Friday, December 3, 2010

So after nearly a full term at school....

We have lift off!

Cyclone is attending from 9.01 am to 3pm. Already!! Here I was hoping for 3 hours a day *grin.

So we started off with 2 weeks of one hour blocks with the classroom aide. They played games together and had a lot of laughs. I know they walked around the school and playground whilst the students were in class to get him familiar with the surroundings without the cacophony of the whole school out there.

Cyclone had to walk across the back of the classroom to get to the computer/quiet room in the beginning and I could see how hard that was for him. His little head down, willing no one to notice his presence....

The school wanted him to extend his hours fairly quickly but I was nervous about too much too soon. I decided I might just let the school lead this side of things. I was to pick him up just before recess.

It went perfectly well until one day I was late. I was worried about his reaction because he gets so anxious if I am not waiting for him...but this time he wasn't waiting for me. I couldn't find him - there was a sea of children playing on the oval, running all over the place. I ran into the office but he was not there either. I finally picked out Miss T, who has been our main contact and funding help. She was standing on the edge of the oval and when she saw me she pressed a finger to her lips, then pointed to a group of boys having a rough and tumble game of football.

"Cyclone, CYCLONE - kick it to meeeee" I heard, then finally realised they meant MY Cyclone. He was playing footy with the boys.
He kicked and passed and threw himself into the pack. They were all having a great game.

I nearly cried. Then he spotted me and instead of throwing himself on the ground because he didn't want to leave, he just waved. When the bell went for the end of recess he ran over to me, asked for a drink and said "I've been playing footy with my friends mum" Big grin. His new friends all trooped past on their way back to class - waving goodbye to Cyclone, and Cyclone nonchalantly waved back and headed to the car.

This is the stuff of dreams for this mumma. Remember - Cyclone doesn't play games easily, he wants to control everything, be the boss and always always win.
And there he was - just one of the boys.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Very quick one...

Just to let you know things are going VERY very well with Cyclone. He has started school...but this means I have a little more time to catch up on everything that has fallen to the wayside in the last few months.

I'll be back soon to tell you all about it - it's all great news!


Monday, October 11, 2010

Another first day at school.

Off we go again. This time armed with a far better understanding, a heap more direction, and a team of people committed to Cyclone, his education and happiness.

I spent a LOT of time being pissed off at the lack of choice. I found a perfect school, one with a philosophy I truly believed in, but since it was non-government - getting funding for help in the classroom was near impossible.

There are schools that specialise in Autism....but not for Aspergers. Cyclone is a challenging student and will take up much of a teachers time. He needs a classroom Aide to help him with his anxiety and stress. Funding-wise he will be better off in Government school as it's far easier to obtain. Due to the complete idiocy of this other stupid school we were left with no enrolment, no funding and the year is nearly over.

Therefore I had to enrol him at the closest local as they are obligated to take him. I don't really like it at first. It's kinda ugly, no trees and lots of concrete. I have Cyclone's little sister enrolled to start Prep at the school in the next suburb because I love the environment. Lots of open grassy spaces, plenty of trees and a huge open junior class area with huge picture windows.

I know it sounds silly but environment is important to me ok?

It turns out the local primary school is huge on integration, they have students with all sorts of abilities and a parent group for support.

I made an appointment with the principal to explain the situation. She checked my street make sure of their obligation. At the meeting I told them the story so far - starting school, stopping, homeschooling, being messed around and my need to get back to work. I gave them the reports so far and arranged for more.

I think being aware of rights/obligations and the fact I am realistic about the situation has helped make a good relationship with the school so far. I get the impression a lot of superkid parents just want the school to fix things themselves or are in complete denial of their childs issues. I keep being told what a great job I am doing and how they appreciate the support. I tell them I appreciate them moving things around to accomodate Cyclone and that we will surely have a happier little boy doing great things soon.

So far Cyclone attends for one hour a day. The plan is to establish a relationship with the integration Aide (who was already there), to have a positive experience and feel safe at school. So far they just play games but yesterday the Aide had him reading a book and writing numbers. Already!

