For years I have looked at fail-safe for my children, sadly I have been lacking about the food intolerance because there has been so much going on that trying to keep up on one thing when in survival mode instead of going back to basics. We have had too much-processed food and maybe too much takeaway. We need to eat like our grandmother ate not all this easy eating food.
We are now going back to the basics of eating for our children. A few years ago I hear of the fed up book and I wanted to hear more about this website and what it was all about.
I bought the book and DVD and went on our journey to eliminate food by going back to plain rice and bland food. I would have to say this was one of the hardest challenges for our family. Nor did my husband support me on this decision. It was a really hard time and I probably didn’t pick the right time with this change.
After we started we notice a difference in mood and emotions for the better. For the first month, it was like they were withdrawing from sugar.
I started to introduce food back into their diet and my son loves strawberries. I thought I would give them ago. I gave him about 5 each day and at this point, I wasn’t noticing anything different. I thought he could have them without any problems until the teacher approached me and said have you taken your son off medications. My answer was no. Well, the teacher then continues to tell me that he has been very upset and crying a lot to get really angry. I left it for about a week still giving him strawberries because they were so cheap and I thought this is a great snack for him.
Then I was reminded that I had been giving strawberries to my son for the last 2 weeks and they were high in salicylates. Once I took him off within 3 days he had return back to a normal mood and behaviour. As a family, we decided that he could have strawberries mainly on school holidays and as an occasional food like for his birthday.
This was in 2013 and now we are in 2017 I need to look at going back to basic food again to help detox my family and start the diet again to see if this helps with my sons and daughters overall mood and behaviour.
We bought a Theromix to make our food from scratch and help lessen the preservatives and additives in the children’s diet. I will be keeping a diary this time on the detox and introducing foods back into the children’s diet. It may be more challenging because the children are older and are more likely to refuse. As parents, we can only try to help make this easier and better for their concentration and learning.
If you haven’t heard this approach before and are interested in learning more. I would visit Sue Dengate’s website http://www.fedup.com.au. I would also let your GP and specialist know you may be doing this diet because you should have a health profession keep an eye on any other medical conditions or complications.
RPA in Sydney also has a clinic which has a huge waiting list. Also has the elimination diet to help with allergies and skins issues.
Below are from Sue Dengate’s website as a quick reference.
We are in November and I feel I could do this year all over again but totally different. I can not believe we are near the end of the year and it feels like I have only started the year a month ago.
This year has been very tough on my son and us as a family. Particularly with his behaviours and outbursts. Going places and doing activities within the family has challenged my patience and boundaries have been pushed.
I do not condone violence in any way, nor do I think verbal abuse or emotional abuse is acceptable either. Aspies try to regulate their emotions but instead they action what they are feeling by screaming, making noise, hitting, punching, and even saying words which can not be taken back because they listen to their mind in turn actions their words thinking they are being honest. Unfortunately, my son has become physical and strong. He doesn’t know when to stop and he has hurt some people, this has given me a lot of anguish over the year. It has put a lot of tension in the family, decisions that I totally do not agree with.
So far this year we have been suspended from school because of the violent action my son has made. We have been trying with a behavioural therapist, Counselling for many years. Speech and OT. We still have these outburst that can be really intense over a 2 hour period. Something I do not wish for anyone else to go through. But it happens! there are other families that go through the same situation as what my husband and I do. They might be silent about this, I feel educating more people will help with preventing these situations from happening and also the silence families go through every day.
(This is my son waiting for a plane to catch. He just loves hanging with me.)
We were very fortunate to come across a Doctor that looked at the brain wave in children. This would indicate how much focus and attention the child might have. My son was able to participate in this testing called EEG. We travelled down to Newcastle for three sessions to meet the doctor, to do the EEG and then see for the results. I was so impressed by this Dr. and how he listened to what was happening for us in our home and school life.
The Dr. took my son off his medications and kept him on an antidepressant which he increased the dose. Within two weeks off his other medications, I was seeing my son. The son I knew a few years ago that I was missing because of the medications the other Dr. had put him on. He wasn’t punching walls and trying to put holes in them. He was thinking about what I was saying and giving his answer with a very rational mind. This whole time I was thinking is this too good to be true. Well, it was too good to be true because he was suspended again. At this point, I just was in major shocked why? We have sought new eyes, We have put things in place thank you to the NDIS. There was a fresh start with the councillor therapy. Though the councillor he had seen before we had him off the medications, then she saw him with the results without the medications.
I felt so deflated and sorry for myself. It was really getting to the point there was no positive lifestyle in the family nor did I want to be positive. It was really not worth it. let a lot what more can go wrong with my son.
Yep, he was in trouble again Term 4 and we were suspended. I really want to talk more about this suspension than any other. We were going really well with routine. I had carers coming in to keep the routine the same as well as letting my son have a good sleep so he was not up at 5am to be at school by 6am, for me to work at 6:30am. This really shows that a good routine and him sleeping in til 7:30am made a difference. But this day was not a normal day. I had to start work really early and the carer had arrived at the house. Before I left to go to work another carer turned up and said I am rostered on this day. News to me really, but I said you can say because you have travelled far and it might be good to have two people for the morning. That decision was really wrong! not just did it upset my sons routine. he also becomes hyperactive and was heighten before going to school. The other carer was trying to keep him calm instead the routine went out the window.
This was not a great start to the day, the carer that turned up for the wrong shift. Instead of saying one of you have to go, I thought that it would be fine having the two carers there for the morning.
The whole routine was upside down and especially my son was bouncing off the walls instead of being calm. The main carer took the children to school and making sure the teachers knew that my son was out of sorts was a very important to communicate this for keeping my son safe. From what I heard the front staff didn’t tell the teachers the information so they were not prepared for my son and his behaviour.
