I have had many, many conversations with people about my boys and their disabilities. Jack is 13, he has Autism, ADHD and GDD. He can be extremely aggressive. Daryl has special needs too. Daryl is 10, he has Epilepsy, GDD, speech and language difficulties and he too is aggressive.
The conversations I have had have been both formal and informal. Friends and family are curious, Professionals have forms to fill out and teachers are with my children Monday to Friday except holidays.This has happened continuously and the look that they have given me is always the same. Head cocked over to the left or right side and wide eyed. “Awe I’m so sorry” or “I don’t know how you do it”. Sometimes they don’t say anything, quickly change the subject but I know what they are thinking.
I don’t want you to feel sorry for us. My children are happy and healthy and that’s all that matters to me. They aren’t having an unhappy childhood. They are having a different one… Nothing less.
Please don’t feel sorry for us or my children. In his own way Jack is extremely happy in his own little world. This includes playing offices and watching wrestling. He loves his tablet. He’ll watch the same video over and over.. That makes him happy. Jack is an excellent big brother to Kyle. He’ll play with the toys with him for a wee while and he always knows how to make him laugh and that is special.
Ive finally taught him to keep the volume down low so the wrestling audience isn’t the only sound in the room. I can tell when he’s fed up and wants peace and quiet from the craziness of our family because he gets up and briskly goes to his room. It’s then I know he’s just had enough of me, Andy and his brothers. This is fine, everybody needs alone time.
Daryl has his own interests and activities such as his tablet,wrestling, building blocks, cars and his top activity is music and dancing. He’ll get onto any dancefloor at a party and does his best to breakdance, dance and jump around like the other children. He enjoys interaction with anyone and would sit for hours showing me or the closest person what is on his tablet.
“How do I do it? My children are extremely hard work and home situation can be stressful. I am lucky enough to have an amazing husband who has taken on two step children and he loves them and treats them the same as he does Kyle. Andy works full time so I am always here for my children.
I do it because I’m their mum, I do it because they need me. I would do anything to support my boys. Most importantly, if I didn’t do it, who would?
I haven’t written anything recently because to be perfectly honest life is quite hard at the moment and it’s been tough to find the time to write anything.
*This one contains swearing*
After the exciting news that things will be moving forward with regards to housing I was swiftly brought back to reality with a bang. When people hear that someone has autism they could automatically assume that they have high funcioning autism and the child is highly intelligent and excel at a particular subject such as maths, reading or art. Autism is a massive spectrum. Autism is a lifelong disability which affects how people communicate and how they perceive the world around them.
My favourite saying is
” If you have met one person with Autism then you have met one person with Autism”
My baby boy is not like that. He has a learning disability which means he can’t read or write. His language and word choices are minimal and most of the time at the moment it’s hard to have a conversation without being swore at. I am completely envious of parent’s whose child will naturally converse, excited conversations about school, teachers, friends. Point by point stories with all the excited actions of the activities. Even on a good day if I ask how school was. I got told to fuck off or you’re a wee asshole mum. I promised myself when I started this blog that I would be completely honest and not sugar coat our life. On a bad day my living room could get wrecked. He’ll throw anything within touching distance.
Bringing up children is hard. Throw two children who have multiple disabilities and capabilities into the mix and it is extremely difficult. Things are limited. I can’t take the boys shopping unless I have support because they would run riot in the shops. Yet when he goes with school he is completely different. I think children in general act up for their parents.
Jack is extremely violent and aggressive. Most of which it aimed at me. He will occasionally hit out at Andy. Jack and Daryl will fight but he has never hit or even a little rough with Kyle. He doesn’t hit out at other children.
My arms are covered in very light scars from where he has nipped, scratched or pulled at my skin. Sometimes when he’s not in meltdown he will punch me and throw objects. I am not ashamed to admit that to keep Jack safe I have safely restrained him on several occasions. He will usually attack my arms or punch my back as I walk away.It can be difficult to be strong all of the time and there are many days I have cried that all this anger, frustration and lack of social awareness is taken out on me by a 13 year old boy. Some days are so difficult before my husband arrives home at 5:30pm. I also direct him away from others and try my best to calm him down. I rarely manage that on my own. The best thing for Jack to try and make sense of the situation is to be left alone or by using distractions.
In school he can be aggressive too but they very quickly take control of the situation. The staff are truly amazing and I am extremely lucky to have known a few of the staff for a few years now. As a mum I would do anything to make my son’s life easier and it’s heart breaking to know that I can’t fix everything for my baby.