A catch up with Donna

We had a good weekend on the whole. Friday night was the disco night at school, I was very lucky as Paul ended up doing both the junior one with Bill and Bridie, then the senior one with Bethie. Beth loves going to the discos and dancing with her friends. One in particular who is her fave at the moment was brilliant with Beth Paul tells me, pulling her in to dance with her all the time. This friend always stands next to her at assembly and is sooooo patient with Beth. While doing the friendship oath Beth listens to the Principal as she says it, then turns to her friend and repeats it to her. It’s like watching an ABBA song! During the anthem however we sometimes have to stop her from putting her arms around her friends. She clearly liked it when they did this at the Anzac Day assembly, the mateship thing seems to really have stuck. Still, it’s a nice issue to have for once.

Saturday Paul was home as he’s not sailing for a few weeks. Beth stayed home with me while Paul took the others for their swimming lessons. At about 4.30pm we set off for the Lantern Parade in Belgrave. Beth cracked the shits bigtime because Shrek 2 was on the tely and she didn’t want to miss it. We were going to her favourite pizza restaurant for dinner but she didn’t care and whinged for quite some time until I told her that if she didn’t shut up she would go to Grandma and Grandpas for the evening and they would be under strict instructions not to let her watch Shrek 2. She shut up then! It’s quite ridiculous really because she’s seen it at least 20 or 30 times as we have it on DVD. Of course this doesn’t matter. The lantern parade was lovely as we saw many familiar faces in the crowds. Lots of school and kinder mums do it every year, it’s such a nice community feel. In the end we got home at 7.30pm, just in time to watch her movie.

Sunday we went to Bev and John’s for lunch followed by Beth’s first music lesson with Donna Williams. I think Beth was a little put out that Anthony wasn’t there but she was fine. Donna had downloaded “what I’ve been looking for” from High School Musical and she put it on the tely with the words for Beth to sing along to. She started off very soft but in the end her voice was fairly strong. I got up and held her hand, swinging it which seemed to help. Donna made a point that rather than looking front on at Beth to be parallel to her, thus helping her with any exposure anxiety. There seems to be 2 streams of thought with eye contact. Therapists tend to want Beth to look them in the eye always when Beth is talking to them. I tend to be of the other side, where it is thought that if they are made to look at you they can’t concentrate on what it is they are saying to you. I do still get Beth to look me in the eye when I am telling her something but if I am teaching her something I am often showing her rather than telling her. I guess I go both ways on that one.

Beth then sat down at the keyboards and did some work there with Donna. Donna explained all about the black keys and how if she wanted to play a nice tune, if you only use the black keys you can get some beautiful sounds. She then went on to show her the notes and a ‘cat’s claw’ – the thumb, middle and pinkie fingers. Or as she called them the 1, 3 and 5 fingers. She suggested that we put stickers on the keys of our keyboard to show Beth where the notes are, then circle the c, e and g keys for her cat’s claw. Beth seemed to enjoy it which was a bonus as you never know with her.

Don’t know how Beth went at school today as she was a right cow this morning. She decided as we were walking out the door that I had to read a book to her. When I explained that we didn’t have time she insisted on taking it out to the car and tried to make me read it as we drove. Of course she did all of this in a quivery crying voice and was very oppositional, shouting out “yes darling, of course I can read and drive at the same time.” After threatening to throw it out the window didn’t work I once again resorted to threatening, this time that “I swear to God, you wont play on the computer tonight if I hear you talk about this again!” Phew, that was the end of it. At least now she seems to be responding to the threats. I’m so proud! I know all about positive parenting and trying not to focus on the negatives but sometimes it’s just too bloody hard. Especially when you’ve got 2 other kids either chattering away or more likely fighting in the back seat. I marched her into class and told them that she was being especially difficult today. Her teacher asked if she was feeling ok and I explained that yes, she was fine, just in one of her moods, sorry. Let’s see how she is when I pick her up tonight.

About Sarah

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