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The waiting game

It’s annoying,

I want progression but I’ve done all I can and now I have to rely on people doing what they should be doing.

On Friday I went to my GP and spoke to her about my concerns and what I wanted, I want a diagnosis, if I’m correct in thinking that I am autistic.

Why do I want a diagnosis at 35 years old? Because I want answers,  I want to know why I am like I am and why I’ve struggled the whole of my life with things people don’t appear to struggle with.

She was fantastic, I expected a form to fill out to check if I was depressed, I know I’m not and I’m happy that she did not give me that form!

What she did do was listen, ask questions and write the answers down.

GP’s are unable to diagnose autism or anything alike but she can take down as much information as possible to pass on to the relevant person and then that’s a head start.

I was waiting a while to be seen and in that time I managed to count every single flu flag hanging up, read every single poster surrounding me, realise a diabetes poster was 2 years old and I didn’t stop fidgeting once.

I didn’t realise I was doing any of this until I looked around to see everybody else sitting perfectly still and when I looked down, my foot was in constant motion. I then realised that counting flags, examining posters and not sitting still wasn’t quite normal!

One poster that catches your eye, fine, every single poster without even realising I was doing it is not! And then I started looking back and realised that I do this everywhere and wherever I go and then I realised when I was in last, I was constantly watched by people who clearly found it fascinating to see a grown woman taking in so much detail of everything around.

A door opened, I knew I was next because I had been studying the people coming and going and calculating who I was going to be after. My calculations don’t make any logical sense but they do in my head.

There was a beep and I instantly stood up knowing it was my name, I looked up and I was correct.

I went in and all I could think about was the diabetes poster being out of date and how there was 10 flu flags with 2 hiding out of sight (I clocked them on the way out )

I managed to focus and say half of what I wanted to with confidence.

The GP eventually brought it to a close and told me she’d look into the best approach for me.

She was lovely and took me very seriously.

On the way out I took one last look at the out of date diabetes poster, smiled to myself  thinking the next time I go in, that poster will still be there.

Let’s hope I’m not waiting too long for the next step – if they allow me to move to the next step.

Fingers crossed.

It’s just one week! 

It’s been a tough week!

My son is struggling again with his ADHD, maybe it’s time to introduce the medication again, even if it’s just to get him though a patch he is clearly finding difficult. We’ll see, no rushed decisions. 

He’s been struggling in and out of school and this week I just don’t have the patience for it. I’ve struggled to keep it together and remain patient, understanding and be the parent I know he needs me to be. 

I know I have to be that parent otherwise everything falls to pieces. I’m not naturally patient or calm. I’m naturally a shouter and when I say jump, you jump. That doesn’t work for him, everything has to be worded correctly to his understanding. 

I’ve been that parent for 2 years now and I’ll admit, I’m tired! It’s hard work because what I say and what I want to say have to be 2 very different things! 

He’s just recently got into the habit of throwing himself down the stairs everytime something doesn’t quite go his way. Luckily with my stairs, there’s only a few at a time so it’s not a full staircase.

This is new, I’m working on ignoring it and praying he doesn’t actually really hurt himself and hopefully he’ll realise, that’s not getting him anywhere! I know he doesn’t actually hurt himself, I figured that out the other day when my patience was still intact and I went down to find him laying half way down the stairs claiming to of really hurt his ankle, but very quickly got over it when I made a joke about it! What can I say? I’m that hilarious my humour can mend damaged ankles!

I know I’m probably just having an off week and it’s overflowing on to him (or the other way round!) but I need to get back to what he needs fast and I will! Just give me the weekend to refresh. I’ve decided to spend the morning at the gym tomorrow hoping I will come out feeling like I can take on the world. 

I understand that one, off week isn’t the end of the world, I’m only human and I probably have it a little bit tougher than your average parent so I’m going easy on myself but I still need to get back what he needs. 

I think a lot of us parents are too tough on ourselves, not just me. 

Parenting is a tough job and some take it on more naturally than others, it doesn’t make you a bad parent. 

I’ve been beating myself up over this week but when it comes down to it, he wouldn’t of come on this far without my patience and willing to spend hours of my time educating myself on what he needs and what I have to be to make it work and of course putting it into action and never giving up. 

