Tag Archives: stimming

Going through it.

Sometimes you just have to go through it. I found myself saying this to a person at work today. “You just have to go through it” We were talking about darling boy and the violent rages he suffers from. Work guy said to me “yes but you see a pyschologist about it though” Telling me, not asking me.

I was gentle but honest and honesty is scary because what happens sucks. It’s horrible, awful and frightening but it happens. If darling boy was any other kid or person or even an animal  things could be done. But he isn’t. He’s an intellectually disabled 11 with severe autism and as such I just have to go through it. And there’s nowhere to go and no one to turn and very very few that truly understand what it’s like to have no choice on earth other than to just go through it. And that’s ok.

Let me try and explain if I can.

First there’s the trigger. It can be anything,spilled drink,the dog barks, the website doesn’t load, I ask him a question, he gets a fright, someone interrupts him, he’s decided something.It doesn’t matter. The triggers are there, 100’s of them. So the trigger falls. BOOM. And we’re off. Screaming, slamming doors, throwing things and worst of all the hurting.

He’s a big boy. Same height as me now. And he weighs a fair bit too.Nowhere as much as me but then again according to the doctors I’m far too fat. Whatever, it’s essential padding. The violence can last for minutes or he can come back time and time again for hours. Sometimes I lose track. Doesn’t matter. Ripping my hair out by the handful hurts the most but mainly cause he does it so often my scalp is so bruised and sensitive. I get phantom pains now, like an amputee, at least I hope that’s what they are, phantom pains and not signs of something more sinister. Pinching my belly,under my arms and breasts also hurt a lot. He did it once and I really yelped in pain and he remembers now and tries to get that same reaction. Those pinches though, he uses his whole hands both of them,like you would to squeeze water out of a sponge. He’s got big hands.

There’s more, kicking, headbutting, a kinda punch he does, biting – that’s new, one where he squeezes on either side of my head, in each temple, those big strong hands. Grabbing and scrunching my face like it’s scrap paper. He’s only 11 but those big big hands.

Whatever, it doesn’t matter. I just have to go through it. It’s a cycle you see. A shitty, crappy, rotten, stinking, godawful cycle. We’ve spent years working with doctors, with therapists, with medication, with teachers, with anyone we have access to trying to understand but no-one does. Why? Why does he feel compelled to hurt,why can’t we interrupt his cycle, why can’t we redirect him? All questions, no answers. And there doesn’t have to be answers

Doesn’t matter sometimes you just have to go through it.

Bruises, broken teeth, scratches, concussions, hairline fractures and plain old pain. We’ve had it all. It’s not only me, sometimes dadda, or occasionally even his teacher or caregivers. But we’re not perfect, we don’t get nominated for sainthood here. Sometimes we have to fight him off, it’s awful. You know anything you do will make it worse but there is no option. We’ve checked, we’ve asked, we’ve protected ourselves as best we can but there is next to nothing we can do. No special technique,no martial art hold, legally I can’t be taught to hold him safely because it’s illegal for a single person to restrain someone. Its not considered abuse when we drag him off ourselves, hold him on the ground, push him away. It’s a form of self defense. We don’t always get it right, sometimes we’re so hurt and tired we do everything wrong, we scream and shout and lose the plot and do all those things the perfect parent brigade tells you is damaging and harmful and  we do it because there is no right thing. So we get hurt. And we just have to go through it. Let it flow allow him to complete his cycle of hurting. He knows it’s wrong, he says sorry when it’s over, but like us. Darling boy just has to go through it too.

And after? When he’s stopped and he’s crying and saying sorry mumma and rubbing our sore bits better?  We hold and hug and reassure. We put on our happy face and smile because he needs us to be happy. We wait until he’s calm and satisfied and then, then it’s time for us, time to ice the bruises, assess the injuries, take a breath and carry on.

And that is the now, when he’s a child, only 11. What about the future?

