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DIG A HOLE!

Is currently my baby brothers favourite game.

Requirements:

-A bed with a duvet.

-Yourself.

-And Skills.

So we have my older brothers old bed downstairs in one of the spare rooms because we plan on throwing it out (not sure out to exactly o.o) My brother would just suddenly disappear and the first place we’d look is the spare room. I remember once when I went into the spare room to look for my brother the first thing I noticed was something moving under the duvets at quite a fast pace. Before I knew it, my brother popped his head out the end of the duvet giggling with joy! It was really cute! 🙂 And it also reminded me of a game me and my older brother used to play when we were really young and it was called ‘Dig a Hole’. Funnily enough, it was exactly the same game as my baby brother just discovered.

You guys should try it. It’s a really fun game and a great way to kill time! (Though it’s more fun when your below the age of 6 and way below 5ft.

 

In other news, my brothers starting school soon! He’s going to be starting a new school and going to be there for like 7 hours! We’re all nervous. Just the normal ‘is he going to settle in?’ is clouding over our minds. Also thoughts like ‘is he willing to try new foods?’, ‘will his communication improve?’, ‘will the staff be cooperative and supportive just like the staff at his nursery?’

2 members of staff came to our house today to just speak to us about the basics of starting school and stuff. They talked us through a lot of things and they seemed really lovely c: Some of the things we discussed were putting my brother on school dinners. This is so that my brother could try and experience different types of foods. But being the picky eater that he is, we are packing weetabix in his bag. If this fails then he’s probably going to have to come home for lunch.

For me, I guess one of the concerns I have is whether he’ll be able to settle in with his new school just like he settled in his nursery. I’m hoping he does because once he does settle in, he just really enjoys actually going to school and then coming back 🙂 Bit I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

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On a positive note.

(Just want to say, sorry that I haven’t put up a post- I’ve just been really busy! This is going to be a quick post as I really need to work on my Extended Project)

A thing that my little brother does now is that whenever you raise your voice, he’ll actually shout back but he’ll say ‘GEEEEE!’, whatever ‘GEEEE’ is. I actually find it pretty funny :’) and kind of cute. But I guess its nice to know that he does realise when we raise our voice. I guess him answering back is his way of standing up for himself?

He also (with my help^^) can go down the slide by himself! And I’m not sure whether he understands what ‘sit’ is but usually, when he climbs the slide, he’ll stand on top of it and look up at the sky and all around, but when I say ‘sit’, its at that point that he actually does sit down. At first I thought it was a fluke but after following through over and over again, I’m convinced that he understands.

I feel that throughout the whole summer, my brothers been improving little by little. We’ve found that he’s able to climb the slide, he answers back when you raise your voice- he’s even started to babble a lot more! Things like this get me really emotional at the fact that he IS improving. I really want to write a whole lot but words fail me. Just that I’m really happy at the way things are going 🙂

Also, I feel that this article is total bull, be aware: http://www.autismhowto.com/vaccines-and-autism-know-well-before-making-any-move-about-the-disorder-and-its-vaccination.html

 

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Autism v Autistic+ NEWS!

Yes, my brother has autism and yes I know the term to refer someone who autism is ‘autistic’. But I just see the term ‘Autistic’ as a form of labelling. Yes, I’ve come to terms with my brother having autism months after he was diagnosed but my point is, I don’t like it when he’s being referred to as ‘autistic’ because it gives the idea that he has to act a certain way because he can’t do certain things and I don’t like that. Each and every individual with or without autism is different. I’ve opened my eyes to the idea (after reading Ellen Notbohms book) that my brother is able to do anything and everything. I can’t NOT expect him to do it because he has autism. No. I have to at least try. If I give off the vibe that I don’t think he can do it, he WILL pick it up and he’ll think ‘why try I can’t do it?’. And he won’t do it.

I can recall an experience that was very.. hard and upsetting for me. I remember we were at this clinic and we were just with the paedetrician and her trainee. The paed (too long to write D:) wanted my brother to give the ball to me. The trainee suddenly interjects and says ‘But he’s autistic,’ This happened during the early months when he was diagnosed with autism. And it was really hard because she (AND SHES A TRAINEE, HOW DOES THAT WORK?!) expected him not to do it and it was hard for me because it made me think perhaps he can’t do it? But I tried to not let it get to me. AND YES HE CAN PASS THINGS TO ME WHEN HE WANTS OK? He can also do when you want him to- IF YOU HAVE THE PATIENCE!

You have to believe that your sibling will do it. Because then at a slow or steady or whatever pace that suits them, they will try. And if they try and they don’t succeed. They could always try again. But if they try and they DO succeed, then it will be the best feeling in the world. Though as Ellen Notbohm states, there’s a difference between can’t and won’t. Sure if you have that vibe of your sibling not being able to do it, then don’t expect them to do it because they’ll have the idea that they can’t do it. But if in a situation your sibling won’t do a certain thing, please don’t believe its because they CAN’T do it. It’s probably because a) they don’t know how but b) they just won’t do it- but that doesn’t mean they can’t, so keep pushing.

