Thursday, March 31, 2011

One Week Later

Ok, it has been one week since I started toilet training the little man. This was to be the day I made a decision to either continue or give it up for a while.

I have decided to continue. At least for another week.

You see, today, I had a meeting at the kinder with the main room carer, my son's aide and my EI worker. The aide had something to show me. It was a photo of my boy ... sitting on the toilet!! He even had a smile on his face!! That woman is AMAZING... I LOVE her! We are SO lucky to have her! She talked about the steps she was taking with his toilet training - and this is the first day she has had the opportunity to do this mind you! - and showed me the photos. Both the carer and the aide confirmed that he is doing very well in the room in general, and mentioned that whether or not I chose to continue with the toilet training at home, they would be more than happy to continue toilet training there, because of the positive signs they saw today. Can't get better support that that, honestly!

My reply was that the way they had taken on the task of toilet training him really made me feel supported in what I am trying to do - like I am part of a team, rather than trying to do this alone. It is the encouragement I need to continue with toilet training at home also. And hence my decision.

My EI worker also mentioned that if, at any time, I felt like it was all too much and I couldn't keep it up, it would be perfectly fine to ease off with the training at home and allow them to continue. This is a relief to know. Although I suspect the best possible scenario would be for toilet training to be consistent in both areas.

So there it is. I will continue with it, and reassess the situation weekly. I still don't know if we will be successful this time around, but I guess my hopes are lifted after that meeting. And if not, that's fine. We shall come back to it another time.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Special Needs Mum

This morning as I was dropping my son off to kinder, I stopped in to chat with his aide about toilet training. She wasn't in the room at the time because she didn't actually start with my son for another 1/2 an hour. So the main carer who was in there asked one of the other carers to call for the aide, because the special needs mum wants to talk to her....

This didn't offend me in the slightest. It was however, like a cold bucket of water in the face.

I am a special needs mum.

I guess I am still coming to terms with it.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Turds, Wonderful Turds!

I hope you could sense the sarcasm in that. I am so emotionally drained right now. Actually, I am also a little embarrassed telling you just how badly I am coping, but I promised myself I would share this journey, so you are going to get it all.

I am drained. Dealing with Erik is really taxing at times. Naturally, I expected some stress with toilet training, I just didn't expect to be feeling this drained though. It's not so much a physical thing, although there obviously is alot of physical effort involved with toilet training. But it's more an emotional or mental thing. Having to deal with his anxieties and reluctance to change is just taking it out of me. You need so much patience, so much self control.... and to practice that takes mental energy. Alot of mental energy.

In the last post I mentioned how things had deteriorated. Well, I still haven't heard back from the people I emailed, so I'm just kind of winging it right now. I did receive a phone call today from someone in early intervention/teaching regarding a totally separate issue, and was able to speak to her about it briefly. She did say that it would be ideal to give it a good week at least. Despite my emotional position, I am really loathe to give up so early, so I was pleased to hear that from her. In light of that, I am giving us till Thursday afternoon - 1 week in total from start to finish - to see how this goes before I make a decision.

Here is what I am doing in the meantime.....

He has gone from sitting on the toilet for a few seconds, to dropping to the floor or sitting on my lap when in the toilet. He refuses to sit and does protest when I try to take him.... currently, I must carry him to the toilet. He doesn't resist too much when I carry him, but I can tell he doesn't like going. So, I won't make him sit on the toilet anymore. If he can only cope with sitting on my lap or the floor, so be it. That's fine. We will do that. We will return to just being in the toilet for now. He is rewarded after we spend some time in there, and allowed to go on his merry way.

I found that he would withhold whenever I let him go around with a bare bum. This is not good. So I am going to keep him in either a pull-up, or jocks. When he makes an accident, I take him to the toilet and clean him up in there. We then spend a bit of time just being in there, and then out again. No reward this time.

He really hates being cleaned up after poo's. I am not sure what to do about this. Obviously I have to clean him, I can't just leave him feral and dirty. At the moment, I am trying to be as gentle and kind as possible, but I still won't reward him for being in the toilet if he is there to clean up a poo. Just lots of hugs and encouragement.

