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Autism in my family

Hi Fellow Auti people

I have had a bit of a rough trot lately… I have reached the end of my coping abilities…my patience is lost, my anger is noticeable, my frustration is at a level so high I think I have high blood pressure. I am doubting myself, my parenting, my capabilities, my intelligence, my mind.

Kim, 25, has moved back home, she is in a caravan in the backyard with her partner. She also came home with 2 cats. Guess where they live….in the house with me. Guess how much I pick up after THE FAMILY.

Patrick is now nearly 16 and he is huge…in height, popular and is hardly ever home. He goes to TAFE now, to become a mechanic,  much better than the failed public school system for him. He smokes….grrrrr. He doesnt come home…..grrrr. He doesnt really get into trouble, thank goodness. He did when he first started at TAFE, but he has settled down now and is doing the right thing there…he wants a trade, he wants a job…but….his attitude stinks.. He rings me and asks if he can go somewhere or stay overnight with a mate….and when I say no and why, perfectly reasonable of course, he refuses to come home anyway….so privileges are few and between. I am so over teen boy….size, noise, thumping through the house, temper, door slamming, swearing, resistance, abuse, smell, laziness, procrastination, more teen boys and more of all the above, disrespect, no food, no money, backyard full of car parts, dirty hand marks high up on the walls, and much much more.

I am so over….: cats, cat hair, cat in my face, cat on my lap, cat under my feet every time I move, cat crying, cat food, cat shit, cat diarrhea, cat furniture, cat food tins on the kitchen floor, broken vases, chewed phone cords, chewed computer cords, chewed artificial flower arrangements….cats; dishes…in the living room, in the bedrooms, in the front yard, in the backyard, in the sink, on the sink, piled up on the benches, unwashed, not in the cupboards, not clean, on the floor, on the benches, on the furniture, broken,  missing…dishes; smoking paraphernalia…: cigarette butts outside the back door, front door, in the yard everywhere, front and back, empty packs inside, outside, (I dont allow smokers in my home), tobacco pouches, tobacco dregs, filters, papers, lighters, no matches in my emergency stash, smell in the house, smokers….;

I get a cleaner in each fortnight, to help keep up with the floor mopping and bathroom cleaning, etc, that I cant keep up with myself, my arthritis and depression is a struggle. I work flat out for at least 2 hours before the cleaning lady comes to make the house clean and safe for the cleaner to work in…how ironic…so I am sick of having to hurt myself to do that. It sets my physical being back two days after the cleaner coming….no one helps me. Cleaning up the cat mess is NOT my responsibility, BUT, I have to make sure there are no poops anywhere for the cleaners health and safety; I am not the only person who cooks and uses dishes in the family, BUT, I am the only regular dish washer in the house; I dont leave dishes anywhere but on the sink, BUT, I am always picking dishes up from all over the house and yard; I take care of my belongings, BUT, no one else does. Everything in my house is dirty, untidy, trashed, cluttered, over run with animals.

I have my own pet, my little maltese x shih tzu, Brandy. He doesnt get my lap anymore, he has to fight for it. He doesnt settle. He has to wait to get his feed until the cats are out. He has to sleep on my bed, in my room, to get peace. He is always unsettled, getting up everytime he hears a cat move, someone else in the house. He is my little companion, but I feel so alone, so unsettled, so impatient with him often.

I am so alone and so depressed….Autism Sucks

Catch you next time

Dianne

 

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Fixing Up Our Backyard

Hi Bloggers,

The weather has been atrocious. Rain, wind, thunder and lightning, storms so bad roads have been flooded, drains bursting out onto the roads, gardens and yards pummeled to dirt spatters everywhere…the walls of the house are mud. Things I thought were sturdy in the yard have been tossed like rag dolls….its a mess. So, the rain has stopped for a while. Time to clean up and get some organization happening.

