Tag Archives: autism

Trying to take a deep breath and remain calm

I’ve been trying to remain calm today, however the conversation I had this morning at the local Dollar General store still bothers me.  The lady at check out asked me if I wanted to donate my change to Autism.  I told her I regularly donated and that my middle grandson has Asperger’s (of course that’s considered part of the Autism Spectrum – ASD now).  Her response was “at least he’s high functioning”.  WTH, she just assumes to know how he is and what he can do.  How obtuse, if you’re going to ask for donations at least get familiar with what you asking for.  Just because he is verbal and/or high functioning (genius level, etc) doesn’t mean that there’s not issues there.

Ever had one of those moments when you just zone out???  Well, try telling your child/grandchild to do something as simple as pick up the trash or put up your clothes or put your dirty cloths in the basket and have them look at you like your were from outer space and you asked them to fly.  Actually, asking him to fly would make more sense at this point to him than a normal request.

Try getting them to calm down when they’ve completely lost it because of something they can’t do and they deem it’s important that they be able to do it.  After you’ve dealt with a major meltdown (not a temper tantrum) then come to me and tell me “well at least he’s verbal”.  Lady you don’t have a frigging clue so until you do it’s just better than you shut up and become educated.

When will people ever realize that just because our children/grandchildren are verbal – that doesn’t mean that many of the same issues aren’t still there.
Now I will step back off my soapbox. Those of you out there that deal with these issues daily will completely understand this post, the rest of you – do a little research and actually listen when someone tries to explain to you or you see it happening.

And, for those of you that have children that want to go to camp or that go to camp – does your child have to have his own “camp volunteer”? Even though he’s capable of bathing, eating and dressing himself on his own just because this is a disability 4H camp is requiring him to have an adult volunteer.

While I am extremely thankful that he can speak and is high functioning that doesn’t take the pain away from what he has to deal with and the frustration of not being able to “fix” it where he doesn’t have to deal with a lot of crap.  That doesn’t take away the daily stress and havoc that it causes in his life and the issues that are raised as to what he can and can’t do.

Don’t dare to suggest punishment until you know what you are talking about!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Merry Christmas!

The tree was decorated with the help of the three year old grandson.  He was never happy with it, kept saying it needed more lights and things.  So of course we kept adding and adding, but he was happy.

connor christmas

He said he wanted a winter wonderland with my Christmas houses, but of course he had to add a train.  His big brother put his train up for him.  I thought he was going to add some of his Thomas the Train trains to it but he didn’t.

winter wonderland winter wonderland 2

On Friday after we got the decorations done it all caught up with me and I was sick.  Blood pressure up very high for the first time in about seven years and on Saturday morning – it was bad- I spent 1/2 day in the local Emergency Room.  Guess I have to deal with this crap again, and with classes starting back in a couple of weeks it couldn’t have happened at a worse time.

Even with the trials of Autism/Asperger’s being around, I am so thankful for my grandchildren to be as healthy as they are.  I can always look around and see others that are not doing as well.  Sometimes when the meltdowns hit we neglect to see the positives.  I think that we sometimes let ourselves get overloaded with what is going on in our lives and forget that we have it so much better than a lot of others.

Merry Christmas to all!!

Merry Christmas to all!!

Asperger Syndrome and Anxiety… or is it? Who knows…..

Only families with children or grandchildren with Asperger Syndrome know how frustrating this can be. Is it a meltdown or is it a panic/anxiety attack? Do they really have a stomach ache or is it anxiety worrying about a test that’s 3 days away? Are they really still hungry after eating a meal or is it the anxiety telling them that??

It is estimated that up to 80% of children with Asperger Syndrome also experience intense anxiety symptoms. Anxiety Disorders such as OCD, Social Anxiety, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder commonly co-occur with Asperger Disorder. Little is known about what anxiety symptoms look like in children with Asperger Syndrome, the following symptoms, which overlap with Anxiety Disorders, indicate anxiety: avoidance of new situations, withdrawal from social situations, irritability, somatic complaints…

What are somatic complaints you ask … well here goes: Somatic complaints are those that have no medical explanation. They generally consist of gastrointestinal problems, constipation, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, colitis, migraines, headaches, back aches, and skin disorders. It is thought that these problems, although real to the person that has them, may be brought on by stress or emotional factors. Somatic complaints are difficult to treat because there are no underlying medical issues that are causing them.

What causes these anxieties? Reflecting parents’ anxiety – children pick up what their parents are feeling (fear, anger, etc.) Bullying – whether on purpose or accidental – unkind words and actions. Over responding to stress – did they forget a pencil or book or the least little thing. Unhealthy lifestyle – diet, exercise or lack thereof can all lead to anxiety – and this is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. It’s a fine line we walk trying to figure it all out and most days I wonder if the “doctors” have it figured out. I think sometimes it’s by trial and error there too.

Children with both Asperger Syndrome and Anxiety Disorders experience a more limited world than children with only one disorder. They could have difficulty in adapting at home and in school by avoiding opportunities to make friends, join clubs and break their usual rituals to try something new.

Other anxieties may be seen and may be unique to children with Asperger Syndrome are increased insistence on routines and sameness, increased preference for rules and rigidity, increased repetitive behavior, increased special interest (electronics, etc.), anger outburst more easily, and acting silly at times. Silly – as in just plain silly no matter what the circumstance is, behavior that is not appropriate.

It’s a crazy world we live in and trying to get answers is oh so frustrating to parents/grandparents…. thinking about that we have to realize the kids are just as frustrated as we are most of the time.