My son’s teacher was able to calm him down he had a good morning. Unfortunately, my son’s teacher had the afternoon session off so my son was in care with another teacher.
This is where I am very confused by the story I have been told let alone when I was told. I was told that my son was kicked by a child. My son did not react to this.
Then apparently the child started telling my son he was not able to do something eg catch a ball. My son didn’t react to this.
Then the same child threw dirt into his face which then my son went on to attack the child. I do not tolerate my son hurting another child nor do I want my child hurting another child. This gives me great anguish when I hear my son hurting a child especially a female. Yes, my son hurt a female and apparently he was very violent because he was so upset from having dirt thrown in his face.
No one saw this child doing anything to my son except one child that was never asked about any incident. My son was in care with a teachers aid at the time of the incident.
The next day after the incident, I was not told about his suspension until I was leaving for work and the carer rang me to let me know what had happened. Not once did the school call me in the afternoon nor of the morning before school started just so I could prepare my day.
I organised for me to start work later so I could look after my son until someone could take over the care. Then I would go to work and finish my shift.
Suspending a child like my son is not the answer because he thinks he can get away with not going to school if he is naughty. There seems to be the case for the year. My understanding about the other child. There was no follow up on the actions of the other child, they felt she had enough of what my son had done. This does not sit well with my son because three separate incidents before he cracked there was no one to see this escalation to prevent the situation getting to this point.
We had worked so hard to get him to the point of positive behaviour and basically it becomes undone because of a simple shift in routine and care.
Wanting to fight the system and feel so frustrated because there is suppose to be a behavioural plan in place to prevent these situations from happening. I just didn’t know what to say and my emotions got the better of me. I let my emotions talk instead of using my head. Knowing what I said I could not take back nor did an I feel I wanted to take it back.
My son has returned back to school and we have had a week of positive and again he did it again. I do know understand what is actually going on in his head to get to this point.
Then I was privileged to see professor TonyAttwood at a parents conference in Port Macquarie. It was very informative and insightful for me as a parent. There were a lot of parents and professionals in the room. I hope they were able to get as much as what I heard from Professor Tony. Ps, I would look at Australian story if you haven’t already.
Professor Attwood was talking about emotions and behaviours. He was talking about my son. It was like he knew what my son had been up to. I would have liked to ask him a question but no time for that as he went over on his talk. I would like to write him to see what he thinks and any ideas.
This still didn’t help in the way I need for my son, I have got to the point I do not know how to help him. Even with saying we need to go back to the start with his diet and start all over again. Things might have changed that doesn’t help with his gut. I need to go back to fedup.com.
I am not sure what we will end up doing and what is going to work for us. We are so different. I don’t want to change my son but I also want what is best to help with his emotions and impulsive moments.
I see a beautiful little man who is talented in drawing. He tells me he loves me every day and he gives me the most amazing hugs. Then there is the side I do not like seeing and that becomes upsetting because I just would like to help him, alot of the time he has to ride out the meltdown or emotion.
(My son’s drawing for his school art gallery. The class was doing Zombi theme.)
Wow is probably the polite way of being overwhelmed with so many emotions.
I can say we survived the car trip, the train trip, and the plane trip.
We left on the 30th April and drove down to Newcastle to catch a train from Broadmeadow. One of my lovely friends was very kind to drive us down and then she could look after the car while we are away.
We arrived at the train station, now I looked up opal cards and I realised it was too late to organise for them to be sent to our house. I then looked up where we could by them. My understanding we could buy them from the station. I was very misinformed or I didn’t understand what the webpage was saying. The closest place we could purchase the opal ticket was the 7 eleven. It was two blocks away. We had no choice to buy the single use opal ticket. $10 for adults and $5.00 for children VS. Opal card $2.50 per person all day for all transport on Sundays.
Now that we bought our ticket we then waited for the train. Thank goodness they come every 40mins or so, it wasn’t too much of a wait. We jump into the carriage with all our bags and Charlotte having a panic attack over getting on the train with the train leaving her behind. As you will see we didn’t leave her behind. Even if I thought about it a couple of times.
We tried to get ourselves organise and I notice on the wall about being quiet and respectful to others. I never thought anything of the signs just thought ok we need to get settle for this big train ride.
We discovered very quickly the carriage we were on was called a quiet carriage. This is a carriage where no one talks, no noise and you just sit there. Of course I was very unaware of this and two ladies were very happy to let us know that this was a quiet carriage.
We quickly got up, moved all our luggage, children and us; to the doors so we could find a carriage that suited our family.
Our bags were heavy and moving them plus the kids to find a carriage was very interesting exercise. We were able to get onto a carriage that was not quiet after two attempts. The kids wanted to go up stairs and I just wanted to sit. So I made them sit on the first seat with all our bags on the other seats. Once the family had settled down I fixed up all the bags so we were not hogging four extra seats because of our bags.
I posted on Facebook about quiet carriages vs normal. I received a great response from friends. I have learnt a lot about why they brought them in.
Thank goodness for mobile phones. We were planning to take a taxi from central to our motel. When one of my friends message me from Sydney offering to pick us up and take us to our Ibis Budget motel.
Though my timing was completely wrong on when we’re arriving in central, my friends husband came, picked us up and took us to our motel.
I loved how we could catch up and have some dinner before going to bed for the massive day ahead of us. Andrew wanted Krispy Kreme for dessert, he came back with donuts. It was like Jensen had never had a donut before. He loved them. I save two and put them in our little fridge for the morning.
We woke up at 03:30am to get ready for the trip to Melbourne.
I gave Jensen a donut to kick start his morning. More about that later on.
