I simply say, “Fishes”

I feel a coldness touch my skin as I press my nose against the glass, palms spread and fingers reaching. I stare deeply into the rippling water. Bubbles emerging through the gravel, they dance their merry lift, fascinating and capturing my all. I see light, so much light, reflected from each tiny shimmering sphere as they are birthed through the air stone. They saunter their way with or without connection, I feel lifted with their rising. Speed slowed right down with their weave through the waves.

My concentration is broken as a large Angelfish swims past my face. Again it’s the reflections of light coming from each individual scale. A whole rainbow of colour calling to me. Shimmering essence of living light reflected through a flowing stream. I follow my new friend, my face remains pressed against the coolness, feeling the vibration of the constant flow of water. This cycling hum and trickle I find so soothing, blocking out all other noise and gaining my full attention.

The Angel won’t keep still she is trying so hard to reach a tiny brown worm that is hidden beneath a piece of bogged wood. I watch her swimming back and forth, back and forth trying every angle to reach her food. In my heart I am willing her on, explaining to her in my mind what she needs to do. The light reflects and watching her shine makes me happy. She finally squeezes her slender frame horizontally under the wood reaching her well earned prize. My heart smiles.

I am drawn again back to the rising lights in their thousands. All is calm and I feel alive and comforted in all I absorb. Then a voice and a gentle touch. I feel my Mom lovingly stroke my hair and she asks me, “What have you been staring at for so long?” I am six years old and don’t have the words so I simply say, “Fishes.”

I love this video and this song is so perfect to go with this post

This post was written from a memory

The fish tank belonged to my Uncle and was built into the wall dividing his living room from his dining room. I have always loved fishes.

Love and hugs. Lisa. xx 🙂

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Do you remember?

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Do you remember?

Before the big bloggers, the sponsors, the adverts and the competitive edge of Pinterest perfectionism there was a community of friendly bloggers. It was a place where we found connection with others who were walking a similar path to our own. It was a place we could find friendship with people who had similar interests, and it was a place where there weren’t any trolls. Sitting down to write a post was as easy as writing an email to a friend.

I miss those days. I miss those bloggers.

Yesterday I was reminded of just how much I loved the blogosphere when a friend/author and fellow blogger posted me this link of a list from 2012.

21 Exceptionally Valuable Asperger’s Sites

I’m on that list, I’m number 7. 🙂
When seeing the list I actually cried and struggled to process. A lot of my Autism blogger friends no longer write and who I was, how I wrote back in 2012 holds a special place in my heart that I miss deeply. I also felt that I have let slip away a special interest and the joy of writing because of worrying too much about what other people think of me.

I got a message from a lady I met last week, her message was just what I needed to read. The message said, ” Thank you Lisa, I’ve learnt so much about myself from you xXx” (This was from a lady who suspects she has Aspergers.)

It made me think a lot, it made me ponder to why I had stopped writing and it made me feel deeply for other females undiagnosed in their 40’s who are still trying to find a way to fit. Then I went to find one of my most helpful posts that I read a lot when I struggle to remember why I feel so alien and why I constantly get so hurt.

I’m not ashamed of my Aspie traits.
Knowing I have Aspergers answers all the questions that have bogged my life. It’s just that it’s a lot easier to pretend to be NT and hide my feelings so no one else can hurt me. I can’t help but feel that hiding isn’t the answer and that I can push past the fear if I press into my faith.

****************************************************************

This is who I am…

(Post from 2012)

SPD,EFD,OCD & all that jazz!

I paced around my house this morning, talking to myself. Motivating myself to actually sit at my pc and write. I know when I need to write because I can find a thousand other creative things to do with my hands but my mind keeps speaking and looping on the words.

Writing for me is part of my process, a part of my healing from past hurts. It is also a way for me to move forward. Writing is my deliverer from

EFD (Executive Function Disorder)

SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder)

OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

All these “disorders” but still I keep going!

I have found my own way, it takes me longer and I might seem to get stuck at times or repeat myself, but I will get there eventually. What my brain cannot execute in the neurotypical way, my reflective reviews, journaling, ANT’s charts and blogging will help me sort through the fluff and confusion. I find the backbone, the root and the will.

