The Return – Mon 4th Jan 2016

By | January 4, 2016

  Two very differing children with autism today, a reminder for me that I cannot compartmentalise or generalise with either T or D. Ever.

Yes, they are both under the wide umbrella of an autism diagnosis with similar traits but so varied in their manner and how they see and deal with things.

I’ve had a day at home with D as she heads back to school tomorrow. Some of it’s been lovely, listening to her excited squeaks and occasional flaps as she tells us something and then there was the flipside, the reluctance to sit still for a bit of a hair brush (she loves her long hair but hates the sensory aspect of brushing).   

Anyone ever just decided that a knot was not worth the anxiety that is was causing to their child and just (discreetly, as the scissors would have caused more distress) cut it out? That would be me today. It’s okay, it’s hidden, it will grow back! 

T headed back to school today, accepting the trouser issue as there were no alternatives. He hasn’t wanted to talk about his day and his lunch was completely uneaten. So, he was either too keen to get out on the field with a football at lunchtime to play with his friends (I hope it’s this) or felt a bit overwhelmed at the number of children in the playground after the two week break.   

I read somewhere over the holidays some tips for talking to a teenager and the advice could also apply to an autistic child too:

*Don’t use a confrontational tone

*Chat whilst you’re side by side (car, walking etc) as opposed to face to face. Apparently that generates more conversation when there isn’t necessarily frequent eye contact. This does work for T and I as we walk home from his school coach stop, but to read that it’s now encoraged was interesting as I’d always been taught that you shouldn’t look away if you’re being spoken to, that to do so was rude/showing a lack of interest etc.

*Don’t have a conversation along the lines of “you’ll do this because I say so..”, encourage them to consider ways to resolve whatever is being discussed, if the child thinks they’ve solved it and are therefore one step ahead, it boosts their confidence. Not that we say the “because I say so” line, having been brought up with that mantra and after-effects if I didn’t comply, meant that it was something I didn’t want to use.

There were other tips but those were the ones that stuck in my mind. Encouraging dialogue, creating an environment where conversation can (hopefully) be generated.

Something that will be useful tomorrow on our walk home as, I know T is tired and a bit grumpy that he went back today and his sister didn’t, but the cat has responded more! 

D is in two minds about returning to school tomorrow. I’ve told her to focus on that big cuddle (she does love to give out a body slam and a mega cuddle) at the end of the day. I hope there will be one. It is always instantly apparent how her mood is, from her face as she comes down the stairs.  

I hope those who went back today had a good day Jx 

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