Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘Asperger syndrome

Wordless Wednesday 11 Apr 12

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I’m slightly cheating with this one.  Click below for Pudding and Cubby’s (almost) Wordless Wednesday.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

April 11, 2012 at 5:54 pm

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

Including Pudding

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It had been a long day after another long night.  So long, in fact, that I’m writing about this day in the past historic tense, even though it was today.  Yes, today was that long.

My last task of the day (not really, but my last driving task of the day) was taking Pudding to her swimming lesson.  We go twice a week, and normally I don’t mind taking her.  Seeing her so happy in the water makes up for the inconvenience of going there.  And there is inconvenience.

Sometimes it comes in the form of Cubby, who always feels like he wants to come with us, until we get there and he remembers that sitting on a bench and keeping quiet is the opposite of what he wants to do.  Most times I’ll cave in and take him, but occasionally he chooses to stay with Ms. Leia until Daddy gets home.  Today, thankfully was one of those days, because with a nasty croupy cough, things could have been much, much worse.

Most of the time, the inconvenience comes in the form of driving the mean streets of Johannesburg.  There are all kinds of hazards to deal with, to the point that most days I’m convinced I’ve been sucked into a virtual reality game.  If I’m not avoiding kombi buses as they swerve across the lanes while continuously beeping their horns, I’m trying to avoid the erratic truck in front with about 15 men and building equipment piled into the back, or it could be a mother distracted by her toddler IN THE FRONT SEAT, NO CHILD SEAT OR SEAT BELT!!!

Worst of all, though, are the windscreen washers at the lights in this particular route.  That sounds nice, doesn’t it?  Someone offering to clean your windshield as you wait for the lights to change?  No.  It is an act of aggression.  No matter how you shake your head and say no, one of these guys will pull your wipers up, then soapy water will be sprayed on your clean windscreen.  And then if you don’t pay (because security has advised you to NEVER open your window, or in any way encourage this kind of activity), they will threaten you, try to pull off your wipers so you can do nothing about the fact that you can’t see, the lights are about to change, and the aforementioned erratic drivers are honking at you to move.

But I do it twice a week because Pudding loves it, and I’ve written here and here and here about what swimming means to her, and me by extension.

But today, the longest day after the longest night, the 15 minute journey took 50 minutes.  It had been raining all day, and traffic was even worse than usual.  Even though it was still raining, the windscreen washers were still out.  I managed to avoid an incident this time, but my heckles were up.

Pudding’s lesson is only twenty minutes long, with two boys also on the autism spectrum.  There are other lessons immediately before and afterwards, and it is a tightly run ship.  Even though we’d left the house earlier than usual, we arrived just at the end of the alloted time.  I predicted that Pudding wouldn’t be able to swim, but thought I’d try our luck anyway.

Her teacher graciously allowed Pudding to join the next class.  I wasn’t sure how well she would do.  This class had two other girls and two boys, and they were all neurotypical.  I watched her closely to see what would happen.

“New friends, ” she announced, and didn’t try to touch anyone, even though one girl was wearing a Hello Kitty swimsuit.  So, yes, her attention did wander a couple of times, but perhaps not even as much as usual.

And get this: when the teacher constructed a foam diving board, and had the kids walk and jump off it she…didn’t do the same.  She got down on her bottom and scooched along.  A pretty good method for someone whose balance is challenged and can only jump on the spot, not off something.  I wasn’t the only one who thought so, because Girl in Hello Kitty did likewise.

But then, get this: she did it!  She watched the other kids and imitated them perfectly.  She pushed herself to do something that she has never done before, and I’m pretty sure that was because of her peers in the group.

Now, lately, I’ve been mulling over the idea of inclusion.  Pudding has so far exclusively been educated in autism-specific environments.  There are pros and cons to inclusion, and I’m not certain that it would be The Right Thing for Pudding.  But when I see her step up and take a leap like that, it makes me think I should be ready to do the same.  I’ll write more about why this will be such a battle, but for now, just consider that including Pudding made this long, long day turn out to be not so bad after all.  Still, I’m ready for it to finally be tomorrow.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

March 15, 2012 at 8:58 pm

L is for Love

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I told you she loved me- I just had to wait!

