Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

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Her Way

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We had our first parent-teacher feedback session since Pudding started Kindergarten.  When we’d first sat down, educators and parents at a large conference table, this was the time we’d earmarked to evaluate our experiment.  Because even though inclusion is commonplace in the US, what we are doing with Pudding is something different here.

So when we’d originally hashed out our plan, this was to have been the day we’d decide if it was working or not.  And if not, it would have meant removing Pudding from this school, and placing her back in a more restrictive environment.

But we knew it was working.  We knew without even seeing her work showing her progress.  We knew from her enthusiasm for school.  We knew from the care and dedication of her teachers that she was in the right place.

Pudding’s teacher told us (as we know) that there are days when she is bright, sharp, and switched on.  And also (as we know) that there are days when she can’t focus at all.  It is hard for a teacher to evaluate- is that progress?

Progress is hard to define in kids like mine.  Tests and measurements rarely show her potential, just her level of interest in being tested at that time.

Pudding started the school year by opting herself out of class most of the time.  She would start a group activity, then go to work one-on-one with the learning support teacher.  She was saying when she’d had enough.  She was advocating for herself by saying, in her own way, that she was overwhelmed.  And then as the weeks have gone on, she is choosing more often to be part of the group activities.  Inclusion, but her way.  I couldn’t be more proud.

And then there are the tangible ways that inclusion is helping.  Her teacher told me that, working in a group of three, Pudding had paid close attention to what her two friends were doing.  She’d coloured and cut out shapes just like her friends.  Not because she was told to.  Not because doing things the same way is right or rewarded.  Because she wanted to.  Inclusion, but on her way.

There were anecdotes galore about the ways Pudding interacted with her school friends, educators and environment that were just so her.  I could write a post for each of them, and maybe I will when I carve out some time.

But for now, I just want to show you this:

This is how we know she is making progress.  We know that where she is happy and comfortable, she will learn.    We know that once she was turned away, and now she is a poster child for inclusion.  The possibility of her leaving wasn’t even mentioned.  We know that she is where she is meant to be.  Now, that is progress.

Pudding’s teacher thinks so too, here is an email she kindly allowed me to share (possibly because I bribed her with french goodies)…

Dear Spectrummy Mummy and Daddy,

As I had a cup of tea and a macaroon, (thank you so much, they were delicious!) I reflected on my day of conferences.  It occurred to me that my conference with you felt a little different from the others.  Was it because I had seen 11 sets of parents before you and felt a little weary or was it because I felt more like a mini celebration?  I think it’s the latter.  Our last meeting together was when we put all our plans in place last school year.  I think we were all a little unsure of how this year would turn out for Pudding and it had a slightly sombre tone.

Today, 3 months down, I felt such a sense of relief when you walked in and looked happy.  I have felt intuitively that  Pudding was doing well and making progress.  It is so hard to do all the formal assessments with her that I do with other children and that hard data is so easy to report to parents.  Often the way I teach Pudding has to come more from a gut feel than from a book or program and as soon as I think I have her figured out and think something will work, she does the exact opposite.

All I know is that Pudding is learning, that she is happy and that she is loved at school.

Yes, she is.  And all because she did it her way.

 

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

November 13, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Freedom of Speech

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Sometimes my life seems to have very separate compartments, and you can divide them up quite neatly.  There is my life in the foreign service: as an employee of the State Department, and the wife of a diplomat.  Then there is my home life: as a wife to my husband, and mother to my children.  Then I suppose there is the side where I write and advocate.  Most often I wrote about my children.  Sometimes I write about autism and special needs.  Other times life in the foreign service.  But this is wrong, because I’m always writing about all of those things at the same time.  If they are my experiences, they are a unique blend of my past and my present, personal history and present geography.  In moments of clarity, I understand that the world isn’t black and white, but several shades of grey (not fifty though- get your minds out of the gutter)!

On R&R in England, foreign service life seemed far away.  We visited Durham Cathedral on September 11th, and I showed the kids how we light a candle for those who can’t be with us.  Our children are too young to understand much, but I told them that when things are dark, we have to light the way.

