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Showing posts with the label mental health

Autism Meltdowns

Ryan has always been a sickly child and missed a lot of school when he was being diagnosed with and treated for Glandular fever and severe anaemia. He was given some school work to been done to catch up once he was well enough so as not to fall too far behind in school. I had asked him several times about completing it and things came to a head one Wednesday when at first he tried to lie that he had done the work, but then became quite rude verbally so I asked Dadi Skilts to help me out, but Ryan was this time really rude, so Duncan turned off the PC and it became a full-blown meltdown. He punched the bedroom door enough to make his hand bleed and then took several chunks out of my kitchen table. Eventually, he cried himself out so I was then able to sit at the kitchen table and managed to talk him down, and I realised just how isolated from and scared of the world that Ryan feels and I am seriously concerned now about his total obsession with his PC/Laptop and Discord as his way of

Autism and Exam Stress

It can be difficult to motivate Ryan to do tasks that he is uninterested in or doesn’t see the purpose of. Sometimes he can be motivated with a reward such as computer time or ‘down time’. Although his verbal responses are very good he finds writing very difficult and needs a lot of time to finish work as the process of thinking about what he wants to write, sending the correct message from brain, down arm to hand and then formulating correct letter pattern with pen gets very muddled and confusing.  It can also take Ryan some time to respond to a question or statement which can come across as though he is ignoring you, or daydreaming, when in fact he is taking time to process what has been said/asked of him and to formulate a response. Ryan has quite a sense of humour but doesn’t always respond as you might expect. Things he says, does or writes which we don’t generally find amusing he might or vice versa (see previous post on neologisms ) .  He can use humour at inappropriate

Everybody is Different

Since starting this blog I have wanted to talk about my eldest son Owen, but have not known how to go about starting a post about him. As a big believer in fate the perfect catalyst presented itself to me earlier this week and delivered me the perfect post.    Before I present that post I just want to give a bit of background to a tale of two boys.   Two boys that do NOT get along.   We all know siblings fight but our house on occasion has been utterly heart-breaking with the level of dislike and resentment that Owen has for his Autistic brother. Soon after Ryan’s diagnosis I purchased a book titled ‘Everybody is Different. A book for young people who have brothers or sisters with Autism’ by Fiona Bleach. I brought this book for Owen in an attempt for him to better understand the difficulties that Ryan faces.  It is an excellent book and very well written, Owen did read it all with me, but overall it has not helped him to accept Ryan’s differbility . He resents too much the di

Autism and Puberty

  “While little is known about the interaction of ASC and aging, it is generally accepted that adults with ASC 1) tend to be fairly poor self reporters when it comes to health issues, and 2) as a group tend to be fairly sedentary. As such, concerns related to the long term health and wellness of adults with ASC should be at the forefront of any discussion of appropriate services. –The Current State of Services for Adults with Autism, prepared by Peter F. Gerhardt, Ed.D., Organization for Autism Research I have two sons so can only really talk about puberty from a boys perspective in the sense of its effect on Ryan while also dealing with Autism and vice versa how his Autism has affected his dealing with puberty. Puberty is a confusing time for any individual but for Ryan with speech and language difficulties the confusion can be more profound. He is not necessarily able to understand what is being said to him about the changes that he is experiencing, nor can he clearly ver

The Limbic System

Since Ryan was born in 2001, I have read hoards of information on Autism, child development, healthy eating, and alternative therapies to name but a few and as I have said previously I am in no doubt that foods  play an important role in explaining some of Ryan’s difficulties. I try very hard (but am not perfect) to maintain a healthy Limbic System as I believe it has a strong role in our health, wellbeing and development. The Limbic system supports a variety of functions, including emotion, behaviour, motivation, long-term memory, and olfaction. It appears to be primarily responsible for emotional life and it has a great deal to do with the formations of memories. Susanna Heinze Obviously all of these are very prevalent characteristic ‘symptoms’ of autism, so by trying to maintain a healthy balance and approach I hope to better support Ryan on a day to day basis. As warm-blooded mammals, we are dependent on the development of emotional attachment to the parents.

