About trying to raise a boy with Autism and ADHD whilst keeping a sense of humour.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What is Aspergers?

Taken from the Raising Children network:

As children, people with Asperger’s disorder are sometimes described as ‘little
professors’. This is because they can be extremely knowledgeable about their
favourite topics, and might also have advanced language skills for their age.
Unlike children with autism, they might start discussions.
People with
Asperger’s disorder often miss social cues and can misinterpret language. For
example, they can have difficulty understanding jokes, or they might take things
too literally.

Social interactionChildren with Asperger’s disorder might:

*initiate interactions with others but have difficulty in sustaining social interaction
*interact with people if they need something or to talk about something that interests them, but not for the sake of being social or out of genuine interest in others
*interact in an awkward and stilted way (for example, they might avoid eye contact while speaking or interpret things literally)
interact more easily with adults than with children
*not show emotion or empathy.

Communication and languageChildren with Asperger’s disorder might:

*be very verbal (for example, they might label everything in a room)
*join words together at the usual developmental stage (around two years)
*communicate with others about their own interests
*use a flat or monotone voice
*answer questions, but not initiate questions if the topic doesn’t interest them.

Repetitive or persistent behavioursChildren with Asperger’s disorder might:

*have restricted or obsessive interests that make them seem like ‘walking encyclopaedias’ about particular topics
*prefer routines and rules
*not respond well to change.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Instruction Manual

There was never an instruction manual written for raising children. I think if some one wrote one it would be bigger than the bible. And then no one would ever have children.

Nights like last night really bring back to what mothers do not talk about to other young women and definately not expectant mothers. In the last 24hrs I have had 4 hours of very broken sleep with Thomas. We spent 8 hours in the ER from the wee hours of the morning.

One of the best advice I was given from one of Thomas's therapists, is when these kids say they are in pain. They really are in pain. Last night I let my parent instincs work and followed what I beleived was right. Thomas woke at 12:30 asking for me telling me his throat was sick. Every time we touched him he was complaining it was hurting. He had a fever and would not take panadol.

So I bundled him up and into the car we went off to the hospital. I will say straight up. I am not a fan of this place. But at this time of the night when you have a sick child, this is your only option other than driving 45minuets into the city.

We had a long wait, but I warned them straight up that he reacts badly to flurescent lighting. I did my best to keep him in the pram under security blankets that drape over the pram. Afterall it hurt to touch him. When we finally got put in an exam room five hours later, the first thing I did was turn off the lights. Every staff member was told to keep the lights off.

They were to only use the exam light (which is LED). This worked. Thomas stayed calm. Only getting restless towards the last 2 hours with the demands to go home. But because his voice was nearly gone he was not loud, and he had no energy to get fiesty with me.

We got the surprise that he had croup and the medication to treat it and sent home.

So you see if there was this instruction manual, no one would ever sign up to be a parent. Especially not a parent of a special angel of the Earth.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Conversations with Thomas.

These are often intresting. Some times you just walk away shaking your head at just what happened.

Today we had a couple of funny chats.

M: Thomas are you running around in circles again?
T: No mum I am walking aroung is circles.
Silly Mummy.

M (to daddy): I think we need to get Thomas some new shoes soon.
T: For my birthday.
M: Are you going to buy yourself a pair of shoes for your birthday?
T: Yeah and a bone.
M & D look at each other confused.
M: Why do you want a bone?
T: For the dog of course.
D: What about Millie*?
T: Millie will like a dog.

Hmmmm what dog.... I think someone has had way too many scooby snacks.

* Millie is our part persian cat. She is tiny with a heap of attitude. Almost like having another toddler underfoot most days.

The Diagnosis.

With Thomas being so young I have been asked on way too many occasions by other ASD parents how did I get a diagnosis so young? Some are in disbelief, some have a tinge of jealousy, others assume that I pushed for it. In fact it was none of those.

For a good 12-18 months we knew Thomas was no ordinary boy. Even though I was continually told he was just a boy. Like boys are meant to be rough and tumble and belt up their parents. No one was taking me seriously. I could not discipline him, nothing worked long term. EVER. Shopping was a nightmare. Church going stopped as he was upsetting the parishioners. Not purposefully but just becuase he was Thomas, loud, vibrant, and could not sit for more than 30 minuets and would physically attack us.

