Why I run….

Sometimes there is nothing better than getting outside and running in the fresh air.

I needed a break from work today so took the dog (Shiloh) out for a run. I ran about five kilometres but he seemed to cover a bit more. The boy was wondering why he seemed so tired tonight. I think I ran his little leggies off. Must put a tracker on him one day to see how far he actually goes….

Anyway, we have had a bit of stress lately with end of semester school exams, and a car accident last week and whatever else is going on and I had been waiting for the girl to have a meltdown over it all.

She has been fine but I had the meltdown for her.

So I have been running.

And running.

It works though, my stress and anxiety levels come down and I am happier again. I can feel physical soreness instead of mental soreness.

I don’t take a phone so no one can reach me – just me and the dog and the outdoors. No one knows where I am or where I’m going.

Try it.

Get outside and just breath.

 

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Guess what….

I may be back.

Who knows…. I might not stay either.

It’s been a long time. A few years in fact. The boy is now 13 and the girl is 15. Where does the time go?

I am still full of anxiety, still waiting for the explosions to happen. Still waiting for something to happen all the time.

I am still trying to figure out this parenting teenagers with Asperger’s lark.

The girl is a talented singer, writer and actor. When she wants to be. She says she wants to be an actor or an author but when her agent calls her up to say she has an audition she has a meltdown and won’t go. Why? Because she might not get the part! She doesn’t get that by not going she is definitely not going to get the part.

The the next audition she is fine. I don’t understand!

I scream internally (and externally) a lot….

She doesn’t get it.

The boy makes things. He will find a picture of an item, usually a weapon used in a film he has just seen and make a 3D replica of it. He is quite talented there but it makes for a messy house with paint and glue and bits of foam spread all over any available surface.

Apparently I love mess.

Camp part 2….

So we decided not to force the boy to go to camp as it was doing my head in….if it was causing that much stress then it wasn’t worth it.

So as I sat eating my breakfast on Monday morning, with no bags packed and the bus due to leave in 40 minutes the boy uttered the immortal words….

‘I don’t know if I want to go on Camp or not’

I have never moved so fast in my life. I knew that I had to go with it, that if he wanted to go on camp then I would get him there. Of course as soon as I said to get dressed he said no. I suggested he go on the bus and I would follow him up to camp in the afternoon, I really wanted him to experience something else. He couldn’t get dressed quick enough then, and he made it to the school bus on time.

That afternoon I drove the 2 hours up to camp. The boy was so excited to see me and started demanding that we leave immediately. He had decided he was only staying for the day. There was no chance of me sneaking away whilst he wasn’t watching……

I watched him go canoeing with his group and then we left the camp after dinner – there was no wine!!!! How do the teachers cope?

By the time we got home the boy was tired and not feeling well. By morning he was vomiting. So so glad that I didn’t force him to stay – it would have been a nightmare!

I received a message from another parent who’s child was at the camp asking how long it took to travel there as she had to go and collect her child who was sick as well.

It is now Thursday and the man and I are sick as well, the boy is still sick.

What a week this has been!

Is it over yet?

 

 

The Camp

The boy is meant to go on school camp tomorrow. We don’t see that happening.

He is very anxious and has cried about it for weeks. If it gets mentioned he says he’s not going. There have been notes written around the house that he’s not going. When we said he was going he just said, ‘you won’t be able to get me out of the house!’ 

He says he will miss us too much, and his dog and his cat.

I’m afraid he will miss out on life if he never does anything!

He has always been a home body – when we went to England when he was two, he said it was time to go home when we had only been there a few days. 

He doesn’t care that his friends are going, that he will be trying new activities and will have fun. I have said that if he is staying home he has to do jobs for three days – he then asked if he would get a reward for that?

Umm….NO!

I am ashamed to say that I got very angry and ranted that I was sick of not normal kids, that I wanted kids that would go on camps and do sleepovers without hesitation and without a military operation.  I am tired of this – and jealous of all the other parents in the same year level as the boy preparing and packing their kids for camp.

I will look on from the outside again.

Crazy Saturday

Yesterday was another crazy Saturday for us. The man works on Saturday’s so it is my job to take both kids to their various activities.

Sundays I fall over in a heap!

And then go to the gym. And clean the house, and study, but I’d like to fall over in a heap….

After arguing with the boy about going to his basketball game yesterday, they finally won for the first time in 7 months. Last season had been a hard one as the boys had been put in the wrong division. Yesterday was the first game of the new season and they were in the right division this time. The team was very excited to see a win on the board! I think I cheered more than they did though….

Following the basketball run was picking the girl up from ballet, shopping, then the psychologist came over to see the kids – the girl spoke to her and the boy ignored her…. normal then!

