Friday, 30 March 2012

Autism Awareness

Baby no 1 was a difficult baby, but he met all his milestones and was very clever, so I pushed his differences aside and buried my head in the sand. His teachers at primary school suggested I sought help, but I just couldn't accept that things were not right. Finally things got really bad and I had to accept help. The diagnosis was Aspergers Syndrome. Baby no 1 is a grown man now but still at home and still very much in need of his mother.
Baby no 3 was a much wanted and waited for baby (16 years of waiting) and from very early on I noticed how much like her big brother she was. I kept it to myself. I'd learnt my lesson, I wasn't going to hide from it, but I still needed someone else to point it out first so I could prove it wasn't all 'in my head'
When that day came (at nursery) I wasn't surprised, but I was dismayed to be right.
I accepted her differences and allowed others to give me advice and help, and so far things seem to be working. Her school is great, she has a great psychologist and she is mostly happy. Her diagnosis is high functioning autism and she also has hyper mobility syndrome, weak core muscles, poor co-ordination, flat feet and soiling issues. She is clever, loving (mostly) and beautiful and although life will be difficult for her I hope that with understanding and support she'll get along just fine.
So two children, with very similar problems, but I've approached them differently. I wish I could turn the clock back and change the way I reacted with my son. I realise now that autism is nothing to be ashamed or scared of. Both my children are adorable and I wouldn't have them any other way.


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Tuesday, 27 March 2012


Joseph has had his first major bump today, right in front of me he tripped and bashed his forehead on the table. It started swelling so I got G to get me a cold flannel and put it on, there is a little cut but it didn't bleed much. Joseph screamed for about 1/2 hour! Then he ate a sausage sandwich, that's my boy.

I think he is giving up on his daytime nap! yesterday and today he's refused to go to sleep. Ahhh I so look forward to that hours peace, when am I going to get anything done now?

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Family Party

We generally have a big family party every year and I always make an effort to attend, otherwise I don't suppose I would see anyone. Last night it was the 50th wedding anniversary party for my aunt and uncle.
We left the house at 7.30pm which is normally the time we put the little ones to bed. The older ones came too and I think it's the first time all seven of us have been out together.
The girls were straight on the dance floor as soon as we arrived, playing with the balloons and chasing the disco lights. We put Joseph down and he kept making a run for the door. Maybe he just wanted to leave? Maybe he was just curios about the stairs leading outside. He loves climbing up stairs but hasn't managed going down yet, perhaps he wanted to practice. So we spent the first hour chasing after him!
Then he got tired so we put him in his puschair and within 10 minutes he was fast asleep.
The girls kept going until about 9.30pm then cuddled up to their big brother and fell asleep. He escaped leaving them cuddled up together. None of them woke until we got them ready to leave at around 11.15pm. Other kids the same age and younger were running around all night, but I guess my lot just can't take the pace :-)

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Lucy's Review

Today I had review at the school with Lucy's teacher, the Special Education Needs Co-ordinator and a member from the Autism and Communication team.
It went really well, Lucy is doing ok at school, she's about average on all her work. Her teacher says that if she was co-operative every day then she'd be above average, but her off days mean she falls behind a little. She is a lot happier at school now, and I rarely get any trouble with her in the mornings before school.
The Autism lady has been observing Lucy at school over the past few months and has highlighted her problems, which, thankfully, were not too bad. She has now worked with the SENCO to put into action the things that will help Lucy in school. One of which is weekly sessions in small groups to encourage Lucy to interact with her peers and hopefully make some friends.
She also gets physiotherapy at school and her teacher informs me that they have just bought some new equipment including a bike which helps develop core muscles which she ordered with Lucy in mind.
I've also been offered some help in getting Lucy's inserts for her flat feet, I've tried for weeks to get another appointment after getting the date wrong on the first one.
The next big step is moving class and changing teacher in September. Lucy has been in the same class with the same teacher for two years now so it's a big change for her. Currently she is refusing the move but they are working with her to make the transition less painful for her. She is spending time with her new teacher and time in the new class room so things will not be so alien to her. (I wish I'd had this sort of help at school, I still remember now how scared I was of moving class and changing teacher!)
In conclusion it was a positive meeting and I left with a contact for the Autism lady so I can call her with non-school related problems.....ah where do I start?

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Baby Talk

With all three of my little ones I've had a go at baby signing. We've not had lots of success but Lucy managed to pick up a few signs. Joseph is probably the best so far, he signs hungry, milk, and thank you at the right times too.
Here is a little diagram to show how to sign thank you, you put your hand to your chin and then move it down, it's described as like blowing a kiss but a little lower.

Joseph has decided that saying 'thank you' is sweeter with a kiss, so now every time he signs it you get a bonus kiss, it's so cute I'm not going to correct him. 

Saturday, 10 March 2012

My Walking Man

Joseph is gaining so much confidence every day, I'd even go as far as to say he walks more than he crawls now :-) He's still unsteady but he's getting there and I'm so proud of him. He'll even walk outside if you hold his hand.

That's the good news, the bad news is Lucy. She's just getting worse every day. She is getting up so early now, she used to do that before but we had a deal that she had to stay in bed until 6am and then she could read quietly. So long as she didn't wake her brother and sister up then it was ok. Now she just will not be quiet, she'll bang her head on the sideboard, throw books and toys from her bunk, bounce her legs up and down and whine constantly. I've tried everything, ignoring her, threatening her, bribing her, nothing works. When we get up she has to sit and do nothing until 6am. I will not allow the tv or DS on, she's not allowed to play, and I won't get her breakfast. I try to make it as boring as possible to prevent her from wanting to get up. Of course she continues to play up downstairs, but she's not disturbing anyone so I let her get on with it.
Then there is the fighting, she's become a real bully towards Leila, getting angry and violent if Leila doesn't do what she wants her to do.
She wants to go outside all the time, only in the garden,  but she seems to have so much energy to burn and she has free reign to make as much noise and run about as much as she likes outside, so the slightly warmer weather has been a godsend the past couple of weeks. Although the weather doesn't bother Lucy, she's go out in freezing cold wind or rain.
Today is first time in ages she has spent any time at all on her Wii. Maybe she's burnt out and needs to chill?

In a couple of weeks we have a meeting with her teacher, the SENCO and the Autism and Communication team at the school. It will be interesting to see if they think she is progressing or not. She's definitely not getting any better at home I can only wistfully hope that she's ok at school.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Whoo hooo!

Today Joseph walked across the living room, turned around and walked back! Then he walked to the middle of the room and turned around twice!! The grin on his face was amazing (so was the one on mine) I hope this means he's going to finally gain the confidence to walk properly now. He's still really unsteady like he might fall at any minute, and he drags his right foot a little, but I'm sure now that he actually knows he can do it he will practice more and get it right. Then I can buy him some new trousers with the knees still intact :-)