Today was a lovely day as I had some friends round who are also mums of girls with autism/aspergers. We've met through a great group called Spectrum Girls, which was set up by one lady as a great support function, and it works so well! It's very nice to talk over the 'stranger' happenings with mums who you know will understand exactly what you mean and feel without having to explain too much or sound strange yourself! Of course this doesn't replace the fantastic friends I already have, who I know I can tell anything about Sasha and they won't judge or think I'm strange (hopefully), but it's always nice to meet new people with whom you have something in common.
Amazingly Sasha was also on fine form and took to having some strangers in the house very well (some of them she'd met a couple of times before) - on days like this it's almost as if she accepts that if they're my friends then they must be nice people, which is good. She also managed to say hello and use the name of the one little girl who came round (who was same age as Sasha) even though she'd not met her before, and all 3 young girls played happily together (or mostly separately but at least not fighting!) so I really enjoyed chatting and catching up with the adults for once. Just 10 minutes before they arrived she had threatened to go into meltdown however - over what exactly I'm not so sure.... she has lately decided that Same Smile is her favourite Beebies programme (she briefly toyed with Everything's Rosie, Bits and Bobs and Pocoyo) and so we have several saved on the hard drive to replay at her request (always seems like a good idea at the time, then you wonder why you started it!). She kept asking for Same Smile, but every time I started it she would get mad and turn the television off herself, but then cry for it straight away again... bit difficult to know what to do in that situation! After talking it over with one of the other mums, we came to the conclusion that there must be one special episode of it that she prefers watching, but of course she can't explain well enough which one, so it'll be a bit of guesswork from me then.
Tamsin has been very understanding/tolerant of Sasha lately and even tries to help show her how to do things unprompted (like go to the toilet, although that's not having much effect as of yet sadly...). At tea she showed Sasha how she was eating her pasta. Sasha has refused point blank to touch any pasta for the last 2 months or so, although that was something she has wolfed down in the past, and it does get quite frustrating as I feel her diet is getting ever more limited. She just says a very strong no and pushes it away, and although now I think she is starting to understand when I say no pudding them if she doesn't eat what's in front of her, she will quite happily go without pudding too and just manage with no tea - so what's best, no food or a repetitive diet? Ah well, she certainly doesn't look like she's starving ;)
When I asked Tamsin what she would like to do tomorrow after school finishes early, and Sasha will be at nursery, she also thought to whisper quietly in my ear 'painting' and then explained she knew I wouldn't want Sasha to hear her say that (which is true, as at 820 when I'm trying to get them out the door for school, the last thing I need is Sasha getting all excited about doing her favourite thing right there and then!!). On the occasions when I do get the painting stuff out for them poor Tamsin usually has to put up with Sasha mixing all the paints together into one big grey mess, so it will be nice for her to be able to do it in peace for a change!
So generally today has been a great day - Tamsin and Sasha also had a good half hour of giggling and tickling each other, which is always nice to watch (if you can end it before it ends in tears of course!!) but there was the usual 'blip' when I popped away for something (usually laundry sorting, nothing exciting), but returned to find Sasha had scribbled all over the sofa and furry cushions with a yellow highlighter pen just before bedtime (that just reminded me I must go and clean it!). Now she does realise she has done wrong, and I showed her as I told her off and sat her on the naughty step, but she came back in, stroked my arm and said 'so sorry mummy' in such an endearing way that it's difficult to stay angry. As that's the second time this week she's done the sofa scribbling, there's obviously not much remorse or understanding! In some ways it's as if she's 6 or 12 months behind her peers with the understanding and pushing the boundaries, but then in others it's obvious she is actually quite intelligent, so of course it makes her look as if she's just being naughty - which she is, but it's more than that. It's almost like naughty but without the intention. Probably people get jailed for that (not the pen scribbling, you know what I mean!) so let's hope she does improve and mature.
Anyhow back to the thought that we need now to get a private speech therapist involved, as really the NHS has not yet done anything for poor Sasha, and someone today has mentioned the possibility of verbal dyspraxia, so off to investigate that.....