All went smoothly leaving the motel room. We order a taxi. Waiting, waiting and a little more waiting. We were outside at 4am to be at domestic by 4:30 when departure would open. Finally a taxi arrive at 04:40 to take us to the domestic terminal. First words after we asked for our destination, the taxi driver said “why you didn’t walk?” I was very impressed with my husband said to the driver “we have children and we needed to go via taxi”. Very awkward moment. We arrived at domestic to check in on the auto check in computers.
What a stressful situation. Having to punch all the information on the touch screen for all the members of my family and to make sure all our documents were correct. Once we completed the section we then needed to go to the service desk to print out our tickets. That was a lot quicker. Normally I can check in 24 hours prior to do this in the comfort of my motel. This option was not available this time.
Off we went to go and find Gate 3 and seat to relax till we board the plane.
The kids were happy we were next to free Wi-Fi. Jensen could watch his Minecraft, Charlotte could listen to music, Andrew could watch his twitch and I just enjoyed reading.
We got on our plane no hiccups, no sore ears, and the kids were excited when the plane took off. Charlotte sat beside the window and I sat in the middle with Jensen on the other side. It worked out really well to keep the kids calm. Did I say no hiccups what was I thinking. This is not a Cronk holiday without a moment or two a day.
First moment Jensen started the white donuts he wanted us to buy. I had to let him know that when we get to Melbourne airport we will look out for the donut place to get another donut before we get on the next plane. He stopped repeating this over and over again.
Second moment. Charlotte said to me I am not feeling well and I think I am going to be sick. The first thing I pulled out was a paper bag from the back of the seat.
Sure enough as soon as I did that she started vomiting and I mean a good vomit. If people know me well enough I am not a great person to sit next to because I normally follow suite. This time I just kept it together and help her through the moment.
She was really hot and the plane was really warm which I think didn’t help the situation. Thank goodness I had large snap lock bags in my backpack. I was able to quickly put the bags she filled and close quickly to help reduce a mess happening or even the smell coming back to haunt me. Poor thing got her clothes as well. Our bags were going straight to the next plane. Which meant I needed to buy something at the airport.
Finally we arrived in Melbourne airport to change to international for our next leg of the flight. I found a shop I could buy some clothes for charlotte. Just a tee shirt and shorts. OMG it cost me $55.00 thank you for coming. Note to self about the spare clothes in carry on for the kids.
Andrew exchange money while we had a chance. We just happen to be near all the food. I didn’t notice the Krispy Kreme’s but Jensen did. There was a massive line and I knew we needed to be at the other terminal boarding at 09:15. I thought we could get through the whole situation off customs to find another donut place and a place we could eat some food.
We got through customs to discover the international side is having a Reno. I couldn’t see any donut place or any shop that sold donuts.
Jensen also worked that out as well. He then started about donuts and how would he get his donut now. I tried to distract him again about donuts by telling him that Americans love donuts and we should be able to see a donut place when we arrive at LAX.
We received news about our flight, the news was not so great and it would mean we would have to wait until Qantas could get an answer. This meant we would be waiting for our flight for an unknown time. How am I going to keep Jensen and Charlotte calm for the whole time?
The captain made the announcement our plane is missing some important bolts and screws. All I could think of how we were going to fly without crashing and thank goodness they found it before we needed to fly out.
Our flight was supposed to board at 09:15 to flight 10:15. We finally boarded the place at 12:30 to fly out by 1pm.
Our seats were the second seats from the back of the plane. We were near the toilets. A bonus for Charlotte since she seems to go a lot in the night.
I thought of the positive of being at the back of the plane. I thought of what could happen if we are in the back of the plane. This all came after knowing the bolts and screws were missing.
I made sure I put the family in an order that would keep peace and harmony on the plane. Andrew on the outside, Jensen next to him, then me and Charlotte on the other outside.
By the time we left the plane Andrew was the only one in the same chair.
The food was nice and I knew that Charlotte would have problems with the food so I had to think of a smart way of looking at what she was going to eat. There was beef brisket with potatoes and corn salsa. I called it new version of nachos. Didn’t go down too well. Note to self pre order flight food on the way back for Charlotte to accommodate her taste buds. This nice lady gave my daughter some noodles. I thought it was a great idea and I never really got to thank her for being so kind. Charlotte thought she was in heaven once she got to eat Plain bland noodles. Something charlotte eats when she doesn’t like our meals we cook at home.
Jensen then took his turn for breakfast. He didn’t want anything for breakfast he didn’t like anything on the list. I order him eggs, sausage and hash brown. He looked at it and said nope not eating it.
Not easy to accommodate my children I feel.
Then I discover he had pizza through the night, he kindly told me the pizza was Yuck as well.
I can say this…Qantas knows how to feed people and I really enjoyed the service pity about the kids not appreciating the good service.
The problem with being right up the back of the plane people liked to talk near the toilets and I mean I could hear them and it was not helping me sleep at all. I am glad that charlotte could sleep through it but I really struggle.
I woke up to this crying and I thought it might have been one of the kids crying but in fact it was a lady having a panic attack on the plane. There was a nurse there and at that point I didn’t know that she was a nurse. Flight attendant brought her prescription of Temazepam. She didn’t know if should could take any more because she had already taken 2 separately and it was like 9am in the morning in Melbourne. So I put my thoughts into the ring and said take 20mg put some mindfulness music like classical music on and you will be asleep in no time. (I might say this is the short version of what happen. )
When I finally got to sleep I slept for about 2 hours. Then I needed to get up for a drink and I saw the nurse that was looking after her. I found out the lady crash to sleep within 15mins and still asleep the whole time. I was impressed that she finally got to sleep and it was a shame I didn’t see her just to see how she was once we got off the flight.
I found it interesting her GP gave Temazepam to help with her anxiety and panic attacks. This is the experience I have had with my patients before they have surgery. Normally it is a similar drug but it helps with anxiety.
