Friday, January 17, 2014

Early Signs of ASD

I just watched this video, shared by some wonderful ASD mums that I feel blessed to know.

This video is brilliant, it shows signs of ASD in children as young as 14 months old, and it brings back painful memories.  I can see all the signs now, when Hads was a bub.  They were right there from the start, only we did not even know about ASD and we certainly did not know what Aspergers' was.

I wish I had known more when he was younger.  I wish the staff at his Kindy knew more, I wish we could have helped him cope with things sooner.  I wish teachers and early educators were trained more to recognise and help children on the Spectrum.  I remember being told, that Hadley had "tantrums" at Kindy, so he was punished.  He was actually having meltdowns from anxiety, but we did not know this.

I guess most of all, this video makes me feel sad.  I don't know why it does, but it does.  I guess to me it just highlights the differences.  This sadness is my own making, my son is happy with who he is.  Perhaps it reminds me of the struggles, of his younger days which should have been filled with more laughter and happiness.

I am so glad though, that now at the age of almost 9, his days are filled with joy, with happiness, laughter and enjoyment of life.  I feel so blessed to be able to give him the most happiest childhood he can have.  Homeschool have been a life saver for us!  We have the happy boy he should have always been, his smile tells me all I need to know.

Early Signs of ASD in Childhood 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Society needs the cure!

I saw this on Facebook tonight.  This is exactly how I feel.  
My son doesn't need "curing" he does not have a disease or a disability, he is perfect the say he is.
It is the people who show no compassion, no understanding, no tolerance for those who are different that need the curing.  

I do not know who Josh is, but thank you Josh, I could never have said it better.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

I love you just the way you are.......

I read a very sad update on a Facebook page today.  A Facebook page that is followed by over 2000 people, one that was set up by a mother of 3 children on the Spectrum.

The update was.............Miss 7 did fabulously at her mainstream birthday party yesterday! She looked and acted just like all the other girls........

I see so many parents only celebrate when their ASD child acts NT!  This has to stop!  Can you imagine what her daughter would feel, if she sat back and read that in a few years?  Her mother was happy because she ACTED LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.  Shouldn't you just be happy that your child coped with a noisy day, and had a lovely time.  Why is is better because she hid who she really was.

If parents don't start to celebrate the uniqueness and the loveliness of their child, just the way the way they are, what hope do we have in getting the rest of the work to accept our children?

Don't ever forget to say to you child, each and every day.......I love you just the way you are.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Big Move

As many of you know, we have taken some time away from Australia to fulfil our dream of living in New Zealand.

So far so good, we have reached one month of being away from home and Hadley has had a wonderful time - he is positively thriving in fact.  He has connected well with 2 boys so far and being the social little man he is,  I have managed to keep that side of things rolling.  One of his new friends is not only on the Spectrum but is home-schooled, double score!  We will be joining the homeschool community group here soon and then attend excursions and connect with more families and children that way.

What I have found amazing is Hadley's resilience to change.  None of this would have been possible had we not started homeschool.  We basically have no routine whatsoever and he is not fazed by this at all. Some days we do school work, but if the weather is fine, we hop in the car and go off on an adventure.  We have no routines at home time either, things change daily, but he copes just fine.  There is no anxiety, there is no stress at all.

Of course Hadley reads as much as ever.  His book shelf is quickly filling fast!  He has many books on New Zealand so is quickly becoming an expert in that area too.  He knows the names of most birds now by sight and can tell you all about them.  He finds delight in finding old New Zealand books on animals, shells and birds, hunting through garage sales with his father.

This life suits him.  Lovely fresh air, wonderful views, and new friends.  He is smiling all the time and walks around the house singing often.

He did miss his cat terribly (Felix the comfort cat) but now we have Ruby.  She came home from the SPCA with us.  Ruby is so very tolerant, as Hadley loves to rub his face on her soft fur.

Life is good.............

Friday, May 24, 2013

NDIS and Autism

I personally don't know enough about the NDIS to really make a comment, but unlike most parents with children on the Spectrum, we don't use therapies to help our son.  We don't use any government funding to change/help him.

We read, we listen to other adults on the Spectrum, we teach him respect and have manners and how to cope in life, but we don't change the essence of him. We don't stop him stimming or flapping, these are a part of him, these are his coping techniques, these are his happy signals. We don't force him to look people in the eye (well he pretty much does that anyway).

We are teaching him to keep thoughts in his head, but we still have a long way to go with that.  We are just teaching him to be nice to people and consider their feelings, even if you have a burning desire to say, I don't like you, or I have never seen you before in my life, why are you talking to me?  It is sometimes hard to keep a straight face when he does say exactly what he is thinking.  Tact does get you far in life, even us NTs have to learn that!

Anyway I digress.......I just read this wonderful blog post on the NDIS and wanted to share.....Amazing Adventures.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Our Rescue Kitten!

I just read this beautiful article about a 20 year old on the Spectrum and her Kitten (her rescue kitten) and it reminded me so much of my son and his Kitten (also known as Felix).

I have read somewhere that it is good for children on the Spectrum to have a pet.  We already have pets so I never thought about it too much, til my girls contacted me while we were away in Malaysia last year.  They said, cats are only $20 at the RSPCA, can we buy Hadley one?  I know he likes Manx Cats so said, of course, but only if it is a Manx (thinking I would be pretty safe).  Well yes, there was a Manx!  A male Manx that was aged around 2 years old!

We came home to a very shy, quiet cat, who was quite small.  Hadley fell instantly in love.  It was his responsibility to name him, feed him and love him.  Felix soon made himself right at home.  He loves tummy rubs and to be near you all day.  He is very vocal and Hadley knows exactly that he is saying.  Felix was not 2 however, he was still a kitten, he has grown much bigger now, is more vocal, and rules the roost in this house!

Hadley likes to call him Kitten.  He likes to say "I love my Kitten" a lot!  He loves to pat him when he is feeling anxious, and loves to rub his face in his soft fur.  Hadley has always loved the feeling of soft, furry things!  He also just loves him.  He feeds him and cares for him.  He takes responsibility for him and thinks about what he needs.

Hadley has also started thinking about others much more since he has had his Kitten.  He will ask us how our day has been, or if we would like a drink of water.  He has also started taking more  responsibility for himself, and being more independent.   Most of all though, Felix has become  Hadley's best friend and offers him love and comfort and the favour is generously returned.