Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Have you ever had a teacher or someone call your name out in front of a crowd...?..and it embarrass you? Well sis has a HUGE phobia of being called out.....ANYWHERE . We are not aloud to even sing her Happy Birthday when its just family . I have to send a note to school so no announcements are made and that the class doesn't sing either . Now normally everyone is proud on their Birthday or of an accomplishment , but for some reason sis just wants to melt and be non-existent . I'm not quite sure why,but i respect her wishes and do as she asks .

Before we realized this was a major problem we took her to her favorite steak house for her 5th Birthday.When i took her to the bathroom Dad told the waitress it was her Birthday,he was thinking she would get Ice cream and think it was neat.....BOY were we wrong.! After we were done eating the waitress gathered all her fellow servers and started clapping and approached our table.The look on Sis's face was heart wrenching. Her eyes got Huge and her eyes filled with tears and she cut loose.I don't think I have ever been that speechless in my life. The servers didn't know whether to stop or keep singing.Sis slumped down in her seat and buried her head in my lap.She was so upset she couldn't even touch her big bowl of ice cream smothered in chocolate. Wow ...what a fail on our part! Our poor waitress teared up and kept apologizing we had to reassure her we didn't think that ,that's how she would react. Needless to say Sis wouldn't let us take her back for close to a year and we have not nor will not ever do that again.It didn't make matters better with 3 brothers sitting across the table in hysterics.They felt bad afterwards ,but it was the initial reaction i guess.

On the same tune ,her first year she started showing her horse,everytime they called her name to enter a class she started crying.If the crowd snickered ,because she was so darn cute  on this big old horse ,she thought they were laughing at her. That took some serious coaching on our part,but we have over come that one. She blocks out the crowd and pretends like no one is watching. That my friend is part of teaching a child to cope with a problem instead of masking it with medication.

Her horses are her friends and she has a strong connection to them.We use them as her therapy in warm months and she has made tremendous strides because of them. Before she was diagnosed we managed a horse barn,  she was 4 at that time. She was at work with us everyday through the summer and weekends and after school on school days.She never was a problem,she could find the simplest things to entertain herself. We found it amazing that in a short time,she had memorized all the horses,where their stalls were,what their diets were,what their quirks where,who owned who and how often they came to visit.She even memorized their turn out pastures ,the owners vehicles, ages on the horses,what horses where top pecking order vs bottom.We soon had a barn full around 28-29 horses and she knew knew them all! I had several kids that would come out and volunteer. Sis was the tour guide. She told them everything she thought they should know and she would stand at the top of the isle and direct them to who goes into what stall.

One boarder ( I will call J ) came out daily sometimes twice a day. Sis would greet her in the parking lot and walk her in. She would sit for ever and watch as J groomed her horse, and tacked him up. Then she would sneak down and watch her ride in the arena. On one particular day after riding J came up to me chuckling. She had not seen sis sitting behind the rail.As she came around the corner Sis piped up and  critiqued her riding. Now while most people would have been annoyed ,J was taken back. Sis was totally correct on what she was doing wrong. J did not get offended ,but was amazed at her knowledge. They became best buddies at the barn ,and if J was there you could almost guarantee Sis was close by ,to lend a helping hand,offer suggestions or just talk about their day.  I would say J had a major impact on her life at that time.Sis would rather be with the big people then to be with kids her own age. J always gave Sis respect and talked to her like a friend not some like rugrat at the barn.
Deep in thought while mom cleans the stall.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I will be writing periodically ,we are so used to most behaviors we tend to forget about them.After all after 7 years its just everyday life.......

While most kids go through a brief battle of separation anxiety that pulls on mom and dads heart strings ,Sis is still going through it. I asked her one day why she could not let me out of her sight,she replied i am afraid something bad will happen and i will never see you again.Now mind you she was 3 at that time,why was she so afraid of the unknown?Most older kids don't even give it a second thought.It has begun to get a little better in a round about way.Up until recently she had never stayed at a friends house or even a grandparents house.She would stay awhile but as night time would fall she would get stressed out and cry until she gets sick.She has 1 cousin whom she will stay with and 1 friend that she rides horses with that she will stay with ,otherwise forget it.So needless to say not only dealing with her issues its hard on a marriage,you get no free time,no date nights......not good.I think i have also convinced her that i know how to swim if by chance i fall in the toilet because i went alone .She stays outside the door in case she needs to call never know i suppose.Sometimes i say i gotta go when i really don't have to just so i can get a break...i figure what ever works....right?

