Scarred

The boy and the girl see a Psychologist on a regular basis and the last time that she was here she was having a chat to the girl about learning to like Aspergers.

The girl was saying that she didn’t like telling anyone that she had it because she had been scarred by a friend a couple of years ago. The girl had told her friend that she had it and swore her to secrecy but of course kids being kids this friend told the rest of the class. Now I doubt a class full of nine and 10 year olds actually knew what it was, but it was fun to tease the girl about.

The Psychologist was getting the girl to list all the good things about it and to try to break down her negative perception of it, and of telling anyone as otherwise she will still be hung up on this incident in twenty years, unable to move past it.

It got me to thinking of a few incidents in my life that had happened, and still upset me if I think too hard about them.

The first one was when I was in primary school about Grade 4 and I was singing in the Choir. I loved singing and had fun being with my friends. A girl near me in the row told me I couldn’t sing, so I left the Choir without telling anyone why and have hated singing since.

The next memory was and still is a painful one – one that has caused me much grief and sadness and stopped me liking a single moment of the last 2.5 years of high school. I was in Year 10 and I had a nice group of friends, or so I thought. One day as I approached them at recess or lunch time I saw them look at me, talk to each other and then run away.

I was devastated!

I had no idea what to do next, and any smidgen of confidence I had in myself had now gone. There was no way I was going to attempt to approach them again, and I don’t think I spoke to many people at school for the next two years.

I always had an outlet in the way of sport. I have played or done a sport of some kind all my life, and at one point used to compete in Cross-Country Skiing. I had worked my way up the rankings and had been invited away with the National Team on one of their training camps. I wasn’t in the team as such, just a few aspiring skiers had been added into the camp. I was so excited, being away in another state and getting the chance to ski with some great athletes.

On this one particular day of the camp we all set out for a training run. One of the scheduled breaks was at a hut in the middle of nowhere, but it had a guest book in there for everyone  to write down a message in. One of the girls who was slightly older than me, and someone I looked up to, wrote a message on behalf of the whole team. I can’t remember most of the message but she signed it off with

‘……from the National team and loser hangers on’.

I still remember being so crushed by that. I felt so unworthy and stupid for thinking I could be a great skier. Who was I to think I could ever be good?

I slowly withdrew from the skiing world, again not telling anyone because of the shame of having to repeat what I saw.

It’s funny how remarks or actions by people can really define who you are and who you become. If I knew then what I know now it would be such a different story. I wouldn’t stop anyone from pursuing a sport I loved, or not have given up singing, and I would have had the confidence to ask these girls why they ran away from me, and I would have made new friends.

But I guess that comes with age and wisdom.

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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!

 

Let there be hope!

Just a short one today.

We are at breaking point at the moment. The girl is waking up numerous times a night, and often stays awake from 3 or 4am. This is not good for my or the man’s state of mind. We are sleep deprived and bad tempered. Some times a lot of the time we feel we have no one on our side or helping us. We get praised about how well we deal with the kids or get told that people are in awe but that doesn’t help much when it is the middle of the night and the girl won’t sleep and is shouting which wakes the boy up and no one knows what to do. Or when I am told I am an idiot and am mean all the time because I make the girl get off the couch and actually do something. Or when the boy smashed the door handle into the wall and makes yet another hole in the plaster just because I wouldn’t let him do something.

I am feeling a bit lonely at the moment, or just not good enough. In the past few weeks my parenting and the children’s behaviour has been called into question by people who have no right to judge.

We have just got hold of an ASD Psychologist. She is coming to our house this coming Saturday. Just from speaking to her on the phone she sounds like she knows how to deal with children on the spectrum, unlike the other one we saw a few times last year who had no idea what to do with the boy. She said she does home visits because the children are more relaxed and comfortable in their own environment.

We can only hope….

Here is something I really liked as well.

Something to think about.

 

The psychologist again…

The boy was booked in to see the psychologist again last Tuesday, so after a lot of thinking the man and I decided not to take him to see her again, but we still went. The man decided he would suss her out and see if he thought it was worth pursuing with her or not.

The boy was most relieved not to be going, and when asked why he said that she did ‘stupid routines’. Fair enough then. I thought they were pretty stupid as well.

So along we went and sat through a very unproductive hour in which the psychologist basically repeated everything we said, and didn’t offer any new solutions. We received praise for being able to help the boy manage his anger so much better than he used to, so we walked out of there thinking that we would probably be better off just continuing doing what we do now without any help for the moment.

I’m so glad I paid $140 to figure that out!!

I have now decided to call myself a consultant or specialist and I charge people for doing nothing. That would work wouldn’t it? Yes? Yes. I’ll let you know when I am rich…

 

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.