I know a lot of parents worry that an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis might mean their child will never know love.  All those challenges our children experience seem to thwart love and romance.  The communication challenges, both spoken and non-verbal.  The sensory challenge of being caressed.  Gazing adoringly into a loved one’s eyes.  They are barriers, for sure.

But I know my kid, and I know how she likes to hurdle her barriers, in her own way, at her own pace.

And I know love.  Love likes nothing more than overcoming the seemingly insurmountable.  Just ask the quirky English woman who met the odd American mere weeks before he left the country.  We had our problems of distance and communication challenges.  Rather than breaking us, it helped us to learn a different way of communicating, of being open and honest and prioritizing each other no matter how far apart we had to be.  Whatever directed us together, be it fate or pheromones, Love knew we’d find those lessons useful.

I don’t doubt Pudding loves me.  I know it though I’ve only had one spontaneous kiss on my cheek in five years.  I know it though she has voiced those words only a handful of times.  I know it when she makes me a Valentine’s Day Card, but I’m not allowed to touch it.  I know it when she’d can’t stand to be touched, and when being held isn’t close enough for her.  I feel her love.  I know her love.  Just like I knew the moment I saw her that no distance could ever break that bond.

When she was diagnosed, I learned that there would be challenges, but love won’t be an obstacle for her.  It will find her, if she wants it to.  All it will take is for somebody to see the magic of my girl, and if they are the luckiest human on the planet, she’ll see the magic in them too.  Love won’t weaken in the face of those challenges, it will teach her lessons she can’t learn any other way.  Just like it did for her parents.  I’m sure of it.

You know how I’m so sure?

When she showed me the Valentine’s Card that I may not touch, we were at her school, and her crush walked by.  I mentioned that she could have made a card for him.  Before Pudding even responded, Jimmy* spun around and agreed with me!

Somebody already sees the magic in Pudding, though he is going to have to wait a couple of decades to get past her daddy.  She’ll have plenty to learn about love during that time.  Like whether the barrier is Asperger’s or the Atlantic, she can overcome anything that comes her way, and Love will be with her always.

This is the long overdue L installment of my A-Z series.  If you think I’m a little hypocritical for writing a love post on Valentine’s Day, just remember that my only constancy is how fickle I am, but I really do love you every day of the year!

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

February 14, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Book Review: Raising Resilient Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

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When we think of our children on the autism spectrum, a social resilient mindset is not the first thing that springs to mind.  In their latest book, Robert Brooks, Ph.D., and Sam Goldstein, Ph.D., explore  strategies gleamed from their clinical practice working with children diagnosed with ASD and their families.  Indeed, the focus for helping children develop this social mindset is on encouraging parents and other charismatic adults to establish empathetic communication and acceptance, rather than concentrating on the child’s difficulties.  As they write:

“Parents strongly influence, however, whether children with ASD will develop the characteristics and mindset associated with resilience or whether they will be burdened by low self-worth, self-doubt, and a diminished sense of hope.” (p.29)

The authors recognize the challenge of being an empathetic parent to a child “whose perceptions and behaviors are often strikingly different from our own.” (p.32).  Thus the authors provide real-life examples of how they’ve guided other families through the process, and helped them overcome the challenges they faced along the way.  Once parents have faced the challenge of relating to their children in a way that doesn’t cause the child to shut down, they are then given strategies to encourage children to solve the problems they are facing.

One of the strategies the authors promote I found particularly appealing- the notion of using ‘bubble-talk’ to encourage a child to learn the difference between thoughts which may be vocalized, and those which are distressing or off-putting to others.  This technique was used with great success with a number of individuals to help develop more appropriate social interactions.  Though we haven’t personally encountered this problem yet, I know it is only a matter of time, and I will definitely be using this technique with both Pudding and Cubby.