Yesterday, my older brother referred to my younger brother as autistic. I can’t parade around forcing people to refer to my brother as a child with autism because at the end of the day, they may not think or see things the same way I do. Sure it hurt that he referred to him as ‘autistic’ but after I explained to my brother, he kind of got it. It’s important for my family to not refer my brother as an autistic child but as a child with autism considering  we all live under one roof 🙂

So going a bit off the main topic, is this true? :O

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2182550/Autism-A-pet-helps-children-autism-develop-social-skills.html

I may just look into this a bit more 🙂

Now for some news. I’m setting up a project called ‘Autism and The Teen Sibling’ which you can find more about here:

http://www.junction49.co.uk/idea/3102/autism_and_the_teen_sibling/

And follow here:

https://twitter.com/AutismAndTheSib

The initial idea was for teens with a sibling that have autism to share their experiences and offer support and such but after posting on tumblr, I’ve decided that this is also a place for teens with autism who will also be able to share their experiences and perhaps offer support. Theres not support group that I’ve come across that offers support to both and I think thats the uniqe thing. Its really important for us to educate ourselves about autism but at the end of the day, we need to keep in mind that each and every individual is different and I think being able to read about experiences from both sides will gives us an indepth account of life with autism and how it can affect people in different ways 🙂

I’m not a saint and I don’t believe I can create a miracle but if I can create a place where people can be more understanding about autism and its affects then why not? It goes back to the whole being about not being able to do it. I won’t know unless I try. And if I can just open the eyes of just one person then  its worth it. If I don’t, then I will continue to write in this blog and just enjoy life with my brother 🙂

Also on another note, I know some people with autism would want to be referred as being autistic and others differently. Just because I refer to my brother as someone with autism doesn’t mean I will call someone similar to my brother that. If that person wants me to refer to them as autistic, then I will. It’s just the matter of opinions and how people view things differently. I can see the difference when people refer to someone as being ‘autistic’ and referring to someone with autism. Theres negatives on both sides. I guess by saying that A has autism does sound like they have a disease but for me, its the same as saying A also has a flu. We don’t runaway when we say A has a flu because we know what a flu is. But when we say A has autism, I won’t run away because I know what autism is. But those who don’t understand or know what it is will. But a person with autism may or may not see that differently. Who knows. And maybe this project will be able to give teens a bit more knowledge on what autism is. But I think till people study upon the basics of what autism is, then the stigma from both will just disappear. When the day comes and my brother asks me to refer to him as autistic, then I will refer to him as autistic.

But wouldn’t life be easier to just refer to each other as an individual minus the labels?

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Babble away you 4 year old gymnast!

So yesterday I noticed that my brother was babbling A-LOT. And when I mean a lot, I mean constant ‘blahblahblah-blah-blahblahblah’. So I decided to have a conversation with him. I was afraid that if I were to use actual words to interact with him, he may stop babbling. I had the imitation theory in mind so I thought I’d just copy him, as if he’s teaching me to talk/babble. Even though I had NO IDEA what was being said, he continued to babble. And when I stopped babbling, he’d start off again. And so on.

I think its really great because it gives him a chance to in a way, interact and get him to exercise his muscles? o.o I dunno what would have happened if I had spoken to him with actual words so I’m thinking when he does babble again, I’ll use words and see what happens. Oh and really simple sentences like, ‘What are you doing?’

Another thing I realised that he does a lot are hand stands and roli-polies. The handstands that he does, he’ll basically put his head on the sofa and do a handstand whilst leaning against the sofa. And I think he knows that he shouldn’t be doing it because when you call his name or approach him, he’ll stop doing it and times he’ll roll out into a roli poli making you go all ‘Woah!’. I don’t know where he learnt it all from but it’s very entertaining 😀 I know for a fact that I couldn’t do a handstand till I was like 12 o.o But it is nice to see him be a kid. I think people need to realise that just because he has Autism, it doesn’t make him different from any other child. Yes, he CAN have fun just like any other child.

It’s honestly the best feeling in the world when I see him prove my point of kids with autism being able to act like any other kid :’)

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Shift into turbo! (Just a short update)

So I have a 4 soon to be 5 year old brother who may lack in speech but he can open the car door using the keys. Gifted? Yes I think so.