Moral of the story. Don’t beat yourself up over one bad day or week, look back on what you have done and pat yourself on the back because your child/ren would not be where they are now if it wasn’t for your constant love and support 

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The start of the process

We all have our down days and today I’m feeling that!

I was watching a ‘comical’ video of a woman who couldn’t get it together. It was supposed to be comical but all I could see is me!

I’m the most disorganised mum you can imagine! I hate it, I don’t want to be this way but I am, I also know it’s a sign of ADHD and for a while now I’ve suspected I may have ADHD and autism. As a child the signs of autism screamed at you but unfortunately I was born in the 80’s, I could talk, (thanks to speech therapy) I could walk (eventually) so nothing was done. Now, I’d of had an autistic label stuck on back in the 1st appointment because it was that obvious.

I always wondered why I was different but then I could see similarities in my son apart from we dealt with them in different ways. I would be non verbal and cry, he would lash out in frustration. I’m guessing that would be the difference between a girl and a boy.

To this very day I find life incredibly difficult, whether that’s work, domestic, social, emotionally or any other, it feels like a challenge.

I do love working but it’s fitting everything in around it that I struggle with.

I do kickboxing and yet I struggle so much with the coordination I consider quitting but the only reason why I took it up in the first place is to get my son involved and because I’m there with him, he finds it easier to cope. That’s the only reason why I haven’t quit.

My son has to get his special needs from somewhere and I think it’s about time I started on the path to figure out if it’s me or not.

It would explain so much, why I struggled socially, why I struggle to fit in anywhere, why I’m so disorganised, why I struggled in school, why I can’t focus on anything but when I am focused I’m almost obsessed, why I’ve always been extra emotional and simply why I’ve always felt different to everybody else.

Today I’m going to make that appointment which will hopefully get me on the right path.

I will blog my journey so if anybody else is feeling the same way but anxious to start the process, hopefully my road will make it a little easier for you to take that first step

 

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They’re not real!

I’m writing this on Sunday afternoon, kids are upstairs keeping themselves entertained and I’m sitting here playing the ‘Fish live’ game that my son downloaded on to my phone and then got bored of it.

You’d think that would be the time to delete it wouldn’t you?

But this is me! I’m probably not your average 35 year old mum!

I click on the game to find the tank green and little fish pots hovering over every single fish! The poor things are hungry! I shouted to my son “you’re not looking after your fish!” this kid is used to me so what he hears is nothing out of the ordinary! He responds with “oh yes, can you feed them please?”

Obviously I’m not going to let them starve! 3 tanks later, they’ve all got a clean tank, been loved and all got full tummies!

I turn it off feeling satisfied that all fish have survived.

And then I realise what the hell I’m doing!

THEY’RE NOT REAL! It’s OK if they die!

2 months later I’m still going on that game on a daily basis, he has no interest in it, but I’m happy because all the fish have survived.

I’m now on 4 tanks and proud because I won an Xmas dolphin and a merman!

This parenthood thing has clearly sent me crazy!

But I have to go now because my baby fish have just been born!

Always remember

It’s 11th November 2018.

The day we we take time out to remember and pay respect to the soldiers who fought for their country and for future generations, us.

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Above is a picture of my son studying the memorial. 9 years old with ADHD, dyspraxia and potentially aspergers.

We walked through our local graveyard and we came across the memorial which is new since we last walked through there. It was beautiful with 2 benches around it and it was roped off apart from one side so you could go and sit with the memorial. I thought it was so lovely I asked him if he wanted to sit there for a little bit.

I’m so glad we did. As you can see he showed so much interest and he fully examined every inch of it whilst asking questions. It made me so proud that he wanted to learn the what’s and whys.

I know he would of forgot everything by next year, in fact he’s probably forgot everything already as he has always been interested in learning about it but ironically never remembers!

That’s ok though as it’s not that he doesn’t remember through lack of interest, he doesn’t remember through his special needs. People with ADHD have terrible memories!

However every year I will teach him again as I know one year he will turn round to me and say ‘I already know that!’ and that’s when I know my job is done.

Shortly I will be taking my children to watch the parade and participate in the 2 minute silence. 2 minutes of standing still silently is painful for my son but he does it because he knows its respectful and we have morals to stick with. Even at a very young age I can remember people complimenting him considering he never stopped!

Whether you choose to pay your respects or not, I hope your day is enjoyed.

