Is it Autism or is it ADHD?

And overall does it matter?

This is of course in reference to #1 Son.

The answer is not straightforward. I want to say no, of course it doesn’t.

But you see, it does.

It affects the services he has access to, the support provided, and of course, his future.

So it matters.

As his mom, I don’t care – he’s my amazing boy and I’m proud of him and I love him and I don’t want to change him.

But as a human? As a parent? I know he is struggling and he needs help.

I can’t see him struggle day by day. Which is why he now has fortnightly counselling sessions. Of which we had the first one this week.

And it was interesting.

His assigned counsellor is expert in both fields, and after only one full session, she is querying if he is autistic.

We’ve been wondering ourselves for a while, as he just isn’t ticking all the boxes and the ones he does it’s either inconsistently or not in the right way.

The initial things she has raised are:

  • Eye contact – yes he prefers not to, but he can be directed back and made to keep focus.
  • Conversations – he talks emotively and well.
  • Affection – he shows emotions appropriately.

She also pointed out that he’s young and a boy, and that ADHD in young children, especially boys, is often mis-diagnosed as Aspergers/high functioning autism.

Fortunately this therapist is medication averse, so even if it is ADHD, she won’t immediately throw him into Adderall.

Which is good. He’s too young. The hus-creature has stayed Switzerland through this whole thing, as he feels it’s not his remit. He also (like me) is reluctant to medicate a young child. However he has much more experience within his working field of adults with ADHD and within his own circle Adderall has been touted as a miracle. Some quotes given have included

It lifts the fog from my brain

And

If it’s a choice between eating this month and affording the co-pay for my pills, I am not eating this month.

Side note: hurrah American health care where that is a bloody choice you have to make.

So if it comes down to it, I am reassured that medication could help. But the optimum word there is could. I (we) will not be throwing pills at our boy any time soon.

But if you gave me the choice between the disorders? In my heart of hearts I would prefer it to be ADHD – because it would be easier for him to fit into a “normal” mould.

But it is whatever it is, and whatever that is, we will deal with it.

Because this kid? He’s bloody awesome.

New Year, New Blog

Well, not as such, but I have revamped it a little. We have our own Facebook page (which I am attempting to rename to match the new name for the blog)

Firstly, Happy New Year from blizzard-struck Massachusetts.

We are safe and warm. The hus-creature is working from home for now, and the schools are closed, so #1 Son is enjoying additional freedom and TT is running around shouting “daddy here, Nanoo here YAY” so it’s good.

When we did a quick run to the shops for non-perishable supplies yesterday it seems other people had similar ideas:

The snow didn’t really start until around 10 am. And it wasn’t quite what I thought a blizzard would be.

It’s puffs and gusts of thin snow that is just constant. It’s gone from slight powder to cannot see where the roads are.

I stepped out onto our balcony to take these. Then went back indoors quickly as it’s freaking freezing.

School is cancelled again tomorrow, which means #1 Son will have no homework again.

I’m sure he will be devastated!!!

I will probably make him spend some time on ABCMouse to make up for it.

The hus-creature is currently outside in our car whilst the landlady’s partner uses the snow-blower on the driveway. He is cold and grumpy.

I am dealing with a hyped up #1 Son, which given our experiences at his first counselling session this week makes sense, but I think I will cover that in its own post.

Christmas Aftermath

Well the children have been thoroughly spoiled and I am so so grateful.

Firstly, it seems Santa got a tad confused and left presents in two places:

The kids were gobsmacked, and TT loved her “pin-gin” paper πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

The Big Man listens you know πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»

But why all this play food and sets you wonder? Because someone dropped a line to him on what her “main” present was going to be:

(Can I admit that I’m more than slightly jealous? πŸ˜‚πŸ€£)

She has spent all day playing with it, with various play foods. I have extracted her lunch pizza from a pot on the hob, and most play foods have ended up in the freezer compartment!

Not to be outdone, #1 Son has completed construction of his main Lego set:

Even without the stickers he appears as pleased as Punch.

Tomorrow TT turns two. Tonight is therefore the last night for her in her cot.

Tomorrow she gets her first “Big Girl” bed.

Part of me is really sad about this. But she’s growing up. She’s not a baby anymore.

Tears and Tribulations

So, USA annual leave is not the most generous ever. So the hus-creature has to work.

And I am full of a rotten cold and as such am barely holding down the fort. For eg none of the new toys are put away. I’ve barely managed throwing away the paper. The rest of my (meagre) energy has been expended keeping the smalls from fratricide.

So #1 Son has not (yet) been able to build his main Lego set present – a giant Star Wars ship thing.

We told him we would help him this evening. Not good enough. He fixated on that bloody thing.

