Labour Day Monday (NZ public holiday)

We had a slow morning and then headed out to a park to burn off some energy. We found some painted rocks and hid some. 

A friend invited us over to feed her baby lamb and for a number of reasons we had postponed a couple of times. Knowing it would be a new place Ryan hadn’t been before I would need to do some prep with him. I showed him a photo of Leanne and he knows her so he knew who’s house we were going to. We dropped something in her letterbox last week and I made sure I told him who’s house it was. We talked about feeding lambs with a bottle and I showed him pictures online. Before we got in the car he told me he wanted to do Leannes washing. I said he could ask but she may not have washing to do πŸ™‚ 

When we arrived he was very interested in where the washing machine was and he helped do some washing, took a bit of convincing to come and feed Elfie the lamb but did hold the bottle for a bit, then back to the washing. Meltdown on leaving (see my earlier post today) but then happily chatted all the way home… “Does the lamb poo?” “He’s hungry Mum” “Why does Leanne have a baby lamb to feed?” “Why does Leanne have a dryer pipe like your one?” And repeat, and repeat…

Lunch was a bit later than usual and then Ryan wanted a bath…. and showed me by appearing naked in the hallway announcing “BATHTIME PLEASE”. He needs lots of help to get dressed but the speed he can undress is amazing lol. 

This morning he discovered the tray the number activity is on has a lump in the centre and can spin quite well. Then this afternoon he put the numbers back on, in the right order, after I took some off. We read Alphatales ‘Gorilla, Be Good!’, The B book, and did some Reading Eggs. He traced his finger over his pipecleaner name and listened to his Topp Twins cd/books. He found Alexs soft lamb toy and sat and made “mmmaaaaaa….” noises and then telling me he was hungry.

NEWSFLASH: Ryan swiped my last piece of apple, chewed it up … and then spat out the skin. But I’ll take the win on him actually eating most of it!

While I was cooking dinner Ryan was allowed to play the keyboard in Alex’s room – not a usual occurance! There was lots of singing and laughter πŸ™‚ 

Then he came and traced letters of the alphabet on ‘ABC kids – Tracing and phonics’ (free app on Google Playstore). As he traces the letter it makes the phonic sound of the letter and has lots of verbal “good job” and “great!” praise. After 2x through the upper case alphabet he changed to a washing machine game where he sorts colours and whites and then follows the instructions to add soap, plug in the machine, turn it on and off, empty the machine and hang it on the line.


Transitions… why are they so hard?

When you do the prep of visuals and explaining where you are going and what you are doing but when it’s time to leave ears are turned off and dropping to the ground fighting is the only response. 
When you are desperately trying to stay calm so the tantrum doesn’t escalate into a full-blown meltdown. 

When the teeth lunge for your arm and you quickly move but can’t let go of the squirming child or he will run off and not be safe. 

When you finally get to the car and then the screaming and refusal to get in his seat. And then something you have said twigs, he puts his seatbelt on and happily chats all the way home while you feel like you’ve done a few rounds in a boxing ring and need something stronger than a coffee. 

When you reflect and feel scared by the fact the the behavioural specialists have signed you off as done all the support they can offer and you dread what the future may look like, for him and you, if things don’t improve. 

When you realize that you have got to the point where this behaviour in public doesn’t even embarrass you anymore because it happens so often and that saddens and shocks you. 

When you worry because one day (soon) you may not be able to physically stop him getting hurt or hurting others. 

When you just want to stay home where it is a contained safe environment most of the time. 

When you know you are going to be online for many more hours researching more things to try, doctors to try and see, possible medications to help.

When you have just had enough and wish someone could wave a magic wand so Ryan doesn’t have these struggles that affect his daily life.

When you hear him laughing and playing, like the last hour didn’t happen, and know that THAT is why you still put one foot in front of the other, plaster a smile on your face and keep going.

Sunday…. Dads back to work

Stefan went back to work today after 9 days off. It was nice to have a bit more freedom to go out and spend time with the older boys while Stefan had time with Ryan but it’s also nice to get back into our homeschooling activities at home. Ryan loves going out and about with Stefan so this last week we did lots of walks and yard work rather than “schoolwork”. 

I did book in a few breaks with a support worker but each time Ryan refused to go out with her. It wasnt her, it was that Stefan was home and Ryan wanted his Dad. Poor Stefan was probably pleased to go back to work for a break lol. We did puzzles and played with toys in Ryans room – he won’t play unless I sit alongside him. Flash decided to hop in the bath which had Ryan in fits of giggles!

 At lunchtime we had a successful trip in the car to get David from church. Ryan got in the car, sat nicely without kicking the seats, and when we got home he got out of the car and came inside without screaming and refusing to get out of the car. This was the first calm car ride in a long time. Lots of praise and a hug πŸ™‚

The birds nest and eggs are still getting a lot of attention. Ryan was getting a bit demanding and grumpy so I “accidentally” tipped the blocks out and he happily posted them all back in, buying me a few minutes peace. We repotted all the Little Gardens and put up bird netting. Ryan helped a bit, played with Toby and did a bit of water play outside. Later, after a nice big bubble bath, he did some Reading Eggs and spent ages playing with a kush ball – which was interesting because he usually just throws it away.