I am hoping that by Thursday, he will again be willing to sit on the toilet for a little while. If so, then I will continue with the toilet training by working on his 'sitting' skills. Hopefully, we can progress back to that point, and then onto sitting long enough to catch something. We were on the way to this point before, but that first poo really set things back. He hated it. Unfortunately, we will encounter more of those - that's the whole point isn't it? And I am really not sure how to handle that.

Can't wait for those return emails. /sigh


PS. Sorry about the no-photo again, but I'm not sure what to take a picture of! Am I allowed to post one of him in his jocks or will the child protection people arrest me? :S
No wee's. No poo's. No more sitting on the toilet. Lots of 'accidents'.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Toilet Training Progress

Ok. Things have gone from reasonably good, to bad.

The first afternoon was mostly just to get him accustomed to not wearing a nappy, and visiting the toilet - whether he sits on it or not. He loved, loved, LOVED the posters on the wall. Looking around and smiling at them, even vaguely pointing to some. Hissing and making his usual sounds at them. Not interested in the books in the slightest, and ... did he just step over that mat? ... I thought he liked textures under his feet? Oh well. Didn't distress him, so we'll leave it there. It's good for my knees anyway (kneeling on tiles is not fun).

He didn't really like wearing his new jocks - the ones that look like proper little boys' underwear. He whined and picked at them and wanted them off. But I encouraged him to keep them on, and then left him be. He settled after a while. After about 5 minutes wearing them, he wee'd. That seemed to shock him a bit and he'd look down wondering what had happened. Of course I grabbed the opportunity to take him to the toilet and begin my spiel about how wee's go in the toilet, etc etc. Cleaned him up, and put some fresh jocks on. This time, I put the toilet training underwear on him. They are like normal underwear, but with a little more absorbency, and they fit snugly around the legs. He liked those better than the other jocks.

A little while later, another wee incident. Change his jocks again and talk him through again. He is not distressed in any way at this stage. He was just a little ... I don't know... reluctant? Hesitant? Apprehensive maybe? Lets just say, he was not lovin' it. But he was not really upset either.

By this stage, I had been able to sit him on the toilet for a few seconds at a time, with a reward. Those chocolate buttons certainly did sweeten the deal for him, hehe. However, later in the afternoon, he pooped in his jocks. I missed the incident because I was bathing the baby miss at the time. But I think I caught him very soon after he did it. So, I took him to the toilet, removed his soiled jocks and showed him what was in it, threw it into the toilet and tried to sit him on there, all the while gently but excitedly talking him through the process.

Well, wasn't that a mistake. From the time I even began walking him to the toilet, he didn't want to go. It was like he knew what he had done. He wouldn't look at the poo. Recoiled from it and wrinkled up his nose at the smell (dude, it's your turds! I'm the one who is recoiling here LOL). He looked up towards the ceiling and shook his head from side to side all with his eyes shut. He wanted nothing to do with it! I really struggled to get him to sit on the toilet at that particular incident, but we managed it for a few seconds. Then I cleaned him up and showed him how we flush the poo's away. He just looked horrified... he didn't want to see the poo in any way, shape, or form... even if it was being disposed of.

He did another poo later that day, and when I tried the same thing - ie. showing him where the poo goes, etc., his reaction was even worse. Without boring you with more details, now he does not even want to visit the toilet anymore. I have to carry him in there with him quietly whining, and as soon as we get in there, he drops to the ground and won't stand up. He will sit on my lap though. And yesterday, in desperation, I actually sat on the toilet seat with him on my lap (kept my clothes on though LOL), just to try and recover that fear of sitting that he had developed after he progressed so well at the beginning. I didn't even bother taking his pull-up down either. I really didn't want to distress him further.

So all in all, it is not going well. It started off reasonably well, but has taken a turn for the worse. Ever since he saw that poo being thrown into the toilet, he wants nothing to do with it.