It was such a great day out yesterday! Mainly because of my brother. He somehow managed to put the car keys in the keyhole thing and with a little help, he turned the keys and unlocked all the car doors! And then he got in all by himself c: And his hat came off but he put it on- with no support^^ And once we were in the supermarket, he began to push the trolley! And then he got bored and kind of ran off and I ended up chasing him o.o

But by him just doing those things made my day! My smile became even bigger with the excitement of my parents just talking about it. It’s just those simple things that he does. Like it just makes you forget about the fact that he can’t speak yet and look way beyond that :’)

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Too many unnecessary words guys!

Children with Autism are known to have a very limited vocabulary.

This being said, when giving instructions or asking them to do something, ask them in the most simplest and most direct form. For example, don’t say ‘Hang it over there’. This will make the child with autism confused because to them, they don’t know what ‘it’ is, or what ‘there’ is either. They won’t understand the meaning of those words so instead, say ‘Hang your coat over by the door’. This would be so much easier for them to understand because they know that they have to put THEIR COAT by the DOOR. Children with Autism take things literally so the second example would make life so much easier for both child and parent/sibling/others. It’s simple, and directive.

But with my brother not being able to say actual words and just babbling when he does say something, even speaking in sentences seem useless. Sometimes, you think ‘Why even try?’, but the thing is, YOU HAVE TO TRY. Having a negative attitude will get you no where. You have to try, you have to be able to think and believe that if you keep trying, they’ll be able to understand. And soon, they’ll pick up on it. We were told by staff and others to say the word when performing an action. This is so that the child would be able to put the meaning behind the word. So when my brother comes up to me and puts his arms up because he wants me to pick him up high, I have to say ‘Up’. So the next time he hears the word, he’ll know what ‘Up’ is- maybe not straight away but perhaps in the near future. It’s situations like these were I feel as though using a word rather than sentences is better for him, so he’ll be able to understand a word rather than a jar filled with words he can’t relate to. (at this point, I don’t know if I’m making sense but if you understood it, 10 gold stars to you!- no sarcasm intended, I’m serious)

However, I sometimes think that maybe in some cases actions speak louder than words. For example, when I want my brother to come to me, I flick my hands towards me when I have his attention, and he does come to me and I hug him in return as a reward for him understanding. Though, times like these I don’t know what words to use. ‘Here’ is the one that comes to my mind but I still think that word would confuse him but I guess it wouldn’t hurt to try 🙂

I’ll end this post here. I’ll be honest, I can’t remember the point I was trying to make but I guess the point was, with and autistic sibling- don’t bombard them with truckloads of words they won’t be able to understand. Keep it simple.

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Sensitive to sound?

So recently I, as well as my parents have noticed that whenever we change the channel to this specific channel, he runs behind someone and hides his head  or goes into the kitchen and hides- or he’d take the remote and want you to change it. It’s funny because before when we used to change it to this specific channel, he never used to hide or anything. But now he does.

Yesterday couldn’t have been any better timing as yesterday, I managed to pick up ‘Ten things every child with Autism wishes you knew’ again and started and finished reading chapter two- ‘My sensory perceptions are disordered’.

*SPOILER ALERT*

(FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK, PLEASE DO NOT READ BEYOND THIS POINT- OR YOU CAN IF YOU WANTED TO)

2. My sensory perceptions are disordered.

Sensory integration may be the most difficult aspect of autism to understand, but it is arguably the most critical. This means that the ordinary sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches of everyday that you may not even notice can be downright painful for me. The very environment in which I have to live often seems hostile. I may appear withdrawn or belligerent to you but I am just trying to defend myself. Here is why a “simple” trip to the grocery store may be hell for me:

My hearing may be hyper-acute. Dozens of people are talking at once. The loudspeaker booms today’s special. Music whines from the sound system. Cash registers beep and cough, a coffee grinder is chugging. The meat cutter screeches, babies wail, carts creak, the fluorescent lighting hums. My brain can’t filter all the input and I’m in overload!

My sense of smell may be highly sensitive. The fish at the meat counter isn’t quite fresh, the guy standing next to us hasn’t showered today, the deli is handing out sausage samples, the baby in line ahead of us has a poopy diaper, they’re mopping up pickles on aisle 3 with ammonia….I can’t sort it all out. I am dangerously nauseated.

Because I am visually oriented (see more on this below), this may be my first sense to become overstimulated. The fluorescent light is not only too bright, it buzzes and hums. The room seems to pulsate and it hurts my eyes. The pulsating light bounces off everything and distorts what I am seeing — the space seems to be constantly changing. There’s glare from windows, too many items for me to be able to focus (I may compensate with “tunnel vision”), moving fans on the ceiling, so many bodies in constant motion. All this affects my vestibular and proprioceptive senses, and now I can’t even tell where my body is in space.

