Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘special needs

Wordless Wednesday 04 Jul 12

leave a comment »

Pudding at the pool

Pudding in her happy place.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

July 4, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Pinteresting

with 7 comments

I think I joined Pinterest when it first started, then immediately decided that I didn’t have time for it.  Last week, I was drawn back in, though I can’t say I wasn’t warned about what would happen:

@spectrummymummy you have now completed the “time suck” trifecta (fb, twitter and Pinterest)

Yay, time suck trifecta!  Well, I’m still not working yet, so at least it is only my time I’m wasting.  

Like Facebook and Twitter, I restrict my time on there to when I’m not needed.  Usually for me that is when I’m waiting for the kids to go to sleep in the evening- the prefect time to get pinning.  If you are interested, you can find me here: http://pinterest.com/spectrummymummy/

Just another piece of the internets that I’ve sprayed on, like a tom cat.  Sorry.  

Still, it isn’t all a complete waste of time.  I found this pin that I adapted into a game for my kids.  And they played. Like, together.  Taking turns and everything.  It was living the dream.  The only reason I didn’t disturb them to take photos was because I knew that would turn into a nightmare.  

Mosey over to the original poster:  Juggling With Kids to see how she created this game using a car to “park” in the spaces labeled with the sight words he is learning for school.

Image

We made our parking lot (which in my case looked more like a ouija board) using just the alphabet, and then we played a variety of games, like phonics (which letter makes the “vuh” sound?), spelling, (how do you spell cat?), and sequencing (what comes before “T”?).

The alphabet is very familiar to both kids, but they don’t always apply their knowledge so well.  This game also had them practice their listening skills, and taking turns.  Pudding used a doll to go and jump on the letters, while Cubby parked his ice cream van.

We got to work on the -an and -at words that Pudding is learning in her speech therapy, and Cubby got to practice his articulation that he works on in his speech therapy.  I think the big factor in our success was each child having their own toy to play with- a great way of bringing special interests into learning.  It definitely helped my two impulsive children to focus on letting each other take a turn.

It could, of course, be adapted for any child, and a variety of skill levels.  Just off the top of my head, I’m thinking of a toy rocket that could fly to the planets, or a plane that flew to different countries.  You could use colors or stickers to create your board, or maybe even use some PECS images if you are using that method with your child.  And how about using a straw to blow a ping-pong or cotton wool ball on to the letter to get in a little oral-motor therapy?

You could do a much better version, I’m sure.  Now that I know my kids like playing, I might make a more interesting version one of these days.  This one I deliberately kept as simple as possible, as I didn’t want to waste time.  After all, I do enough of that on Pinterest!

Plan A

with 6 comments

So what I didn’t tell you about the times Pudding got rejected here and here, is that they were supposed to be our Plan B.  Our safety schools.  Our not-quite-ideal-but-we’ll-fall-back-on-it schools.  That is why it was even more ridiculous that she was refused, or that these places didn’t even want to consider accommodations or supports.

Let me tell you, if Plan B doesn’t work out, you really start to despair about Plan A.  So what is Plan A?  Well, let me first explain about where Pudding currently goes to school.  Pudding is in a preschool/early intervention centre for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and a few other special needs kids who weren’t welcome anywhere else.

This school is intimate, supportive, and caring, but it isn’t currently equipped to educate children through kindergarten and beyond.  It offers speech, occupational and physical therapies on site, so Pudding’s curriculum builds on what she is working on during her individual sessions, and as a bonus- I don’t have to trail around to get Pudding the intensive therapy she needs.  She has a good relationship with her teachers and therapists, and they genuinely care about Pudding and her future.  A future as bright as she is.

What her current program doesn’t offer, however, is time spent in a mainstream classroom with other typically developing children.  For a socially-motivated child like Pudding, it is even more difficult to begin to learn and understand social interaction from other children who hold the same challenges.

We’ve found a school which previously rejected us (on paper) but with new admissions staff, and a leadership promoting a more inclusive community, we were asked to come back.  Pudding went along for an informal school-readiness assessment, which went well.  A team then went out to her current school to observe her in the classroom and talk further with her current teacher and therapists.