To the extent he decided to do it himself. Which would have been fine. Except he didn’t ask for help clearing a space and somehow set it up in a puddle – we assume he knocked his own cup of water over.

So all of the decoration stickers are drenched and therefore no longer adhesive in nature. So have been binned. Cue one devastated boy.

He also decided to get into one of his “adult supervision” Santa gifts – a make your own bouncy ball kit.

Which I discovered by finding a suspicious pile of red sand/grit in the kitchen.

After blaming TT (I apologised profusely) I noticed #1 Son shuffling in with something under his top. Which turned out to be a ripped open red and pink pack of the ball mix.

Which he had decided just to rip into and play with.

This child refuses to read.

So how he expected to be able to do this is beyond me.

So. One emergency shower for a shower-phobic small boy and the red and pink packets in the bin because they weren’t salvageable.

He’s distraught. We are stressed and within an hour he will have forgotten any useful lesson from it.

I’m tired. Daddy is building with him now, and I’m snuggling down with a nap-refusing TT and watching Zootopia. I fully expect she will have said nap now.

Christmas Day (2017)

Oh what a wonderful day we’ve had.

Santa visited:

#1 Son loves his Lego’s. Not so much his crayons and similar. Ah well.

TT was really happy with her hair bows and dinosaurs and other similar items.

We then had breakfast. TT ended up trying my scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, and she bloody loved it!!!

πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

She cleared that plate! We also watched squirrels for a bit.

After breakfast we opened presents.

As previously mentioned, we left a lot of presents behind, but as a result the kids really enjoyed what they opened.

Lunch was awesome:

  • Pork with cranberry sauce and stuffing – yum! (Too much turkey previously consumed)
  • Macaroni cheese
  • Sliced potatoes – with herbs and other yummies
  • Crab cakes

TT stole a crab cake and scoffed it before we even noticed πŸ˜‚πŸ€£ and these were tasty cakes (wasabi mayo etc). Guess she’s taking after us more than her brother.

Then came dessert:

  • Chocolate peanut pie
  • Key lime pie

So. Good.

I don’t really like British traditional puddings of Christmas time – mince pies, Christmas pud & Christmas cake etc, so this was amazing for me.

TT stuck her hand in pie πŸ™„

We shouted.

The dog barked and barked a lot. She was defending TT against us πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

So she got cuddles and we were forgiven by her loyal Guard of Honour!

TT also had a whale of a time just generally:

Yep, that’s a stocking on each foot πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

Aunts Domi and Uncle Gary kindly took the kids out for a brief walk with Fluffy (the dog) and they had a really lovely time. The wagon was involved.

We just had a little rest as wow it’s tiring:

I have read a few chapters of one of my presents:

Which is bloody brilliant and hilarious and everyone should read it. Certainly every parent who worries that they aren’t “doing it right”

Because we are – it’s hard and we are doing okay 😘

We are now watching Ozark for an hour or so’s downtime then bed.

MERRY CHRISTMAS ONE AND ALL

πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸ’•πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸ’•πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸ’•πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸ’•πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸ’•πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸ’•πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸ’•πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸ’•

As children grow

It leaves you joyful but saddened.

The Tiny Tyrant is our last baby. I’m due to be spayed in less than 2 months.

It was always the plan. I’m happy with my children. My family is complete. I cannot hack being pregnant – I’m basically ill and stressed out for 40 weeks. TT nearly killed me by the end of pregnancy with her.

And with my medical issues I’m bloody lucky to have one child, let alone my perfect pigeon pair.

But she’s two in a week.

And she’s growing so fast.

Things she is now doing:

  • She’s now consistently switching from mummy to mum and from daddy to dad.
  • She’s saying “fank” instead of “ta”
  • “Duddle” is being replaced with “hug”
  • The question “what do we say?” is most often met with “peeeees”
  • Talking in proper sentences – “I hurt it my finger”
  • Attempting to count to 10 – she’s mostly reliable up to 5 already.
  • Opinions – oh the opinions 😬😬😬😬
  • Her birthday present is a bed.
  • When daddy said night night to her just now, she immediately began fake snoring πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

Whilst I am so so proud of her, and of my boy too, I’m sad.

I won’t ever know another baby. I won’t see the firsts again.

I know I am incredibly lucky I am blessed, and believe me I don’t take it for granted. I’m just nostalgic tonight.

So – here are my babies as babies πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

Not to be outdone

By her brother, TT was completely hysterical and inconsolable from 1-2am

I brought her into our bed to calm down but we got poked, slapped, pinched, “hello hello mommy/daddy” and “shhhhhhhhhh”‘d at until we gave up and put her back in the cot at 2.