Writing helps me to find my confidence in a world where I am constantly trying to learn an ever changing language. Favoured items are static they are easy to comprehend and automatically will gain trust and care. Animals can be studied and act in a predictable way most of the time with a need for self care. People are constantly changing they are unpredictable and fascinating. Change can cause me major insecurity, anxiety and even paranoia when I am not focused on helping myself but allowing myself to just drift along.

Sharing is like my accountability, it’s like me opening up a covenant I make with myself. In my openness and honesty I can no-longer keep making excuses and finding ways out.

A way out of what?

Honestly…I’m still coming to terms with not being able to fit!

That’s right, I’m still coming to terms with not being able to fit! It is so much easier to take my stroppy teenage view and think that people are just plan nasty. But I don’t believe they are, I know that there are a lot of lovely people in this world. Growing up undiagnosed without any early intervention has caused me deep scars. I will not let my past define who I am today, or who I am growing into tomorrow.

I document me because my process might help another

I went to see a psychologist a few weeks ago and the main thing I took away from this meeting was how deeply I hurt from always feeling socially isolated. Growing up always being the onlooker that would have loved to have had just one true friend. To have always been seeking deep and loyal friendship but never understood why I got left out. I now have to fight the mental scar of never really feeling that I am acceptable.

I have wonderful online friendships

They are with the most beautiful and loving people and I am so very grateful for each and every one of them. However in my everyday life I have surface level acquaintanceships where I can never really be myself. I still wear the mask.

I know how to look like I fit

I can look like I fit that well no-one even notices how much I am struggling. I found my own way of hiding in the mass, I’m the quiet observer that speaks when spoken to. I have lots of personas I can use for different environments. They are all so very well rehearsed within the loops and replays predicted in my mind. When in unfamiliar circumstances I pass as shy with a touch of eccentric, but that is not who I truly am. Truth being told being part of the social norm means I am forever treading water, swimming against the current, feeling out of my depth and it is so mentally draining and such bloody hard work.

My shutdowns have become a place of comfort

Within a shutdown I can block out everything, everyone and every thought. I know in this place that I can also block out me as I take a step away.

Over the years I have learned to switch off me so that I can focus on others and show the empathy, sympathy that I have been told I don’t understand. I have learned to take on another’s pain and carry it inside as to not be uncaring. SPD makes sure I feel it too. I didn’t realise that for most people it doesn’t physically hurt when they cry. I didn’t cry for many years when I shut out and shutdown to people. I can understand feelings, I have my understanding of empathy and I feel pain for others within me. I have always understood and I have always felt but I had to learn to show and express in the appropriate way. I have learned to show social kindness to others by being unkind to me.

I can forget to switch me back on

I then lose myself in the maze of life and the passion of people puzzles. My brain loves puzzles, my brain loves finding answers, my heart wants to love and feel loved. People are not puzzles and trying to help is not always what is needed. This is not logical in my mind but I learned to not speak and just to show a certain facial expression I learned from watching my Mom.

I get so busy pleasing others, being who I think they want me to be, that I simply forget to be me. I need to remember to find grounding. I need to remember to return to self. I need to remember that I am worth knowing. I need to remember that I am a unique and loving individual. I need to remember to find my safe place. My Mom was my safe place and without her I can feel very lost. I can find comfort and safety within my faith most of the time. I can also find my safe place when I find me again within my special interests.

What stops me?

I’m still coming to terms with being a dyslexic aspergic geek!

So this is my next step

I need to let the geek out, I need to let me be me.

Face to face female friendships are so socially confusing for me. My geeky intensity and passion for interest is avoided by most NT women. I totally get this and that’s why I don’t let me out very often. When I do I have a wonderful time just being myself.

Let’s face fact though, Aspie women are good at hiding, we are excellent actresses. We learn how to fit or not be seen. When we do get real and some polite person chats and makes us feel accepted, we get excited and forget to hold back a little, we think we have found a friend and can’t wait to see them again. Then we are avoided and the pain we feel from rejection brings back every foul memory from every negative loop we have.