The girl gets a chance to offload everything that is bothering her, and hopefully get some strategies to deal with what goes on in her life.

The boy managed to shut down very successfully until the hour was up – he knows that she has to leave eventually so just waits until she does. It is his way of avoiding the hard questions she may ask him. I did want him to talk to her about the anxiety he gets and ways to deal with it, but I think he was too anxious to do it. Can’t win with him!

The boy then entertained himself for a while by watching Super Nanny episodes on Youtube. I think he was getting tips on how to misbehave! He seemed fascinated by what was happening and could tell me all about ‘the reflection room’ and how it was meant to improve the kids’ behaviour, and what the kids in the show was doing. I still want Super Nanny to have to deal with kids on the spectrum, I think she’d lose somehow! Hehe…..

Then I had a nap!

 

Anxiety and hiding under the bed

The boy gets anxious.

He gets so anxious that he makes himself sick.

He doesn’t want to go to school because he finds it hard and he has to work hard and use the brain of his that does actually work very well,  he just thinks it doesn’t.

So he hides under the bed.

And says that I should just call him the boy who cried wolf because apparently I never believe that he is really sick. Except when he was sick for three days a couple of weeks ago I wouldn’t let him go to school, but please would I forget about that.

*sigh*

We are working together with his teacher to make him more resilient to school, and to get him to take less mental health days but it is hard. He really really hates school.

But loves his friends there!

He was very indignant last week when his sister had a day off school because she wasn’t well. It was the first day she had had off all year but he still got his nose out of joint about it.

It does my head in!

Today was hard to get him moving and out the door. I hadn’t slept at all with too much going on in my head, and the girl has been awake since 3am. There wasn’t enough coffee in the world to wake me up this morning.

Fingers crossed for a good night’s sleep and easy morning….

 

 

 

The night out and other fun…..

Last night the man and I went out. Don’t all fall over in shock – it does happen every couple of years!

We went to see Prince in Melbourne. The man is a huge fan of the little purple dude so was keen to go and I was happy to tag along and have a dance.

My sister very kindly and rather naively  offered to look after the girl and the boy for the evening. She was originally going to come to our house but as we weren’t sure how late we would be it was decided that the kids would stay at her house for the night instead. Easy? No…

The boy never stays where we are not. He gets too anxious without us, which would be lovely except that I can’t have a darn holiday without him!!!

Anyway…

Both kids agreed to stay over and they were dropped off with their cousins quite happily, the boys and the girls all deciding where they were going to sleep. Sounded like a party was going to be happening!

So off to the concert we went – we were free for the night!

We may or may not have been this close to him!

At 11pm I had the text I had been dreading – please come and get one upset little boy. Luckily the concert had just finished but that put paid to going to his after show gig (yeah right, like we could afford more tickets anyway. Also I am too old to be staying up too late!)

Made it back to pick up said sad little boy and debated whether to take the girl home as well but she looked so comfortable sleeping that we let her be, I would stay with the original plan to pick her up before taking her to school in the morning.

I dragged myself out of bed this morning to make the trip back to get the girl. I am glad I went a little earlier as as usual the girl was having a little bit of trouble getting dressed. As in, she hadn’t even started!

Her younger cousin was dressed and packed and ready to go but the girl was still in her pyjamas rolling around the bedroom floor. My sister just looked at me and said that she wouldn’t do anything she was asked and that she wouldn’t even take her Ritalin. I said ‘welcome to my world’ and that you have to bribe her. I then paid the girl to drink her ‘juice’. Anything goes when you need her drugged to be compliant!

That done I threw her uniform on her and chucked her out of the house and into the car (the girl, not my sister). Made it to school just as the bell rang.

I then came home and went straight to bed.

The boy and his tennis

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What a morning!
The boy was supposed to have tennis today.
He loves playing tennis, and I love him playing tennis because it uses up some of his copious amount of energy….although he has usually fully recharged his tank by the time we get home.

This morning it was just not happening. I had already left home at 6.50am for a running session at the local track for an hour so by the time I had got home at 8.15am I was hot and tired. The boy just didn’t want to go along with the plan.

I asked him to get dressed a few times and he just buried himself into the couch and frowned.

He wouldn’t tell me what was wrong. Not then and not either of the 375 times I asked him after that.
I am embarrassed about how I lost my temper and ranted at him and quite possibly made him feel worse. I just wanted him to speak to me and say WHY he didn’t want to go.

I had a voice in my head telling me that he doesn’t speak when he is stressed, that that is how his aspergers comes out, but I couldn’t calm down.
It. Drives. Me. Crazy!!

Anyway, I finally told him to write down what was bothering him and he wrote this message.

