Sunday, 6 March 2016

I'm not a perfect parent, But I try, really really hard

I am not a perfect parent. But I try, really really hard!
Having 3 children. 2 of them on the ASD spectrum, and at different ends to each other.
I sometimes overlook Connors specific signs of a 'meltdown' coming, because Aiden is a far bigger presence in our house!
Connor can be spoken to and respond. But sometimes I forget that he also can't fully control the anxieties building up inside him!
Today is a perfect example.
We were trying to do his math homework. But we couldn't even get to the table... A fight broke out between me and him. He went on raging about random stuff! and I was there 'demanding' he sit and do his work.
I saw this was going in a bad direction, and sent him off to do his calm down techniques... this was not working either!
So I tried the distraction technique - jokes and tickles. Yes he laughed and smiled, but the rage inside him was still there.
We both lay on the floor at the bottom of the steps, heads together. I was just trying to bring his emotions down to a calm level. He was just trying to tell me how 'angry inside' he was feeling. And when we got to the point of civil conversation, I suggested we go do the math homework.......... BANG! he's off again. Deep pressure hugs from me this time. He turned and said 'I'm going to my room' OK I said, but not to play! NO he said, I just want to relax.
So up he went. within a few minutes Mommy went into his room. He was fast asleep (he hasn't had an afternoon nap for years)
Damn! He was so exhausted by his own emotions that he just shut down! (insert major parent guilt)
After an hour he came downstairs, blurry eyed but happy. Gave us all a love and talked about stuff. We sat down. Did the homework, And the rest of the day has been lovely!
So. Yeah. I need to work a bit more on my parenting. And will for as long as I need to. and then some more.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Why we have to do things differently from other families

Why we have to do things differently from other families.
Firstly let me point out the graphic in the picture.
Aiden is in the lower corner of the pic, getting his Stim on, He is not upset or distressed, just using his physical body to bring his stimulations to a more comfortable level, See he is aware that we get dressed up, decorate and do things for special occasions. He enjoys the atmosphere, but finds it harder to participate in the way that others do.

In this pic, Keira and Connor ae getting all dressed up, ready to go 'trick or treating' Aiden is not! That is because he can't understand the knocking on doors and not going in? nor having a final destination to his journey! So we as a family work with what is best for everybody, Not forcing him to do something that he doesn't like, nor forcing the other two to stay at home, because of Aidens feelings. We split our parenting in this time. One of us will chaperone Keira and Connors spooky trick or treating, and the other will stay at home with Aiden, answering the door to the little spooks who come knock on our door. Aiden actually really likes it when our door gets knocked, He likes to go and see the costumes and offer out the bowl of treat for the children to have 
smile emoticon

Me and Mommy have learned over the years, what works and what doesn't with our three children. Sometimes we make mistakes.... BIG mistakes, and end up with meltdown central station at rush hour! But we learn from them. 
We don't feel that Aiden is 'missing out' because forcing him to participate would just be wrong. If he shows signs in the years to come that he wants to take part, we will give him that opportunity, and if it goes wrong so be it.

I'm explaining this today as it's Halloween and will be more understood by others who may face similar situations, or also question other families lack of involvement.
This 'doing things differently' does not only happen on Halloween, it happens all throughout the year, Birthdays, Parties, Shopping, Christmas etc...
And this is the way that me and my family do things, others may have a different approach. And it's not bad, sad or wrong, It is just the way it is.

Don't feel sorry for us. we get on just fine, just in our own way 
smile emoticon
I hope this helps some of you out there who read this, and thank you for your support x

Monday, 16 February 2015

Hey Dad's. Don't Give up!!

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog.

I am a dad to 3 Children, and 2 of them are my boys who are on the autistic spectrum!
They are both on different ends of the spectrum (Connor is high functioning and Aiden is severe non-verbal)

I feel very sad when i see posts from families saying that dad's don't 'stick around'???
I mean what the absolute FFFF?
Some 'men?' are not meant to be parents! and they need to control there hormones when it comes to women! (they know who they are!)
But...........even if it is planned or an accident, Becoming a father is the greatest feeling in the world!
That feeling you get when you know that 'you are now a dad' is the biggest ego boost anybody can have.

