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She’s 18!

Posted by Sarah on Mar 30, 2017 in Uncategorized

I can’t believe it, my big girl is 18! She had her birthday yesterday and her party on Saturday. She’s enjoying being 18 and makes sure that we know by saying ‘I can do what I want now that I’m an adult’ when told not to do something!

I had a bit of a mind dilemma thinking about the blog last week. Being a bit OCD (unfortunately not with cleaning the house) I feel like things must be ‘right’ and can’t cope that well when they are not. As you know my blog is called Autistic Children and the issue that I have is that Beth is no longer a child. Do I keep writing on here because I have gathered a band of loyal readers. Or do I start a new blog with a current address, sharing the name with you all so that you can jump page. I think I’ll probably keep it because it did start with Beth when she was much younger. And she is still my child. Maybe once she’s grown up at say, 30, I can revisit my issues with it!

I’ve made a big decision about Beth’s 21st too. I know it’s still 3 years away! Bill will be turning 18 2 months before Beth turns 21 so I want him to have his own individual celebration. So I’m thinking Disneyland! It’s the perfect place for her, and the perfect amount of time to save and plan for it. Of course we’d all go. And it’d probably be Euro Disney rather than America because then we can visit with family in the UK. But, how exciting!

Anyway, I’ve been really happy with Beth’s reaction to turning 18. She’s always been worried about the whole idea of growing up. When she was younger I realised that she was worried when she turned 13 that I might die like my mum did when I was 13. We got through that by me figuring out that it was worrying her. I talked to her, telling her that if Nanny was alive today that she probably would have lived, because there is so much more advancement in cancer treatments these days than back then in ‘the old days.’ Beth talks about my mum often. She said the other day that she wished that Grandsha could have been at her party, and Nanny, and I told her that they would be watching and wishing the same thing. I also wonder if her whole thing about not growing up (remember wanting to be a PowerPuff girl because they didn’t grow up and get their periods?) is because she thinks it means getting a job, moving out of home, having sex, drinking, all of the scary unknown things. I think that talking with her about us working together somehow has helped a lot. It’s not just about leaving school and the unknown now, it’s about the plans that we have. Her going to Your DNA next year 3 days a week. Her working with me at the gym once we open it. Her going to the gym now and realising that she’s enjoying it and will enjoy our own. I think she’s relieved that she’s turned 18 and nothing bad happened. Just like when she got her period and, yucky as it was, it wasn’t as bad as she’d built it up in her mind.

Anyway, Beth had a great party. She was good as usually she takes herself off to her room when we have people over, even at a party. She’ll come out and say hello, she’ll even eat with us, but then off she goes back to where she can do what she wants to do. She spent most of Saturday afternoon on the couch opening presents! Lots and lots of people came, family, friends who are like family, friends from school (primary and now), even her trainer and her art teacher from school were here. It was so lovely. And it was all about her. They sat with her and helped her open her presents and she loved it! We got a lovely cake (Maxi Foods is fabulous, and very inexpensive). We ran out of many things thanks to me leaving some of the shopping to hubby, but luckily we have shops literally across the road from us. She got lots of goodies, workout gear and equipment, Disney books and dvds, jewellery, lots and lots of lovely presents. She also got some gift vouchers and money so next week (school holidays) we shall go to gold class to watch the new Smurfs movie then do a spot of shopping together. Here are a few photos of her big day. Beth dressed as Minnie Mouse. There were some great outfits! I chose to wear a dress with the white rabbit on it rather than do a dress up, a cop out I know but at least I’ll wear it again!

 
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Gym junkie

Posted by Sarah on Mar 16, 2017 in Uncategorized

I just wanted to come on here and have a huge brag about my wonderful girl! She’s doing amazingly well at the gym! We are now going twice a week; once on the weekend and once for her personal training on Thursday mornings. I can never be fagged going at the weekends because it’s always after I get home from work and I’m usually stuffed. I did in fact put it off last weekend but as Monday was a public holiday I told Beth we’d go after I got home. Well…. I was so tired but I said ‘Do you really want to go to the gym today?’ and as the answer was an excited “Yes please!” I just couldn’t say no! As always I am glad that I’ve gone as it gives me so much more energy. We ran into her trainer Mel when we went, I think she was pleasantly surprised to see Beth there.