Finally, an answer! When I asked him why he couldn’t have told me before the lesson and avoided all this stress for us both he couldn’t tell me. I (tried) to explain to him that is there is a problem he can tell me and I can try to do something about it, instead of having a massive meltdown about doing something he loves. And yes there was a boy that was awful to him a few weeks ago, and really upset the boy.

It’s all part of the syndrome! There is no hope for us then. Perhaps 10am was a little early to start drinking but it certainly was tempting!!

A big week for the boy

This last week has been a bit one for the boy. He turned 8 on Wednesday and had a school sleepover on Friday night followed up by his party on Saturday. No wonder he is tired today!

The sleepover at school has been on my mind for a while because the boy doesn’t do sleepovers anywhere. We had been speaking very positively and enthusiastically about the sleepover at school for a while, that he would be with all his friends and in a room with 30 or so boys so it’s not like he would be alone….. etc etc.

On Thursday night it all came to a head and he went to bed crying that he couldn’t sleep without mum or dad there and he just needs us. It was decided that Dad would stay the night as well at school – not ideal but if it meant the difference between him staying or not then Dad would stay. He was happy after that.

At the end of school the next day I spoke to his teacher to tell her about the boy’s anxiety about the coming evening and how the man would be staying, and she said that she would prefer that he didn’t, that they would try to get him through the night by themselves. I asked that she be the one to tell the boy, as he wouldn’t believe me if I were to tell him that Dad wouldn’t be staying. So she did, at which he promptly burst into tears and said he wouldn’t stay then.

Fantastic!

I then didn’t say anything else about it, and drove home with the boy being very quiet in the back seat. I said we had to via Nan’s house to pick up a sleeping bad and he got a bit cross with that because he was in a hurry to get home and pack!!

Phew!

By the time we pulled into the driveway at home he was happy again and very excited to be going again. I had sent a message to the man earlier making sure that he wasn’t going to be home until after I had left to go back to school. Didn’t need to set the boy off again…

We went through a few strategies together that he could do if he got a bit homesick. Things like take a deep breath and thoughts like how proud he will be of himself when he has done it. And of course how proud we would be of him. When we were ready to leave he said, ‘If I get worried I just know to just get through it!’. Wow I thought!

I dropped him off at school and helped set up his bed, and didn’t see the boy again. He had taken off with his group of friends the minute we had finished in the room. I hardly got a ‘good-bye’. I wasn’t complaining!

It was very strange without him at home that night. I haven’t had a night without him for a long time, and if I am away somewhere then he is with the man at home. We went to bed with both mobile phones next to the bed in case we received a phone call in the night. But all was silent!

I asked him the next day how he managed to get to sleep, and he said that he just shut his eyes tightly and put his head under the blankets. Whatever works!!

We are so very proud of him, and how he has started to help himself though problems. We have noticed that he needs time to adjust to new situations and does a lot of internal talking and working out of problems.

Again, whatever works for him!

 

The psychologist and the boy

The boy has started seeing a pychologist for his social anxiety problems.

He can’t look at or talk to people he doesn’t know, and in unfamiliar situations he ‘shuts down’ altogether. By shut down I mean that his head goes down and he stands completely still, usually behind me or the man. He sometimes puts his hands over his ears so he cannot hear as well. You could be talking to a brick wall for all you know…

So of course we go to the psychologist for this reason, but well, he won’t talk to her for the same reason.

What makes it even more frustrating is that I feel the psychologist should know how to deal with this… but she seems at a loss as well. I was just sitting there waiting for her to come up with something else to try but she seemed to be waiting for me to take charge of it. I am not an expert, just a worried parent that is fed up with having to come up with answers.

I know that we should give it a few more attempts before giving up, but I am not sure. I know the boy does end up warming to some people, but often not.

There are people in our family that he has known since he was born that he still will not look at. Luckily they don’t take it personally. Friends of mine think nothing of the boy sitting in my car out the front of their houses whilst I am inside with them, because he is too worried to get out of the car to come in. Usually this is just for the first visit somewhere – after that he is ok to come in and be social. He is in their driveways, and the car is unlocked so he can get out and come in at any time. It is just how he is!

How do we help him?

Maybe I am just being lazy and looking for an easy way out. If I don’t take him then I don’t have to put in the hard yards? Hmm…

The psychologist said that she could just work with me to help him at home, that means that I see her to go through the activities for which he will then do with me or the man at home. Better than nothing I guess.

We need to be able to help him, give him some tools for his life and how to cope in different situations. I am not looking to change him into the most confident and popular boy in school (although he is pretty popular anyway), just give him some more confidence to do some of the things he loves without worrying himself sick over them.

Maybe we see a different psychologist? He has seen this one twice now and if we found another one then we would be starting again at the beginning…

Or wait until he is a little older?

Arghh!! I just want to bury my head in the sand sometimes and not have to make any decisions about anything.