ASD Boys Seem Younger Than They Are

We’re on holiday at Haven Haggerston Castle. Its perfect for the boys as they have the freedom to (almost) run riot in a safe environment. There’s a swimming pool, amusements and entertainment all on hand. I sometimes wonder if the boys will get too old for this sort of holiday but then all thanks to their ASD brains, it seems unlikely that day will come anytime soon.

This lunchtime there was a puppet show – Punch and Judy – for the kids. The boys have loved those in the past, so we thought we’d go along. There was no fear of them not being interested. As soon as it began they were both enraptured. Daniel was glued, bursting into occasional giggles. Matthew was soon on his feet, his arms flapping for Britain. From Matthew, that’s a sure sign that he’s taking in so much sensory stimuli that his brain needs to shut down for a while to allow for it to catch up and process the signals its receiving.

That aside, once again it struck me how young the boys are. Much younger than they sometimes seem. Matthew is in his 9th year yet he can still be thrilled by a simple puppet show he’s seen over and over at Haven. Daniel too. He seems much older than his years and often displays a mature attitude. As a result, its easy to forget how young he is and it takes days like today to remind us of that.

Its a timely reminder of how innocent they still are and how unready for the big world they still are. ASD children don’t see the world the way we do. We see some kids the same age as our two who are confident and self-assured. They’re able to assess tricky situations and work a way out of them. But I think that our boys are lucky (in a way) that their ASD brains allow them to still see such wonder in simple things. I hope they hold on to that for a while longer. They’re only young once!

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Preparing for hols.

Originally posted on ASD Mummy with issues.:

Tomorrow we head away for our Easter break. We are going to Haggerston Castle again, having been there a couple of times before – It is a Haven holiday park, so there is plenty to do there, but being a smaller site, it isn’t too busy for the boys. Like many things with our ASD boys, you do something once, and it is scary and there is great resistance to doing it, but do something a second time, and it becomes the norm, and therefore what we must do. Haggerston has therefore become what we do at Easter and during the October holidays, although we do also go to Haven in the summer – last year we went to Primrose Valley near Scarborough, and to be honest the site was too big for the boys. Being bigger, it was much busier with far more people, and they therefore struggled…

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This Week In The Archers – Week Ending 11 April 2014

Things are getting back to normal at Brookfield. The scars left by Ruth’s miscarriage are healing rather quickly thanks to David, Jill and Heather’s enforced intervention. Just what would they do without Jill. It seems the void left by Pip’s departure has been neatly filled – with added extras. Jill has gone the extra mile at Brookfield to keep things running smoothly. Its at least meant David and the boys can enjoy beautifully cooked offerings. Plus peanut butter cookies. It hasn’t taken much to persuade David and Ruth that Jill returning permanently is the only way forward. I can’t see Ruth being overly troubled about giving up control of the kitchen! Well, there was only going to be one way of finding out whether or not Jill wants to stay or not. Ruth and David will surely be alarmed at Jill’s thoughts about moving back to Glebe!

Inevitably though, it finally comes to a head at Brookfield, and David is hit with the disastrous news that Jill is packing, preparing to go back home to Glebe. Cue a panicky phone call to Ruth! Its amazing that Jill hasn’t seen it coming really. Ruth’s trying to play the cool game has backfired in a big way. Just come right out with it at tell her. Incredibly it comes as a shock for Jill, but we knew where this was going weeks ago. A result all round! At least now Ruth and David have their Personal Assistant, housemaid, cook etc, etc. Time is moving on for Jill, and the realisation that she misses Phil terribly has finally come to her.

I’d not be too obsessed though if I were Ruth about what to wear at Tom & Kirsty’s wedding. Just hold on a bit until we see if the wedding actually goes ahead. Tom and Kirsty’s lack of enthusiasm might help them decide there’s no point in worrying about the right outfit. There are more than enough obstacles getting in the way. Maybe everything put together is a huge sign? The screw up with the invitations, now the photographer decides he’s got a better offer elsewhere. Doesn’t the fact that the new man is available at short notice worry them? Don’t worry Tom, ploughing ahead with the wedding could well be an even bigger disaster. Its still full steam ahead for Tom & Kirsty. The house is underway and they have their dreams. Its all consuming but there’s still the TB shadow looming over them, currently unseen. Will disaster there leave Tom saddled with debt and a business in pieces?

