Holiday Round Up
As some of you may know my summer holiday is a family affair of 3 generations. My Daughter. Myself and my Dad this year we're accompanied by Daisy the shorkie and Poppy the Springer. We are all learning the best ways to encourage Lizzi to help with chores and how she processes the world around her with Asd.
Today was traveling day. Lizzi and I were up before 7am. The car was packed and we were ready to go by 8am. A quick trip to the shop for toiletries, pick my dad up connect the van. And we we're off!
Lizzi decided she didn't want iPad films this journey and played on her phone and had the dog asleep on her knee most of the way.
Pitching and setting up the caravan.
We sited the van. Had some lunch. Lizzi took Daisy for a walk to the beach. While we did other jobs. We then put up the awning. This is always a little tricky as the big awning is only ever put up once a year and it would be fair to say stresses my dad out a little. 😉 but eventually it went up. It takes the 3 of us if it's windy and Lizzi finds it tricky. Seeing what we need help with doesn't come naturally so things can sometimes get a tiny bit tetchy. My dad said to me later on that he learnt a lot while putting up the awning with Lizzi having now started to understand about asd/Aspergers with Lizzi's recent Camhs appointments. He learnt to keep calmer. (Not always easy for my dad but he's honestly really trying) that Lizzi isn't being naughty or ignorant she just doesn't see what needs to be, and with this she needs gentle encouragement rather than sharp words. Once the sharp tone of voice happens she can start to internally panic. And focusing on what on earth she may have done wrong (which is obviously nothing). Dad learnt that demonstrating what needs to be done and keeping calm really helps.
This year Lizzi has specific jobs. Keeping the water topped up is her main one.
Lizzi forgot to switch her alarm off she we were all up at 7am! Lizzi and I walked both dogs early down the whole length of the beach we were to only Ones on it! Meaning both dogs could be off the leads running about. It was fabulous mummy and daughter time. Trip to Argos because Lizzi's brand new air bed went down within a couple of hours. A trip to Tesco for lunch and tea and tomorrow's food.
Another walk down the beach. Swimming walking walking and sitting. 😉
We learnt. Clear concise instructions to stopping any wobbles and that demonstrations are key. BUT need to be done gently especially when she 'thinks' she is doing what you've asked.
Reading signs and panicking
When we arrived at Argos to get the new camp bed I said we'd all go in. Which we did but that was after an anxious panic of the dogs dying in the car. This stems from her reading a sign In Loughborough about 2 dogs that's had been killed in the heat. It wasn't hot. If it was I would never have left them.
At the next shop she stayed with them because of the same worries.
Well this just doesn't happen.
Whether it's reaching to try and help her grandad open something but not thinking about the knife there. Or burying her foot in quick sand and getting stuck whilst in a practically empty beach (I'm a bit sea phobic).
A truly great relaxing sun and wind filled day. Perfect.
Flip flap freeze and a shake of the head.
So we've had a lovely couple of days. Church bay, body boarding and a potter. Yesterday was was Plas Newydd to look at Whistlers mural. Red Warf bay and Llanbadrig.
As a 13 year old girl with ASD she has learnt to imitate and adapt but just occasionally when very excited or nervous but wanting to do something the intense flapping makes an appearance, which in these situations fills my heart with joy. She's being brave and conquering a fear. Or completely and utterly filled with happiness. This happened with the body boarding she was desperate to go even though we'd said it was really cold. So 2 swim suits later she took the plunge in Church Bay for maybe 5 minutes I'm proud she had a go and Lizzi came out pretty quickly after maybe 4 or 5 goes realising it was cold!
She's been trying really hard not to scream with bugs, spiders and crawlies. However this has led her to starting to freeze and tremble. Which makes getting jumpers off when she thinks there is something in it tricky.
Part of our ride around the other day was a visit to Llanbadrig. Where Lizzi took quick a tumble. She was beside herself with tears lay on the floor for a good while. Injuries like this seem to take her longer to get over the realisation that she's not been badly hurt. This has always been the case.