That same day, four of our colleagues were murdered in Libya.  Over the next few days there were violent protests directed at other US embassies and consulates.  It was a strange disconnect, being away from our foreign service community at that time, but seeing images, and reading friends’ status updates on Facebook as the action took place around them.

My brain wants things to be black and white.  It makes things easier to understand  if there are sides and good guys and bad guys.  This is how Cubby likes things to be.  He needs to know who is good and bad, who is right and wrong.  But it is more complicated than that.  It is wrong to make provocative movies, deliberately dubbed to offend religions and communities, to destroy the peaceful efforts and relationship-building that Ambassador Stevens and others lived for; then died for.  And yet without freedom of speech, what do we have?  Every time I post a blog, I exercise a right that many in this world don’t have, may never have.

So too, do those who are hurt or offended have a right to protest.  It isn’t wrong to protest- it is a democratic right.  Another kind of freedom of speech.  But violence against innocents is wrong, even if done in protest against abuses.  When protests came last week to our consulate, I thought more about the fear and potential threat- the dark- than the light of living in a society that permits and encourages the right to protest.

Freedom of speech is an interesting concept to me.  Words come easily to me, and I’m safe to express them.  What then, about my daughter, whose speech does not flow so freely?  How do I protect her rights?  One way, is respecting her expressions of protest.  Pudding can refuse, or dissent, or stay quiet, or walk away.  I’ve explained to her therapists before that her needs should always be respected, rather than corrected.  At times she can articulate those needs quite clearly, when she is overloaded, she cannot.

I’m mindful that this right I have is actually a privilege.  A power not extended to all.  And so, if I abuse that power, intentionally or not, others have a right to protest.  The grey area gets murkier, because words, particularly from those in power, can have unforeseen consequences.  Every time I write about Pudding, her autism, and our lives, I’m mindful of the fact that I’m balancing my freedom of speech with hers.  We’re all Ambassadors, all the time.  When things get dark, we have to light the way.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

October 2, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Fan

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Back when we first started planning our trip to England, I wasn’t working.  By the time the trip came around, I was employed, and things were busy.  Not only was I new to the job, but the last couple of months are the busiest time of year, and then because of certain organizational changes, and certain people visiting, things were even busier.  There wasn’t time to think in those last few days, let alone pack, prepare the kids, and prepare the office.  Which means it was perfect timing for things to go horribly wrong.

In the week leading up to our departure, Cubby was ill, followed by myself and Spectrummy Daddy in quick succession.  We all recovered, and were feeling well by Friday, the day of departure.  I hadn’t been in the office for long when the call came from Pudding’s school that she was ill.  I raced out to get her, and out to the doctor.  She was feverish, and looked miserable, which was just how I felt.

Pudding was much more defensive than she usually is with the GP- a sure sign that she was ill.  With much patience and coaxing, the doctor managed to assess her, and promptly diagnosed Tonsilitis and a chest infection.  I must have looked how I felt, because the doctor told me she’d give Pudding some medicine, and she’d be fine to travel.  Really?  Yes, because I was her patient too, and she knows how much I needed to get away.  Pudding could be treated, and would soon be back to full health.

I asked our Regional Medical Officer for a second opinion, and he concurred.  The trip was still on, we just had to get the medication inside her.

That was easier written than done.

Pudding refused all medications, both tablet and syrup forms.  We tried mixing it into drinks, we tried bribing her, she refused.  She was not going to take that medicine!  And I wasn’t, I mean I just wasn’t going to put her through that flight without medication.  I couldn’t.  I didn’t voice it out loud, but I mentally prepared myself for not boarding.  Time ticked on, and we were sent to the gate, still without Pudding taking her medicine.

And then I saw it….a Hello Kitty fan!

Now, Hello Kitty is the tops for Pudding in terms of special interests.  But fans are the most stimtastic things for Pudding.  She learned at just a few weeks old that if she screamed if the fan was turned off, we’d turn it back on for her.  I remember Pudding not engaging in most of the assessments during her evaluation because there was a fan in the room, and she just had to keep telling us about it, and staring at it, and spinning like it.  Fans?  Fans are big.  Hello Kitty fans?  Colossal.  I instructed Spectrummy Daddy to furtively buy one.