Over at The Stables, Shula is going all out to convince Dan to abandon his plans to make a difference. She needs to look at the fact that Afghanistan isn’t the only part of the world where the Army is deployed. To me, Shula is showing us a typical Christian attitude. Dan wants to help those who are in no position to help themselves. What real help does Shula give anyone other than being typically judgemental? They should be proud that Dan wants to help others. Will Alistair and Shula really go right behind his back? Do they want to maintain their relationship or cut it off completely? Sadly for Shula, Daniel has been there. It seems there one hope is a false hope. Dan is right, they should be proud but as always, Shula is thinking about Shula. Still, she does give Dan a fair hearing and at last appreciates that he’s committed and has given it some thought.

Tony and Pat are in reflective mood. Tom’s moan that Tony is threatening the future of Bridge Farm really is ridiculous when you consider that it was at Tom’s insistence that they took on a mortgage to secure the future of the farm. With Tony in better mood, will Pat persuade him to involve himself in the May Day festivities? Not likely really, but Helen isn’t holding back. Susan and Clarrie – expert bakers – aren’t good enough for her. Is anything good enough for Helen? Its rather odd that the pagan May Day celebrations involve committed Christians in the village, but its Easter that is still a big focus. The organ at St Stephens is almost back in working order! Well, that’s money well spent. If only the Christian spirit would extend up to Bridge Farm. No family spirit in evidence there!

Alan has his own worries though. Still no Jesus for the Passion Play, and worse than that, there’s donkey trouble! I suspect that Shula has other things on her mind. But the game is back on with the Passion Play will Will surprisingly trying to get Chris onside as Jesus. Let’s just get the squirrel killing out of the way first!

May Day though is getting all sorts involved though. Fallon’s success at organising Sport Relief has really fired her up, and its keeping Jill occupied. Jill really must be Wonder Woman somewhere. She’s not just keeping Brookfield running, keeping May Day ticking along, but she’s also on hand for Shula. Shula isn’t getting what she wants from Jill. Does she honestly think that the Army isn’t really what he wants? Dan is focussed and dedicated. She’s walking a thin line if she goes full-on about opposing Daniel’s plans. It seems that Shula is looking for any support to put a spanner in Dan’s works. Alan is right though, and Shula doesn’t like it. He may well be a pacifist, but Shula doesn’t like the fact that Alan tells her that we’re not here to force our views on others. But somehow Shula manages to blame herself. She’s just a professional martyr. Shula’s forced happiness for Dan at least gave him some level of support. Can’t she be pleased for someone other than herself?

There are other battles to be fought though over at Home Farm, with Brian battling for his position of power at Borcester Land. I’m sure Jennifer does think that Brian has done a great job there but the fact a venture capital firm that buys under-performing companies suggests otherwise. Brian is in no mood for pleasantries though. It looks like the knives are out for Brian though with some of the board members. The New Kid in Town is baffling the board with science and figures but he’s getting the support. Poor old Brian is being done like a kipper. Its looking like he’s going to have plenty of time on his hands fairly soon – but stitched up by his closest partner in crime? What goes around, comes around for Brian. But the question surely remains, who is really behind Demara? Its left Brian feeling all rather got at and feeling his age but his chilling little warning for the future of Ambridge marks interesting times ahead – will anyone believe its out of Brian’s hands?

Love me, love my cheese for Helen but Rob doesn’t seem overly interested in Kirsty’s problems. Rob didn’t seem to keen to go into any discussion about their own wedding. Anything that involves others with Helen just isn’t what Rob would find welcome. His labour are starting to bear fruit though. Helen not picking up a call from Ian? When would she have ignored time with Ian? He’s playing the long game and its working. That’s going well but seeing Kirsty being there for Helen doesn’t go down well. It didn’t occur to Helen to ask permission to have a friend round. At least Rob was partially honest. He is selfish, and he does want Helen all to himself. Or rather, he wants Helen to have no one else but himself. She’s not the only Archer feeling jealous though. Jolene is going to any lengths to wind up Kenton. Is she so free with the flirting and wind ups thanks to the silent Calum being gay? How much longer will she be carrying on with it?

For a change, we’re not ending up the week at Brookfield. Shula is naturally concerned but Dan knows his own mind. Shula won’t like being reminded of Mark’s death, but the world can be a dangerous place right outside your front door.

Week Ending 4 April 2014

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Lunch Playdate.

Originally posted on ASD Mummy with issues.:

M is growing in confidence. There is no denying he is at last beginning to feel more confident with some people. Now, I’m not saying he’s able to hold a conversation with somebody he doesn’t know, but he can now make occasional eye contact with people he sees me with on a regular basis – I am talking about the Mums, and Grandmas we see at the school. There are a chosen few, that I talk to regularly that he is at last coming out of his shell with, and it is beautiful to see. One in particular, he has been happy enough to walk home with, and even stop into her house. It is a major leap forward in his development. One that being honest we were wondering if would ever happen!

