Pass the wine

We are just in the middle of one of our nightly fights with the boy. Apparently because we are trying to make him brush his teeth we are bad parents who don’t care about him. He has just been literally dragged kicking and screaming into his bedroom and been told to put himself to sleep and that he has to stay there all night.

By himself.

Impossible!

It breaks my heart to see him act like that. I hate being told I am a bad parent by him when I love him to bits and would do anything to not see him hurt.

I don’t get why he has to shut down every night when asked to brush his teeth. Up until that point he is a happy cheery boy, and it’s like a switch just flicks inside his head. He won’t tell us why he won’t brush his teeth. He does it without fighting in the morning so it is not a sensory issue.

Drives. Us. Crazy!

The girl is in her room shouting for everyone to be quiet and that she is trying to learn her spelling words! She couldn’t care less about what is happening. I wouldn’t expect anything else from her though.

As I have written all this I caught him sneaking out of his room to go and brush his teeth. I don’t get why he does this after 15 minutes of screaming about it, and making the man and I sad and upset in the process. Now we will sit here all evening feeling like we are failures.

Where’s the wine tonight? Anyone….

I’ll update you on the sleeping issue later.

Always and forever

The girl had a major meltdown last night.

She had not had a good day at all.

It started in the morning when she was dropped at school. She was a little earlier to school than normal because the boy had basketball training before school so it made sense to take them both at the same time. It turned out that she sat outside her classroom until the bell went, even though she had asked to play a game with the other girls in her class who were there early as well. She would have made player number 9 and apparently the game only needed 8 players. These girls didn’t want someone to be ‘out’ at all times, so it was decided that it was easier if she just didn’t play at all.

She wasn’t even allowed to watch the game!

She then told us that a boy from her class walked by her and grabbed her arm and threw her to the ground, then teased her for having Aspergers. She said that he always teases her and he says that ‘she will always have it, so haha!’

My heart broke as she sobbed about how different to other kids she was and she didn’t know how to fit in.

I have contacted the school to let them know that this in not good enough and I want some answers now. I know exactly who said it and I do think it is ironic that his older brother has Aspergers as well.

The Year 5 students have buddies who started Prep this year. The girl has a very lively little girl who is very strong willed. Yes it sounds like a perfect fit as this is what the girl is like, but in reality the girl doesn’t need this. She uses her recess and lunch breaks to unwind and can’t do that at the moment. This buddy of hers drags her around the school yard and won’t let her near her own friends. Yesterday the buddy was so demanding about going to the library at lunch time that she threw the girls lunch into the bin so that they would get there faster. She rips books out of the girls hands and throws them on the ground if she thinks she is not getting enough attention…. and it goes on.

She also doesn’t like a lot of contact, or it has to be on her terms, so to have this buddy hanging off her and pulling her in every direction is just enough to tip her over the edge. The teachers say that they have to be firm with them, but that is easier said that done, even with a ‘normal’ person, let along a 10 year old girl with her own issues. If this is trivialised then this mummy will be on the warpath!!

After school she happily went off to her dancing lesson. She has been asking us for years to do dancing but until now we thought she wasn’t ready to go, between her arthritis and her lack of social skills. But she is giving it a good go now.

She cried coming home from her lesson because she said that she just got shouted at the whole lesson. When we clarified what she meant, she said that the teacher would be on the other side of the room shouting at the girl to hold the barre correctly, for example. Now I will be going back to the ballet teacher to explain (again) how the girl cannot comprehend the tone of her voice, that even if she is NOT angry/mad/exasperated the girl will interpret a loud voice as any of these. Then she gets stressed and then makes more mistakes which in turn makes the teacher ‘yell’.

My heart is breaking for her, I want to be able to fix it all for her and just keep her home where she is safe. The world is just too confusing for her at the moment.

No wonder she was upset last night, we let her cry and get it out and gave her heaps of cuddles and love.