I don't really know what to do. To this point, it has only been 3 days, and I really don't want to give up yet. But I don't want to make things worse for later on either. His reaction of disgust and shock might be a sensory thing, but I don't really think it is. Could be wrong though.

I have petitioned a couple of knowledgeables for advice and am waiting on their response. At the moment, we are just in the process of organising an OT for him too, so I have to wait until that's sorted before I can actually ask "my" OT.

I never expected it to be easy, nor necessarily successful this time around. But I would dearly love to have him toilet trained on this attempt. It would be sooo much easier than changing his nappies, and would be such a boost in my own confidence - just a real encouragement on our journey. It might also be nice for the school staff he eventually goes to if he is toilet trained before he starts, although that is still a couple of years away.


At the time this is posted, we are on morning #4 of toilet training. Still haven't 'caught' anything on the toilet yet.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Into The Battle Arena

Ok. It's time. I am about to enter the battle arena, and tackle a great monster called 'Toilet Training'. That's how I feel anyway. It's funny.... I have been confident with just about every aspect of mothering for all my children, except when it comes to toilet training. Normal girls included. I just dread it. I don't know why I am so not confident with this, but that's just how I feel. Anyway, it must be done. I had fairly quick success with the big girls of course, but my little man is going to be a very different story.

At least that is what I have come to believe after hearing stories, advice and anecdotes about toilet training autistic children. I have been told not to even bother toilet training until he is at least 5 years old. Not to worry about it now, as he is not showing signs of readiness. Not to do it yet because he cannot speak and therefore cannot tell me when he needs to go. But, I have also heard that new research suggests that special needs or no, a child should at least begin toilet training by the age of two. Well, we are way past that now. I wish they told me that one when he was younger!

I'm throwing out all the previous advice, and I am going to tackle this now. I agree with the new research....I believe it is past time - he is a big boy. Speech or no speech, we will find a way for him to tell me - we have with other things! If it becomes too stressful and we don't have success now, that's fine. I will drop the matter completely and try again another time.... probably at the end of the year when I toilet train the baby miss. But sooner or later, we shall succeed! (*cue victorious music*)

So! I have come to the arena equipped with my weapons of choice:

First, we have some new jocks! A couple of different types of pull ups for the night time... I'm thinking the blue ones will be best, as they seem more like undies and less like a nappy. Some old toilet training underwear that the girls used years ago, and some lovely new little boys' jocks with some fun designs. Can't say how much I loved buying those ones :). Cute!

Next up, a lovely textured bath mat. My little man loves feeling textures with his feet. Not with his hands. One of his favourite activities is to walk around the backyard barefooted - thistles, dirt, mud, gravel, dry grass, hot bricks, WASP STING!! - none of that bothers him. He loves it. So, texture for his feet. (PS: I have a spare one too, for the inevitable accidents!).

A nice sturdy step support for his cute little feet.

Left wall. Do you know how hard it is to find big posters of kids characters?? Impossible! So I bought three kids magazine, and cut and paste pics of his favourites and stuck them to the walls and door. It'll do :)

Right wall. More posters and characters.

Last, but not least, a bucket of books and toys and stickers in the corner. All his favourite characters. He doesn't usually show interest in books and stickers, but I will try anything! After all, he is sitting in the one spot for this isn't he?

All to create a fun, warm and enticing toilet!! ... at least I hope so, hahahaa!

Lets not forget, my trusty chocolate buttons for rewards - very important!

Well, so far this has turned out to be a rather expensive undertaking. Lets hope it is successful, so I can justify my costs compared to buying nappies.

We start this afternoon, when I pick him up from kinder. Wish me luck!!


For the purposes of recording our progress:
Erik is currently 3 yrs 7 ms of age. He is still non-verbal and still getting the hang of PECs. ....Crazy much? lol...

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Well, it has been a few days past a year since I started this blog. To be honest, I wasn't' sure it would go on this long. I guess I never really thought about it. I just started writing, and here I am. It seems to have evolved into two specific branches: my son, and my cakes. Lately I have been wondering if I ought to split and make two separate blogs for each thing. In light of that, I will post a little survey on the side bar, and I'd greatly appreciate a vote. It only takes a second or two on your part, but might help greatly in my decision. I like to know what my readers think.