Yesterday we returned to create what is probably the most individualized education plan to never be called an IEP. Pudding will spend her mornings in the new kindergarten class, then return in the afternoons to her current school to continue with the therapies and extra support that she needs.

We’ll gradually introduce Pudding to her new school and classmates with a series of outings to the new school, together with photographic social stories to prepare her for the coming changes.  We’ve discussed a couple of times we can meet to adjust or tweak the program to ensure all Pudding’s needs are met.

The new teacher already has experience with children on the spectrum, but requested any books or materials I thought might help her to better understand and support Pudding.  The school has also asked if we would meet with the other parents before the start of term to answer any questions they might have about Pudding and her learning differences.  They even suggested I write an article for the school newsletter explaining some of the ways we support Pudding’s strengths and weaknesses, and the ways in which an inclusive classroom is beneficial for all children.

In short, they are doing everything they can to help this to work.  They are doing everything I expected to see- but didn’t- in the Plan B schools (remedial schools that are supposed to support learners with additional needs).

As with trying anything new, we won’t know for sure if it will work out for us.  But I feel strongly that this is what Pudding needs come the start of the school year.  In the meantime, we’ll be working on Plan C.  There is, after all,  a whole alphabet to go through. 

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

May 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Artistic

with 8 comments

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

May 8, 2012 at 10:46 am

Wonder

with 11 comments

I could hear the catch in my throat as I told the woman she was wrong.  That rejecting Pudding’s application for admission was a mistake, for them as much as for us.  It really was us and them, no matter how she tried to tell us this was in our best interests- not giving Pudding a chance is wrong.

Pudding had gone through a battery of tests for this school.  The first day of the tests as soon as she woke up, I knew she was ill.  I also knew we wouldn’t get a second chance.  I would just have to hope she would shine through.  But when Pudding is ill, everything is too much, and a strange place with unfamiliar people and questions she didn’t feel like answering were beyond her comfort.  The following week she was feeling better, and performed as required, but the decision had already been made against her.

And instead of just denying entry, we had to sit, again, and listen to Pudding’s autistic traits used against her as reasons why she shouldn’t be included.  Once again, this is a remedial school.  A place that is supposed to welcome and support students who need a little extra help.  But the doors are closed to us.

I tried to distract myself from feeling hurt over the weekend.  Hurt isn’t a good emotion for me.  I mope and feel sorry for myself without doing anything.  Doing nothing does…well, nothing for Pudding.  

I’m hosting the book club in our little community this month.  One book particularly appealed to me, Wonder by R. J. Palacio.  I found a short video taster for the book which ended with the line:

“You can’t exactly blend in when you were born to stand apart.”

I quickly downloaded the book, and laughed, cried and cheered on the protagonist through his journey.  It is a work of fiction, of course, but at its heart is a message that held me up this weekend.

It doesn’t matter how nice the campus, how well-equipped the school, the size of the classrooms, or how expensive the admissions process- the only thing that matters is that we find a place that embraces Pudding’s differences.  Not accepts…not tolerates…but truly acknowledges the wonder of our child.  Because then, and only then will she show them how right they are about her.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

May 7, 2012 at 8:07 pm

On the Job Training (at Hopeful Parents)

with one comment

This post was originally published at Hopeful Parents.

