Mummy's Alphabet Soup

ASD, ADHD, SALT, SENCO, CAMHS – it's all mixed up into alphabet soup here!


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Thought of the Day – Entitlement

A few days ago I posted about the shooting in Santa Barbara and how shocked I was at the sense of entitlement the perpetrator had. Then today I realised how we are bringing up a generation of kids in the exact same manner and that adults with these beliefs are just going to grow in number.

Today I was in a car park and there were a couple of lad crossing the car park, about 10 or 12 years old.  They walked across the car park oblivious of me driving towards them.  I tried to steer round them but they just walked straight into my path.  Fortunately (?) I missed them but as I grazed their toes (I’m kidding!) they yelled at me “just run us over then”.  I was actually nowhere near running them over and replied to the effect that they should watch where they were going.  They replied with three and four letter answers in the region of “f*** off” and “d*** w*d”.  I replied with a couple of choice similar length words: “car park”.

What shocked me more than anything was not at being sworn at by a couple of kids, but the fact that I was unsurprised and in fact expecting to be sworn at by a couple of kids.  These two boys believed it was their right to walk across a car park without checking for cars.  That it was the drivers’ responsibility to stop and let them go.  And this is by no means an unusual occurrence.  I live on an estate where the kids think it is their right to wander down the middle of the road on their bikes, and if they dash across the back of your car when reversing, if you were to run them over then it is your fault, despite the fact that you couldn’t even see them.  These same kids think that if there’s something in my garden or car that they want, then it’s their right to take it.

Where do these kids get this belief from?  That they are entitled to their right of way and even to swear at complete strangers?  It can only be from their parents? As a child I was taught responsibility – as a pedestrian, check for cars.  And if I had ever had a go at an adult, let alone sworn at one, I think I would have been on bread and water for a week!  But that is not what we are teaching our kids anymore.

So what will be the result of us teaching our kids that they are ‘entitled’?  More deaths and manifestos like the one in Santa Barbara. So which way are you going to teach your children to be? Entitled or respectful?

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I Wish She Was More Autistic

That might seem like a strange thing to say: I wish she was more autistic.  But let me explain.

I was at a cafe today and sat at another table were a couple, grandparents I think, with a boy of about 7 or 8, who was being spoon fed and sat and clapped before every sip of his drink.  The boy was obviously autistic and from where I was sitting the only looks they were getting were compassionate.

Now let’s put Tulip in the same situation.  She’s talking loudly, she’s climbing under or over the tables, she’s stealing food off everyone else’s plates and she’s got her fingers up her nose.  What kind of looks do you think we get?  Disapproving stares, that’s what.

Sometimes the things we have to deal with, with Tulip, just look like naughtiness.  And sometimes I forget that she’s not being naughty, but it’s her ASD.  When she’s stealing food, bullying her brother and sister, tormenting the cat, did I mention the fingers up the nose, hands in her pants, yelling really loudly, clambering everywhere and touching everything it doesn’t ‘look’ autistic.  It looks naughty.  And some of those behaviours are no doubt linked to her ADHD as well.  But sometimes I wish she presented more autistic traits.  Or that her stims were less socially objectionable.  Nobody minds the child flapping and clapping.  No one can stand the kid with her fingers up her nose, in her mouth, slurp, back to her nose.

When I say I wish she were more autistic what I actually mean is I wish that the way she presented was more obviously autistic and less a badly behaved.  Obviously I don’t wish her to struggle with the world anymore than she already does.  But I feel she would get more sympathy and recognition if her behaviour were more identifiable as autistic traits than it is at present.

I hope that makes sense.  It’s just one of the disadvantages of having a high functioning autistic child.  I daresay a mother with a child who is non verbal and incontinent would rather their child have the abilities mine has.  But we all fight individual battles in this war that is Autism.  And we all have to cope in our own way and have sore spots.  One of my ways of coping is to express it here.  Writing it out helps me make sense of my thoughts and feelings.


