Do we need to be social???

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I don’t know about you but I am always worried that Jamie isn’t social enough and when I say enough she is NOT social at all.

She doesn’t seek anything social and when she is in social situations she is does not have a clue.  She doesn’t understand social situations and she doesn’t understand how to be social.  But people are always banging on about how we need to “socialise” our kids. But why?

I for one only socialise as and when I want to with people that I want to, so why am I arranging play dates for my child with children who have completely different interests and lives? She doesn’t want friends, she doesn’t need friends and she doesn’t feel bad for not having friends.  She just wants to be left to get on with the things she enjoys in life, like Sims, Little Big Planet, Minecraft & Pokemon. 10 year old girls don’t have the same interests, or if they do it is very rare or they are usually also on the spectrum and probably also do not want to socalise!! 

So I arranged said Play Date with some lovely girls who Jamie used to go to school with.  They came to our house so that she was in familiar surroundings.  The first thing I noticed was that these girls talk!! Now Jamie is verbal but she doesn’t “chat”, they talk about music and TV and what they’ve been doing.  So straight away it is uncomfortable.  For around 20 minutes they happily played on the Wii U, but then that was enough.  Jamie stuck her headphones on and sat on the other sofa with her IPad.  When one of the girls asked if they could sit next to her and watch her reply was “no thank you”.  So I make lunch and put the Disney channel on for the girls while Jamie continues to eat and read on the IPad.  I can tell she is anxious.  She agrees to play dolls upstairs after lunch, but when I follow her up she is actually reading stats on Pokemon cards.  5 minutes later she’s lying on the sofa in meltdown.  I have an hour to kill now before the girls go home and i’m feeling sorry for them and Jamie.  They don’t really understand why she doesn’t want to play with her, she doesn’t understand why they want to play.  So Jamie goes on Little Big Planet to calm herself while the girls walk our dog round the estate.  They ask if they can go to the shop??? Jamie never goes outside on her own let alone off the street we live on and I actually don’t know what to say.  What do 10 year old girls do, what are boundaries, where do they go? So I say I will take them to the shop on the way home.

We make the 30 minute journey to where the girls live and Jamie has her headphones on the whole way.  I stop at the garage to fuel up and the girls jump out and go into the shop – another thing I have not experienced.  Jamie didn’t even noticed we had stopped for fuel she was so far in her own world.  We passed the place where Jamie rides so the girls were asking her questions, she simply replied “no thank you” and put her headphones back on.  The girls ask to go to McDonalds, again I am shocked, Jamie never asks for anything.  They are literally worlds apart.  So we drop her friends off and I have to take her headphones off so she can say goodbye. Then we make the 30 minute journey home in silence …

So what has she gained from this socially? 

How has this affected her anxiety?

Was it worth it?

Will I do it again?

Well i’m sat here now mentally exhausted, so I can’t even begin to imagine how Jamie is feeling.  It was lovely to see her friends again and I really wanted it to be a nice day where she would realise that it’s something she should do more often.  But did it make her happy?  

What makes her happy is being in her own world, obsessing about her own interests, and being calm and routine.

Ask her who her best friend is she will tell you her dog.  Her dog makes her happy 🙂

 

“Mellow” tonin

So my last blog was all about lack of sleep and how were going to finally give melatonin a try.  Well we gave her the first dose (she’s on 2mg) on Wednesday evening and she slept from around 11pm to 9am in the morning.  We weren’t expecting such a good night after the first dose but it was wonderful.  She woke up and her exact words were “is this what is feels like to have 10 hours sleep?” YES “this is amazing”.  Unfortunately she proceeded to vomit 3 times 😦

We didn’t know if this was a side affect or a coincidence so I asked my Chewigem friends (who I can count on for anything like this) https://www.facebook.com/chewigem and most people thought it was a coincidence.  She wasn’t sick again but she slept all day on the sofa and ate nothing, so we decided not to give her melatonin that evening, and to be honest she didn’t need it, she slept all night no problem.  It must be a bug.  The next day she tried some yoghurt and by tea time she had mashed potato (not something I would have expected her ask for) and she managed it and even asked for seconds.  We discussed with her if she would like to try the melatonin again and she did.  So Friday evening we gave it a second try, she slept from 10pm to 8am, not struggling to go to sleep, it was fantastic, and again she commented on how much better she felt.  

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This is how she looked (so happy).  So she had it again Saturday and Sunday night and slept 10pm until 8am and here we are on Monday.  

I was desperately hoping that the Melatonin would help but I never expected it to be this dramatic.  Not only is she sleeping but her behaviour has changed dramatically.  She hasn’t had anywhere near as many meltdowns as she would normally, she is much more tolerant of her little brother and today our first day back at home schooling went fantastically well.  She actually did some writing which is something she point blank refused to do last term!! I am truly amazed.  I know it wont work for everyone and she may get a tolerance to it but I would be happy to have 1 night/day a week like this.  We are going to give her breaks over the weekends and school holidays so hopefully she will get plenty of benefit from it.  I can’t believe we have avoided this stuff for years.

So here is hoping that our first week of home education is going to be a wonderful thing with a happy, relaxed and calm girl.  God it feels good to be optimistic for a change x

 

No Sports Day Drama

It’s been a tough week, not just with the weather but even though we are home educating Jamie her timetable is a bit muddled up due to things we needed to do for Joe.  He had a Rugby Festival which we could go and watch, so that was an afternoon changed as I didn’t want to miss it and then Sports Day.  Jamie didn’t handle the Rugby Festival too well so I posted on the Facebook group that I run https://www.facebook.com/chewigem asking for idea to keep her happy at sports day.  I had loads of great responses but one really stood out, which was to take a tent.  So Wednesday morning I packed everything we needed.  Tent, IPod, 3DS, Earphones, Ear defenders, Chewigems, a magazine, cool spray, water and snacks! Image

I was so nervous (as last year was a disaster) but as you can see above I need not have worried.  She sat in the tent for 2 1/2 hours playing on her ipod, chewing on her chewigem and having the occasional spray of the cool spray.  I don’t even think she realised that sports day was going on around her.  I saw all of Joe’s races with no meltdowns or interruptions, I chatted to other parents and had a lovely morning.  When the winner was announced and it was time to go Jamie didn’t want to leave.  She said she had so much fun 🙂 So when we got home I simply recreated it in the back garden.  Wednesday was a very very peaceful day … all thanks to a £8.99 tent from Wilkinsons (i’m sure loads of places do them)