Monday, 5 May 2014

English Language Laughter!

We've just endured a family holiday, I say endured because my son didn't tolerate the change and it was just no fun at all for anyone. I have been jump kicked, bitten, slapped and elbowed and am covered in bruises, as are the girls. 

My son did give us a few giggles though, and he was totally oblivious as to why. We were admiring the sea and he asked what the floaty thingies are that are just bobbing about doing nothing...I told him "Those are buoys". He looked horrified and said "Well where are the parents? Why are there no girls?" My hubby and I were in stitches and we explained that it's the same sounding word but spelt differently and meaning something different. He didn't understand.

At his sisters recent Birthday tea party he was very hyperactive and was starting to become too wound up for it to be safe so I asked "Could you be less boisterous please?" He looked blankly into the wall behind me so as to avoid eye contact and retorted "So when the girls are busy they are girlsterous aren't they?" I couldn't help but giggle, my nan also witnessed this and was laughing loudly at this time. My son once again oblivious to the humour he often delivers to our day.

It's moments like this that strike me and remind me how difficult the English language can be to learn and understand. It was so difficult to explain to him in a way he would understand. 

For now, I must go and enjoy the sunshine with my little ones on this Bank Holiday. I rarely get time off now from my course and each day is a blessing!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Moments that Mattered

Following quite a negative post, I feel it's important to highlight the moments of 2013 that mattered to us. I am posting this also to enter a competition to win an iPad Mini. If I won this, obviously this would help my little man who struggles with communication. The competition is supported by

2013 has been a turbulent year, but here are some of the highlights.

A trip to Legoland Windsor, my son's obsession with Lego was well and truly satisfied when we surprised him and his sisters with this trip! It was by far the best day we have had all year and therefore it needs to be first mentioned! Here is one of the funniest pictures I have of the day!

As you can see, my smallest little lady at the front pulled this cracking face in terror as we shot down the log flume! Priceless.

The other moment that stands out for 2013 is that my son for the first time in his 7 years of living, has said the words " Love you, mum". I don't even care if he doesn't mean it, or understand what love feels like!

Another amazing moment for me personally, was that my application to begin a Degree in an extremely competitive field was successful. I have a place at my local university, I got the news in December, just in time for Christmas and I begin in February 2014. Exciting news, even if I will be very poor for the next 3 years, the long term outlook is better! 

A heart warming moment for the family was watching 8 new lives enter the world! Our lovely family Labrador gave birth in April 2013 to 8 beautiful puppies! My husband and I were all hands on deck as she pushed her first puppy out and I was quickly able to stimulate a little squeak off of him. He was such a big puppy! He weighed in at 508g which was over 100g more than his litter mates! I fell in love with him, we nicknamed him Chunk and my Dad fell for him too, so I gave him to my Dad and told him to enjoy him! Here are a few pics of the tiny puppies :) We all love puppies, right?

"Chunk" about 2 minutes old!

Our lovely Lab, smiling with her eyes!

So there we go, those were the highlights of our 2013! With 2014 promising to bring more positive changes :)

Medication, Moans, and Malnourishment

Last time I wrote, things were going ok, my son has been through the mill since and we are just trying to ride the waves without getting sucked into the chaos that has become life. 

Getting prescribed Dexamphetamine for ADHD symptoms initially seemed great, the impulsive and explosive behaviours my son displays when anxious seemed to have lessened. Sadly, so did his appetite. My son was on the low end of normal before hand, but his weight loss was severe and he looked ill, his teachers reported him becoming more withdrawn, "zombie like", and unhappy. They even used the terms "depressed" and that he was saying "dark" things. This was a shock to myself and my husband because at home he never said anything that would cause alarm. 

After a multiprofessional meeting it was decided with the paediatrician that we would stop the medication and give him 4 weeks to clear the system to see if this dark and disturbing behaviour would continue. The paediatrician thinks the medication may just have highlighted traits of the personality he had before, and that he really needs a full assessment for further difficulties. I am inclined to agree with her, I know my son has profound issues, having been told he was certainly on the Autistic Spectrum years ago I have accepted this. 

Stopping the medication threw the family into turmoil, to be honest, it was a nightmare. My son's behaviour was extreme, his violent outbursts caused bruises, tears and emotional trauma to us all. We were literally house bound with him because we couldn't take him anywhere and it be safe. I felt like a poor excuse of a mother because I didn't know how my son was feeling, I couldn't help him or comfort him and he didn't understand how his behaviour was impacting us and how he made us feel. This is the struggle, cause and effect means nothing to him but his sister who is just over 2 years younger has better concept of it. 

Getting help for my son's weight was difficult, his GP didn't really want to help, and with the school increasing the pressure on us, implying we didn't offer him food did not help. I hated being accused, and belittled about it, I offered all of his usual favourites but he simply wasn't interested, and didn't seem to be hungry. I wasn't prepared to force feed him, that would have made issues more tense and who knows what that would have done to him psychologically. I suggested fortijuice to several GP's but all were reluctant to prescribe them, and said that eating was the best way to gain weight. How ironic. 

