A-Z Of Autism - C Is For...

So if you read last weeks B is For then you will know what all of this is about, if not here is a little recap. I'm a Mum of 3 autistic children and way back 13 years ago when my eldest was diagnosed I really struggled to find real-life info about autism. So here we have the A to Z of autism, I'm not a Doctor or health care professionals, these are just some words on what autism means for us. Each fortnight is the next letter of the alphabet, do head over and check out B (highlighted above) and let's get on with C!

Coordination

All 3 of my children have a distinct lack of coordination in one way or another. They are really clumsy, stairs are a problem, hopping, standing on one leg and riding a bike. My Dj is the one whos has the most problems with this as is in the process of being tested for dyspraxia. None of the children can ride a bike, the whole having to peddle, keep your balance and look where you are going is a little too much for them! Buttons are another challenge, zips are fine once attached to the zipper and shoelaces have always been a big NoNo!

CAHMs

I have spent most of the past 13 years in and out of CAHM's appointments. For those with no experience of CAHM's it stands for Child and adolescent mental health services. They are who you are sent to see on the diagnosis trail. We have seen psychologists and psychiatrists at CAHM's. It was also where we had the ADOS test done for all 3 of our children, the ADOS test is what is used to diagnose autism. 

Cooperation

This is a bone of contention in our house, whether it be cooperating with me or cooperating with school there is ALWAYS a problem. I have found with my 3 it's their way or no way and if they say they aren't doing something they aren't doing it, no amount of compromise can sway them. Some people have said I allow them too much freedom and should enforce them to cooperate with me, my answer to that is come and live in my house for a week and try that yourself, you will soon see it's not worth the hassle! If it's not a big deal we allow it, but there are some rules they now they have to follow.

Circadin

Out of my 3 ASD children 2 of them have been on Circadin and 1 of them still takes Circadin. Sleep has always been a challenge for my 3 and Circadon was prescribed to assist sleep. I had 1 who couldn't fall asleep and 1 who couldn't stay asleep. I would like to say you get used to the lack of sleep, but that's a lie!! Even taking circadian we don't get a full night, its very hit and miss, some families have great success with it, its very child dependant. 

Challenging

Having 3 on the spectrum is challenging, as they all have different needs. We had to get the main bedroom in the house separated to allow them to have a room of their own. They need their own space to chill and zone out. They have a wide range of challenging behaviours between them, but we are lucky that they are easily managed now they are older. In their younger days they became frustrated at not being able to express themselves, with age this has eased and they can better explaining and deal with their feelings. Not so much for Pops shes is the most challenging if the 3 and still screams, bites herself, shouts, spits and melts down sometimes.

Celebrations

These are tricky as they don't like fuss, the lack of routine surrounding celebrations is the main thing they dislike. We tend to keep things low key. For Christmas, the tree has to be up with the advent calendars come out and has to be down on the 26th. The eldest 2 like their presents in their room, being in the lounge with the whole family is too much, they like to take their time in peace with their gifts. Birthdays are of a similar stance, presents and cake allowed, but no balloons or banners and definitely no singing happy birthday!

Character

I love their individual characters, they all have their own little quirks. I am often asked if I wished they didn't have autism, and my hand on heart answer is no! Yes its hard sometimes, and it has been a long road, with a long road head! But autism is part of who they are and without autism, they wouldn't have the characters that they have now. 

Compulsive

Compulsive behaviour is one of the trickier aspects to live with. I have one who has a compulsion to chew, whether that be paper, ring pulls and plastic lids, his room can always be found to be full of chewed up bits. This has resulted in him losing 2 teeth due to damage from chewing things he shouldn't. We have tried chewy replacements to no avail. I have another who has short compulsions and obsessions on different things. This can be tv shows, particular foods and even a certain pen even.

So these are my C's for this section, can you relate to any of my C's? Is there any not there that you would add to the list?

Thanks For Reading

Mandy


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