OK so today I have decided to blog mainly to remind me of a couple of examples of Sasha's recent behaviour...
Yesterday I had a (very nice) lady from the Money Advice Unit round to help me complete the DLA (Disability Living Allowance) forms. If we are successful in the application, this should at least help us with some private speech therapy (although unlikely to help us with the ABA ideal, as per my last blog!!). Everyone I've met recently on the autism 'network' has warned me that these forms are difficult to fill in, and I should have a box of tissues ready, as you really do have to look at all the negatives about Sasha and not write down any of the positives. Well I didn't end up in tears, but it was mentally tough as of course there is so much positive I want to tell everyone about Sasha. I guess it's another small step on the way to really accepting how she is and how different the life journey will now be for us all compared to the one we had imagined - although of course, there's no way of knowing what path that will take.
So that went OK, but the evening fell apart slightly after I collected Sasha from nursery. She was actually in a great mood, and wanted to go out in our garden, even though it was drizzly. She put her wellies and coat on and collected her umbrella, then ran up and down the newly laid (by Daddy, well done) patio, jumping up and down and splashing in the muddy puddles (or muddles as she sometimes calls them!). I actually took some home video of her doing this, as she was having such a great time, but then as I moved away from watching her at the back door to go check on Tamsin, that didn't meet with her approval and so she decided to start crying about it. Which turned into a full blown tantrum when I didn't go to get her. She first of all knelt down on the wet grass, and then sat on it, getting wetter by the second, while I sat in the lounge and waited to see if she would calm down. It was about 5 mins later (I know, doesn't sound that long, but it was raining!) when Tamsin started laughing because, as she told me, 'Sasha's being silly and has taken her wellies off now'(no socks on of course), that I knew I'd have to go and get her. Of course as soon as we were inside and I removed her soaking wet trousers she recovered very quickly, but I was left wishing I'd taken video of that too, as an example of her unreasonable behaviour.
Then this morning started off with her in a great mood again (although me not so happy after having to get out of bed at 610). Everything went swimmingly until I suggested the playground, and she was very excited with that idea and wanted to go instantly. Fortunately Daddy and sister were also just about ready, so that was good. All set then, til Daddy brought the 2 scooters round for the girls to go on (it's a 2 minute walk round the corner, bliss!). Then for an inexplicable reason, Sasha started crying and refused to go, and nothing would change her mind. We're still not really sure why - could have been the scooter, which she does love, but maybe was just surprised by, or didn't fancy. Or could have been Daddy offering her the wrong coat. We really don't know, and that's part of what is so difficult. She then just wanted to sit cuddling me while daddy went off with sister to the park, and it took her a while to come back round to being happy. I spoke to another mum of an autistic girl at a coffee morning recently who pointed out that the weather being nice unexpectedly was not generally a good thing, as autistic children like to have everything planned and know in advance what is going to happen, so spontaneity goes out of the window. That definitely can be the case, but on the other hand Sasha seems to have inherited my 'impatient' gene but in a magnified way - which means if you suggest going to the playground or swimming with her, you had better be ready to walk out of the door with her as soon as you say it, or the moment and mood can be lost so easily. There is never any point in waking up and saying 'let's go to the park later' - later is a concept just not understood by Sasha.
So anyhow we did make it out to the playground this afternoon (with me not being particularly prepared for her request so looking like a right scruff!) and had a lovely time. On the way back though Sasha did stop walking suddenly (which she does like to do occasionallly, to make me go ahead for a bit, or to shout 'Stop... carry on!' for a giggle) and she crouched down on the pavement with her hands over her ears as if a noise was really bothering her. There was a lawnmower on and it may have been that, but I'm not really sure, I just know it unsettled her slightly whatever it was. She recovered Ok though, it didn't last too long. Had to deal with Tamsin's huge floods of tears at the same time because she cannot ride a bike easily... don't think she really appreciates yet that you have to put the effort in, bless! She just complains that her legs are always tired when she tries :) quite funny really, but not when you're trying to calm her down coz she's almost hysterical! General tiredness hits her badly unfortunately.
Anyhow both girls now sound asleep so off to bed I go too!