I've watched my little boy transform in such a little amount of time, it's frightening. He commenced Strattera in December 2013, it has had no impact on his behaviour at all. We remain unable to take him out in public because of his behaviour, and people's ignorance. My son has no social filter, he says what he thinks, it's almost like having verbal diarrhoea I suppose. 

We are just waiting for the next paediatrician appointment at the end of the month, I hope she will do the blood tests this time to test for the Fragile X syndrome that she mentioned. 

In the meantime, I remain hopeful that Autism awareness is enhanced, and for people not to make rude remarks about my parenting. I have always said, I cannot be that bad...the other 2 are not like this! Perhaps I should remind myself of this more often.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Mixed up words!

I know it's been a while, the summer holidays came and went and I cannot lie; I am glad the children are back in school.

My little man is now in year 3 and already the school have concerns over him coping. He seems to have withdrawn a little, isolating himself from his peers. I am willing to bet that this is due to a change in class room, teacher and support. He takes a long time to get used to someone.

Tonight my man was looking at the puppy's teeth which are starting to fall out and be replaced with adult teeth. He had this overwhelming urge to touch them, fortunately our little labrador puppy is very used to this and just rolls over and lets him get on with it.

He turned to me and said "Mum, I thought this tooth was pointy. It's shark..." It took me a few moments but I realised that he still uses the word "shark" to mean "sharp". I do love these little blunders, but can't help but worry for him since he is already a target for bullying and his peers have all matured in both behaviour and speech. I guess I should just be happy that my little man is going to be "little" and innocent that bit longer.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Buttoning up!

It's been a while since my last post. I have had many, many appointments with my son and now with my smallest princess. It's the summer holidays, we've been on holiday, I've bought all the new uniforms and shoes and am now skint once again. The boredom is setting in amongst the children now as we struggle to find "free" stuff to do locally that doesn't involve large crowds and loud noises.

My son is struggling with his medication, it has completely removed his appetite and he has lost far too much weight as a result. He now has a repose on top of his mattress to prevent pressure sores. We are waiting for the paediatrician appointment that is coming up soon, I just know in my heart that this will mean another change of medication and the associated period of chaos whilst he adjusts to it.

Through all of this however, my son has not lost the ability to have me and everyone around him in stitches. We were sat in a local pizza shop waiting for his pepperoni pizza to cook (turned out he didn't want it anyway!), he saw a newspaper on the table and started gazing at the pictures. He loves watching the news, so I didn't give it a second thought...I heard him gasp and as I turned around to see what was wrong, I realised he was faced with the popular page 3 girls,  he blurted out "Oh my god! You can see her BELLY BUTTON!"

Have to say, I was not sure if my laugh was a nervous one, or a relieved one! He quickly flipped the page after double checking that it was indeed her real belly button that was on full public display.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

The Funny Side!

I know it's been a while since I last posted. I have been on placement again and 13 hour shifts are just about all I can take right now.

It's Father's Day and as I picked my children up from their nan's house we were all chatting away and the topic quickly turned to food. My eldest daughter asked where they should take Daddy for his special meal and after going through some options she blurted out "Pizza Hut!". My son was looking out of the window and retorted very nonchalantly "It's closed, it's Pizza Shut!" and carried on looking out of his window. Myself and my husband were in fits of giggles at this off hand remark. My son hadn't realised he had cracked a funny with his play on words.

It's moments like these that make all of the meltdowns and headaches seem like a distant memory. My boy doesn't really talk or contribute to conversations, preferring instead to make noises, but on the occasions he does join in he drops a little nugget of hope for the future.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Bank Holiday Chaos...

Today was the hottest day in the UK so far this year. I decided it would be nice to fill a small pool with water for my kids to splash about in. Sensibly my 8 year old and 4 year old daughters change into their swimming costumes and head outside. My son decided he would rather like to bathe fully clothed in the pool. He immersed himself and began thrashing about and squealing away happily.

He didn't understand that those clothes were dripping wet and he would leave puddles wherever he walked. He somehow managed to soak the back door step just standing there staring at his reflection in the glass...I decided he was not going to walk through the house with those drenched clothes, I would instead put them straight into the washing machine.

Telling my son these plans, he stands on the back door step glaring at me for a good minute or so and then piped up "It's the wet step" (referring to the sodden doorstep). "Why do I call it the wet step?" and before I could answer he had stripped all of the clothes off and launched them at me.

What would have been 1 person needing a change of clothes instantly became 2. Relishing in the freedom of being nude my son bounced into the living room, slipping on the laminate flooring. Like any mother, upon hearing the thud of my child's bony body hitting the deck, I turned into a to the scene ready to examine the wounds. I arrived to find my son in a heap on the floor...he is heart in my mouth until I notice he is actually looking under the sofa at something. No injuries, I relax. My son gets to his feet and declares to me that the sofa has been moved because he could see the dent in the floor where it was before. He demanded I put it back there. To prevent a meltdown, I do.

The evening is drawing in and although the girls are ready to sleep, my son is not. He has been upstairs arranging his clothes, curtains, bedding and toys for the last 2 hours....I sense it could be a long night since he has school in the morning and this day has threw his routine out of the window.