Well my big girl turned 13 today, I can’t believe it! I’m so proud of her. She’s had a lovely day. Her teacher took in a cake as she does for all the kids in her class and Beth took some lolly bags to share. We had parent teacher interviews this afternoon so she even got out one hour early. All the kids piled in to my bed this morning as we like to open the presents all together. Beth was suitably impressed with her Big Bang T Shirts – one says Bazinga with Sheldon’s face; clearly her favourite, one has the soft kitty rhyme. She also got a Disney encyclopaedia as opposed to her favourite Pixarpaedia, a Mr Men Book and a Big Bang A-Z of facts. She’s getting a Miss Piggy but it hasn’t arrived yet. Bill gave her some Muppet movies and Bridie gave her a guinea pig which repeats what you say. Luckily Beth hasn’t seen how funny it is swearing. Sadly I have, Paul rolled his eyes when he found me chuckling away by myself last night!
Beth’s parent teacher interview went fantastically. Her teacher told me that she’s improved so much from the start of term. She’s not yelling out half as much and she’s learning to respect others. She comes back when she goes to the toilet which she tended not to do and she now asks to go. Apparently she just used to walk out and when asked would state that she’d been to the toilet. Beth sat in a beanbag in another room while her teacher and I talked and each time we saw her with her feet up or legs a little open Miss X would say “Beth, ladylike sitting please” and Beth would adjust herself appropriately. When we discussed how Beth puts her feet up on her seat often when sitting Miss X told me that she took Beth’s chair away from her once and made her work while kneeling on the floor which stopped Beth for the rest of the day after she got her chair back. I love that they are so strict on her and I think Beth respects that she has boundaries. They have set some very realistic goals for Beth for a midyear review such as not yelling out in class 60% of the time. These are to make them obtainable for Beth so that she can be proud of herself when the time comes.
I went to see my psychologist yesterday and talked with her about Bridie. Bridie’s becoming more and more abusive to me and in the mornings I hate to wake her because she’ll be so nasty to me if she doesn’t wake naturally. I’ve been in a bit of a dilemma about seeking some sort of assessment. I don’t want to be seen as one of those parents who tries to get a diagnosis for all of her children. I know mums like that and they make me so mad. On the other hand I don’t want to do Bridie a disservice of saying that just because she’s nothing like Beth there’s nothing wrong with her. A few mums from my support group had suggested that a lot of her behaviours are fairly aspy but I kept thinking that because she behaves well at school (although the selective mutism is still there to a degree) then it must be a behavioural thing. At a HAGS (happy autism/aspergers group support – I know, ace name isn’t it!) meeting on Monday I spoke with one of our newest members and when she talked of her younger son and older daughter so much of it resonated with me that I decided that I wasn’t doing Bridie any favours by just hoping she’ll grow out of it. She’s such an anxious child and yet at the same time my most loving. All she wants is my one on one attention and if she can’t have it all hell breaks loose. Anyway I went to my psychologist and she said she can send me out a checklist / assessment form, I can fill it in and send it back to her and we can discuss it at my next session. If she sees anything specific she can then refer me to a paediatrician and we can go from there. She said my job at the moment was to accept that Bridie is that way and to not expect anything else, that way I wont get so frustrated with her and myself. It made me realise how far I have come with Beth. I have tried so many different treatments / therapies and will continue to do so if they arise and if they are non invasive. We’ve had a little improvement with each of these. Now that Beth is happy at her schooling and I see the pathways she can take there I can accept that she will most likely be as she is as an adult too. And that’s ok. She’s quirky and funny and free and she loves herself the way she is. And I reckon she’s amazing. Happy Birthday myÂ beautiful big girl, you’ve taught me so much about myself and the world around us and I love you to bits. Or as we say to each other, I smurf you! xxxxx