Yes my son turned 18 yesterday so big congratulations. I can't actually believe it. A lovely young adult I have and I couldn't be more proud. I think what amused everyone, especially the staff at the local pub where we had a meal was his cake. He had a Thomas and Friends cake and I bet they don't see many of those cakes with number 18 candles on.
He also had his favourite Thomas and Friends engines and some Fireman Sam toys too. He was so happy and that's what it's all about. He seemed to go through the day quite chilled and unphased. He looked at me a bit funny when I had decorated the living room with Happy Birthday banners and we also had helium balloons. I think he wondered what it was all about, in his head it was just another birthday like the rest.
He now falls under adult support now with his Autism so I suppose that will be interesting. I feel some people saying 'good luck with that one'. It fills me with concern but then I don't think there has been any stage of his development I have not worried about so lets carry on. I've been on it for the past fourteen years since diagnosis so I will recharge for the next fourteen years and hopefully beyond. I sound like Buzz Lightyear.....to infinity and beeeeeeeeyond!!!!
Whatever the future brings I will pop my mittens on one day and boxing gloves the next and just be prepared. I will continue to fight for him as long as possible, teach him to be as independent as he can be and just get ready for the next big birthday at 21. I will still put flags out and blow up the balloons Autism or not.
Thanks to all friends and family who have sent birthday wishes........he did read them and his reaction was 'oh wow' which was a bigger reaction than my banners got so well done.
Thank you for reading today......do come back tomorrow for Pass the Remote Sunday but for now........
I think sibling rivalry is quite normal and quite common in most families with or without Autism. When Autism is around though you kind of hope for friendship or a little kindness between your children......I suppose I do as a parent.
I will always feel protective towards my eldest with Autism and I'll love him and his Autism but I don't think his younger brother feels the same. He is not the most affectionate to his older brother and there is a lot of teasing and slightly hostile behaviour but I know he does care for him in his own way.
We've always talked about Thomas's Autism and discussed things so it's always been a topic of discussion within our household, of course it would do, it dominates your life really. Because of that and taking feelings into consideration that the younger sibling may feel left out of all this Autism stuff I made sure that Charlie had some one on one time to make him feel special too.
It's so difficult isn't it? I used to look at other children who were very supportive towards their autistic brothers or sisters and feel quite envious that that wasn't the case with my two. If we take away the Autism maybe it wouldn't be any different, maybe there would be rivalry anyway but I suppose we will never know. It's always in the back of my mind why? Maybe Charlie didn't get the brother he always imagined he would have but and that makes me sad. I always hoped they would be close but we can't guarantee that can we? It's funny though because if anyone says anything towards Thomas his brother will be the first to step in and want to know who said what. So it is there.....the love I just generally don't think he knows how to show it.
Maybe things will change, I would like to think it will. As a parent I will always worry about what will happen when I'm not here. In a perfect world I would hope Charlie would look out for his brother but at the same time I obviously want him to live his own life the way he wants to. That's a blog for another day I think.......the 'what happens later I life'. I'm not ready for that post yet.
Thee are some great resources out there to help siblings understand about Autism. There are also good sibling groups around where the siblings can meet together and share their experiences so they never have to feel that they are alone in Autism family.
If you would like information about some books which available about siblings and Autism you can find some great ones here at Jessica Kingsley Publishers www.jkp.com/uk/catalogsearch/result/?q=siblings+and+autism
Thank you for reading today. Join me again tomorrow for Pass the Remote.....take care for now.
We held yet another successful talk again on Sensory Processing given to us by Alison Hart from The Children's Choice Therapy Service in Needwood Staffordshire. It's such a popular subject and we have had so many people wanting to learn more about it including parents, carers and professionals too.
The brain sometimes has trouble receiving and responding to information that comes in through the senses and can be known as Sensory Processing Disorder. This is a condition with stands alone and does not always mean the individual has Autism but many people with Autism do have problems processing their sensory needs. There is some fabulous information on sensory differences on the National Autistic Society website here www.autism.org.uk/sensory
We underestimate how much we are using our senses and when it becomes difficult to manage certain situations related to sound, smells, taste, sight, touch, balance and body awareness then you can imagine that this can affect our day to day lives in a big way.
You may be someone whose senses are oversensitive which means loud noise may be overwhelming or you may only eat certain foods as some textures of food are unbearable to eat. Someone with under sensitive sensory needs would mean that they may display behaviour to compensate for this so when you think how busy life can be you really have to be prepared for certain situations, know your limits and have a plan in place for when situations don't go to plan.
If someone has problems with sensory processing and something has become a little too much then you may know that this may lead to challenging behaviour or a meltdown. It's important that we all become aware of how someone with sensory processing differences may feel and help them to cope.
