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 🙂

Doodles and Dragons

IMG04588-20130407-1825 - Copy

I created this doodle yesterday after a friend inspired me. Doodling this was like therapy for me. I combined two things that teachers had punished me for as a child. Doodling and my special interest/love of/passion for dragons and monsters.

When my sister saw this doodle she said,

Looks like it was very relaxing to draw sis.

Scary things are looking at me!!!

Which was just perfect. It expressed just how I felt.

The constant eyes, staring into me, causing me indescribable fear. Always watching me ready to ruler my knuckles, stand me in a corner, rip up my work. Over 30 years later and I am finally able to release this fear of wrongness. I’m glad that this doodle seems scary as that’s the emotion I was releasing.

Children and adults on the spectrum find comfort in our special interests. Yes, we can seem obsessive at times but a lot of us can learn to understand time and place. Some of us struggle to form words, especially when we are in sensory overload. Being able to express in a different way gives us the ability to communicate our discomfort. Comic strips are used a lot now with special needs children to aid social understanding.

Link here… “What is comic strip conversation?”

As a very young child I was caused fear of both my outlets, back then no one really knew what Aspergers was. I was a quiet hardworking child, with learning difficulties and I struggled to fit into school routine every day. School to me meant two things, total boredom or feeling terrified.

There are so many adults on the spectrum who still can’t find words and are still learning to communicate the best they can. If what happened to us in school, and what happened to our undiagnosed Autie/Aspie parents, was happening today….

Well it just wouldn’t be happening today, would it?

For more background on my doodles and dragons follow this link.

Stories and Doodles

 

7 packs of hardwood

This week I was met with a dilemma. To do what is seen as right and expected of me or to do what my inner voice was calling me to do. For a reasonably intelligent woman I can be remarkably stupid at times. This is how the story goes.

For the last seven weeks I have dragged my butt to an ASD parenting group. Our psychologist said she was reluctant about sending me but maybe, just maybe there might be some therapies that I can implement in some way. She had also said that my positive outlook and the information I had shared with her was extremely refreshing. She even asked me to think about re-writing a booklet that she has to give to teens that have just been diagnosed with Aspergers. I felt very honoured and also humbled by this lovely lady and her heart to find the best way forward for my little *CAL.

*CAL is going to a social development group that is helping her, so I thought that this might be something that would be helpful for me. I will try anything as I believe there are lessons everywhere when we are open to learning. I also thought that I might make a few friends with people walking a similar path, sharing a similar journey.

The first two weeks at the ASD parenting group I kept quiet, I did what every female Aspie does. I sussed them out. I only spoke when I needed to and I made myself fit just enough to pass as NT. By the time we are in our mid twenties most Aspie girls have figured this out. We learn to act and wear a mask, we learn to look social and connected eventhough we still feel lost, alone and incredibly vulnerable.

The third week things changed, I had already spoken with the therapist and the psychologist that are running this course. I had spoken to them because the social activities were not great for me and I was having to escape to the loo to desensitize. The third week I told the class, I let them all know… “I’m not just here as a parent to ASD, I am Autistic. I live the life of a person on the spectrum. I am an adult with Aspergers.”

Things didn’t change much, I still had to listen to the negative stories and hold my tongue each time the words cure, fix, change came about. Also the… Why can’t she/he just…? When will she/he stop…? I am so fed-up of Autism, why did it…?

See this is where I feel that I fail.

I have so much empathy, patience, compassion and love for parents who are truly struggling to find the best ways to help their babies. But when I have to listen week in and week out to how someone like me should not have been born. Or if there was a home I could go and live in and come out at weekends. Why is it so hard for me to just sit still? Why can’t I just be who everyone else wants me to be? Or WHY can’t I just dry myself with a bath towel like a normal person? Why can’t I just enjoy going shopping and stop with all the whining?

I know that these things are not aimed at me, but it’s so hard to not feel that they are. I haven’t been quiet, I have voiced the whys in the kindest and most respectful way I could. Maybe some of them heard, I hope so. There is always a maybe and there is always hope.

This week as I drove to my group all the way there I prayed.

