It’s all Smoke and Mirrors

9 May

Apart from a small wobble this morning M bounced into school fairly happily. She was anxious though as her usual PSA (pupil support assistant) is away for 3 days and there was to be a new lady for this time, M had wanted to see a picture of her (she is a very visual child) but there wasn’t one, hence I had to accompany her inside to meet the lady. I left her racing around the gym hall at the speed of light, doing her daily 10 minutes of PE which helps to regulate her system and calm her before lessons. She looked happy and calm.

But was she?

I found out recently that a few people I know think I am quite glamorous, and frankly I find this hysterical. I live in jeans, long in Winter, cropped in Summer, and whatever top I can find that is clean and the least creased. BUT I always like to match, so earrings will match my outfit, my shoes will co-ordinate, and my hair is always brushed (not that you can always tell due to the breezy nature of Highland living). I am fond of shrugs in bright colours that cover up any hint of the dreaded bingo wings. I’m not so much a couple of pies over cuddly as all-round chunky but again I carry it off fairly well as I am tall and I dress right to disguise my mummy tummy. I frequently have fewer than 6 hours sleep, and I run on caffeine. My only concession to make up is a daily face cream. I am more often than not in a tizz about something, the kids, an appointment, a phone call I don’t want to make, any number of seemingly small matters can send my gut into a twisted knot of angst.

But obviously I must be giving off the right signals. If in doubt I also love my oversized 70s look sunglasses, does wonders for the pretence of glamour when the reality is the bags under my eyes wouldn’t even fit into Easy jet’s generous baggage allowance.

So, back to M. And her autism. She is a clever girl and generally knows what behaviour is expected. So, she holds it together. Since her school and all the professionals involved with her have worked so hard to adapt her school day she has made enormous progress and the meltdowns have been much fewer. But today I am wondering whether just because she looked like this:-



she might actually be feeling more like this:-



I do hope she is feeling like the first picture, but I won’t know until this afternoon, and maybe even much later this evening how her day really went. As I said, all smoke and mirrors.


7 Responses to “It’s all Smoke and Mirrors”

  1. Peter R May 9, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    Does M have difficulty when a new person visits *her* house rather than the other way round? Our experience would be that such experiences often cause a “racing round at the speed of light” type of reaction as a means of coping with the stress. I think stress rather than excitement predominates in this.

    • ouremuk66 May 9, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

      It really depends, but in general yes, it’s much worse when someone “invades” her house. Even her aunt and uncle had to wait nearly 3 hours before she would come near them, and she adores them. Once you get the seal of approval she won’t leave you alone, it’s very much an all-or-nothing approach with her.

  2. Autism Mom Praying In The Storm May 9, 2013 at 11:09 am #

    I’m praying that M has a great day. Sounds like you have good school support – God bless and have a Happy Thursday!

    • ouremuk66 May 9, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

      Thank you, she seems to be ok this evening, she has blown up a few times at her brother but only for a few moments each time. We might be ok!

      • Autism Mom Praying In The Storm May 10, 2013 at 10:43 am #

        So glad, just getting through the day can be a challenge sometimes. God bless.

  3. Deb May 9, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    My son used to race everywhere and I used to run everywhere after him. We used to think he had ADHD until we were told he had autism but noone really explained why he was so hyperactive. Looking back I think it was his way of coping with sensory/social demands but at the time it was very hard working out what was going on. As he has got older the manic behaviour has eased, I think because he has learnt to regulate himself and finds relief playing on the computer but there are still moments when he is intense. PS sounds like you have good school support. Deb

    • ouremuk66 May 9, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

      We had exactly the same – we repeatedly questioned adhd as she was never ever still, not even asleep. Since we’ve have a variety of weighted products, ear defenders and other ways to cut her sensory overload she’s been much better. Tonight she has Beavers and she’s like greased lightning there – but she insists she enjoys it, so we do deep pressure and a bath afterwards to restore some calm.

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