Thursday, December 27, 2012

Please, 2013, be kind

2012 is rapidly coming to an end.

2013 is looming and the first couple of months of it promise some big changes in our household!

Our oldest daughter, E, will be starting her HSC years (year 11 and 12).

Our oldest son, L, will go into year 8 and is being moved into the Gifted and Talented class at his school. Some of you know about the problems he has had with bullying over the past year, and we are all hoping that this move will provide him a more appropriate learning environment as well as a more supportive social environment (if you missed it and want to know you can search for "bullying" using the search function at the top right of the page, most of the information is in this post- Brave, Smart and Strong.....).

Our second son, I, will start High School in the year 7 Gifted and Talented class at the same high school as his older brother and sister.

7 year old MissK will go into year 2 at our fantastic local primary school with a new teacher.

MissG will start Kindergarten at the same school as K. Some of you have been following her progress through the preparation activities we've been doing with her (if you haven't and want to catch up just search the blog for "Transition to school" using the search function at the top right of the page).

And, Baby Number 6 is due to arrive in the first week of February, just after everyone is back at school.

Sometime during the first half of next year I will be aiming to returning to work in a part time capacity so that Hubby can reduce his work hours a bit in order to help him manage some health issues.

To be completely honest, I am pretty nervous about all these changes.

We've done everything we can to prepare for all the school transitions. There is seriously nothing left we can do to help the kids be ready for those. I have actually been so busy with all that preparation that I have not spent very much mental time on the fact that I am pregnant and we will have a new member in our family in about 6 weeks. Now that we have arrived at the first few days of the month I have purposely set aside to be quiet and stop this routine of attending an average of 2 appointments day making sure everyones medical and mental health needs are taken care of, it has suddenly hit me how tired I am, and how little time is left before all this big stuff I've been getting ready for happens.

But I'm mostly wondering if I've done enough to get ready for this baby? I have the physical stuff covered- bassinet, blankets, nappies, clothes, pram, etc.... it's more the emotional stuff. Not that you can really completely prepare for that. But I'm thinking about the social stories and conversations and practice visits that we do to prepare for other big changes, and I've done none of to get ready for a baby in the house!! It is probably because I've been so busy with everything else, I guess. At least I've realised with enough time to do something!

I'm thinking I'll put the car seat in the car and have the stroller in the house where the kids can see it. At least if some of the baby paraphernalia is visible that should help with awareness of an upcoming change, right? And I might be able to find some books on the shelf about new babies (I think we have some!) that we can use to talk about what babies are like with MissG. I don't think it will be as hard for the older kids to anticipate- they've at least done it a few times before. I do wonder how the change will impact the two younger ones, especially MissG as she makes her big transition to school at the same time as becoming a big sister. How are ASD and SPD going to impact her experience? It is a complete unknown.

So- it is a big year coming up, no doubt about that. I'm not really one for New Year Resolutions, or for making wishes. But, if I knew I could have wishes granted, I would wish for a bullying-free year, for a year with no new diagnoses, and for a year in which no more cuts are made to the support my kids need to attend school. It's not too much to ask, surely?

Please, 2013, be kind.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Introducing.... "Different kinds of normal"

As this blog has developed over the past 6 months it has taken a direction I was not anticipating, in that I've been posting a lot more "political" stuff than I expected.

Then over the last 2 months our family dynamic has shifted again with the addition of a new diagnosis for one of the kids.

I have found myself wanting to write less specifically about Autism from time to time.

I have also started contributing regularly to another website called Aussie Mum Network.

Thinking about managing all the different directions has brought me to the conclusion that I need another place to write so that this blog doesn't get full of other non-Autism things that you who are interested in my journey with Autism would have to wade through.

So, I have started another blog. It is called "Different kinds of normal" and it is where you will find my less Autism specific writing as well as links to the other places you can find me (like "Aussie Mum Network" and another blog I've started called "Being OK with Bipolar").

To those of you who just want the Autism themed post- please, hang around- I'm still here and still writing!

To those of you who think you might be interested in some of the other stuff I'm writing about, I invite you to check out the "Different kinds of normal" blog or Facebook page.

To those of you who have noticed the odd post or reference to Bipolar Disorder and would like to read more on that you are welcome to have a look at the "Being OK with Bipolar" blog or Facebook page.

If you are an Aussie Mum and are interested in some only slightly Autism themed parenting style posts you can find me here on Aussie Mum Network (which is a good website to browse around for all sorts of reasons).

Thanks for your support so far in following this blog. I've been a bit surprised how interested people have been in my journey. I hope you'll continue to find helpful things here and in the other places I'm writing.