I feel like I’m continually having the same conversations over and over again at the moment and it’s annoying/boring/frustrating.
I cannot properly answer how I am when asked without mentioning the tantrums and sleep issues that are dominating daily life and that in turn leads to a discussion of tricky behaviours the boy is exhibiting and a debate/discussion with whomever I happen to be talking to about whether he has an Autistic Spectrum Condition or not. Sometimes it’s me trying to explain to a friend that, despite my doubts, yes I feel this is a real possibility and we’re seeking an assessment whilst they explain to me that they don’t think he does have. Today it was a neighbour trying to convince me that in her opinion he almost certainly has High Functioning Autism/Aspergers and that I should get him assessed – with me desperately trying to get a word in edgeways to explain that I agree and I am trying and it’s not that darn simple. Sometime’s it’s just a sympathetic friend and we’re going over stuff for the umpteenth time. Sometimes it’s me going over stuff my head. When we get chance I’m discussing it with hubby.
I’m fed up with this. I’m fed up with the constant debate, the explaining, the discussion. I want to move on. I want to shift the focus back to him and what this behaviour is telling us about him and what we need to do about it.
Tantrums each evening for 5 days in a row, each at least half an hour. That’s pretty clear to me. That’s stress, surely. And hubby and I are pretty clear that it’s in some way school related because this is markedly worse in term time. And problems getting ready on school days are happening more and more. Today it was a sudden onset of sensory issues with clothes. Which is odd, as he’s normally fine on this. But not today, today something was itching on his neck and he went back upstairs, we had to turn his vest inside out and give him a fresh polo shirt. And then there were the trousers. Trousers he’s worn for ages are suddenly uncomfy, unwearable. It’s the button that adjusts the elastic that’s at fault. I fiddle with elastic. Still they’re declared unwearable. (I toy with the idea of giving him no option, but he’s so obviously upset and doing so will just cause a tantrum). A second pair (brown, not uniform grey) are offered. These apparently NEED a belt (he never normally wears them with a belt). Some faffing later, belt on, and they are declared uncomfy too – a similar button issue. I find a third pair, blue, no adjustable elastic so no internal button. This pair are a problem because they zip off into 3/4 length and the zips are uncomfy (all of these trousers have been worn many times with no issues previously being reported). I put emoliant cream on his legs. Still an issue. I can’t think what else to do, the only trousers left are pajama trousers and some brightly coloured ones definitely not suitable for school. I get him to have breakfast. Things calm down a little. Hubby delays going to work to help get everyone in a fit state to leave the house. Then the zip on his coat is an issue, it digs in, he NEEDS a scarf underneath. This time I put my foot down, no, there is no more time. On the brief walk to school he is subdued, seems upset. I help him into the classroom, take things out his bag for him, send him off to hang up his coat. I grab the teaching assistant as the teacher is busy and explain the problems and that his grey trousers are in his bag, should he want to change into them (or should they deem it necessary). He is not hanging up his coat. He is watching me instead as I’m talking to the TA. I go and get him to hang it up and leave him with the TA, explaining his stuff is not put away and I need to take his sister to her school now. I leave him, in the corridor, complaining about zips.
Yes, this is frustrating, but also I feel for him, I really do. Things were not right in his world this morning. But what to do?
What I want to do, is keep him at home for a couple of days, he can read books and help me with housework and calm down. But I can’t do that because he’s not ill, I’m not allowed. I could lie, and keep him at home, but then surely that will lead to him getting the idea that school is optional, that we can get out of it when we like. And yet, adults are allowed time off work with stress. And he is stressed, so clearly stressed, or am I just projecting my feelings onto him?
I can imagine a day when hubby has left the house and I’m going to really struggle to do the school run because he is too upset. It is definitely not an unconceivable event. At the moment he is still fairly small and light, but I have a bad back at the moment, if he decided not to go, I probably couldn’t make him. Not that he does refuse me, because he wants to do the right thing, but it may be he’s too involved in a tantrum to come. When/if that day comes, do I take him in late, keep him off for the morning, keep him off all day, what? And what do I do about little sister, who also needs to go to school?
Yesterday I contacted the organisation that supports parents that the pediatrician recommended. I had to explain details, it was hard, becuase I’m not sure exactly what they do so I don’t know what I’m asking for. But details were taken and they’re going to be passed to the relevant person who will contact me. Hopefully that will result in me having a better idea of the next step – which I’m thinking is talking to the SENCO. Anyway, it was mentioned in conversation that the waiting list for an ASC assesment, the one he’s being put on the one I was told was “long” is apparently TWO YEARS. I’m not sure I can wait that long. Even if I do wait, will he get a diagnosis? And what would a diagnosis change? Can’t we do something NOW?
So its back to going round in circles, again.