Another thing..... several people have asked me in recent weeks if I minded if they read my blog, or shared my blog with a friend. My immediate reaction is usually - Hello?! It's on the world wide web. ANYone can read it! You don't need my permission! LOL. But I don't' usually say that to their faces, hehe.

Just to be clear; YES, you may read my blog. YES, you may share it with a friend - in fact, please do!! YES, you may link to my blog on your facebook or wherever.

I would be lying if I said that I didn't care if people read it or not. I want people to read it. It's vain, I know, but it's true!

There is one stipulation that I ask though: When it comes to my photos, they are mine. They might be crappy, but they're still mine, and I would ask that if you use them, you credit and link appropriately please. This would also apply if you were going to quote me verbatim.

If you really enjoy reading here, you might want to consider becoming a Follower. It's pretty easy to do. There is a button down the left hand side which allows you to do this, and all you gotta do is click it. It will ask if you want to follow publicly - people will be able to see a little icon with your name or nickname on it (yes, it lets you choose!), or you can even choose to follow anonymously, in which case, you won't appear on the side bar, but you will still get updates as I post.

One last thing... I really love comments. True, I don't always get around to responding to them - pretty slack of me and I promise to try harder! But I do love comments. You can even choose to remain anonymous when you leave one if you prefer! My email address is at the side bar as well, so if you want to send a comment or question privately, that's fine too. Here it is again; And just to explain, the 'x' s are not R-rated things - sorry to disappoint you, haha!! - they are actually kisses. Most Lebanese people greet one another with a kiss to each cheek. This is what those x's represent. It's how I grew up, and I think it is a nice way to greet friends.

On that note - happy anniversary! I hope you have a lovely weekend and I shall post more later :)


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pillow Cake

Or cushion cake. Or tiara cake. Whichever :) I promised to make one ages ago, and I finally got around to it!

This was for my sister's 3oth. Citrus mud cake with white chocolate ganache. Very rich! Yummy!

Everything is edible except the flower stamens, jewels on the tiara, and candles :). The tiara was made from chocolate.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Last Night

Was awful. My little man woke up at midnight... just as I was going to bed (I was up waiting for a cake to finish baking LOL). I couldn't get him back to sleep. Basically, he was up most of the night. I tried shutting the door - he'd just open it again.
I tried holding the door handle so he couldn't open it - he'd flick the lights on, which woke his little sister.
I tried holding both the door and covering the light switch - he'd just hang around until I got tired..... the boy has so much more 'stickability' for situations than I do. He gets fixated on something, and you can't move him.
I'd put him back to bed time after time after time repeating "It's time to sleep Erik. Time for goodnight. Goodnight Erik, time to sleep now. Into bed. Goodnight". - He'd just get up again when I was out of the room. When he started laughing as I'd return him to bed each time, I quit that option... he'd somehow decided we were playing a game.
I tried sleeping in the bed with him, and catching him every time he tried to get out - I copped hits to the face, random whacks to the belly and he kept trying to climb over me to get out.

After some time, I gave up. My patience only lasts so long... especially when I am already tired and in desperate need of rest. So before I went nuts at him, I left him to his own devices, put on my sleep mask (because he was going to turn all the lights on), and went back to my own bed. I can never fully sleep while he is up and about, but at least I could rest and remove myself from the situation directly before I collapsed in a puddle of frustrated tears.

Didn't take him long to work out how to remove the tape on the light switch :(

The little one had already fallen back asleep - God bless her. She puts up with so much. Fortunately, he left his own light off and door mostly shut, so she slept through most of the rest of it too.

But left to roam the house..... he turned on all the lights, went around the place doing I don't know what. Fiddling with toys and dvd covers I presume by the sounds. And blowing raspberries. He ended up by my bed, blowing raspberries in my ear and consequently spitting all over me while I tried to rest. He tried half-heartedly to climb onto me a couple of times, but I think he really just wanted me to get out of bed.