We don’t do the chit chat well. We tend to be too honest and open. We take the conversation to a level that stimulates our own mind without realising we make others uncomfortable. I mean who really wants to get deep and intense about …(insert your own special interests here)… writing, poetry, art, spirituality, ASD’s, animals, fishes, quotes, images, blogging, fantasy and trees.

I find companionship within the blogosphere and I LOVE it

One thing I don’t have is face to face communication with like minded friends.

For any future friends this is who I am.

  • I need to feel accepted and loved for just being me.
  • I need friends who understand I can’t always maintain eye contact but it doesn’t mean I’m not interested.
  • I sometimes need to be intense, it’s how my mind stays focused.
  • I will drift off into daydreams and tangent thoughts but it doesn’t mean I’m not listening.
  • I sometimes just need to be quiet and I need you to be quiet with me while I think.
  • Just because I stop talking doesn’t mean I have finished expressing.
  • I want to be a good friend, I will think of your needs more than my own at times which can make me somewhat annoying.
  • I can get very insecure and feel my ways have hurt you, I fear rejection so I over compensate by being too open and over loving.
  • I am honest and I care deeply
  • I look for what is good in a person but I can be rather naive and gullible.
  • I can be very silly and giggley at times, in these times I may seem insensitive to your needs so I need you to tell me if you need me to be sensible.
  • I won’t just pick up on your feelings by looking at your face.
  • I need to be able to trust, without trust I can’t function within friendship.

I know that God will help me find a way forward. I’m just sharing as I process.

Love and hugs. xx 🙂

Simplicity is being me.

Photo taken with my mobile

Being Still, making the time to find who I am in Christ, “Listening through the Loops” that are constantly cycling in my head from the hectic run of life. Being Still is something that I really need. I’ve come to realise that I’m not made to be constantly stressed, I don’t work well when my mind is constantly looping with emotional overload or any form of anxiety.

I sometimes find myself filling all the gaps in life with things that don’t really need to be there. I try to avoid all the silent moments and it’s almost like I’m afraid to not keep busy. It’s only when I actually make myself stop, be still, ponder and reflect that then I see clearly. I see that I can sometimes add worries and stress and make myself a lovely lot of my own confusion.

I wrote a poem not long after my 40th Birthday

It is called My Shelf, you can read it over on my poetry blog, “Listening through the Loops” In this poem I express how my whole life I had been bending over backwards trying to make people like me. I’d only ever done what I thought others wanted/needed/expected me to do. I was one big people pleaser.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for helping others but not when it is to the detriment of my self-worth, my core beliefs, or it affects my family and those closest to me.

Jesus very often would seek out solitude.

He loved all people but He also needed to find Himself with God. He needed to pray alone sometimes, He needed to seek God without distraction. Unconditional love can only be given to others when we truly understand and have received it. We all long to feel loved and to give love to others.

We need to remember to fill up our own tanks. When we are constantly running on empty we just become resentful. This is where I had gotten to when I wrote that poem, I couldn’t cope anymore with being the constant “Yes” girl. Something had to change, I wasn’t being true to myself. I thought I was doing God’s will, running around doing all the deeds, but deeds without love are not what God wants. God’s will for each of us is for us to live life to the full.

This is the last verse of the poem, “My Shelf.”

It has been one long journey to deliver me at this station

As I’ve been twisted inside-out and tortured with frustration

I didn’t see, the simplicity, of being me, would set me free.

I didn’t see, the simplicity, of being me, would set me free.

It was when I started to say, “No” When I started to explain to people…

“I’m sorry, but I have a different idea and I don’t feel that this plan is actually beneficial to my life.”

It’s amazing how many people disappear out of your life when you start standing up for what you believe. It’s also EXTREMELY WONDERFUL seeing the people who do love you just the way you are. I’m finding that saying, “Let me think about it for a while I’ll get back to you!” is so much easier.