Well we finally arrive in LAX to be kindly asked if my children would love to see the cockpit. I took that as a massive yes as people know it is not something that happens every day. Only thought how lucky are my kids to have the opportunity to sit in the captain’s chair. They asked very sensible questions too. How do you know what buttons to press when you are flying? Jensen question
Charlotte asked how do you know what direction to fly?
We thanked all the staff on board and the captain. Two very impressed children to start there wonderful holiday.
I got out all the paperwork we needed we were heading to the custom special assistance line. Jensen by then started to get really restless and having multiple moments while we were walking to customs.
Thank goodness I learnt about the special assistant line. I had my two cards out for the children. The man at the line was unsure why we were here until I showed him the cards. It was smooth transition through customs. We had a lovely gentle Man get our passports and identifications information. We were set to the next stage of getting our luggage.
We arrive to pick up our luggage and I think Andrew was so tired that he forgot what our luggage looked like. Our pale pink bag went straight past him till I called out Andrew you missed out bag, there is our other bag. Lol I could tell he had hit the wall and was not coping with no sleep and lack of sleep.
I saw the special assistance line again and we went through to be checked over. We handed our paperwork we filled out and off we went to the next stage of our journey.
Finding the super shuttle bus service was interesting. The man was hiding behind a massive pylon I couldnt see him until we past. We check in for the next shuttle bus to Anaheim. We had to wait about 15 mins which was not long at all. We sat and just tried to keep Jensen amused while waiting. He was pretty restless at this point and wanting to jump over everybody. The Minivan arrived, we got in the minivan with relief to be going to a place we could sleep. By the time we were halfway there I think Charlotte, Jensen and Andrew were nodding their heads. My head started to node closer to the destination.
Bang we were here at the Howard Johnston!
Finally we are at our motel thank goodness because we now need to just get to sleep and once we wake up we can then work out what the next adventure will bring.
Jensen and charlotte did not sleep at all. I passed out on the bed, Andrew then also fell asleep with many wake up moments from Jensen. I was lucky enough to have enough sleep that we could go for a walk so Jensen could finally had something to eat.
Guess where he wanted to go Golden Arches.
It was just a quick walk down the street and we were there. We order what he wanted and sat down.
Gosh it brought back memories on how a Big Mac use to taste. Most of our food was cold not hot like Aus. Really it didn’t matter Jensen was getting his food and it meant he would calm down maybe we could go for a walk to see around.
Hah Calm down I must be kidding myself. We just wanted to walk 200 metres down the road and he just started having a meltdown. I thought going for the walk would be good for him and the family. I was totally wrong I was pushing his limits more than he can handle when he was so over tired.
We walked back to the room to give some medications to help calm him down. It got him so calm he was able to sleep which is what I needed him to do.
While I am writing this he has been asleep the whole time, we were a little peckish and wanted pizza but instead we went for pop chips and chocolate milk from the little main street shop.
Before I sign off the best thing about this place we are staying. The beds are so comfy which has just little extra help for me to sleep a little quicker.
It is not long now til we leave to go on the holiday of a lifetime.
I have to say I am really looking forward to going away and spending some quality time with my family.
Planning this trip has not been a walk in the park and having children that require just a little extra help just adds to the situation.
What kind of planning am I talking about?
Firstly I have to pick my destination carefully by researching the country and what services can be provided while being in that particular country.
Then I need to work out what attractions and places to suit my family. For example; knowing Jensen’s interest with Dinosaurs and Dragons.
Charlotte’s interest in Lego friends and Lalaloopsy.
Andrew interest in Science and marvel/DC comics
Of course mine interest in everything Disney and being able to see culture.
Next is working out time frame for activities and places that will accommodate those interests for all the family.
Disney has Star wars, Princess, Dinosaurs and Toy story. This is a tick for my family
Lego land will have lego friends for Charlotte and Lego city / star wars for Jensen
Andrew will have Star Wars in legoland.
I get to see everything Disney and walk around each city.
Well I have those plans in my head now I have to work out money and if we can include accommodation, flights and attractions.
mmmm Money is tight but I think we can do this.
This is when I found a travel agent that could understand my needs as well as my wishes.
Once I had all of this sorted I then went into planning phase.
Disneyland and Disneyworld have great apps and great ideas on how families can have an amazing time while in their parks
They can accommodate for Children and adults who have additional needs by using a special pass.
I have then been able to find wonderful website that will also help me with my journey to the USA. I am very fortunate that I have had some friends go over there already and give me all their tips and hints.
Link to Disneyland Guest with Disabilities. Disney World guest with Disabilities
I found podcast to help a lot along the way, I started to understand what was happening and learning what I needed to know to help prepare the family for this trip. There are great guides, helpful hints and even app’s to get you around the parks.
I was able to find some great youtube clips to show Jensen and Charlotte what kind of rides there are at each theme park. Jensen discovered something I didn’t even know at one of the parks. He showed me and we become just that little more excited.
Then I needed to make visual cues for Jensen so we could prepare him for the flight, for the airport and just the USA in general.
I search for books that would be appropriate for Jensen and Charlotte. I looked on Amazon were able to get some great title books
Amazon is a great way to find these books and a lot of the time the prices are really good value even with the postage.
The internet is a great resource to help with preparing for a holiday.
I have found some great websites that also help with ideas.
Autistic globe trotting like me this is from a parent’s point of view and it has been a wealth of knowledge. I have found similar blogs and websites that you just put in the search button. The down fall is going through them and making the right choice on what suits your situation at the time.
Family Friendship circle another blog that has some recommendations for traveling on the plane or taking a holiday.
Good little traveler. Though this blog has not been updated for sometime and it is very hard to get this dvd. I was very fortunate that I have a copy for my family to watch each time we travel. It is one that is a great preparation for any little person.
I have found many overseas companies that can help with different items like wheelchairs and access passes.
