We did it!

Mummy, all I can say is well done. As a practioner, we only suggest what we think is best for the child at that point in time. And I still remember just last year, I raised my concerns about your husband’s and your decision to not send your child for an assessment. Yet, seeing him today, I can’t be happier being wrong. Certainly, both of you made the right choice in not going forward then and I’m happy to day he is definitely well-abled to handle mainstream P1. I have nothing more to say mummy.

Tears streamed down my cheek as I hear those words echoed out of the doctor’s mouth. Since suspecting something something was different about C 4.5 years ago. The journey has been a roller coaster ride with no end in sight.

And as I am typing these words, I’ve also come to realise that this journey is so personal. Regardless of how many other parents and siblings who have children or siblings with special needs, this journey, at the end of the day, is a really personal one. Even for the father and mother of the child. Do you ever feel so happy yet peaceful and tired at the same time? I feel that as a parent with a child with special needs, I have been on a long over drive. I have never stopped to really rest since the day I suspected or knew that something was different with my child. Be it whether I am asleep, I have also learnt to be half asleep, so that I can wake up immediately when my child wakes. Even as we are out on an outing, I can never fully enjoy the outing as I will be on the look-out on anything that might trigger him. Even as we are on date nights, our conversation might shift to our child progressively, and on how we can help him or her more.

I can’t seem to pen down in words the thoughts and feelings running through my head except that this episode has really re-affirmed my decision to be on part-time and re-affirmed my self-worth as a parent and as an individual. It has also re-affirmed my belief that we need to be anchored in hope when all else fails or seem to fail.

If you have been with me on this journey for the past years, thank you. If you are new to my site and hope to find some comfort to where you are in life now, never lose hope. I know I have had but I have found it time and again through this journey.

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As we are headed for his formal schooling next year, I know it will be another new chapter. However, I am more than grateful for the ending of this chapter in a sweeter than normal note. As a teacher, I always give my students in school a sweet at the beginning of the year to signify a sweet start, and one at the end, to symbolise that we have ended sweetly.

I am glad that for this year, I can take one for myself. For it feels that we have indeed ended sweetly.

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My toys are furniture

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Mum: C, since you are starting P1 next year, you probably don’t need so many toys. How about we pack some and donate them?

(looks up stunned)

Mummy, but we can’t do that.

Mum: Why not?

Because my toys are furniture.

(Mummy is amused)

Mum: Your toys are furniture?

Yes!

Mum: Oohh…hmm…then what can we donate?

You can donate your dress, mummy. My toys stay in the house.

(Mummy laughs. I love that brain of his. It’s interesting how he has gotten the concept that we don’t throw away furniture. Perhaps it’s due to the time when we moved house, and we told him we have to pack up all the furniture and bring to the new place, and during that move, I donated a pile of my clothes away. Don’t you just love their memory? Have a great week ahead, readers!)

Photo via Visualhunt

What is a meltdown?

We just had our dinner and decided to head to the ATM machine to draw out cash. My son spoke out and said that he wanted to help me to insert the ATM card and take out the cash. There was a long queue and both of us were getting restless when it was our turn.

I had forgotten about the initial agreement I had with him and I inserted the card when it was our turn. “Mummy, what are you doing?” “Sorry I forgot, I’ll let you take the cash when it is dispensed?” He started to raise his voice, mumbled, and gave me an angry look. He kept repeating,”How can you forget?” Arrrgghhhh…You promised!” His body is shaking by now, and no matter what I say, nothing gets in.

While this is not a full-blown meltdown, it was enough to get both of us exhausted.

What is a meltdown?

A meltdown to me:

involves my child exhibiting uncontrollable emotions and or behaviors.

They may come in the form of:

kicking, screaming, not being able to listen to anything I say, physical aggression at me or others, shaking of his body excessively, sobbing uncontrollably.

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A Child’s Gray Perspective on Circles Curriculum

Recently, I attended a lecture and the speaker spoke about the circles curriculum and how it may be useful to use this method to teach our children with ASD on social boundaries and relationships.

Circles of colours
My son calls this circles of colours 🙂

If you want to read up more about this concept, check out Jenna’s blog which provides clear explanation on how we can use this with our child. The basic concept is that we will use different circles of colours to teach our child on the kind of conversations, touch and behaviour we can have with the people within the circles.

I drew a copy of this visual representation of the circles in my notebook as well. In it, I have also written down social stories that I use to teach my son on the circles of colours. Things were going well for about a week until…

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A Mind of His Own

I had just updated our ‘Chronicles of our Journey since 2013’ page and felt compelled to write this entry. We met with son’s school teacher for parent’s teacher meeting session held every semester.

The teacher commented that our son is learning well academically but has a mind of his own.

Our eyes widen as we proceeded to ask the teachers what they meant.

The teachers goes on to explain that they were teaching about the weather and had asked our son to draw a picture of dark clouds. Continue reading

An Asperger’s View On Empathy and Authenticity

This is a honest and insightful entry.

Odd Dad & His Aspie

Now in my mid-forties, memories of my childhood are increasingly fleeting, lack detail, and nuance. I will say that my parents were strongly committed to family and sought to have a home full of love, respect, and discipline. Of course, no family is perfect. Mine was no different – Asperger’s saw to that.

I have always struggled to relate to my parents, siblings, or anyone else, to have any solid or strong emotional connection. This is not to claim that I do not have filial love, or that I am incapable of regard for others. It just seems that it is harder to develop and not as deep and abiding as I desire. And, it has pained me that I am unable to experience the full joy, satisfaction, and connection that others without Asperger’s Syndrome experience in their social relationships. I now know why.

A symptom of Asperger’s Syndrome (AS)…

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Updated ‘Homeroom’ Settings

This is an update from Our Everything-is-there Study Station.

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It’s been a year since I wrote about our ‘homeroom’ (classroom) settings. Freeman (1996), wrote in her manual, ‘Teach Me Language – a language manual for children with autism, Asperger’s syndrome and related developmental disorders’, that most techniques to get children to be table ready are based on behavioral principles.

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