Those Tween Times – Tues 13th Jan 2015

By | January 13, 2015

We are rattling along the puberty road here, D – despite only been 10.5 years old went veering down over 2 years ago – and T – at 18 months older – is showing signs too.

Throw autism into the mix and it can make for challenging and, at times, frustrating times. There are also the intellectual and emotional variances to take into account too, whilst T and D can have very similar traits, they respond in differing ways to instructions and circumstances.

I’ve mentioned before that if D isn’t happy with something, she (unless she’s at school and bottling any emotion up) will implode more or less immediately and you will know instantly (believe me, you would) that something is not quite right. Shouting, tears and stomping are the norm, with Bunny occasionally get aggressively thrown (poor Bunny).

With T, it’s usually an angry but quiet withdrawal as he gathers his thoughts but, just lately – as I guess this is the puberty/autism mix – he’s starting to throw things too, whatever is immediately to hand – iPad, headphones or coat – or pushing and shoving D.

This is where we find it challenging, the knowledge that he is letting out his emotion instantly, that one day he may break something precious to him unintentionally or hurt himself or D.

And then there’s the comedown, D prefers cuddles and gentle persuasion with “everything’s fine”, T doesn’t like cuddles and gets extremely angry if there’s an attempt to cuddle whilst he’s cross.

But, putting my positive hat on; both are doing extremely well at school, in the right settings for them, D in her SN school and T in secondary. T might not like it most mornings, being reminded that he has to leave for that school bus when he does (when it’s invariably late), lugging a big heavy bag around and the homework, but he copes with it all because he’s expected to, it wouldn’t occur to him not to.

We wait for him at the bus stop opposite D’s school at the end of the day, sometimes D is singing as we walk along, sometimes she’s telling me whatever had happened during the day but she knows that we need to get to where we wait, so T can see we’re there. If we’re not quite there because his school bus is on time and we’re still on the other side of the road, he’s not impressed at all and gesticulates widely whilst we get there, him debating whether to cross, only to have to cross back with us.

Something that is good to see though – assuming we’re where we should be when his bus pulls in – is that he sits with a school mate and they both look happy, yes, they are always in the same seats but he looks relaxed as the bus pulls in and (usually) seems pleased to see us. One day he won’t and will want to walk back on his own, but for now, we all walk home together. Sometimes it’s not so good-natured, especially if one or both are tired, sometimes it’s lovely, like today with one on either side of me, both linking arms through mine.

I might not feel like I get parenting right at times but for a boy who’s frequent saying is “don’t touch me” and doesn’t do cuddles apart from on his terms (infrequently), an arm link was just, just right today.

That’s my Small Steps Amazing Achievement for this week, I hope everyone’s day has gone well Jx


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