I could not be bothered. I was exhausted, frustrated, and out of energy. I ignored him, hoping desperately that he would decide to return to bed when he found nothing else happening. At this point, I think my husband must have woken up and decided to try something. Normally, I try to avoid him being disturbed, since he has to go out to work the next day. But last night, I was way past caring anymore. I was totally spent. Good luck, I thought as he carried the boy off to his room.

My husband is fair bit taller than me. He took the light bulb out of the socket, put our protesting boy to bed, and shut the door. Then I think he held it firmly closed while our little man screamed and cried his intense displeasure. I'm pretty sure he wanted me to put him back. Daddy is just wrong, mummy is supposed to do this. I heard the light switch flick on and off several times, and thought He must be going mental in there - I didn't know at that stage that my man had taken out the light bulb, I only discovered this in the morning. Again, my thoughts turned to my baby miss who now shares the room with her big brother... I felt so sorry for her. I could hear her sweetly babbling in the background of it all. He had woken her up again.

Amazingly, after a few minutes - or so it seemed - the carrying on and crying seemed to die down. I heard my husband walk back down the hallway and get into bed. The boy didn't get up after that... but it was already 3:30am... or something like that. After the whole fiasco, I was wired and awake. Trying to get back to sleep was difficult, but I guess I did in the end. Dragged my butt out of bed at 20 past 7 this morning, wondering how on earth I would get through today. I have so much to get done, and I really don't function well on poor sleep. It's one of the reasons I sleep trained all of my children early on, even my little man - best thing for the whole family. Obviously, autism throws a few things askew.

I know many normal kids wake up at this age (3 1/2) - my daughters did. But they wake for things like, bad dreams, want a drink, want mummy, etc. You can reason with them, attend to their needs, and generally know that they understand you. With my son, it doesn't work that way. I have no clue if he has bad dreams or not. He couldn't tell me he wanted a drink if he was dying of thirst, and I highly doubt he would fall asleep in our bed - he didn't when I slept in his bed with him.

I am going to cruise the parenting forums for some tips and see what other parents have done in these situations. Hopefully, we can come up with a way to 'train' him to stay in bed until morning, even if he wakes during the night.

Soooooo tired.... :(


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Blue & White Christening Cake

Shocking photos, I know, but they were taken at night when the light is really bad - and I'm just a terrible photographer LOL.

Top cake was chocolate with rich chocolate ganache filling, cupcakes were vanilla velvet with vanilla buttercream frosting.

Align Center

I'm not a huge fan of the design of this cake - it's a little too traditional for me :P. But it turned out well enough, and the colours are effective together.

PS. I know I need to work on my piping skills - don't laugh!! LOL (Ok, you can... I am!)


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Retrospect: Part 1 - Unexpected News.

Burned into my memory forever... a day I will never forget as long as I live...

The day dawned bright and warm with a sweet cool breeze on the day I took my son to his routine 18 month MCH check. I felt a bit guilty because it was actually several weeks too late.... he was already 20.5 months old. Oh well, better late than never - right? Once inside the office, we started going through the regular stuff.... only this time, it wasn't so regular. My answers to her questions were not "Oh yes, he is doing that"; they were more like "Um... I don't really know". At first, she didn't show too much concern. Just quiet nods and a gentle "ok" was the nurse's response. I started to feel a bit embarrassed about my answers. I couldn't definitively say yes to anything, really. I felt stupid, or worse - neglectful - like I didn't know my own son....

"Does he look at you when you call him?"

"Well, no, not really. But I think that's because he doesn't know his name yet".

"Oh! Doesn't he recognise his name?"

"Um, I'm not sure. But we call him 'Mr Man' all the time anyway... maybe that's why."

"Oh, ok! Does he respond to that then?"

*Pause; Think*. ", not really"

"Ok. ... And how many words do you think he says?"

"Oh, he says maybe.... um....3 or 4 I think?"

"No more than that? Ok, that's ok. What are they?"

