Tag Archives: diagnosis

Bubbles are cool

19 Nov

It’s been a long – very long – time since my last post but so much has been going on, even though I’ve had plenty to say, I’ve had little time (or inclination) to write about it.

Long story short: in addition to Teen Boy and Small Girl being autistic, I now have a third diagnosed child – Small Boy. The whole process, from first discussing concerns with school to diagnosis, took a staggeringly fast four months, which goes some way to making up for the disasters that were the previous two times.

Coupled with that, and poor Small Boy’s horrendous autumn term so far, Teen Girl’s health has continued to be very poor, meaning that she is almost always in pain, exhausted, or swollen from whatever it is she is allergic to. The local hospital have run out of ideas so we’re now waiting for more specialist help at a hospital further away. In the mean time, her whole life is on hold, which is no way for a 17 year old to exist.

Small Boy is, we think, in the grip of an early hormone surge which is making his anger over small issues blow up out of all proportion. It’s like living with a hungry T-Rex most of the time, or as Small Girl says, “he has a volcano in his tummy and sometimes the lava goes everywhere.” She’s not wrong, and if he does get past the point of calming, the meltdowns are the worst I’ve ever seen. Bearing in mind I’ve had almost 18 years of parenting autistic children this is saying something.

School are being wonderful and have stepped up to provide as much support as they can, and right now neither one of the smalls has any pressure to do homework, which has taken after-school time to be a lot less stressful on us all.

Small Girl is not making a huge amount of progress on dealing with her anxiety, but she is really trying. Her CaMHS appointments come around every two or three weeks and the woman she sees is patient and very experienced. Right now, we are working on filling in a 5 point scale, so that SG can learn to recognise when her anxieties are building and try to self calm before she reaches meltdown.

One great calming technique is blowing bubbles. SG loves doing this anyway, and from my point of view, it’s cheap and easy to do just about anywhere. When she gets upset, the control needed to blow large bubbles automatically means her breathing will slow down, meaning she keeps calmer.  Here she is blowing a huge bubble this morning:

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She was engaged with her session this morning, and then ate her lunch in the car on the way back to school. She begged me to keep her off but she only had to make it through 90 minutes and I wasn’t going to be swayed by her big puppy-dog eyes, although I was very tempted. You can see for yourself just how cute she can be when she tries:

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Almost the end of another school week, and hopefully it will be a good one with no meltdowns from anyone.

Halfway There

28 Jul

Halfway through the summer holidays and we seem to have done nothing. Nada. Rien. And you know what? It’s been LOVELY.

Actually, we did go out once. The kids got dressed and everything. It was due to M’s uber excitement about her birthday treat which was to see Minions at the cinema. Oh yes, and we got a McDonald’s afterwards – yippee. <insert sarcasm> But they had a lovely time and that’s the main thing.

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I know I am on the lucky end of the autism parent scale. Every morning (unless we really have needed to go out) I get a lie in while the youngest two head downstairs, get a drink and make their own breakfast. They then lounge about in their pyjamas and watch a bit of TV. After half an hour or so, M makes me a cup of tea and B brings it carefully upstairs. I am spoiled, I know, and I am insanely grateful. I’d like to say that they continue being as adorable all day but obviously you’d know that was a lie, and it would be. However, the stress and anxiety levels have plummeted since the school bell rang to signify the end of the year, and it has been wonderful to watch.

My biggest challenge was not falling apart when I drove Teen Boy through to Aberdeen in the first stage of his World Scout Jamboree journey to Japan. I am so proud of myself for being able to hug him goodbye without howling, and for continuing to keep cheerful on the rare occasion he has had Wifi (and time) to send a quick Facebook message. To think that five years ago he had had a breakdown due to the pressures of a few days at his (then) new secondary school, and he basically lost 18 months of his life to depression and extreme anxiety (thank you – not – Aspergers), and now he is on the other side of the world having the most amazing time with his Scouting friends shows me just how far he has come. I confess to cyber stalking him through every social media I can use, and I am building up a nice little album of pictures for his return. Underground selfie1

This is a snap of him on what I think must be the underground system in Tokyo – photo credit to one Andrew Rosam via Twitter. As you can see, he is looking very cheerful. Doncha just love social media?

So, this is us. We’re not going away this summer (boo hoo) but frankly we do have a ton to do in the house, not the least of which is sorting through and chucking out loads of outgrown clothes. M has homework from her CAMHS sessions, which is to head out into the garden by herself for short timed periods and this is going pretty well. She needs a diversion, like the trampoline, or bubble blowing, but even back at Easter she wouldn’t have been able to contemplate doing this. I am hoping that B’s on-going assessments will result in an ASD diagnosis, which will give him access to the support he is definitely needing, and I am hoping above all that when they go back to school in three weeks that their new teacher will be an understanding sort who rises to the challenge of getting to know how my beautiful children tick.

Off to make another coffee and put yet more washing in the machine! It’s all go here.

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