Friday, January 6, 2012

Z, ASD and transitioning

It's been an up and down few weeks in the house, with the usual kids visit with their father down south with his family - a whirlwind one week visit - which usually does more to upset Z than I believe it does good.

That, along with xmas and all the hoo ha, the festive season is generally a time of extreme emotions and reactions for Z because routine flies out the window. Routine is something that HFA (High Functioning Autism) kids come to rely on as a way to get through the day without any major shifts if emotions.

Compounding all of this though is a fairly significant step for Z, the transition from primary school to high school. After a particularly long and drawn out tantrum (Bear in mind that Z is turning 13 this year) at 10pm one night this week - initially a reaction to being made to do the dishes (his job) after letting them pile up for two days - which then blew out into a tirade of self abusive slurs about his own abilities, emotions, lack of friends etc.

Sitting on the kitchen floor with him I managed to somehow reach him during his meltdown. This has become much easier to do since he was diagnosed a few years ago. For him, having a label for his reactions made it easier for him to have more control over 'coming back' from an episode. It also gave me more understanding of what he was going through (less focussing on how I had gone wrong in my parenting). We had a chat. He admitted that although he had grown more confident in the last year he had still been bullied at school, often by kids younger than him. My heart broke - why hadnt he told me - he said that that was not something you want to admit to anyone!

I have ordered some books. He doesnt want to go to a peadiatric psych, so for now we will see what we can do together, but I have made it clear that in the best interest of his health we will not rule out outside help if it is needed.

One book is for me, but is also suitable for Z to read:
Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum: A Parent's Guide to the Cognitive, Social, Physical, and Transition Needs of Teenagers with Autism Spectrum Disorders

the second is for Z:
Living Well on the Spectrum: How to Use Your Strengths to Meet the Challenges of Asperger Syndrome/High-Functioning Autism

 We will soldier on!

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