Maths and English? No I want to dance. Naked.

So how many of you struggle to get your little ones to sit and learn ? Personally I struggle to get my son away from his balloons or watching balloon videos on you tube.I do try, daily , to sit with him and work through some work books that we have, Maths and English. He’s aged 8 but currently we are working on age 3-5 Maths and English.

The problem is his attention span is very poor. He has an excellent memory. He will remember that a week and 2 days ago I promised him a caramel slice from Costa but getting him to pay attention in the short term is rather like pulling teeth. How many of you can relate to this and what is the solution ?

Much like worrying how he will cope when he is older, I also worry will he know sufficient information to be able to get a job , will he be able to cook a meal , read a book , fill out application forms or even read a shopping list. Although I suspect that won’t matter as he loves pot noodles so would more than likely live on those , specifically the green ones , not the yellow ones or the brown ones , only the green ones. He also likes Mattesons chicken bites and of course the all time autism favourite , chicken nuggets.

My only ambition for my son is that he is happy and not lonely. I want him to get a job , meet someone and be happy. This is my dream so if that happens I’ll be a very happy mummy. I would like him to have independence but if he needs to live with me forever, this is also ok for me. Up until the balloon obsession he wanted to be a bus driver but now he wants to make animal balloons and work with mummy at the airport.

While I know that he is not at the academic level of some of his peers, I am incredibly proud of his progress. It’s important not to compare our little miracles with other neurotypical children , as they will shine when it’s their time. As long as progress is being made that is the most important thing. Every day when I pick my son up from school I ask him what he has learnt that day , the answer is always the same. I learn’t the letter “e “.

He’s always played with Jack , ate all his lunch and learnt e. His teacher has always had crisps and a ham sandwich for lunch.

We work around the attention span issue by using egg timers and dedicating little chunks of time to learning . Egg timers are very useful as they are visual.

Another little hurdle we often encounter is the literal thinking . So for example if the activity is to find the letter “a” in the words , he will circle the big letter “a” at the top of the page . Technically he is not wrong but he is not right either.

As a mother I constantly feel like I could or should be doing more to help him , but I guess we all feel a little bit like that ? I am doing my best and I hope that is enough.

The other morning we were singing the alphabet song together when he asked me where the f###ing “p” was ? Oh well , another day , another experience . At least he can say the alphabet.

So tonight I’ve tried to get my son to do some work with me but he only wants to talk about going to Bournemouth. He keeps asking me the same question over and over again about when are we going to Bournemouth . It is his favourite place, because of the beach . I want to do some work with him , he has told me he wants to sell me and get a new mummy !?.

Then he decided to shout in my ear , which I have told him not to do as it makes my ear drum tickle but he thinks this is hilarious. I told him not to do it and his response is he’s not talking to me , to which I replied “Ok”.

“Why you saying ok ,mummy?”

Me: “Because you don’t want to talk to me”

“That’s not cool mummy, this is bullshit”

Me: ” Why are you saying that ”

“Iron man said it at the cinema”

Then he decided to take his clothes off. He seems to do this a lot. He likes to be naked. For some reason though he has decided he also wants to dance and sing to “Gangnam style” . I cannot un see what I have just seen , but he makes me smile and most importantly he’s happy.

Oh well , I’ll try with the learning again tomorrow. Thank you for reading 🎈🎈.

“Where,s my f****ing bus?”

So swearing seems to be an issue at the moment for me and balloonboy. I remember when he was very little, he had just started saying small words and was not very vocal, dare I say it, compared to other children his age. He was attempting to form sentences and anything he attempted to do was met with whoops of joy and full on smiles and praise from me. At this particular age he was obsessed with buses. Anything to do with buses, bus toys, bus you tube videos and buses outside. That is until he discovered bendy buses , then it was all about the bendy ones, then after that it was a lot more specific, he became obsessed with doigs model buses , which cost me a fortune . Anyway one night while reading our bedtime story together , he said “mummy, where,s my fucking bus?” . Well then an internal battle began with the voices in my head , do I praise him for his efforts to ask a question? which lets face it , it was a pretty amazing milestone to achieve, or do I reprimand him for swearing? I decided on the praise , since I believe that at this point he was blissfully unaware that he had just sworn at his mother, so I let this go and praised him. Well ….im not entirely sure this was the right thing to do……..

From this point on, swearing has become a little bit of an issue. It doesn’t help that he probably hears inappropriate words on films and possibly when I have stubbed a toe on something or stood on a piece of lego, but lets face it , they are like little sponges at that age, absorbing everything they hear. Its funny how they cannot hear you when you ask them to get dressed but when you whisper a swear word, they can hear it instantly and not only that , remember and repeat it, often in the most inappropriate settings such as loudly on the bus or when your at a family gathering trying to impress the in laws and show them what an amazing parent you are.

Needless to say, a few weeks after the bus episode, we were taking a nice little walk back from the park, when a lovely old man approached us as I carried my beautiful toddler in my arms, and asked my son what his name was, “fuck off ” was the reply. The man took this surprisingly well explaining that he had grandchildren and they had been known to swear too at times. I wasn’t so relaxed and ran home and probably opened a bottle of wine.

There have been several episodes of swearing over the years , all of which have made me smile, inwardly, however when it comes to dealing with it, the truth is , I don’t have a clue!. Its difficult to judge whether the swearing comes from an innocent place or not. I tend to presume with my son that he is not necessarily aware that he is swearing, but merely repeating words he has heard. Now he is a little older I am able to reason with him a little and explain to him that certain words are bad and he mustn’t say them. This does seem to be working. I am certainly not an autism professional but I am a mum that has studied autism in great depth and living with my son has provided me with the ability to offer my advise . In this situation my advise would be to discipline your child as you think is best. There is nobody but you that can decide how to deal with this behaviour and there is nobody that knows your child like you, so follow your instincts with this one. The truth is all children with special needs are unique and respond differently to situations and consequences. Please share your stories , I would really like to hear them and how you deal with it.

The biggest challenge we face can often be the judgement of other , less understanding people. I remember one day having a coffee with a friend and my son (i mean that is allowed right?) and my son was making a bit of noise blowing his balloon up repeatedly. This man sat near to us decided to moan about it, well , I politely explained my sons condition and this seemed to help but what I really wanted to do was tell the man to shove his walking stick up his ****hole, but then I remembered , I must not swear in front of my son.