Lest We Forget

Remembrance-Day-at-STANDARDbritishlegion.org.uk

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Neither for or against

When I started blogging I thought if I’m going to do this I’m going to make sure it’s always honest and real.

Unfortunately sometimes that may mean I might bring up some controversial subjects but it’s ok to disagree, if everybody agreed on everything, life would get a little bit boring!

ADHD and medication
Yes, there you go I said it!

This is always going to be a subject that people disagree on.

When my son was first diagnosed with ADHD the pediatrician recommended that I tried medication out to get the ADHD under control.

As any parent would I asked questions, did any bit of research I could but that confused me more as you’d find something that was pro medication and then you’d look at something else to find it against medication. It makes the whole process very confusing and to top it off, you ask the pediatrician for advice and she looks at you like you’re stressing over nothing.

I had his school telling me that I didn’t have any other options to because the ADHD was so out of control.

That was wrong of them. It is not up to the school when you’re are making the decision to put drugs into your child or not.
If he was ill and the drugs were there to make him better than fair enough but he’s got ADHD! It’s not a sickness.

I have to try and figure out if this is what’s best for him or not.

I came to the decision that there was only one way to find out – give him the medication.

The first day went great, he actually sat and watched a whole TV programme without getting distracted or bored. That was new!

When the medication finally left his system, all hell broke loose. I had to send my daughter to her room because I feared for her safety. I instinctively knew what to do, let him go on the rampage whilst keeping him away from my daughter until he runs out of steam.

It worked and then he dropped to the floor crying whilst still trying to fight.

I laid on the floor with him and put my arms around him holding him tight. He tried to fight me off but eventually gave up and held on to me as tightly as he could.

I could feel all that anger and frustration leave his body and mind.

It was one of the most heartbreaking moments I have had with him and it was because I gave him that tiny little pill called Medikinet.

I said I would never give him one of those again. I would rather put the extra effort in all day then have an amazing easy day with him and have that when it wears off.

The following day I did some more research and realised that perhaps I was giving up too easily.

Maybe his brain just had to get used it so I gave it another chance whilst this time prepared for the worse.

For sure enough he was much calmer when it had left his body. I was right, he just had to get used to it. So in the day time he would be focused and calm and by the evening, I’ve got my hyper little dude back

I thought this could work! Perfect for school!

He was on it for the whole year and did amazing, his grades went from just below average to almost above average, he was making new friends, he was much more manageable. He was doing amazing! I was so relieved that first day didn’t scare me off!

Then it all changed, he started refusing to take the medication, we had discussions about why he needs to take it but he still really didn’t want to.

I asked him why.

His response was ‘I don’t feel like me when I take it, it stops me from having fun and enjoying myself’

That was it, I had a chat with the school and they discouraged me from taking him off of the medication.

I then spoke to the pediatrician and she said, his problems with focusing again will start so she also discouraged me from taking him off of the medication.

I went home and thought about it. Just because the issues are there doesn’t mean they always have to be resolved with medication. Sometimes I do believe it’s absolutely necessary but not always.

He will just need to have more support and the school should give him that rather then relying on medication.

I took him off the medication. I want my boy to do well in school but I’d rather him be an average grade student and be happy then an above average grade student feeling miserable.

I didn’t tell the school because I thought, everytime he slips up, they’re going to blame it on the fact he’s not on medication.

To this day they still think he’s on it and I’m more than happy with that because they are working with the real child and he’s learning how to fight and use his ADHD to his advantage.

I’m still open to giving him the medication if I think he’s struggling too much and it’s causing him to be unhappy or even if he comes to me and asks me for it.

I’ve read the pros and cons of medication.

This is neither.

This is saying it’s amazing for some but not for others. Like my boy, there may be moments when it’s needed but it’s not necessary on a permanent basis

If it was up to me, my son would still be on it because it helped him so much but he gave it a chance and agreed that it helped him but it made him unhappy which is not what my aim is.

Whatever your view on medication, remember most parents are doing their best for their child. They’re not looking for an easy way out! That’s not what it’s about. Medication is there to help our children focus and find life that little bit easier.

Many parents already feel the guilt of medicating their child but most of the time, they feel like they’ve gone through every other option.

For my boy, I do believe the meds did their job, we wanted to get the ADHD under control and they did just that.

