewhat because she thinks that it means that I will have cancer. I went through all the people at school who shaved last time and pointed out that they are all healthy still. She will encounter this at other times in her life, it’s good for her to see that I am doing it for a reason and that it doesn’t mean I’m sick. Bridie on the other hand just doesn’t want me to do it because it means I’ll be ugly! I want her to know that it’s not all about looks, it will grow back and that the cause is bigger than how I will look for a little while. I want her to stop worrying about skinny jeans and how fat her gorgeous slender legs look in some clothes. I need to show her that those things are not important. I also like that it’s not actually about the kids. I’m doing it because I want to and I’m certainly not going to not do it because it displeases them. If you’d like to sponsor me (please) click on this link to go to my shaving homepage.

 
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Monday again

Posted by Sarah on Feb 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

Well Beth had a bit of a shitty day today apparently. She was fine when I dropped her off, happy enough to go to school. When I picked her up she came out in a good mood, she said she was excited because she got her Subway lunch order form for Wednesday. Then she told me, almost offhandedly, that she had met some bullies today. She elaborated, telling me that at morning tea some boys had thrown noodles at her and called her a slut. I asked her if she said anything back and she said that she told them that she isn’t a slut. I’m not even sure she knows what it means but clearly it was said with enough venom that she knew it was bullying. She also told me that she yelled at her teacher and told her she hated her because she was making Beth do PE. She said that her teacher was angry with her for yelling. I told her that it wasn’t appropriate to say things like that to anybody and that PE is part of schooling. I then asked her if anything good had happened and she told me that she played tic tac toe with a girl from class and kickball with a boy from her class. She doesn’t seem to be too distressed about the day but I’ve left a message for the coordinator to call me as I am obviously not happy. Hopefully tomorrow Beth will be supervised a little more closely, she has told me that she often eats lunch alone or doesn’t play with anybody. I guess they can’t watch all the kids all of the time but being a new child I hope they’d be a bit more diligent to start with. At least if I tell them what’s happened they will be aware of it.

 
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Yay

Posted by Sarah on Feb 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

Just a little postscript to let all my faithful readers know that Beth had a wonderful day today by her account. She came straight down the corridor to me, she said “Well today I did cooking and I’m in pale blue house and I played with this girl and that girl ……”. She now knows that she must tell me what she did before she can play on her ipad. She’s made two new friends. Cooking was fairy bread as the allergy forms were only sent out today but next week cooking will start properly. It didn’t matter, she loved making and eating fairy bread! She went on to tell her Grandparents about her great day and her Dad too, what a difference to “Stop talking now.”

 
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Wednesday

Posted by Sarah on Feb 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

I know now why Beth wanted me to sign her diary yesterday. When I left her at school yesterday she said “Ok Mum, I’ll see you when you pick me up early today.” I explained that she would be earlier than she had ever been at Primary School, that I would be picking her up at 2.45pm. When she brought her diary home I saw that it said in first period for Tuesday, “Dear Miss X, I will be picking Beth up early today, Love (with a heart) Mum xx” I had to explain to Beth that just because she writes it doesn’t mean that it’s true!

When I picked her up yesterday I asked what she did for the day. She told me that she hid in a broom cupboard because she wanted to go home. This was because they were doing PE which she hates. When I asked her if she did PE she told me that she watched so it seems that she got her own way after all.

I had to drop Beth at the other campus this morning because it was a day to sort out their house colours. This meant that we had to be there at 9am instead of 9.15. Beth commented that she thought she was taking Minka to the vets with me as our dog has a bit of an allergy. I said that no, I may take Minka on Saturday morning instead and that way Beth could come to help me if she liked. As we didn’t have the routine this morning we sat in the foyer of the main campus. Beth tried to lay down on the couch but I sat next to her so she couldn’t. Another girl sat down near us and we spoke. She said that she was new too and is in Beth’s class. I tried to suggest that they played together a little bit as she looked as lonely as Beth. I saw her tear up at one point when she saw a girl that I have had my eye on. I asked her if some of the girls had been mean to her and she nodded and wiped her eyes. I told her that it would get better, that it was really hard when you first start high school and that Beth was feeling a bit scared by it all too. She didn’t know where she was supposed to go and was feeling pretty overwhelmed by it all. She had caught the bus and been told to wait in the foyer where we were so I showed her where to go with Beth and off they went. I felt so sorry for her, at least Beth had me there with her, I can imagine how she would have felt in the same situation. It’s horrible starting high school for anybody, let alone anybody with a disability. I think too, in mainstream school there are always girls who like to take charge and look after the different kids but when they’re all different they either don’t really give a stuff or they don’t notice if somebody is out of place.

