Autism with a side of ADHD (x 5)

Ladies and gentlemen! Blimey it’s been a while!! I had all good intentions of writing more in 2020 but you know, Lockdown got in the way and here we are 5 months later . I thought I’d get my blogging shoes back on again and write a ‘proper’ post.

So where do I even begin to update you on our latest shenanigans?! ๐Ÿค” So much has happened over the past few months.

Ok I’ll Start with Pebbles, who finally got her official autism diagnosis from the Paediatrician. No great surprise there as we had already accepted the fact a while back. Love her ๐Ÿ’• it is very obvious with her that her understanding of the world is very different to others. She is still non verbal at 3 years old apart from the odd word/sound ….. she makes plenty of noise though for a little person ๐Ÿ˜

Bam Bam also received his diagnosis a couple of weeks back. Although he presents quite differently to His sister. He is starting to get a few more words and little phrases but still classed as non verbal. Although His problem solving skills are second to none I tell ya’ He’s just full on 100 miles an hour, following the Tornado about. The two boys are inseparable! I think they will get mistaken for the twins as they get older. ๐Ÿ‘ฌ They look similar and always joined at the hip. ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™

We are still trying to get our heads round the enormity of the fact we have 5 SEN kids. Although we have really known this for a long time, from past experience, we now have the official say so. Moving forward this means we can get them all the early intervention and all help on offer to give them the best start possible in life. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Tornado ๐ŸŒช has just been given a place at an SEN school which is great news. To be honest it took me a little by surprise as I was expecting it to take a very long time to sort, especially due to the COVID-19 situation. But we have now completed the process of swapping from mainstream to a Specialist provision. The place he has got into is brilliant with speech & language on site and sensory room etc I am confident he will come on in leaps and bounds in an environment more suitable to his needs. I’m very sad to leave the old school As they were fantastic with him and did absolutely everything they could to accommodate Him. However we decided although he was doing well at mainstream but would thrive even more at a smaller SEN school. I am over the moon he got in as I really was expecting them to turn us down. After letting it sink in a little, this is going to be the best thing for my boy. I’m sure he will absolutely love it โค๏ธ

Tornado has been attending a SEN playgroup throughout summer where he’s been having a brilliant time enjoying himself ๐Ÿ˜Š . Everywhere he goes he works his magic and they all adore him…. My little loveable rogue ๐Ÿ’™

Tornado ๐ŸŒช

News just in …. The Twinnies have also been given a spot at an SEN nursery (the same place as Tornado). This is HUGE and OMG we are so lucky to have been given this as places are like gold dust. Again, I’m extremely sad to be leaving their current setting as they have been absolutely bloody amazing! I have met some lovely ladies in the staff there who have been superstars. So bittersweet feelings but again it’s gonna make the world of difference to their development. In a more specialised environment they will do brilliantly! โค๏ธ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ˜Š

Although I don’t like change much, moving nursery and school for the 3 little ones is gonna be the best decision.

They say once you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met ONE person with autism and that is exactly true!!

Each and every one of our children are very different to one another. They all fit the criteria to come under the umbrella of autism and tick some of the same boxes. However they present in very different ways in their behaviour. Each unique with their own ways and mannerisms.

Having the whole gang of them diagnosed It has left us questioning if we ourselves are also neuro diverse too? There is clearly a genetic link here. I definitely do believe I would be on that spectrum somewhere, high functioning ASD for sure if I was to go for a diagnosis. Also the ADHD…. I’m pretty hectic myself, over enthusiastic and hardly come up for air when talking (according to the husband)! ๐Ÿ˜† I literally can’t stop talking especially if it’s a passion of mine or one of my excitable, mad cap plans ๐Ÿ˜ณ It’s no secret I’m extremely quirky, anxious, socially awkward and a little bit different to the crowd (a little eccentric sometimes) The more I think about it I’d say I fit the criteria easily. Who wants to conform to ‘normal’ anyway? It’s good to be different โค๏ธ THIS IS ME and I’m definitely one of a kind! Lol ๐Ÿฅฐ

We have learned to embrace the differences that autism brings to our life and just need to live our lives a little differently to most families. We can’t go on photo shoots in a field, trips abroad or theme parks easily. Even a visit to the local beach or park can be stressful and difficult. We have decided to hire some help in some way shape or form to enable us to make some family memories with a little more ease!! Like a nanny or support worker who can lend a hand in getting the tiny tearaways out the house more. You never know, maybe even a holiday?! We’ve never been on holiday together!! Once schools And nursery have settled in we will find someone hopefully willing to take on the challenge. No Nanny McPhee/Mary Poppins need apply but someone who has a good sense of humour. Someone who can fit right in with the madness and not bat an eyelid at some of the craziness that surrounds us! Ha ha! ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿคช I’m sure there is the perfect person out there somewhere.