Ryan put the number pegs on the card, mostly in the wrong places but after I slowed him down and asked him to look at each one he picked up then look at the card he got them all right except 6 and 9. While I was cooking dinner he played Angry Birds on his touchpad and I looked over and he was writing his name over the laminated name card – tongue out concentrating πŸ™‚

Ryan was very happy to see Stefan at dinner time and had a never-ending stream of repeating questions for him. As they sat on the couch watching Beat Bugs on Netflix Ryan suddenly said “Dad, you are disgusting” I looked at him surprised and said “I don’t know why he said that”. Stefan just grinned and Ryan said “You farted” and then, while still sitting on Stefans knee, dropped a few loud ones of his own. Ahhhh father/son bonding lol.

The birds are singing…

6.04am I was woken by “Mum, I’m hungry, and the birds are singing so I can get up.” Thanks Alex for telling him yesterday that he is allowed to wake up if he hears birds singing…. sigh!

This morning I put the birds nest we found yesterday with some egg stickers and a chick in eggs (3 layers of eggs). Ryan opened the eggs and was very excited to find the chick. He did some tweeting and scripting from ‘Flap your wings’. 

After lunch Ryan asked to go to Gordons Bush so we drove out, had a walk and then walked around Virginia Lake (Ryan in the pushchair this time). Ryan put $1 in the fountain box and we sat for 10 minutes till it turned off. The beginning of a meltdown as we headed to the car, after we said no to getting ice creams, but he quickly distracted and we got in the car without things escalating (although he did get very close to biting Stefan).

It was quite windy and cold but yesterday I told Ryan he could have the pipes out today so he got a short play with warm water, before he headed inside for a bubble bath.

I got the playdoh out and he was engrossed in it for ages! 

Ryan decided it was time for music so he swapped discs around and scrolled through songs, listening to approx 5 secs of some before moving on, not actually listening to any full songs lol. I brought a hugely overpriced watermelon today, knowing Ryan ate them last season. Lately his food selection has been seriously self-restricted to marmite toast, nuggets, chocolate and French toast. Hardly anything else has even been looked at. But tonight he is eating watermelon! Yes! 

Dr Suess stories before bedtime and then the stream of questions started again. Talking till he falls asleep…

And no grunting/throat clearing today!! πŸ™‚

Friday at home… Water play!

Ryan had a home day today after another night of hardly any sleep followed by numerous meltdowns by breakfast time. We didn’t feel like a public display of autism awareness so just quietly pottered through the morning. The constant throat clearing/grunting is still continuing. 

Alex and I popped out to do a few jobs and found a small unfinished birdsnest on the ground so brought it home to show Ryan. One of his favourite books is ‘Flap your wings’ with Mr and Mrs Bird.

He did some water play, tipping and pouring from various containers.

Alex asked to wash the house windows and of course Ryan had to help. Alex was incredibly patient with him, even when they both got soaked when Ryan wanted to “point it to the sky” lol. 

After 2 sides of the house Ryan came in for a bath and then instructed Alex from inside about where to wash. He thought it was hilarious when the soapy water hit the windows.

Moving on to the lounge and more laughter! So nice to see him happy after a mostly miserable week. 

Ryan ate 8 nuggets and half a bread roll for dinner which is a good amount of food for him. He only wanted one story before tuck in – Flap your wings πŸ™‚ We are all hoping for more than a few hours sleep tonight!

Wanganui Rocks 1st birthday!Β 

Bright and early this morning we did reading and an Up and Overs pre-handwriting worksheet. We played “this little piggie” with his toes changing the places all the usual rock hunting/hiding places we go, which Ryan thought was so funny. Then I did the dreaded finger/toe nail trim and it was a bit better than last time (less screaming and kicking) so working on feet touching games has definitely helped. Distraction was a funny short cartoon series on Netflix called Larva. If you like gross and cartoons with no talking then you will enjoy this. Ryan thinks it’s hilarious! 

Ryan went to visit his Grandma, who has been in Australia for a few weeks, and he did her washing for her! 

Today is the 1st birthday of Wanganui Rocks so a group of rock painters pooled their rocks and divided them to be hidden at 29 locations around the city. We had 2 places – Glenlogie Rose Gardens and the castle/pirate ship end of Kowhai Park. It rained most of the morning but just after lunch we headed out. Pictures are the rocks we hid, so many talented artists! 

After they were hidden Ryan had a play on the pirate ship and then discovered the water park was working so he played with the buttons that turn it on and off and the sprayers but we didn’t have a change of clothes so it was a bit of a mission keeping him dry. 

We went for a walk at Gordons Bush and found a couple of rocks. Ryan ran and talked the whole time. We grabbed a frozen coke on the way home and then it was bath time.

Fine motor skills practise was posting coloured pasta into a vase and milk bottle – he did this while I cooked dinner. After tea he hunted in a coloured rice bin for wooden letters that spelled ‘RYAN’.