*Small extract of the chapter which can be found in this website: http://www.ellennotbohm.com/article-archive/ten-things-every-child-with-autism-wishes-you-knew/

I found out that the channel or more importantly, the adverts featured on that channel (since he hides away from those) may be an overdose of visual images and sounds. Note: I’m saying sorry in advance for using this specific example but its the best way to explain it- its like having an overdose of someone’s fart clogging up your nose and you can’t stand it so you want it to go away so bad before it drives you crazy! I guess thats how its like for him. And perhaps this changes every now and then, I don’t know but it is something I’m going to look into but at least I can tell my parents that its too much for him. However this then means that he’ll need some form of sensory therapy which I’ll raise next time I see the paedetrician or when I visit his new school c: I swear, this book it like the Holy Book of ASD :’)- or something like that o.o

On another note, as much as I would love to post everyday, I can’t. I’m doing a lot of things and theres just not enough hours during the day but I will try and post at least once a week- THANKS GUYS! Also, I do appreciate each and every person liking my posts :’)

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Its the end of an eventful chapter.

My baby brother is finishing nursery tomorrow and for all of us, its a pretty emotional time because it just shows how far he’s come. Looking back, it highlights how much he’s improved and how much theres still left but all in good time.

On Monday, my parents had to visit the school he was going to go to in September and his head teacher was there. And once he saw her, he ran up to her and gave her cuddles with his arms round her neck. Its amazing that just a year ago, he didnt want anything to do with her but through a lot of intensive interaction, he’s some to love her- just like we do :’) We owe so so so much to this lady, its unbelievable. Well, not just her but to his key workers as well.

I think sometimes when you try to do your best with a child with autism, you could throw them at the deep end straight away but sometimes and perhaps majority of the time- the best way to get a child with autism to do things is to start off with intensive interaction. In simple terms, includes lots of hugs and cuddles. Such a simple method can have a huge impact with interaction between the child and the person. I believe its the best method to use before doing anything- especially PECs. When my brother started nursery, he was immedietly thrown at the deep end with PECs. He couldn’t do it. He didn’t understand it, he didn’t know any of these people, he absolutely H A T E D it! However, after scrapping that idea and spending months using intensive interaction to I guess, get to know her, (or whoever was the keyworker at the time) in a way, it enabled him to trust him and whenever any of them walked into the room, he would always look at them- so his eye contact improved HUGELY.

A few months later, they decided to try PECs again and success. He did it because he knew it was ok. And the keyworkers thankfully were patient enough to try and try again. Its amazing to see how far he’s come. He’s babbling more which is great!. I remember in English, we studied this  person who said that when parents try to correct their childs speech, they won’t repeat whatever said. So I decided to do the opposite with me copying what he’s saying and it actually helps him to babble more. I would rather have him babble then not say anything at all. And hopefully by him continuing to babble it’ll help him form words and perhaps go onto the next stage of learning language. *fingers crossed* I’m actually looking forward to the future and having those moments where everything that you’ve done to said point was worth it 🙂

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The epic battle of remote a.k.a channel changer.

As if it isn’t bad enough trying to watch T.V and having 4 other people who want to watch something else- my baby brother decided to join in as well!

If he were watching something, and then suddenly he starts playing with his toy piano and you decide to change the channel- he’ll become upset. I’ve come to learn that even though he’s not paying attention, he still likes to have the channel on to whatever he was watching previously. When he becomes upset, he’ll take the remote off of you and kind of shoves it at you for you to change it. It’s really C U T E!  >~< But can be a bit of a nightmare at times.

I remember once, he went the whole day without letting anyone watch anything and the other day- mum decided to change things up a bit so she changed the channel to something she usually watches and put the remote out of his reach. Of course he started crying… still continued to cry until I think, he got the message. SO the next time something similar happened and my mum put the remote out of his reach, he didn’t cry. He just did whatever really o-o

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The medicine that could kill you with its smell.

Basically the title- true story. (the stench of the medicine not the death o.o)

My baby brother has to have this vitamin medicine which literally all the vitamins in the world (exaggerating) in it. This is because of his diet being really restrictive. The dietician prescribed this and told us to feed him to medicine for as long as we can. So, being the loving and responsible family that we are, we do what we’re told. I remember opening the bottle, and the stench (smell) of it hit me. It was just naasttyyyy.

Whilst I was helping my mum to prepare, I was thinking ‘how on earth is he supposed to get this down?’. My fears came true when he refused to have it- I don’t blame him, just looking at it made me gag. And its really frustrating when we went back to dietician and she doesn’t seem to understand that it is I M P O S S I B L E for him to have medicine that smells like crap. He’s not going to have it. Even if you try and force it down. He usually has his medicines- he knows he has to take them. However with this one, it just smells really bad and he’s not budging.

So we’re in a bit of a smidge. The dietician said that we should feed him it and then quickly give water but IT WONT WORK.  I don’t know what makes it smell so bad. I’d say the name but if you have a memory like mine, its pretty useless.

I held the bottle out for my mum, and I just sniffed my hand and the stench… *dies*