A central tenet Raising Resilient Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders is the role of parents in nurturing “Islands of Competence” in their children.  Many of us have noticed the way our children light up when they can demonstrate their talents.  It just feels right to build on these skills, rather than constantly trying to remediate challenges.  The authors describe promoting the special interests, or unique skills and experience that the individual has and using those as a basis for developing esteem and self-worth.  For many children featured in the book, this was about taking an area of perseveration and allowing this knowledge to be showcased as a talent to be enjoyed by others, and a way of relating to peers.  Of particular poignance was the way the therapists encouraged a ten-year-old boy with Asperger’s to write a book describing how he dealt with his mother’s death, which was subsequently displayed in the school library.

As many of us are aware, our children are all different, and what works for one may have opposite effect on another.  Brooks and Goldstein advocate that we “consider potential roadblocks in advance…knowing that if one approach does no work, there are others that might, provides families with a very precious commodity: hope.” (pp.171-2).  Indeed, just because a strategy is not successful in our first attempt, it does not mean that it won’t work later.  Rather than seeing the problem of our child’s behavior, or indeed- in our parenting- we should look at the ways we can address particular skills.

This book will be of particular use to parents whose relationship with their child could use some expert guidance to get it back on track, especially those who frequently find their well-intentioned efforts to help their children fix their problems and social deficits are rebuffed or have disastrous consequences.  A guide to supporting and promoting a child’s strengths and talents to allow them to champion adversity and develop the social resilience so essential for a positive outcome in adulthood.

“Children with ASD are capable of finding happiness, success, attachment, and comfort in adult life…this book will be of help to parents and other caregivers of children on the autism spectrum to attain this happiness and resilience.” (pp. 248-9)

 

Raising Resilient Children with Autism SPectrum Disorders is by Robert Brooks, Ph.D., and Sam Goldstein, Ph.D. and is published by McGraw-Hill.  It is available now at Amazon and other leading book stores.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

January 23, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Book Review: The Parents’ Guide to Teaching Kids with Asperger Syndrome and Similar ASDs Real-Life Skills for Independence

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In The Parents’ Guide to Teaching Kids with Asperger Syndrome and Similar ASDs Real-Life Skills for Independence, Patricia Romanowski Bashe guides us through teaching life skills to kids with ASDs with average or above average cognitive skills who are seldom taught the basics of how to get along independently.  It is often assumed that our kids are smart enough to just pick up these skills, but the author describes how various aspects of Asperger Syndrome and other co-occurring conditions make it difficult for our kids to learn.

What’s more, the author knows how difficult it can be to teach proficiency in these areas.  We don’t remember learning these skills ourselves, and our efforts soon end in disaster when we get overwhelmed with emotion.  This book gives us everything we need to overcome these hurdles, and provides a systematic approach to developing the tools our children need for self-reliance.

Patricia Romanowski Bashe is the coauthor of The Oasis Guide to Asperger Syndrome, one of the first books I devoured following Pudding’s diagnosis two years ago.  When her publishers contacted me to see if I’d review a copy of her new book, I jumped at the chance, even though I felt like Pudding’s self-help skills were pretty okay.  I thought this book would be a great one to have on my shelf as Pudding gets older and we have to start working on ways she can be more independent.

I couldn’t have been more wrong- this is not a book that stayed on my shelf!  I was implementing changes before I’d even finished reading.  As a parent of a child on the spectrum, the author knows how much easier it is to just do things ourselves.  When you’re in a hurry (and when aren’t we in a hurry?) you don’t have time to teach these skills.  As a behavior analyst, she knows the implications of not allowing our kids to develop their independence.

Now, as I mentioned, I didn’t particularly feel that Pudding is a particularly dependent child; but by helping her in the wrong way, I’d been unintentionally encouraging her to be more dependent on me.  I often talk Pudding through a series of actions, like getting dressed, or cleaning her room.  It gets the job done, but it doesn’t teach Pudding to do it herself.  If I (or somebody else) were not there to keep giving the directions, she would not be able to complete the activity.  And the worst thing about my talking her through it?  It makes it even more difficult for her to concentrate on what she needs to do:

Remember that kids with AS are attracted to language; when words start flowing in, their attention to most other stimuli goes out the window.” p.148

The more I read, the sooner I wanted to alter my techniques.  Like many parents, I have some reservations about the use of an ABA approach.  While I think it is an excellent tool for teaching skills, and perhaps “real-life” skills most of all, I’ve always been put off by the idea of collecting and monitoring data.  Every single objection I had is addressed in the book, and explained in a way that makes sense to me- we are evaluating the usefulness of the teaching method, rather than the performance of the child.

