Wednesday, 28 January 2009

things that make life easier as a single working mum of three including autistic child

- robot hoover - leave it running in the morning and come back to look for where it has got tangled up in some wire - but full of dust, crumbs, and more!

- internet shopping, especially (they claim tesco price match so it has to be good and the drivers are always friendly and on time)

- respite for Ix and good carers

- understanding employer, accepting life's crises and the need to rush off or arrive late....and that I will check emails from home, work late when needed etc in return

- friends both real life and internet - virtual support group friends have saved me on more than one occasion

Monday, 26 January 2009

The child’s view of separation

Six year old daughter: “I wish daddy wasn’t distressed [depressed]. I don’t like living here. I want to live in the old flat. We can watch Boomerang [satellite cartoon channel] on the tv there.”

Eight year old: “But that is just objects. It isn’t the most important thing…”

Me: “Well, you know you are going to see him at the contact centre. If that goes well, and he isn’t distressed, then maybe in the future you will get to spend time at his house.”

Six year old: “So, the contact centre, it’s going to be like a test in child caring?”

Eight year old: “Yes, an exam…”

Me: “Yes…if it goes well, and if you want to, then later on you will be able to spend time with him”

Six-year old: “Hmm, yes. He does need lessons.
When we used to go to his house, he used to go to sleep on the sofa.
I wanted to play hide and seek.
I tried pulling the duvet off him, but he wouldn’t play with me.
All we could do was watch Boomerang.”

Eight year old: “But will you come to the old flat? If you do, you will just start with him, chat, chat, chat….”

Me: “No, if you are going out with him, I will just say “hello” at the door and “bye, have a nice time”. No chat chat chat….”

Friday, 23 January 2009

so are they human, too?

A Real Boy: How Autism Shattered Our Lives - and Made a Family from the Pieces by Christopher Stevens with Nicola Stevens is a nice paperback which doesn’t have a “he was cured” ending - but does show how life with an autistic child can settle into some kind of routine – with the right school and respite in place. In the end, he is just a boy with a different view of the world.

It is more women’s magazine style light reading than the deeply philosophical, intriguing, but nonetheless upbeat, Joe: The Only Boy in the World by Michael Blastland which I enjoyed. Recognizing my own child in both these books.

I would recommend them both for insight into life with an autistic child with severe learning difficulties.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

lice and mice

aargh. had to get the pest control man in after finding six dead mice on the glue trap. and heard them squealing in the nite. landlady very nice, organized pest control. he has put more glue traps and super bait. since then - no rustling! maybe the catch six at once did the trick...

meanwhile, another lice infestation. and after one treatment, had call from after school club - "L has a severe infestation!". i mutter about having just treated her but promise to be good and re-treat...all of us.

we never had nits/lice in my day!


Ix is wholly dependent on an adult for most of daily life - when/what to eat, dressing (he can do it with prompting, even without but he would not care if he went out in pyjamas...). He is toilet trained but often needs reminding to go - and cannot wipe.

he knows what he wants and can do a lot, but he can't be left alone, as a typical 12 year old could.

meanwhile, I am dependent on a host of people to help run the days and weeks. His after school carers, his tranport to/from school.

school mornings are finely tuned - get everyone up, breakfast, teeth, dressed..all timed by cbeebies. during Big Barn Farm the bus calls (a missed call) and i take Ix to the bus. girls get ready and we jump in car to get to their school by 0840, drive back, park, hit tube to work.

last week the usual driver was sick and the replacement didn't know where he was going..i called the escort and it was clear they would be very late.

so..bundle Ix into car as well as girls, drive to their school, leave him in car, take girls to gate, back to car, drive to school. drive home, get tube -arrive late for work. school told me the others on bus arrived 1130 a.m.!

next day, i call escort after Big Barn Farm..she assures me she nearby and won't be so late. but they dont arrive til 0915 - meaning girls are late for school and I have to sign late notes. i am late for work etc. all so intertwined...

next day, bus arrives as BBF ends, phew..back to normal.

then there are the holidays, a few days playscheme for him, playscheme/friends for girls, all intertwined with who needs to be where and when. and when one link in the chain fails, quick any family, but more so because Ix's arrangements are dependent on people who already know him - easy enough to call another parent to pick up girls in a crisis but you can't do that for him.

meanwhile, I have beome more independent. when living with the ex, technology was kept as a mystery only he could deal with...yet I've set up a desk top, installed software, and printer. easy!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

nearly killed the hamster....

rodents again.

got up for some water in night. felt something furry and alive under my foot.


swatted at it with nearest heavy book...then realised it was very furry -

and very definitely the pet hamster

NOT the pest mouse.


was he dead.? oh sh&t....

..scooped him up and returned to cage - our visiting children had not put the cage door on properly.

thankfully he seems alive and well today....

I am not a pet person but L is...

a singular Christmas and New Year

and a lot to be said for doing it alone... no griping hassling person complaining.

we all been sick with Xmas virus and i could not talk this morning! but overall it has been good - Christmas with the children, my aunt came for the day, opening presents, turkey lunch, chilling hassles.

(except the ex called my aunt on xmas eve and harassed her as to why had she given me her car? she was not allowed to do so! he also called my landline and i picked up in error but cut him short. he claimed he only rang my aunt to wish her a happy xmas...after calming down my aunt said not to give him the attention he was seeking eg by asking him to refrain from calling - she has caller id and will be more careful not to pick up. he just seeking attention...)

so much nicer dealing with just the three children - and an old aunt - ....we've been in and out and had my sister visiting etc but two of the children had high temperature couple I am exhausted.

a single-mum friend and her two children came over last nite and we had a good new years celebration. they stayed over and we had a nice day together today.

so eliminating the (moaning, griping, complaining, critical) ghosts of Christmases past and looking forward to Christmases and new years future!