"Um... come to think of it, I can't recall what they are specifically now". *Chuckle; Pause; Think*. "Now that you mention it, I can't really think of any. - Oh, he said 'Leila' the other day! We were all at the dinner table, and I was calling out the girls' names to try and get him to learn them. And he said 'Laay-lahh' just the same as we said it"

"Oh, ok good! And has he said it much after that?"

"Well, no, he hasn't said it at all since then."

"Oh, ok. And you can't think of any other words he says? Anything at all? Even sounds for things? Maybe 'ba' for ball or something?"

"No. Ohh... he says 'this' and 'that'. He says them alot!"

"...'This' and 'that'....", she writes in her notes.

"Yeah, it's cute. He goes 'dsss dsss' 'dsss datt'". I am feeling a bit better now. She looks up at me....

"Good! And does he say them when he points at things? ... Or when you point at things?"

" He just sort of says it as he walks around. He never looks when I point actually." Embarrassed again.

"Oh. Ok."

Basically, she became more and more surprised at his lack of development. At that age, he should have been saying around 5 words. If no words, then he should have been understanding simple commands at least, like 'get your shoes' etc. But he didn't. He wasn't pointing or using gestures. He didn't look when I pointed at something to show him. He wasn't climbing up and down chairs or the couch. He wasn't taking his own shoes and socks off. Wasn't using a spoon, and was only using a sippy cup. Didn't point to his eyes, nose, etc. Could not scribble - wouldn't even hold a crayon. Turned pages in a book, but would not point at pictures or listen to a story.

In fact, all he would usually do, was walk around. Just walk around. He hardly played with his toys, and when he did, it was the same ones and he wasn't rowdy. He preferred to do a simple puzzle or sort shapes. He never played with his trucks and cars. He had a little train that he adored though. It popped balls out around it's top and drove around with music. He would pop balls into it and watch them come back out for ages. He never pretended to make me a cup of tea, eat food, or talk on the phone. I argued that he hadn't really watched me do those things, so maybe that's why he didn't learn? His eye contact was there, but it was fleeting. He didn't really respond to his name. The list went on.

I began to feel as though I had neglected my son very badly. Why hadn't I taken the time to teach him this stuff?

At the time, it never occurred to me that I didn't exactly sit down and 'teach' this stuff to my daughters.... they just did it. They simply learned by watching and imitating me. This was confirmed to me just the other day when we found the Baby Miss (16 months now) shuffling around on her bottom and babbling into a toy phone. Out of all my children, I have spent the least amount of time with her, and I certainly never sat down to specifically show her what I do when I use the telephone. She just watched and noticed and learned. My son, on the other hand, didn't even pay attention.

We moved on to the physical checks.... height - in the 90th percentile; weight - also in the 90th percentile; head circumference - completely off the charts! He was a big boy for his age. He was going to be tall and solid, like his papa... I was so proud. He was upset for the whole thing, and when we came to weigh him, we couldn't keep him on the scales, he was that upset. I sang a song from one of his favourite dvd's to distract him. The nurse thought that was clever. The dental check was fine, but he dribbled alot... and I mean alot. So much so, that I still had to keep a bib on him all the time. Must be a boy thing, I thought.

We came back to the desk to chat. Very gently, the nurse told me that my son was not meeting enough milestones, and it was a matter of concern. She said that there were early signs of autism, and that he would have to be closely monitored. She showed me the autism/developmental delay checklist given to all nurses and pointed out all the places where he was meeting the criteria. She strongly suggested I see a paediatrician. She told me it was entirely up to me, but that it would be good, even if just to rule out autism or anything else. All the while, I smiled and nodded. I was completely unconcerned. I thought: This lady is a bit paranoid I think. Every child is different and develops at different rates. Surely he is just being a boy - he's different to the girls. I was completely unruffled, but I like to be informed and I like to know stuff. So I agreed to a referral for a paedie check.

