Support – My #WOTW and #R2BC

Nearly Friday and time to sum up our week in one week, that would be:

Support

And think of some reasons to be cheerful.

My Hubbie has been a wonderful support, cuddling me when I’ve felt sore, after this week’s bit of surgery.  Kissing my chin because everywhere else is just too painful and ensuring that I try and relax (relaxing does not come easy to me).

For the children, the routines have to carry on.  D’s had a bit of a up-and-down week with some upsets at school and she’s been reluctant to discuss them, but she has … eventually.  

T is looking forward to the Easter break and a chance to refuel his batteries and get out into the garden for a bounce or three (dozen).  Although his team lost on Saturday, it was good to see him happy that he’d played football and he came back from after-school football with very muddy knees today (always a sign he’s got stuck in).

A time in which I’m grateful for our little family unit, especially after the horrendous and inexplicable air crash in the Alps this week.



Sore – Weds 25th March 2015

Autism and not feeling 100% do not mix.

I’m sore, very sore after an appointment yesterday.  My skull – in particular my jaw – feels like every bone is aching.  C’est la vie.  I am guilty of pushing myself too hard at times, when really I should stop and take stock.  That is how I roll, I guess, taking the rough with the smooth, you have to with autism.

Anyway, despite my explaining to T and D yesterday and this morning that I was aching and why, D still managed to disregard this when she got over-enthusiastic and grabbed my jaw and shook my head after some successful Minecrafting.  Ouch!

And the routines have to be kept to.  Meals when they should be, waiting in the same place at the end of the day, our bird watches on the way to school (we usually see a robin chirruping away, it’s nice).

My soreness will pass and then it will be onto the next challenge.  As if there aren’t already enough.

I hope everyone’s day has gone well Jx 



Small Steps Amazing Achievements 

It’s Wednesday and time for some #SSAmazingAchievements.  This week the Linky is over at @OurLitEscapades with Jane but you can always link up below as the code syncronises.

We really enjoy reading about your little (or not so little) superstars, commenting and sharing them via the #SSAmazingAchievements hashtag.

Here’s the badge code if you’d like to grab it:

“Our
<div align="center"><a href="http://ourlittleescapades.com/small-steps-amazing-achievements/" title=“Our Little Escapades" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1322.photobucket.com/albums/u565/EthansEscapades/Wordpress%20Blog/SmallSteps_zps72385117.jpg" alt=“Our Little Escapades" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

I really enjoyed last week’s linked posts and my highlights are:


“It’s always great when children take an interest in books and Monkey is learning to read over at @BecomingaSAHM

Sometimes achievements can seem small to others, but mega to a parent, @earlyrisingmum had a nail cutting win
And over at @shiredad they are involved in negotiations, a little bit”



Worry Dolls – Tues 24th March 2015

D is a worrier, she gets anxious over things that others may consider trivial (for example, someone walking behind us.  Not closely, but we have to stop and have a cuddle whilst they go past), it’s part of her autism.  

It does concern me that it’s generally only me she’ll express her worries to and this is usually after gentle persuasion.  Sometimes her worries only manifest days or weeks afterwards and then linger …. and linger.

She mentioned last week that they’d be making “worry dolls” in class and my first thought was that it was such a good idea, sometimes a change of focus is all that’s needed to take the worry away.  Obviously I’d want and need to know the bigger worries but smaller ones (like say, T antagonising her) can be dealt with by the doll.

D brought her doll home today, she had fun crafting it, it’s gold material with a feather in place of a head.  Time will tell if it helps but she’s very receptive to the idea – just might need a prompt in the evening.

One of her classmates showed me his worry doll, it’s named after me, with a bright pink coat like I wear.  It has a pink feather for hair and it’s a tad cute.  Quite touching really.

I hope everyone’s day has gone well Jx 



Unexpected – Mon 23rd March 2015

After the weekend we’ve just experienced, of autism-related angst and anxiety, I wasn’t expecting today to go well for D, especially as it involved an off-site visit from school.

Silly me!  There I was clock-watching today, thinking “she’ll be there now, I wonder if she’s okay in that huge place” and her dance group were going to be performing their dance to the A-level class that their choreographers came from.  Not only that, but they’d all be having their lunch in the college canteen.  A lot for the group to contend with.

I can’t deny, D has mentioned she had a couple of “moments”, she said lunch was “very noisy and busy” and they did so much walking around the college that her legs hurt. But she tolerated the visit, I guess primarily because the PE staff are so enthusiastic and know D and her anxieties, when to “persuade” gently and when to know that she’s just not happy.  

Also, it was a planned-in-advance visit, something the group had known about for a week, something discussed and agreed.  Something to be enthusiastic about and with good reason, the college has a fantastic reputation and track record.

Unlike the sudden changes at the party on Saturday, which left D incredibly anxious and she choose to deal with it by isolating herself from a place that always usually makes her so happy.  

It’s tricky, because I want to talk to her about it all, to say that sometimes change doesn’t go the way we expect it, but any mention of it and her face changes and she’s revisiting those emotions.  

Going back to today though, she’s done us proud.  Especially after the weekend.  It just goes to show that life with autism chucks us some curveballs, some not-so-positive and some utterly unexpected fab ones. 

I hope everyone’s day has gone well Jx



Umm – Sun 22nd March 2015

It’s not going to be a diary post tonight, I’ve been awake since 2.30am and need some sleep.

Various reasons not least that D is still unsettled after yesterday.

Normal service will resume tomorrow Jx



Deflated – Sat 21st March 2015

D has been looking forward to today all week, unfortunately the build up did not deliver.

