Sunday, 22 May 2011

Carpet update - it's better, but not a lot....

ta-da! sure no-one will notice.....
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Silent Sunday

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Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Birthday picnic and ASD challenges

So, it's late, and I probably shouldn't be writing this post (zzzzzz) but just wanted to share some of the highs and lows that make up the autistic spectrum.

Today was mostly a good day, with a little challenge thrown in. My lovely parents have arrived to stay for the week as it's Tamsin's 6th birthday today (6 years since I lay exhausted in that hospital bed, wow, I can hardly believe it!!). The day started off beautifully, with both girls in our room opening presents. Sasha had a couple of 'distraction' presents, but then coped remarkably well when I insisted it was Tamsin's birthday, not hers, and instead of trying to open them she then passed all the presents to her big sister. Tamsin was remarkably patient with all this, and enjoyed every single one of her presents, which was a relief!

So a lot had gone on before going to school time. When I asked Sasha if her grandparents could take her to school, she considered it shortly, before asking for mummy to take her, but grandparents to pick her up. So all seemed well, and I left her happily at nursery. I did mention to the staff that she may be unsettled, as so much had happened 'out of routine', and whilst she seemed to be handling it well, these things often have a way of coming back on us, so to speak.

Well boy was I right. Grandparents duly dispatched at lunchtime to collect from nursery, but Sasha had a huge meltdown and refused to leave with them. She requested mummy (who was busy at home making 6th birthday cake) and was very distressed. Fortunately as I was at hand, I could whip into school to alleviate the problem. I arrived about 30 minutes after lunch club end, during the afternoon nursery session, and of course as soon as I saw Sasha all was right with the world again.

Strangely, this made me feel both sad and in a weird way happy at the same time. Happy is not the best word. Probably 'relieved' describes it better (although still admittedly weird), the relief that others can see the extreme behaviour, that in turn leads me to act in strange ways to avoid it sometimes. Sad as it just highlights how different she is from the other children. Of course it makes it extremely difficult - but not impossible - to leave her to be collected by others, or go on playdates etc. It really is the unpredictability that is the most stressful thing we live with - the day before in fact, she'd had a brilliant day, and even requested that another parent collect her after nursery (surprising but welcome!).

It's the 'extremeness' (sorry, my writing terrible tonight, too tired!!) of the reactions which is difficult to describe. Of course, if I hadn't been available, it wouldn't have been impossible to remove Sasha from nursery - she could have been taken out kicking and screaming, and would have eventually worn herself out and slept with the exertion.  As a mum, it's just difficult to see the distress that it causes her, not because she's being naughty, but simply because things are out of sync. Just not easy for her to deal with, in the way that 'we' all do every day of our lives. Lucky us.

The day ended on a much higher note with a beautiful impromptu picnic party for Tamsin suggested by Sasha, complete with mini cups of tea (water), candles blowing out and birthday song singing ceremony, and both girls giggling and playing nicely in turn in the bath. Let's wait and see what tomorrow brings.... never a dull  moment ;)
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Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Can I hear a 'whoop! whoop!'?!

So, have not blogged for a while now - partly because I get into trouble for spending too much time on the computer, but also because there always seems so much to say and not enough time to say it.

Tonight, however, I want to share some great news - Sasha wears big girl knickers!! As in, she's fully potty trained, day and night!

I had the great pleasure today of taking a full (unopened, unused!) pack of nappies back to the store for a refund. I have of course still got a small secret stack of nappies, but hope desperately I'll never have to stand on that chair to get them back down....

I'm amazed as this was the last big 'issue' for us to conquer, and we'd decided to put it off until after our next holiday. Towards the end of these Easter school holidays however, Sasha started 'toying' with wearing knickers a bit more - mostly when she thought she wouldn't need the nappy. So we had very few accidents at first fortunately (although could have done without the particularly large one on the only new carpet in the house...!).

When it came to the first day back at school nursery, she asked to wear the knickers so we just went with the flow (pardon the pun Smiley ). She had a wee accident 2 days in a run at nursery but by the 3rd day had sussed it all by herself, and also asked for the knickers at night-time! I was slightly apprehensive about the middle of the night sheet changing palaver, but (squeezing wood very tightly here) she has managed to stay dry every night since.

On Sunday she got very distressed when she was trying to get to the potty but didn't quite make it in time, and though she asked for the nappy back, I stayed strong - phew! Ever since she has taken great delight in 'making mummy happy', and she shows us every single wee and poo on the potty, which of course we've been rewarding greatly lest the novelty wears off. I'm particularly pleased that although she favours the potty downstairs right now, she doesn't seem to have an issue with sitting on the toilet here or elsewhere either - we were warned that if she learnt one thing (i.e. the potty) she may hold onto just that for a long while.

So fingers crossed it continues.. roll on having more space in the luggage for packing my own clothes this time we go away!! Sasha is 4 next month and I know lots of people would not see it as an achievement for her to be trained so late, but believe me it was worth the wait to have the pain-free result.

Today I'm feeling slightly worn down. Sasha has been in a brilliant mood over the last couple of weeks, so she's not overly challenging at the moment, and of course she's as adorable as ever. However, it is difficult to describe just how wearing and irritating it is to be asked the same question around 30 times in the space of 3 hours... 'is it raining mummy?' or a slight variation 'it's not raining, is it?' or even 'is it summer?'.... It doesn't matter how many times I answer these questions, they still get repeated. I mean, I know we've been lucky with dry warm weather for quite a while now, but we only had a few spots today! Poor old Tamsin was also on the receiving end of it as Sasha requested her favourite recorded TV programme several times in a row this evening (despite it being on!!). This might sound petty and something that should be easy to deal with, but repetition and persistence are two keywords that come along with Sasha's autism sometimes - I'm sure I'll blog about that another time!
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