For Your Listening Pleasure

A photo a day in April for autism acceptance:

It’s easy enough to read about some of what happens in our day to day lives. I’ve been telling you about the noisemaking my little guy likes to engage in, but it’s not the same as experiencing it. So here…for your listening pleasure, is what I listen to day in, day out. At the  moment.

I say at the moment, because I am hoping that this is a ‘phase’. I know he gets a lot of sensory input from making all this noise (me too!!), but it does sound like he’s being hung, drawn & quartered when really, he’s just sitting there enjoying himself.

I have also been telling you that along with the screaming, he has been doing some great talking. During the last few months he has clicked over from being essentially non-verbal, to being verbal. Which is like, you know…a miracle!! So here he is, just a few minutes later.

Now before you start telling me how cruel I am, in this instance I’ve used his ribbon to encourage him in his talking. There are very few things that really motivate my little boy, but his ribbon most definitely does. So I’ve extended the situation to give him more opportunity to use all this beautiful language he is developing. Why the screaming and talking are going hand in hand? I wish I knew. (any suggestions gratefully received).

And last of all, here is our photo for the day. It’s something he did at school. I like it! It’s up on his wall in his bedroom gallery – laminated!

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I Am Living With Yoko Ono

Not really. But I might as well be. Seriously, she does a pretty good version of what I have going on from about 5am – 7pm day in, day out.

My darling 6yo has become a noisemaking machine and it’s doing my head in.

You can take it for an hour or so. But as the day rolls on, the volume goes up, the excitement levels escalate. The quite acceptable, gregorian chant-like droning becomes screaching. My one remaining nerve just got squawked into oblivion and … I’ve lost it, again.

It’s stimming. Noisy stimming. The ribbon is flapping and flicking. He’s jumping around like he’s on fire with those whole body Peter Garrett dance moves.

Yep – Yoko Ono + Peter Garrett = my life.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to go to my happy place where sound cannot hurt me. I’m breathing deeply, I’m staring off into the distance, transporting my tired, dehydrated, overworked brain to quieter times.

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But then I snap back to reality, and the boy is happily slurping down the dregs from that double shot espresso I made for myself this morning. Hmmm. There’s something about the smell of coffee that speaks to my sweet boy. At least he is quiet for a moment.

Well. Autism mums are nothing if not lateral thinkers, especially when feeling slightly de-railed. So my short term solution is –

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I would fill my ears with cement but then I couldn’t hear all the fabulous language he is coming out with in between all the horrendous noise. I’ve waited years to hears these words, these phrases. They are sweet little drops of heaven in between the devilish cacophonic soundtrack.

Under Siege

I know! I’ve been a bit slack. But I’ve been under siege. Since coming back from my weekend away in Darwin it’s been payback time for mumma! Things are just starting to settle down a bit now – two weeks later.

My 5yo L has been screaming. SCREAMING!!! Screaming in the morning, when he wakes everyone up in the pre-dawn dark of early winter. Screaming relentlessly throughout the morning routine of getting ready for school. The other day I had to carry him kicking and screaming to the bus. When he gets home from school? Let the screaming begin! (again). It is a form of torture. The weekends are worse.

I’m trying everything. All my tricks. He’s getting lots of attention, lots of positive praise when he is not screaming. Lots of outdoor fun. Plenty of food and water. I draw the line, I warn, I time out, I time myself out. I document to see what I am not seeing. But the screaming combined with the opening/closing door compulsion, the light switch compulsion, the need to find every dangerous or hot thing to touch, the climbing, the stripping, the scratching, pushing and of course, the pooping well, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t bringing me down.

On the upside, I’ve been inspired by Lauren over at Hike Blog Love. She’s always getting her kids out into the great outdoors. So, I’m going to be following her lead and I’m planning on setting up a special needs & friends bushwalking group. We will get together once a month on a Sunday to go for a walk and commune with nature.

I’m in the process of testing out our first couple of walks – which will be pram & wheelchair accessible. Anyone can come along and join us. I think it will be lots of fun and at the very least, it will give me a break from the screaming. If you are interested, let me know.

Here’s some photos from last weekend’s efforts. It was our first taste of the cold!