We have a dilemma. I find it difficult to open the gates of the backyard every time I need to drive anywhere, then shut them behind me, first making sure the dogs are inside or in the front yard. They will run if they smell a snifter of freedom. Then I need to let the dogs back into the backyard, then I can go wherever I have to go. Depending on weather, health and timing. this is quite likely to be painful, distressful or hard for me to accomplish. I need a solution.

There is also another part to this dilemma. I have been in our house 11 months now. I keep to myself as I usually have no time for chatting to neighbours, etc. I say hello to my neighbours and others that walk past with their kiddies or dogs. We live in a rough neighbourhood and would prefer my children ( ok they are not little anymore, but) not to spend too much time in the neighbourhood. I don’t want them to get in trouble and they will if they hang out with the locals. My son’s already in trouble, a 5 year good behaviour, just for innocently looking at a house being built. I have since found out that he did not actually go onto the property. He was looking from where the car garage met the footpath out the front of the house, public area. I have not looked into anything yet as to whether that can be rectified. Patrick having Autism does not explain things clearly and the police were not in the mood to listen or take excuses, as they called his Autism.

Anyway, two of my neighbours have complained to the council that I park on the nature strip out the front of my house. They do not like this, because to get onto my nature strip, I have to use part of one neighbour’s driveway, outside the yard, to get on to it, and I use part of the other neighbour’s nature-strip with a disused driveway to get off the nature-strip. They called the council on me, but obviously the council were not concerned. So they called them on the fact that I have small swimming pool without regulation fencing.

The council guy came, saw that it had obviously been up but not for several weeks, as I said was the case. So there are no problems there. But while he was here, I asked what regulations were, he showed me where and how high and all the things I needed to know, right there and then. I wont be putting it up again until the next season of summer, so I will have time to organize something by then. I hope. So even though the neighbours bothered me some, they didn’t manage to have me fined or sectioned and quartered or anything. The people know that my family has Autism.

So while the council guy was here, I asked about other things in my yard that I would like to do. I told him how and where I wanted my chicken pen. I have the hen-house and just need to fence of areas behind the garden sheds. He was happy with that. I asked about my fence I want to put up around the drive-in area of the backyard so that I can keep the dogs from getting out of the yard and still have my car off the street whenever I am home, without having to stress myself shutting gates all the time. He was happy with that plan too. I also asked him where in my yard would the housing people be likely to put a unit for my daughter to live in, when we get approval for it. He pointed out the same area we thought it would be put in because of plumbing and wiring. The proximity to the house and clearances from boundary fences, etc. So I was pleased with that.

So, to turn things to a good, like I always try to do, my neighbours narkily turning me in to the council actually helped me so that I could get hands-on info I needed without having to make arrangements, appointments or paying anyone. I was happy with the overall result of their meddling.

So Today, we hired a trailer, free from the Neighborhood House because we are a Ministry of Housing Tenant, we went to the recycle centre and we found 2 large pallets that had 4×4 poles long enough to make our fence posts for our driveway area. All for $10. All we need now is lengths of wire and chicken wire as well as nails, etc. We also, for $5 found a lovely picket gate. We also have plenty of wood from those pallets to make sure the fence is solid, not flimsy. Leftover wood will be used as a veggie garden edge which will also be behind the fence so the dogs cannot dig into it.

Kim and Pat were out there this afternoon, pulling planks off one of the pallets, so we can use the wood for the fences, etc. I am also putting on Lay-by, a carport. It is a temporary one, with shade-cloth tarp over the top, but with our fencing, and some lattice-work, we will put that at the nose end of the car-port and plant some climbers up it. That will stop a bit of snooping into the yard through the carport when the large gates are open. We are also going to put some clear vinyl over the carport to help keep that area waterproof. what good is a car-port if you get wet getting in and out of the car in bad weather.
So all in all, today was a successful day, re-creating has started and Kim and Pat will be busy for the next few weeks.

We will be broke tho. No movies, going places. Just home and keeping busy.