So although, we can get by without the medication now I’m not sure we would be where we are today without them.

Maybe one day we might need them again but for now, he can enjoy life without them

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One for the women

Smear tests!

Oh dear God Lord! Why do we fear these so much?! 

The letter comes through the post and you read the words ‘we would like to invite you’ 

Invite you! It’s a smear test! Not a birthday party!

We invite you to come and take your bottom half off for a complete stranger and spread them! And I’m not talking about spreading your clothes neatly out on the bed, oh no! Spread your legs so any dignity you thought you had remaining after 2 kids and previous dreaded smear tests has well and truly gone! 

Yet when you think about it, I’ve had 2 babies, 3 pregnancies, 1 baby was induced, both babies I had the sweep with. The 2rd pregnancy I had to have an induced miscarriage, with that and the sweep, it pretty much feels the same as a smear test does. Just think how many times I’ve been in that same position of leaving my dignity behind and yet I never worried about it once. 

If we all worried about the embarrassment so much, we’d never have babies, so why is it so different for a smear test? 

The smear test could potentially save your life and yet so many of us go without it because we fear feeling uncomfortable for a couple of minutes. 

If somebody came to you and said we can do a 2 minute simple, painless test on you and it could save your life, do you want it? We would jump at the chance. 

That’s what the smear test is! A 2 minute test which could save your life. 

We need to put this embarrassment aside and if we don’t want to do it for ourselves, do it for our children, especially if you have a daughter as I think it’s massively important to give them the message that it’s just something we should do, along with paying the bills and doing the laundry. 

My daughter is 12 and she knows nothing of the smear test as yet but I will be casually mentioning it, in hope she asks questions and when she does I will tell her it’s a test only woman have to do, like the dentist and opticians, every so often you have to go and have the test done but this one is even more important because it can save your life. 

2 minutes of your life could save your life

Take the test

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Usefully useless

Today, I dropped my son off at school, got home, sat down and looked around. 
My house is a mess, now the kids are back at school I can get back into a routine again I tell myself. 

I haven’t got a clue where to start. Usually I just head straight for the bin liners. My theory is if I feel like it’s a mess and don’t know where to start, it’s probably because I have too much useless stuff so the bin liners are needed!

My son is perfect at dismantling toys, having a play around with putting them back together again but he eventually gets bored and neglects them.

This is when I think, shall I throw it in the bin or is it usefully useless? Will it keep him entertained for 30 minutes whilst he’s trying to piece it back together or will he not bother and it will be more useless tat cluttering up the house! 

I look around me unknowing what to do and then I put on my gym clothes and go to the gym. 

I know, that’s not going to tidy or clean the house but it does help me think clearer. I can stick my earphones in and go off in my own little world thinking about where I’m going to start and what I’m going to do.

I come home and look forward to decluttering. I am a believer of the saying, a tidy house, a tidy mind. I’m just not very good at keeping up with it. My house is in the same position as my head – a whirlwind

I have to think positively though! A little bit of mess never hurt anyone! Yes it needs doing and yes I will feel so much better when it’s done but I’m not going to beat myself up over a bit of mess that only I care about!

Any tips on keeping my house organised? Please send them my way! 

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School pressures

One child back to school but due to the teacher training day my boy remains at home.

Do you ever have your child not wanting to go back to school?

My daughter didn’t because she’s worried about the mass amount of homework she has remaining. I have to be tough though, children are like vultures! They see your weaknesses and prey on them! My daughter is a very intelligent child with potential to have a very successful future but that means she has to do well in school and that’s not going to happen if she’s not there!

I’m not a pushy parent, she’ll come home and tell me she didn’t do well on a test. My first question is “well did you try your best?” I know she always does. She tells me she did but it was hard. I tell her “well now your teacher knows where you’re struggling so it’s a good thing”
As much as I want her to do well, I don’t want her worrying because she got a C on a test that has no impact on her future.

Is it just me or do schools apply more pressure on our children now?

She was 11 years old when she first started that school and yet they started by sending home predicted grades for GCSE! GCSE exams are at 16 years old! It applies so much pressure on them as they then think they have to get them grades!
My daughter is not a child you can apply pressure on and she will do well. Take the pressure off and she does fantastic.
I am sure others can relate.