And moments before boarding, I showed it to her.  She could have it, but she had to take the medicine.  And this time, no fuss, no fight.  She took it all.  Her temperature started to drop immediately.  And for the first time that long day, she was all smiles.

As we passed through the entrance to board the plane, one of the ground staff asked Pudding if it was her magic wand.  And of course, Pudding corrected her that it was a Hello Kitty fan.  She was right, but it was my magic wand.  And to England we did go by the grace of that Hello Kitty fan.  We ended up losing it a week or so later in some motorway services in the north of England with some other Kitty paraphernalia.

I like to think that some magic rubbed off to whoever was lucky enough to hold it next.  Because in spite of that truly turbulent start, the rest of the flight was smooth…and Pudding recovered quickly, and well, I’ll tell you some of the rest of our magical adventures another time.

 

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

September 26, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Artistic

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Pudding loves art, so it was high time we gave her the chance to indulge in an activity that focused on her talents.  This weekend I discovered a place nearby that was just perfect for us- an art studio where you buy a canvas, and all paints and materials are free to use to make your work of art.

Both kids enjoy the process of painting, they don’t usually care too much about the end result, but going to an art studio was different, and special.

I hadn’t counted on how busy such a venue might be on a Sunday afternoon.  It was crowded with lots of people, noise, bright lights and colours.  Coming down with a cold, my senses were under assault, and I could feel myself getting overwhelmed.  Cubby became more restless too, but interestingly, Pudding seemed to channel her focus into what she was doing.  Generally, rather than become more absorbed in an activity, she tends to withdraw and disengage in the face of potential overload.  Not this time.

Pudding still struggled with motor-planning.  She wanted to paint a heart in her picture, and asked for my help.  Frequently when Pudding draws at home, she gets frustrated that the image doesn’t match her expectations.  Here she didn’t get frustrated: she just kept painting until she was done.

This was a place where Pudding could express herself without the challenge of words.  A space where getting absorbed in her activity and tuning out the rest of the world was an asset.  A place where she could be herself: as an artist and an autist.

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Written by Spectrummy Mummy

May 8, 2012 at 10:46 am

April is Autism Awareness Month

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Logo of World Autism Awareness Day, April 2, b...

Logo of World Autism Awareness Day, April 2, by UN (United Nations). Português: Logo do Dia Mundial de Conscientização do Autismo, 2 de Abril, criado pela ONU (Organizações das Nações Unidas). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I get it: you’re aware.  I’m aware too.  There probably isn’t a single day goes by that we’re not aware.

You’re also probably aware, no doubt, of the latest (and by latest, I mean from 2008) statistics from CDC about 1 in 88 children in the U.S. now identified as having an autism spectrum disorder.

Reports like these always generate a lot of media attention, asking lots of questions, though perhaps not always the most important ones.

This time last year, I wrote:

“…I wanted to let the readers know that 1 in 110 is not just a number.  That number is a person.  In our case, that kid is mine.”

Nothing has changed this year.  1 in 88 is still not just a number.  That kid is still mine.

We live on a different continent now, our lives have changed, and continue to change a great deal.  But the one thing I remain ever conscious of, perhaps now more so than last year, is the need for awareness.

Pudding was recently turned down from a school, because of autistic traits she displayed during the assessment period.  If there is a place anywhere in the world that can exclude my child because of the way her brain works, I need to keep doing my bit for autism awareness.

We’ll find somewhere else for Pudding, where she will be welcomed and valued.  She is one of the lucky ones.  That there are families here who don’t have access to an appropriate education for their autistic children breaks my heart.

That there are still autistic children and adults in this world who are abused and mistreated reminds me to never stop doing my bit for autism awareness.

A year had changed Pudding in many ways.  She is growing, changing, developing all the time.  She is expressing herself a little easier, and advocating for herself in small but important ways.  She is 1 in 88, and she is mine.  It is never about the numbers, it is always about the people.