Yes I know “he’s only going to get bigger” And our options then are as they are now. To wit, nothing. Well, nothing productive, Call the cops? They’re not trained to deal with kids like darling boy. They’ll be the first to admit that. There’s nowhere to take him. Hospitals can’t deal and there’s no reason to have him there, so short of throwing him in a padded cell what help will he get? There’s special needs homes of course but if he’s too violent they can’t have him. Besides the risk of abuse is astronomical, already at 10 years old he’s been assaulted by a paid trained caregiver because he was violent. So it’s going to have t be us. And yes we’ll be older, and he’ll be bigger and everything that goes with those ideas keep us awake long into the morning. He’ll be eligible for a benefit, if they still exist in another 7 years. In 5 years we have to trot off to court to be appointed his legal guardians and take on the enormous responsibility that is raising an adult with a childs’ mind. Maybe we’ll be able to afford to buy our own home. I hope, I dream we’ll be able to afford that. Maybe in a quite village somewhere, where people will recognized darling boy and not judge or stare or literally throw stones like they do now. A house in the country with no neighbors to upset when he screams and yells. Where we can create a safe haven, with happy spaces with swings and tramps and swimming pools and dvds and the illusion of independence. I beg daily that this our future.

So why write this entry? For what reason? Pity? Sympathy? No they’re emotions that have no use, I write this to illustrate our reality. And to explain why I told this worker “I just have to go through it” That’s it just to explain, and to say please don’t admire us, don’t admire our courage. don’t put us on a plinth and tell us we deserve this adoration or that one. If you have to say something, try a variation of I’m sorry that happens to you and I can see how much you love your family.

And thanks, thanks for reading and trying to understand.

Peace.


Anatomy of a Stim

If you’re a non autistic involved person you may not know about stims, so I shall take it upon myself to explain.

Stim, stimmy or stimming. The word has most likely been derived from stimulating(get your mind out of the gutter!) and it describes the often rapid, repetitive gestures autistic people demonstrate when they have a emotional reaction to something. It becomes an emotional release for them

Some of those professionals that work with autistic folks dislike the word stim and all it’s variations however it’s widely know used and accepted by most friends and family.

The action of stimming is used as one of the many diagnostic criteria for assessing someone as having autism but not all of those that have ‘other’ spectrum disorders stim.

Some hum, clap, spin, finger twirl, hand flap, scrabble at their face, stomp, yell, tiptoe, rock, blink, rub or shuffle their feet, twirl their hair, poke out their tongues. Every type of body movement possible

My lads’ stims are whole body experiences and they are quite a thing to behold. If sitting the feet drum rapidly on the floor, his whole body rocks back and forth, he claps and also slaps his chest and head and often flaps his arms at the same time.

If standing, rocking back and forth, running, spinning in a circle, slapping head, chest, legs, hips, he’s usually yelling but not words just a loud hummm or heeeee or arrrrrrrrr noise.

Sometimes if it’s a quite stim there might just be  quite wee taps to the chest or head, and some low humming.

 

My guy has happy stims, angry stims, yelly stims, hummy stims, quite stims, pensive stims, curious and confused stims. And we’ve become so tuned to them over the years we can read his mood by them.

I love my sons stims. I have never ever had a problem with his stimming or the thought of any other person stimming But frequently they’re seen by ‘others’ in the autistic universe as “problem behaviours in need of correcting” including parents, siblings, teachers, doctors and therapists. And that is a devestating thought.

That so called “professionals” could take a persons coping mechanisms and emotional releases and denying them and labelling them as wrong, defective, inappropriate, or in need of correcting.

For shame! Would you deny some one the right to cry at weddings and funerals? To laugh at a joke, to jump in fright or shock? No? You wouldn’t deny it?

Right, well then you have no right to prevent others from their emotions. So keep your emotions to yourself and never express them or learn to accept that stimming is a necessary tool for survival when you are autistic or raising an autistic child. 

Today we brought the G.A.O. a large lava lamp. He loves it, it’s his new best thing ever! So I took a series of photos as he showed us his joy.

Image Image Image Image Image Image

Peace.

 

 


the 12 days of an Autism Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my autistic one gave to me

A meltdown under the Christmas tree.

On the second day of Christmas my autistic one gave to me.

2 unwrapped presents and a meltdown under the Christmas tree

On the third day of Christmas my autistic one gave to me

3 puddles of wee, 2 unwrapped presents and a meltdown under the Christmas tree

On the forth day of Christmas my autistic one gave to me

4 hours of stimming, 3 puddles of wee, 2 unwrapped presents and a meltdown under the Christmas tree.