I would love to hear your opinions.

Do you think schools put too much pressure on our children?

Too much homework?

Too much worry at such a young age?

Or maybe you think it’s good for them and prepares them for the future?

Let me know what you think and you can now follow me at Instagram.com/theuselessmother and Facebook.com/theuselessmother

Come and join me as I’m a bit lonely on there at the moment!

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The end

What a week! The end of half term.
It’s been a week of ups and downs. My son has struggled and the rest of us are always affected by it! It has actually got me thinking that maybe I should concentrate 1 of my blog posts on my sons ADHD and how he struggles with it and of course how we, his family cope with his bad days. I’ll definitely be concentrating on that soon.

Monday
Great day, we spent the afternoon at a big soft play centre, this is perfect for a 9 year old boy with masses of energy, he can run, climb, jump, slide and throw balls! My 12 year old however soon got bored – expected!

Tuesday
A tough day, not in a bad way though, we spent the whole day at home and yes, my son was climbing the walls! He had way too much energy that he didn’t know what to do with! I try to leave him to go crazy as much as possible, I step in if damage is going to be created or people are going to get hurt whether that may be mentally, emotionally or physically. We got through it though without anybody getting hurt or becoming upset!

Wednesday
This was much needed. Last week I booked the kids in to a sports session at the local leisure centre, it was perfect, I dropped them off and whilst they were in there getting rid of some energy I went to the gym to release my stresses! It worked perfectly and thanks to that we had a lovely afternoon at home until it was time to go trick or treating for Halloween! My daughter went off to her friends house so they could have a girly session of doing their make up and I stayed at home with my son to try and guess what he was clearly anxious about! I always figure it out eventually, sometimes it’s not as quickly as I’d like. Thankfully this time round I figured it out quickly, he was anxious about dressing up and was worried about telling me, I’d bought him a new costume and he knew if he didn’t wear it, it was going to be a waste of money, he’s right, it is a waste of money but it’s not worth the anxiety he got from worrying about it! We had a chat and then he went trick or treating dressed in normal clothes, wrapped up warm unlike his sister who was dressed for the occasion but was frozen!

Thursday
As again I booked them into a session at the local leisure centre so we stuck to the same plan! Drop them off and then I can spend an hour at the gym! I thought today was going to go as well as yesterday but how I was wrong. My poor boy has really struggled, whether it’s over stimulation or something else I’m not sure but he has a hard time keeping it together. Impulse got the better of him and he took a few of his sisters treats. I can honestly say he was far angrier with himself than his sister or I was. I sent him to bed and took 40p of his pocket money away from him so his sister could replace the sweets that he took. Once the discipline had been put in place I was almost certain that Friday was going to be a fresh day.

Friday
A relaxing last day! Thursdays drama all forgotten about. I believe the words spoken at bedtime from my boy were “you won’t see me in the morning because I’m going to stay in my room and not come out” I’m honesty not sure what kind of response he was expecting from me but it was a very simple “Ok!” well he’s not known for keeping to these threats/promises and he was the first one up!
Friday was the day to get some cleaning done, cook a nice dinner and just do something simple to keep his brain amused without over stimulating, a trip to the park round the corner was the perfect idea. Fresh air, exercise and an energy killer! The day went great, much better than yesterday, that’s definitely what we all needed!

Saturday
The weekend has arrived and I have to admit, this week has flew by! My daughter spent the day at her friends and my son went for a ride on his bike whilst I got chores done. Simple but enough.

Sunday
That’s it, week over! I always wish it went on for longer but I’m also always happy to get my routine back. I’m never excited to get back to the worry over how they’re both getting on at school but that’s just the way it is. Having a child with special needs is always going to be more of a worry than your average child but I do worry about both but for different reasons.
We never did get to the cinema but that’s OK, maybe we can do that next weekend.
As you can see we had difficult moments in the week and then really good days, there’s no consistency but nobody can remember the more challenging moments because we move past it as quickly as possible. Dragging it out doesn’t just bring 1 day down, it brings the whole week down. Crime committed, discipline given, move on. He may keep trying to bring it up but my words are always “it’s been done, learn from it and forget about it” this works as a lot of the time they try and carry it on because they are angry with themselves and don’t know how to handle it so we need to teach them that it’s ok to mess up occasionally but learn from it and move on.