Posted by Sarah on Aug 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

It’s been a week full of excursions in my family. I went to the zoo with Bridie on Monday with the school, Bill went to Imax on Tuesday with the school and Beth went to the city on Wednesday and Thursday with her school.

As a rule Beth doesn’t like to go to sleepovers at the school or school camps. I’ve always figured that she likes her home comforts, don’t we all really, but I know her ipad plays a big part too. I also like to think that she will miss me, whether it’s true or not. When I asked her about school camp this year she said point blank that she wasn’t going. She said she’d already been there as it was the same one that they went to last year. Her teacher had said that it didn’t matter as much this year, it was open to the whole of middle school so she may not know as many people. But the sleepover at the school was important. They were going on excursions on both days, sleeping at the school. If they didn’t sleep over they wouldn’t be picked up ’til 7pm on the Wednesday and dropped back at 6.45am on Thursday as they were long days.

The headaches started on Friday. Imagine a falsetto voice with a hand upon the forehead “ooooh, I’ve got a headache!” Me saying “No you haven’t, you’re going to the excursion. Don’t spoil the whole weekend with your fake sicknesses because it just wont work.” Sympathetic I know but I’ve lived with it for years. She would have been right at home in the days of smelling salts and fainting on couches. Well if they had wi-fi!

Tuesday night she had a bad case of the runs. “Bloody hell” I thought “here we go. Serves me right for making plans for the Wednesday when I don’t have to leave at 2 to pick her up.” Wednesday came and she hadn’t had to go to the loo again but she had woken up sniffing. I had checked it in the night and her breathing was a bit coughy when she was asleep so I knew it was real. She got up and had some breakfast and I asked her how she was feeling. “Not very well” was the croaky answer. “Well” says mean old mum, “If you’re home sick from school you know you can’t play on the ipad.” The surprising answer “Then I’ll go to the excursion”. I was so excited. I hated school and would have jumped at the chance to stay home, ipad or not. I could read, I could watch tely, I could – not go to school! She must have actually wanted to go except for her ipad and that was a huge leap. I took her off to school, explained to the teacher that she had the sniffles and one runny bum so call me if you must and off I went.

It was so strange without Beth that night. Bridie of course jumped into her spot in the bed. We ate food that Beth didn’t like. I missed her but I didn’t miss the driving. When I picked her up on Thursday she came out beaming, she had a wonderful time. They had been to Old Melbourne Gaol and to the Magistrate Courts as they have been studying law this term. The only mar on the day was when her teacher told me she had lost Beth in the city. She said that they were walking along, she had told the group they were turning a corner and when she turned around Beth was gone. She ran back and around the block and there was Beth who has gone up to an older man and told him she was lost. Thank goodness, I’m so proud of her that she did that, she could have just gone running into traffic. Easily. I know there’s the whole stranger danger thing but really, you have to trust somebody sometime in that situation. And it’s such a minute chance that the person you ask on a busy city street will be a bad guy. Anyway, her teacher frantically searched and found Beth talking to the man. Miss H said that the next day she realised what Beth had done. When she said ‘we’re turning here’ Beth turned around and walked in the other direction. This time however Miss H was more alert. Oh my goodness, it could have been so much worse but it wasn’t so I just have to heave a sigh of relief and not think about it really. When we got in the car Beth was very excited to tell me all that she had done, even down to what she had eaten. I think I’m lucky, another friend said her son told her to mind her own business when she asked him how he had gone. Must be a boy thing!


Well into term 3

Posted by Sarah on Aug 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

I can’t believe we’re into our third (or is it forth) week of term 3 already. Time just flies. We’ve been very busy in our family but not a great deal autism related so not much really to write about Bethie. I had a parent teacher interview last Monday, Beth is doing pretty well. She’s slowly seeming to improve her attitude in class, doing what the rest of the class is doing without complaining and independently doing these things which for me is a big thing. We did have a bit of a laugh. Miss H. told me that Beth had pretty much convinced a teacher that there was such a thing as an umbrella bird. They were doing an alphabet challenge where they had to name an animal with each letter of the alphabet. I asked Miss H. if she had checked if there really was such a thing as Beth has excellent general knowledge and usually doesn’t make facts up. When I got home I checked it out and yes indeed there is such a thing as an umbrella bird. I got great pleasure in writing in Beth’s diary about it!

There was an incident at Beth’s school last week. My son Bill has gastro on Thursday and I just couldn’t drive the other kids to school, firstly because he couldn’t be in the car for that long, secondly because I couldn’t leave him while he was ill. I opted to give the girls the day off. Usually with gastro we all get it one after the other so I wanted to be on alert just in case. (It turned out just to be Bill thank goodness.) Beth of course then developed a fake cough and even tried to make herself vomit so that she could have the Friday off. Which is a shame as she’s been going to school happily for the first time in years. Anyway, on Friday Beth got in the car when I picked her up and told me that a boy I shall call Sam was arrested and put into prison for stabbing the cooking teacher in the hand. She told me that their principal had told them all at assembly. I had forgotten about it until yesterday (Monday) when I saw all the mums for our coffee afternoon. They told me that on the Thursday when we weren’t there apparently they had the carpark cordoned off with police and they ended up having to taser the boy and take him away for the night, right at pickup time. I was speaking with Beth about it, asking her if she knew if Sam had come back to school or if he had been expelled or suspended. Beth asked why he would be and I told her that it was very dangerous and he shouldn’t have done what he did. Her response; the worst possible punishment : I bet he lost his ipad for the night! Yes I’ll bet he did!

I’m still taking Bridie to the naturopath with success. Her tummy aches are almost gone and she has been enjoying going to school which is such a win. Whenever she gets a tummy ache we look at what she’s eaten. The time before last it was after spaghetti bolognaise and garlic bread, she had already been cleared for wheat so I was confused. It turned out to be the garlic. This time it was after fish and chips so she was  treated for all the different oils. We had spaghetti last night with no problems whatsoever. It’s a bonus that Bridie really likes Theresa, they even read the Faraway Tree together!

I have made an exciting decision. I am in the process of enrolling at University next year to do a Bachelor of Counselling. I have thought about it on and off for a while but a cuppa out with a rather influential friend convinced me that it was the natural path to take. With running the autism support group I knew that it would be something I felt confident in doing and I would like to work with parents of special needs children. It’s a three year degree so I will do job placements during that time to confirm in my own mind  that is the path I want to take or to see what else is a possibility, there’s such a variety of counselling roles. I’m very excited, I haven’t studied for 30 years! I have to do a couple of short courses to qualify so I’m doing one on university assignment writing and one on how to study at university. My sister Deb and I went to the campus open day on Saturday, it’s a lovely modern campus, just off the freeway which means I can drop Beth off and go straight to school. It’s flexible in it’s learning styles so I could even do it all by correspondence if I chose. I like the idea of going to a campus though, I don’t think I’m disciplined enough to do it all from home and as I missed out on the uni life when I was younger I’ll enjoy it even more now. Now the biggest dilemma is what do uni students wear?!

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