She settled seemingly easily (I should have been more suspicious) and we got up at the normal time and I went in to get her up.

Only to be greeted by a scene from The Exorcist 🀒

So it’s been a double bath day for both kids. But honestly you would not know she’s been sick.

This was filmed at 09:09:

Hop the bunny

I didn’t know she knew that bunnies hopped!

Whilst I am following the normal sickness bug protocols just in case, I am mostly putting it down to irritated gut from all the screaming.

She has not been happy with following the BRAT diet all day.

I also introduced her to Simon’s Cat in an attempt to save my sanity today.

<

There has since been a constant litany of “more cat”, “more kitty” or “more bunny”.

It’s been a long day.

I also had an appointment with my primary care doctor at 11:15. Ostensibly for a medication review.

I’m not certain he has prescribed me anything for my professed (and finally admitted) anxiety but he has definitely given me a prescription for blood pressure medication.

Yes, I have hypertension.

Deep joy.

I have been suffering from blinding headaches off and on for over a month and finally I admitted that the hus-creature was correct to nag me about it as it could not just be put down to “late Zoladex jab”

My lovely doctor man concurred with this, and I need to return at 09:45 on Monday December 11th to see if it’s improving.

I was still waiting for over an hour to see him though….

This is not the shining example that is being touted across the pond…

I mean it’s good, at least if you have insurance, don’t get me wrong, but it’s flaws are incredibly similar to those I have experienced within the NHS.

 

Also, the pharmacy did not have the required medicaments.Β  They offered to send it to another pharmacy, but I needed to get home so that the hus-creature could get into work for the afternoon.Β  Also, it was sent as an electronic prescription so I’m not certain I trust it to be sent along, and I’m not entirely sure where any other pharmacies are locally.

 

All good fun.

Deep sleepers

Come with their own share of issues.

Tonight our living room contains a small invader.

#1 Son beat us to the punch tonight, and as such is “camping”.

It was discovered by daddy getting a very wet t-shirt as he carried him to the bathroom.

And contrary to what said hus-creature thinks, I did not laugh at his misfortune.

I was too busy quietly cursing. This is an issue given he has a high sleeper.

We will change his bed in the morning. If we did it tonight it runs the very real risk of waking TT, as it involves bringing the ladder (a clanking metal one) from the basement through her room and into his.

So choices were:

  1. Spend 15 minutes making up the sofa bed and letting him camp down there. But risk him not going back to sleep.
  2. Make up his bed. Which takes upwards of 30 minutes, runs the real risk of waking TT, and also risks him not going back to sleep by keeping him up longer still.

We went with 1.

He seems pleased and is already asleep again.

The cat is also thrilled to have her former hidey hole back. Hope she leaves him alone.

Completing the Turkey Trot

Well #1 Son did complete his Fun Run πŸ…

It didn’t quite go according to plan however…

First was the change in venue from outside at Melrose Common to inside in the school using the All Purpose Hall.

Which meant that there was some confusion over whether we could actually cheer him on. However we were let in (very reluctantly by the stalwart Office Manager).

They then split the Kindergarten classes into two groups, and he was running in the second so we had to wrangle a very grumpy TT for 40 min rather than 20.

But the run started and started well.

Then #1 son tripped over one of the cones. And I could see the meltdown coming. So. I pulled up my big girl pants,

AND I RAN WITH HIM

I grabbed his hand and did several circuits while cheering him on.

I am unfit. I was wearing my galaxy leggings.

And this t-shirt:

But we did it. And he was so pleased. Both that we were there, and that I ran with him.

He hasn’t quite grasped that it was a Fun Run and keeps asking if he won gold, but for everyone that sponsored him yes he ran it thank you.

He raised $170 before the run. And the school have met their target

And not only will there be a Popsicle Party for all students, the top performing class per grade get an individual reward.

Stay tuned to hear if his have won.

Quiet Toddlers

Are suspicious evil toddlers.

An hour or so ago TT wandered through saying “wet mommy wet”

Her sleeves were a bit damp, and given she has the occasional (disgusting) habit of dipping toys in the toilet if we do not keep the lid down I just grumbled, wiped her down and didn’t investigate.

Only to be greeted with roaring from the hus-creature fifteen or so minutes ago.

As the little sod had upended my (one litre) thermos that I use for overnight water drinking all over the bed.

It had soaked through:

  • The duvet
  • The mattress protector
  • Straight through the whole bloody mattress.

So my mother in law (god bless her) is currently lying on our bed, reading a book, and blow drying the flipped over and rotated mattress in an attempt to dry it enough to allow us to sleep.

We had only flipped it two days ago. And it is still new. Goddamn.