Category Archives: Autism

Valuing autistic people, promoting autism acceptance and inclusion. Content about autism diagnosis and World Autism Awareness Day blogs. Additionally, experiences of sleep and understanding emotions.

Information on senses, including Interoception, body mapping and internal feelings. Sensory awareness of our body and its connection to our environment. Additionally, information (and experience) on spatial awareness, deep pressure and heavy work. Lastly, the Vestibular sense, looking at balance and coordination.

The blogs in this category explain personal experience of needing a routine, identifying emotions and social situations. Likewise, providing activities to help aid fine motor skills.

Most importantly on this blog, the main focus is showcasing creativity, skills and strength.

August 2020

School Uniform

It’s August 2020, and I booked in a 15-minute appointment to get my son’s feet measured for school shoes. The process to go shoe shopping was pretty straight forward. My son preferred it this way compared to previous years where we would have to get a ticket and wait in a queue for a while.

As for the school uniform (and PE kit), I measured my son’s waist for school shirts and a jumper. I then ordered his school uniform online, which we received two days later. Overall, it was not as stressful experience. Although, the only upsetting part was paying for it.

Still in a Relationship

My partner and I do not live together so, at the beginning of this unprecedented time, I was unsure if I would still have a relationship at all with the lockdown and social distancing. Furthermore, in August 2020, the social restrictions have been a lot and has tested us as a couple. However, looking back at the past months, it has made us stronger. We both understand and appreciate each other.

I also had to do some soul searching and confronting myself. I previously experienced burnout and felt that as a whole, torn down; but now I’m a person who has better clarity of their internal and external environment.

Blogging

When I chose the name Positively ASD for the blog, to us, positivity represents an overall outlook in life, and how we feel about ourselves. That is not to say that we never go through any struggles. I feel that I have highlighted our times of struggle throughout the blog too.

Blogging is subjective, and for me, I wanted to have a focal point on a side that I feel sometimes gets overlooked, autistic skills. I can only go off from personal experience, and while working as a learning support assistant.

How a person sees themselves and their diagnosis, is entirely personal to that person, and they have a right to feel how they want to feel. Same for my son, and that will not change based on anyone else’s vision of how they see him, or perception of how they think he should represent himself.

I take time to read many blogs to understand and educate myself on different points of view and experiences; as well as a similar experience and points of view to mine and my son’s. We are truly diverse.

From PDA, non-verbal autism, Asperger’s, challenging behaviour, autistic with a learning disability, autistic adults, disability, rare disease, chronic and life limiting diseases, discussing race and cultural barriers, and social and environmental barriers, and the list goes on. Every experience has its right to be heard.

It is all love and respect coming from us.

https://positivelyasd.blog/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/august-2020.mp3

Disclaimer: The contents of this blog is on personal experience, and opinion.

What’s On My Mind

*Always seek professional advice from social, health and/or educational providers with regards to decisions for a person’s care.

*Please remember that every situation is different with regards to returning back to school, so please know that the contents in this post relates only to my son’s circumstance and what is best for his needs.

Autism Challenge

How can anyone think that mocking autistic people is entertainment? It is shocking, and I am in disbelief that such a challenge was on a social platform. I do feel that there is a blurred line between what is entertaining and what is inappropriate and blatantly mocking people for the way they were born.

It took far too long for the service to remove this challenge, and I do not want to hear of things or see anything like this happening again. Enough is enough!

How will the service provider monitor its platform so that a similar challenge does not happen in the future? How can we educate people who find this funny that it is very hurtful beyond comprehension?

It is just disappointing that a challenge like this happened in this day and age.

Schools reopening

My son is in a group of children advised going back to school at the start of June.

I have made the decision (along with my son) not to send my son back as he requires a full time 1:1 and under the new rules, it would be close to impossible for him to access the level of support needed to sustain his education. At least with me at home, I can sit next to him to oversee his work and be able to scribe for him in the parts of work he needs scribing.

Although I previously worked with a different age group, I have acquired experience as a 1:1 learning support assistant, so do have some teaching support training and experience, and mother’s knowledge of working in a way in which my son learns best.

I feel it is equally important to focus on mental wellbeing during this time; so, my approach has been very relaxed, including fun games and activities.

Being a mum is of higher importance during this time, so anything I approach has a mother’s twist to it.

The Outdoors

* I checked with our doctor first for my son to confirm that we can go outside for exercise. This has only been recent, and we will only go outside for exercise. (no more, even though the rules have been relaxed)

It feels lovely to finally get outside for exercise (and some fresh air). I do not know if I am the only one doing this, but I drive by until I see a quiet area with some shade to park up. We have also been enjoying looking at the flowers as we walk along.

I am careful about what time we go out and know not to go to the popular areas where it will be busy.