All is well

I was up early today – not really sure why. Maybe the different light now that the clocks have changed? Who knows..

Usually if I wake I try to go back to sleep until a more decent hour but I decided to get up and enjoy some quiet time to myself before the rush of the day.

It was nice just sitting in the early light of the day having a coffee all by myself.

No one around, no TV blaring, no voices and chatter.

Just me snuggled under a blanket on the couch. It is nice knowing that my family are all safe and cosy in bed.

It’s moments like this that I am happy.

All is well in the world.

 

Still my little boy…

My blog has been taunting me, saying that I haven’t been writing in here very much. I have so much to write about but it all gets so confusing sometimes. I have just been trying to shut out the noise…

I keep looking at my little boy, who has officially got his Aspergers diagnosis, and wondering if he is different to who he was last week. Different to BEFORE the diagnosis.

Of course not!

He is still my little boy, the same boy. Still mine.

Still the one who gives me lots of cuddles and kisses, and loves playing football and lego with his dad. Still taunts his sister….

Every time I have to say to a teacher, or a coach or a friends mum for example that he has Aspergers, I feel sad. A lot of the time I don’t need to tell others, but if I do it is because I need them to know why he won’t talk to them sometimes, or why he is yelling at me.

I need for them to understand why he is acting like this.

He is off to a party tomorrow, and although I know he won’t say thanks to the parents for having him there, or talk to them at all I know that they understand him and won’t be offended. Sometimes when I mention that both children are on the Autism Spectrum, I get the look that says ‘Really? They don’t look like anything is wrong!’. No, I am not making it up… who could be bothered?

And a lot of the time I don’t even care if people do get offended now. If they don’t get it them I am not about to keep explaining to them why he won’t talk to them. He hasn’t even spoken to some members of our family. Ever!

He cares for them in his own little way.

 

Please excuse me…

This is a sad week for me.

6 years ago the girl was hospitalised with a swollen knee which turned out to be Juvenile Arthritis. She was 3 at the time. She woke up on the Monday with a very sore and swollen knee, and came out of hospital on the Friday.

On the Saturday morning we received a phone call to say that my Dad had just died.

My heart broke.

Please excuse me if I am not the happiest this week.

 

The little things

It is the little things that make me sit back and think that we must be doing something right.

The little kiss the girl gives me as I am reading her her book at night.

The cuddle I get from the boy before he runs off to play with his friends at school.

It is all so hard now.

I am struggling to keep myself upright at the moment

I wish I could cry, but I am unable to.

But it is these little things that keep me going.

A special handmade card.

A kiss.

The boy and how far he has come

Yesterday the boy got a Principal’s Award from school. I know all the children end up with them over the course of their school life but it marked for his dad and I how far he has come. He received it because he had settled into Year 2 very well and was working hard and doing his best in class. He struggles a bit at schooling, so this was a big achievement for him.

He has had a few problems, he is still trying to overcome some but he is getting there.

We can now take his photograph. There was a time that he would immediately hide if someone took out a camera. There is a gap in the photo albums between the ages of 2 and 7. All we had of him was the back of his head, or just a blur as he tried to run from the photographer.

He nows makes up plays with his sister and performs them at family get togethers. This would never happened 12 months ago – but he is quite happy to get up at gatherings and make up impromptu plays. Although as there is never any direction these plays tend to go on a bit and we adults zone out after a while…..

He is in more control of his temper. He has been an angry little boy for quite some time and his dad and I have had to do a lot of work for him to learn to control it. There has been many times when I have gone through the checklist on his anger sheet and asked him to count to ten, only for him to shout at me ‘NO, YOU COUNT TO TEN YOU STUPID IDIOT’!! Hmm… not the result we were after at the time. He has grown into his body and is not a mass of anger anymore. We are not waiting to get punched when telling him off anymore. It was a bit scary but (fingers crossed) we are past it.