A job.
It looks strange as I type it. I haven’t worked in six and a half years, and time has made a that three-letter word look incredibly daunting. I don’t have work clothes. I’ve forgotten more office skills than I ever developed. I was stay-at-home before I even became a mother.
As a stay-at-home-mother of special needs children with several years experience, I find it hard to imagine another identity. If I’m uncomfortable with the shift, my children are vocally despairing. But feelings of inadequacy and fear of change prove to be no match in the face of a bank account straining after years of therapies on a single income. To work I go!
Of course, I haven’t exactly been idle these last few years, and in terms of self-development and transferable skills, with a hopeful outlook my CV looks positively marketable.
How can I be discouraged by an interview panel, when I’ve faced the eligibility board for special education services not once, but twice?
Will I ever have to face a meeting in the world of work with anything like the pressure of an IEP meeting? Setting goals and meeting deadlines? I’m well practiced.
You need someone with excellent communication skills? Look no further than the caregiver of someone with special needs, particularly when language difficulties are an inherent feature of the condition.
If a presentation doesn’t go over well in words, I’ll just skip on to pictures. Imagine social stories merging with powerpoint- I’ll find a way to get my point across with any audience.
I can work under pressure, think outside the box…be flexible, organized…a team player. If there was something to learn over the last few years, I’ve mastered it. We all have. Even if every day still feels like we have so much to learn.
This position is actually going to be about playing a strong advocacy role and strengthening community. Reading the job description, it felt like it had been written for me.
But there is one more thing that makes this job perfect for me. I’m the sole applicant. A job that nobody else wants? I’m your woman. You’re just going to have to pay me in more than hugs and kisses this time.


Written by Spectrummy Mummy

April 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Pudding and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

with 10 comments

Yesterday Pudding asked me to read her Alexander and the the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  Pudding likes this book, but it goes in phases for her, and she hasn’t been interested in reading it for several months.  I wondered if there was a reason for her choice….

I went to bed with Daddy in my room and then I woke up and Daddy wasn’t there, and I was scared.  I went to Mummy and Daddy’s room, and they were asleep, so I had to wake them up to get in their bed. Daddy had to get out.  Even though it hadn’t started yet, I could see it was going to be a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

When I woke up it was still dark and there were no birds singing yet, so I had to make noise instead.  Mummy is grumpy, so I keep talking and turning until she cheers up.  Eventually I hear Daddy get up, so I decide it is time to go downstairs.

Daddy wants me to do my therapeutic listening program, but I don’t want to.  I don’t like wearing the head phones, and I don’t want to listen to that music.  I pull the cord out of the CD player and Daddy makes me do it again from the beginning.  I get my pink yoghurt on my Hello Kitty nightgown and I start to cry.  It isn’t even 7 O’Clock, and already it is a Terrible Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

I think next time I’ll move to Australia.

Mummy washes my face and the cloth is scratchy.  She makes me take off my Hello Kitty nightgown to be washed and I don’t want to.  I want to always wear my Hello Kitty nightgown.  She makes me wear warm clothes and socks, when I want to wear a dress and no socks- I could do that in Australia.

Cubby has to get dressed too, but Cubby doesn’t have to go to school.  Cubby doesn’t even have to go back to school until May.  It isn’t fair- I should be able to stay home too.  I tell Mummy I’m not going to school today.  She take me anyway on this Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

The little kids at my preschool scream and cry and it hurts my ears.  I tell Mummy I want to go to a different school.  Mummy says she’s working on it, but she isn’t working on it today and I don’t want to go today.  I have to do OT when I don’t want to, and speech therapy too.

I bet I wouldn’t have to do that in Australia.

Mummy picks me up from school and she tells me we have to go to a lab-o-ra-to-ry.  I don’t like it there, they hurt me the last time.  Mummy says she has magic plasters (Band-Aids) so it won’t hurt my arm this time, and puts them on where my elbow is.  I don’t like it.  I try to take them off.  Mummy and my teacher tell me I can’t take them off, but Mummy draws Hello Kitty on them and I like them better.

When we get to the hospital we have to wait for a long time.  The lights are too bright in here, I want to go back outside.  I don’t like to wait, my brother doesn’t like to wait, and my Mummy doesn’t like it when me and my brother have to wait.  Mummy has to write on lots of forms.  I try to draw with her pen, but she doesn’t like that.  Mummy seems angry and I don’t know why and that makes me scared.  I knew for sure this would be a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Mummy says we have to be good in the waiting room to get a lollipop, but when I try to be good by spinning around and making noises, she thinks that isn’t being good.  Then I go around the room and touch everything, and Cubby copies me.  I don’t know what else to try.  I’m confused, and that makes me more scared.