Families with children/adults with additional needs have such a wide variety to look at for travel.
It is sad I would say Australia is behind when it comes to travel and families with additional needs. Unless you are in a service that can help provide this information. Normally it is not forthcoming.
It is a lot more money to organise a simple holiday in australia than it is to go on one overseas.
Unless I am mistaken I have not come across many australian blogs or websites to assist with planning this holiday. We are just very lucky to have an internet that provides view of the world.
I have put together the itinerary for the family knowing there is a lot of flexibility involved in case it rains or Jensen/Charlotte are not having a great day. I just will take each day as it comes.
I found that these resources for our trip can also be used on small little people that dont have additional needs. It is all about planning to prepare the child to help prevent the anxieties and meltdowns.
When I am planning my holidays I really need to think about the purpose, where, what and how am I going to pull this off. Are my family going to enjoy themselves? When my family enjoys themselves I know I have done a wonderful job and organising this trip.
I know from all my research that not all theme parks are the same as Disney. They are not as accommodating to additional needs people. This is a shame for excluding them.
When I get to these places I will be discussing if there is anything available because on their website it is not a place for this like Disney have done. Then I can review my thoughts on this subject.
Well done to Disneyland and Disneyworld.
I am going to sign off and wait for the next adventure our trip that is finally here.
Time has come fast in our family, as we prepare for our next adventure overseas.
It has not been easy organising this holiday and the money I have spent so far has been more than I would spend normally on our holidays. I saw this as an opportunity to do something with my family and life is so short.
Ever two years or so I try to organise a oversea adventure. 2012 we organise a New Zealand holiday when Charlotte was 5 and Jensen was 4. It was a pretty good holiday. Andrew spent his birthday in another country. He will say that he didn’t enjoy it. I took him to a museum that use to be a Psychiatric hospital. It was very interesting and spooking going down under where the baths still today exist. The hot springs go through to the baths. I won’t go into more detail. Great place to visit and find the history.
This is where the preparation for the NZ holiday was massive. I bought books that were about traveling on a plane. I had a special DVD on etiquette on a plane. We visited the local airport to watch a plane take off and a plane touch down. I talked about the long wait for the plane and how we would have to wake up early.
I made sure our seats where separate, Andrew sat with Jensen and I sat with Charlotte. It worked really well for us as a family. No meltdowns just a lot of excitement.
The trip to NZ was also only three hours.
This time we are looking about 16 hours to LAX plus how many hours in the custom line.
This trip will be one of the biggest challenges for us as a family. I look forward to sharing our experience and our happy times.
Jensen has probably got worse over time since the first time we went overseas. This is something that I have had to prepare for a few months a go leading up to the holiday.
I discovered while completing our Visas, the transportation securities administrators, The website was amazing, it could give me all the information I needed to travel on the plane and prior to arriving. We are very prepared by reading this website. I discovered a card that we can give to help with our journey in customs. This will be something I will be reviewing once we arrive at the airport. I have bought books from Amazon on planes and the sounds he may hear. the rides we will be experiencing and the long waits we will be having while boarding our plane.
With all my research and planning I have done for this trip I still don’t feel prepared as much as New Zealand.
When facing anxieties in my family I have to keep things together. Once I think they are settled I can have my moment if I need to. Sometimes I have to say my moments could be less agressive in my mind but when I explode, I explode and need time out. Some of the places I have picked are in mind for myself to have time out. What Time out I say. Well I tried to plan this when we went on our cruise and it didn’t work out. Most of the time I was getting Jensen out of kids club because he was kicked out for the day or kicked out completely because they couldnt handle him. So this is going to be something I am pushing for while I spend fours and half weeks with my family. I figure if they don’t get the message I could always go for a walk and let Andrew deal with it. MMM I hope Andrew doesn’t think I am selfish.
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The photos above are a mixture of New Zealand and our Cruise.
One of the photos that has stuck out for me is wearing sunscreen while we are away. We went on a dolphin cruise in New Zealand and Andrew’s picture just is a good reminder on why we wear sunscreen on a regular basis. Both my children are not great at wearing sunscreen for different reasons. I have to make sure it is applied very regularly to prevent anything sunburn like Andrew and especially Jensen who blisters if he sees sunlight. Normally I am able to carry a big tub of it while we go camping and other trips but this time I have to be smart on how much we take with us due to our luggage restriction.
The middle photos happen to be when Andrew went bungee jumping and the kids both wanted to Bungee too, they made their own up by using bean bags. I thought that was very cleaver and one day I will take them back over to Bungee if they like. by then they may have developed fear. I can not see Jensen developing this at all when he seeks height and climbs trees all the time.
Moments with Jensen
I have tried to make sure I have social stories for the kids before they have moments.
Disneyland and Disneyworld seem to be really well equipped with helping families like us to have the most enjoyable time. I printed off a sheet which had sensory issues mapped out and what rides had 5 sense. They also have so much resources you just need to work out how to use it. I had to look deep to get to this section and I don’t think a lot of people are aware. I think there are a lot of travel agents out there that are not aware of the different things that can be offered for children and people with disabilities.
This is probably one of the main reasons why we are going to the USA with the family. They are more advance with people on the spectrum and any other problems. There are places able to help accommodate with our needs as a family.
I found a moment that was a positive moment that I had forgotten about I really wanted to share this with people. This is the moments I want to remember than the meltdowns that can just really tear my heart apart.
I know when we are visiting all the attractions we will be making more memories just like this one.
Before I finish I will be posting other ideas that help with our trip as we go through our holiday.
I can only hope for the next week I will be as prepared as I can be and enjoy our 4 1/2 week holiday. I can only wish anxieties will not come to visit too much next week while working and preparing for the biggest adventure for the Cronks.
