We didn’t end up going to the shops yesterday. Each time I mentioned it Beth stopped me. When I did say that we were off to the shops she said hurriedly “to buy the groceries, right?” She clearly didn’t want to make an issue out of it so I didn’t push it.
We had Sensational Kids yesterday. The occupational therapist is still away so we just saw Rod -Â the speech therapist. I explained our situation and Beth was feeling a bit out of sorts, not paying any attention at all. Rod took her into the gym to ‘speed up her engine’ and the difference was clear even as it was happening. They sat on a long swing, Beth at one end and Rod at the other, with their legs crossing over each other in the middle. First Rod got Beth to help put it up. She found this difficult but with asking Rod for help, gotÂ there in the end. Then Rod explained that to move the swing they would have to use their arms and backs like a rowing motion. Behind Beth was a punching bag so Rod got Beth to bend back and hit it with one hand, then the other as they swung towards it. Beth was loving this and counting as she went. It was a fantastic activity as it got her to open up her chest which Rod explained wakens people up. By then her engine was running just right so we went back into the other room.
Beth picked a charades game and did such a good job. She didn’t use her voice at all and didn’t cheat. One of hers was to present a weather report. We didn’t get this, I think with me because I wasn’t sure that she was as good as she actually was. She stood with a microphone, then mimicked rain. We thought she was singing a rain song but she was doing exactly what the card said. She did so well. Once again, I think I’ll have to buy that game for home!
When our session had finished Rod told Beth she could go in the ball pit so I quickly suggested that we go to the toilet beforehand. She was fine about changing her pad there, except for the bin being the wrong sort again! Rod was very sweet, he sent me an email when we got home which he thought might interest me but also to enquire about Beth. It’s a hard one because I’m sure it’s probably a bit embarrassing for him to talk about but he needed to know why she was pulling at herself and a bit out of sorts. I too don’t want to harp on the subject here as I know it is a private thing, but I feel it’s important if anybody is reading it and hasn’t been through it yet. I wish I could pick the brain of somebody in a similar situation and know how they got through this time.
Beth handled herself pretty well last night too so I’m pleased with how it’s all going so far.
This morning we went off to school with pads in a brown paper bag to give to Beth’s teacher. There was a list that I had sent them with the instructions that Beth could read through with them. I suggested taking her to the toilet at 10, 12 and 2. This would alleviate the worry of any accidents. Also, I didn’t want her to take herself to the toilet at any stage when she may not have been seen. I thought she might take the pad off and not have another to put on. If she was going every 2 hours she shouldn’t need to go again. Beth’s teacher reported at the end of the day that she had had a great day. Phew!
After I dropped her I waited out the front as Bill and Bridie were going on a school excursion and I was there to wave the bus off. Both the principal and Beth’s aide were there and asked me if I was ok. I said that yes, I was so pleased with how well Beth was coping. They were so sweet and were checking to see that I was coping ok, being my firstborn and all. I guess I haven’t had much of a chance to think about it like that. Maybe if Beth wasn’t autistic I would have coped differently and felt sad for the ‘loss of her childhood’ so young. I think that as I have been ready for quite a while it was a relief that it was here and she was ok with it. It’s certainly strange but then I find it strange that she’s looking like a woman now, she’s bigger than lots of family and friends. Here I am often still drying her from her showers , stopping her doing things that her 5 year old sister doesn’t even do anymore, helping to clean her up if she’s dirty or had an accident. Then on the other hand here I am putting her deodorant on, helping her with her little bras and now putting on sanitary pads. Then again, I haven’t known any different, this is my life as Beth’s mother and you just do what you’ve got to do don’t you. So far so good.