All posts tagged ASD

Its all been a bit too much

Published March 19, 2014 by thefamilyof5

It was Sports Relief day in school today. There was a sponsored walk and lots of other lovely sporting activities planned for the day, the children all went to school in sporty clothes ready to have fun.

I was greeted tonight by baby girl who manically did star jumps across the playground before bouncing in to me. She looked as though she was having a major sugar rush, really hyper. I asked her if she’d had a nice day, she threw her arms around me, nuzzled her face into my jumper and stayed there, her heart beating rapidly.

Big girl came out of school looking gravely worried. I asked her if something had happened, she said no and edged closer, I asked if she’d fallen out with her friends, she said no and edge closer still, have you enjoyed your day, I asked, ‘it’s been ok’ she said as she put her arms around me for a cuddle, and there she stayed.

Middle girl came out of school her usual smiley self and reverted to her usual angry self once we got home.

Big girl has talked tonight of how she chose to help look after the younger children during the walk, the ‘perceived’ responsibility she felt for these 2 small children proved to be too much for her, she was emotionally drained and physically exhausted. You’d think that would make a perfect recipe for a good night’s sleep. Quite the opposite in fact, it’s the perfect recipe for a night of tossing and turning unable to sleep, cortisol rushing through her veins.

Baby girl found the excitement and change of her normal routine overwhelming. She spent the evening clingy and tearful before thrashing about in bed until she couldn’t any longer.

Middle girls spent the majority of last night awake, probably thinking about the day ahead. Tonight she was moody and angry right through to bedtime where she angrily thrashed around for almost 2hours before finally dropping off.

The uncertainty, excitement, and pressure of unstructured days in school has always been too much for my girls, it’s the reason why I’ve always taken them out for the last week of the school year, I’d hoped this year would be different.

The last week of the school year is generally filled with lots of lovely (scary) exciting activities rather than all that (safe) boring school work, all topped off with a huge helping of loss.

It makes me sad that the things that are supposed to be fun and exciting for my babies, are actually scary and overwhelming instead.

I’ve linked this post up with this weeks #WASO over at The Adoption Social.


Baby Steps….

Published February 19, 2014 by thefamilyof5

Remember when I blogged about the trouble we were having with baby girl at the previous school. Remember the 13 pairs of tights she cut up in class without being noticed? the food she was able to steel from school bags? The entire sole she picked off her shoe one day in class? Do you also remember how many times the school dismissed it all and even told CAMHS there were no issues? It was a lot wasn’t it.

When we first started at this new school I wont deny thinking ‘here we go again’. To be fair to them though, they had lots of paper work from the previous school and could only go on what they had been told.

There was the shame inducing yellow card incident for lying, the helping herself to someone else’s lunch from their bag (she was polite enough to give them the wrapper though apparently I was told), the numerous tights she again intentionally ruined, the Christmas play saga and a few other things that caused me to think ‘uh oh’!

Well after lots of phone calls and emails to the Ed Psych & School a little ‘help’  from me, school have acknowledged that baby girl has some struggles. I’m not sure we’re totally on the same page yet, but we’re getting there, its a work in progress shall we say. The lines of communication are open and that’s always a great starting point. An IEP has been put in place for baby girl with various steps to support her with some emotional and social aspects i.e turn taking, getting on with her work without support, not being preoccupied by what everyone else is doing etc. She’s  also been enrolled on a ‘Socialising’ group for a few weeks whereby I presume they’ll be attempting to teach/help a small group of children how to ‘play nicely’. I’m not sure any of this will work, because I’m not sure she ‘can’ do any of these things, I suspect she is a ‘cant’ rather than a ‘wont’, but time will tell. It could just be that I haven’t been able to teach her these skills effectively, believe me I’ve tried. 

So overall I’m impressed. Its baby steps, but they’re baby steps in the right direction. I don’t feel like my concerns are being ‘dismissed’ like they were at the last school. They’re being acknowledged, and baby girl is getting the help she needs and that’s all I ever wanted.

Sleep Therapy – The End

Published May 20, 2013 by thefamilyof5

Today I met for the 6th time with the therapist from the organisation that have been helping myself and big girl with her sleep troubles.

At our last session she gave big girl some relaxation tips, the result were instant and incredible, but the novelty wore off quite quickly and she soon returned to her poor sleep pattern.

So today, armed with big girls sleep diary’s for the last 3 weeks I looked forward to some getting new advice on what we could try next.

No, it seems that they’re out of idea’s and I’ve had my full quota of 6 sessions.

So big girl just has to try harder it seems, great!

All kids do that……..kinda!

Published March 11, 2013 by thefamilyof5

I had a meeting today with the psychologist from the ASD place that’s working with us to address big girls sleep issues, yes she struggles to sleep too, its not just middle girl!

However, I’m not blogging about big girls sleep or middle girls, I want to tell you about my meeting, well not even really the meeting but more some of the things that the sleep psychologist said to me.

She said those words that all adopters loath to hear ‘all kids do that’ but then she added something very important, she said ‘but with your girls very more so’. She gets it!
She talked about competitiveness and how most kids are competitive, but how its more extreme with kids from backgrounds like my girls! She gets it!

She talked about attention seeking and how all kids do it, but with children like mine its so much more intense and difficult to handle. She gets it!

She empathised and validated everything I said! It was really quite surreal, if I didn’t know better I’d say she was an adoptive parent herself!

