Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Emotional Roller Coaster

So, B has been at College for a little while now and it's been one heck of a roller coaster ride for her, and me!

I am so proud of her for sticking with it. I know there have been many times when she has wanted to just pack it all in, days that have been so damn hard for her to face, days when I have wanted to cry for her but having said that, there have also been some awesome days!

Sensory-wise she has coped pretty well, over the years she has developed her own set of coping skills. Anxiety-wise and OCD-wise things have been tough.

We didn't know what challenges, if any, we were going to be faced with. Note I said, WE not SHE, we're in this thing together, it's a team effort and always will be!

Unfortunately her Anxiety reached peak levels, and Anxiety's best friend, OCD, likes to come and play too on days like this. The Anxiety/OCD combo is so bad that she can't handle me going home whilst she's at College, the stress of worrying about me driving home is too much for her to cope with. So what do I do? I sit in the car and wait, that's what I do! My priority right now is to help her settle into College and if this is the only way we can do it, then that's how it is.

Her stress over my welfare comes from several things. Firstly, my health. Over the last few years I have spontaneously found myself rushed to hospital and during my stays have invariably ended up much worse, due to my intolerance of medications, what is supposed to make you feel better tends to work the opposite way with me. Plus we have had quite a few near misses in the car, where it seems I am invisible or something, so many cars just pulling out in front of us! Add into that, an incident, when I was taking her dad to an appointment and she didn't hear me say I was staying, instead of coming home and picking him up later, plus my forgetting to turn my phone on... when we returned she was in a terrible state, her brain had gone over so many scenarios, all of them bad, that since then she hasn't let me out of her sight. I guess you could say, I am her obsession right now.

She is having counselling at College, a step forwards as up until now, B wouldn't entertain the idea, but she has realised that this current situation is not healthy for either of us. It seems she has gone through what is equivalent to a terror event/PTSD. I know it sounds crazy, but when you remember that she is primarily Sensory Defensive, (her nervous system is on high alert most of the time) and the OCD behaviour, it makes sense. To your average person this would have simply been a stressful one-off, for her, it's HUGE.

I've always referred to the obsessive stuff as obsessive compulsive BEHAVIOUR as we've always believed it was just that, behaviour, as opposed to Disorder but it looks likely that somewhere along the way, she has indeed fallen into full blown OCD. We are now waiting on a formal Assessment and will see where that leads us...

But back to College... she has shown such an incredible inner strength to keep going. Her course is challenging, well for anyone with a Spectrum it would be, it's a Carousel course, so they keep swapping to something else every 6 weeks or so and the timetable is never the same two weeks running, sometimes she can be done for the day by lunchtime! But she has managed it!

The College staff have been excellent, very supportive and in fact some of her tutors have children themselves who suffer from OCD, Anxiety and/or being on the Spectrum, so they know only too well how difficult life can be from first-hand experience. This is actually a good thing, as B feels they 'get it'.

And to put the icing on the cake, she's getting Merits in most of her Tasks... I mean, look at this wall she built last week...

Till next time
B's Mum

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

End of an Era

Well, tomorrow my baby girl goes off to College for her Taster Day, preparation for when she starts her Painting & Decorating Course in September.

This is a huge step for B. She has been out of mainstream education for 6 years now so there are lots of challenges ahead for her.

For the most part, she has so far handled it all pretty well. We've had the drama of not being able to find workwear small enough for her size 6 frame but we did eventually find a boilersuit that fits her about 95%! As anyone reading this, whose child suffers with the dreaded oversensitivity to clothing, knows only too well, not only did we have to find something that fit but something that wouldn't send her into Sensory Overload. For the last 6 years we haven't had much issue with clothing, mostly because on those days when it was an issue, she simply stayed home in her pj's!

She has to be there for 9am sharp tomorrow morning and this is another huge challenge! I know some of you will be smiling here too, knowing how Time and SPD are not the best of friends!

College is a big deal for most of our teenagers. A new environment where they are encouraged to make their own decisions instead of being told what to do and when to do it, can be a daunting prospect. Add SPD into the mix and it can be an incredibly stressful prospect.

She even said to me the other day, that she wondered what she was thinking, could she really pull this off, could she actually do the Course? My reply? You don't know until you try and if you don't try, you'll only regret it later. Just think, if you can pull it off... the world is your oyster! And if you can't... well at least you gave it a damn good try and we'll just sit down and have a rethink, it's not the end of the world.

Wish us luck
Till next time
B's Mum

Thursday, 12 March 2015

This is just beautiful...

I just had to share this.... it just popped up on my Facebook Newsfeed... so beautifully written by someone who has managed to articulate what it's like to live with someone on the Spectrum...


It brought tears to my eyes... so much of it I could relate to...

A perfect piece for those of you who don't know what it is like but would like to try and understand better... please read it and share it...