Also reminding myself that guilt is NOT of God

Anyone who makes me feel guilty is putting too much pressure on me, and not thinking of my well-being, therefore not truly loving me, this includes the pressure I put on myself. I can be so unloving towards myself at times.

I’m very grateful for the close friendships God has brought into my life, those who love and accept me for who I am. Those who constantly remind me that they love me unconditionally and know my heart. They help me to understand from both perspectives (Aspie and NT) and never judge me, reject me or ignore me.

I’m learning all the time, I like to learn…it’s good to grow.

I was thinking of a an old poem I wrote and I decided to share it again as it was from WAY back at the beginning of my blogging days and I have over 500 wonderful new readers now. I have changed it slightly and added a different image.

Love and hugs.

Lisa. xx 🙂

 Only you Lord Jesus

by Alienhippy

Only you Lord Jesus can fill this gaping hole

Dance around inside my heart, caress my very soul

You took away my sin, grace nailed it to the tree

You are my everything, your comfort sets me free

˜

Nothing can I do to deserve love so complete

I can come to you, lay my all at your feet

Knowing that you care for this life that I live

You will always love me, so my heart to you I give

˜

I don’t know where you’ll lead me, I trust in all your plans

When I’m up and when I’m down, I know I’m in your hands

I’ll just accept the love you give, and know that it’s a gift

And all the songs within my heart, to you my voice I lift

˜

This world is full of darkness, but you make darkness light

With you I face the future, you give me strength to fight

You hold my hand you wipe my tears, I know you always care

Whatever storm I go through, I know that you’ll be there

˜

You’ll give me everything I need, to get through trials I face

You’ll bring me safely home to you, protected in your grace

You forgive me when I lose my way, in all things that I do

So this will always be the call, to come Be Still with you

Who else is going to share?

Has anyone noticed that I’m not really blogging much these days? I want to, I really do, but every time I open up a fresh document to start typing I feel a bit lost. I don’t know why this has happened, it just has. I have been feeling like this for a few months, I have been finding inspiration in my old posts. I’ve reposted old posts and added a few new poems but nothing I feel I will look back on and say, “Oh yes that was a turning point for me!”

Writing helps me

I will keep pushing through knowing that this will soon pass. I have been having no problems at all with writing in my prayer journal and reflective journal. Also I have shared many deep thoughts and inspirations privately with my closest friends. Its just blogging I’m struggling with. I seem to have lost the effort.

I thought maybe it was because I felt hurt

I have been struggling to comment on blogs because of fear. I have been blogging four year this year and other bloggers have not always been kind. Some have taken me wrong; they don’t know me or see my heart. I stopped commenting a while back and only comment on my friends blogs where I feel safe. Where I know they will protect me if I get taken wrongly or if I get bullied or verbally attacked.

I thought maybe it was time to call it a day and make my blog private. I even thought at one point of deactivating my blog; thank goodness I didn’t as all 667 posts I have shared would now no longer exist.

My not knowing loop is a big black hole

Some time ago my lovely friend Fi, from Wonderfully Wired wrote a post called “The Spinning Question Mark.” In this post was a beautiful conversation that she had with one of her little boys. Both of her sons are on the spectrum and reading about them helps me to remember. They are so very like me in their aspieness, especially *Harley!

In Fiona’s post *Harley speaks to his Mum about seeing in pictures. To me this is my normal; it was only four years ago that I realised that my way of thinking is different. He talks about his spinning question mark when he doesn’t understand something.

Here is small piece from Fi’s post.

So I thought I’d take it further.

“Harley, what do you see if I say the word ‘Volkswagen’? Do you see that same car again?”

“No”. He said. “I see an empty box with a big question mark over it spinning around and around because I don’t know what a Volkswagen is”.

Wow. I knew I was onto something so I dug deeper and asked him: “Do you see a spinning question mark a lot?”

He nodded. “Yes, every time someone says a word that I’ve never heard before. It is what I see when I don’t understand what the other person is talking about. I hate it when I see that question mark. I feel stupid and that’s why I sometimes get angry”

My thoughts that I shared.