He plays the violin and is really good at it. He picked it up straightaway and the teacher can’t believe how good he is. Unfortunately he won’t practise infront of anyone – so if you want to hear him play you will have to stand on the other side of his closed bedroom door. I have to lie and tell him that the sound doesn’t travel. So so far, nobody else knows how good he is.

He is still shy and unsure of new situations. He was a ball of nerves for the first few weeks of school this year. He still refuses to get up and play at the music concert, and insists that he will not be going onstage at the school concert in a few months. We will get him on there, we just need to do a lot of work beforehand.

I still get lots of cuddles from him. He is a very affectionate and caring little boy. He told us after school yesterday that he recieved a sticker from a teacher because he asked another little boy who was crying to come and play with him and made him happy again.

He still hides behind me when he is out of his comfort zone, but I can see the work we have been doing with him paying off.

 

Is the week over yet?

Finding it very hard to do anything this evening, it has been a difficult week on many fronts.

I was sick to start with, had some sort of cold and chest infection so really couldn’t be bothered doing anything as I was feeling very under the weather. Slept for a few days whilst the kids were at school. This meant I couldn’t go to work because I couldn’t breath.

Also, school has been a battle ground for the boy. He doesn’t want to go, so getting him out the door was a nightmare at the start of the week. He started in Year 2 this year and he thought that there was going to be a big jump in the work and what was required so he was a bit worried to say the least. So far those fears aren’t warranted, so his confidence is coming back slowly.

With school comes homework! Much more of it for both kids than last year, so I am making the kids do some homework before they can relax for the evening. The boy has been really good at this, only because then he has one up on his sister really (he can play and relax and she can’t, haha!! ). The problem with homework and the girl is that she is so bloody tired by the afternoon or she has a headache from all the noise at school that it is hard to get anything out of her. Something she is really good, but other times it is not good. Last night ended with me throwing her homework book across the room because I was so fed up with it.

Unfortunately the girl is a perfectionist when it comes to work, so if it isn’t right then she has a meltdown. Or she tries to start too many parts of it and nothing gets finished. She had to write a story using all of her spelling words this week. Try using words like sixteen, bias, worst, street, nineteen, between, ache, and a few others to write a story and make it make sense. Well she couldn’t and it drove her crazy! (If you want to hear about the queen who hurt her leg and got it amputated then let me know).

She was also up very early one morning which makes a horrible girl at the end of the day. She doesn’t sleep well and has melatonin at night to help her get to sleep, but she has always been a poor sleeper and sometimes she is awake from 3am or 4am in the morning (makes for a grumpy ma and pa as well!!!) So Tuesday morning she was awake from 4.30am and apparently needed Dad to rub her back to get her back to sleep. Except that didn’t work, so she was awake and so was Dad. He was a bit grumpy at 7am when it was actually time to get up!!!

Then the girl wouldn’t drink her ritalin from the cup of juice she was given, so the cup had to be changed 3 times before we found the right one. We wouldn’t bother going through all of this everyday but the ritalin makes such a difference to her day that we just have to do it. She then decided that she wasn’t going to drink anything at all the next day – so that left me wondering what to put her medication in the next day. It does my head in, having to stay one step ahead of them both all the time. The last two days she has had it in a centimetre of coke because she is guaranteed to drink it.

The boy had a worried for a couple of days about his kidneys. As I have mentioned in an earlier post he has Nephrotic Syndrome and is in remission with it. He has been off medication for about 6 months and all has been good. This week he started having protein in his urine which is picked up with a urine test. We were thinking he would be heading back to hospital and back on the steriods if it didn’t get better, but todays test was much better. Nothing like having a sick child to make your heart race! (although the boy was disappointed because if he went to hospital then he would get out of school)

Tonight we have had a very tired girl who finally did all her homework after coming home with a headache and sore legs from sport. She took half an hour to get in the bath. Apparently we were rushing her to get in! I don’t recall that part, and she was pretty lucky not to end up fully dressed in a cold bath!!!  Then after getting out she couldn’t find her underwear. I tried to tell her they were in the same draw that they have been for the last 9 years but she didn’t comprehend that – so I found them and dressed her like I usually do after having this discussion.