I went home thinking I had interesting news for my husband. I hoped he would not freak out. I was still unconcerned, but thoughtful now. Very thoughtful. I kept thinking about that checklist. All afternoon, I would glance at my son, and wonder... shake my head... go back to what I was doing... glance at him again.

I didn't realise at the time, but something changed that afternoon. I began to look at my son differently, I could not help it. This was a pivotal point in my journey.

With everything he did, I wondered; Is this normal toddler behaviour, or an autistic thing? When my husband came home that night, my SIL also came over for a quick visit. I broke the news to them very offhandedly ... I think on the surface, I still wasn't too concerned, although my mood had settled into a deep and quiet melancholy. After all the children were in bed that night, the three of us were in the lounge room just talking. My hubby and his sister began talking about what the nurse had said. My SIL worked in an autism specific school, and had been there for quite some time before our little man was even born. Coincidence? Providence? I don't know. They discussed my son's symptoms and compared him with other autistic children. It was just a discussion, something to be fully expected when information like this is presented to you about your child. Discussion happens, and must happen if we are to remain in a healthy emotional state.

I sat quietly, listening, but not participating. Inside, my emotions began to roil. I became angry, very angry at what they were saying. They were discussing this as if the boy had already been diagnosed. I was livid. I sat quietly, trying to control my ire. All I wanted to do was slap them both and tell them to shut up. Just shut up! Don't you realise this is my son you are talking about? You're talking like he has autism for sure, but we don't know anything yet!! I was so mad, I felt sick. Fortunately, sensibility dominated my anger, and I didn't say anything. They weren't actually doing anything wrong, it was just the thoughts of the day all beginning to settle in for me. I'd had all day to ponder this, while they had only just been informed. I excused myself and went to my room.

I cried myself to sleep that night. I wept and wept and wept. I felt sick inside. I could not sleep properly all night. Every time I woke up, I would think about it and feel sick. Several times, I went into my sons room, just to stare at him while he slept, weeping, and praying. Please God, please.... this can't be happening. She has to be wrong.... she has to be!

Looking back on that day, I can see how the idea that something was wrong with my son took a bit of time to sink in, but when it did, my perspective of him changed forever. I was grieving. It was horrible not knowing, and just wondering all the time - is this a normal thing or is it an autistic thing? It was traumatic, the way I would swing from; No, he can't have it - look what he's doing? Autistic kids don't do that, do they? to; He's got it for sure... oh dear God, he's got it for sure. It was grief, and the thing that broke my heart the most, was that no matter the outcome, I will never be able to look at my son the same way again. Oh, he was still my son - and he always would be no matter what. But he was no longer the son I thought he was. I lost something that day.... the innocent expectation of a normal life for him, and for us. It was most definitely grief.

I felt gutted, shattered, lost, confused, vulnerable, afraid, angry, depressed. I was a mess.

The next day, my son decided to climb up and sit on the couch. He did this right in front of me. I was over the moon. No! He's fine! He just doesn't do things until he's sure he can do it, then he just up and does it! The nurse rang me that day to see how I was doing and to let me know she had sent a referral off for a paedie appointment. It would be four months before I could get in to see her. I told her about the couch incident, and she was pleased. "Good!", she said, "lets hope he picks up a crayon and starts drawing next!" He didn't.

The next four months were among the most traumatic of my life. Waiting was torture. But I put away my impatience, and resolved to spend more time with my son to build those skills into him that I had obviously failed to do before.

I still cried. Alot. In private. My husband didn't seem perturbed, so I didn't want to burden him with my emotional breakdown. I tried to keep it to myself. In a way, I felt like my life just stood still at that time. But life never does. It went on. And so did I....


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Other Food

Just had to say, little man's aide at childcare today told me that he ate food from there at lunchtime - fish fingers and chips - isn't that awesome! Can't wipe the smile off my face. Normally he will eat only his lunch from home, even though he should technically like some of the food they serve (spag bol, fried rice, etc). I know fish fingers and chips are fairly generic (hang on, is anything generic when you have a fussy autistic kid eating it? LOL), but the fact that he ate other food than the home food is a really big deal! Very happy tonight :)