A few weeks ago, the Mum of one of D’s friends suggested her son and his chums…

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Matthew’s Trip to the Vet!

In our house we have a number of pets. The more exotic of those (no
disrespect to the boys’ fish) is our 3 turtles. This week though Jane
noticed that one of them had swelling around the eyes, and had them closed
all the time. There was no getting away from it, it was time to head to the
vet. Fortunately there’s a vet’s surgery in Portlethen, so it was on the
phone to get an appointment. Despite phoning at 4pm or so, they had a free
appointment at 420pm that afternoon. So it was a bit of a rush to get a box
for the poorly little guy and to get out. As Matthew was dressed, Jane
asked him if he’d like to come with me. He was given a big job – to look
after the turtle in the box and make sure he was safe.

Now, Matthew loves to help us around the house. He takes the responsibility
of getting a job very seriously (when he gets his head round the need to do
the job in the first place!) and was holding the box very tightly indeed
when we went over to the car. In went the turtle, then Matthew sorted
himself out, then took possession of the box again. There was a little
squeal from Matthew just after we set off. The adventurous little green
thing had escaped from the box! But Matthew managed capture him again, and
we were off. Matthew gave me a running commentary of the turtle’s antics,
and that he was keeping a hand on his shell to stop him from escaping.

I was slightly reluctant to take Matthew along initially. What if the worst
had come to the worst, and the turtle was really ill and there was nothing
they could do? How would Matthew react if the little guy had to be put
down? Ultimately we decided to take that risk, as after all, dying is just
part of life. Fortunately it didn’t come to that, and Matthew was
fascinated by the consultation with the vet. She wiped his eyes with a
cotton bud and was finding it difficult to get his 3rd eyelids to open,
although he occasionally did open them voluntarily. The conclusion was
that he was suffering from a vitamin A deficiency. He was given an
anti-biotic ointment for putting on/in the eyes, and the vet has ordered a
vitamin A supplement, which will need to be injected. I’m hoping that needs
to be done at the surgery!

What has really involved Matthew though is that there are a lot of things
we can feed them, other than their usual diet of dried shrimps. It was
surprising to hear that it would be a good idea to feed them boiled eggs
and cheese – to get calcium into them. Matthew couldn’t wait for me to get
a pan of water on so we could hard boil an egg! Its another responsibility
he’ll take very seriously. In the meantime, we’ll keep applying the
ointment, and will wait for the surgery to get in touch about the jabs.

Taking Matthew to the vet’s with his turtle was a risk, but one worth
taking. He’s seen his pet being treated, and helped. It has also meant that
he can be involved in helping get the little green one better. If anything
can help teach him a bit of responsibility, then its got to be worth it.

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The Lego Movie Video Game is Awesome.

Originally posted on ASD Mummy with issues.:

A few weeks back, the boys were lucky enough to have been awarded a grant from the Family Fund -, for a games machine. I do feel guilty getting help with buying things for the children, and sometimes feel they have too much for children of their age – both boys have their own tablet computers thanks to Family Fund, and it has help both off them with their fine motor skills and their hand/ eye coordination, but when you hear of their peers parents complaining their kids want I-pads and the likes, it makes you realise how blessed you are that someone has helped give my boys something that not only helps their personal development but also their educational as they feel so comfortable using technology – I have lost count of the times I have asked for help from one or other of them when I get stuck!!!

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This Week in The Archers – Week Ending 4 April 2014

Yet another week starts at Brookfield, and its a sad start to the week with Saint Jill being hard at work to make sure that Ruth was getting her rest after the tragedy of losing her baby on the Friday. It brought back a lot of sad memories for your correspondent after my OH had lost a baby, coincidently on a Friday, back in 2004. But its a tough time at Brookfield, and naturally David is blaming himself. “Things just happen for a reason” isn’t much comfort at all. But Ruth’s baby news soon gets around, but its not the news Ruth was looking on passing on. Ruth tried to be philosophical about it all. No difference from when she had no idea she was pregnant Ruth says, but the loss of hope and a possibility is a grievous wound. David can’t sit back and let Ruth get through it herself and does take a bit of a risk by getting Heather on the scene. Every girl needs her mum David? David manages to keep the surprise and it seems that its just what Ruth needed. Heather points out what a grievous loss a miscarriage is. There’s sage advice all round from the Archer matriarchs. How can Ruth possibly go wrong?

Heather has Jill on her mind too. She knows Ruth needs Jill around, and goes about persuading her that maybe a return to Glebe with all the loneliness it brings maybe isn’t exactly what she needs just now. The idea is there in Jill’s mind now, but incredibly a permanent return to Brookfield is late in coming to David and Ruth. Its the perfect solution. Will Jill go for it? You know she will.