Ten Things About Autism

10 Things About Autism  1. Behaviour is communication. All behaviour occurs for a reason. It tells you, even when my words can't, how I perceive what is happening around me. Negative behaviour interferes with my learning process. But merely interrupting these behaviours is not enough; teach me to exchange these behaviours with proper alternatives so that real learning can flow. Start by believing this: I truly do want to learn to interact appropriately. No child wants the negative feedback we get from "bad" behaviour. Negative behaviour usually means I am overwhelmed by disordered sensory systems, cannot communicate my wants or needs or don't understand what is expected of me. Look beyond the behaviour to find the source of my resistance. Keep notes as to what happened immediately before the behaviour: people involved, time of day, activities, settings. Over time, a pattern may emerge. 2. Never assume anything . Without factual backup, an assumption is

Autism Research Study - Institute of Psychiatry

By being a member of the National Autistic Society, I receive a quarterly magazine from them called Communication. A very interesting magazine packed with heaps of information, articles and advise. It was in the Summer 2010 edition that I first saw an advert by the Kings College London, Institute of Psychiatry looking for Autistic children to take part in a 3 year research study. I thought what a fantastic opportunity and promptly called the number advertised. I was put through to a wonderful young researcher who gave me the low down of what was involved and required from us. at the time we were currently living in rented accommodation while our house was rebuilt after the van parked itself in our front hall. (See When House Met Van post and blog for a recap). The Institute was studying how the brain develops, in particular the development of the white matter that builds connections between brain regions. They were studying this in children with and without Autism, to fin

Sleeping on the Window Sill

The build up to moving from Primary to Secondary school became more and more apparent as the months rolled by and the time crept ever closer. Ryan's meltdowns increased and he took to regularly sleeping on his window sill. In his bedroom he has a lovely deep sill that we made into a window seat. He spent a lot of time sitting, contemplating and so it appears, sleeping. Unfortunately Ryan was once again excluded during year 5 for violent behaviour, which although is inexcusable the reasons go back to that metaphorical fizzy pop bottle . The instances of bolting from school and becoming angry with the world once again escalated, but we now knew why these were happening and the SENCos from both schools where in close contact helping us all to prepare for Ryan’s next biggest challenge. Ryan was given extra ‘transition days’ in his new school to prepare him and make it a little less daunting, but the stress was too much and Ryan developed Shingles. He was really poorly for

When House Met Van

Day 1 Wednesday 13.1.2010 was not a usual Wednesday morning but it was similar  to recent days. Snow had been laying for over 3 weeks and we had another 5-8cm fall on Tuesday night so the Primary school was shut yet again due to dangerous roads & pavements and broken heating. My work was open however, so Dunk decided to work from home to look after boys and we decided there was little point dragging Owen up and out to trek Ryan across to his school as the conditions were not safe so we let them sleep in. I had a leisurely breakfast and left for work early as the roads were very slushy and icy. I got to work on time but very few children had yet made it to school so I put my bag and coat by and sat down to sort out the readers I was going to listen to that day; it was 9:05am and my phone rang. “oooppps, sorry Mrs H-P I forgot to put my phone on silent”. The actual phone conversation is somewhat hazy at this point by it went something like: Dunk – “COME HOME! VAN HIT HOUSE”

Conners Questionnaire

Autism Ryan saw the Paediatric Team for the first time on Wednesday 12 November 2008, two days after his 7th birthday. The paediatrician we saw was the first person to take me seriously and agreed that we had a right to be concerned about Ryan’s development and mental health to date. That day was the first time that the term Autism was used officially. The paediatrician made an urgent referral to the Educational Psychologist team, gave me a bunch of questionnaires to complete and some that the school needed to do and off we toddled with a further appointment for 6 months time.  I make this episode sound light, but it really wasn't. We had spent over an hour with the Paediatrician who had taken an in-depth history of our lives thus far (fortunately I had kept diaries which really helped answering the myriad of questions). The reason I make this sound light hearted was simply because of the relief we felt that we were finally being taken seriously. Remember I had first raise