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They’re Not All the Same

It’s scary to watch how quickly people will feel the need to be defensive.

What do I mean?  Well after the tragedy in Santa Barbara over the weekend one of the many autism pages I follow posted something along the lines of: Right, beware of backlash folks, it’s been confirmed the shooter had Aspergers.

I don’t come across many people unsympathetic to ASD and it’s issues, but obviously this person has had issues.  Do people really tar our children with the same brush?  That just cos one kid one the spectrum goes on a shooting rampage every kid will?

I will not condone what that kid did.  Never.  From what I’ve read of his ‘manifesto’, his belief in that he was owed adoration and love was scary.  A real sense of entitlement.  But what did tug at my heart was the bullying and insensitivity showed him by his peers as he grew up.  Maybe, just maybe, if his peers had been a little less quick to judge, less quick to call him weird, things may not have got this far.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think they are to blame for his actions.  But maybe their attitudes went some way towards his ultimate actions.

As a mother of a child with ASD it is heartbreaking to see them acting ‘different’ to the other children.  To see the invitations dry up, both individually and as a family.  To see people whispering about your child, or staring.  To know that as she gets older it is only going to get worse.  That while she’s oblivious to it now, she won’t be for long.

How can we expect these children to grow up into responsible adults when we exclude them from society from an early age?  How can we expect them to grow up without bitterness and resentment when they are shunned at every turn?  I know a bit what it’s like to be termed the ‘weird’ kid.  To get the sympathy invites.  To know that everyone who you consider your ‘friend’ are out partying and you are the only one not included.  To hear them laughing about how much fun they had and who did what with whom, right in front of your face on Monday morning.  No, I didn’t grow up to be a murderer and I like to think that I am now reasonably balanced but it still hurts.  And to know that that is what my daughter will face is heartbreaking.

So to those of you with NT kids, make a difference.  Invite the ‘freak’ to your kids parties.  Invite the struggling single mother with the ‘weird’ child round to your house.  Teach your kids to lose those terms and see our children as a part of society that isn’t going away but only getting bigger, that needs acceptance and friendship.  Teach your kids to be kind to everyone, to tolerate the child who is spinning in circles in the corner, or the little girl sticking her fingers up her nose and then in her mouth.  Teach them that just because one kid with Aspergers did something horrific, it doesn’t mean every kid on the spectrum will.  Don’t make us autism parents feel the need to be defensive every time something like this hits the news.  And remember that by teaching your children kindness to those who are different, you may very well be saving a life.

 

This post was suggested by a prompt: ‘Break the Silence‘, by The Daily Post blog.


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Stealth Tactics

So I was listening to the Frozen soundtrack the other evening trying to relax myself for bed. Yes, I listen to the Frozen soundtrack and sing along when the kids aren’t around. Well I must have had the music on a bit too loud because the Tulip crept onto the landing to listen. I walked onto the landing to see which child it was and she went running back to her bedroom trying to pretend it wasn’t her! Bless her heart, I wonder when she will realise that sniffing loudly is not in the stealth handbook!


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A Day In the Life

It’s been a day like any other
First one appointment, then another
Rushing about from pillar to post
Pausing to grab a slice of toast

First I must go and learn how to be free
It seems I must make time for me!
‘When?!’ I cry in deep despair
(I wonder what I’d look like with long hair?)

I dash back home to clean the front room,
Wipe the sink, tickle the floor with a broom,
Whiz around and make the bed.
What on earth have you done to it this time Fred?!

It’s nice to have some time alone
Best make use of it – where’s the phone?
It won’t be long before the kids rush in
Making their usual horrendous din!

Tulip’s going swimming, she packs her things
While she jumps around, dances and sing.
I check her bag as she’s ready to go:
An accordion dear? Not really, no!

That’s one out of the way, it reduces the noise.
“Ouch” I yell as I stand on their toys!
“Shhhh, Mum,” they say.  “We’re watching our telly!
And Peppa Pig has only one welly!”