we have moved!

Now as many of you understand moving is far from easy for our Aspies. The change is hard for everyone but so much harder if you like things to stay the same and you feel safe in your comfort zone.

The move was big! a new country! a few days driving to get there!!

My hat goes off to my son who really not only kept it together for the whole drive but also for the few weeks of mad packing. For me the hard bit was getting him to keep things. You see the throw his heart and soul into sorting and throwing everything away. I found it so hard to get him to keep things he may want later on. That is 180 degrees turn around from normal and looking back it should have rang an alarm bell. He was ‘coping’ far too well. I was so wrapped up in the move and the packing I lost sight of how he was feeling.

We had talked a lot about the move before hand, now that was good but the reality is so different. The stress he was feeling was bottled up. If you like it was showing in the way he throw everything out!! I just failed to connect the dots.

Now we have been here for around one month and the stress is showing. So we are working on de-stress, this is with massage, structured days, plenty of talking about subjects he loves. Getting a new doctor who understands my son and his medication. Allowing for the days when he is low.

There is an up side 🙂 we have a few really…. 🙂

  1. Showering has become a no problem area. Now I have waited a long time for that to happen!
  2. Working on his online courses, that has become a really good out let and he has fallen in love with computer languages. The hard bit is how to get him to stop working and have down time.
  3. A new doctor that cares and knows what they are on about! the good bit is I really think he is getting the care he needs and both my son and the doctor are doing a medication review 🙂 🙂
  4. The chance to change his daily routine to one that offers adult structure for his day. As he throw out nearly all his childhood things.
  5.  For my son one benefit is faster internet speed.
  6. He has his own bathroom.

So while we have a lot of changes, some planned, some not. He is working well through them and I hope we see more personal growth towards adult life and interests. For now we will work on settling into a new home and having structure allowing for my son to settle.

Lies all lies!!

Well life loves to throw a curved ball to keep me on my toes!!

My son was having a tired and angry time and shouted out ‘Why did you teach me to lie!!?’

After scrapping myself of the floor and really trying to think when and where this ‘crime’ had happened ???? We chatted about this……….

It turns out that from years ago I had told him to not say what he thought but to say something nice. Now here is an example of this. My daughter, his ‘beloved’ (ok I am stretching this by miles!) sister may ask ‘Do I look nice in this?’ my poor son will struggle here as for him:

1. The strappy top is off the shoulders. He hates things not to be straight!!!

2. He has old fashioned views on clothes, where as my daughter is young and love fashion.

3. She drinks and smokes!!! he hates both!! there is a five year gap and his sister is the oldest. Enough said! He’s 20 she’s 25.

4.Fashion doesn’t always fit with my son idea of clothes to wear!

So when the dreaded question is asked, he can explains everything he sees as wrong, from the shoulder strap hanging lower on one side than the other, to his views of how horrible the skirt is! Not what my daughter asked, often, not even asked him but asked me and my son was in the same room! Well we would get meltdowns as he would not understand how being honest (to be fair a value I want to see in any of my children) can be at least painful or at worst seen as out right rude!!

I told my son just to say nothing or if pushed find something he likes to comment on.

Given food or drink when out or sharing a meal at some ones else’s home:

1. Not to demand how or what food to be placed where. This can be a problem as he is sharp about his wishes and this can be seen as demanding!

2. Not to ‘inspect’ the glasses his drink comes in! he struggles with other people not washing up their glasses right.

3. If he dislikes something on his food plate to just leave it without comment.

To him this is lying, to miss out part or all that he really feels is lying.

To not tell a person what he has bought for their birthday or if a night is planned that they don’t know about is lying!

When some one chats away and tells him some gossip to not tell anyone, makes him feel he is holding in a lie!!

So how to help with the burden he feels around these areas seems to be my next task.

If any of you have some nuggets of information, ideas of how to help place it in the comments and help us out 🙂

Adult children

I some times feel that having an adult child can be really hard. While he has all the ages for anything from marriage to the vote (UK laws) He is not able to do so many day to day things. I get such mixed emotions of where and how to get him to gain skills. Where is the line between his choice and my wish for him to gain in life skills and independence?
WOW! I think that it can be harder now than when he was a child.
What’s your views? How do you feel an adult should progress? I would love to hear from you.
My son always seems keen at first and then after a few weeks we go down hill, not back to the beginning but not far off.
To gain a balance is hard work. How do you cope? Drop me a line I would love to know your views.