Please God help me be loving, help me be kind, help me be patient. Father, I really don’t want to go I would so much rather be home doing my DIY. But maybe there is a reason why I am there and maybe this week I will understand this reason. Please shield me and help me to be strong. Protect me from absorbing the negative words and help me to keep knowing that my Mom loved me unconditionally, she didn’t feel that way about me. Help me to have the heart to see past the words and feel the pain that these parents carry. Give me the words to bring comfort to them and give me the wisdom to know when not to speak.

I parked up on the road about a 3 minute walk from the building.

I took a deep breath and looked at the clock. I was already late and I didn’t know what room I needed to go to. Panic rose up inside of me. Then I spotted about ten feet away from my car a pile of wood. I needed a nice piece of wood for some new coat hooks for *AJ’s bedroom. “No Lisa, you are trying to de-clutter not collect more.” 

This is how my brain will puzzle

I get out of my car, put my folder and coffee on the roof while I put on my coat and grab my handbag. From this angle I could see that there were also packs of wood standing up the lamppost.

Could it be that someone had thrown out brand new packs of hardwood flooring?

Yes, they have!

I looked through the packs, there were seven packs of hardwood flooring. All of them sealed and new, enough to re-floor my reception area. I freeze and go off into my own world of thoughts.

What should I do? Is this God telling me to go home and do my DIY like I prayed about? But I am already late and I have to go to this group it might help me, I might learn something. But I really hate going to this group, it is so draining for me. I always switch off after the first two hours because I emotionally shutdown. But maybe it will be different this week, maybe someone might be friendly and actually interested in hearing about what it’s like to be over sensitive to sensory experiences. Maybe they might want to know about what it is like to see all the details and miss the bigger picture. Maybe? But look at this wood, it’s so pretty and it’s all here ready to be collected by the council and taken to the dump. I don’t know what to do? I feel confused now, what should I do?

I look back at my car and again at the time and then once more at the wood.

Ok, you drove all this way to go to this ASD parenting class, do what you are meant to do. If it is still here when you get back then put it in the car and take it home. You are running late it will take at least fifteen more minutes to get this into the car. Do you really want to walk in and have everyone look at you because you are late and disturbing the group?

The class was horrible.

I switched off after the first hour and sent fb messages to my friends so I could stay positive. When I got back to my car the wood was gone. I looked it up at my local DIY store £45 per pack. £315 worth of high quality flooring that I walked away from because I can’t break the stupid rules.

My lesson…What I learned

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 I do need is… I need to be accepted and respected for who I am and so does every person on the spectrum. We might be odd and quirky, we might be a little different but to us we are fine just the way we are. It’s when we are expected to fit into a world that tells us we are wrong that the problems start. I said to my friend the other day, “If I was a shepherd and I spent my days out in a field talking to and looking after my sheep, I wouldn’t have to try to fit I’d fit just fine. It’s people pressure and the push to conform into a mould that is not mine that causes me pain.”

Next time God leaves me a pile of wood; I’ll listen with my heart and not loop in my head.

I’m sick of always doing what is expected of me and missing out on what is actually beneficial for me. I would have been so much happier fitting a new floor instead of looking at the floor sitting with a group of people who want people like me fixed. It’s time for me to shine and I can only do that if I am being me to the full.

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 🙂

Silent Sunday (Fishes)

Jack, the keeper of my marbles.

No… I haven’t lost my marbles, I keep them with the fishes. 😉

We bought a new fish tank today

Mr Locoman dropped the telephone onto Jack’s bubble bowl and smashed it to pieces. Poor Jack ended up flapping around on the carpet and was not too happy having to spend time in a washing up bowl. *CAL was not too happy about it either she loves her goldfish.

He is a happy fishy now in his hexagonal, very retro, funky, hippy fish tank. He even has his own disco ball look. What a cool Alienhippy fishy he is… 😉

An *AJ moment, my boy and his Pokémon

Hello my lovely Bloggy friends,

Before I start this post I will first tell you that I have asked my *AJ for permission to share this blast from the past, and his words were, “Well I was only seven, it’s not like I was thirteen or something!” I’ll take that as permission… wouldn’t you?

We have had a fun day today

I took my girl *CAL to my Auntie’s to do some pottery, *CAL is currently making a Chao with clay. A Chao (for those who don’t already know) is a cute little characters from Sonic the Hedgehog.

