Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Back From Holidays

We spent the week leading up to Christmas away on holidays with most of my original family. I had drafted a couple of long posts to publish before we left, but I wasn't able to get them finalised in time. Although we are home now, 'busy' mode is still in full swing here, and we haven't even settled into our return home yet. Once we do, I will be able to share more about the trip away as well as publishing those other drafted posts. I hope everyone had a beautiful Christmas, and just in case I don't get the chance to blog in before the new year, have a good one :)


Thursday, December 16, 2010

He Has Discovered.....

... light switches!

I was wondering when he would make this discovery. It's not unusual for ASD kids to have a thing for flicking light switches on and off. However, by normal developmental milestones, he should have discovered the light switch several months ago. As with many new things my little man does, I'm not sure if I should be pleased about this or if I should expect some frustration from it. I've already found lights switched on all over the house! Now I know why, hehe!

Can't help laughing, and can't help being happy. It's a new discovery after all :)


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Paper Tree

This year, the Christmas tree never made it out of the garage. I won't go into the reasons why, suffice to say, that I am seriously annoyed about it. I was really hoping that my son would get a little more into it all this year, but we don't even have a decent Christmas tree to work with!! Well... I guess we still have the presents. I hope he gets that part this year. The big girls kept asking when we were going to put the tree up, and to have to tell them finally that it wasn't going to happen was going to break their little hearts. So before I had to tell them, I devised a plan for a substitute.

This is it.

Yup... it's a paper tree. Laugh if you want to! We had a roll of butcher paper from Ikea, not quite wide enough to draw the whole tree on it, so I drew two halves on separate pieces. We painted them, cut them out, then stuck them together. Then drew some baubles and such and coloured those in, and added some glitter glue for a bit more sparkle.

Once the glitter was dry we stuck them on the tree, along with some tinsel and coloured pom-poms - half of which right back off again - and gave the whole lot a good spray with glitter hairspray. Very blingy. We pegged it up where the original would have gone, and tucked in the extra tinsel into the blind slats around it, since we had no blu-tack to stick it anywhere else.

Miss Jane had to glue her bell right next to mummy's one. Too cute :)

The girls had a ball doing this. They kept saying it was the best tree ever. I just smiled. I was happy that they were so happy. Very pleased to see that they had gained a sense of personal achievement and satisfaction from their work in this mini project. But I must admit, I kind of felt sorry for them too.... a paper tree for Christmas? Poor kiddies LOL. Still though, this tree seems to have produced alot more positives than putting up the regular one would have.

There is one more advantage to this paper tree though; when we go away for our holiday next week, we'll be able to take it with us, so they can have a Christmas tree at the resort too. Just unpeg it and roll it up. Voile'!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mini Christmas Tree Cupcakes

For Miss Jane who has her class break up party tomorrow. Terrible pics as usual, and far from perfect anyway, but I'm sure the grade one's won't mind too much!


Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Little Green Caterpillar

No, it's not a caterpillar........ my cute little man does not eat vegetables, unless they are chopped small and mixed in with rice or hidden in a red pasta sauce. Last night I whipped up a quick fried rice dinner for him, since the rest of us were getting pizza - which he does not eat. He ate most of the vegetables in it, but managed to dodge a few peas. While I was busy with the baby miss, he amused himself by lining them all up. Too cute :)

PS. I hope the picture doesn't gross you out! Sorry if it does! LOL


Thursday, December 2, 2010

In Their Shoes

Last night, I went to a rock concert for the first time in my life. It was U2, and it was very good.

The four of us - myself, my hubby, SIL and her man - were all sitting and waiting for the main show to start. As I was taking in the enormity of the place (Etihad Stadium), and pondering the noise that so many thousands of people altogether make, my SIL leans over and says that it was going to get very loud. I smiled and said that was fine, I can handle loud noises. Besides, I am not pregnant and so I don't have to be worrying about any babies being affected. (It was something I used to worry about in movies and such LOL).

Then the concert actually began.

You are going to think me a terrible wuss for what I'm about to say.....

The lights went out to emphasis the stage lighting and the sound effects began. The bass vibes and rhythms were fantastic, but all I could concentrate on, was the feeling of my whole body being assaulted by those bass vibrations. It went through me in waves, making my heart - all my insides - tremble. I didn't like it one bit. I honestly thought my heart was going to stop. Suddenly, everything seemed too much. The darkness, contrasting lights, people everywhere - all this was full on, but I could cope with it until the sound turned up. On the verge of a panic attack, I turned and buried my face into my husbands arm... still terrified that my heart was literally going to stop. The concert had just started, and I couldn't wait for it to be over. More than once through those first few songs, I debated whether or not to actually leave the building....it was that much for me. Nausea settled into me and I felt sick to my stomach with fear, and those bass vibrations would not let up. I just want to highlight here, that I became afraid only because of the physical sensations that hit me.... it was not a mental thing as such.

In those short lulls between songs, I would find myself taking deep breaths. I didn't realise I had been holding my breath and tensing up so hard when the music was playing. Nevertheless, taking a mental hold of myself, I made a firm decision to ignore how I was physically feeling, and told myself that if thousands of people here can go through this and not drop dead, then I could too. Eventually, I became accustomed enough to the bass waves to relax a little and enjoy the concert a lot more.

It occurred to me that this could be how ASD kids might feel in situations that are overwhelming to them. I feel lucky that my little man doesn't seem to be particularly bothered by loud noises and busy environments. He loves trips to the shopping centre - all the colours and lights, sights and smells - he loves going into the big auditorium at church - loud music (not as bad as the concert though!), darkened room, stage lighting and church news presentations. But I imagined that other autistics who do have such sensitivities might feel the way I did when the concert first began. I am already mindful about anything that may put my son into sensory overload, but this concert experience has opened my understanding in a deeper way. If it was that much of a shock for me - an adult able to regulate myself and adapt to my environment, I can totally understand why it is so scary for them.