Early in 2010 I approached the centre director of the day care centre to get his behaviours monitored closely. When I was able to get a response, I was told he was smart, not a bother and played often on his own. Which was the case every time I picked him up. He would often be in the dirt or sand pit playing happily.

But unlike other children walking to the car was difficult, there were tantrums, he would run off, refuse point blank to hold my hand. And don't even bother asking how his day was. Driving home I would often get screamed at in a defiant way, almost like he did not want to leave. Yet the staff did not see this. They rarely saw the horrible side or as what is now referred to as a meltdown. I put the daily meltdowns as being part of the witching hour that supposedly all babies and children go through. The stage of the day where they are just tired and over it.

I often found Thursdays the worst day of the week. Still have not worked that answer out yet. But that was the day he was at the naughtiest, the most defiant and difficult to do anything with. So at the end of 2010 when there were just too many staffing issues and safety issues at the centre for my liking I pulled him out.

I then interviewed and found one awesome day care mum, sure she was even further away from us. But she seemed to have her head screwed on. He would through the day be just one of four at the most. I also mentioned I had some concerns over his behaviour.

With in weeks she was telling me about what she was observing with his quirks. He has a tile in her room that he must be able to see and be able to sit on. Or he gets distressed or pushes what ever or whoever is on it off it. The way he had to play with certain toys. The list goes on. She was awesome at seeing that it was just not my imagination that there was something different about him.

In early may there was a workshop for the carers and parents were invited on sensory processing issues. My day care mum basically told me I HAD to go. I'm almost certain if I used the no one to look after him excuse she would have told me to bring him over to her.

I asked one question/statement at the beginning of the session as light bulbs were going off in my head. I was told I was calling them the next morning to get help. Yep ok so we do have issues.
When I called the wait was huge. Not wanting to sit on my hands I googled behavioural paediatricians. I found a local Dr and called him to get an appointment. The earliest was July. Ok. So I got a GP referral, not my ordinary GP either as he was on leave at the time, it was another who listened to me and did not dismiss me.

The next time I was in the same building as the paediatricians office, I handed his receptionist the referral letter. I wanted this Dr to know why we were there before we got there. (I highly recommend doing this!) Well the receptionist had a cancellation just before I walked in for the next week and gave it us.

At this stage we did not know why he behaved the way he did. I had not googled his behaviours, but was led to believe we were dealing with a sensory processing issue. But around this time he seemed to have a language regression that was of concern. He was suddenly talking like a seagull. It was driving every one up the wall. Here was this highly intelligent little boy, who has been speaking clearly and in sentences since he was 12 months, suddenly regressing in his speech.

The day of the appointment was kind of like any other day. We had told him of what we were doing and he seemed excited to meet a new Dr. We arrived and played with the toys. The Dr came out of his office and he wanted to go in straight away. For a few minuets the Dr stood by the receptionists desk seemingly talking to the receptionist, but instead he was observing him and his anxiety. By the time we got in the room Thomas was so anxious only his seagull voice came out.

The appointment was LONG Thomas played happily colouring in and occasionally interrupting us to ask crazy little questions. The Dr asked what seemed a billion different questions from birth to now. He listened to our concerns and was patronising. (such a refreshing change from his first pediatrician!)

At the end of the appointment he asked what we knew about Aspergers. Nothing, he asked if there was a family history. And at the time we had to say no. But now we know, there is a HUGE family history.

He then told us Your son has High functioning Aspergers. The moment that changed our life. And not for the bad either.

So this is the story of our diagnosis. We went in thinking he had a server sensory processing disorder. We walked out with a totally different diagnosis. Or is it??

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Raising Thomas

Thomas is currantly just shy of his 3rd birthday. 3 months ago was Diagnosised as having High Functioning Aspergers. Suddenly this vibrant, happy, yet quirky little boy's life made so much sense. Than the more we found out. The more my husbands life made sense.

This blog is about the ups and downs and daily challanges. The funny Aspie moments, to the ones less spoken about.

Sleep here is over rated. I survive on coffee. I had an awesome sense of humour before Thomas came along, which amazingly helps big time. Afterall if you can't laugh you would just cry all the time.

My goal is to raise awareness of Aspergers. And have a place to talk about it.