Anyways that’s all for now folks. Keep up with with our daily antics on our Facebook page or over on Instagram. Guaranteed for a laugh or 2! Be back soon …..

Lots of Love L xx ๐Ÿ˜˜

A Stroll Along the Prom

Our New Year’s Day family dog walk did not go to plan whatsoever! We took 4 out of 5 kids out with the dog. What could possibly go wrong?! ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ Well It was meltdown after meltdown but hey at least we tried. ๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿคฏ๐Ÿ˜ฅ๐Ÿ‘

Along the local Seafront ๐ŸŒŠ โš“๏ธ we wander and so it begins ๐Ÿ™ˆ …….The Tornado๐ŸŒช has spotted the fountain โ›ฒ๏ธ far in the distance. He starts frantically pushing us in that direction. Damn it…..he had clearly remembered frolicking around in that same water fountain back in the summertime! Well that was it. He is still pretty much non-verbal (bar the odd word) He couldn’t understand why we weren’t able to go and get soggy again ๐Ÿ’ฆ. We try to attract his attention to a football and a kick about on the field but to no avail. Nope he wanted to go play in the flipping water. Bless him, he doesn’t know it’s minus 4 and bloody freezing โ„๏ธ !! He is not taking no for an answer and keeps dragging us back towards it. BOOM! Meltdown number 1 is now in full swing. ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

Next Bam Bam wanted a piece of the action (figure of speech of course he didn’t actually WANT to feel like this) ๐Ÿ™ƒ He had an almighty, inconsolable meltdown cause we tried to stop him running off in the opposite direction to where we were headed…..We thwarted his many attempts at a sprint away and had to admit defeat in the end and rugby tackled him back into the pushchair. Again the understanding is just not there yet, poor boy ๐Ÿ˜ž He goes on kicking and screaming for about 20mins, did his usual Houdini twist and got out of the pushchair harness several times ….FFS this is REALLY not going to plan. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

I’m beginning to wish we hadn’t spent 3 hours preparing to leave the house and maybe we should have just stayed in and watched The Sound Of Music (one of my faves) ๐ŸŽผโ›ฐ

We try to divert any further attention from the public, we go to the chippy nearby. One of the bigger boys thinks he’s a joker and turns the shop sign to closed and people are actually reading it and walking off ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ Cheeky Git!! Panic stations there are no battered sausages left in the chippy ……Well that’s just fucking fantastic! Cue enormous meltdown number 2 from our Tornado ๐ŸŒช. The importance of the battered sausage is imperative …. he is a very picky eater he basically only eats sausages, choc chip brioche, noodles and yoghurt, not a lot else. As many autistic people do, he has a real sensory issue with food.

“RIGHT enough is enough, Abandon family walk. I repeat abandon the family dog walk. It’s clearly not happening today ๐Ÿ™ˆ Get back to the minibus pronto” ๐ŸšŒ.

We pop to Tesco on the way home where I stay in the van with the kiddies and hubby pops in for supplies. Bam Bam is worn out and snoozing ๐Ÿ˜ด now and Tornado ๐ŸŒช is a little fraught but a lot calmer now. Just randomly bashing his head on into my phone occasionally, cause it didn’t do what he wanted. I’m just sat in Tescos carpark in the middle of my van ….yodelling with Princess Pebbles

High on a hill was a lonely goatherd
Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo
Loud was the voice of the lonely goatherd
Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo

I’m not crazy honest …we make our own fun and she was happily joining in (well sort of)! I’m quite animated with my singing and really get into it. Think passerby’s may have thought I had a screw loose but who cares? ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜†

Finally we arrive back home and Bam Bam wakes up removes ALL his clothes (another sensory thing) and commenced running and spinning round the lounge butt naked! ๐Ÿ‘ He doesn’t like clothes on him very much at all ๐Ÿ˜ณ Would be ok if he was potty trained ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿšฝ๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ˜† Ah well at least he’s happy now ๐Ÿ˜Š.

Tornado ๐ŸŒช has also chilled his boots now and is watching Mario videos on repeat and Princess Pebbles ๐Ÿ‘ธ๐Ÿป is climbing the furniture like it’s her mission In life! I send Daddy Maddog off for a swift pint and the raffle I think he needs it after our stressful hour out!