We know there will be a reversal, there will be hiccups but this term isn't about academia. It's about laying down a strong foundation for the rest of Cyclones primary years. We hope he will be there 3 hours a day by the end of term.

I have registered for homeschooling again for this term, as I will continue to handle the basics. Even though I'm a bit crap at it, I'm finding more information about the Aspy brain and how it learns. Very interesting, I feel like I'm finding little keys everywhere.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

So - where was I?

Oh yeah, I've been meaning to respond to some of the comments I've had over the past few weeks.

Thank you for your suggestions and encouragement, I really appreciate it and I'm willing to try anything. I did start this blog to keep track of everything, to be some sort of information for those who may start along this path too. To be honest, the last few months have sucked so badly and I think twice about posting.

Because I kinda don't want to scare people for want of a better word. I didn't start down this path as quickly as I should have because part of me stuck my head in the sand. Please remember - no two children are the same. EVER. Not even in spectrum world.

I look back and think about when Cyclone started school this year. He was so ready and looking forward to it. He cruised through transition and took to it like a fish to water. Then as the days went on and the stresses increased his teacher kept telling me he complained of being hungry, thirsty and tired.

Here I am packing his lunch box full to the brim, putting 2 drink bottles in his bag and sending him to bed at 6.30pm - all to no avail. *feeling like a NOT awesome parent by the way*.

I have since learned that this is how he distracts people. He isn't hungry or thirsty at all, but it certainly works to say that you are. Same with being tired. Little fella is smart enough to remember me saying "you must be tired" when he chucked a tanty and used it for his own means later on!

Anyhoo - handwriting etc. We do have a whiteboard, we also use chalk and greylead pencils and an eraser. It does decrease the anxiety somewhat. The best suggestion from our OT was to use shaving cream of all things! He really loves this.

I also finally found the correct "victorian cursive" lettering used in Primary Schools here. Lots of the books just have printing and I didn't want him to become familiar with one style only to have to re learn something he was happy with. Lucky me, he LOVES the scrips - calls it "fancy writing" and seems happier writing this way - Huh? Don't ask me...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

OK, so maybe not THAT school after all *sheesh*

Alrighty, so after my sterling victory with The School The Stuffed Me Around BIG TIME, the principal did a lot of apologising and we arranged a date for a proper trial. He wasn't to be there for very long, he was to meet his new teacher and hang out a bit so they could observe and get to know him.

He didn't want to go but I told him he needed to get back to school and this place was nice, quiet and didn't have too many kids in the classroom and he might feel better with less noise.

He carried on a little, lying on the floor and doing the usual testing of a new persons mettle by ignoring them. He came around quickly when we got the lego out and I breathed a little sigh of relief.

Then it was time to have a look at the current class. The boys were sitting on the floor listening to a story. I warned them he was very anxious about walking into a room full of people so I sat in there first and waited for him to join me. He didn't. He stood at the door for a second until the teacher looked up from the book and said - "Come here and sit on the floor". Quite roughly I might add.

I AGAIN was gobsmacked. Who on earth speaks to a child like that, let alone one you KNOW is nervous? Anything wrong with a smile and "would you like to join us?"

I felt like I was in a different universe there for a second. A stupid universe.

So Cyclone said pfft to that and headed for the door. I told them not to chase him but they did. I called out that he would only do and stand next to the car and wait but the teacher chased him through the carpark and grabbed him. There was no danger, this woman just freaked out. He tried to get away, she gripped him harder so he called her a fucking idiot arsehole. He saves those words up for when he really needs them (like feeling threatened and wants people to rack off).

So that was that. They can't accomodate him as he is too full on. My head is spinning but quickly realising these people have no fucking idea. We talk for a bit and they recommend another school and when I reject that the Principal gives me another option. She calls me every second day to see how I am feeling about it - and frankly feel like I have dodged a bullet.

This is backed up by another super spectrum mumma (through here - thank you oldschoolgeek!), that since advised me nearly every spectrum professional in the known universe is totally against this school for spectrum kids.