I know that we need more than awareness, but it is the place we have to start.  Five years ago when the first World Autism Awareness Day took place, I held my infant who would stare up at a ceiling fan for comfort.  I didn’t understand.  We saw pediatricians who didn’t understand.

I needed awareness, I needed accurate information and appropriate interventions.  I needed to learn to understand how best to support my daughter.

One day, Pudding will learn she is part of this 1 in 88.  But every day, I’ll let her know she is one in a million.  She is mine.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

April 2, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Happy Hands

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“Mummy, look: she’s got happy hands!”

Pudding and I had returned from an appointment, and Cubby was observing his sister.  And he was right.  Spot on.  Pudding was flapping, but her hands were unmistakably happy.  She gets flappy when she’s happy.  She also gets flappy when she’s frustrated, or anxious, or overwhelmed, or terrified, but those are all different flaps.  If you pay very close attention, you can tell the difference.  This was a happy one.  He knew.

Cubby flaps too.  As he gets closer to 3, I’m pretty sure that he flaps like his sister, and he flaps to be like his sister.  So essentially I’m just as certain about not understanding as ever I was.  There are times when he deliberately imitates his sister: he watches her flapping and joins in.  At other times, it is an unconscious reaction.  He flaps for the same reasons she does.

I flap too.  Less than either of the kids, and so infrequently most people don’t observe it.  I flap at extremes of emotion.  Which emotions?  When I’m especially frustrated, or anxious, or overwhelmed, or terrified, or happy- just like my little ones.  I don’t consciously flap: no sooner have  I realized I’m flapping than I stop.  It is almost like I’m overwhelmed by emotion, and it takes me out of myself for a few seconds, and in that time, my hands have their own plans.

So what are my hands’ plans?  I don’t know.  Maybe there is in fact a purpose to this automatic and subconscious gesture.  This could be my brain’s way of calming me down when faced with an unexpected feeling, in the way that my eye will blink when an unexpected foreign body enters.  Pudding and Cubby have a much greater degree of sensory dysfunction, and the world is therefore a much more unpredictable place.

But Cubby’s comment intrigued me, because it is entirely possible to read what she is feeling by the flap of her hands.  What if this is also an instinctive communication tool?  At those moments when our communication is challenged, the hands take over.  I don’t know if this holds true for me- if by observing my hands alone you could tell if my agitation was due to a positive or negative event.  I just know what always holds true: that behaviour is communication.  Even if all I’m saying is that I need a moment or two before I can speak.

Cubby has the gift of being able to express himself much easier than his sister.  But he has another gift: he is attuned to her.  He understands how she expresses herself.  Just like any other siblings, their relationship isn’t perfect, but there are moments they make my heart flap.

 

 

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

February 21, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Happy Holidays!

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I meant to write a post on Christmas Day, to wish you all happy holidays from our family to yours, but the only photo I have of us all together is this one, and I realized that it looks like we are in a very comfortable and festive jail.  Not really in the spirit of the season, but a fair representation of living here.  So in the style of not-so-great photo-journalism, here is our Christmas in pictures.

So, as you can see, Santa came.  Or Father Christmas as we call him in England and South Africa.  He enjoyed his whiskey and cookies, and I’d like to say Rudolph enjoyed the carrot, but that was actually Pudding who gnawed on it.  I had to stop her before she ate the whole thing, and shook my head at the strangeness of a child who chooses carrots over cookies, and a mother who stops her.

Pudding awoke at the usual 5am, but we made her wait an unbearable (for all of us) hour until her brother woke up to go downstairs.  Eventually her demands of “I want presents” became loud enough to rouse him.

One of the great things about raising third culture kids is that they are exposed to many different religions and cultures, and we embrace this fully, while honouring our own traditions.  One of the weird things is that you end up with photos of your kids opening Christmas presents while sitting cross-legged on a Muslim prayer rug.

