Celebrating the Positive

I believe strongly in balance and celebrating the positive. Yesterday I was feeling extremely run down and was a little anxious about what the day had in store for me.

The children picked up on my vulnerability and rather than exploiting it, which has happened on occasion, they were very sweet.

My eldest in particular was very cuddly and said, “Don’t worry, Mummy, I’ll take care of you.” He doesn’t always pick up on my emotions but when he does, he always gives me cuddles and kisses.

We had a very sedentary day, snuggling on the couch and watching movies.

I try to limit screen time as I’ve noticed that this can overstimulate the children. My eldest tends to stim and tic a lot more than usual when exposed to screens or when he’s tired.

However, some days it can’t be avoided.

This got me thinking about the misconception that autistic people have no empathy.

Admittedly, my eldest needs very obvious clues to identify how I am feeling, and is not very in tune with people outside of the family, but he’s such a sensitive boy who is very loving and affectionate. This shocks a lot of people!

One of the paediatricians we visited said that sadly the criteria was a little out of date and that it needed to move with the times.

We now realise that ASD is a spectrum, not in a linear fashion, and that no two autistic people are the same, despite sharing similar traits.

This is something I will address in more detail in a future post.

What is autism? Is everyone a little bit autistic?

Are autistic people empathetical?

Behaviour

I am absolutely gutted…I spent ages constructing a new post and it didn’t save!!!!

I don’t know if I have the patience to rewrite it. I was about to back it up as well. Ok…here goes…

I was discussing behaviour.

Essentially, lots of other parents have told me that their neurotypical children behave like mine and that they believe some of the behaviour is just normal.

I am aware that some of the behaviours my children exhibit are typical of their ages but I urge parents of neurotypical children to understand that we know the difference. If we are attributing a behavour to ASD/SPD, please trust us.

My children are polite and well behaved but as I’ve said before, when they ‘flip’, they are quite extreme and loud, so they stand out.

I am so consistent with my behaviour management that it is sometimes hard to accept that my children can come across the way they do. Generally though, I am so proud of them, and when we go out, despite how much we have to do to keep things ticking over, they behave well.

I think we need to create new terms to differentiate between behaviour (manners/doing as one is told) and SEN ‘misbehaviours’. This is mainly because lots of behaviour exhibited by SEN children are due to developmental or processing issues and require extra support to manage.

When I was a teacher, as anybody who worked with me can confirm, I excelled at behaviour management. I believe in treating people as individuals but I also believe in clear boundaries. I was frequently called upon to help with behaviour issues and children were often sent to me when they made the wrong choices. I had my fair share of problematic behaviour which came from high numbers of SEN children as well as a plethora of other reasons.

On some level, I actually believe I was given those experiences to prepare me for my children, particularly my eldest.

One Headteacher asked if I would be interested in training to become a SENCo. At the time I wanted to be an English Coordinator, which I later did for two schools. I also had my heart set on becoming a Headteacher, but when the opportunity arose to become an Assistant Head, I quickly realised that this wasn’t the right job for me. It haunted me for some time that I had passed up an opportunity to make a real difference to so many children and gain more knowledge of SEN.

I am now very interested in working within the field of SEN. I am not quite sure in which capacity yet.

The research I conducted as a teacher, along with the strategies I put in place back then, have certainly helped with my own children. I guess that’s what enabled me to identify their differences early on and put things in place from so young.