I’ve never come away from a meeting and felt that the professional I’d seen really ‘got it’, but she did!

I often struggle to find ways to explain how parenting my girls is different to parenting a birth child, its so complex that I struggle to find a simple explanation. A good friend of mine shared with me what I consider to be a wonderfully perfect analogy of adoptive parenting.

Apples and Onions
As parents we all grow our children, many are apples, few are onions, growing our children is in many ways the same, but with onions its more complex because they have so many layers, therefore it is different!

There are so few that really ‘get it’, let’s spread the word! 🙂

I Want Never Gets!

Published December 12, 2012 by thefamilyof5

Do you remember being told as a child that ‘I want never gets’ in other words, its more polite to say ‘I would like’ rather than ‘I want’.

I wanted so many things from motherhood. I wanted giggles, snuggles, conversation, casual chatting, baking days, craft afternoon, family games nights, late night movie nights.

In reality I haven’t been able to have any of those things. I have a child with ASD, one with Auditory processing difficulties and one with control issues and all 3 have some attachment difficulties and compete with each other for everything.

Big girl, with ASD finds cuddles, hugs and general touch somewhat difficult, and she also struggles to hold a conversation, she will happily spend hours talking at you, retelling over and over all manner of facts and pieces of generally unimportant pieces of random information that she’s absorbed throughout her short little life, but she can’t chat, she can’t share a real moment.

Middle girl has auditory processing difficulties which means talking in general is difficult but holding a conversation is near impossible and most definitely difficult for all parties involved. Her attachment difficulties also mean she doesn’t really make a connection, she hides behind her smile and keeps herself safe inside.

Baby girl, ahh baby girl, she is emotionally and socially delayed by a couple of years. She can chat, albeit on the level of a 3year old rather than the 5year old she is. Her attachment difficulties leave her feeling as though the world is a very scary place and that things can change very quickly. She feels very out of control of her life, she’s scared and frightened. She compensates for this by trying to control the world and adults around her as best as she can because the adults in her life can’t be trusted as adults don’t always make good decisions, or at least this is how she feels inside, chaotic and scared.

Put them together and you have big girl talking at everyone and ordering them about (because that’s all she knows how to do), baby girl desperate to control the situation in any way she can (even if that means controlling people and provoking reactions) and middle girl frustrated and desperate for attention.

Can you imagine trying to make fairy cakes through that?

Or setting up a painting activity?

Or playing a game with that much competitiveness about?

Or just trying to have a chat about each others day?

Even bedtime stories became a ground for competitiveness and attention seeking with each desperate to turn the page first, or wanting to be the first to comment on the picture, or the first to ask what happens next, or the even the first to interrupt and it wasn’t much easier doing bed time stories individually either.

And as for late night movies with children that have sleep problems, well that just isn’t even worth considering.

Doing ‘stuff’ just isn’t how I envisaged it would be. Its hard, too hard which ultimately has meant I’ve withdrawn myself from doing these sorts of activities with my girls, there just isn’t enough of me to go round or perhaps its just my inability to cope.

Don’t get me wrong, individually my girls all have some beautiful quality’s and we have shared some lovely times, I don’t want this to sound like I’m putting them down in any way, after all their difficulties are not something they have ever had any choice over but as a family, we just don’t function in a way I could have ever envisaged or could have prepared myself for.

I would like some normality, I would like to chat, I would like to enjoy doing things with my girls and most of all, I would like to enjoy being a mummy.

‘This blog is brought to you with the aid of a months worth of sleep deprivation courtesy of middle girl’

ASD Assesment – Session 9 The Diagnosis

Published October 11, 2012 by thefamilyof5

Well as the title says, session 9 was really just to confirm the ASD diagnosis we were expecting and to tell me what happens next.

The diagnosis of ASD has opened a few doors for big girl, an ASD outreach team will be able to help school to support her and she will also be referred to a sleep therapist and Salt (Speech and Language therapist) for support.

There are lots of support groups for us, for her, and for us all as a family. There are activity days, fun days, clubs and specialist venues.

I think mostly for now we’ll concentrate on getting her some help in school and some help with her sleeping, we’ve adapted our lives to meet her needs really so we manage quite nicely at home and I don’t feel we’ll need any additional support at home just yet although I may explore possible options that may give baby girl and middle girl a bit of free ‘play’ time without big girl around to enable them to ‘play’ rather than be controlled and manipulated by big girl.

So, big girl is on the Autistic Spectrum, that explains a few things! Has that made a difference to our family, no not really, but hopefully it will make a difference to schools understanding of her.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

Tell us a story Jackanory…………….

Published September 28, 2012 by thefamilyof5

The story they told us………….

Here are 3 very pretty girls that will take a few months to settle with you but you’ll all be fine and we will support you every step of the way.


What they should have told us……………….

Here are 3 very pretty girls that all have special needs

Your eldest daughter will be diagnosed with ASD, she will be difficult to parent.

Your middle daughter has serious resentment towards her younger sister and really shouldnt share a room with her. She also has life long auditory processing issues and will need lots of support with this.

Your younger daughter has control issues and some behavioural difficulties that will possibly result in a diagnosis of ADD or something similar.

Life will be very hard, your daughters may never attach to you and we wont be supporting you. You will have to fight a constant battle to get the help you will need for your family. Your marriage will suffer, your friendships will suffer, your mental health will suffer and you will cry a lot.

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