Things other family’s take for granted are sometimes not so easy for us! A simple walk along the seafront turned into a chaotic sequence of events but it’s all good in the end. Anyway no use dwelling on it we draw a line under it and try again another day ๐Ÿ˜Š.

Not much point to this post, other than me needing an outlet to write down how manic our life can be, trying to do ”normal family stuff. I guess we shouldn’t expect anything other than madness with my lot. After all we are far from normal ๐Ÿคช We are definitely not your average family ……

Till my next rant

Love L ๐Ÿ˜˜ x

Desperately Seeking …..Sensory

Iโ€™m not one to moan (well alright, maybe just a little bit) ๐Ÿ™ƒBUT Wow these twinnies are hard work lately!! Me and Daddy Maddog are teetering on the brink of insanity….. so close to being pushed over the edge but somehow we survive, day by day!

All 5 of our kids are extremely Sensory Seeking! Whether it be verbal stimming, high pitch screaming, shouting or physical movement to express themselves. It might seem odd to an outsider but this is what they need to feel good. It’s their outlet so we need to let them carry out most of these actions, not try and stop them completely (within sensible reason of course).

With the little ones ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ™‰๐Ÿ™Š ….. the autistic traits are showing through loud and clear now. The constant repetitive actions and movements are wearing. Almost unbearable at times as both twins wonโ€™t take no for an answer. It is is disheartening and so bloody hard but their need to climb is relentless and ritualistic. Bam Bam’s favourite trick is shimmying over the babygate… quicker than a speeding bullet heโ€™s off up the stairs or into the kitchen. We have to lock the front door as he tries to bolt and escape at every opportunity. Heโ€™s a clever little thing and grabs chairs or slides furniture to help him get to where he wants. He gets a leg up on the washing machine and next heโ€™s walking along the kitchen counter emptying the cupboards or climbing inside the fridge. Pebble’s loves stomping around on the kitchen table (with one welly on) and even gets on top of the bureau!! Her favourite lately is climbing up to the tv (on the wall) using a shelf. Then standing up there trying to immerse herself into the picture.

All 3 little ones walk along the backs of the sofa along the window sills, radiators…balancing dangerously on the edge. Our kids have no sense of danger and just crave this constant motion.

We take them down from the high surfaces a million times a day (no word of a lie)!! Repeat the same thing NO but alas they are still non-verbal with no understanding or comprehension of how they could hurt themselves. Their need for sensory input from climbing or being on their head upside down is obsessional …. they need these movements to feel good and comfortable within themselves. From dusk til dawn (literally) ๐Ÿ˜ด

Tornado ๐ŸŒช has many meltdowns a day as He understandably likes his own space, away from the twins. He does interact and run about with them occasionally but only on his terms. He too likes to climb and move constantly from room to room and scaling the furniture etc but he’s not quite as intense as the twins right now.

For Christmas we are getting some equipment to kit out a sensory gym and Snoezelen/Multi sensory Room with lights chill out area.

Snoezelen or controlled multisensory environment (MSE) is a therapy for people with autism and other developmental disabilities, dementia or brain injury. It consists of placing the person in a soothing and stimulating environment, called the “Snoezelen room”. These rooms are specially designed to deliver stimuli to various senses, using lighting effects, color, sounds, music, scents, etc. The combination of different materials on a wall may be explored using tactile senses, and the floor may be adjusted to stimulate the sense of balance. 

We are hopefully setting this up in our garage eventually. Itโ€™s gonna take some doing cause the garage is full to the brim with crap but will be my project for 2020.

We’d love to kit out a proper therapy room to benefit all 5 kids. Iโ€™m talking crash mats, soft play, climbing equipment, indoor trampoline, ball pit, balance beams, spinning/rocking toys and climbing walls, lights, mirrors, fibre optics etc. The works! They deserve it!

This room will help improve our stress levels and help the all of the kids development and sensory needs, even the bigger ones. It will help us manage the behaviours and give them somewhere to focus this energy on and let them climb, balance, hang upside down, spin SAFELY to their hearts content!

However this equipment does not come cheap, especially the lights and effects stuff. Although we have some items arriving as gifts for Xmas. To make this a perfect sensory environment it’s going to take time and a lot more dosh! But the end result will be so worth it and really beneficial to our kiddies development and wellbeing ๐Ÿ˜Š.

Ok so this might be a little bit cheeky but if you don’t ask you don’t get, right?!…….

