Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘autism

Aware

with 3 comments

It seems every year, at this time of year, I’m torn. It is World Autism Awareness Day. Again. Our fourth since Pudding’s diagnosis. Those years have seen a shift in me, the way I perceive autism, and the ways I want the world to acknowledge this day of awareness, or this month of acceptance.

It has been a quiet few months on my blog, but a busy few months in our lives. We’re facing another international move, another continent, and the process of withdrawing from one set of supports, and establishing a whole new set. We’re reevaluating what works and what doesn’t. What is responsible for her progress, and what else we could add to the mix to enhance it.

And yet, for a time of such changes, life has been incredibly stable. For the first time in years, I think our family doesn’t seem so different after all. We work, go to school, read books, go swimming, go on vacation. We live, just like the rest of them.

Perhaps because we have found (or created) a place of inclusion and acceptance, I don’t feel the fire of awareness that burned me these last few years. I don’t feel the need to light my workplace up blue, nor even my home. Blue isn’t our colour any more.

This awareness thing, it burns on, even without my kindling. Here in South Africa, it is more talked about, more public each year. For the first time, Cubby’s preschool became involved in World Autism Awareness Day, and he was asked to dress in blue, and send in a donation to Autism South Africa. And all would have been well if it ended there.

But in his eagerness to tell me his duty, he mentioned that the money was needed for, “the children who are sick with autism.”

And that was when the awareness hit me again. The awareness that if I’m not the one talking to my children about autism, they’ll get their messages elsewhere. And while those messages may originate with the intention of fund-raising, or raising the charitable profile, they aren’t the right ones for us. Those messages are hurtful, not just for my child, but for the adult she will one day grow into. To a community that she already belongs to.

My girl isn’t sick. She isn’t even all that different, or her differences aren’t that great. Are they? She is just one of us. One of the things I most appreciate is how happy she is in her own skin. She loves who she is, and she dares all around her not to feel the same way.

One day, inevitably, she’ll become aware of her differences, and how the world perceives her because of them, and I need to make sure that I am always aware of what messages she receives, and that we are giving her the right ones. Even when I don’t feel it is necessary, I’m aware that it always is.

 

 

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

April 2, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Wordless Wednesday 01 Apr 14

leave a comment »

Image

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

April 1, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Wordless Wednesday 26 Mar 14

with 3 comments

Image

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

March 26, 2014 at 4:37 pm

Wordless Wednesday 08 Jan 14

leave a comment »

Image

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

January 9, 2014 at 7:20 am

Blocked

with 4 comments

I haven’t blogged since Pudding’s birthday, more than a month ago.  It isn’t for want of things happening.  We’ve been having adventures galore that I need to catch you up on, from meeting penguins in Cape Town, to exploring Scotland.  Pudding has been making strides; learning how to brush her teeth by herself, and battling every kind of hand dryer in both the northern and southern hemispheres until she no longer fears them.  Oh, and I shook the hands of two more presidents.  Such a lot going on all at once.  I need to write about that.

Pudding is writing more than me these days.  From sending her grandparents her first ever email, to wandering around different countries with a pen and paper in her hand, she is writing all the time.

I find it interesting what she chooses to write.  Sometimes she is simply documenting her life around her; she’ll write the names of her school friends, or what she has done that day.  At other times, her writing is emphatic.  Frustrated that her spoken word isn’t being heeded, she’ll write out what she needs us to do.  This morning she was adamant that she shouldn’t be sent to school.  I know how she feels- I’d enjoyed our extended break too.

And now we are back, back in our routine.  Except not really, because it is hard to get back into a routine when you only have 6 months left in a place and you don’t know where you’ll be living after that.

I mean, I got stuck on the fact that I don’t need to buy the kids any more toothpaste, because we’ll leave here before it runs out.  We have more toothpaste than time left here, and nothing in place for after that.  No international school persuaded that inclusion is in fact, the way forward.  The only way, in my opinion.  No team of therapists in place for two kids who need extra support.  

Stuck.  Blocked.  I know how my kid feels.  I tend not to write about the frustrations of our globally mobile lifestyle.  I try not to bite the hand that feeds our family.  But not having an onward assignment at this point is devastating to a family in our situation.  It takes time and effort to set up for our kids’ educational and therapeutic needs, wherever we end up next.  

Still, we’ve proven we can do this, and we’re ready for another try.  Pudding keeps mentioning going to Brazil, so maybe she knows something we don’t.  I’m frustrated, angry, and all out of patience with things far beyond my control, but we’ll get through this like every other challenge we’ve faced: squeezing out one more day at a time.  

Yes, I feel better for writing that out.  That girl of mine really knows how to handle this stuff.

 

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

January 6, 2014 at 4:09 pm

7

with 2 comments

Image

It was seven years ago, yesterday.  I fell in love with the girl I call Pudding.  In those seven years, she has stretched my heart, and it keeps on growing.  I’m short on time these days, sorry dear Reader.  But I won’t rhapsodize about her any longer.  Instead, I’d like to share with you what came home from school yesterday.

Pudding’s school has the most perfect tradition of paying compliments on birthdays.  Here is what her class had to say about her.  If this doesn’t make you smile, I don’t know what will.  These guys are first graders (and teachers) in a classroom made extra special by inclusion.  Some written by the kids themselves, others with a little help.

  • You have beautiful eyes and a lovely smile.  You are a smart, friendly and kind hearted girl.  -F
  • You have nice shoes and a nice heart. -J
  • You have nice hair and eyes and you are kind.  -T
  • You have a Nas Wor Heart. -R
  • I like your eays. -N
  • I think your a friendly girl. -C
  • I Like yuor eis. -L
  • I like yuor clods. -C
  • I love evreefeg. -L
  • I love your hrart. -K
  • You are a kind frind. -S
  • You are my Best Best Frend. -C
  • I like your eyes and your brain. -F
  • I like your drawings. -R
  • You are nice and have a kind heart. -I
  • I like the way how you are. -D
  • I love you as a a friend. -R
  • I like the way you draw. -B
  • You have a worm hart. -K
  • You are such a beautiful and kind girl, I love the way you draw, write and sing. -Ms. S.
  • You are a special and kind girl.  I love learning from you.  I love your beautiful smile. -Ms. A

Happy birthday, to my girl.  Thank you for being everything they say about you, and so much more. 

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

December 5, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Wordless Wednesday 27 Nov 13

leave a comment »

Thankful

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

November 27, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Wordless Wednesday 13 Nov 13

with 2 comments

Image

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

November 13, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Wordless Wednesday 06 Nov 13

with 2 comments

IMG_9755

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

November 6, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Wordless Wednesday 30 Oct 13

leave a comment »

Pudding1

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

October 30, 2013 at 8:34 am