Posted by Sarah on Jun 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

I have been taking Bridie to see a naturopath. It’s only the second time she’s been, at least this time around. I know that Bridie isn’t my child with autism but as I originally started taking Beth to the naturopath for the same thing I thought I’d go through our treatments with you all on here as the differences achieved should be much the same. I had taken Beth four years ago now, after we had tried chellation. The clinic we go to does allergy elimination. It’s through kinesiology, it sounds as ridiculous as the guy slapping fish over the body on the health insurance ad shown a couple of years ago. (Sorry to those not in Australia.) It works with the persons arm standing out straight. When holding a vial of whatever you’re testing for in your other hand the practitioner tries to push your straight arm down. If it stays solid then you don’t have an allergy or intolerance, if it can be pushed down easily then there is a problem with it. I have done it myself so I know it’s true. We had done it with Beth and Bridie a few years ago but had been too intense, twice a week for both of them, so it was too expensive and we decided to stop until the house was built. Now that I’ve been having so many issues with Bridie I thought that I would give it a try, especially as the osteopath said that her neck problems stemmed from her gut.

As we had been a few years ago Teresa (the naturopath) retested all the ones Bridie had been treated for and all had held (stayed as not allergic.) Last time she treated for milk. This means she is tested for it, then the vial plus any relating to milk products were put in her socks, she does lots of breathing and back tapping, then she is cleared of it. You can’t have any products containing what you’ve been treated for for 24 hours. When we went this morning Bridie was tested again for milk and it was clear. I was excited because all the foods have now been cleared and we could go on to hormones and feelings. Teresa knew of our behavioural problems so went straight for the vials that would help this. There was an anxiety one, the pituitary gland, brocca speech and the pineal gland. All are to do with anxiety or speech problems. They were all extremely weak, especially the anxiety one. The good thing about these ones is there is no fasting for them. Teresa is lovely, Bridie really likes her. She also treated Bridie’s sore neck while we were there and then read the Faraway Tree to her while we were waiting for the time period between treatment and taking the vials out of the socks (20 minutes.)

I’m sure that many of you would be thinking how wacky the whole thing sounds but we’ve done some of this before and it worked. And Bridie’s a good one to try it on again.  If it works well on Bridie then I’ll take Beth back too. But Beth does have autism and who knows what behaviours are due to autism and what ones are due to allergies or intolerances? I can only help Beth with so much, I know that, she is who she is no matter what. But Bridie can be helped and as her moods are so extreme I will be able to tell the differences much easier than I ever could with Beth. It’s relatively inexpensive, it cost mr $60 this morning including fixing her neck and I can claim it back on Private Health. I’ll give anything a try if it’s non invasive. And it’s much easier than taking Bridie off everything then reintroducing it. I’ll let you know how we go.



Posted by Sarah on Jun 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

I hate the thought of my children getting bullied. I hate the thought of them being bullies probably even more. I had a call from Beth’s teacher yesterday. She has been being mean to a boy in her class and it has accelerated and gotten out of control.

The boy in question I shall call Ben. Beth had come home one day last term and was talking about ‘the Jewish boy’ in her class. I asked who he was and she said he is her sworn enemy. Apparently he had been mean to her. I told her that perhaps he had been mean because she had called him ‘the Jewish boy’ and explained that it was racist to describe people like this. I spoke with her teacher who had told me that  Ben was mean to most of the kids in the class and Beth had been nothing but respectful to him. End of story. Or so I thought.

When Miss H. called me yesterday I had that awful sinking feeling. She told me that Beth is almost obsessed with her dislike for Ben and was now being really mean to him. She kept writing “Ben loves Erin” on things like his poster that was hanging up or on his work. She had crossed his face out on a school photo of all the children. Basically she was being a bitch to him. After school Beth was to go into the reflection room in the office for five minutes while Miss H. and I discussed this. It was only for five minutes as Miss H. was aware that I had a half hour drive to pick up Bill and Bridie.

