A diary of our family's house building project in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia. Also my ponderings on family life, living with Asperger's Syndrome, running an ebay business & a place to share my photography.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Continued change

Finn, like most children with Aspergers, takes things very literally. We recently had to invent a game called "truth or lie" to help him understand the meaning of lying, he just couldn't get that it sometimes doesn't mean lying down. "I wasn't lying mum, i was standing up!!".
Now we play "tell me the truth Finn, do you like ice cream?". "OK now tell me a lie, do you like ice cream?". He LOVES this game & is finally getting it.
His sense of humour is developing, he has discovered playing tricks. He loves playing tricks, the 1st one he invented on his own was to knock on Chelsea's bedroom door & then hide when she answered. He has never seen anyone do this to my knowledge. Much to Chelsea's delight (???) it has become a favourite game if she's in her room.
Yesterday he was making up tricks to play on Dad. He started telling me,  in front of Kim, what he was going to do. I said that he shouldn't say it in front of Dad because then he will know what you're going to do & he won't be tricked. His response? "OK, I'll go behind dad then"!  He's not stupid, he just takes everything literally!
His best trick yesterday...Kim was watering the garden & he said to me, "I'm going to go & turn off the hose while Dad's not looking!". He pulled it off perfectly.  Funny boy!! He is SO like Brody!
We are close to a diagnosis now I believe. Lynne, his psychologist, spent 1.5 hours watching him at my friend Steph's place about 2 weeks ago & she saw stuff that she hadn't seen while he was in our company. He has known Stef's boys jasper & Ziggy for 2 years but still struggles to play well with them most of the time.  Lynne watched him push Jasper to get him out of his way, refuse to apologise when he hurt him, run around the yard but not join in their games & she even commented to Steph about his unusual gait (I had told her about this but was told that he looked quite coordinated to her).
To me it is all so obvious but she won't give him a diagnosis unless she personally observes the behavior to prove it. Are there parents lying about their children's behavior to make them sound worse than they are? Apparently Tony Attwood says in his seminars, "clinicians need to learn to listen to parents". I couldn't agree more. Anyway, she's now using the word "spectrum" in our conversations, hasn't given me any firm answers but has sent me info in them mail on an upcoming picnic for families in the mountains with children on the autistic spectrum, so there's been a shift. She has admitted "he had us stumped for a while". I think (although haven't had this confirmed) that we are just waiting for her final report & diagnosis now.

Our other exciting news is that last week we received a call from the Children's Cottage (child care centre) telling us that they have had a family move suddenly so have 2 places available for Finn & Ivy!
Friday we had a planning meeting with 2 members of CADU (child & adolescent development unit), his early intervention teacher Nimmi, Helen, the coordinator of the Cottage, Kim & I. Plans were made on helping his make a smooth transition to the Cottage 2 days a week. He will have a personal aid for 5 hours a day for his first 5 weeks, the cottage will use the funding for this to bring in a temp worker but Finn's aid will be one of the permanent staff so they will be there all the time (great idea!). The focus of his aid will be helping him interact with other children & to develop ways he can cope with conflict without aggression.
We are very excited for him & for Ivy, they are really looking forward to going, they start tomorrow. Ivy is SO excited, she's been counting down the sleeps & telling everyone about it. It's ironic that now I have stopped working so much we finally get child care. I am going to spend one of the days helping Kim & one day doing a bit of work & housework.

Kim hurt his back quite badly about 10 days ago, so things have been very slow on the house. He's back into it today though. He's been going stir crazy, the first few days he could hardly stand. He did it moving a fridge, we got a "new" one at a garage sale last weekend as ours had a door seal going. He's in the middle of making the 1st window & it's looking great, nearly finished. he ordered all the window hardware last week, it should arrive tomorrow. $1000 later... They are sliding windows,  the track is the biggest expense (bronze I think). This cost also includes the track & rollers for 5 cavity sliding doors. Overall our windows are very, very cheap! The glass cost us $300, the timber about the same. That's for all the windows. The locks were about $2 each, new in their packets, found at a garage sale. We have bought 2 windows off ebay for the kitchen, & 1 at a garage sale for our bathroom. That was a $2000 window, brand new, we paid $150. I think we're doing OK!

I had a garage sale on Saturday, we sold odds & ends that were cluttering up the house, as well as a lot of summer clothing, we made $700 so we're pretty happy with that!
Off to playgroup now!

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