Well, until I see you next,

Dianne

Kim and Pat

Hi ASD Bloggers

I just have a few words to describe how things are at home here with Kim and Pat. This little excerpt is a little of what it is like living with my two ASD’s on any given day at any given time, several times daily.

Patrick went into the bathroom. Kim opened the door after he shut if to see what he was going into the bathroom for. (there is just shower and vanity basin). Kim then shut the door and laughed. Pat opened the door. Kim shut it. Pat opened it. Kim shut it. Pat opened it, laughing. Kim shut it, laughing. This went on about 20 repetitions more. Then Kim walked off laughing. Pat came out of the bathroom and shut the door, laughing.

That sort of thing happens in this house all the time. It doesn’t matter why it happened. It doesn’t matter if anyone was doing the wrong thing. It doesn’t matter why Pat went into the bathroom. It doesn’t matter why Kim kept opening it. It just happened.

It is a very happy household, all of the time. I have learned to just go on with what I am doing. I laugh and enjoy the FACT that they are getting on so well. I enjoy the FACT that they are laughing and happy. I enjoy the FACT that they are leaving me alone. I enjoy the FACT that they are not trying to kill each other, which is the other end of the spectrum. They either love each other and have fun or they hate each other and fight and/or try to kill each other.

Now, at this moment, they are in the living room, playing the music they like, loud, discussing who know’s what? She picks his pimples that are just asking to be picked and he rubs her feet when they hurt too much. Any other time, she would not touch anyone and he would not touch anyone. Go figure!! If I asked for a massage anywhere on my body for just one minute only, Kim would recoil in horror and Patrick would run and do his best to get out of having to do it. I very rarely get a massage. I bought a massage chair for that reason.

Patrick does however give me massages. That is only when he comes to hug me and he sees that I am not at my best, so he just gives my shoulders a tweak. A tweak of my shoulders to me is absolute full massage, releasing all my tension within seconds. A tweak to him is just digging his fingers and thumbs into my neck and shoulders and squeezing. He will do that a couple of times. He figures if he can get away with hurting me and I like it, it fulfills some need in him.

He is so strong and his hands are so big that just him tweaking my shoulders, his hands span from my spine out to the edge of my shoulders where my arms hang down. I really appreciate my son. He is a hugger and kisser. My little boy, who was always such a tiny little guy when young, has grown up from 12-year-old into a man-sized teen. He is only 14 and a half and yet his is bigger that both my ex-husbands. And, on top of that, Patrick loves me.

Ok, it has been an obsession with him all his life to hug me, kiss me and tell me he loves, a million times a day, and I had to hug him back, kiss him and tell him that I loved him too. Now, when he tells me this and hugs me, it will only be a few times a day, like breakfast time, when he is leaving for school, when he gets home from school and before he goes to bed. On weekends, there may be an extra one or two thrown in there as well. He still expects me to tell him that I love him too when he does this. It isn’t so much an obsession so much as it is a habit, I guess.

I don’t care, I get a good strong hug daily, I know my son loves me and all is good.

Kimberly, however. Kim doesn’t like touch. To touch anyone or anyone to touch her. She does have her special people that she likes to hug or give kisses to. None of them are me. She loves Colleen’s family. She gives Colleen hugs, she loves Max, 6, who is very much ADHD, and she gives him heaps of hugs and kisses. She gives Sophie, 8 a hug occasionally, but Sophie is an occasional hugger also. Jack, 14, keeps to himself and no one really hugs him or vice versa.  But Kim will still give Jack a hug in very special circumstances. She also has a few good friends that she hugs.

Not me. I’m used to it. When she is really scared and I come to her rescue, you can see she wants to hug me, but will only do it if I hug her first. Then, also, it is over just as soon as it happens. Kim has also hugged me when she has been quite ill, she has had pneumonia a few times and she hugged me when she was younger. But she has pneumonia quite often now, she is used to the way it feels and knows she will be fine in a few days and doesn’t need a hug from me. But that’s alright, I know she does love me. She doesn’t say she loves me, but she shows it in different things she does.