On the fifth day of Christmas my autistic one gave to me

5 screaming scenes, 4 hours stimming, 3 puddles of wee, 2 unwrapped presents and a meltdown under the Christmas tree.

On the sixth day of Christmas my autistic one gave to me

6 ornaments licked, 5 screaming scenes, 4 hours stimming, 3 puddles of wee, 2 unwrapped presents and a meltdown under the Christmas tree

On the seventh day of Christmas my autistic one gave to me

7 drooly things, 6 ornaments licked, 5 screaming scenes 4 hours stimming, 3 puddles of wee, 2 unwrapped presents and a meltdown under the Christmas tree

On the eighth day of Christmas my autistic one gave to me

8 Thomas repeats, 7 drooly things, 6 ornaments licked, 5 screaming scenes, 4 hours stimming, 3 puddles of wee, 2 unwrapped presents and a meltdown under the Christmas tree.

On the ninth day of Christmas my autistic one gave to me

9 poopy pull-ups, 8 Thomas repeats, 7 drooly things, 6 ornaments licked, 5 screaming scenes, 4 hours stimming, 3 puddles of wee, 2 unwrapped presents and a meltdown under the Christmas tree.

On the tenth day of Christmas my autistic one gave to me

10 minutes peace, 9 poopy pull ups, 8 Thomas repeats, 7 drooly things, 6 ornaments licked 5 screaming scenes, 4 hours stimming, 3 puddles of wee 2 unwrapped presents and a meltdown under the Christmas tree.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my autistic one gave to me

11 flying headbutts, 10 minutes peace, 9 poopy pull ups, 8 Thomas repeats, 7 drooly things, 6 ornaments licked, 5 screaming scenes, 4 hours stimming, 3 puddles of wee 2 unwrapped presents and a meltdown under the Christmas tree.

On the twelth day of Christmas my autistic one gave to me.

12 shots of whiskey, 11 flying headbutts, 10 minutes peace, 9 poopy pull ups 8 Thomas repeats, 7 drooly things, 6 ornaments licked, 5 screaming scenes, 4 hours stimming, 3 puddles of wee, 2 unwrapped presents and a meltdown under the Christmas tree

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Who Knew? Before autism makes life too “Interesting” read this

The great autistic one has taught me so many lessons in life, how to be more patient, more tolerant. To be grateful for the little things. To fight the good fight for those that you love.

But there is a few lesson in life I never knew I needed to learn until I had me a Boo-Bear.

So here’s a few of lifes’ little gems.

May you learn and never repeat my moments of total dumbassery

1) Never make an Autisic boy pee when having a stim and/or meltdown

1-a) Invest in a bulk discount cleaning supplies membership if you do.

2) Lifes problems are fleeting as long as the batteries last.

3) If popcorn can’t solve it, get a dog, they’re better at cleaning up popcorn than vacuums

4) It doesn’t matter how awesome YOU think Nathan Fillion is in a kilt, you will never convince your autistic child of this fact.

Oh Myyyyyyyyyyyy

5)If at first you don’t succeed trying again and again is fine as long as you attempt it in even numbers

6)Nothing cleans windows better than drool. Nothing cleans drool off windows.

7) The total volume of snot produced in a single sneeze by an autistic child with a cold is 38.9% greater than the capacity of the tissues in the house.

A thing of beauty

8)A milk tanker produces enough excitement to launch an ice cream 7 feet.

9) An ice cream launched 7 feet causes enough noise to drown out a milk tankers horn.

10) Sex is evil, as is sleep, and watching the opening titles to Star wars. These things are easily censored by extreme humming.

11) There is such a thing as extreme humming. It is annoying. Very annoying.

12) It is possible to ‘win’ with a headbutt. It is not possible for YOU to win with a headbutt.

13) Raindrops are awesome.

14) It’s all fun and games until it’s not. You will not be entitled to find this out before is stops being fun

15) Youtube. Don’t leave home without it.

16) Unfinished jigsaw puzzles are an abomination of nature and must be destroyed.

17) If you can’t find the source of the smell do not remove your shoes unless you want to find it with your feet.

18) Blogging about autism is unacceptable and must b