But yet! I see and hear that men (cowards) run away from this, Because the child they made doesn't fit their requirements! I know, you were planning to 'play ball, build a car, be best buds and chase the lady's' But sometimes it doesn't go the way you thought.
That is no excuse to pack up and leave! Even if your child is 'not normal' (eaurgh, I vomit in my mouth when i type this!) I mean seriously! that is your own flesh and blood! You have a responsibility to make and create the best out of them that you can.
And running away! well that that's just pathetic!!

You will miss out on the best feelings in the world. And you will never get the satisfaction of having being there!

I have been there since day 1 with my kids. And I would never ever change that for anything!
Even when I am woken up at 4am to the sounds of 'mmmnnaaahhh' and when I have to stand over my son in the middle of town to stop him from rolling onto the road! Because what they give me and what I give them is a feeling that money can't buy.
The small steps, or Giant leaps they make, I can see my influence in there (no matter how small) And that feeling cannot be bought or faked!

And on the plus side..........When else is it acceptable to eat ice cream for breakfast? if not to get some fruit into your child?

The battles we have, the journey we take, there is no comparison to the joys we encounter!
So......Man up! and just deal! because if you don't. You will never know how powerful a 'hug' or 'kiss' can be!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Things my two sons autism has taught me. top 20

Throughout my time as a dad to two autistic boys, both on different ends of the spectrum from each other. I have learned many things I never even thought about in my life. Some of these things are throw away lessons, others will stay with me through life. Food ranks highly in this list, and the small things are sometimes more important than the big things.
So here is a list of some of the things that my boys have taught me. :)

1 - Yellow Skittles are evil. And should be disposed of in the most dramatic of fashions (throwing them very far away seems to work)

2 - If the blankets aren't straight they wont be good enough to sleep on!

3 - If one light is turned on the house, then every over light shall be turned on as well (this also works in reverse, if one gets turned off, they all do)

4 - Starting a play tickle fight 10 mins before bed time is a BAD idea, and nobody will settle in their routine (but I'm a fun dad and this is sometimes beyond my own restraint lol)

5 - Couscous is a suitable breakfast, followed by jelly and six packs of prawn cocktail flavor crisps (who wouldn't go to school after that ready to learn and develop)

6 - Washing up bubbles feel great in your mouth (not my mouth)

7 - Communication is more than words (as Aidens nursery teacher said 'He has taught us to listen and share with our hearts)

8 - If in doubt? ask Connor, if he has an answer it is mostly correct.

9 - Catalogs make for fine reading (far superior to novels, or poems)

10 - the biological nature of eating a big meal does not affect my boys the way it does everybody else. Where we may need some time for a meal to digest, they are more than happy to spin, run and jump on a trampoline directly after a meal (sometimes whilst still chewing)

11 - sleep is for the lazy and weak.

12 - Cuteness and charm can and will get you out of many a sticky situation.

13 - Sitting in mud, sand, chalk, yogurt is all fine, But a spot of gravy or a crumb of bread on the plate where it is too near another food item BAD, very bad, run and scream bad, new dinner bad!

14 - It's not a 'mess' it is methodical placing of toys, cushions, and crockery.

15 - Changing agreed plans is bad, and should be dealt with in the ways of a high court. Fines are usually issued to the contract breakers.

16 - Be open to any and all people you meet, for the sooner they realize the boys are  running off a different program to us, the sooner they accept and embrace these quirks.

17 - The ability to be a permanent and never ending supplier of answers and amused responses. (you may have to laugh at one joke 42 times in a row, hey! they made a joke, this is big)

18 - Coffee is for adults for a reason!!!

19 - Never! watch a movie they have already seen before you (if you wanted to watch it for your own joy)

20 - Grow a beard! There's never any shaving foam left anyway!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

I never thought I'd hear myself saying THAT!

Parents ALL find themselves saying the most obscure things out loud.
But parents of autistic children (of which I am one of those parents) They say the down right shocking and Insane things out loud! sometimes they are lucky to be at home when they say them, but sometimes they are out and about in 'public' when they realize 'what have i just said?'

Here is a list of some of the most crazy, shocking, hilarious things I have found myself saying out loud.

1- Who has eaten the new soap?

2- Why is there a Hippo in my shoe?

3- No! that is not your uncle, Its just a strange man with a beard, Get off his head!