We decided we might try some fundraising for our little monkeys to help make this happen. We are thinking of starting up a Mad Madden’s Crowdfunding campaign after Christmas! Iโ€™m not gonna beg constantly but would be enormously grateful if anyone could donate to our fund, even a couple of pounds would be amazing! Every little helps as they say. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thank you for reading and well done if you got through the whole post lol ๐Ÿคช You know I love a good rant!

Till next time

Love L ๐Ÿ˜˜ x

Clap, flap, spin and bounce!

First Day at Big School

First day of mainstream school for The Tornado ๐ŸŒช

My non-verbal boy going to Big School! I can’t quite get my head around it but it’s happening. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

We arrive early …. shock horror yes I know very out of character for us!

Too bloody early so we had to wait around in reception to be taken through to class.

Tornado wants to run straight into class, no waiting in line for him, heโ€™s away! So I Park the twins pushchair and run through the crowd of parents grab him back several 100 times. Carrying him and alternately peeling him off the floor as he was laying down protesting. He just doesn’t understand that he needs to wait and busy situations like this make him want to go to familiar surroundings like the classroom (which he did visit quite a few times previously).

The other kids are all reading books or chatting excitedly with Mum and Dad….Then my other boy Bam Bam decides to try and escape the pushchair harness, not what I need at this present moment in time.๐Ÿฅด

A little girl from Tornado’s class had picked some flowers (ok dandelions) ๐Ÿ’ for the teacher….Tornado went up to her and said “ooh flower” then he snatched the handful of flowers ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ He’s walking round all proud with his steal showing his new classmates ‘flower’ (he does say the odd word here and there) Next he proceeded to throw said flowers all over the reception floor in front of all the parents ๐Ÿคญ. The blinkers were fully on at this point. I wanted the ground to swallow me up at this moment in time (talk about make a good first impression)

So truly on all eyes on me now. The mother of the girl was less than impressed! I apologised profusely all hot and flustered and handed the now wilting dandelions back. The poor girl was in shock mouth wide open ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I explained (red faced) to Mum and daughter he doesnโ€™t understand and that he is autistic but not sure it made a difference. I will make sure everybody knows about his difficulties and hopefully get acceptance and understanding for some of his behaviours ๐Ÿคช Hopefully the other parents will be kind!

After a few more attempts at him bolting off I gave him my phone to distract him…. Iโ€™m sure this gave off an extremely bad parent vibe passing an electrical device over but it worked just to keep him focussed for 2 minutes so I could re-group and thwart any further escape antics from Bam Bam!

Finally we were led through the school to class. He ran off ahead straight in didnโ€™t look back or say bye ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿป but he was happy and excited! All the other kids said “Bye Mum, I love you” etc along with lots of cuddles and some apprehension but not my boy he saw a whole new classroom to explore and he was away. He gives me love on his terms when he needs it.๐Ÿ˜

I’m so glad heโ€™s enjoying it although he shattered even after a couple of hours. Heโ€™s actually doing well and only one mahoosive meltdown after school so far just a few minor ones. School have been so accommodating and I love the support and feedback we are receiving already ๐Ÿ˜Š I honestly think itโ€™ll be the making of him and he will be chatting the hind legs off a donkey by the end of year R I reckon!!

So maybe in future Iโ€™ll stick to being late or just about on time (Ok probably late) My kids donโ€™t do waiting and find the whole crowds of children and parents pretty overwhelming. School has lots of new places to explore and discover. Onwards and upwards I’ll keep you updated on his progress ๐Ÿ˜Š๐ŸŒชโค๏ธ

Love L ๐Ÿ˜˜ x

Calm After the Storm

The Meltdown

The sadder side of autism is the frustration and lack of understanding of their own feelings and emotions. Ladies and gentlemen we have the extreme meltdown. Not just a naughty child just having a paddy. Iโ€™m talking an uncontrollable meltdown of epic proportions!! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

It is a barrage of pent up emotions all fizzed up inside and exploding like fireworks, screaming 10 x as loud but not as pretty.