We're having to learn that we maybe need to ask open ended questions to liz to get her to respond verbally. Every who knows her well will know that she's a chatty individual, however when faced with new situations or changes she can go quiet, withdraws and responds with nods and shakes of the head and hand gestures. I'm used to this but my dad bless him isn't. Asking open ended questions I'm hoping will get her to respond more. I don't think she's deliberately being rude I think it's more of a comfort thing.
A crab is not a pet!
No Elizabeth you can't keep the crab that you've just walked back from the beach with even if you've named it Kermit the hermit. Picked up other shells for it to live in and move house if it wants too. and Grandma REALLY doesn't want it to live in a glass in the caravan.
We walked back to the beach and released it 😱🙄
Knowing she's right!
We've had a small debate about running the 100m and we can not get liz to listen to us that she can't run 100ms in 10secs. "I can I did It on sports day".
Once she's got something into her head it's very very hard to alter it. Even if it's not quite right.
Well tonight our last night of the holiday and it's been pretty perfect. Apart from having to take the awning down 2 days early due to gales coming in. Not easy with storage and 2 dogs a grandad and a Lizzi.
Carrying on with the things that we've learnt, Noticed and want to help friends and family understand a little about our autism journey and how it affects our daily life's.
Not big things but very repetitive in the way they continue. sometimes can be perceived as rude or bad manners, I know she can be naughty and a little shite she can also play on it I'm sure, BUT let me explain.
The first 10 times it's funny the next 50 not so much.
Take your coat off!
Comfortable comes above heat. So if the day starts of chilly and Lizzi wears a coat. It will take numerous amounts of asking to get her to take it off even when it's gotten hot, Same applies to jumpers and to if it's cold. Getting her to add more layer. Not much I grant you. However in hot whether or cold I worry about her.
Now I consider that Lizzi's sensitivity to clothing ect is fairly mild. Label and embroidery have been issues in the past and things feeling funny which is more of an issue with shoes continue, said he biggest thing is saying ouch! When someone touches her, unexpectedly this maybe when I cross my legs under a table and catch her leg. Or you touch her foot sat next to her. When you drop a jumper on the sofa and it touches her ouch! This can be frustrating but it is a reflex and I've learnt just to say calmly 'you're ok'.
Pick up your glass!
When out for meals and at home at times Lizzi will sit on her hands and drink from cups without picking it up. She'll drink the whole thing like this if it has a straw she says she doesn't know why she does it. I ask her to pick up the glass and 'drink it properly' sell pop it down and do the same again. I don't know where or why she does it. I did wonder if it stems from a fear of spilling it. She has ALWAYS done it. I believe we just need to remind her to pick up the glass and not get cross. She isn't trying to be rude.
Swap your knife and fork over!
Now this doesn't bother me and happy for her to eat cacky handed, I'm more bothered she eats a well balanced diet. She'll often get halfway through eating something and says she doesn't like it. This I believe has more to do with the pressure of swapping everything over and dinner taking longer to eat and getting bored!
There are other thing but I don't want to want to bore you 😉
My one last statement from my holiday.
Please don't presume or think my daughter is being rude or ill mannered. These things take a long time to learn as children. And as a child with a delay in understanding verbal cognitive instructions it will take her longer. Be patient be kind and try not to get cross. Don't automatically shout when she's doing something to try to help. Ask her to stop and look and you. You may have to shout to get her to this but do it with a kind voice.
My dad has been fabulous this holiday he's really really tried to understand and kept much calmer than other times when things haven't gone quite right. Or Lizzi hasn't quite got something.
Having a child on the autistic spectrum takes understanding but as parents we also have to understand that other family members need to learn and as they're not with us everyday, that how they were taught and taught us may not work with their grandchild, niece, cousin or great grandchild. And that's ok. We can help you too with our journey.