I have been wanting to write for about a week and a half, unfortunately between sorting out my mother and her issue, sorting out Suspensions, teacher going away for emergency at home and working full-time really can take its toll.
It is hard to work out where to start and what to actually say when there has been so many events and encounters to talk about.
I would have to say for the last few weeks our family have been more in fight flight mode than I we have been for sometime.
Between Jensen screaming at Charlotte and Charlotte screaming at Jensen then Charlotte screaming at Andrew and Andrew screaming at Jensen. Then I come in and say stop shouting quietly hoping they will stop at some point. Wondering why they are shouting when all I would like is a little voice in the house.
This can happen very frequently in my house and it can be very draining. There are days I would rather say in bed than face the situation that is happening outside my bedroom.
Even today when the kids woke up way too early. They were bouncing off the walls before I could even say good morning.
I knew that I was going to be in for a roller coaster of a day.
It was very challenging with Jensen being really aggressive towards Charlotte and myself. I manage to lock him out of the house for a little while just for him to calm down and think about what he was saying especially his actions. I really did not know what to do because I had spoken with him calmly. I said that he needed to calm down, eventually he calmed down. I knew I could let him back in the house without him destroying the house or hurting himself or others.
Charlotte is very aware of the triggers and I did say you need to stay away. For some reason this was not good enough and she set him off again for another round. This time I was able to get on top of it before it took control.
The biggest worry I have are my neighbours and what they think. It is really easy to judge when people don’t live the life of busy mayhem and crazy moments.
Normally I am very patient and try to distract Jensen from focusing on the one situation. Sometimes as a parent we are trying to deal with our energy level and our emotions. Sleep deprivation is not my friend and I don’t think many people can live on a small amount of sleep. I know I need at least 8-10 hours solid sleep to function in the day.
With my type of work I could probably have between 1 hour to 5 hours sleep if called out and on a normally shift it ranges from 6-10 hours depending on the weather, how I go to sleep and what happens throughout the night.
When I have a restless night like I did the night before getting out of bed is so much harder. I am sure people can relate to this as parents. When I was in my 20s I could have a min of 3 hours sleep from partying all night. If I do that now I am not functioning at all for a week.
Jensen focus was totally on the Ipad. It seems that this has been a common problem for a little while now. Andrew had taken the Ipad off him weeks ago and he was not to get it back.
While I have been working long hours, Andrew’s way to cope is giving something that will keep him occupied to do daily tasks like cooking and tidying, I agree that this is a survival mode that needs to happen when you are the single parent that is maintaining the house.
I want the children to complete their Jobs and help me get all their unwanted clothes and toys in a basket so I could sort them out for our big garage sale. Both Children refused to help at all because one did it last time and vice versa refusal. Life can be challenging when Charlotte becomes very Oppositional defiant.
From all the tidying I saw I knew I needed to get into Jensen room and give it a massive rearrangement.
Jensen did not want to be a part of it and I just started with one section of his room at a time til I manage to have three large garbage bags full of his clothes, Two baskets of toys and a lot of books that I love reading to him but ” he has grown out of them “quote from Jensen.
After many hours and cleaning out his wardrobe and bookshelves he now has a bed, a tall boy and a table to put his bed light on. His floor is clean and his room is Minimal.
I put one book-case in his wardrobe with the most important books he wanted to keep, I cleaned out all his board games so there was a lot more space for the new ones he received for his birthday and christmas.
Being 24 hours after the bedroom is clean, Jensen said to me this morning he slept so much better now that he has his bed under his fan and his room is clean.
Does Not mean the medication has help give him a nice sleep.
He was so much happier in the morning than I expected. Simple things in life. We now have a clean room, and a happy child.
He behave so well this morning that I organised a special surprise. He had one of his buddies over. They really got along really well and had a great time gaming.
It become a lovely day in the house. I thought I would tackle Charlotte’s room just like I did with Jensen room. It become a little more challenging because I would pull out something and Charlotte would say I use that please don’t throw it out. I found her art box that had more wrappers from chips, chewing gum, other snacks and dry noodles than art items like pencil-case and scrapbooks.
This made so much sense why she has a mouse problem. Thank goodness Ella the cat has been keeping on top of this problem.
Ella the cat playing at christmas time
I sorted out Charlotte’s Lego and her art box, Then I needed a break, I lost the will to continue from just having charlotte not wanting me to take any of her items to the garage sale or vinnies. I try not to think of her as my little hoarder but she just loves to collect everything including her school books from years ago. I love how she wants to keep her memories. I don’t want her not to have memories of her stories but I don’t want to keep every painting, every math quiz. I have taken photos of her art work and put in a photo folder of all her years of art. Charlotte has mentioned that I don’t want her art work because I throw it out or use it for wrapping paper.I have showed her the photos so she knows that I do care. Charlotte reminds me that isn’t the same. Trying to understand this mindset it very hard. If I have something I don’t want or I haven’t used in 12 months it goes out for a better cause.
Charlotte rather live in her mess and be happy than keep her room clean. This is something that all kids go through I am sure. She doesn’t like me cleaning or tidying her room. I struggle with her room being messy. She never can find anything nor does she like sending out her dirty clothes that is a regular Saturday challenge. I know my OCD comes into play and I feel that can have an effect on how I clean her room better. It takes charlotte two days before it goes back to the mess we started with. Her wardrobe is her floor.
I really do not like fighting with the kids over their rooms, over eating, over getting dress it just seems to continue battle. I would consider this a very normal part of life. I would think other families have their little problems. When we go to battle in this house it can take up to 3 hours before we have calm. This would include broken windows, walls furniture and anything else.
Does this reflect on my parenting? I am very proactive with parenting course, and up to date with information to help cope with our challenging.