I was ready to jump in.

The book comes complete with all you need to get started, including a chart showing at which age most children have acquired certain skills.  Pudding has just turned 5, so I looked for a task we’d never tried before to get started: making her own bed (not perfectly).  This was a good place to start.  It is easy for me to remain calm and objective (and not interfere) while observing Pudding making a bed.  There was no safety issue at stake, and as we are on Christmas break, no real hurry or time pressure.  The conditions were perfect.  I found a suitable reinforcer, and using the techniques detailed in the book, Pudding is now independently making her own bed in the mornings.  No nagging, no prompting, just another skill that she will use throughout her life.

There are plenty more to get working on.  Learning and developing the skills our kids need to live independently is going to take time and effort, it is never too early to start.  As Bashe writes:

“Ultimately, it’s all about choice.  And when we limit the skills needed to exercise choices, we limit choice.”

I couldn’t recommend this book enough.  It has everything you need to begin teaching or shaping the skills our kids need for when we’re not around.  It might be the best gift we ever give our children.

The Parents’ Guide to Teaching Kids with Asperger Syndrome and Similar ASDs Real-Life Skills for Independence is available now.  You can find more information about Patty Bashe at her web site >here< and purchase the book from Amazon >here<.


Written by Spectrummy Mummy

December 29, 2011 at 7:22 am

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

SPD Awareness

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Today is the last day of October, which means Halloween the last day of Sensory Awareness Month.  Hopefully you’ve been enjoying the month of posts by The SPD Blogger Network to celebrate.

I’m rounding off the month, with a brand new post listing everything I’m aware of, thanks to Sensory Processing Dysfunction, our constant companion in this household.

To celebrate SPD Awareness Month, here are a few things that I’m now aware of, thanks to my children and their sensory issues.

My entire education was a complete waste of time.  Because if the teachers taught me that there were only five senses, who knows what other lies they slipped in there?

A mess is to me is tactile heaven to my girl.  Sometimes the carpet just has to be a casualty of war in the battle of the senses.  And be assured- it is a battle- I have the scars to prove it.

The bed has a different bounce to the trampoline and the bouncy castle, and that is why the kids just won’t stop bouncing on it. Ever.

I speak an entirely different language these days.  Sometimes I’m fluent, but most of the time I’m gesturing wildly and gibbering nonsense.  Nobody seems to mind.

The reason I don’t like being hugged by strangers is not because “I’m English”, though voicing that together with an outstretched hand wards off the huggy bears.

Cereal is okay, and yoghurt is okay.  Cereal and yoghurt together is really, really NOT OKAY.

Being able to button up their clothes or tie their shoelaces does not make your kids better than mine.  But you bet I’m going to brag about it the day they can do it too!

Blowing your nose is not an instinctive action.  Playing with what comes out of the nose kind of is.

Because I don’t punish sensory-driven behavior, I’m often taken for a permissive parent.  Anyone who wants to try their hand at disciplining The Determinators is more than welcome.  Just give me a whimper when you’re done exhausting yourself, myah?

Those same ears that can’t detect me calling her name, are the very same ones tortured by any kind of mechanical device, even at very low volume.  On the same note, just because you’ve worked at tolerating the vacuum cleaner to the point where she can operate it herself, doesn’t mean you won’t be back at square one if you get a new one.  Living with dirt is easier.

I have parent friends, and I have SPD parent friends.  And they get completely different responses when they ask how we’re doing.

There are some days when you can spin, climb, and hang upside down all you want, and it will never be enough.  There are also days when slightly tipping to the side will be overwhelming.  There is no way to detect which of these days it is going to be until your living it.  Finding the balance is as tough for us as it is our kids.  I prescribe chocolate and wine in large quantities until the world seems to right itself again.

Waiting is really, really, really hard.  Even for Especially for parents.

I celebrate the milestones like every other mother.  But I have different ones, like “first time she smelled something” or “walked around her baby brother instead of straight over him.”