Its happier times for the latest Archer to be. Kirsty is full of wedding plans, but is the image of her happy life with the Sausage King showing signs of unravelling. Kirsty is ploughing ahead, but with Tom full of worry over the possibility of TB in his pigs, could his empire come crashing to the ground leaving Tom with absolutely nothing except huge debt from paying for Kirsty’s dream wedding? Surely even Peggy’s cheque book might be put away. Will Tom plan for the worst by postponing their wedding? To be honest, the wedding storyline seems to be on the verge of exploding at anytime. Neither Kirsty or Tom seems overly excited really. Brenda’s reappearance has reminded Tom too sharply of what he has lost. At least Tom managed to help out Kenton in yet another tiff between him and Jolene. But that was just the start of the mystery over Kenton’s impromptu trip to Wales. The mishaps don’t end there though. There’s a problem with Tom & Kirsty’s wedding invitations. Is it an omen for the wedding that should never happen?

Solving the mystery fires Kenton up, and the discovery that Rob was behind his trip to Wales fires his imagination. At least someone did at least spot that Rob’s spiking of the drinks was incredibly dangerous. He didn’t know Kenton too well though, did he? The “Lord of Mis-rule” was never going to let that one past, but his April Fool on a furious Rob landed him in hotter water than he’d planned. Rob calls the police, but what a coincidence that its PC Burns who turns up to investigate. The little tit for tat pranks perpetrated by Rob & Kenton certainly blew up, but how about that, it brings PC Burns into Fallon’s company again. How about that indeed. Nor did it take long for Fallon & PC Burns to trade hard luck love life stories. Well, Fallon (still) has PC Burns’ number, just in case! Fallon isn’t the only one with her eyes on a man. Rhys’ replacement is on hand, and its not sitting well with Kenton. Will his jealousy cause yet more contention between him and Jolene?

Tom and Kirsty aren’t the only ones who have the potential to have their plans disrupted though. Jennifer has sorted herself time away without Brian, and Brian is ploughing ahead with all his plans. Adam and Rob deliver him good news on their various reports. Its all so rosy for Brian. Jennifer is getting her kitchen from Kingsley, and her holiday, and Brian is enjoying the sound of money. The happy mood didn’t extend to Adam and Rob though, who had an awkward little chat. Maybe Adam isn’t quite as laid back about Rob’s relationship with Helen that he’s painting to Ian. But Brian’s happiness was short lived. Annabel delivers a shock to Brian with news of a takeover of BL. Brian’s favourite toy, and his local position of power and influence is under threat. Annabel suggest – wisely (according to Jennifer) that Brian accept their offer and land himself a tidy profit on his investment. But this time the prospect of a tidy sum coming his way doesn’t deter Brian. He’s ready for the fight!

Lynda is on Neil’s case over May Day, but Neil makes the mistake of drawing Lynda’s attention to the Passion Play. Lynda doesn’t take it too well that she’s not directly involved in a village production – even worse, one that’s moving along nice. But at least Lynda was able to look on with a smug eye when the rehearsal at getting the cross up went pear-shaped. Jazzer was, as usual, no help at all with the lovely Aleisha to be attended to, and its Jesus who has to bear the brunt of it. Well, if they had only listened to Lynda. It did provide a shade of humour from Brian, who sagely suggested to Jennifer that Jesus should have been able to heal himself! Chris tries to come to the rescue by suggesting Jazzer as Jesus. Neil is completely aghast, and ultimately Chris wishes he’d kept his mouth shut as Neil lands him in the role of Jesus nicely.

There’s some mystery round at the Stables. Its not escaped Shula’s notice that Dan has suddenly become obsessive with his fitness. Then there’s all the new clothes, trips into Felpersham. Jill has noticed too. Unfortunately, Jill’s noticing coincided with Shula being taken back in time to her own tragedies. At least she might be able to support Ruth – in a way that only Shula can. Shula will probably be flush with success with Darrel completing a miracle recovery from a complex mental health issue by moving into a flat. Miracle worker Shula has done it again, and is no doubt best placed to help with the trauma miscarriage brings. But for a change, its not Brookfield where the week ends, its with Shula. The mystery over Dan’s obsession with fitness finally comes out. Dan shocks Shula & Alistair with his plans to ditch his university study, and put aside a career in law. Well, that would really interfere with a soldier’s life. Never mind Shula, a stint at Sandhurst will see your son join the officer classes. Just what you want, right?

Week Ending 28 March 2014

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