And another great thing is that Christmas is an opportunity to support the local economy.  Pudding had her own very specific requirements that didn’t lend themselves well to sourcing locally-produced items.  We did, however, find this hand-crafted chair for her doll at a local market.  It broke moments after this photo was taken.  Kind of glad the rest of our stuff came from Melissa and Doug or Lego Duplo.

It isn’t difficult to find gifts bigger than the boy himself.  The way he has been eating this holiday season though, we’re expecting a growth spurt any day now.

I told you she was Santa’s little helper!  Once her own unwrapping was done with, Pudding assisted us too.

Love is not indulging your husband by surprising him with Chuck Taylor Converse All Stars with his special interest- Batman.  Love is being seen out in public with him wearing them.

And for most of the rest of the day, it was about play.  Here we are tricking Cubby into developing his fine motor skills.  Probably doesn’t hurt that he is learning about counting, shapes and numbers too- with us as parents he needs all the mathematical help he can get.

Pudding played by dressing up in the same outfit as newly-shorn Kelly doll and telling her a story.  Maybe I joined in likewise- you can’t tell because I’m on the other side of the camera, thanks to Santa bringing me a new lens to replace the one I broke back in the US.

And the rest of the day I pretty much spent making this: my most perfect turkey yet.  The kids ate about two mouthfuls, of course.

That was about it for our Christmas.  It was quiet, cosy and drama-free, and I know what a lucky autism mama I am to be able to say that.  Of course, I did take down the tree the next day- a return to our version of normality is a present to us all.

From my family to yours, I sincerely hope you had a wonderful time.  And if not, I’m sincerely glad they are over for another year.  Extra-special holiday love to you all.

Cut

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You know how it is when your child is on the verge of a new skill- you work on it and work on it until it is fully grasped.  Before the school holidays, Pudding was close to being able to use scissors.  It is testimony to how difficult a task this is for her, that she has been developing this skill in OT for over two years.  We used the pretend scissors for cutting play dough, so she could really get some proprioceptive feedback.  I printed out lots of worksheets for her, and she threw herself into the task.

We were getting somewhere.  It is still very difficult to attend to a task for long, but we made progress.  Now she is cutting, not neatly, not as well as a typically developing child; but she knows where to place her fingers, how much pressure to apply, and how to open them back up without removing her grip.  She can hold the paper in one hand while her other completes all these things at once.  It really isn’t until you sit down and try to teach these skills that you realize just how many components are involved in such a “simple” task.

It is hard for those of us who don’t struggle learning new tasks to ever remember a time when we couldn’t do them too.  It is hard to constantly be aware of all the factors that are at play preventing our children from acquiring these skills.  So we as teachers, guides and parents need an unlimited supply of patience.  This is always my stumbling point.

Last week in one of our cutting sessions, I didn’t notice until she finished cutting that the “safety scissors” had cut through Pudding’s new dress as well.  It was an accident, neither of us had noticed what was happening at the time, and I let her know it was an accident, and I wasn’t cross.  This was a clear teaching moment, and I earnestly lectured her about how scissors are sharp and dangerous, and we only use them to cut paper or card.  Right.

What I failed to realize, is that the teaching moment was for me.  I needed to social story the correct use of scissors.  I needed to set down rules and guidelines for using them only when I was around.  I needed to make sure they were under lock and (hidden) key at all other times.  But I’m careless, and I’m impatient, and I’m lazy, and busy, and a hundred other things that meant I needed a bigger teaching moment.  I had that today.

Pudding was upstairs and awfully quiet as I cleaned up the kitchen.  I had that moment of dread- I knew I had to get upstairs to see what was going on, but I stalled because I didn’t want to see.  I saw Pudding, safety (my ass) scissors in one hand, and her beloved Kelly doll freshly scalped in the other.  I didn’t see the resolution of all that skill-building.  I didn’t see yet further pretend play skills.  I didn’t see a rite of passage that all little girls (yep, even me) go through with the intoxicating feel of scissors through hair.

I saw a pile of hair, some human, some doll.  I saw a doll that cost way too much in the first place that was ruined.  I saw all my carefully cultivated patience run out.  I saw this:

Of course, now she won’t play with her doll.  She wants me to fix it, or get some new hair.  I have to decide if Kelly is just going to learn to rock her new look, because we’ve all had a bad style, and it builds character.  Or if she’ll go to Doll Hospital for a new head, which isn’t covered by our health insurance.