My children don’t know what an object is until they’ve put it in their mouths.  Even if they do know what it is, they’d better keep mouthing it to make sure it doesn’t change.  Or in the hope that it will change.  Either way, they are going to reject any product that was actually intended for oral motor purposes.

The kids will beg and plead to go to the park, and then for you to push them on the swings for upwards of 30 minutes.  When you finally buy an indoor swing, they will only want to use it if the other sibling has expressed an interest.  At this point I hand them each a pillow and consider it part of the sensory diet.

I spend so much time living and breathing SPD, and seeing it in everyone and everything.  On the odd occasion I encounter a kid without quirks, I’m a little freaked out, and want to prod them with a large stick to see if they’re actually breathing.

Expensive make-up makes far prettier wall murals than washable paint.

There are people on this planet who don’t have a special interest.  They’re actually kind of boring, our way is better.

Fine motor delays are somehow miraculously overcome in the presence of child-proof medicines.  For that matter, there are no motor-planning issues involved when a certain someone moves a chair to a different room to climb up to out-of-reach cupboards.  With locks.  I’m on first name terms with the Poison Control ladies.

The more I crave sleep, the less she needs.

That raindrop running down the window really is the most magical and absorbing thing in the world, and well worth staring at for a considerable amount of time.  Shame my kid only notices it when I’m running late.

Finally, I’m aware that while You Can’t Always Get What You Want, With A Little Help From My Friends- We Can Work It Out.  I’d have more up-to-date music references, but only Pudding-sanctioned music is tolerated in our house.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

October 31, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Wordless Wednesday 19 Oct 11

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Only a pinkalicious messy tactile activity would keep her (mostly) occupied during the flat pack fiasco.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

October 19, 2011 at 11:46 am

B is for Balance

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For my B post, I almost went with Behaviour, but beyond saying that behaviour is communication, don’t have much to say about it.  Instead, I’m going with Balance.  Balance, or the lack of balance, is a constant theme in our household.  Pudding, has a very poor sense of balance, but I’m going to talk about that another time.  I mean balance in the sense of harmony, and that is something that is a work in progress in our family.

Pudding is attending an intensive program in an autism preschool.  It is the most appropriate placement for her at this time, and yet I’m concerned that she doesn’t spend enough time with typically developing children.  It is difficult to get the balance right: to ensure she has all the support that she needs, but also to strive for inclusion.  According sufficient respect for her current needs, and adequately preparing for future goals.  I have to remind myself that I’m not in charge of time, and rushing Pudding too soon would only be counterproductive.

Pudding is very fortunate in that she has a brother.  Somehow, their age difference of two years is just right for them to play together now.  He has almost as much energy as she does, which is fortunate, as I’m generally flagging from days that begin before 5 am.  Now that Cubby is in preschool, his days are balanced too, spending his mornings with other children.  We still see a lot of copycat actions, but he is tentatively trying his hand at more social interactions.

Getting the balance right for siblings is something that is a struggle for many of us.  Spending time with both children together means being a referee.  I don’t feel like either child gets the best of me at those times.  And of course, spending more time with one means feeling guilty about the other child.  We’ve made a start on this.  On Saturday mornings, Daddy takes Cubby to play football (soccer).  I dedicate that time to Pudding, and we get to have fun just the two of us.

As a rule, at the weekends we do things together as a family.  With a week full of school and therapy, it makes for a nice contrast.  I want this kid with her incredible memory to look back and see a childhood that she enjoyed, not just shuttling from one therapist to another.  I feel responsible for that.  I’m not just striving to find balance for our family, I am the balance.

This Mother’s Day I wrote a post for about.com about autism mothers.  At the end of the post I wrote: “It is what we do, but also who we are.”  Somebody commented that this wasn’t the case for her, that autism did not define who her child was, nor who she was as a mother.  Clearly, she has a better sense of balance than I do.  When I’m adding everybody’s needs to the scales, there isn’t always room for couple time, or even time by myself.  Between our stay-at-home date nights, and time at the gym, I’m making efforts to take time for myself these days.  You never know- I might just tip the balance one of these days.

 

This post is part of my A-Z series.  You can find the rest by clicking here.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

October 3, 2011 at 10:03 am