Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Back to School

Its been an interesting start to school this year.

Sarah's first year, and she is thrilled to pieces, Daniel's in grade 4 and 'over' school. Jono in grade 2 at special school, and it's a little different - classes, teachers etc, but still the same - same bus, same drivers, same assembly to start the school day.

In his first week - 2 days were great, then 2 days of tears... we 'think' he may have been tired. His second week was more settled, and this week he's going great.

The extra special thing about this year, he is actually looking at me when the bus pulls out, instead of in the air or at the trees. I've been able to wave goodbye and blow him kisses, and he gives me eye contact, and even blew a kiss back and waved.

I tell you, warm fuzzies all over the first day he did that :)

Today is his swimming day at school, and I got him to tell him, he gave me eye contact and listened well, and I told him - Today Swimming day, at School. So he reached out and gave me the biggest hug. I really wasn't expecting that kind of reaction, but I think it was his way of saying thank you.

He's an awesome boy.

We are normal!!

Ok, odd title, especially as I haven't written for a while - life, school holidays (3 kids at home for 6 weeks *pulls hair out*), etc.

I've had a few people at our house after the kids have gotten back to school, and they have commented on the general lack or order that is going on.

Our house is currently fairly trashed, I was sweeping up every day, some days multiple times when the kids were home, depending on how many things got thrown on the floor. It may have been food that felt wrong in the mouth, milk that looks good when you pour it on the floor, a hand cream that makes a great paste to write on the walls with, a glass cup that makes such a great noise when you smash it, that its worthwhile to grab another one and smash it before mum catches you.

After the kids have gotten back to school I've made myself a task set of things to get in order, but I'm tackling one at a time, with no time pressure, I'm expecting to take 1 term to get it back in order. The kitchen is generally clean, and hygienic, though the dishes may sit for a day before they get washed the floor is generally tidy enough to have some room to walk on, but some rooms are just 'ewwww', but I refuse to stress about them.

I tackled Jono's room, and gathered the 'things' in his bed, then realized it was taking such a long time to pick up the pieces of lego, puzzles, toys, broken chalk and textas in his bed that it would be easier to simply sweep his bed clean. As I was doing that I thought to my self - yes, you know you are a mother of an Autistic child when you are actually sweeping their bed to clean it. I got a lot of toys and books away, tidied the floor, remade the bed, and said - that will do.

When a child takes 20 minuted to make 2 hours of cleaning, and if you have a shower you know you'll need to come out and get the broom for the next mess, coz your back was turned you reach a point where the mess in and of itself gets ignored, and left for a day when it gets tackled wholesale.

Currently, he has also drawn on his bed, and on his bedroom walls with textas... I'll clean it off, later.

So.. why are we normal?
I saw an article in a magazine by a family with 6 autistic kids, and the biggest thing that got me besides the fact they get glared at in public, run after children with no sense of boundaries, who can't sit still to eat, eat of strangers tables, hum and scream for no apparent reason, and bolt for the door if daddy isn't looking, all of which I all related to and have experienced personally.. but a picture of one of the kids bedrooms. They have no sheets on their bed, the walls where covered in scribbles, paint stripped away in patches, no curtains, and chains and locks on cupboards and doors around the house.

This is me.
I face this daily, and people have no idea, this picture was me, my family, and the things we face, but in an exaggerated fashion to where we are at currently, having only 1 child with autism.

I admire this family greatly, the simple fact they are still married with everything they have going on speaks volumes about their strength of character.

Anyways here's some links to them and their stories.. and I think I'll be buying a few of their t-shirts :)

http://www.deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,660226195,00.html - scroll through the pictures on the right.

http://www.autismbites.com/index.html - their home site.