She usually loves visiting the SN playground, LOVES it.  It’s a place where she can use the soft play area, go up and down the structures and be the nearly-11 year old she is.  Without stares or judgement.  It’s a vital place for the SN community.

Today, though, she’s been … well, deflated.  even though we were there for a birthday party, she didn’t enjoy herself, preferring to either watch from the sidelines or stick with me (her not wanting me out of her sight).  All very unlike D in that environment.

We ended up away from the party, away from the fun of the trikes or soft play and did some crafting.  As well as the facilities, there are always some fab crafting materials, usually donated by local businesses.

We made a wand:





And once home, a bubble b a t h and some cuddles relaxed D.  She even decided to give Bitsey the title of “Queen Fluffy”.



A day in which I’ve realised that no matter how much you think your autistic child has adjusted and matured, situations can cause them to have a throwback day.  A day she should have enjoyed, I should be posting happy pictures where her laughter comes through the photo, but I’m not.  That’s life sometimes, isn’t it.

Cloudy – Fri 20th March 2015

The solar eclipse passed us by, cloudy was the word.  Much to the relief of D tbh.

She was worried she’d hurt her eyes, worried that the pets would be affected, we walked to school with D keeping her head firmly downwards, not wanting to look out for the usual visual checkpoints – birds, nests, trees etc.

It went very cold, stayed cloudy, didn’t go dark  and that was it.

At T’s school, a few miles away, in countryside and clearer skies, it got darker in the classroom.  He enjoyed the experience as they watched it on a big screen.  

With T, it was relatively easy to explain the astronomy and why no one should look directly at the sun, but especially today.

With D, it was all very literal – as mentioned above – she didn’t want to raise her head at all.

C’est la vie.  

She was pleased to see me at the end of the day, pleased everyone was okay and a definite TGIF feeling as she looks forward to heading to her favourite SN playground tomorrow.  T has a football day, perfect for him.

This is how happy she was last time we went, hoping to replicate that big smile tomorrow.



A Word For The Week and #R2BC

I am so looking forward to next week, for reasons that will become clear in due course, but we have this week to finish first.

To sum it up, it’s been a Challenging one, for all of us.

And here’s why (the R2BC bit):

1.  Up, up and away!

I do not have a head for heights, even standing on a step ladder makes me a bit wobbly.  That’s how I met Hubbie.

The children have many anxieties and worries, but a fear of heights isn’t one of them, I’m glad to say.

On Saturday D and I went on this:





Right up to the blooming top and then down again, very fast!  Whilst D was chirping away saying “I can see Angry Birds Land, look at this!” etc, I was staring at my hand holding the harness, knowing that if I looked anywhere else, I’d not do very well.  A challenge if ever there was one.

I did feel a tad proud of myself and D, the theme park was very busy and it was really quite cold whizzing around on rides.  She did very well in the crowds too.  

2.  Let’s Dance!

D has been attending a dance club after school once a week, they performed a routine for parents/carers yesterday.  She wasn’t comfortable or particularly happy, but got through it.  Well done D!

3.  Moving On

I’ve been using my Fitbit for about 7 weeks now, getting through my 10k daily target, apart from being nearer 8k at weekends.  

A bonus without really curbing my appetite (seashell choc anyone?) is that I’m 8lb lighter and am starting to see the difference.  

4.  Easy does it

A downside of whizzing around rides on a chilly Saturday is that I went along with a tickly mild cough and it’s turned into an annoyingly keep-you-awake hacking one.  

Spring decluttering has continued but at a slower pace, as long as it’s down by the Easter holidays, that will do me.  Both T and D will need their downtime, without their mum sorting out “hippobag/recycling/charity shop” piles everywhere.

Challenging, calm and coughing.  Roll on next week!

A Performance – Weds 18th March 2015

As I mentioned yesterday, D had a shed-load of anxieties about today.

She goes to after-school sports club every Wednesday and the theme has been Dance this half term.  For a few weeks the whole group has been practising a routine, to perform today, in front of parents/carers.

A big ask for a SN group, to not only follow instructions, memorise steps, work as a team and in front of an audience.  Huge.

Today took me back to those times in mainstream when D couldn’t participate, she’d be brilliant in rehearsals and then nerves would overwhelm her on the day.

She’s been at her SN school five years now and every performance is never taken for granted, because I remember that very frightened, anxious girl and know just how much she’s overcome.

It wasn’t looking promising when we first went into the hall, D was sat stoney-faced on a bench, unwilling to acknowledge us but not taking her eyes from us, wanting us to know that she was not happy.  

Little waves didn’t work, kisses blown ignored, just that solemn, unhappy stare.

I so wanted to go over, to give her a cuddle but knew that if I did, she probably wouldn’t join in.  Far better for her to be annoyed with me than the staff, who’d worked so hard with the group.

And the music started, the routine started.  D moved ackwardly but joined in.  She still wasn’t happy but she followed the lead dancer, as did the rest of the group.  Some bits she enjoyed, some she seemed not to.

But she did it.

Afterwards she attempted to bolt.  All that built-up emotion wanted to come out.  Lots of praise from us and teachers.  Lots of cuddles but she still wasn’t comfortable.

In fact she only relaxed once we were home and she was sat next to our fluffy, purry cat.  

But it’s done now, that dance.  It caused her so much worry and was over quickly, as we’d said.  She did well to participate.

The anxieties aren’t over.  Next week the group are going to the college where the dance teachers (A level students) came from.  A new experience at an unknown place.  She’s already nervous.  Hopefully between now and then she’ll relax, especially at the SN playground at the weekend.

For now though, we’re very proud of her.  She did very, very well.