Finally it is my turn to go in, and I get up on the bed and I am brave.  Now the nurse takes off my magic plasters, but I don’t want her to because she didn’t ask first, and because they have Hello Kitty on them.  I tell her I need a Hello Kitty Band-Aid, but she shakes her head at me.  I don’t know what that means.  The nurse tells me it won’t hurt because of the magic, but then I see the needle, cotton wool, and the little dish thing from last time.  I remember last time and now I’m very scared.  Being this scared hurts me more than needles.  Mummy reminds the nurse again about my awe-tism, and the nurse’s eyes move upwards like they’re going back into her head.  I don’t know why she did that, but it feels like Mummy is more angry.  I can feel when Mummy is angry, even if I don’t know why.  It makes me more scared.

Mummy tells me not to be scared, and says I’m being brave and will get a lollipop for sure.  Mummy also tells Cubby he can have one, but I don’t know why because he isn’t brave and anyway he’d better not get a pink one.  Mummy holds me and talks to me about going swimming.  I love going swimming, and soon everything is done and I’m not scared any more.  I get a lollipop, and it is pink.

We go back to get my things for swimming and on the way Cubby is talking about how he and Mummy went to one of my places while I was in school.  I hit Cubby, but I’m the one who got into trouble.

I’ll bet that kind of thing doesn’t happen in Australia.

When I’m getting changed I have to stand on one leg and I fall down.  My class for swimming has been changed and now it is all boys instead of girls and boys.  I don’t like this and I get mad, but Mummy says I have to calm down if I want to go swimming.  I do want to go swimming, but I’m still mad, so during the lesson I keep undoing my costume and telling everyone, and showing my galou-galous.  Mummy says after that she is glad Daddy wasn’t there.

Mummy says it is cold outside, and even though she cut off all my hair when she didn’t like the way I cut it, she makes me use the hair-dryer.  I don’t like hair-dryers, not on any day.

We go home and have dinner, and I get ready for bed, and it is almost the end of my Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

If I think about it though, they probably have hair-dryers in Australia, because I’ve lived on three continents and things don’t change as much as you’d think.  I ask if we can read the Alexander book.  Mummy is looking at me strange, and she asks me what was my day like.  I’m not sure what to say to answer her, so I tell the truth:

“Today is Monday, Mummy.”

Mummy smiles and tells me that it is.  And gives me a cuddle, but I can’t go to sleep unless she stays in the room with me.  I hope she is there when I wake up again…..

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

April 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm

N is for Nearlytypical

with 7 comments

N is also for neurotypical, normal, and non-autistic.

I’m the mother of two children.  They are both verbal, affectionate, sensitive, intelligent, funny, devious, and have occasional problems interacting with others.  My daughter is diagnosed with an ASD (and ADHD), and my son isn’t.

When he was a baby, and Pudding had recently been diagnosed with Asperger’s, I enrolled Cubby in a sibling study.  From the first session (at 10 months old) they found some small concerns about his development, but he never met the criteria for autism.  He was found, at various times, to have difficulties with joint attention, anxiety, fine and gross motor delays, sensory issues, and low muscle tone.

In the last few weeks, we’ve seen some additional behavioral problems thrown into the mix.  He is becoming more aggressive, both at school and at home.  He isn’t responding well to discipline, and is explosively emotional.  In many ways, he is more challenging than his sister was at this age, and 3 was a tough year for her too.

Interestingly, some of the techniques we used on Pudding, work well on Cubby, and others he rebels against entirely.  He loves a social story, and enjoys routine, as well as being “talked through” what is going to happen.  We’ve had no success whatsoever in trying to modify his behaviour through positive reinforcement.

Whenever I see a study comparing a group of autistic individuals against a control group of neurotypicals, I question if it is as simple as that.  Of course, autism is a spectrum, a diagnostic grouping of symptoms that describe a vast range of individuals.  I only have to collect Pudding from her preschool to witness how vast that range can be, and how severe some of those challenges can present.

But the similarities between these siblings seem to be more evident than their differences.  Cubby is a far more effective at communicating than his sister, both verbally and non-verbally, but she is more socially-motivated than he is.  While he isn’t autistic, it isn’t as simple as describing him as non-autistic, or neurotypical, or even (God forbid) normal.

