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Smelena
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10 Nov 2007, 4:47 pm

Hello,

I am a Mum of 3 sons aged 9, 7 and 4. The 9 and 7 year old were diagnosed with Asperger's this year. I think my 4 year old probably has Asperger's too, but will not go for diagnosis until just before he starts school (because he's so happy now).

Approximately 6 months ago, our home life was terrible. My 9 and 7 year olds were melting down frequently everyday (including lots of threats of killing themselves). They had no self-esteem, hated school and difficulty with forming friendships.

In the last 6 months they have had heaps of help including:
- weekly therapy at an Autism/Asperger's clinic with a psychologist. This clinic is Tony Attwood's clinic. We don't see him, but the therapist we do see discusses our boys with him regularly.

- Told them about their Asperger's and taught them what this means. They are now accepting of themselves.

- IEPs put in place at school. Initially I had to battle wit the school, but I'm now very happy. The boys' special ed teacher is absolutely fantastic.

- Taekwondo. We started Taekwondo a few months ago and this has been great for the boys. Team sports is a disaster for them. Taekwondo is great because it's individual and involves self-discipline. Plus all the kicking/punching helps them get their aggression out.

The boys have calmed down and are now very happy. My older one often wakes up and starts singing. My second son makes his happy noises a lot - "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeep"

They have both made new friends. My 9 year old has had a friend come around twice and has now been invited to his house! This friend knows about my son having Asperger's. We have given his friend some books (aimed at children) to read.

My 7 year old also made a new friend who has come around twice to play and he is going to his house next week. I told his Mum (who is a Speech Pathologist) about my son's Asperger's and she is accepting.

Thursday night we had 8 around the dinner table - my husband, me, 3 sons and 2 of their new friends. It was fantastic (and everyone ate their vegetables).

Regards
Helen



Corsarzs
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10 Nov 2007, 5:08 pm

This is wonderful news, Helen, I' glad my computer is back on line so I could here this. looking forward to further progress reports.


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Tim_Tex
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10 Nov 2007, 5:14 pm

Great news!! !

Tim


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LabPet
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10 Nov 2007, 5:24 pm

Wow! You have done well - all of you.

Guess what? No, guess again. Ok - here's my latest discovery that I am certain would help your boys.

I bought a weighted blanket, which is palliative for those with autism who experience sensory modality disorders. Some health insurance plans will (partly) offset the cost of weighted blankets too. Look on the Internet for weighted blankets, and why this is therapeutic. I ordered mine through www.weightedblanket.net 'Dream Catcher Blankets' from Montana but they ship to Alaska. I'm certain you would find something equivalent in Australia. Mine is handmade of my choice or print and weighs a 17 lbs! Actually, this is considered much too heavy for my size but I know, from experience, what works well. Tips: Try to not buy one made with navy beans, corn, rice, etc since this can degrade &/or attract insects or rodents (scary, but not an issue in Alaska). Sand (silica) can eventually sift through the fabric so find a blanket made with poly beads. The material should be machine washable (mine is).

Autistics like deep pressure and this is very calming. Much has been written about this, beginning with Dr. Temple Grandin - HFA autistic (like myself). She's an animals scientist and long ago was desiging a 'hug machine' for herself, like an animal chute, to offset her anxiety. It worked. Since then, much has been researched and documented about deep pressure in autistics - fascinating. Thank you for your update.

Separately, I mailed to KBABZ Russian Nesting Dolls from Alaska - he has received! Maybe this will help alleviate his loss somewhat.



Anyway, that's too much information but I am excited for you! You must have a fun household.


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floridakat
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11 Nov 2007, 9:44 am

That is sooo cool! What a wonderful mother you are! :heart: And such lucky boys.

Learning about autism/aspergers gave my daughter much needed insight.

We also use humor as much as possible. The cornier the better. Her favorite saying is 'Im
autistisc, whats your excuse?!" :jester:

kat



mollyandbobsmom
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11 Nov 2007, 9:55 am

Wow! Friends are fantastic! Who would have thought we would get so excited when our kids make friends, but it is huge!



Smelena
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11 Nov 2007, 9:09 pm

LabPet wrote:
Wow! You have done well - all of you.


Thanks LabPet

LabPet wrote:
Ok - here's my latest discovery that I am certain would help your boys. I bought a weighted blanket


The weighted blanket sounds great .... but .... it is so hot where we live - we spend about 10 months of the year dripping sweat and wearning t-shirts and shorts. I think the blanket may be too hot for them. Great idea though.

LabPet wrote:
Separately, I mailed to KBABZ Russian Nesting Dolls from Alaska - he has received! Maybe this will help alleviate his loss somewhat.


That's great LabPet. I'm sure KBABZ will greatly appreciate that.

Helen



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11 Nov 2007, 9:15 pm

That's great. :)


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siuan
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11 Nov 2007, 10:32 pm

That's GREAT! I really needed to see an uplifting post like that, with both my kids diagnosed autistic in the past month. Gives me a sense of relief, knowing that with effort things can improve so much. I'm glad thing are going so well for your family :)


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Kilroy
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11 Nov 2007, 10:35 pm

its good when people understand
if I ever have kids I will be a better parent then mine were
not saying they're bad parents-they'll just never understand me
and thus never get as close to me as they want/think they are



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11 Nov 2007, 11:47 pm

I love your posts about your sons. They are usually so positive. Thanks!

Kris



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12 Nov 2007, 12:07 am

schleppenheimer wrote:
I love your posts about your sons. They are usually so positive. Thanks!

Kris


Yes, I wish I could have had parent like Helen or others of those who post on WP - they're so caring and engaged. My father died when I turned 12, after a serious 4 year illness, then I had no parent. I occasionally still have sharp 'orphan pains,' but not too often.


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12 Nov 2007, 12:49 am

:D



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12 Nov 2007, 6:49 am

I've made myself several "heavy" blankets and they really help me sleep at night. Not sure what they weigh but I doubt they'd be 17lb (maybe 6 or 7lb). One is crocheted out of doubled-up 8 ply yarn and the others are old eiderdowns covered with patchwork, and once patch wears out, I sew another one over it. Over time, this makes the cover even heavier.


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15 Nov 2007, 10:10 am

That's good Helen.
D