Stories before bedtime and a very tired boy tonight!

Horse riding and walks

Back into RDA (Riding for the Disabled) this week and Ryan was very happy they had the overhead sprinklers going (to dampen the dusty arena) when we arrived. After they turned them off he emptied the water from the top of the tins, and led Chester outside. While they were walking around Chester stopped to pee and Ryan has talked about it ever since lol! Then he had a ride on Chester before coming in to do the washing. Ryan watched the numbers and told us how many minutes each cycle was taking (Maths out and about!) Alex made a new friend called Weeman πŸ™‚

Ryan asked for a walk at Gordon’s Bush… for the 5th day in a row! He pushed the pushchair and told us we were silly when we asked for a ride. The tree was still down over the path and Ryan decided to try and move it… unsuccessfully! We counted rocks as we found and rehid them… only 3 today. We practised going left and right (Ryan is 99% accurate with this), fast and slow, waiting, and stomping over “troll bridges” (the wooden path that goes over bits of wetland). While driving we saw 3 trains, 2 lots of roadworks with diggers and stop/go signs – which lead into a conversation about colours (red stop sign, yellow train, blue digger…)

We did some reading and Ryan watched claw machines, washing machines and music clips (the same ones on repeat, and repeat, and repeat again…) on YouTube.

While out and about lately Ryan has noticed that the local bottle stores have roller doors. As we drive past he asks “Why is the roller door up?” and I had been replying “Because they are open.” A certain adult male in our family decided to answer “Because it’s time to sell booze.” So now when we drive past Ryan says “Why is the roller door open?… because it time to buy poos?” Oh man lol…

First day of term 4, 2017

First thing this morning Stefan dropped our car off to be fixed and came home in a courtesy car. We were worried how Ryan would react but he was thrilled with the little blue car! He asked why we had “Mel’s car” (a friend who has a little blue car) and we explained we had borrowed it from the man who was fixing our car. We did some reading and a new Thomas puzzle but Ryan was so excited to go out in the “new” car we weren’t getting him to settle to any work. So we popped out to Gordon’s Bush for a walk/run – Ryan and Alex had too much energy! Then Kowhai Park to check if the train was in its tunnel.

In true homeschooling tradition we celebrated the first day of term by a run around and play at the park… minus all the kids πŸ™‚ 

Ryan was supposed to go out for a picnic lunch with his support worker but he got very upset and clingy. He had been very “spacey” (absence seizures) during the morning so we told her not to worry, we would keep him home. He hung out and watched tv with Stefan and read a new Alphatales book ‘Fifi Ferret’s Flute’. At 2pm a naked child was running around insisting it was bath time so he had a nice big bubble bath and did lots of tipping and pouring with empty bottles and cups. 

Later in the afternoon we had a doctors appointment to get a ear and throat check, in case that was causing some of the recent unusual behaviour, but he got the all-clear. He was in fast forward and very noisy and we could hardly hear ourselves think, thankfully we have a great GP who understands. Added bonus to a trip to the doctors is having a turn on the claw machine that is outside the dairy πŸ™‚

Ryan decided we had Mel’s car again and was asking Stefan “Why are you sitting in Mel’s seat?” while he was driving lol. On the way home from the doctors we swapped the cars and Ryan was very happy to have our car back – minus the awful squeal that has been driving us crazy lately! He turned into a misery bag again at dinner and bedtime and had a big cry but is quietly in bed so hopefully he feels better after some sleep.

Sunday – Dads on holiday from work! Yay!

Stefan normally works on a Sunday but has taken some leave so Ryan got to hang out and watch movies this morning. This meant I could go to church, which was great! 

After lunch we headed out for a walk at Gordon’s Bush (one of Ryan’s favourite places at the moment) and he pushed the pushchair while we did some rock hunting and hiding. He lost the plot about 3/4 of the way around (it’s only a 10 minute walk loop) and so we put him in the pushchair and went to the car. He still isn’t himself, and there are a number of factors that could be causing this, so we are just keeping a close eye on him. 

On the way home Ryan asked about the train at Kowhai Park. Stefan and I had a silent conversation about if we should try,  hoping not to repeat yesterday’s meltdown. We got to the park and Ryan wanted a ride so we brought tickets and he seemed to enjoy it πŸ™‚ 

Later in the afternoon Stefan was painting rocks (to hide on our walks) and Ryan asked to paint too. I got his easel and a paint-by-water page. I put a damp sponge on a plate (a perfect way of not having him spill or drink the paint water – both usual things for him to do). He happily painted for a while then turned and dropped one of the rocks into the paint jar, and then quick as a flash put his paintbrush in the rock paint and painted over his Dorothy painting, sigh! He thought it was hilarious and laughed his head off, while Stefan quickly put everything away.

Ryan has discovered YouTube clips of people putting food items in washing machines. This new interest has me a bit worried and we will be keeping a close eye on what he puts in our machine lol.

And …. the grunting/throat clearing has stopped!!! Yay!!! Until next time… lol