Talking can help

I was lucky enough to have a really good talk with my daughter this weekend. I shared with her what is getting me so upset.
As she is five years older than my son, she has a good handle on how he has grown up and how life has been for us all.
She reminded me of how we were building a soft playroom come safe-room, as his temper was just so bad in those days, how we had no knifes or even forks in the house as he would stab out at us. How a spoon could hurt! I had forgotten, not completely, but enough to start my guilt trip of ‘Have I done the right thing moving?’ ‘Have I taken away his opportunities?’ She reminded me life is not perfect but we are all better and happier people for the move and the slower pace of life! That is why this blog got called ‘Life in the slow lane’ because that has been the best thing we did.
Nothing like a well aimed kick up the ass by someone who knows what things were like, and where things could have gone! Who said our kids can’t teach us anything!
So ever onwards and maybe just a little more on the ‘Chill, he will get there when he is ready!’

How much should you help?

I guess I want in part here to apologise before I start my blog today.
You see the thought that is going through my head is the invisible line that comes as my son has got older. Where do you draw this line of independence? I will be the fist to raise my hand as being a bit over helpful as a mum. My daughter who is older, I still help out, but if she makes a mistake or messes up a job (she freelance writes) I leave her to it now days. Often she has little money after the rent, and I let her get on with it. I do over cook meals, so I freeze the leftover meals, and she can have these, so she is not staving BUT that is it. If she doesn’t get her work done, so what, she has to find out herself; you need to work to pay the rent. I used to help to much she had every thing, and I had nothing. Now with my son where and how should I help? This thought keeps jumping into my brain these days, and I think that this is to remind me I should not ‘carry him!’ but how to encourage him is just a bit harder to sort out. You see he is happy; he has his computer, food and me to talk to. Mum nags about other bits, so he just forgets them. He has a collage on-line course to do, but with being ill that has taken a dive. He is not looking towards his own future in any shape or form. He is happy in the now. I want him to be able to cope well without me not just sink! However, how I can get this is just out of my grasp. He will not shop on his own and even will not with anyone but me. He can cook and clean the house but as for any form of income, we hit total refusal. He hates going out and near crowds he freaks out, on the inside, and it takes him hours to settle down. I worry about his future, his life as an adult. I do not want him lonely and sad but enjoying life in the full, dare I say it even having friends!
OK rant over, my worry shared.

Dentist news

Well, we feel blessed this week as we had great news at the dentist. My son’s baby tooth has been saved. He decided to have this filled, and with a little support, he coped really well. He now has one filling at 19 years old, and that is in his last baby tooth.
Years ago, I read about how it is better to give warning of things the child with Asperger’s hate like doctors or dentist appointment. Now I wasn’t sure if this was a good idea and to save myself hours, I thought of hell. I would spring these dreaded appointments on him the day they were due to happen. I honestly thought I was being kind, reducing the meltdowns to hour’s rather than days. Being more honest here I hated being hit and bitten all the time! So I worked on the shortest possible time for his meltdowns. After reading this about more warning time, more talk about it time, I thought OK we could try, the worst that can happen is I will never do this again! So I built his appointment into his, what we are doing timetable. First, he asked ‘what is this?’ Then ‘Why?’ Then ‘I do not want to go!’ Then we had ‘Take it down!’ But he left it up and now and then he would talk about the up-coming appointment, but no meltdown. Even on the day I was able to say ‘OK here is the day. Here is the appointment’ No meltdown. I can honestly say this changed so much for the better. We still get dread (I mean so many of us dread such appointments) I still get ‘I do not want to go!’ but you know what we do not get meltdowns and that my friends is a truly wonderful breakthrough for both of us. If you ask me now I would 100% say pre-warn the child with Asperger’s in a way that they use be it on the fridge or family diary or like us on my sons ‘what you are doing’ chart. At 19 years old we do not use a chart now but he has phones and computer to put things on but we still may chat about what is coming up.