My spinning question mark is a hole, a black hole like in space. And yep, when people all talk fast or over each other the pictures make no sense. Talking with one person at a time is so much easier. When in a group of people I can’t really listen and will zone out, daydream on a tangent thought triggered by an image.

I just thought everyone thought like this. It makes so much sense now I know they don’t. No wonder other women can chat like they do. It really fuzzes my head being in a group of women all talking at the same time, way too many pictures bumping into one another…hehe

I cope by either being the quiet onlooker, the one that looks shy and listens. You know me better than anyone Fi; you know I am not shy or quiet. Or, I can cope by being the loud one that doesn’t listen at all, the one with loads of ideas who is a bit bossy. This depends on my confidence level and who the people are.

The pictures are so strong they can stop me from eating. I tried to explain this to Mr Locoman the other day. I cooked a soup and couldn’t enjoy it without my soup spoon. It just didn’t seem to taste at all. I told him that all I could think of is my soup spoon because I am at home and when I am at home eating soup I need to eat it with my soup spoon. I did try a different spoon but the size was wrong and all I kept seeing was my spoon with the pretty engraved roses on it. As a kid I would have refused to eat. As an adult I try to fix things, I try to fix me. So many of my past experiences can be explained by understanding myself and how I tick. Understanding why I am different and why people have treated me the way they have.

I have hope that things will change

I believe that it is when NT parents and adult aspies combine their journeys that we will bring true awareness of Autism. I only know my spectrummy ways but having a friend like Fi (who is NT) helps me to understand the way others think. Also me helping her to see it through my aspie eyes has helped her to understand her boys, she told me so and that has got to be helpful…right?

So, why do I keep sharing?

I share because:

  • I have a head full of thoughts that might just help someone.
  • I have a life time of history on the spectrum.
  • I love all people even when they show very little love in return.
  • I hate the thought of any child going through school unnoticed.
  • I hate the thought of any child sitting thinking of space because of all the black holes in a day. Then being told they are stupid, ignorant, thick or a nuisance.
  • I hurt inside knowing that there are kids whose parents want them fixed.
  • I believe that maybe my life has a purpose and me sharing is a good thing.
  • I know that through fighting my fears I grow and I want to grow and learn.
  • I want people to understand that Autism doesn’t mean lacking empathy.
  • I have traits that are unnoticeable but every day I struggle, writing it out helps me.
  • In writing I have found connections, I no longer feel alone.
  • I have a need to communicate; most people are not interested in what I have to say.
  • I can’t always talk; sometimes I go for days without talking at all even though I want to. I share to release a build up of stored away expression.
  • I need an outlet and writing is very freeing for me.
  • Also…One day I won’t be around to tell my kids about this journey.

I share because it’s the right thing to do even when the fear of being me to the world keeps me awake at night. Even when I know there is a possibility of waking up and finding comments on my blog that are full of hate and manipulation. Even when I know that something I share might not be what someone close to me wants to read.

This is my journey and I will jolly well write about it.

I’m sick of hiding behind a mask, I’m sick of walking on egg shells. I will keep writing and I will probably get it wrong a few more times yet but I will not be sitting in a corner with my coat pulled over my head. That was me at school. I am not a child anymore, I have found my words and I will use my words. People need to know and little aspies can’t speak it out for themselves. I remember and I can write about it, it’s up to others if they want to read. Who else is going to help? Textbooks given to teachers and a few lectures is NOT enough in my opinion. I have lived it and my life is not worthless, it is worth sharing.

Who else is going to share?

perfectlove

Filtering (Autism Awareness)