Like, making sure Patrick shows respect to me, and when he shows disrespect, she lets him know his wrong and makes him apologize. And in ways like just then, she came in with three of her favourite undies, showed them all to me and explained why she liked them. That is such an improvement. She is talking personal stuff to me. She even showed me personal stuff. Things like that, concrete my knowledge that she does love and respect me. Which also makes me feel like I have done the best for her. Maybe you will get to hear about those things one day.

So, there is a snippet of a day in my house. It is Saturday. That makes no distinction to any other day of the week being different. It’s just my observation.

Hope you enjoyed my story, or have a bit of insight as to what it is living with my family, or living with ASD.

Cheers

Dianne

Tuesday

Hi Fellow Bloggers,

Well, have I been busy the last few days. Kimmi has moved in, lock, stock and barrel. I wonder what that really means. Must Google it. Hehe.

Found it:


Lock, stock and barrel

Meaning

The whole thing.

Origin

Lock, stock and barrelI’ve seen it suggested that this phrase refers to all of a shopkeeper’s possessions – the stock in trade, the items stored in barrels and the lock to the door. This explanation is entirely fanciful though – the ‘whole thing’ in question when this phrase originated was a musket. Muskets were composed of three parts:

– The lock, or flintlock, which is the firing mechanism. Various forms of ‘lock’ muskets were used from the 1400s onwards, e.g. fire-locks, flintlocks, matchlocks etc. The term ‘lock’ was probably adopted because the mechanism resembles a door lock.

– The stock, which is the wooden butt-end of the gun. ‘Stock’ is the old term for wooden butt or stump and is a generic term for a solid base. It was used as early as 1495 in association with Tudor guns, in a bill for ‘gonne stokkes’. See also laughing-stock.

– The barrel, i.e. a cylindrical object, is an even older word and was well-established by the 15th century. This is the least obvious of these three terms to have been chosen to name a musket part. After all, in the 15th century people would have been very familiar with barrels as the squat coppered tubs used for storage – hardly similar to the parallel-sided cylindrical tubes that were used in muskets. It may have been that the term migrated from cannons or other sorts of gun which were more barrel-shaped.

Note: that ‘lock, stock and barrel’ refers to muskets, not rifles. What makes rifles different from earlier guns are the spiral grooves inside the barrel, which cause the bullet to rotate and fly more truly. ‘Rifle’ derives from the French verb ‘rifler’ – to scratch or scrape.

So, There we go. Kimmi, as a whole, has moved in!!

Isn’t the Internet wonderful? I think so.

Anyway, because of her moving in, with all her stuff, I have had to re-arrange the house. Our house is so teeny-weeny that when she moved out, I spread my sewing and craft into the spare room. I filled it to capacity. Now, I have to empty that room back into my room. My bedroom is only half a metre wider than the sewing room. Now, that is a job and half or two thousand, I am telling you.

I have spent the better part of the last two days, sorting every item in that sewing room, organized it into a shoebox, clear box, file or folder, large and small and made it fit into my bedroom in some of the furniture that was in the sewing room, including my Horn Sewing Cabinet.

I am only part way through.

I also have to find room in the house somewhere for jigsaw puzzles, board games and other books and magazines other than crafting that I wish to keep. I don’t know where that will be. The games I could fit into Patrick’s wall unit in his bedroom. Hopefully. I have so much to do. I have been trying to organize my house for Kimmi to move back home for a couple of weeks now, and it has been a slow painful process. Now I am beginning to see the outcomes of all my hard work. But I am also seeing full shelves, boxes and cupboards.

I am feeling accomplishment though, and that is very important for me.