I am sitting here writing my blog on my experience and wanting to educate people on what can happen as normal day-to-day life in a Aspie world. It might sound like a normal part of parenting, When you add the meltdown, the crying for four hours, the screaming for 4 hours and the destruction of property or injuring another person. This is what makes my life going into fight flight response.
I have learnt when I need some peace or quiet I either go into time out for a period of time or I leave to go somewhere like the movies. it doesn’t stop the behaviours.
Taking away the Ipad from Jensen and Charlotte has been a lot more peaceful in the house. Jensen is struggling over the fact we are not going to give it back and he is going to have to learn to do other things to entertain that be shut inside.
I think this will be an ongoing battle with the Ipad and any smart device. It is not healthy having such an obsession with a non realty item. I have to remind myself why I am going on the computer why I am doing the budget why I rely on technology to get me through the day.
If you can relate to the Ipad saga have a go and trying to take it away. you might notice a different child. Jensen has had a lot more interaction in a positive way than negative with family members that I hope this can roll on in school.
School is for another day I could write a lot of a perspective of a parent in a public school .
I planned a weekend away with my friends and my family.
We were off to Brigadoon holiday park, Laurieton. We left late friday afternoon and arrive to set up our camp area before it became dark.
We set up pretty quickly to go out for dinner, all went really smoothly considering the day we had with Jensen. We order our dinner, Jensen only wanted a vanilla milkshake. Well they had every flavour expect Vanilla. I asked if they had Vanilla Essence? The young lady said “they didn’t even have Vanilla Essence”. Hoping Jensen would not be fussy over the milkshake.
The young lady brought Jensen milkshake over and he started drinking. I didn’t say anything to him and he didn’t say anything back, he was able to drink most of it. Thank goodness for ice cream to help flavour. Jensen decided he was hungry and he wanted wedges. We order wedges and the Chef was very understanding, considering they were closing the kitchen. Jensen had three wedges to then say he was full.
When Jensen wants to go home or leave the place we are at. It becomes a instant moment without any reasoning. This becomes hard when we tell Jensen that we have to wait for others to finish their meal.Eg His sister Charlotte who is extremely slow as a sloth.
To help calm Jensen, we took him to find pokemon while the other family took charlotte back to camping area. This was great because it gave us time to calm Jensen down and get him ready for bed. Knowing Jensen like we do, he is not the easiest person to get to sleep.
We arrive at our campsite to try and get him into the tent. Well the tent was too hot, the bed was not made properly the way he likes it, he couldnt sleep because we were too noisy. Jensen again did a lot of screaming until we finally got him to settle down and sleep.
To have a beautiful night talking away and giggling a lot was probably my highlight for the weekend. I don’t think I have giggled like that for sometime. I didn’t retire to bed until around midnight boy that was a great night and I was happy to be woken up early when the kids woke up, knowing that it was successful for the adults. I do not know like to drink alcohol and a lot of people know that this is something I rarely do. Moscato you are really sweet and refreshing to drink. I had two classes this was a enough for me to giggle for most of the night. The poor neighbours hearing us just talking and then hearing giggles from both my friend and myself.
Saturday Morning the forecast was predicted to be in the high 30’s to 45ºc. Our plan as a group was to stay cool for most of the day.
Andrew went off to work for the morning while we woke up Saturday morning to head off for breakfast at the Sandbar in North Haven. We enjoyed our breakfast to then go back to the park for a nice swim in their pool. The pool was really set out well for young families and older children. It fitted a few people in and I just loved the waterfall on my back.
For the first time I was able to relax, enjoy and not worry too much. Both kids were playing nicely. We spent some time in the pool hence the slight redness to my arms. Even when we slip slop slap every hour. Jensen was the only one that didn’t get burnt.
Andrew decided he needed more sleep and just some time to himself, he thought going back home would be the best choice. By the time we finish at the pool around 2pm, we decided to go to coles to buy some food for dinner and get some snacks.
This is were the main fun began. Jensen has to do the same routine when he arrives at the shopping centre. Sit in the trolley while I walk around getting the items we need. Jensen started screaming in the shop, Swearing and screaming louder and louder at Charlotte. He starts to get into a loop it is really hard to get him out of this without calming strategies. We had the manager approach us while in the aisle. He didn’t say anything to me just straight to Jensen to let him know everyone can hear him and he needs to calm down his voice. I said to him ” Jensen has ASD good luck”. The manager apologised, understood and walked away. Shortly after we were in the next aisle looking at the items. The manager walked back up to us and gave cold water with chocolates. He also said ” you are doing an amazing job.” I thanked him and gave Jensen the water. My friend arrive! this was a massive help. She was able to get most of the items we needed and just stay calm with the situation that was happening with Jensen. He was in the best challenging mood I have seen for a while. He was very destructive if I was close to any shelves. At this point I was not sure why he was in such a mood.
Jensen found his interest cookies and cream ice cream. We bought lifesavers for all the kids after dinner as a treat but Jensen didn’t want the lifesavers he wanted cookies and cream. He ran away to get the cookies and cream. not just once but twice until we left to get in the car. I realise that his behaviour was partly from his medication. I didn’t give him his second dose simply because I forgot that was a big mistake for me, first time I was enjoying myself which I lost the time of day. Once I gave him his second dose he finally calmed down within the hour.
Our other friends arrive to have dinner with us and Jensen just loved them being there. He relates really well with these boys. They went on an adventure, thinking they were looking at the park instead they found fishing rods and were fishing with someone else’s bait. They did ask if they could use them. Thank goodness, the young boys who owned them were very good about it.
They caught a fish. Jensen came over to the campsite wanting a plastic bag to put the fish in. We decided to go over and see what they were up to. From what Jensen told me it was a massive fish we needed to keep it. When we saw how big the fish was it was time to let it go. This is when I waiting for Jensen to have a moment and instead he left to go swimming, Pweh no melt down.
