Still here

We ‘re now on the middle weekend of the school holidays. I’m going crazy! We’ve completely outgrown this house as our lounge area is far too small for 3 growing children. We don’t even have enough chairs for 5 people. Anyway, the working drawings have now gone to the builder so there’s movement at the station as they say. Still, probably this time next year before we move. The other issue I have with the holidays is my youngest child Bridie. All my concerns about her being too young for school have gone out the window as she absolutely loves it. She loves to keep her mind busy as she is very bright, this means however that she likes to be kept entertained at all times when we’re at home. We’ve had plenty of playdates but when they’re over it’s up to me to entertain her and I’m exhausted!

Thursday we had Sensational Kids. I have some fabulous photos of Rod and Beth but can’t seem to find my phone to computer cord so will put them on as soon as I find it. Beth’s new Occupational Therapist would prefer it if I don’t mention her name so I shall call her Whiskers as that is the name that Beth has given her. This is not because she has whiskers but because she has whispy hair, a fact that I was very relieved about after hearing her called this! She’s a terrificc O/T and Beth responds really well to her. They did an obstacle course this week. Beth had to devise which equipment in the gym they would go on, then how many times or rotations they would do it for. They then wrote them up on the whiteboard and Beth, then Whiskers would do their course and the other one would time it. This was to see what activities revved up Beth’s engine and what she enjoyed. We’re still checking out activities that Beth can do at school to rev her up or to slow her down. Whiskers did note that Beth actually likes her engine revved up high so if she works well at this level then it may be that’s where she needs to be.

Whiskers had several suggestions to make which I found very helpful as it gave me a new insight into why Beth does things. As my regulars readers would know (ooh, I feel like Stephen King saying that!) Beth has issues with mouthing and chewing things. I asked Whiskers about this and she commented on the fact that Beth likes to lean on people as they’re doing work together. She said that it’s about stimulating the senses, some kids like Beth like deep pressure also and use weighted blankets and vests as they like the heaviness of them as it gives them pressure. There is something that other friends have done via Occupational Therapy called brushing. It’s to alert or calm down the senses and is done at various times of the day. It looks like a little nail brush and is done in a certain pattern on parts of the body. Whiskers is keen to start Beth on this. School is excellent with trying new methods with Beth so I will discuss this with her teacher, also some more ‘how does your engine run’ activities.

 Whiskers also said that sometimes the activities you would need to calm Beth down seemed as though the should be to rouse her if her engine is low. For example if she is too high bouncing on a ball may regulate her and help her to concentrate on her tasks. Lifting objects would likewise help. It’s interesting isn’t it how we all work? I have seen the weighted snakes that they have there to wrap around their necks to weigh them down. I asked Rod about these and he suggested that we make something as it can get quite pricey. When we got home I spoke to my trusty sewing helper Bev, my mother inlaw, and we decided that we could fashion a weighted cushion from a banana pillow slip. She’s going to cut around it to make it smaller and Rod said he would fill it with the beans that he uses as weights. If it works at home then we’ll make one for school too.

Beth’s session with Rod was a bit all over the place, she was very argumentative and kept wanting to leave the room. We had another of the o/t’s in there watching as being the school holidays, it was very quiet. Beth didn’t really respond much to him. Rod tried burping games and funny accents but Beth wasn’t really interested. She played a pop up pirate game but kept on cheating and cracking the shits when things didn’t go her way. She did get Rod to spin her around in the big foam tunnel, to do this he had to have his strong spray on his head. He tried to get away with pretending that he was spraying it on but Beth was having none of that and made him spray shaving cream on his head. Luckily he is bald, otherwise I don’t think he would have obliged. I’ve got some great photos of that.

Yesterday Bridie had a playdate so I took Beth and Bill to see Marmaduke. Do yourself a favour and give this one a miss! The kids seemed to enjoy it though. Amanda came with her boys and her and I sat rolling our eyes, it was soooo bad. Never mind, it filled in the morning. We spent the afternoon at home.

We’ve got a fairly quiet day today, going to Bev and John’s for lunch. Tomorrow we’re heading off down to the peninsula as it’s Dad’s wife’s birthday lunch. Monday we’re off to Lorne for the night. Paul got given a voucher for $500 from his work for good results. The apartment accommodation is $250. We had the decision of going for 2 nights and paying/taking our food or going for 1 night and pigging out $250 worth at the restaurant for all our meals. We did of course choose the latter! Bill is terribly excited as they have Foxtel channels, I think that’s all he wants to go for. If I don’t speak to you before hand I’ll let you know how we went. Stay sane for the holidays, I think it’s too late for me!

About Sarah

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