The last two days has also seen Kim and Patrick playing over and over a DVD of Carl Barron, an Australian Comedian. He is funny but when I hear it all the time, and then Kim and Pat re-enact a lot of the DVD, speak to me in Carl Barron language, walk like him, talk like him, there is not a straight word in the house. They are so funny, mimicking him. It is a very Autistic thing in our household. Patrick has always Role-Played. He was 12 months old when he first starting eating off the floor like a puppy, lifting his leg when crawling on all fours, hanging his tongue out for attention and food, barking, using his teeth to play with towels, carpet, toys, anything that he could reach. He was so tiny. Then he started rounding up the chooks the day he started walking, or should I say running. Only a week after the puppy thing started. Then he started imitating his dad, and sisters, and anyone else that took his fancy. We used to go to a local pub regularly to see bands play live…he had to have his guitar and microphone and sing along. Not that we understood a word. For a while he was a rock’n’ roller, playing drums and guitar and singing and stomping his feet in an attempt to dance. This was all before he was two.

By the time he was four, he was rounding up sheep (we lived in outback Qld) and he was Murray from The Wiggles. He was also very much into guns and dinosaurs, although he was quite happy calling goanna’s and lizards his ‘Saurs.

When he started school, we had just got his diagnosis of Autism. He was always Jim Craig, the Man from Snowy River. From the movie. He had his imaginary horse, who went everywhere with us, tied on behind the ‘Cruiser when we went to town, he tied him up to the posts out the front of the shops. He had to wear his Akubra and his jeans and flannel shirt, no matter the weather. He always had a belt and a gun of some concoction he made or found and tried all the time to get spurs on his boots. We eventually bought him spurs and a whip. He could really use that too.

At fourteen he still has his days when he says ‘Mum, I’m Jim today.’ I have to talk to him in old Aussie lingo, and give him food for his horse as a treat, usually a carrot, he shares it with his horse. LOL.

Then there are the days he is Lightning Jack, a character portrayed by Aussie actor, Paul Hogan. He plays an outlaw. He also has days when he is Jack ‘Crocodile Dundee’, another Paul Hogan character.

Kimmi, she is just a fun nutty person to have around. Nothing is normal with her. In amongst all her friends, she has made Cheese, a cartoon character, popular. She quotes from all movies she has ever seen in most of her conversations. Finding Nemo can be quoted several times a day in several instances. Tarzan is another one, and El Dorado is another one. She loves Sandra Bullock movies and quite often reminds me of certain passages of dialogue in movies as well as looks, comments and actions she portrays in her characters.

Kimmi quite often  brings up Sandra Bullock moments with me, especially from the Ya Ya’s. We love that movie, and even today, when my daughter Meg rang, (for the 3rd time today) I said ‘if that’s meg I’m gonna scream’. It was, and I screamed and when she said….’what do you have ESP, you know its me before you pick up the phone’ . how she knew I was thinking of Ya Ya’s at that moment I don’t know, but yes, I did the banging the phone like Sandra did in the movie when her mother did the same thing, so Meg did it too, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh yes, life is just one big laugh in our household, thinly disguised as frustration…lol. We have a good belly laugh every day.

I quite enjoy the relationship I have with all my 3 kids. Meg thinks she couldn’t live with me again. I believe she is right, but we do always have a nice time when she comes to visit. I can’t really visit with her, as she lives with her dad, and he and I, although we tolerate each other, really could not stand to be in the same house together. So, visits have to be at my house or if we have some money, a mutually agreed holiday place. Not gonna happen, I’m telling you now. Kim knows she has to live with me, but if we can get her her own unit out in the backyard, that would be best for her and us. Patrick, whether he likes it or not, has to live at home.

Well, that’s how my continuing saga is at the moment. I still have a lot of sorting, chucking and organizing my sewing and craft before Kim can move into the bedroom. The living room is getting cluttered with Her in there, but what else can I do? Keep on doing what I’m doing, plugging away at sorting it all until it is all done, and we can all live with it.

So, until next I chat….have a good day

Dianne

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