Thursday, June 20, 2013

Respecting his privacy

I realised something this week after a conversation with my 14 year old Autistic son.

I realised he is growing up. It sounds obvious, I know. But I don't mean he is getting taller, or more competent or wiser. I mean he is wanting to start to understand and navigate some of the more complex issues in relationships.

Then I realised something else.

We are entering a period of his life in which a lot of the significant things I will probably want to write about him will actually be private.

And I will need to honour that.

This seems a shame to me, in that the sharing of these sort of things with you all would likely be helpful for many. Lets face it, navigating the teen years is a time when parents value the support of other parents. Possibly even more so when we are navigating them with children who struggle to interpret social situations at the best of time, let alone with raging hormones while the situations are all new and the rules constantly change.

However, while I'd love to be able to engage in those sort of conversations with you, this falls squarely in the category of things I would not want my kids to see in future years that I had published about them. Especially since there are quite a few of you reading this blog who know my family personally.

So, you might notice me talking a bit less about my boy over the next while. At the very least there will be gaps in what I will be willing to say.

Because I love him.

Because he has a right to do this growing up without the world watching.

Because I respect his privacy.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


This picture tells two stories.

First- I caught MissG mid stim.

{I have talked briefly about stimming in this post at Different kinds of normal}

Nick Walker defines stimming this way-
"To stim is to engage in movement and/or in other activity that stimulates one or more of one's senses, for the purpose (whether intentional or purely instinctive) of regulating one's own sensorimotor experience and/or state of consciousness. Examples of stims include (but are certainly not limited to) such activities as rocking, hand movements, humming, drumming, touching a surface, or gazing at running water. Functions of stimming include (but are certainly not limited to) self-calming and self-soothing; inducing, enhancing, or responding to experiences of sensory pleasure; regulating sensory input; integration of information; and accessing specific capacities and/or states of consciousness."

MissG licks her face as a way of regulating sensory input. She does it when concentrating hard, when stressed, excited and tired. Before we realised the licking was a stim we tried to get her to stop. She would say "I can't help it". Now we know what it is we don't ask her not to do it, we focus on teaching her how to care for her skin by encouraging her to use a cream on her face to help protect and heal the skin. She likes the feel of the cream, fortunately, so it is easy to get her to use it. Now we are trying to help her remember to use it without being prompted. I hope that at some stage she will replace the licking with use of a chapstick or lip balm as it will mean her face won't be sore. In the mean time, she licks and her skin is often quite red. 

Second- "Josh and the Woo Woo" is MissG's favourite book. (This is NOT a sponsored post!) It tells the story of a little bunny who struggles with all loud noises, until he hears a steam train for the first time. It's cute, and she can relate to it. She also loves when I read it and do the Woo Woo's really loudly and as much like a train whistle as I can. She asks me to read it pretty frequently, and as she is beginning to be a reader herself likes to join in pointing to words she recognises. She pretty much has it memorised now. Tonight she asked for a piece of paper, and shortly after appeared to show me that she had written "Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo" on it. She asked for her photo to be taken. 

So, here is a very proud and excited MissG, stimming and showing me her writing and her favourite book.  Wooo!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Reminiscing about the week of the helmet

MissG's birthday is approaching. I've been thinking about all the things that have happened in her life the past couple of years, and how much she is growing up. 

I was going through some old photos and came across some of her birthday week a couple of years ago, and they really made me smile. 

She had been wanting a scooter for a long time, so we bought her one for her birthday, and of course bought her a helmet too. She loved that helmet! We called it the week of the helmet and when she did something with it on we called it an extreme sport. 

Here are some of the things she did while wearing the helmet that week. 
Extreme candle blowing

Extreme cooking 

Extreme play dough

Extreme dress ups

Extreme movie watching
...... and of course, she wore it to ride her scooter

Saturday, June 8, 2013

It feels good on the hands

I've been trying to get this picture for ages, but haven't managed to get a clear shot until the other day. Every time MissG comes to the supermarket with me this is what she does. We park downstairs and and have to use the travelator to go up to the shops and again to go back down to the car. I tend to get on the travelator and just stand there until I get to the top (why move my legs if I don't have to, right?!). MissG always runs up or down and when she gets to the end she stands between the two travelators and and lays her hands on the moving hand rails. She gets quite an intense look on her face while her hands rest there, like she is concentrating on something important. I asked her about it. She says it feels good and it tickles her hands. She says she likes that ones rail goes one way and the other goes a different way. 

While we were talking about it MasterL told me that there are railings around the stairs at his school that feel really good if he puts his jumper sleeve over his hand and runs it along the rail while he walks. 

No great break through or revelation, just part of our everyday.