All my friends kids who have started high school too are either on camp or planning their camps. In mainstream high school they do it early in term one as a bonding experience. I haven’t heard anything about our camp, I’m just hoping that it’s not too soon. I think it would tip Beth over the edge, she has her security with us at home where she can chill out and play her Ipad and nobody gives her crap. I don’t think she could cope with being away just yet. If it was soon I’d want to say no but I don’t want to seem like a neurotic parent either. There has to be a time where I let go and let her try and spread her wings. Still, she’s still only 12 and my mothers instincts are telling me that she’s not ready yet. We’ll have a parent teacher night soon so I’ll see if the subject comes up.

 
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Tuesday morning

Posted by Sarah on Feb 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

I just got back from dropping the kids off at school. On the way home last night Beth had expressed worry about leaving her diary at school. Her Subway lunch order form for tomorrow was in there and there were things that I had to sign also. I reassured her that I would speak to her teacher this morning and fill in her order while I was there. I was pleased that she had acknowledged leaving it at school,  the awareness of expectations is a new thing and the start on the road to independance.

When we got to school this morning we waited in the courtyard for Beth’s teacher to come out. Beth still didn’t seem to know who was in her class or even which building she was meant to be in. I don’t know if it’s because she wanted to be with some other kids, whether she doesn’t care enough to remember or whether she’s still a bit confused and disorientated. When Miss X came out (I don’t want to use her real name) I told her that Beth had left her diary. She said she knew but like me she was pleased that Beth had realised this. She said that she was trying to teach Beth some more independance, she said that Beth will leave her bag wherever and not get her own pens etc. I agreed and said that that’s why we’re sending her there, so that she can get some independance. Miss X seemed pleased at this, that we are both on the same page. She said that yesterday Beth had seemed quite emotional up until recess when she had calmed down and had a good day. When we went into the classroom I had my back to Beth but heard a girl speaking rather nastily to her. She was telling Beth not to touch something (I’m not sure whether it was a chair or something on the desk), she said that it belonged to another girl. Beth ended up going to the end of the desks and sitting next to a boy. I felt like saying something to the girl as Miss X hadn’t heard this. Then after thinking about it on the way home I realised that, bitchy as it was, maybe that’s what Beth needs to learn that she can’t touch other peoples things all the time. We’ve tried to teach her that at home and she’s broken so many things of ours that it drives us crazy. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. For all I know Beth may have taken things from this girl and she was protecting her stuff. I didn’t like it but I have to suck it up.

I was in tears yesterday when I got to Bill and Bridie’s primary school. I think the enormity of driving three hours a day for the next six years had hit me. I hate driving at the best of times. I was planning on trying to get a job near Beth’s school but as they have cut down her hours I would only be able to work four hours a day. Even if I did that four days a week I’d basically be losing my family allowance to get paid much the same amount. And I wouldn’t be home all week. I’ll do my event management course and then I can work my own hours and from home. I think any more (at this stage at least) would break me. Of course I’m feeling quite fragile at the present time, it’s not nice seeing my girl unhappy, confused and lonely. Add to that driving for an hour and a half twice a day and coping with two other kids and their extra curricular activities and playdates, it’s no wonder I’m anxious.

Anyway, so far so good I guess. At least Beth isn’t saying that she’s sick all the time and that she hates school. She seems happy enough to go each day and she begrudgingly tells me about her day each afternoon. She’s certainly not clinging on to me when I leave. I think it’s the best I can hope for at this stage.

 
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School week over already

Posted by Sarah on Feb 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

Well it’s Friday evening, the school week has finally started and it’s over already. I had great intentions of doing lots of cleaning but of course I didn’t. I got some shopping done, put some things on ebay, looked at courses online, did some vacuuming and washing, checked out facebook, lots of nothing things. Then it was time to go and pick up Beth!