Beth looked very sheepish when she went into the reflection room. She hadn’t been happy when Miss H. had said she was going to call me, knowing that it would mean an ipad ban. She kept looking through the window at us talking. Miss H. had asked how many times Ben had been mean to Beth and she replied ‘once’. She was then asked how many times she had been mean to Ben and she replied ‘five’. She was told that it wasn’t really fair and that she was being really mean.

Ben is a very loud boy, Beth seems to think he’s really popular simply because he’s loud. Miss H. told me that Beth used to sit by herself at a table that Ben sometimes sits at. Another girl who is very social sat at this table, then some of her friends joined her and they tried to muscle Beth out. Miss H. obviously put a stop to that, telling them that Beth had been there first. She said that sometimes they laugh at Beth at her expense, not with her. But she did say that she had seen Beth being more social this week than at any time during the last one and a half years. Which is of course a good thing. She had put a stop to the teasing. Beth apparently thinks that as the popular girls are on her table that this makes her really popular. In fact when she talks of Ben being popular she says things like how she can’t understand why he would be popular, after all she’s the most popular girl in the school! I do love her self confidence, even if it is grossly overexaggerated.

Apparently Beth also asked if somebody was going to pull their pants down and expose themselves to her. For that one I told her that she is now banned from watching any grown up shows such as Family Guy, Cleveland and the Office. I had given her a warning last year when she had sworn and said something inappropriate. They are very grown up and quite rude at times, however I thought that she is 14, other 14 year olds watch them, I wanted to see the older side of her. Clearly that’s not ok as she brings that side of it to school. I said we’d revisit this when she’s 15 but no promises. I don’t think she really wanted to see anything of the person she asked this too, I think she just thought it was funny.

I said to the Miss H. that I found it so difficult, I had thought that Beth going to a special school would mean she would find other kids who are more equal to her than mainstream neuro typical kids. I must admit I did have a little cry as I spoke, I find it so hard to talk about at times. I felt like she was still at the bottom of the pack. Miss H. told me that she’s not at all. Socially she does like to keep to herself and she’s not that interested in making friends but she’s not at the bottom by far. And intelligence wise she’s right up the top. I said that I’d rather have a dumb kid with friends than a really smart one with no friends. She doesn’t want to go to camp but apparently it’s open to the whole middle school so Miss H. said not to worry, she said it wouldn’t be a bonding experience like it would if it were just her class. There will be a sleepover of just their class and she said it would be good for Beth to do that one.

I am also going to organise going to the movies with some of the other mums and kids from school in the holidays which start at the end of next week. Beth seemed quite keen on that. Beth was banned from her ipad last night and this morning and wrote a card out to Ben with a chuppa chup to say sorry. And of course she is banned from all the tv shows. Miss H. showed me the work she did yesterday, she had hearts all over it. When she was asked why Beth said she was showing how nice she could be and how loving, that Miss H. didn’t need to call me after all! She also told me that she had done really good work on her animal assignment so that meant that it made up for her being bad earlier. She knew she had done wrong, I told her she had been a bully and that I was ashamed of her. Hopefully she’s learned her lesson.


Nearly end of term

Posted by Sarah on Jun 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

It’s nearly the end of term 2 here in Australia and the school holidays can’t come soon enough. We’ve had a dreadful few weeks, I had Beth home for a whole week the week before last. She really just had a cold but she doesn’t blow her nose and is known for wiping it on the nearest sleeve, even if it isn’t hers! She was also coughing a lot and as she doesn’t cover her mouth I thought they’d appreciate me keeping her home. I hadn’t been well either so I did like the fact that I didn’t have to drive two hours a day to Beth’s school. It was nice just taking the other kids up to their primary school, I didn’t realise how easy it was until I had so much further to drive.

