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.

This close!

We were this close to having only one child tonight.

I was wetting myself with excitement at the thought!

We went to my mother’s house for dinner tonight and at one point I asked Mum what she was doing tomorrow as she didn’t have to work due to the long weekend.

She replied that she was out to prepare the flowers where she goes for Philosophy classes. The girl has been a few times with her in the holidays and loves going for some reason.

The girl heard her say that she was going, and asked if she could go as well. Mum said of course she could, and asked if she wanted to stay the night at her house as well.

The girl said yes, and didn’t blink an eye when I asked what she wanted me to bring back for her to sleep in. Lucky we only live a few streets away and it didn’t take me long to drive home.

As we were leaving tonight, I went through instructions with the girl and pointed out the bag of clothes I had thrown together for her.

‘Tonight’? She says.

‘I don’t want to stay tonight’, and promptly cried.

And complained all the way home with tears streaming down her face that she wasn’t tired at all!

How dare I get my hopes up about a night off!

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!

 

Head hurts tonight!

The girl dances on a Friday night. She loves dancing, and she looks so free and happy when she does.

Tonight she came home hungry. Not unusual as she is always hungry, but she didn’t know what she wanted to eat.  The problem is is that she only eats about four things and she didn’t want any of those.

Pasta? No

Weetbix with Vegemite? No

Toast?

Sandwich? No

All options exhausted then. Cue tears….

I put one option on the table – the one she hadn’t finished from before she left for dancing – and told her to go sit down at the table. Once she saw what it was she started crying that she didn’t want it, but couldn’t tell me what she did want. I said that if she didn’t want to eat then she should have a bath and go to bed, as she was obviously tired.

Apparently eyes hanging out of head and tears doesn’t mean you are tired! Just so you know…

I lost it at the point and said it wasn’t a restaurant and she was out of options. Cue more tears and collapsing on the ground this time.

I left her to it and went into another room to cool down.

A few minutes later she stormed past us to go to her room, where she proceeded to collapse on her bed this time, conveniently bypassing the bathroom and ignoring the fact that I’d told her to have a bath if she wasn’t going to eat.

After physically dragging her off the bed and into the bathroom, I then had to undress her, which is quite difficult when she is trying to put her clothes back on at the same time. I picked her up and dumped her in the bath (so so glad she is little!) and walked away… after saying that if she was not careful she would have to go and live with another family because I can’t look after her anymore.

Five minutes later she is calling me from the bath.

‘Now I’m worried that you are going to get rid of me’.

After reassuring her that I didn’t mean it and I was just frustrated by her behaviour, she got out of the bath.

And proceeded to get upset about everything else that was going on in her world. Like her body hurting everywhere, and her knee hurts as well, and the German Teacher at school is convinced that all kids with Aspergers are going to try to run away like a girl did in Prep who has it, but don’t ask her how she knows this because she can’t tell me. And she doesn’t want the German Teacher to know she has it because she will tell even more people about it, like her best friend in Year 4 did after promising to keep it a secret then telling everyone who then proceeded to laugh and point at her. And there is a mean girl in the Softball Team at school who keeps picking on her but she is in the Year below her and she only knows her first name but she is really mean to her and she is really missing her computer game and when can you get a new computer so I can play it and it’s not fair….and can I have some Tuna please?

This was all told to me in about two minutes flat, such was the speed of her talking.

I know that she holds everything in until she feels she is safe enough to tell us and then she erupts, but we have to go through the meltdown to get to what is upsetting her.

Hurts my head and now I need a drink. And chocolate. Or both….

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.

 

What a week….

The girl looking very happy! Apparently…

We have reached the end of a very busy week and a half. The girl was in numerous dress rehearsals and then four concerts of her Year 5 and 6 concert of Beauty and the Beast Junior. She played the role of a ‘Silly Girl’ which the man and I thought was very apt. The last concert was on Thursday night and as we were all tired both the boy and girl didn’t go to school on the Friday. It was lovely not to have to rush out the door in the morning for a change.

The make up and hair for all concerts was a challenge. She hated the smell and feel of the foundation and the hairspray was a challenge to get near her! I only had to put her foundation on at home, the rest (including the false eyelashes) was put on by the make up team. I am so so grateful for them. We also had many tears and squirming whilst holding a curling iron…

On Sunday morning the girl had a final rehearsal for her Ballet Presentation Class (exam) which was to be held on the Monday. We were both up and out early to get there by 8.45am. Not on a Sunday!!!!

I picked her up from school early yesterday to get her to her exam on time. Luckily I didn’t have to fight to put her hair in a bun, I was able to leave it to her ballet teacher.  Of course because I wasn’t doing it she didn’t fight and argue about it! Typical!

Now we can all relax for a few months until the Ballet Recital at the end of the year…Phew!

Sitting in the hair chair!

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 morning and the tiredness

I am exhausted.

It is only 8.30am but the girl’s morning antics have worn me out already.

She has choir at school at 8am which she loves and refuses to give up but she doesn’t help us get her ready to go.

Yesterday I gave her the day off school to give her some time to unwind after a really busy weekend and she was awake at 6.45am. Today when I need her up early I had to wake her at 7.20am and she still refused to get up. Sounds normal I guess….

Three different drinks were tried before she finally settled on a hot chocolate (with added ritalin). She didn’t want the orange juice that she asked for, nor the apple juice because it had lumps in it, so a small amount of chocolate milk was finally a winner.

I had dressed her as I yanked her out of bed because sometimes that is easier than fighting the flailing limbs when she is finally ensconced on the couch, so all I had to do was get her to eat breakfast, go to the toilet and brush her teeth. Easy!

Except we had 0.56 minutes to do this in.

After asking for an apple the girl sat and looked at it for 10 minutes before talking a microscopic bite out of it.

Telling her it was time to leave made her run and hide on her bed because I was being mean and was scaring her! Dragging her out of bed again and shoving her shoes on her feet I asked her to get in the car, at which point she went to the toilet.

Banging my head on a convenient wall nearby and counting to 500 did nothing to help me…..

After five minutes of sitting on the toilet the girl finally comes out and dawdles to the bathroom to brush her teeth. Luckily that doesn’t require too much time because the ritalin has finally kicked in and she is doing what she is told.

I love ritalin!!

Finally at 7.59 she is ready. Did I mention that choir starts at 8.00 and it is a 10 minute drive to get to school?

And what has the boy been doing in all of this?

He got up and ate his breakfast and got dressed and brushed his teeth and was packed and out the door and waiting in the car for the girl.

In his words  ‘what are we going to do with her?’  He cracks me up!

Is it too early for wine?

 

I think I forgot the underpants!

The girl went on camp with school yesterday.

The last time she went anywhere she tried to pack her own bags and luckily I checked what she had packed before she left because she had about 14 pairs of underwear and some sock and nothing else.

Oh and her cuddly toys. You know, the important stuff.

This time I thought I would just do it from the start as she had a massive meltdown when I suggested that she follow the suggested list from the school.

That was too hard apparently….

All was good until yesterday afternoon when I suddenly had a thought that I hadn’t packed any underwear for her!

Being an aspie do you think she will notice??

 

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.