Tuesday, 10 October 2017

The Ripple In The Pond

As of late in the Square Peg house it has all been fairly plain sailing. Both kids went back to school without any sort of song or dance and it's quite frankly been unnervingly serene. Logan has had a flying start back, he's settled in, been excited and engaged and has even started an after school club which he now attends alone after a settling in period. 

Autism Awareness Hoody Square Peg ClothingAll of his usual anxiety has been shelved and he's been living life like any regular kid. And then the washing machine broke down... On the face of it this doesn't seem 
like something that would bother most five year olds and for the most part Logan didn't bat an eyelid. That was until he didn't have a damn school jumper and had to wear a Square Peg Zip-up. It's actually one of his favourites... but its green and his uniform is blue, it's a zip up when his uniform is a sweatshirt. 

The journey to school, (which takes about 45 minutes by foot and train) started out wobbly but nothing too dramatic. He was unhappy about the suggestion of the anti-establishment outerwear but as it was covered by his coat he jumped on his scooter and away we went. 

As the school came into 
sight he became visibly distressed. He slowed right down and used every excuse in his arsenal to take off the offending zip-up. 
"I don't need it" 
"I'm too warm" 
"It's not uniform" 
"I'll be different. 

"I might get told off."

Oh hello anxiety, we haven't missed you. I reassured him as best I could that I'd speak to his teacher and that all would be well. He looked at me all doe-eyed and I knew my words weren't hitting the spot. As it happened on the way in we bumped into the headteacher. I relayed the whole story and she told Logan it was fine and that she would go with him into his class to make sure his teachers knew.I left school knowing he wast unhappy but what more could I do? I hoped that the headteacher,or the boss of the school as Logan sees her giving him the OK would ease his worries. 

When I returned to collect him at ten past three he was waiting for me at the window chewing his green zip-up but wearing a school jumper. It seems he was outwardly uncomfortable even after receiving the headteachers blessing, so a kind TA took pity and searched out a jumper from lost property. Its not a major thing and it was easily remedied but its just a little reminder of his autism bubbling below his neurotypical surface. 

Two days later the laces snapped on his DM's on the way into school meaning I carelessly suggested he change into his P.E. pumps for the day. Obviously 
this sent him into a shutdown blocking my voice and his teaches voice and just repeating"I don't want to wear my pumps, pumps are for PE." 
I obviously didn't let it lie and reiterated that he could've had an accident but I don't in all honesty think he cared. I was asking him to do something different and unexpected and quite frankly he couldn't cope. 

He walked in in a bit of a trance only once looking back at me with his pain etched on his face. I obviously then ran around every shop in the vicinity to source a new set of laces before delivering them to school. The thought of him spending the day feeling that sad broke my heart. 

As it turns out he never did change into his P.E pumps when he got into class. When I asked why he said succinctly "Pumps are for P. E." He had a point.

Since I started writing this post a couple of days ago he has told me twice that he doesn't want to go to tennis after school. Once because he dislikes missing his daily trip after school to Nanny's (and the treats that ensue) and another time because he doesn't like me not being there for him at the end of that with the other parents. 

Me being able to sense his needs and preempt his anxiety means that I manage him well and this is the reason he isn't under any professionals and why he is considered "normal" by DLA. Twice we've been refused and I'm done with it now, I'm saving my energy for his sisters renewal next year.

I guess variety isn't always the spice of life

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Back to school

 We're back to school this week, is anyone else nervous?  When Bella went back last September after a summer of chronic screentime and lazy mornings the fan was hit with the proverbial sticky stuff.  There were tears, hitting, kicking and school transport buses driving off leaving us on the curb.  This year I have to get her on the bus and then get Logan into school, I feel I can do nothing but cross my fingers. I mention school now and again to try and creep it back into her psyche but it does nothing more than freak her out, so I stop.

Logan on the other hand is super excited, for now. I know him well enough to be on my guard, there are a lot of changes a coming. Have any of you prepped your nonverbal kiddies? 

Monday, 17 July 2017

Holidays are coming...

I can't lie when I say that I am jealous of the parents who post on Facebook that they are desperately awaiting the summer holidays so they can start "making memories" with their kids.  Don't for a minute think I don't want to create said memories with my children however I know most of the memories from past experience.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Our Normal

People often tell me that they don't know how I "cope" with looking after Bella and all the support she requires, adding Logan and his anxiety in the mix and people tend to think I'm a veritable Mother Theresa.  Let me tell you now I AM NOT!

Bella was born and grew up and her quirks became more obvious, she has always been the same, she's just bigger now. Some days are harder than others and some days are harder still but it's just the way it is.  One day she will come and take your hand and say "chocolate milk" and your heart melts. You forget about the screaming and the flooding and the negatives and you move heaven and earth to get her the damn chocolate milk.