Once again my big challenge lately has been my Bridie and her anxiety. It’s hit the roof lately and I’ve felt like I’ve been mentally battered and bruised. With not feeling well either I truly believe I was close to a nervous breakdown. We’ve had lots of school refusal with me dragging her out the door kicking and screaming. She has been getting a lift to school with a friend which has been very handy but I felt awful that I was leaving this feral child on the doorstep to be picked up. I’d call my mother in law who lives next door and she’d come outside to keep an eye on her in case she ran off. I called Bridie’s school principal and she suggested a local psychologist, one who has been recommended by several friends as well. Now my regular readers will know that we’ve been to two psychologists in the past with Bridie. One several years ago, one just last year. Bridie of course would be delightful for them, almost flirty in her charm. She knew the right things to say, she knew she was doing the wrong thing. I even had her informally assessed for aspergers, not wanting to miss anything. Because she’s not like Beth at all I thought that perhaps I was missing something as autism and aspergers can be very different. But no, she ‘just’ has high anxiety, something that in my belief can be as debilitating as aspergers.

The first time we went to see Jenny* (not her real name) Bridie was charming. They played nicely together and she was in there for so long Jenny didn’t get a chance to tell me how they went. At the end however Jenny asked Bridie why she was in casual clothes. I wasn’t sending her to school for the rest of the day, I had thought it would be nice for her and I to spend the day together. Jenny told Bridie that that wasn’t ok with her, that she would have to go to school after the following visit. Well I paid for that for the whole week. Bridie begged me and begged me not to send her. She said she would rather not go at all and not go to school than go to school late. On Monday last week we had our next session. I dressed Bridie ready for school and in we went. Bridie wouldn’t talk to Jenny this time. I left the room as often Bridies selective mutism is better when I’m not around. I heard banging for most of the session, when I went back in Bridie was still sitting with a scowl on her face staring at Jenny and there were blocks everywhere. Yes they had been playing with them but Jenny later told me she thinks that if one had gone flying close to her head Bridie wouldn’t have minded. Jenny told me that Bridie had let her know through writing that she wasn’t happy because Jenny had told her she had to go to school. We left and in the end I didn’t take Bridie to school, she had gotten into such a state that I just couldn’t.

Bridie has been talking about moving to the school three doors up from us. I went to look at it on Thursday, really more because when Bill starts high school (which is next to the primary school) I might put Bridie in to that primary school as she will find it difficult transitioning to high school when she doesn’t know anybody else. At least then she’d be going up with kids she knows. Bridie had such a meltdown that morning that as I walked down to the car she threw her shoes, bag and jacket at me as she screamed. I called her principal after the visit to the other school and told her about the meltdown, also to do the right thing and tell her about the school visit. She called Bridie in to chat with her and got that Bridie just wants to be home with me, that if she’s at the local school she’ll be closer to me. She loves her teacher and her class but she wants me. We have two friends who now home school their kids and that’s what she wants too. I then called the psychologist Jenny and asked her opinion. She told me that she hadn’t seen a child hold her rage for that long before, she was determined hold on to her anger. She also said she hadn’t seen a child present with selective mutism the way Bridie does, she’s not shy and hesistant to talk, she either does or she doesn’t – exactly like Beth had been. She said she would refer her to a team based psychology approach through one of the hospitals. I can’t believe how excited I was that Bridie had ‘broken’ a well respected psychologist! I was just so happy that somebody else had seen it, how I wasn’t going to be sent home with the ‘not sure what to do’ answer. How it wasn’t our parenting and how I wouldn’t be seen to be just giving in to her. I was feeling so paranoid, I was worried that people would see that I have one child on the spectrum, that I was trying to get a diagnosis for another one, that I would be seen as ‘one of THOSE parents!’ Thank God!

Now it’s a waiting game. I took her to school this morning. I organised with our principal to take Bridie early, she wouldn’t go in to before school care but she was happy to sit in reception and read her book. She just wants me to go back to how it was, every morning dropping them off, taking her into the classroom, settling her in. I don’t want it to be all about Beth and her school but sometimes that’s life and I can’t get them all to school at the same time. I’m so grateful that I am able to do this Who knows how long the good mood will last. All I can do is take it one day at a time. She had a massive tantrum on Saturday about a playdate not being extended to a sleepover which I of course stood my ground over. It’s not going to be easy but at least now I know we’re in the system, that it’s finally been noticed.

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