*CAL LOVES all things Sonic, it’s her thing.

The image is what *CAL’s Chao will look like once it has been fired and glazed. We got home quite late this evening and after settling *CAL down I had to do what Mom has to do.

Did you know that most nights I am TEEN- TAXI?

Tonight I was dropping off *AJ’s lovely girlfriend and as we got into the car I heard *AJ chatting about the wonderful excitement he would experience as a child when opening a new pack of Pokémon cards, and finding a shiny. This brought back some lovely memories of my baby boy and his beloved Pokémon trading card collection. Him sitting there on the floor for hours and hours lining them up in different groups and chatting away to his little self. My Mom would buy him 3 new packs a week and she even brought back some limited additions when she went on holiday abroad. They were all shiny and *AJ ran around the house, jumping from sofa to sofa too excited to control his little body. I’m smiling thinking about it, such a cute little boy. 🙂

*CAL was born 8 days after *AJ 7th Birthday

I had to have a C-section and couldn’t drive for 8 weeks. But as soon as I could we needed to get to Mothercare. I was so convinced during pregnancy that *CAL was going to be a boy I had no girl things at all. I spent days crying about this, it upset me so much seeing my pretty little girl in blue dinosaur jump suits. My Mom actually went out and brought loads of pink things from the charity shop to try to stop me crying. That’s a whole different story anyway…I’m babbling again, I’ll write a post on that another time.

*AJ was extremely passionate about Pokémon

He didn’t go ANYWHERE without his deck of trading cards. He talked nonstop Pokémon, he memorised all the details on every card. Back then, with the original Pokémon, there were only 151 to collect. There are 649 to collect now…that’s a whole lot of Pokémon!

*AJ had a deck of about 200 cards

He had them in order by type, he had many doubles but he kept them for swapping. He carried them with an elastic band wrapped around them and he hardly ever put them down.

On this day I said to him, “Son, Mommy is going to be very busy in this shop looking for things for the baby, can you leave your Pokémon cards in the car?” At these words *AJ’s top lip over lapped the bottom one and the tears started to well up in his eyes. I thought to myself….oh no here we go again! I knew if I wanted to even attempt to get any shopping he needed his security blanket (AKA Pokémon) I wasn’t feeling very well and I had learned after seven years to pick my battles wisely, was it worth it I needed to get things for *CAL? I hadn’t got long before her next feed, the thought of making *AJ actually sit still in a baby changing area while I fed her wasn’t at all attractive.

“Tell you what son, we’ll take them but you must really, really look after them, because if you lose them I can’t afford any more.”

Yes…you guessed correctly

*AJ put the cards down while playing with some toys in the store and we never found them again. We spoke to the manager of the store, we filled in forms in case someone handed them in, we wrestled with all the crying and managed to somehow get my little boy back to the car. Don’t forget this was only 8 weeks after having a section, I wasn’t quite strong enough for this….yet.

He sobbed all the way home bless him

He couldn’t sleep that night for crying, he stopped talking the next day and lost his appetite. He cried all of the second night and still wouldn’t talk. I remember phoning my Mom up really worried because he just looked so very drained and she told me to tell *AJ that Nanny was going to buy him some new cards. I told him and he smiled but still looked so distant and lost in his thoughts.

Three days of being totally shutdown

My Mom turned up and gave *AJ £40 to spend on new cards. This would not replace all of them but it would give him enough to start talking again. I put another £20 to that and we went out that day to get my little boy his voice back.

I know this seems insane to some people who do not live everyday in a spectrummy world. Spending money on a card collection for a seven year old child when we really didn’t have that money to spend. But parents of ASD kids will totally know where I am coming from with this. When you witness your child going from his wonderful happy little self to a withdrawn, emotionless, almost non-verbal child. You watch him sitting staring, not eating or drinking and not even interested in playing or watching his favourite TV show or film. When you have sat rocking him three nights in a row, not able to sleep yourself while also nursing a new born baby. Just waiting until he is so tired from the sobbing his body gives in. Spending that £60 was like buying him medicine to bring him back to being himself and I would do exactly the same again if I had to.

