Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Spanish holiday preparation for Emily

We're heading off to Spain next week for Amanda and Dave's wedding and Emily is going to be a flower girl.

There's so much about that sentence that fills me with dread.

Thankfully, through various workshops and meetings, we've discovered (and had reinforced) that the prepared parent of an ASD child can (hopefully) circumvent most meltdowns and problems by being prepared.

To this end, Sue bought Emily a book about a flower girl a couple of weeks ago that we've been reading. How much she can equate some badly drawn artwork to a task she's never performed is yet to be seen.

To enable to trip to be less stressful for Em, Sue's also put together a small book outlining what we're doing, where we're going and - crucially for ASD kids - that we're coming back home again.

The goal is to read this book like we would a Dr Seuss or Hairy McLairy book, and hopefully the repetition and the familiar photos will make the actual event of the flight to Spain, the wedding (and flower girling) and the trip home almost stress-free.

One thing we have been remiss about is to get Emily in the habit of wearing headphones. This won't be much of an issue going to Spain as EasyJet won't have any in-flight entertainment. It will be quite imperative to have this sorted on the flight to Oz for the girls in August, as Em will need to be entertained by the TV screen.

Fingers crossed the Spanish holiday goes off without a hitch.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Yeah baby

Austin Powers and his juice.
Emily's started this odd trend of saying just the most random stuff.

The latest in her canon happens when she's upset. Tonight, she was frustrated about having some juice, so came over to me, ripped my hand away from Holly's head (where it was holding her up while I fed her) and proceeded to tell me "Yeah, baby!" in an utterly frenzied, upset manner.

While the intended message, somewhere between "I'm frustrated" and "just gimme the damn juice" was obviously conveyed by Emily, I had to hold back a snicker at her completely misusing such a random term to convey these feelings. It's like tourettes, but instead of swearing she uses random Austin Powers sayings.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Dental irritation

With most four year olds, dental pain would be accompanies with a "Mummy/Daddy (delete as appropriate) my mouth hurts". With Emily, that is not the case. She imbibes and consumes and then screams in pain when the food and/or drink has hit whatever in her mouth is causing her discomfort. 

Things came to quite a head last night at dinner as there was more moisture on Em's face (due to tears and the ensuing snot) than in her meal or drink (or fill in other things with fluids... soup?) 

We called the trusty NHS Direct to get advice. An Emergency Dental Nurse rang us back around midnight to direct us to Rose Hill today and the emergency NHS Dentist that's working bank holidays (lucky him!)

Long story short, Em managed to open her mouth about a microsecond, but this seemed to be long enough for the dental assistant to either a) see the problem or b) not see it but pretend she did. Either way we got the diagnosis that there's nothing visibly wrong, so it could just be new teeth coming through. There was an additional theory that it was also just an ulcer but we were whisked out of the surgery so quickly we didn't have time to raise this hypothesis. Keys in the door, and jacket on the receptionist told the reason for the hasty hoiking out - lunchtime. 

Anyway. We went to the supermarket and bought loads of "tooth friendly" things for lunch and dinner, so Emily enjoyed a lunch of soup and a dinner of my wonderful home-made turkey bolognese (apparently pasta doesn't aggravate whatever the hell her mouth is going through). 

Here's hoping the oral discomfort settles down soon. It's going to be quite fun for school and Helen otherwise.  

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Early Birds , part 2

We started a course called Early Bird last week. It's put on by the National Autism Society and its meant to help parents learn a bit more about their child and cope with their (the child's) view of the world.

Last week was a bit of a toe dipping exercise, touching on a lot that Sue and I have discovered through Dragonflies sessions and the like.

Tonight we jumped straight in to Communication. It was quite an interesting session and we even have home work!

It made me think about Emily's condition in a slightly different light - as if she's a visitor from another country and can't speak the language. She picks up words and phrases here and there but really has no idea what they mean in context. Kinda reminds me of the Monty Python sketch with the phony foreign dictionaries.

I'm sure "my hovercraft is full of eels" might actually mean something to Emily, but it means Bo Diddly to me.

We also talked about the iceberg method again and discussed that the behaviours you see are only the tip of the iceberg, compared to the symptoms down below.

We're to look at Emily with different eyes over the next week - iceberg-wise as well as dissect her verbal and non-verbal communication.

It's really dawned on Sue and I that as parents of an Autistic child, we're shirking our responsibilities somewhat - this is a full. time. job!