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

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Simple things... (Religion mentioned)

When you have a child on the spectrum it is often the simple tasks that can be the most challenging and daunting.

Today's example is going to church or place of worship. Sound easy enough doesn't it. Going to a place of god and praying and asking forgiveness. Being surrounded by people with the same beliefs as yourself.

But having the same beliefs in god does not mean they have the same tolerance level or that they fully grasp that all children just can't be seen and not heard. We used to go to a parish that was an older parish. Whilst it did have families the children had an unwritten expectation that they would sit still and quiet (or play quietly) for the hour you were in mass. And even though we had been taking Thomas since he was a baby, This was becoming more and difficult for him.

Most parishioners took joy in his smiles and antics. Other however were not so joyful about the little boy who was never quiet or could not sit for more than a few minuets. Some even took it as a sign of bad parenting. Even though we were doing all the right things to try to keep him contained and happy. (food, toys, books, colouring activities, comforters, monkey backpack/harness.) It was becoming IMPOSSIBLE nightmare.

Then after joining a support group I met another catholic mum with 3 on the spectrum and her youngest is very much like Thomas! And yes they still managed to go to church each week. How I dared to ask? And that started a new chapter in our christen journey. We found another parish that welcomed children and all their antics. Where even the toddlers were ok to wonder (with in parents reason of course) and were these children are ok to colour and draw, play trucks and cars, even paper aeroplanes! Were children can be children and accepted for them as gods people.

Only one person dared to shhh the boys. A young childless couple who had dared to sit next to the boys playing with trucks. (yep the boys were there first playing.) But that is bound to happen. Next time they won't sit next to two robust boys if they really wanted to listen. And so what if Thomas wanted to sign a wiggles song rather than say the prayer or hymn at the time.

Tolerance and love is often taught to us by the seemingly unwise. We often question why we have been given these blessings. But every now and then we see why god has created them. We need difference to learn tolerance of others, patience and kindness. With this comes a greater love for each other.

So today I am grateful for the people who have come into our life. For showing us there is tolerance and understanding in the world.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bouncing High

Well I have been thinking about it for a while. Stimming activities for inside. After all the rain we have had inside stimming activities are essential. So I hunted Internet sites etc for a mini trampoline. Firstly the one with the bar. He wasn't too keen on using the mini tramp out the back with the bar so I re thought about it.

Then it clicked to me that there is the round exercise style ones. So hunting I went. Big W online. Great one under $40. But then they wanted to charge me $7.00 delivery, when the store 1.5kms away had them in stock.

So off I went to get one. Said not a word to the boys about it. Just went in and got it when I had to go and get other groceries. Came home and neither of them paid much attention to this 3ft square box I was dragging in. It was not until I went in started opening the box that they worked out I had something big!

It was easy to assemble (Bonus!!) and was put together in 10 minuets. And straight away the bouncing began. Hopefully now it will provide an indoor source of wearing him out and a way of calming him down. And please lets hope it does not hype him up even more!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


We are going through a phase at the moment where Thomas HATES wearing clothes. Well anything other than PJ's that is. And some days only just the shorts.

This has made for an interesting week. Yep we have got to the point of not caring what he is wearing as long as he has clothes on when we go out. So if that means he goes out in satin boxers and a t-shirt, well so be it.

I am not sure what started this but it has slowly been creeping up on us in the last couple of months. He started off just protesting about getting dressed (often loudly and occasionally violently), but now it is flat out refusal to wear anything other than pj's most day.

He has not complained about what the issue with clothes actually is. Well other than the other night, where everything either blew raspberries at him or was too noisy. (very funny conversation with Thomas.) So is this just another Thomas quirk or an ASD quirk? I am not sure, but I know this is a hard one for me to deal with, to let down my standard of appropriate dress. But there are some battles not worth fighting as there are others that are more important right now.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Meltdown vs Tantrum

Ok to the untrained eye these could be seen as the same thing. And many people still see a meltdown the same as a tantrum. But there are some key differences.

A tantrum occurs when there is a direct trigger of not getting there own way. Weather it be a lolly pop at the store or a not being able to stay up for a little longer. They scream let it out and then move on, occasionally they refuse to budge and throw themselves on the ground ect.

A melt down occurs when there is a prolonged trigger or multiple triggers causing an overload to the senses. Some times a meltdown can be held in until the person is in a safe and comfortable environment. There often appears to be no reason why the action is occurring.

A melt down can take place over HOURS not just minuets. They can be from just simple crying and screaming to full scale violence and destructive behaviour. Often after one of this prolonged episodes the person is tired and exhausted and depending on how long it lasted can be this way for a day or two. Because even before the meltdown the sensory stimuli is exhausting enough. So once they have been letting off steam for a couple of hours, they are really truly exhausted.

The reason I write about this is because I have had so many comments from mothers of NT children say to me it is just a tantrum all kids do that. Usually at the time I am stunned and can't get a correct response. Or just over trying to explain the differences.

So next time you see that screaming child in a sensory overwhelming environment such as a brightly lit supermarket. Stop and think is it really happening becuase mum said no you can't have a lolly pop.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Anxiety... and first item on the wish list.

Ok so this is a post I had to take time to think about before posting. Be warned it is not pretty.
So potty training came to a screeching halt at the end of last week. Why? Not becuase he was not physically ready for it. But becuase his anxiety over using the potty and toilet were coming out in physical symptoms. He was back to having night terrors and IBS. Suddenly we went back to the nappies and all was back to normal almost instantly. So we will wait a while and try again.

Now most of you know already I have a craft business. So to help Thomas out with Therapy items I have created the Puzzling range. A range of items using puzzle piece fabric from bags to key chains to T-shirts for adults and children.

Well after our weekend out it became apparent about what was needed sooner rather than later. It is a specialty item called a Maclaren Major Elite. A special stroller designer for older and taller children with special needs who can't walk all day (or in our case melts down in public and either trows himself on the ground or does a runner.). They don't come cheaply and even the hood is an optional extra!! Yes just about every thing that would come with a regular stroller is an optional extra, like the basket, the hood the foot warmer and rain cover ect. WOW just wow.

So with a hood, basket, lateral supports, rain cover and the stroller the grand total is = $970!! There is a wow for you.

The stroller we brought for our Sydney trip earlier this year is now too small for him. As he is nearly 100 cms tall his feet drag on the ground or he rests them on the wheels. It can be fun times going out.

So this is what we are working towards. Yes it is a big ticket item. But a needed one. So this is what Fluffy Changes and Raising Thomas's Puzzling new range is working towards for now.