One thing I have decided: the more she develops, the less I feel cut out to parent.  Oh well, at least I’m pretty decent at cutting Pudding’s hair, and I probably got that way from chopping at my own dolls when I was her age.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

December 20, 2011 at 4:36 pm

You might be an autism parent if…

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…you have days like this.

If you haven’t been following the hashtag on twitter #youmightbeanautismparentif you’re missing out.  While the following events were taking place, I added a few tweets myself.  And then I found it very cathartic, and just couldn’t seem to stop!

Pudding needed an EEG.  I called ahead to the hospital to get a full description of what will happen during the procedure so we can social story it.  I call again to emphasize she has autism and will need accommodations.  They tell me they have lots of experience.  Not with Pudding, I think.  It will only take half an hour, but you should medicate her, just in case.

Yesterday I dropped Pudding at school, then took Cubby for OT.  In a rare moment of convenience, Pudding’s doctor is located in the same place, and I needed to collect her prescriptions.  As I went to open the envelope, the receptionist told me firmly, “they’re both in there” and instead of checking, I just put the envelope in my bag.  I would come to regret that, as we went straight from OT to Cubby’s school concert, and then directly to the pharmacy.

I opened the envelope to find two identical prescriptions for her ADHD medication, not the sedative we needed.  I called the receptionist back, and asked her to fax another prescription directly to the pharmacist.  I had to have that medicine by 9.30 the next morning at the latest.

After collecting Pudding from school, we went straight back to the pharmacy at the mall.  No complaints here- the kids love the mall.  The pharmacist tells me they don’t stock this medication, and I’d need to go to a hospital pharmacy.  Oh, do my kids not like leaving somewhere before they’re ready, but I wanted to get that prescription.

The hospital pharmacy does have the medicine, but they won’t give it to me because I only have a fax, and not the original prescription, and we wouldn’t want to violate section 6 of the something-or-other, now would we?  Throw in another couple of meltdowns, because they weren’t ready to leave there either.

I drop the kids off with Ms. Leia, and speed over to the doctor for the original.  Which they can’t find.  Then they do, and we’re all set….but it is too late to go back to the hospital.  I’ll have to do it in the morning.

After a couple of hours of unsuccessfully trying to get Pudding to sleep, I take over from Spectrummy Daddy.  She finally falls asleep in our bed at 11, only to rise more hyperactive than ever just before 5.  I wake up more tired than I was going to bed, with a cold to boot.  Still, at least I got all my bad luck out of the way the day before, right?

After dropping off Cubby and Daddy, Pudding and I return to the hospital and obtain the magic elixir.  I dutifully wait until the instructed time to give it to her, and watch her promptly spit it back out.  Thank goodness we had a spare second dose, and I try the never-fail approach of bribery to get her to swallow.  It fails.  I have mere drops left, and I decide to take it with us.  She must have swallowed some at least, because she looks drowsy in the car.

We arrive, only to be given forms to complete.  I can’t believe there is more paperwork, didn’t I call twice to explain my daughter has autism?  Giving me forms means I can’t take care of my kid in the waiting room.  Do you think I only call because I like sharing intimate details about my family?  People, I have a blog for that!

After twenty minutes of purgatory- which is getting evil looks from the rest of the waiting room as Pudding shouts about how quiet she is being- the technician asks me where my referral letter was?  My what?  This is the first I’ve heard of such a thing, and it can’t be necessary because I was at the doctor twice yesterday and nobody mentioned it.  They call the receptionist, who I would call by something else were this not such a family-friendly blog, who tells them she’d given it to me in the envelope.  Umm, no.

I think at this point, the staff tire of what we tired of twenty minutes previously (being in the waiting room) and they take us in.  Pudding, though groggy, is bouncing off the walls, and they decide she needs more medicine.  I explain about the whole spitting out thing, and they decide the strong-arm approach would be most beneficial to a young, scared, autistic child.  By the time they’ve pinned her down, held her nose, and squirted in the medicine, I’m crying as much as Pudding, as she begs me to help her.  She is a mess, unsurprisingly.  I am too.