She has gone to sleep without having her teeth cleaned tonight. It wasn’t worth the effort!

After holding the toothbrush for half an hour saying that she would brush her teeth in a minute and to don’t rush her, I tried to do it for her. Not good when I am grumpy and tired and am over the whole rigmaroll of bedtime and of how bloody long it takes to settle her ever bloody night! So now she is crying and I am cross and she can’t calm herself down. I left the room with her still holding the toothbrush, saying that neither her dad or I will be back until she has brushed her teeth. Bad move, now she is even worse and I feel like a shitty mum who doesn’t care. I ventured back after a few minutes saying to just leave the cleaning for tonight, it doesn’t matter and to just go to sleep. She gives me a cuddle whilst she stops herself crying and rolls over on her side while I rub her back. She was asleep in 3 minutes.

Poor kid – I am so hard on her.

Makes me sad.

The Boy

The Boy is very different to the girl. I haven’t written much about him yet, so I’ll explain a little more about him now.

He has anger issues, to the point of putting his fist through our glass lead lighted front door. Or slamming his bedroom  door and then pulling his bed behind the door so it is completly jammed shut. One day I’m sure I’ll have to call the fire brigade to come and get him out.

He can’t control himself at all, and the explosions can be over in minutes, or last for hours. He is better, he used to hit me and it hurt. We knew we would have to do something about it otherwise he would be a teenager and bigger and stronger than me before we knew it and I would be in trouble then.

We came down hard, and just didn’t give in to whatever he wanted. It is still ongoing, and will be so for a while but it is working. I am no longer afraid of him because I know he won’t start hitting me. We have done a lot of work on anger management, i.e, count to 10, punch a pillow etc.

At school his class did a lesson on how to deal with anger and he came home very proud of a new technique that would help him next time he got angry. They had each been given a plastic cup and a straw and told to fill it with water and then make bubbles with the straw until they weren’t angry anymore. I was doubtful, but asked him if he thought it would work. He seemed to think so. So when he got angry the next time I gave him the cup and asked him if he wanted it – he immediately threw it on the floor and stomped on it. Maybe it worked….not sure if that’s what the teacher had in mind though. After the next lesson he bought a stone home, I rather quietly got rid of it before he could throw it through any windows. Never did find out what he was actually meant to do with it.

Unlike his sister, he is capable of helping people and is quick to do something for someone. He loves his hugs and kisses – and is known to wake up in the night to say ‘I love you’ to us.

He is on the spectrum somewhere, we are just not sure where. He does not have behavioural issues at school, his is more of a confidence thing. He doesn’t believe he is smart and doesn’t think his opinion counts. It breaks my heart to see him worried and scared about it. He is not looking forward to going back to school this week because he says he is not good enough. He is so so talented at music and art and plays the violin very well but doesn’t trust himself, so if he forgets a note he will give up and say he is bad at it. I don’t know how to get him through this other that to say that he isn’t.

The boy loves rules (except at home) and follows them really well. He loves telling people that they have broken the rules, or telling on them to the teacher. His friends will love that as he gets older!

His real downfall is his desire for ‘stuff’. He loves new toys and gadets and so on, and the desire for these things makes him incapable of doing or thinking of anything else. It makes him mad, and we have had him in a complete rage for days because of this need. It is so frustrating. How many times do we have to say to him that at seven he is a little young for an iphone! I am so sick of advertising that puts this want in front of him. It is a cruel trick!

Most of the time he aims to please, and if he sees me getting very angry with the girl, he will immediately come up to me for a hug and then make sure he is ready for school for example. Probably only to rub it in the girls face that he didn’t make me angry that day. And then stick his tongue out at his sister which makes the girl collapse on the floor…. but that is another story.