I watched as the meltdown unfolded….it emerged from the depths of my child almost out of nowhere. All of a sudden BOOM! โœด๏ธ It explodes and Woah Mumma ….this one is a right corker! I am holding back the tears trying to regain some control but I canโ€™t. After an hour of this, with no sign of relenting, I am pushed to the brink of insanity telling myself โ€œItโ€™ll all be good, just give him time to get through itโ€. However Itโ€™s too late for cuddles, distractions, songs, funny anecdotes and silly faces etc. These methods sometimes work to nip It in the bud before it reaches a crescendo. Not this time, itโ€™s too far gone for that. The boy is in full throttle with an huge emotional outburst he and I are not quite sure how to deal with it…..We are at the point of no return and thereโ€™s no looking back.๐Ÿ˜ญ

The screaming squawking, self harming, head butting, scratching and lashing out is heart wrenching to experience and all I can do is try and keep him safe. Sometimes I get caught in the backlash maybe a slap to the face or a punch but I don’t mind, it’s not intentional or malicious and the priority is his safety and welfare.

The expression on his face is pure sadness, pain and frustration. The emotional turmoil he is in upsets me more than words can explain. I canโ€™t help him, I canโ€™t stop these feelings upsetting him…he is immersed within this unpleasant whirlwind and doesnโ€™t know how to cope ๐Ÿ˜ข. All I can do is just be there beside him, not too close yet not leaving him completely alone … just there. โค๏ธ We simply have to ride out the storm together and wait for calm or exhaustion (whichever comes first)

The Aftermath

Now a few hours later I watch him sleep. My beautiful boy, so peaceful after the awful happenings of earlier. Luckily he will wake up and not remember a thing about this. He will carry on being his normal happy, cheeky self, so that is some blessing.

Iโ€™m shattered and keep getting flashbacks of how distressing this particular episode was for all BUT we survived and came out the other side as we always do. x ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜Š #autism #asd #awareness #motherslove #wearestrong #warriors #meltdown #nonverbal #feelings #parenting #blogger #sensoryoverload

All Aboard the Autism Train

As the days go by it’s looking increasingly likely that I have a 3rd child with Autism/ADHD.

Tornado Tommy is next up to jump on! Buckle up kids you’re in for a rocky ride!

The familiar and sometimes peculiar behaviours he’s displaying is just confirming what we already suspected. We are 99% sure he is on the spectrum.

Tornado Tommy is a proper little character and yet different to the bigger boys in many ways. He is hectic & destructive and never ever sits still (just like his brothers) An average 2 year old can be crazy and hectic but it’s extreme with him.

The mahoosive explosive hour long meltdowns that come out of the blue……he’s completely non-verbal. He used to try and say a handful of words at 18months then just regressed back to zero speech โ˜น๏ธ .

Theย repetitive, obsessional behaviours.

The lashing out in temper and frustration. He hits and kicks me, quite hard (yet unmeaningly) during meltdowns. To gain my attention he might bosh me on the head with the remote a few times if he wants the channel changing. Or he might full on slap me round the chops! ๐Ÿ˜ฎIf I don’t give him my immediate attention.

My older boys never did these things! It’s pretty hard to accept your child beating the shit out of you and just having to calmly smile through gritted teeth and try to diffuse the situation before it escalates! But hey ho we just have to grin and bear it for now. It’s Soooo hard and frustrating for him and us!

Also he has started banging his head repetitively on the floor during a complete meltdown. Any hard surface he can find and his poor head gets it THUMP ๐Ÿค•. This is extremely worrying and heartbreaking to see him in such distress ๐Ÿ˜ข Poor boy!

Tommy plays alternatively lining random objects and toys up everyday. He’s more interested in the chippings at the park than using the equipment and joining in with other kids playing. To name but a few of his ways.

……..So anyway we’re on the pathway for diagnosis but it’s still too early to diagnose officially. Obviously having already been there, done that and got the t-shirt (twice) as seasoned Autism parents we kinda know what we’re dealing with already! ๐Ÿ˜œ

It is obviously is genetic somewhere along the line as 3 out of 5 are autistic so far!

I’m just hoping once the speech comes along some of his impulsive, irrational behaviours will simmer down a bit! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

The boy has got bucket loads of character though so I’m sure there will be a few more funny tales (not funny at the time) to tell. ๐ŸคฃWatch this space! Lol.

I obviously was not meant to have an easy life with my lot…. so I have to embrace the madness! If I didn’t I’d be locked in a padded cell, heavily sedated for the rest of my days!! ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜ณ

Normal is way over rated anyways!! Three of our very special boys have this label but each and everyone of them have qualities and personalities that shine above the disability.

YES they are all have their quirks and their behaviour is often unruly and off the scale BUT they are our boys and through thick and thin We will love and protect them always ๐Ÿ˜Š xxx

Don’t forget Autism Awareness day is 2nd April…. Spread the word x