They wait for the medicine to kick in.  It doesn’t.  We call the mean receptionist again to get another prescription, but we never hear anything back.  I keep my terrified cabin-feverish girl in that tiny room of sensory hell as they alternately try to stick wires to her head, then let her sleep.  Suffice to say, neither happens.  I want to leave just as much as my girl, but I know we’ll never get her back for a second try.

After three and a half hours they send in another technician, aptly named Angel.  She gets the wires and bandages on, and between us we get through an EEG.  Why, oh why, did they not send her in the first place?  Now it doesn’t matter.  We’re done, and we don’t have to go through it again.  In one week we’ll know if seizure activity is the cause of Pudding’s sleep problems.  I’m hopeful that epilepsy is just something we can rule out.  I’m hopeful.

You might be an autism parent if you have a day like this, and still remain hopeful.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

November 22, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Autistics Speaking Day

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Today is Autistics Speaking Day.  Autistics Speaking Day is about speaking out and being heard all over the world.  Please click >here< to find the collection of posts by advocates and allies at The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism.

As an ally, I’m taking a day off from writing a post to share my collection of Facebook updates featuring the inimitable Pudding.  If this isn’t enough, <here> is another post featuring the language of our resident Aspie.  My wish is that one day she’ll be a proud advocate and member of a collective who won’t be silenced.  Until then, I still think she has much to say…

  • Pudding has a crush on an older boy at school. Merely mentioning his name makes her cover her eyes, coyly. I asked her what he is like to figure out her type.
    “He is like babies, with a Hello Kitty head.”
  • Making toast for breakfast, I ask Pudding if she wants jam. She doesn’t. To clarify things…
    Me: Do you just want butter?
    Pudding: No, I want toast and butter.
  • Following a paint incident, I let Pudding wallow in the bath as long as she needed. After half an hour, I asked her if she was a mermaid. “No, Mummy, I’m a girl….and a fairy.”
  • I forgot how many toys the kids have. WAY too many now that they’re sharing a room and we don’t have a basement. A local orphanage will shortly receive a very big donation.
    Me: Pudding, do you like having all your toys back?
    Pudding: Yes….What is Santa going to bring?
    Me: AAARRGHHH
  • Pudding: “Ooh, my hair is all windy.”
  • Daddy: Pudding, what did you do at school today?
    Pudding: No!
    Dadddy: No is not an answer.
    Pudding: Yes?
  • Pudding: “The sky is very high, Daddy.”
  • Me: Kids, put your toys away.
    No response.
    Me: I’m running out of patience.
    Pudding: You need to get some from the store.
  • Me: We have to think about what you’re going to wear to school tomorrow.
    Pudding: Clothes.
  • Last night Pudding was coughing and sneezing.
    Me: Are you sick?
    Pudding: No, I’m not sick.
    Me: Have you got a cold?
    Pudding: No….I’ve got a warm.
  • Pudding was “driving” around the house with the GPS (that I mentioned in yesterday’s post). She came to sit down next to me and said: “You have reached your destination.”
  • “Goodnight Mummy, see you on next tomorrow.”
  • Me: Do you like your new Hello Kitty bubble bath?
    Pudding: Yes, it smells like cats!
  • I bought a buttercup cake pan this weekend, and Pudding was so enthralled that she made up a story for it. Here it is word for word: “One day Mummy made a flower cake. The End.”
  • Pudding on the royal wedding: That’s not a princess. Turn it off! Want to watch Sesame Street!
  • Me: Tomorrow is Easter.Pudding: Shall we make a birthday card for Easter?
  • Me: Pudding, what are you doing?
    (Sound of water being poured)
    Me: Don’t tell me that you’re pouring again!
    Pudding: I’m not pouring…

>Here< is the post I wrote last year about the importance of social networking, speaking out and being heard.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

November 1, 2011 at 1:40 pm