This is my normal.  For years it was just us three wrapped up in our little bubble of weirdness and I never cared, It didn't bother me if Bella lay down in a supermarket or screamed all the way down the street in her buggy (not in a neglectful way of course.) I immersed myself in the Special Needs community and still joke that I have no friends with "typical children."

Our normal is having a 7 year old in a buggy, is a 7 year old in nappies who has never eaten a vegetable or a piece of fruit. Its choosing a restaurant based on whether they have chips and nuggets and dismissing ones without. It's knowing that your 5 year old can't talk to people he's known for years and yet will randomly take to a new person like he's known them forever.  It's carrying sachets of Nutella around in your bag along with nappies and wipes as standard. It's not flinching when your daughter screams at the top of her voice to hear her own echo and learning to simply not see the staring public.

This is all well and good until you open your family up to an outsider. Introducing your children to a new partner is always a minefield, when they are the kids written about above it is really only going one of two ways.  Our normal is still our normal I just had to remember that I do sometimes need to explain that normal to other people.  Thankfully I now feel like I have someone else in my corner, someone who will run round to the corner shop at 8pm because Bella dug deep inside herself and requested chocolate milk, someone who is so happy to get a high five off her everyday and who I hear happily chatting away to her while she fully ignores him while watching her iPad.  We have been fully accepted and that is perfect.  Explaining the quirks of both my two took a little a bit more creative wording when explaining Bella particularly to his 5 year old...yes we have two 5 year old boys between us and no they would never be mistaken for anything other than Logan and his much younger friend/sibling.

We are finding another normal as a 5 which still involves nappies and Nutella, Lego and laughter, milkshake and meltdowns.  It's just life isn't it.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

A poorly kind of week

Bella has been poorly this weekend with a high temperature and possible sore throat. That's the worst thing about having a child with communication difficulties it's all a guessing game. When she's poorly she takes her self off to bed and stays there. She is quiet, she gets into no trouble. It's all a bit disconcerting.

The other difficulty is that she won't take medicine at all, and no I can't hide it in drinks or yogurts as she can sniff it out like a hound dog. For years I struggled to get her temperatures and illnesses under control and battled with medical professionals telling me to "use force."  Ha ok, this girl is a force of nature and no amount of being held down and having calpol squirted down her throat would result in anything other than her being sick.

Then one day when we were in hospital being patronised by a consultant  (after the nurses and on call doctors couldn't get close enough to Bella's mouth to examine her toncills) She asked why we don't use paracetamol suppositories....Well because at age six no doctor had ever mentioned such a thing and I am not exactly medically trained. Apparently as parents we're meant to be psychic enough to know what medications are available but not too psychic as to undermine the professionals themselves. It's a massive juggling act.

Aaaanyway suppositories have changed our life. When Bella is really poorly I can usually manage a swift suppository insert during a nappy change without too much resistance and getting proper pain killer in her is a game changer.



Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Hot and bothered

So Logan woke up this morning with a cough that sounded more like a bark and a wheeze when he breathes. After a long wait in the walk in centre we found out he has croup.

After we checked 4 chemists we finally got his steroid medication ordered in as well as an inhaler and spacer for if he needs it.

An hour after taking the medicine he then threw up all over his dinner. ..meaning he had to retake it. A bit concerned he'll wake up like the hulk after a double dose of steroid 😂

Hopefully he'll feel brighter in the morning, although he was originally meant to be born in Spain he was certainly not built for heat!

Monday, 5 June 2017

Lucky number 7!

Bella is seven, how this happened I don't know. Having a child with an additional need means that age doesn't often run in the same linear pattern that it does for regular kids. On the surface, physically Bella is every inch the 7 year old. She is tall and lithe and would make a fantastic dancer.
Emotionally she falls way down on the scale, probably below the age of a toddler. She doesn't recognize (or appear to recognize) emotions in people although she can differentiate between them in books. Somebody crying has no affect on her, if you have fallen down and broken your leg but she wants you to open a packet of crisps...let's just say you'll have opened the crisps before calling for an ambulance.  Intelligence is very hard to gauge, she remembers information she has seen or read and can regurgitate at her own will (note that's her will not anyone elses!) Is this intelligence or more a party trick? She knows a quadrilateral from a rhombus and can go onto a laptop internet browser and find exactly the precise Youtube video she wants in seconds...I think that's pretty smart.

So yes, now she is seven and growing up fast. She is taking teeny tiny baby steps every day and gaining independence with it. I'm trying to help too by letting her spread her wings a little, but it's scary. Having a flight risk who runs like Usain Bolt is more than scary it's bloody terrifying.

We'll get there, she'll get there. Here she is on the big day: