Wednesday, August 31, 2011

On Hold - we are growing up

Just a 'last' post, for a while at least, Jono is getting older and we are finding our lives more enriched, less stressful and as a family we are coping better and better. The rollercoaster is still there, but less highs and lows. Thanks for reading, I may open for more chapters down the road, but for now at least.. it's time for a break. Love to all.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Autism means Literally...

I had forgotten how much Jonathan takes things literally, until recently.
I had asked him to change the TV volume, to number 40.

He jumped up quickly to fix it for me, and accidentally overshot, he ended up at 44. I told him this was fine, but no he had to lower the volume back to the number I had asked for, because that was 'right'.

Mind you, this is also a good source of humour.

The other day there were many rainbows around, and Jonathan asked if he could go to the rainbow.

I offhandedly replied, no we can't go to a rainbow, our eyes would go on fire and our heads would explode.

I didn't think much of this, and said it in jest... he took it literally.

After 10 minutes of giggling at the image he had conjured in his head, he asked again, "Can I go rainbow?"

This time the rest of the family picked up the response and played with him.

3 days later we lost interest in the rainbow, but the whole family enjoyed having something to interact and verbally play with Jono together.

This has now expanded to other things, he asks a silly, but genuine question... we respond with complete silliness and he collapses in a pile of giggles.


Friday, August 12, 2011

What's this word say?


Jono has recently developed a great interest in words... again.

He doesn't want to read books - they belong on the bookshelf, but he does want to know what words are.

We recently got Sky TV which allows us to record shows, live pause, rewind and so on. Jono figured this all out very quickly, and takes care of the controller for us all.

When there are ads on TV he constantly pauses it (as this is where the most words are) and asks... in a loud voice... "MUM... WHAT'S THIS SAY?"... I check the TV, read him the words, and then he lets the ad move forward... as soon as there are more words, he pauses again, and loudly requires my attention again.

Some of the words he knows himself and will tell them to me, he is growing agin in his learning and I am proud of him and his progress.


Gone are the days of wondering if he will speak, now we are simply wondering if he will start reading books happily without tearing them up :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Clouds in New Zealand!

We are getting into winter, and the foggy misty mornings are now commonplace here in Auckland.



Jono, is all his wisdom and expanse of the english language calls it clouds. Whenever it's a foggy morning and we are heading to school, he says "Mum Look! The clouds on the ground!"

I think it's lovely, he is finding his way to explain things in a fashion that we understand.

More recently, we had some Subway for dinner. I got a salad bowl, with hot teriyaki chicken. The top of the salad bowl has a clear lid, and once closed the steam from the hot chicken gathered very quickly at the top. 

Jono pipes up from the back ground. "Mum look, clouds your dinner!'

So cute!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mobile Phones Cause Cancer...and Vaccines Inflame Autism

Ok... here we go, down the path of things I have choose to not take too much notice of because of the way people discuss it.

This week the World Health Organistion has admitted that phones cause cancer. Excessive use, of course, and they don't understand how it happens... but it's finally been admitted.

Last week I saw a video and chatted with Laura Colby on Twitter about the link between Vaccines and Autism.

I have somewhat refused to chat or research much about it as I know for a fact there is the genetic tendency for Autism within my family as there are many members through many generations who exhibit this.

But... I have never heard a doctor say that the brain of Autistic people can have Neural Inflammation caused by the ingredients in a vaccine.. or that we should test people for allergic reactions to the chemicals of the vaccines rather than blindly give them to everyone. Until this video.

See from around 2 minutes 30 seconds if you don't want to watch it all.

Finally the medical community is speaking out.

Did the vaccine cause my sons Autism, I still say no... but did it inflame the situation?... Well, that's a whole other question, which may never be answered in my lifetime.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Can I Cuddle a Koala?

The other day after school, Jono hops in the car and says to me almost immediately.

"Mum, can I cuddle a Koala?"

I thought that school may have been learning about Australia, or watching a video, or talking about going to the zoo... or something.

So I repeated it back to him to make sure I had heard him right, then asked him "Where is the koala? Is it in a Zoo?"

"No Mum"

"Is it in Australia?"

Slight exasperation "No Mum"

"Where is it then?"

Shoving it into my face to be sure I could see it " This one!"

After that he attached it to his school bag and it has stayed there ever since.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

You NEED spices when cooking

Like... NNNEEEEEDD!!

Jono enjoys helping me cook, sometimes he listens to what I am saying and does what I asked and we have a lovely flavourful meal.

Often he will go and add spices when I am not looking - I may simply have my back turned for a moment, or be washing up, or talking to one of the other kids, but I have learned to only have a few spices out at a time, for a very short time - and then QUICKLY put them away!!

The other day I was cooking a chicken dish, frying it up int he pan, with onion, curry powder and some other spices in olive oil. I turned my back, and found my container of Curry powder was empty... and all in the pan!

I managed to drag out a lot of the excess, and ended up actually giving the chicken a light wash through in a strainer. It was still very tasty, and only slightly spicy.

One day, we will learn how to measure and taste while cooking ;)

Friday, April 15, 2011

I Made It!

Today was the last day of school before we start the Easter holidays, Jono had a half day and Rob and I had a chance to go together to pick him up.

As soon as he got in the car he had one of his pieces of art he had done at school, and... he wanted to tell us about it.


The convo went along these lines.
Me: Jono, what's this?
Jono: I made it!
Me; What's this one
Jono: a Flower... on a Easter egg
Me: And what about this?
Jono: A chick!
Dad: Is it a dog?
Jono: (grin in voice) No Dad.

Too cute!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What is this Daylight Savings?

Since daylight savings has finished here in New Zealand, we have noticed some distinct advantages, and some disadvantages.

The sun is now actually up in the mornings, instead of waking up to pitch black, which is a real plus, there is also some fantastic opportunities for moonlight photos...  :)




However, Jono has no idea that the time has changed... and as such, his body clock also hasn't changed.

Let's go through a typical morning.

6:30am - Alarm goes off
6:31am - Hit snooze
6:32am - Start dozing.
6:34am - Jono throws our bedroom door open, races in and deposits an animal on our bed.

If it's the dog, she races for our faces wagging her tail madly, while Jono pronounces "She so wiggalish!"

If it's a cat, they still come for the face demanding that we pat them / rescue them from the mad child that dragged them into the room.

After fending off whatever animal has arrived, and gaining full consciousness in moments,  Jono then asks loudly "Mum, can I watch TV?"

Now, we don't watch TV on a school day, so he is happy with that answer, but the whole sleep in opportunity has been destroyed... and he does this on a weekend as well!!!

I hope his body clock catches up to things soon, especially as we are about to be on holidays and a sleep in past 6:34am would be wonderful!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Regression

Backtracking a little here.

One of the major considerations with moving to another country was whether Jono would regress at all.

We decided that if we returned to Australia after 18 months, and he is the same as what he is now, that it was a risk we were willing to take, to give all the family the opportunity to live in another country.

For the first 4-5 months everyone settled in very nicely, and we established routines that worked, as well as having the chance to go exploring around a bit of the country.

We thought he was coping very well and we wouldn't have problems, he grew a little but no regression.

Then we hit a bumpy 2 weeks, reflecting now it wasn't an issue, but at the time we were fairly concerned.

He started to talk less, interact less, obey less, have less interest in us as a family and communicate a lot less overall. We spoke with the school if they noticed anything, but he was still too new for them to know him that well, and they had only noticed a few minor things.

Mind you, it took us around a week and a half to notice it ourselves, and once we started talking to the school and got some interaction going, he pretty much 'snapped' out of it. He started growing again, interacting again, and even talking more than before.

Perhaps it was 1 step back for 2 steps forward? Perhaps he just needed a break? Perhaps the impact of the life change had finally hit?

We really have no clue, but the fears of regression are now gone, even if (when) he does regress, he has shown us that he comes back stronger, and that a good thing for us to take note of for our own lives :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sentence Structure

Jono is coming into his own with language at the moment, we are getting less babble and more real words. He is even thinking about his words, and the way they fit together to make sure they sound right.

A few weeks back, Rob was with Jono in the car heading towards home. There is a large amount of roadworks near our place as they are building a new motorway. As they got the that stretch of road jono turned to Rob and said "They...... they fixing the road". Rob turned around and said "yes Jono, they are fixing the road"


When Rob was explaining it to me, he added "I was so excited, I wanted to talk with Jono about it for hours."

It's amazing what an impact simple things can have on those around us :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

We hate Planes

Or so we thought...

so here we go, the story about the planes. Before moving to NZ, we decided it would be a good idea for me to at least come to the country once and see the land, the housing, the schooling, check out the teachers, and the special needs system. I'd spent 2 months researching on line, but it was time for some eyes on the ground.

In order to make the special needs case more evident, I was to take Jono with me. Rob was already in the country on business, I had arranged babysitting for the other two, and Jono and I were packed and ready.

We arrived at the airport, parked the car and checked in. We went through customs, got something to eat and went to the gate our plane was at. Jono was comfortable, relaxed and happy. We had been talking for weeks at home and at school with social stories, videos and pictures about going on the plane - and every time he said "I don't want to" We thought that he would be fine once he got on the plane, but we didn't realise just how much he really didn't want to get on it.

We walked down the airbridge, and turned the corner to the final section to walk onto the plane - around 20m worth... and it was enclosed with glass. The moment he saw the plane through the glass it was over.

He started to stress and panic, and stopped walking saying 'I don't want to'. He lost it, I lost it, I attempted to forcibly carry him on board, and it was unbelieveably overwhelming. I had every member of staff from the plane bring out everything they could to attempt to coax him on board and it was just not going to happen. I even rang Rob who was in NZ in a meeting and asked him to help talk Jono onto the plane.

20 minutes later - defeated, bawling, screaming, saying it wasn't fair (and that was just me) they unboarded our luggage and we exited the walkway. I took some time to calm down and assess the situation. Then started the phone calls - Grandma to babysit Jono, new ticket to get to Auckland, refund on unused tickets, madly drive home, re-pack, get Jono settled and get back to the airport in 4 hours for my next flight.

I arrived at 11:30 at night to a husband with flowers and a balloon. the next four days were intensely busy and we decided we would move countries.

The next trip across was the actual move, and we decided to take no chances with Jono and actually gave him some drugs to knock him out before getting on the plane, and board him on a wheelchair so he would not notice as much. The moment of the deep snores from his mouth 5 minutes before taking off was pure bliss for Rob and I. We got him on board, and then he woke up, after only 20 minutes of sleep, but he coped, and we all made it together.

The next flight was back to Australia for Christmas - again he didn't want to go on a plane, but we realised it wasn't the plane so much, it was being all together as a family that mattered - which compounded the problems for the first flight. We got some very light herbal lollies to help him relax, and that was all he needed.

The next flight, was heading back to NZ after the holiday, and he was happy - no herbal lollies, no drugs, and none of the I don't want a plane, just I'm going home to New Zealand, and I'm with my family.

We get him the wheelchair for each trip - as it anchors him, and is familiar now, but amazingly, he wasn't worried about the plane, just where his family was, and where his home was.

Now... if only he could have told us that in the beginning ;)

Friday, January 28, 2011

We love Babies

We especially love to wake up babies, by singing to them... this does not please their parents.

I have no clue where this comes from, but Jono is currently FASCINATED by babies. The time it takes to go shopping is currently completely dependent on how many prams and babies we see along the way.

I'll give you a typical scenario.
- Jono sees a pram, with a cover over the top and 'must' see what is inside.
- He sprints off at a mad rate of knots and lifts the cover to see the baby
- If there is no baby, he looks around for the baby, or returns to us
- If there is a baby, he opens his mouth and starts going "La, la, la, la, la ,la, la" in a scale, loudly, and repeats it as many times as possible until he gets in trouble.
- Rob or I come up to the group and apologise, explain he loves babies and tell him it's not ok and we walk off.

Most times, the parents are ok, sometimes they are not. Once... so far, a parent has pushed Jono away with exasperation.

The one time where the mother pushed him, he was coming up to the baby for the second time, and she was overtired with her new born. She gave Jono a shove with a loud "Excuse Me" (which he now repeats when we are at the shops).

I didn't see her push him, as I was putting our groceries on the checkout and went to explain he is Autistic and just loves babies and I apologized. Around 5 minutes after that she was at the checkout with some lollies and apologizing herself, saying she had looked after an Autistic child in the past and should have realized.

The best outcome we have had so far though, we were at the local swimming pool and he went to a ladies baby 3 or 4 times. I managed to catch him each time but the mother looked a but distressed. Finally he got to see the baby and started singing, but this time it was a different song. "Mumble, mumble, mumble, mumble, mumble do, I looove You", and he repeated it 4 times, because that is how he has heard the song sung.

I've attached a youtube of the song, coz I cannot get across what he was trying to do in text, and it was pretty much this loud and sung with the same gusto :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHm_icqR4GY

Ahhh babies

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

So we moved country...

Six months ago, we moved to New Zealand from Australia, and have settled very well into life in Auckland. There is an long back story involving research, schooling, housing and much much more... this I will be touching on in later stages.

It's been an amazingly busy time, with many ups and downs... especially with plane travel. I started another blog with information about what we have been discovering here as a family in New Zealand at http://discoveringnz.blogspot.com.

I have reached a stage where I will be updating more here again, as there is a heck of a lot to share, and I honestly have been way to busy to put any of it here on this blog. I hope everyone is well and have had a great Christmas, and New year, post some more soon :)