There are so many resources out there to help and a solution that usually does work so keep trying different things if you are struggling. If you would like more information about The Children's Choice Therapy Service their website is www.childrenschoicetherapy.co.uk
They do offer sensory play sessions in the school holidays and a range of courses too. We as a branch of the NAS in Derby will most likely repeat the talk on Understanding Sensory Processing so keep an eye out on dates on our facebook page here www.facebook.com/NASDerbyBranch/
Thank you for reading, I will return tomorrow for Pass the Remote Sunday so join me again for that, until then.....
We've got my son on the CBD oil.....why? Well to be honest I'm not sure. I think I'm just riding through a bit of a trial to set his father's (my ex husband's) mind at rest, he's been wanting to give it a try for a while so he decided to start it last weekend.
For those who are not sure CBD or cannabidiol oil is derived from the hemp or cannabis plant and basically it has the Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) taken out. THC is the psychoactive component in cannabis that makes users feel "high". This leaves the 'good stuff' behind and it is believed that the oil left behind can alleviate many ailments such as skin problems, anxiety, depression and can help with some cancers and be affective with regard to pain relief.
Now as far as Autism is concerned I am understanding that this is not by any means to be seen as a cure as we know there is no cure for Autism but it is believed that maybe the oil can help with behaviours that may stem from Autism such as anxiety, seizures and certain mental health issues. So in theory it's a bigger picture than just Autism itself. I suffer panic attacks sometimes and am even wondering whether it may help with them.
The thing is it is a natural plant supplement, in most cases it doesn't hurt to try these things although I would advise to do your research and seek as much advice as possible before you do. We certainly did and our son is happy to take it. So far we don't see any difference but then maybe it needs more time or a higher dosage. One drawback is that it is very expensive so are all these suppliers such as Holland & Barrett, where in fact we got ours from.....are they onto a money making winner?
You find that don't you? When something gains popularity, everyone jumps on the bandwagon and companies make loads of cash out of it. I don't doubt that CBD is very good for a great many ailments but I'm a little skeptical about Autism. I don't know enough though and please don't judge me. For some with very severe Autism it may be brilliant and I would love to know if it is.
When our son first had his diagnosis I must admit we tried diets and read about all sorts of therapies that were available. I suppose part of us as parents were desperate for answers or to make things better for our son. That's only natural as a parent but as the years have gone by I have settled and become comfortable with Autism. My son's and now looking at myself too. I don't want to change and neither do I want to change my son, he is who he is and I'm so proud of him.
I do love the fact that CBD oil may help people who suffer a lot of pain and for conditions where it's so hard to get by on a day to day basis. This is where we need this stuff available more easily and cheaply. Wouldn't it be fantastic to know that a plant which causes quite a bit of controversy as an illegal drug could be derived and created into one of the most effective medicines.
We are all individuals in this world and everyone I believe is free to choose whether they want to try medication, therapies, diets and supplements in relation to Autism. What works for one may not necessarily work for another but I believe everyone has the right to choose. We are allowed opinions but we shouldn't criticise. Do whatever you feel is right, it is Autism but it is YOUR Autism so treat it and live with how you feel is right.
I'll keep you posted how it all goes. At the moment it doesn't taste very good this oil but I'm seeking a flavoured one or just leaving it to one side as I'm not sure I can justify £15 for a 10ml bottle. That roughly gives you 240 drops but when you are giving 3-4 drops three times a day well it may go down quick. I suppose if it helps though you find a way to buy it.
Do let me know if you have any experience of CBD oil or anything else you have tried. I would be interested to know. For now though take care of yourselves and I will be back again tomorrow for Pass the Remote.
This is how my son and I take our walks.....he walks a few yards in front of me. I thought it was because he's just got longer legs and younger, a bit fitter than me but I've got quite a good stride on me when I'm walking so I could out walk him any day.
It's because he really doesn't want to make conversation sometimes. He chats to himself with his quotes from films and tv and is happy. He will stop now and again and point something out or tell me something which he feels I need to know but this is how we walk.
I love it.....to anyone else it may seem strange as if I'm not interacting with my own son but I know I am. I know that this is the way Autism is and it's ok. There are times when I like to be by myself too so I totally get this. You may say well why don't we just go out and walk by ourselves, why bother going out together. I know that although we are not physically walking side by side, we are together. It's an understanding about personal space, and social interaction.
You see everyone else may go out, walk together and talk together but sometimes it's ok to go out and not talk to each other or not interact with each other. I feel together, I love him being there and I would never go without him unless he told me he didn't fancy a walk.
This is Autism! This is how life is and I love our life. yes it's bloody hard sometimes and there are days I don't like Autism but I love this boy. This boy has become a man with Autism and is soon to become an adult with Autism and we will still walk and I may still be a few steps behind but he will always be there.......leading the way.......OUR WAY.
Thanks for reading today.......please come back tomorrow for Pass the Remote but for now........
Every Saturday will be about Autism, family and life.