WIND-jpgsFiltering (Autism Awareness)
by Alienhippy
You would not believe the filters I have to use to free
The processes I go through so I can truly see
The rehearsing and the questions, constant battles in my brain
If I attached a loud speaker, you’d think that I’m insane
~
It will start with something simple, an interest that gives safety
Or acceptance from a person who likes me for being me
Then that safety forms a blanket that covers all the crap
That the world has thrown upon me, sealed me in my trap
~
I document my way out through journals and through rhyme
Reflect on change to routine and re-organise my time
Then make plans to share the burden that I feel I may become
Praying to rebuild any damage I have done
~
I cannot change this process I have lived and I’ve obsessed
I have walked this path for many year alone and left depressed
I have to fight right through it, calling out to God above
Held accepted in His wisdom, His Guidance and His Love
~
I don’t know how to be any other way
I collect and filter everything so I can have a say
In what goes on within my life, it seems my ways are strange
‘Cause no one else collects these thoughts to interpret every change
~
I don’t like sitting still too long I feel I will stagnate
I keep my mind and spirit calm avoiding strife and hate
I feel this hope inside me, even though I feel a mess
And in His love I understand my ways are NOT worth less

My daughter loves to draw

Some of *CAL's stories

Some of *CAL’s stories

*CAL has always loved drawing.

As a small child she would make her own story books. She would draw all the pictures and tell me what words she wanted to write. Then we’d sit and write out her stories together. I still have all those little books; they hold such wonderful memories for me.

Art has always been something she loves to do. So learning art doesn’t mean sitting still and being told about it, for *CAL it means doing it. It’s about her living it, feeling it, seeing it, molding it, shaping it, mixing it, finding it, creating it, imagining it.

For me it’s about capturing it and being present in that moment when she calls out…”MOM!!! Do you want to see what I’ve made?”

One thing that my *CAL is able to do more of now (because of home education) is focus on what she enjoys doing. Focus on her talents, her gifts, her special interests. She is enjoying the journey of everyday in this amazing adventure of learning.

While she was attending mainstream school she was unable to tap into this gift. Even in her art lessons she found it hard because of the noise and movement of the other children. Also the demand to produce work that she wasn’t always interested in, or she felt totally uninspired by, didn’t stimulate her joy for art. Meeting targets, ticking boxes and the overwhelming sensory experience she went through daily was actually switching off her love for art and switching off my little girl. However, she does have a few fond memories of her art lessons at school. Art was the only lesson she looked forward to, it’s a shame it was only an hour a week.

I’m not going to blog anymore on this post about the damage done. It’s in the past, it’s behind us now. This post is about the success we are having. You can read my previous post if you need to fill in any of the background.

In our short time of de-schooling, unschooling/autonomous learning *CAL is really flourishing. Her confidence is coming back along with her words, she’s communicating again now. She has a gallery of over fifty 3D compositions. She attends pottery classes and has created amazing sculptures. We have recently found a home education group for structured and unstructured art where she is able to work with a small group of home educated children in a professional art studio.

salad spinnerShe also has a little friend (4 years of age) who she enjoys creating art with on a regular basis. This is a piece of art they did together with poster paint and a salad spinner. I love this painting and have it hanging in my living room.

This week *CAL has started to research, learn and apply her knowledge to computer animation. There is no stopping her, she just loves to learn. My child who just a few months ago told me that reading is boring is now constantly reading because she WANTS to learn.

I’m so excited today because my *CAL has given me permission to share one of her wonderful new drawings. It has taken a while for her to want to share her work and that is totally fine. I understand her need to have her own special place and I will always support her with this and respect her wishes.

This drawing of Amy Rose is a redesign and *CAL created it on her 3DS using colors 3D. To some people my child may look like she is playing on a gamer gadget, but what she can create freehand on that gadget blows my mind. Did I mention that on the 3DS it can actually be seen in three dimensions, she built it up in layers…it really has the WOW factor!

Amy Redesign

Amy Redesign

NOTE: *CAL is only just 13 years old, she is diagnosed with ASD/Dyspraxia/SPD she has fine and gross motor delay. None of this will stop her from achieving her full potential. The diagnoses were needed while she was in mainstream school to try to get her extra support. The confusion of too many people and too much change on a daily basis was causing her sensory overload and constant shutdowns. I’m not at all against the education system in my country; I just understand that the structure and environment of school isn’t always beneficial for everyone, especially a person with sensory processing disorder.

It is time….

Ross MountneyI want to thank all my readers, all who leave me comments or send me emails. I’m sorry that I haven’t been writing much lately. I’ve wanted to. I’ve really, REALLY wanted to. To be honest, I haven’t known where to start. I’ve sat many times with a blank document trying to find the words and then switched off the pc and blocked out what I was feeling.