We we needed to start dinner because everyone was getting hungry. I cooked in the camp kitchen. What a great facility for campers. We were able to cook and eat there, the kids had dessert of the lifesavers except Jensen. While he ate his other ice cream I bought for him he decided that he was too full and gave it to me to eat. HAHA He had only eaten two small bites. The downfall of the medication, the lack of appetite.
In the camp kitchen there was a massive LED TV, Superman was on perfect for Jensen. Even though we were camping I was really happy for him just to chill and watch superman.
I cleaned up our mess, got ready for bed and sorted Charlotte out. He went to bed without too much fussy. What this never happens what has happen.?
I was so tired from the massive day and very little sleep the night before that I went to bed really early. Party pooper!
It was such a great night sleeping with a light breeze, tent windows open. Felt so comfortable until charlotte woke up and tells me she is shutting the windows because she is cold. Well that is when it became really hot in the tent. I had Jensen curled up with me and all I could think of “I am better of sleeping outside”. I eventually get back to sleep to wake up around 8:30 it was a lovely sleep in. The weather was starting to really heat up. The forecast for the day was 45º, it was really important to get our tent packed and head home for the air con.
Boy the temperature was a bit warm. My friends had already packed up their gear and tent. While I was still waking up, I notice the little cereal packets had been open. The nutragrain and coco pops had been eaten. All I could think of was Jensen and what am I going to feed him now they have been eaten. Charlotte had gone on a walk and she arrived back. I asked her where are the cereal packets were. She let me know that she had eaten the coco pops and nutragrain . Well I had to keep this away from Jensen if he knew what had happen this could have been a massive meltdown and serious injury to Charlotte.
Thank goodness he wanted to just watch Tv and chill. We went for a quick swim and then packed up the rest of the gear. Thank goodness for cafes. We went to the Oasis in North Haven. It was beautiful breakfast. I truly enjoyed having my last breakfast with my friends who tolerated a lot from my family.
We left North Haven and travelled home. It was a lot quicker to unpack the car than packing it up.
I drove home to a beautiful cold house. Between Andrew and I we unpacked the car for the next adventure. First thing Jensen wanted to do was watch Jurassic park. I was so buggered I ended up falling asleep for a couple of hours.
I can say I survived the mini trip. I really would like to do it again another time. Maybe Andrew will be able to stay for this one. I also know what I need to bring without bring extra for a short weekend. Thinking very basic and easy to have short trips away from the mundane of the house.
We are so very lucky to have a beautiful area that we can camp and explore.
A massive thank you to my friends who were very understand and tolerable to the situation. It does make a difference when you have people to support and help through the experience. Acceptance is a very important part as well. I think I saw a side of my friend that made me cherish my friendship with her even more.
I thought I could write each week on different things I have learnt or an issue where I could work out how to sort it out.
Well it has been nearly a month since I introduced myself. So much has happened in my life that I can only share the things I remember more recently than a few weeks ago.
I am planning many adventures throughout the year. One big adventure is taking my family to the USA. I am really looking forward to the travel. I can only hope my two children will enjoy the moments as well.
I have been madly trying to get all the paperwork in order so we can apply for our Visa’s.
I am doing research on planes, when I can talk to my son on preparing him for the flight. We will know a lot about planes. How will 14 hours look like for us on the plane?
How do we prepare Aspie kids on going for a massive flight? I have come up with some options.
Ipad for each child, with backup battery if need be
Find out what movies will be on when flying to be prepared.
Organise digital movies for the Ipad.
I have requested that we sit separately on the plane, I will look after our daughter and my Husband will look after our son.
I am really trying not to worry too much about different aspects of this holidays unless it arises.
It is so important to be prepare for this journey normally, but I need to prepare if we have a meltdown, if our son gets on a bus and can not get off with his words.
My Son has broken his hand, I went shopping to get some things for a BBQ. The whole time I was shopping he was having a massive moment. I had one man just say to me oh he is having a hard day. My Son replied with very colourful words you ugly man. That was a hard moment for me. I had to calm my son and also a man who didn’t need to say anything at all.
This older man came up to me and said ” you are doing an amazing job with your son, you should be proud.” I didn’t know what to say. He just walked off. I really wanted to thank the man because he seem to know what I was going through in the shop.
My son continued to have his moment throughout the whole time we were shopping and when we arrive to the car.
The older man came passed me. I said “Thank you for your kinds words before, that meant a lot.” Well he then said to me. “I have a son with Autism” Well that made me feel really special that he acknowledge me. I felt good for a short moment before My son went for round 3.
After the whole afternoon and we were eating dinner, I worked out why he was behaviouring so badly. He was in pain with his hand. He really found it hard to communicate with me over this until we got home and he pull the Cast off his arm. I would think it would have hurt to get it off.
He actually hid the fact he did this until I was wondering why he was putting his bad arm under a pillow. Once we realised what had happen, I had to take him back up to hospital to get another back slab back on.
This time my son was having a massive moment when he got out of the car. He thought he was going to see the same person again who just did his arm knowing he would hurt him.
He tried to run away many times and we were lucky to be put into a nice room where he could just rest until the doctor came to see him.
The doctor we saw was lovely his name was Dr Dan, He was able to explain everything to the point that my son was happy to have his back slab put back on. My son actually told Dr Dan that the lady put it on hurt him and didn’t feel so right. He was in pain.
Once we were done we left the hospital and went straight home. He got into his bed and basically went to sleep.
My Adventures with my family are never dull. There is always something going on.
While we are traveling I can only be the best prepared mum I can for whatever I am going to face when we leave for the USA.
By the time we are ready my son will be out of his cast and feeling much better to go.
I am hoping I will get my head around the whole traveling to the USA.
Feature photo is my son with no fear while on his camp.