We have not been up to much this half-term because of the heat. I also feel it has been one of those holidays where we both preferred not overfilling our days with activities.

https://positivelyasd.blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/what-is-on-my-mind-1.mp3?_=1

 

Change

Sports

Sports

The most significant change that has had an impact on my son’s routine is not having his after-school sports clubs. He has been used to playing hockey and tennis every week, plus swimming (which he has done for years).

As my son needs to do heavy work exercises for proprioceptive input, I have had to replace his sports activities with something else. We are lucky though that his tennis coach has been sending us tennis, and ball activities that we can do.

Last week, I set up an obstacle course for him, and he was not impressed. He commented that it was rubbish and his PE coach does it better. (I had to laugh) My reply to that was “Well, I never have inspired to be nor ever will be a PE coach”.

So that my son has a range of sports activities to choose from, I ordered my son a basketball hoop and a football goal and target shot.

Working out doing yoga has helped us feel calm. My son did not want to start doing yoga until I wore a bracelet because apparently, all yoga teachers wear them. I thought if it helps him to focus, then I will wear one.

Moving Things Around

moving objects

I tend to move a few objects around in my flat over a long period but give my son plenty of notice. He is very particular of where things go.

My son has been ok with me moving a few things around at the back of our living room during this time (like the black tuff tray when doing PE). Now, this usually would have bothered him because he likes everything to be in its place. However, as long as he knows that afterwards, the tuff tray (or other items) will go back in its original spot, then he is ok with it. He even watches me closely to see how I position the tuff tray back. If it is positioned a few centimetres out of place, then he will move it to its precise spot.

Classical Music

classical music

A new thing for us over the past few weeks is listening to classical music. We both feel relaxed listening to it during downtime. I am pleasantly surprised to learn that my son enjoys listening to classical music.

Breakfast

breakfast

My son usually has toast for breakfast in the mornings as he prefers this to cereal. I guess he got bored of having it every morning so asked to try some of my Ready Brek. He now prefers having this in the mornings, but it has to have some raspberry jam in (not strawberry).

Cloud Spotting

cloud spotting

For me, I have gone into my kitchen and looked up at the sky a lot more. Staying in does strange things, I think I am becoming a cloud spotter. I have even gone online and found this link: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/tv/greatbritishweather/cloudspottingguide.pdf.

I have been observing the different cloud types and looking at the moon and stars at night-time.

To-Do List

remote meetings

Like everyone else, I will have a lot of things to sort out once everything goes back to normal.

We have had postponed appointments and trying to arrange remote meetings. I have written a to-do list that I have left at the side. For now, I am just making the most of living in the moment.

With all the change going on, I expected my son to struggle during this length of time being in one place; but, overall, it has been the most relaxed I have seen him be in a while.

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Autism Acceptance

World Autism Awareness Day

Today is World Autism Awareness Day and going beyond the day, week and month, I also want to focus on the importance of acceptance and inclusion.

  • To accept that people can do things differently from each other and that’s ok.
  • To be included within society and having better access to universal services (including schools).

Eye Contact

My son is on the autism spectrum and for him has always had good eye contact (this baffled some professionals). I’d even say that he gives better eye contact than I do. I know that this differs with people, but for my son, he has no problems maintaining eye contact.

Social Rules

The age that he is now, he enjoys being social even if he doesn’t understand all the many social rules in life. Once he learns the social rules, he will stick to them and does not deviate from them. If others deviate from the rules, then this confuses him.

Sometimes my son likes playing in groups, and sometimes he prefers having people around him but doesn’t want to interact. He also has moments where he prefers being on his own. (I see nothing wrong with this). If he is happy, then I am also happy.

Sensory

He still is organised and likes everything to be in its place (structure and routine). As my son is getting older, he is learning to become more self-aware.

With sensory processing disorder, (mainly sensory seeking) my son has become sufficient at self-regulating. He gets a lot of sensory input from sports activities and proprioceptive input from ripping up cardboard.

Autistic and Creative

My son’s creative interest is art. (yes, you can be autistic and be creative). His love of using colour, shape, pattern and texture in his artwork, gives him flexibility in the use of art material and allows him freedom of expression.

My son being creative

Collage Board

Over on Facebook, I encouraged people who are following my page to comment on a positive word that describes someone they know whose autistic followed by a colour. From the colours and words, my son and I have created an autism collage board to celebrate Autism Awareness:

Collage of positive words

My hopes for the future are that more people can see the skills and benefits of having people who interpret the world differently oppose to seeing an autistic person as an inconvenience. To the autistic people out there, don’t change who you are, keep being you.

https://positivelyasd.blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/autism-acceptance.mp3

*This blog is based on personal opinion and experience. Every autistic person is different from each other, so what I have typed in this post may not apply to you.

Autism Related Posts:

Autism and Completing Tasks

World Autism Awareness Week

Autism and Sleep

Autism and Emotions