4- Thomas the tank engine does not like it if you put your penis in his funnel!

5- Why Oh Why are you eating the wall?

6- Is that pooh or chocolate?.........Damn! I shouldn't have tasted it to check!

7-  Please don't rub your private parts on grandmas lap!

8- Why do you eat mud and sand, but refuse to eat fruit?

9- It's the hottest day of the year, Why are you wearing wellies and a hat?

10- Please get up off the floor, I'm sorry you are not allowed to eat mommy's lipstick!

11- No. roller skates on the trampoline is NOT a good idea!

12- We wear clothes on the trampoline in the garden. Yes, even underpants!

13- It's the middle of the night, Why are you being a teenage mutant ninja turtle?

14- Sure! you can have your dinner on 6 different plates, as long as you eat!

15- where has all the toilet roll gone? ......... Oh you wanted to be a mummy? that's nice, could you spare some arm bandage so can go to the toilet?

Thursday, 20 November 2014

The dreaded IEP meeting.

Today was Aidens IEP meeting at his school, As I was at work today, my wife had to take this challenge on all by herself <3
Here is 'In her words' how it went.

Mommy's report.

Today was Aiden's IEP meeting,  normally such things would be looked forward to, waiting to hear about Aidens areas of improvement and just what he would be working towards over the next few months.  This one was approached with a complete feeling of ' Oh crap ' from myself as he'd been well behaving like a mini beast over the past couple of weeks and their were areas of his behavior that needed to be addressed! Erghhhhhh.  It all went really well actually, feeling totally relieved now,   he is using his visual queue cards well,  ( OK well only the cards that show what food he wants ) But his using the cards and that's great from my point of view.  He needs to work on his ability to wait for the food to be produced as he is using the cards quite impatiently.  But patience has never being his strong point,  nor is easy for any child with autism.  I had to smile as they described just what a clever soul he is at heart as they described how out the class he is the only who manages to work out where they have hidden the keys to the cupboards and then sneak out all the hidden goodies from just anywhere they hide them.  They also were really pleased when I explained that his strange version of sneaking up behind you and resting his chin on the back of your head, and then rubbing your hair, was his version of affection and a kiss.  His teacher was really pleased with this as he only does it to two people and she was one of them.  She was a little shocked as she thought her hair was boring compared to some of the others there.  So her realising its not about the hair, its about the love, really made her day.  I guess all is forgiven, well at least for a week or so!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

They don't give you a guide book for this!

When you start a family, everybody is full of advice and opinions. But the one thing they don't prepare you for is if your child is 'different'
In my case case it's that my second and third children have been diagnosed with AUTISM, they have a different diagnosis to each other, one is high functioning, the other is severe non verbal!
But this I say as a relative expert on the subject as I have done everything i can to research and study and live with these diagnosis!
The people who were there at the beginning with words of wisdom have now shrunk away and look to me as an 'icon' of wisdom? (why? because me and my wife have just accepted what we have, and have made the best of ours and our children's life x)

Everything we were told from the beginning has been banked in our memory banks, and occasionally used for 'real life' but the rest we have had to make up ourselves. These people and their advise has not been a bad thing, they meant well, and from the most honest part of the heart.

But to function as a parent to an autistic child!!! well that comes with no map, no plan, and no rule book!
We have to make this up as we go. and we also need to record our lives, as others need a reference point to judge their own life! and we need to feed from other parents for their advice, and suggestions.

Search the dictionary and 'autism' has 3 lines of definition???    What a joke! It needs at least 379 pages with room for expansion!

I don't even think that I could write a 'complete guide to autism' to help others, as I can only talk about my own personal experiences. and my story is not the same as the next person.
All I can do is share my life, and hopefully help one person to recognize and accept.

If I saw a book on the shelf titled 'Autism A-Z everything you need to know' I would just laugh and pass that by as a fiction novel!
Life and living with autism, or somebody with autism is the only true way to understand the differences and delicate way of coping with everyday mundane tasks.

But I do wish there was a more globally acceptance of the diagnosis as some see it as a 'stigma' or 'curse' or 'disease'  And it would be better for the people directly affected by autism for those around them to understand, and sympathize.

As a parent to autistic children, My heart and love goes out to EVERYBODY out there who are going through similar circumstances to me and my family xx