Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Odd Shoes

Since yesterday's CAHMS visit and the mention of possible ADHD, I've been reading lots of blogs and websites about the condition.

I stumbled on a funny article entitled Matching Socks-Why the Fuss? that struck a chord with me. My son, like the boy in the article, doesn't care about whether his socks match or not, but at the weekend, he took it to a whole new level...

We were going out as a family and we were dressed up smart. For this reason, I asked my son to put on his "smart shoes" to match his shirt and tie. Unfortunately, he said that his shoes were really hurting him and he started crying and making a big fuss.

He has a pair of plain black trainers, so, because I was in a rush, I told him to out those on instead, as nobody would really notice. I then went out and sat in the car and waited for him to come out.

It was only when we got to our destination that I noticed his feet. He was wearing one formal shoe and one trainer! When I pointed it out to him, he remarked that I had told him to put on the trainer instead on the tight shoe, but that the other shoe wasn't hurting him so it was OK to wear that.

I guess the idea if a matching pair of shoes just wasn't that important to him.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Return to CAMHS

 Some time last year, I wrote about our uneventful visit to CAHMS. During the visit, my son sat like an angel, which resulted in us being quickly discharged and dismissed!

This time was different. During THIS visit, my son was his usual bouncy self. He shouted, he spun round and round, he interrupted and he told the counsellor that he was boring...

The funniest moment was when the counsellor started a sentence and my son interrupted him.

 Man: Your son is a child...

Son: WHAT???. Obviously I'm a child! What are you talking about?

Me: He hadn't finished his sentence. Just listen.

Man: Your son is a child...

Son: You already said that. I am a child.

Me: Just let the man talk!

Man: ...your son is a child who has needs that we can address here at CAHMS.

I was so relieved that the poor man got to finish his sentence, although he did indicate that my sons constant shuffling, interruptions and lack of understanding of danger may be symptoms of ADHD. Further sessions with specialists may reveal a further diagnosis.

It was an eventful visit and we have been out on a waiting list to have further sessions.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

How to Get Noticed by Staff

Sometimes it's handy to have a child with autism around...

Yesterday's was at the local hospital visiting an elderly friend. I arrived at the ward and the staff were acting like I was completely invisible. The receptionist was looking down, shuffling papers, other staff members were chatting amongst themselves. I only wanted to ask someone which bay my friend was on.

Suddenly my son, who has sensory issues, screamed out loud "IT STINKS IN HERE!!!! GET ME OUT, GET ME OUT!!!!". It was a ward for the elderly and to be honest, the smell of urine and other things was quite overwhelming, even for me.

Anyway, suddenly a big bustling nurse came out, asking what the problem was. I was swiftly directed to my friend and my son was ushered out quickly!

Now THATS how to get quick customer service. I'm thinking of taking him everywhere now; the ideal solution to all my customer service needs!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Charlotte's Tandems

I just got this in an email today, so I thought I'd share....

Charlotte's Tandems is a Registered Charity that lends tandems to people with additional needs or disabilities for FREE.  We are different to many other charities as our Borrowers have the use of our bikes for two months in their own time.
Have a look at our website to see how much fun people can have on our bikes.
Please could you tell your contacts about us and put us on your website and newsletters?

Best wishes,
Alex Reeves
Charlotte's Tandems
Click on these words for links to the Borrower's Form, the Charlotte's Tandems Facebook group, Twitter Feed @CharlottesTand and our Video
...sounds cool and I like the fact that it is free!

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Encouraging Independent Dressing Skills

I used to dress my son every morning but now he is getting older, his privacy is becoming more important to him.

I have a system in place that seems to work for us and encourage him to dress himself.

Firstly I try and buy clothes that are easy for him to out on and off. Things like t shirts are ideal and so are elasticated track suit bottoms that he can just pull up and down. I try and limit the amount of clothing I buy with fastenings and buttons and zippers, although this can't always be avoided.

In his wardrobe, he has two big tubs and two small baskets. One tub has t shirts inside, the other has track suit bottoms. The small baskets contain underpants and socks respectively. His more formal clothes are on hangers at the back, out of his way.

When he gets up in the morning, he simply selects an item from each tub and dresses himself. It is a nice simple method and allows him to feel grown up.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Socialising and Aspergers

My son isn't great at social skills.

He can't read the emotions of others very well and he has a tendency to concentrate on his own needs and feelings first. He can't read a room and he doesn't take cues from the body language of others.

Last week we went ice skating and everyone was skating anticlockwise. He skated clockwise, which seemed to sum his general outlook quite well; the boy who skates clockwise in an anticlockwise world.

Since we have been homeschooling, I have been even more eager to seek out opportunities for interaction with others. I'm signed up to goodness know how many newsletters for home edders and parents of special needs kids and generally, if something is organised and it is nearby, we will join in.

So I got an email a few days ago about a local sports group for disabled kids and their siblings and the good news was that it was a short walk from my home. I love anything like this because the other parents don't look at you like you've got two heads when your kid is acting oddly. With special needs families there is a kind of "we are all in it together" buddy mentality and natural camaraderie.

So I turned up with my son and received a warm welcome. So far so good.

The first game was where you dance around and have to run into a corner. All of the corners have colours and then someone picks a colour and everyone in that corner is out. My son was "out" very early in the game, which caused him to stomp off in a rage.

He soon found the chill out room, which was full of food and drinks. Whilst the other kids played together in the main room, my son sat on his own in the other room. He complained it was too noisy in the hall and he needed to get away to chill out.

When he did finally rejoin the group, they had moved on to team games, which he had no concept of. He soon tired of all the teamwork and whilst the other kids cooperated nicely in a game of volleyball, my son ran around the perimeter of the hall with a hula hoop round his waist and a green glittery pompom on his head. He was having fun, just not the social sort I had hoped.

I came away wondering what I had gained from this experience. My son had enjoyed himself most when alone and not interacting with the others. Should I be forcing him into these situations, I thought to myself. He doesn't seem to be getting anything out of it.

I found a balanced article on the subject on the Your Little Professor website.

One Aspergers child said:  “If you like being on your own, then be happy with your own company and don’t let anyone convince you it’s wrong.” His advice to “pushy parents” is “Never force your child to socialize. Most Aspies and autistic people are happy to just be by themselves.”

So for now I won't be pushing it, although we do have a home-ed art class this week and a kids party at the weekend. Maybe I will bring along the hula hoop and green glittery pompom to keep him occupied...

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Autism and Logic

I was reading the newspaper today and there was an article about the oldest man in the world. I was showing my son the article and photos of the man. He was quite impressed.

"If he is the oldest man....." He replied,

"....who is the oldest child in the world?"

I laughed so much, the tears were rolling down my cheeks. Kids say the funniest things!