She spent the first 2 years of school crying as she was loading on the bus,and most mornings teary eyed and constantly complaining of her belly hurting.Belly aches are a common occurrence here and when i say common i meant every morning and night on days Monday through Friday.Miraculously Sat. and Sun it is fine . I've chalked it up to nerves,and just keep a good eye on it .Unfortunately stomach issues run strong in my family so i pray we don't end up with ulcers.I hate to see her cry but you kind of get to the point you know they are not in pain or being hurt you have to let it go.Usually once she bonds to someone(teacher) she is easier to get moving.In the one time where a teacher couldn't make time for her another teacher stepped in,one we knew personally and is a fellow church member,and she was my angel that year.That particular year was the year she was diagnosed and the principal told me to my face she didn't think that was a correct diagnosis she believed it was parenting.I welcomed her to my house any day after school but said she could not leave until Sis was asleep for the night..Not quite sure why but she never took me up on it.GO FIGURE!!!!Needless to say that was a rough year,the people i thought would help me as a parent to understand this failed me and i realized I'm on my own to figure it out.She is basically really smart but is socially behind....big time....

Another characteristic she has and has done as long as i can remember she spaces out,and at the same time her body stiffens and she figits with her hands,almost like she is rolling something in her fingers.They thought when she did this she was having a seizure,but later test revealed it wasn't.Still no answer to that.I think because her mind never shuts down its her way of processing thing or dealing with an excited mind.I actually caught her doing it last year right before she entered a class at the horse show.That was a first ,which to me meant she was not being calmed by her horse as she normally is.

The beginning

Sis(as i will call her here) was a normal pregnancy,I gained 35lbs total,The doctor took her by c-section  2 weeks early only do to the fact i can't have babies naturally.She weighed 6lb 14 oz and was perfect in everyway!

I am going to attempt to blog daily or every other day to help sort out emotions,thought,feelings,tips,etc.Welcome to our life,with Aspergers . Every day is a challenge and many days it takes the patience of a saint to get through the day.however I feel we grow and learn everyday.Most people and even family do not see this side of my child.Many say i don't think there is anything wrong with gets frustrating ......feeling alone ,misunderstood,no one to talk to because they don't understand,whether they really don't know or care to know or even care to understand,it's a battle..Our daughter was diagnosed around the age of 5 with Asperger,and ocd.I have raised 3 boys and knew when she was 2 something wasn't right.She insisted on everything being in order by color shape size and whatever.If we went to the store she would reorganize end shelves and make sure everything was perfect.That is not typical for a 2 year old.She was good as gold in public but then would "blow up "as we get in the car,or when we got home.She could not ride in the car after dark,i didn't understand this until later when she could talk.When she was about 3 she started rocking  in her carseat on the way home ,softly telling herself " I'm ok,I'm ok ,I'm ok.It broke my heart,but i was proud of herself for trying to comfort herself.Before that point we didn't go many place after dark and if we were out we tried to be home before dark.The constant scream was too much for any of us to bear for any length of time.I think it made her brothers resent her at times.The boys were ages 11(oldest) and 8(twins) when she was born.They loved her to pieces but couldn't understand why she did this,and she had done it from the time she came home from the hospital.

Before her diagnosis,people around us that she got comfortable with would say "she's just spoiled" or "she just needs her butt whooped" ,"It's because you never leave her anywhere" "you give her every thing she wants" etc.I knew these were not why she was acting like this,they didn't live at home with her...I Did!

Now how do i deal with this and keep my sanity...?I am old fashion in a sense i believe we over medicate our kids.I do not give my kids meds unless absolutely have to.I believe it makes their bodies stronger because they have to fight,and to this day my kids are rarely ever sick.I informed the diagnosing doctor i will not medicate or sedate her in anyway,we will handle this on our own and teach her to cope rather then to knock her out so we can tolerate her.