Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Autism Night Before Christmas

I recently came across the following beautiful poem on Autism Daddy's blog.

Autism Night Before Christmas by Cindy Waeltermann

Twas the Night Before Christmas
And all through the house
The creatures were stirring
Yes, even the mouse

We tried melatonin
And gave a hot bath
But the holiday jitters
They always distract

The children were finally
All nestled in bed
When nightmares of terror
Ran through my OWN head

Did I get the right gift
The right color
And style
Would there be a tantrum
Or even, maybe, a smile?

Our relatives come
But they don’t understand
The pleasure he gets
Just from flapping his hands.

“He needs discipline,” they say
“Just a well-needed smack,
You must learn to parent…”
And on goes the attack

We smile and nod
Because we know deep inside
The argument is moot
Let them all take a side

We know what it’s like
To live with the spectrum
The struggles and triumphs
Achievements, regressions…

But what they don’t know
And what they don’t see
Is the joy that we feel
Over simplicity

He said “hello”
He ate something green!
He told his first lie!
He did not cause a scene!

He peed on the potty
Who cares if he’s ten,
He stopped saying the same thing
Again and again!

Others don’t realize
Just how we can cope
How we bravely hang on
At the end of our rope

But what they don’t see
Is the joy we can’t hide
When our children with autism
Make the tiniest stride

We may look at others
Without the problems we face
With jealousy, hatred
Or even distaste,

But what they don’t know
Nor sometimes do we
Is that children with autism
Bring simplicity.

We don’t get excited
Over expensive things
We jump for joy
With the progress work brings

Children with autism
Try hard every day
That they make us proud
More than words can say.

They work even harder
Than you or I
To achieve something small
To reach a star in the sky

So to those who don’t get it
Or can’t get a clue
Take a walk in my shoes
And I’ll assure you

That even 10 minutes
Into the walk
You’ll look at me
With respect, even shock.

You will realize
What it is I go through
And the next time you judge
I can assure you

That you won’t say a thing
You’ll be quiet and learn,
Like the years that I did
When the tables were turned……

Friday, 14 November 2014

When Hope Invades Our Dreams

A few days ago, Gabriel's old school held their annual Christmas concert.

I couldn't wait to see any photos and videos of the event on fellow parents' Facebook pages, and I wasn't disappointed.  It was wonderful to see all the kiddies dressed up in their costumes, partaking and having fun!


There was a twinge of sadness.  


Because Gabriel wasn't there.

The feeling soon subsided and I didn't think about it again.  Or so I thought.

Last night, my subconscious decided to get involved.  

Photo credit : http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-08/14/remembering-dreams

I dreamt that Gabriel was back at his old school, sitting on the floor next to the other children.  They were all sitting in a circle, practising the songs for their Christmas concert.  

Gabriel wasn't singing and I have, so far, never dreamt of him talking.  But something extraordinary did happen.  He looked at the little boy sitting next to him and passed his toy car to him to play with.  The little boy looked back at him and took the car, smiling.  Gabriel then looked at his fellow classmate's hand and touched it with his own hand.  They then looked at each other and smiled.  He was connecting!  

It was hard to wake up and have this fresh recollection in my memory.  It's bad enough when the conscious mind longs for something but not fair when the subconscious gets involved ;).

Some might say it is a selfish longing, but I know how great it is to connect with another person.  

I want Gabriel to experience it too.

Monday, 10 November 2014

A Wonderful Night's Sleep!

Gabriel has always been a notoriously bad sleeper.

Many nights he will wake up - usually for a 2 to 3 hour stretch.  He will just lie in his bed, babbling away, wanting G-Dad or myself to lie next to him.  It is as if his brain cannot switch off and allow him peace.

There has only been a handful of nights where he has slept through, in his 4 1/2 years.

Until Saturday night.  

Gabriel fell asleep at about 8:30pm.  He then proceeded to sleep through the entire night, awaking at 9:00am on Sunday morning!  He has never, ever, slept that late!

Metaformin and Neurexan have never managed to accomplish this!  Nor has a nightly fan (in case he was hot and for the white noise effect), body massaging, lavender oil - you get the picture.

So what did it?

We can only surmise this little beauty played a key role in it.

We purchased this godsend (am I jinxing it by saying that?) the Saturday morning - the Kitz Air Purifier and one of the concentrated oils - Lily of the Valley.

We had noticed Gabriel's nose was getting blocked at night (we have to sleep with our windows closed for security purposes) and wondered if allergies weren't, somehow, involved.  So, we thought, let's try an air purifier.  

Whether it was the purifier, the Lily of the Valley oil (which claims to calm nerves and promote restful sleep), or the white noise generated from the machine, only time will tell.  

Long may it last!