Why the hell do they consider themselves the right place for super kids?? I spoke to them at length a few months ago about his behaviour/spectrum/sensory issues and tells me they can certainly help him. How dare they wax lyrical about how they can help when all they are doing is running some sort of military academy. Yeah, smack them back into shape is all they need, right?

I'm angry and sad. Not because we built up to go there, but because it was a complete waste of everyones time. I could have had him sorted somewhere else. Now it's 3 weeks from the end of term and I have to spend days looking for a new school, negotiating him beginning Term 4 and starting the transition process. I could have been doing this weeks and weeks ago.

Just for the sake of it I'm going to mention this again. EARLY INTERVENTION.

All of this could have been avoided if we had help sooner.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Signs of Oppositional Defiance Disorder (some of them, taken from the Oasis Guide to Asperger Syndrome)

*Frequent Temper Tantrums
*Excessive arguing with adults
*Active defiance and refusal to comply with adult requests and rules
*Deliberate attempts to annoy or upset people
*Blaming others for his or her mistakes or misbehaviour
*Often being touchy or easily annoyed by others
*Frequent anger and resentment
*Mean and hateful talking when upset
*Seeking revenge

This is Cyclone ALL OVER. Every day. It's just ridiculous and he is so freaking NEGATIVE it drives me spare. Poor kid - how can you be happy being like this?

Cyclone isn't happy. He has nightmares and relives the days events. Some nights he cries at bedtime because he hates the things that he does. "I can't stop it mummy, my head gets all hot". He hates being like this, he says he hates himself and the world hates him too.

Never more heartbreaking words for a mother to hear from her son.


The three primary characteristics of ADD/ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. The signs and symptoms a child with attention deficit disorder has depends on which characteristics predominate.

*Inattentive but not hyperactive or impulsive
*Hyperactive and impulsive, but able to pay attention
*Inattentive, hyperactive and impulsive (the most common form, and this is Cyclone)

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that appears in early childhood. You may know it by the name attention deficit disorder, or ADD. ADD/ADHD makes it difficult for people to inhibit their spontaneous responses—responses that can involve everything from movement to speech and attentiveness.

The signs and symptoms of ADD/ADHD typically appear before the age of seven. However, it can be difficult to distinguish between attention deficit disorder and normal “kid behavior.” If you spot just a few signs, or the symptoms appear only in some situations, it’s probably not ADD/ADHD. On the other hand, if your child shows a number of ADD/ADHD signs and symptoms that are present across all situations at home, at school, and at play it’s time to take a closer look.


I've refused to consider ADHD up until now because of all the negative connotations and constant mentions of Ritalin. I'm researching everything properly now.

My poor Cyclone - so far it looks like he has the Full Menu of Neurological issues. Lucky he has a FANTASTIC sense of humour and is really, really, good looking.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Working it it "normal"

It's sometimes hard to work out if your child has a behavioural/neurological problem or just "normal" with a few quirks. We all have quirks don't we? I do *grin. Maybe they are just a bit behind in development...or too far ahead in development??

Should you do anything..or wait to see if they grow out of it? Is it just a phase? Do you have friends and family telling you your child is 'fine'....even though you don't feel it?

The best way to work it out is look at how much it's affecting your lives. Does the quirky-ness or the behaviour happen all the time? Does it stop you (or make you think twice) about going shopping for example? Is is ridiculously hard to get out the front door every day? Are you avoiding certain situations because you know the likely result for your child/family?

Of course kids can bounce off the walls - all kids are full of bounce!
Lots of kids are fussy eaters.
Heaps of kids don't like loud noises.
ALL children have tantrums.
Lots of children lash out in frustration.
Lots of kids like to play on their own...or are shy.
Heaps of kids like to "be the boss".

It becomes a potential issue if it's all the time, or most of the time. Your friends and family don't live in your house and see how often the problematic behaviours occur, so well meaning advice like "oh she'll settle down", "my kids do that too" aren't always helpful.

Go with your heart. Listen to yourself as a parent.