I made a start today

“I want to encourage you to keep going on your path. You have amazing gifts to reach people with ASD, like me, like the children of those parents in the group you have come to dread. We need people who understand us, and you are one of them. May God reward your faith and perseverance!!!” (Sent to me by a reader)

I made a start by going through the emails that had accumulated for my blog. The words above are from one of those emails and it was those words that helped me to decide that “It is time.”

Time to tell where I’ve been hiding. Time to tell why I’ve been so quiet. Time to tell what’s been going on and why I couldn’t write. Time to tell a bit of our story.

We started homeschooling *CAL

You may remember a post I wrote back in March. It was called, 7 packs of hardwood. It was during this time that I had come to realise I had no choice but to find alternative education for my daughter. I was hoping and praying that she would settle and she would thrive in the mainstream school, as my *AJ had. But her transition to secondary school had not gone well and I could see that it just wasn’t happening. The environment was not kind to her sensory system, it did not suit her at all. In desperation I wrote the following lines in my post.

I am more than Autism, I’m an encyclopaedia of my own Aspie traits. I don’t need lessons on how to parent my Aspie kids, I love them more than life itself. I will always find what is best for them.

What is best for them

*CAL had been at her new secondary school for six months and in that time she had become a selective mute. Just simple decision making had become too much and her shutdowns were constant. Our only reprieve was weekends and even then Sunday afternoons she became so quiet as her anxiety took control. It was agonising to watch as my little girl disappeared into her shutdown Aspergic shell that I know the depths of all too well. Sunday nights she couldn’t sleep and Monday mornings she would wake up limp and unresponsive. By the time we were at the school gates she would be rocking backwards and forwards in the front seat of the car trying to regulate her overload of emotion and fear. I can’t even say that I saw her moods changing; it was like she just switched herself off. At only 12 years of age she stopped smiling, stopped chatting, stopped doing the things she loved and just went through the motions. On her really bad days she couldn’t even do that.

It became my routine to walk her into SEN

Each day I would sit with her and wait for a teaching assistant to walk her to her first lesson. I would collect her after school and by the time the school day had finished *CAL was so drained from the constant over stimulation and rush of lessons, the bombardment to her sensory system (of over a thousand pupils) not to mention the demands on her for tasks, performance, assignments, tests, time management and socialising with no aid and only minimal support. When she got home all she had energy to do was sit staring at repetitive DVD’s or non-stop children’s programs. They say welcome to high functioning autism; I say it was the hardest 8 months of my life watching my daughter being chipped away.

We started home education in May

We saw the difference in a matter of weeks. Within a month of *CAL being de-registered from mainstream schooling her clinical psychologist was happy to discharge her from CAMHS. After two months of homeschooling, Elective Home Education paid us a home visit (optional) but they were happy with the education we are providing and they are happy that *CAL is happy and thriving.

Now I’m not saying this is the answer to all ASD related problems. *CAL still has difficulties with many things. Her sensory processing disorder, Aspie traits and her difficulties from dyspraxia are all still very real. Just that now we can help her find her own way of coping. She gets one to one tutoring and her “curriculum” is set around her interests. She’s not constantly drained and switched off anymore. She’s not just the invisible child in a mass of a thousand. She is the center piece, the hero and the gift of my new full time job that I totally love. She is my focus and I want what is best for her which means I have to do a lot more reading than I used to do.

Home education is our answer

We are constantly researching and finding ways to help our daughter to reach her full potential. And she will reach her full potential because I believe in her, love her unconditionally and accept all her ways. I love her in all her colours, all her moods, all her achievements and all her failures.

Alienhippy’s blog is no-longer just a place where I can be me.

It’s a place where I will share our journey in home education.

Love and hugs. xx 🙂

(If you are considering home education and live in the UK this link is a good place to start)

Educate Otherwise…. education is compulsory school is optional

CAL BKGW

Out for the day on a home ed meet up. Happy and smiling again.