Travel Education

Well it’s week two of the new school year and so far so good. Beth seems to love being at school this year, not that she would come out and admit it to anybody. I think part of the happiness is her getting some good nights sleeps. One of my lovely mummies from Beth’s school got me on to a type of melatonin. I had used the one from the chemist in the past which had worked a day or two then nothing. She brought me in half a dozen tablets of the one she used for her son and it worked a treat. It’s all natural so she wasn’t peddling drugs! I looked them up on Ebay and they were really cheap too so I can highly recommend them. The brand is Puritans Pride, they’re in a blue container and we use the 3mg strength ones. I got two containers, each with 120 tablets in, for something like $13 plus delivery. I have to give one to Beth fairly early, about 8pm, and she’s usually asleep by 10pm which is great for her. It doesn’t knock her out, it just makes her sleepy. So if I continue to watch something on tely she may wake up again but only for a minute. She’s waking earlier, I heard her put the tv on about 6.30am yesterday and she was chatting away, I went in to see who to and she was explaining the plotline to her new kitten Dwight. I went in and asked her about what she had on at school, she said ‘we have Subway on Wednesdays and houses’ instead of sighing and saying she doesn’t want to talk about it. And she’s shutting her ipad as we get to the street the school is on in the mornings instead of having to be prodded to pack it up and hurry up. I’m lovin’ it!

Speaking of Dwight, I realised that I haven’t told you about our Henry saga. Henry was actually a girl (that’s a story in itself!) cat and she was very old and crotchety at 18. She was the last of the animals that I had in my previous life before children. When we bought Bridie’s kitten Harmony last year Harmony tormented poor old Henry, but Henry had a good life, usually sleeping between the pillows on the bed that Beth and I share. I had told Beth that when Henry eventually went she could get a kitten. On Christmas morning of all times I went looking for Henry as Santa had been very generous and brought presents for all the pets too. I found her near the front door, not able to get up as her back legs were paralysed. I found a wonderful vet who told me that she had a blood clot on her heart which had basically deadened her back legs and it was time to put her down. I was glad the decision had been taken out of my hands as she had started to piddle everywhere but I hadn’t wanted to put her down for this reason. Anyway, Beth was devastated but of course realised that that meant that she could finally have her kitten. In her own dramatic way she said ‘the only thing that will mend my broken heart is to get a new kitten mum.’ Don’t get me wrong, she really did miss Henry and still does at times (as do I) but her practical mind said that I did promise.

We set off to check out the cats within the week really. My thoughts were that we would choose a kitten and pay then it’d be speyed/neutered and we’d pick it up a week later, giving us some breathing space. But no, the shelter we went to had already done these things as they are a no kill shelter. We had set out to pick a ginger boy, we ended up with a black boy with a white spot and his name is Dwight. (From The Office). He’s a little bugger as all kittens are but he’s very loved by kids, ladies and animals alike (not so much by grumpy old fathers) and that’s all that matters!

I got a notice home from Beth’s school for a travel education program. After the initial ‘scare the shit out of me’ reaction I read it all carefully and thought what a fantastic idea it was. It did make me realise what a shame it was that we didn’t have a more local school. For the next four years the kids at the school do travel education which involves catching local buses to familiarize themselves with the area the school is in, trains to excursions and shopping centres where they buy their lunch. I went to see Mr Spunky Trunks (I’ll call Beth’s teacher this for privacy purposes) and spoke with him about my concerns about Beth having absolutely no idea about traffic dangers. He reassured me that there would be seven in each group, that there would be a teacher and aide with each group and that they would be well supervised. I guess that as they go to the senior school there would be more and more independance until perhaps in year 12 they could do it independantly. This scares me to death but really, at this stage, my supervision of Beth is like that of a toddler when it comes to cars and traffic. How wonderful to think that over four years this may change, even a little bit. Because, even though I know/believe that Beth will always be totally dependant, I also know that she needs to learn some coping skills with the big bag world out there.

I’ll finish by sharing some photos  of young Mr Dwight Schrute O’Connor!

dwightbeth dwight


About Sarah

Mother of an autistic child wanting to write about my personal experiences
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