I got a bit more info out of Beth last night. I don’t know how much of it is real and how much she made up to shut me up. We had seen a largish boy in the morning who was on crutches. He seemed nice and said hi to Beth. When I asked her last night who she had lunch with she told me the pudgy boy on the pogo sticks! Lovely! Luckily I think lots of the kids at the school are as blunt as Beth. I then asked if she did any specialist subjects other than being in the classroom. She told me that she did art and that she made a sculpture. She said it was a cross between Homer Simpson and Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory. She said it was called Shomar and it says Bazingdoh. She said it had Homer’s head and Sheldon’s legs. I’ll be interested to see if that one’s true! Lastly (and this is one I don’t believe) she told me that they took a walk to the local cemetary. When I asked her why on earth they would visit the cemetary she said “to die of course” in a matter of fact way. I’m surprised she didn’t add ‘der’ on to the end of it! I don’t think many people would visit if that was the case.

Paul took Beth to school this morning. He reported that she seemed a bit lost, they all had to meet in the courtyard and get into their class groups but Beth wasn’t sure where to go. When I picked her up tonight she told me that she once again had lunch with the boy with the pogo sticks. When I asked his name she told me it is Pudgy. I told her that that wasn’t an ok name. Hopefully he thinks it means cuddly! She did try to tell me of other stuff she had done but then told me she was making it up after I asked if she was fibbing. She said that she watched the other kids play basketball. It sounds like she’s settling in somewhat, next week should be interesting, five full days might be a challenge.

 
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So far so good

Posted by Sarah on Feb 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

Well today went quite well I think. Beth was on the new middle school campus of her new High School and it’s a fabulous place, all refurbished but looking like brand new. We were shown through the offices and where the art room, cooking room and computers were. I laughed when they showed us the sick bay and told them that Beth LOVES it in there! One of the staff laughed and said that they were getting a bean bag for Beth for the classroom for her slouchy type time. I thought it was terrific that they had picked up so quickly with transition days what Beth needs for wind down time. There was a huge gym where we all sat to wait to see what class the kids would be in. We all met outside and to start with I found it quite emotional. Lots of kids said hi to Beth but she was so nervous and hardly spoke to anybody. Some kids looked so ‘normal’ for want of a better word and I wondered why they were in a special school setting. Some of them gave Beth looks as if to say she was a weirdo when she was jumping around in what was either nerves or excitement. I hate that, I know it’ll settle down as she gets to know them but it’s a stab to the heart each time I see somebody scorning my baby. I look forward to future times when she’ll be one of the ones hugging her friends that she’s missed over the holidays, excited to be back with them. I know it’ll happen but it’s hard to see the beginnings, not only for her but for me. During the night Beth had woken two or three times and told me that she wasn’t feeling well. She seemed much happier this morning though, she chose to wear her school dress and let me take photos.

I had promised her a magazine so Bill, Bridie and I went to the shops on the way home from dropping Beth off. Bill and Bridie don’t start school again until tomorrow. By the time we got home they just had time to watch a dvd and it was time to pick Beth up. All day I found myself thinking about her and really got nothing done. It’s a shorter day than I thought too. It was to be 9am dropoff and 3pm pickup. This meant that I would have to put my other two into before school care. They’ve decided to shorten their lunch time at Beth’s school though so school doesn’t start until 9.15am and finishes at 2.45pm. This means that I can drop Bill and Bridie off at 8.45am which is a supervised time, and still get Beth to school in time. It also means I wont be panicking too much if we’re running late getting Beth out of school. It does mean however that if I get a job close to her school it wont be able to be from 9.30 til 2.30 as first planned unless it’s just around the corner. Still, I’m going to do studying this year to hopefully become an event manager for autism speakers so I can work the hours I want after that.

We picked Beth up this afternoon and the first thing she asked was “Where’s Dad?” He’s taking her to school tomorrow so that I can take the other two for their first day of 2012. She must have gotten it mixed up. She said that she had had a good day and she looked happy but didn’t want to elaborate too much on what she had done. She did tell me that they did lists on what they liked and didn’t like. She had told them that she hated South Park (which must have been on when I fell asleep one night as I don’t like it either.) She told me the other day that she didn’t like it because they said bitch and  f&*k all the time. I was impressed that that was her reason for not liking a show. I just hope she didn’t tell them the reason in those words! I think it was too overwhelming with all three of us asking  questions so she ended up using her bored voice and kept saying “I dunno.” She just wanted to read her magazine and I’ve let her pop on the ipad for a while before I ask her anything else. As a special treat we got sundaes on the way home.

There’s only one more day this week which I think will be a good thing. I’ll let you know how we go tomorrow. x

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