We sat under the town clock

We listened to the church bells ringing, my boy and me sat on the wall beneath the town clock with a bag of freshly cooked doughnuts. This was the first thing he had eaten properly in three days. We had gone into Woolworths and bought so many packs of cards we got funny looks off the people in the queue, but I didn’t care. I saw the light coming back into my boys eyes, and the words forming on his lips, I saw the colour coming back into his little face.

He unwrapped the shiny foil on each pack his little hands were shaking with excitement. He named each card as he unwrapped them, so sweet on my ears hearing him have words again. Only days before I had said to Mr Locoman, “How do we get him to talk about something other than Pokémon all the time?”

It’s a lesson I will never forget,

I felt so relieved to hear those numbers, names, types, powers, abilities being recited. I had not realised at the time what a massive role these Pokémon cards had played in my boys life. They became an amazing learning tool, I learned to smile at my boy and his Pokémon talk, my child who only spoke Pokémon. I believe it was these cards that helped *AJ in his love for Maths and History the subjects he went on to study.

He is just completing his A levels now in Advanced Maths, History and Business Studies. His love for Pokémon lasted quite some time and *CAL too has enjoyed having his hand me down special interest.

*AJ collected many things throughout his childhood, I wrote a post quite some time ago about some of the wonderful things he grew to love.

Here is the link… You Know how we love to Collect…!

Each collection he has learned and grown through, there has always been a way to use his special interest to help him.

I never forgot those three day, they taught me such a lot.

Love and hugs everyone.

Lisa. xx 🙂

Careful words around ASD kids

Hello my lovely Bloggy friends,

I’ll try to keep this post short I just had this thought while going through some DVD’s. One of the films in our family collection is “Fire in the sky” This is a film that I really CAN’T watch or even listen too.

ALIENHIPPY, why?

My Mom was a hippy….she was all about the love and Jesus, her personality just rippled and touched everyone . My Dad is Alien…I mean TOTALLY Alien. He is very autistic and always looked to Mom for guidance.

Careful words around ASD kids.

A child with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder may not look like they are listening. They will look like they are engrossed in their own activity. Their fingers maybe hyperactive on the buttons of their 3DS/wii or any other gadget. So were mine on my Rubix Cube and ATARI. It’s when we fixate like this that we absorb, we take in EVERYTHING!!!

My irrational fear.

My Dad’s OBSESSION is UFO’s, aliens, and alien abductions. He talked nonstop about these things in front of all three of us kids. Now we all know that when an Aspie/Autie talks about their special interest they never shut up….I get on my own nerves believe me. I have learnt to write it out most of the time now. My Dad can’t read or write so he never has, he just gets on one, then will get annoyed if we don’t listen to him.

I am EXTREMELY visual

All his stories came to life in my head as a child, and no amount of Mom’s reassurance would stop my imagination. To this day I still cannot sleep with windows open.

“Fire in the sky”

I went to see this film when I was about 8 months pregnant with *AJ. I was with a group of friends that I was not particularly confident or comfortable around. Yes… I had ABSOLUTELY been talked into it. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone so I tried to NOT have this irrational fear.

Knowing the film is based on a “true” account was not at all helpful.

I was 24 and I had learnt to hide my Autistic quirks very well from EVERYONE in my life. In this film there was a scene were the guy is getting experimented on. My heart was racing so fast and my body was wanting to run. I was sat in a cinema in the middle of a row of people and I was very, very heavily pregnant. *AJ was restless because of my body changes through anxiety and total panic. He started doing summersaults. I was feeling so sick and ill from this. I can see now how I looked but I didn’t care, I needed to protect my baby from what my body was making him feel. It was the only time I ever allowed myself to be me in that part of my life. I put my fingers in my ears, I closed my eyes tight, I allowed my legs to bounce and I sang a happy song in my head, while rocking.

This is an irrational fear I know

I just want to let those of you out there who have kids on the spectrum know this.

Be so very careful how people talk around your kids, even when they look like they are not listening they are.

ASD kids can’t process this stuff and it has a hold on them that causes night terrors and other problems when older.

Love and hugs.

Lisa. xx 🙂

This is how I imagine it now,

the image at the top of this post is how I saw it as a child.