We just got back from a Thursday session and Beth asked me to join in. I’ve done that once before, with boxing, but I’ve not done it for a while. Mel has said to me that Beth is doing so well that she’s doing normal exercising with her now instead of the easier and more fun things that they started with. Well I was blown away this morning. After our usual 5 minutes on the rower we went downstairs to use the equipment. I did a 12 week challenge last year which really got me out of my comfort zone as I’m used to using the weights in the ladies section of the gym. The ones downstairs in the big gym are much more hard core. Beth did the leg press while I did leg curls, then when she was doing floor work I had a go at the leg press. Then I joined in on the floor to do some of those exercises. We then went to the free weight section where Beth did some on her back and some kneeling on the weights bench, and some on the big balance ball. Not once did she grizzle! I did most of the same ones with a heavier weight and it wasn’t dissimilar to some of the exercises I did in my 12 week challenge. Mel said that Beth has never given her any problems, she needs a break now and then and a drink but does it all. O M G !!!! I think she’s like me. I hated PE but once I started at the gym I loved doing the weights so I know what I like in exercise now. I’m so excited!

Here’s a photo I took a few weeks ago at one of our mum and daughter sessions. I bloody love this girl! xxx

 
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Everything going swimmingly

Posted by Sarah on Mar 9, 2017 in Uncategorized

I can’t believe we’re in March already. It feels though I’ve just taken down the Christmas tree, and I take it down a couple of days after Christmas! March means that it’s our Bethie’s birthday. And she’s turning 18 this year! OMG, yes that’s right, 18!

She’s really happy this year. She’s at Emerson Mondays and Tuesdays and seems to really like her teacher. I also think she’s enjoying it because it’s not as hands on as cooking was. She really enjoys reading and loves to absorb knowledge so quite likes the sitting down and learning side of school. She can also take a book with her to PE rather than participate so that’s a good solution for her rather than hiding in the broom closet like she did the first year there!

Wednesdays Beth goes to Your DNA, a media studies school for special needs adults. Next year she’ll more than likely go there 3 days a week, unless I can find something more local which would mean we may get transport from home rather than having to drive her into the zone to catch a bus. I seem to find places that aren’t really in our area but I guess that’s the job of a parent isn’t it, it’s not what’s easiest for us, it’s what’s best for our child. Beth is doing a creative writing course there every Wednesday. I was going to enrol her in a different class each term to give her a taste of other things but she really enjoys the writing aspect of it. Here’s a link to their blog so you can read her poem. It’s written about a TV show which doesn’t surprise me. I think it’s called an acrostic poem? She has excellent use of language, reading a dictionary at lunchtime for the last 6 years has really paid off! The words are descriptive of the bigger word, or in this case of the name of the person. I love how direct she is, no pussy footing around sensitive subjects, one man she used the H to say homosexual because well, that’s what he is. Another she says is Yummy. I asked if she fancied him and she said she fancies all of them! I also love that she used my favourite word Fart!

On Thursdays Beth goes to the gym with me for personal training. This has been my most exciting development. She loves it and her trainer is amazing with her. Her name is Melissa and she told me this morning that Beth has really improved and that today she was really attentive and did everything that was asked. Probably because I told her that there would be no treats if she didn’t as she’s fluffed around a bit the last 2 weeks. Melissa said that they had started out doing fun game type things but she’s now got her doing weights and working on her biceps. Our lovely osteo Steph also write a letter to Melissa saying how happy she is with Beth’s strength now and explaining that Beth needs to do work to make her knees go out instead of turning in. Straight away Melissa got Beth doing squats to work on that. The next day Beth said she couldn’t walk and was walking around like a robot! I’m so very happy with this development and so very proud of her. We’re even going together on a Sunday and doing a routine together. It’s making me want to open up our own gym even more now!

Fridays we alternate between art class and piano lessons. We’ve been doing art for a while now, Beth participates for an hour of the 2 hour session. She started piano just a fortnight ago and I nicked off so that the teacher Tina could do what she had to do. I could hear her fumbling for a little while, then I could hear the song Ode to Joy,  played hesitantly at first then really quite well. We have our next lesson tomorrow. We got Dad’s piano after he died and as I’ve always wanted to learn it’s a great opportunity. Thank goodness I’m working now, this is all costing a fortune, but well worth it.

So, I’m busy getting organised for madam’s party. She hasn’t had a really big party for a while so we’re having the works. An adult sized jumping castle and a popcorn machine. It’s Disney themed and we’re having a mad hatter’s tea party. And face painting. I think I’m probably more excited than Beth!

Hope you and yours are all going well. I think I’ll do a post next on how far Beth has come in all these years. I don’t know about you but sometimes it’s nice when we’re feeling bad to look back and see how well our kids are actually doing. Also for any of you that have just got your diagnosis. It does get better, it really does. And they do grow up – eventually. I know that Beth may be 30 before she is truly an adult, maybe even older. She just seems more attentive somehow now. Even little things such as when unpacking the dishwasher, saying excuse me to me because I was in front of the drawer she needed. Rather than just pushing past me, not really seeing me. It’s the little things isn’t it?  Ciao for now! xx

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