Tuesday, 22 March 2016

The One With the Power of the Positive

I've written a story for Mode again, this time all about saying yes to yourself and the power of the positive. 

Saying yes to ourselves and our children just isn't something we do enough of in my view. 

The whole article was inspired by the first link in the story, all about a lady who decided to say yes to her children all day. It's not as mad as it first sounds and she ended up really enjoying herself too.

I'm thinking about having a yes day with the boy soon. If I am brave and do it I'll let you know how it goes. 

Check out The Power of Positive – Saying yes all day.
by Georgy Jamieson at Mode

Friday, 18 March 2016

The One With The Non Uniform Day

Today is Sports Relief, which means the boy had a non uniform day at school.

Normally this isn't a problem but currently the boy has an obsession with being very smart and wearing certain clothes. Hubby is at a loss because he quite clearly doesn't take after his 'fashion sense' (and I use that expression loosely). 

Of course todays theme meant you had to wear sports gear, football strip, trainers, tracky bottoms that kind of thing. This isn't in keeping with the boys current garb. For his birthday he wanted a tuxedo suit complete with waistcoat and bow tie from myself and hubby. Seriously.

This morning I made the rookie mistake of completely underestimating how much you have to prepare an autistic child for any kind of change in their week. 

Even though I'd said he didn't have to wear uniform on Friday I hadn't specified the boundaries of what he had to wear.  This morning the boy was determined to wear a smart white shirt and black jeans. It took a lot of persuasion, tears and will power to talk him into black joggers, a white T-Shirt and a hoodie. 

'I just want to be like the headmaster and wear a suit.' he bemoaned. 

'But it's Sport's Relief darling. Everyone will be in sporty stuff, including the headmaster.' I said hopefully with my fingers crossed behind my back.

The major stumbling block was the jeans. I know it was a non uniform day but I thought jeans was pushing the 'sports clothes' brief that bit too far, so I'd picked out joggers but it was a battle I can tell you. 

When hubby arrived at school with the boy the headmaster was indeed in casual attire, no suit, just a t-shirt and... wait for it... black jeans.

Luckily the boy didn't seem to pick up on this and a crisis was averted.

It just goes to show even if you think you've done something loads of times before and it'll be ok, you can't assume it will be. 

Preparation is the key... that and checking in advance what the headmaster will be wearing..... 

Thursday, 10 March 2016

The One With the A Word

So here's the thing. I haven't blogged properly for a long time because although there's been loads to talk about I haven't known exactly how to say it.

So I just need to plunge in and say it. 

The boy has been diagnosed with high functioning autism. High functioning means he's the lower end of the autistic spectrum and more able to function in everyday society. It's sometimes called Aspergers - but to be honest when I read about Aspergers I don't recognise a lot of the characteristics in the boy at all - and apparently the modern day thinking is to use the term 'high functioning' anyway as that's more positive. 

So there you go.

Even though we were kind of expecting it after all the appointments, observations, reports and analysis it still came as a bit of a shock to hear someone say it out loud.

It felt a bit final, even though this is an initial diagnosis and there's more tests going on, but to be honest with you I don't expect it to change greatly. 

Part of me was relieved to be getting somewhere at last and part of me was heart broken that it wasn't all a massive mistake and they'd got it wrong. 

Several weeks have now passed since we saw the paediatrician and life has settled into a normal pattern again. The boy is still the boy. He hasn't changed. His world is still as it always was and we're very keen to keep as much stability and normality in his life as possible. The school are being brilliant and so supportive. We have an additional homework schedule in place to assist with his phonics, letters, numbers and handwriting and as a result they are all improving.

Which begs the question is it just that the boy can't be arsed but when he does turn it on it's all there?

I'm not denying he's 'quirky' and doesn't fit the boxes and he does display some autistic traits but there's always this feeling in my heart that sometimes, just sometimes, he's playing us all. 

Time will tell I guess, but after the initial shock, the 'why us?' and upset I've actually cried less and felt more positive since the diagnosis. We're no longer in 'limbo' waiting for something to happen and feeling lost somewhere in the system. 

Don't get me wrong there are days when I look at the big blue box file I keep all the reports and observation notes and appointment details documented in and I want to take the bastard thing outside and burn it. But on the whole things are good.

The boy is as funny as ever. His manners are beautiful. He's caring, getting more sociable each time I see him with school friends, he has the growing maturity to deal with his rages and think about making the 'right choices' as they say at school. I see progression as a person, academically (when he can be bothered) and socially every day. He's my pride and joy, he's my life, my love and we all adore him.

We're very lucky and things are ok.

On several occasions we've been told 'the trouble is he doesn't live in the real world', to which I've replied 'who the hell wants to live in the real world? I'd rather live in his world thanks' - and drawn worried looks from doctors, therapists, SEN co-ordinators and health professionals.

But you know what, the boys world is safe, warm, full of love and support. And I for one am more than happy to live in it with him.