I’m going to stick with nearlytypical for now.

All this was going over my mind as I couldn’t get to sleep last night.  The sheets were too scratchy, it was too hot for the heavy quilt, but there wasn’t enough weight with just a sheet and light blanket. It was too loud outside, and too light inside.  Maybe one day there’ll be a sensory spectrum.  Until then I might call myself nearlytypical too….though Spectrummy Mummy fits me just fine.

This post is a continuation of my A-Z series.  You can read the rest by clicking >here<.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

April 12, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Pudding Was A Girl

with 6 comments

On Friday afternoon, I was trying to hold it together.  I was exhausted, and wanted to crawl into bed, but that wasn’t an option.  I’d kept Pudding home from school with a cold, but she was just getting more and more hyperactive.

I went to the bathroom, and when I returned to the kitchen, I found some hair that had been snipped.  Close by were some kitchen scissors, that had been placed out of reach, but nothing is out of reach to Pudding.  It was only a matter of time before she cut her hair again, and that was the time she chose.

At first I was relieved that such a small amount had been cut, but when I picked it up to out it into the rubbish bin, I found lots more.  I did not handle it well.

She’d cut the hair above her ear, and It looked like a one-sided mullet.  Together with the bits of hair that she’d cut close to the scalp the last time, it looked really bad.

The next day I’d calmed down considerably, but I still hated the hair.  The last time she’d cut it, we’d taken her to the hairdresser.  Spectrummy Daddy thought that if we established that hair could only be cut in a salon, she’d stop attempting it at home.  I’d demanded a pixie cut, but she refused and did her best to fix it up.  I didn’t like the “style” with Pudding’s contribution to the procedure still clearly visible.

So on Saturday, I resolved to take matters into my own hands.  My friend came over to help (make sure I didn’t go too far), and Pudding got a pixie cut.  It really looks adorable.  Her eyes seem even larger than before.  The bits that she cut blend in much better.  It has more texture, but is easier to manage.  I love it.

She hates it.

She felt how short I was cutting it at the back, and ran from the chair.  I had to finish trimming as she bounced all over the place.

But worse was to come when she looked in the mirror.

Pudding was a girl.” Over and over.  Followed by screaming and crying.

We went out into the garden to calm down, which I hoped would happen quicker without any mirrors around.  My friend took this photo, which at once shows how cute her new style is, and how unhappy she is about it.

While Pudding has always been attracted to long hair, I never realized she had made such an association between hair-length and femininity.  I thought she just enjoyed the tactile sensation as a sensory seeker.  Pudding’s hair came in slowly as a baby, and doesn’t grow quickly now.  I didn’t realize that she had this impression that girls must have long hair, and boys’ must be short.

She was still upset later when we went to an event with the consulate community.  I mentioned to another friend how upset she was, who told me she’d read recently that girls in kindergarten will already exclude other girls if they don’t have long hair!  Like Pudding needs another reason to be excluded- we can’t even get her onto kindergarten.

A couple of days later, and she seems to have settled into her hair.  At least, she can look into a mirror without tearing up.  We went to the shops to let her pick out new hair accessories, and everybody agrees how gorgeous she looks.  It is long enough for her to twirl still, but dries much more quickly (the noise of the hair -dryer is a problem for our girl).

So we thought our problem was a 5 year-old who is a little scissor-happy, but now I wonder at how her self-esteem may be affected.  There is a bigger problem that our culture so effectively constructs femininity that hair-length is such a serious matter at such a young age.  Then again, should I be pleased that a child on the autism spectrum is sensitive to such matters?

I don’t really have the answers to such questions.  I’m just trying to raise two children to be as happy and balanced as possible in a world that isn’t always very accommodating to those who are different.  If Pudding feels she needs long hair, then I’m not going to get in the way of that.  I just hope she doesn’t self-sabotage when she next feels the urge to cut.

