After being professionally wrapped by the seasoned midwives in special care for two weeks, my home wrapping was just not cutting it for bubba Elliot. It seems I have the ability to “freestyle” wrap in two ways.
A photo popped up on my news feed that made my heart skip a beat recently. It was a friend’s son in his booster with a sweatshirt’s sleeves tied in front of his head to keep it from flopping forward as he slept. What was scarier to me was the number of people who unknowingly endorsed what was an incredibly dangerous idea. Lots of “Yeah great idea”, “Good job mate” etc.
What is sanity when you have a child on the spectrum?
I ask because these special children can be very difficult to manage, especially if/when you haven’t yet been able to translate their individual language and implement effective strategies. You live your life on high alert as you work hard to meet their needs and cope with frequent meltdowns. By necessity, your definition of sanity needs to be an ever-changing, flexible thing that moves according to what is happening on any given day. On some days, you can feel like you’ll explode if it continues for a second longer, and on other days it’s positively blissful by comparison, even when everything seems to be going wrong!
If you’re a parent in a developed country it’s almost certain you’ll be required to put your child/ren through school, in whatever form that takes. For most of us that can be a challenge at the best of times. When you have a child diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), it can be a nightmare. The kids are (mostly) expected to follow rules and instructions, listen quietly, contain themselves physically by sitting still, complete work tasks from a prescribed curriculum, play in identified parts of the playground, and generally remain inside strict boundaries. Classrooms can get noisy and chaotic, with a lot of movement, bright lights, (often) nasty uniforms and other restrictions.
Last week we talked about some of the things to think about when looking at getting an assessment and diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder for your child. This week we are taking the next step and looking at what happens now that you have the ASD diagnosis. What do you need to be aware of and how can you meet your child’s many needs? Hopefully, this information will help you to get your child into the therapies he or she needs, manage meltdowns and support them to manage their own behaviour and emotions.
According to the Autism Spectrum Australia website, “Autism is a lifelong development condition characterised by difficulties in social interaction, communication, restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours and sensory sensitivities”.
My aim with this article is to provide you with a brief outline of how you can go about obtaining an assessment for your child, to either confirm or eliminate an ASD diagnosis. I’ll give you links to several websites for more background reading, as well as some great tips and resources for support through the very daunting and overwhelming assessment process.
“I can see three sacs and they all have heartbeats,” the sonographer said gently. “What does that mean?” I asked, wanting to delay the obvious for a bit longer. “It means that you’re pregnant with fraternal triplets.” I lay there in stunned silence for a moment before the tears started. “How am I going to tell my husband?” I asked no one in particular.
Is there anything more adult than having a cleaner? It truly signifies the move from, “I am going to spend all my spare money on wine and cocktails,” to, “I like having a clean house and I’m going to spend my money on that”. Not that wine and cocktails aren’t still favourites of mine but having an active toddler in the house, I can tell you that I get far more satisfaction and less of a hangover from a cleaner than I do from my old friend winey.
Getting out and about with a baby can sometimes involve hours of preparation, even if it’s just for a stroll to the park or shops. As you run through the checklist in your mind of everything you might need like nappies, a change of outfit, bottles, water, snacks, toys (the list could go on forever) you suddenly realise you are not leaving home without a huge bag and a fed up baby ready for some entertainment.
Domestic Violence has gained a lot of air-time recently and the awareness that it’s raising is great. It can happen to anyone, from any background and any family. It happened to me. I am a confident, strong and very loved woman who had a great childhood and a loving and supportive family. But all of that didn’t matter because I still fell under the control of an abuser. Continue reading