And given how long it is going to take to grow her hair out, maybe she’ll learn there is much more to who she is than her hair, a lesson I once learned myself.  Long hair or short, she’ll always be somebody.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

March 27, 2012 at 11:47 am

The Whole Story

with 30 comments

I haven’t written about what has been going on, but I’ve decided that all parts of the story need to be told.  This month has been hard.  I need to let my friends who call me a super-mum know that I’m really not feeling super.  I need to explain that although we love living here, it comes at a price.  But most of all, I just need to tell the truth about hard times, because I know many people are going through even longer, tougher, more challenging times.  It isn’t fair to them, or myself to pretend everything is fine.

So, this month has been hard.  Mostly it has been difficult because I’ve been unwell.  So as not to scare away my (three) male readers, I’ll refer to my health issues as some ongoing lady problems that have been getting progressively worse.  Ultimately, I’m now very anaemic, which is good in that it is treatable, but bad in that it makes me feel lousy.  I’m weak and tired.  My brain feels like mush, and can’t seem to retain any information, I’m forgetting appointments.  I have heart palpitations, and wake up with numb hands, arms and feet.  My immune system is struggling, so I’m catching every germ I come across, and each one is hitting me hard.

Some of my medications have nasty side-effects too, and one weekend my fingers swelled up and I had to have my wedding and engagement rings cut off.  But I am receiving treatments, including iron injections every two weeks so that I’ll be back to speed in weeks rather than months.  Though I can’t exercise at the moment, I’m doing my best to rest, eat an iron-rich diet, and take all the supplements to support the healing process.  It just takes time.

I’m spending much more time indoors than I have previously while living in South Africa.  Unfortunately, living in a house with bars on the windows inevitably feels a lot like living in a prison, this is made all the worse by the fact that recent events mean I don’t feel as safe in my home as I used to.  Earlier this month, there was an armed robbery on our compound.  By a huge stroke of luck, all the families who live here were out at the time.  Generally on a Saturday afternoon, either our children or our neighbours are playing where the incident happened.  Anyone who has a young child on the spectrum knows that in the face of danger, they are likely to behave unpredictably.  I’ve lost many hours of sleep thinking about what might have happened if we hadn’t gone out that day.  The security officers here are great, and have already made some changes to minimize the risk of this happening again, but I’m shaken that an electric fence, gate, and security guard were ultimately so easy to overcome.

It has been hard because I’m always far more homesick after my parents visit than I am before.  Homesickness and culture shock are wrapped tightly together.  The more you miss home, the more alien a place can seem.  I’m struggling to remind myself to enjoy all the wonderful people and places here, rather than wishing for September to get here for an R & R trip back to England.

Last week brought things to a head.  I forgot to take Pudding swimming one day, then Cubby to OT another.  Then Cubby was ill, followed by Pudding too.  Instead of wanting to rest in bed, my kids become more hyperactive when they’re sick.  Not only was I struggling to keep up with them, but I’d missed the very things that help them to regulate.  By Friday, I was just exhausted.  Not only was I feeling too weary to face the effort of getting Pudding into school, or schedule an appointment for a 24-hour EEG for a child who couldn’t handle a 30 minute one; but I was too drained to get through another ordinary day.

Far from the “super-mum” a friend called me in an email, I was feeling physically and emotionally at rock bottom, and taking my frustrations out on the very people who most need my love and support.  When Spectrummy Daddy got home from work, I took a bath, and let my tears fall into the water, until most of the tension left me.  After we’d got the kids to sleep, we talked about what measures we could take to make things easier.  But, once I’d finally let go of trying to keep everything together, I no longer felt like I was coming apart.

It isn’t the end of this hard month yet, but I’m starting to feel stronger.  Yesterday when the car broke down, I didn’t join it.  I was just grateful it happened with Spectrummy Daddy there, and in a safe place.  I’m using visual strategies to keep me on track of the things I need to do this week, and hopefully that will keep me from getting too overwhelmed.  After all, if it is good enough for Pudding, it is good enough for me too.

So now I’ve honoured the truth.  I’m not a super-mum.  Though I love living here, it does come at a cost.  I can go through hard times, and while they have absolutely nothing to do with autism, they can challenge my ability to parent.  I’m going to keep telling the whole story, even if I’m hoping that this particular chapter will come to an end soon.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

March 26, 2012 at 11:50 am