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I've just discovered something fascinating about my daughter... and it's made me feel like crap.(18 Posts)
I've been attending a parenting workshop the past few weeks for parents of children with HFA/AS.
Basically, i've learned my dd is undersentive to touch.
So all the times she's been...
Sucking her blanket/clothes and soaking them in saliva every day
Wanting giant hugs from strangers
Running around for ages in circles
Didn't sleep a wink in her cot/crib as a baby (had to be pushed to sleep in her buggy each night/nap time until she was 2yo)
Jumps on my couch
It's because she has always been under sensitive to touch. She's not 'naughty' or trying to rile me as i initially believed. The poor lass has been craving touch/motion since she was a new baby.
All those nights i cried myself silly because she wouldn't sleep in her cot - I even told her off for it because i was so sleep deprived! - it was because of her sensory issues.
I feel so sorry for her. I'm finally seeing things through her eyes and i'm so proud of her. But at the same time, I'm realising how stupid i am for treating her like an NT child for the past 5 years of her life.
She's not NT. She sees things totally different from how i see things. All this sensory stuff is amazing. I feel horrible that i didn't think to read up on it 2 years ago when dd was first diagnosed. I sort of brushed it all under the carpet.
This workshop is going to be the making of me. I can feel it.
(Pointless thread by the way - just feeling guilty and full of self-loathing - and i also want to go wake dd just now and give her a humongous hug).
Same here! we went on one for Ds not long ago and we realized our trips to the supermarket where he got bored half way round and started playing up wasn't what we thought! he was overloaded!, you wouldn't believe how many times DH told him off for being naughty and I kept telling him he will be taken back to the car and sent to bed early blah blah blah, all along it was because he couldn't cope we never suspected Ds had AS it wasn't until he started school it became apparent so in a way we are learning, interesting though to of found that we were using many strategies suggested to the school before we even realized Ds had AS. Don't feel bad I'm sure you have a humungous list of things you do know about your Dd give her a big hug in the morning x
Now you have a key, a fantastic attitude to the revelations you are discovering, a daughter that you understand better and love, and who will enjoy big hugs.
You are not stupid at all, it is perfectly normal to take a while to adjust to a new situation, especially if the consequences are not life-threatening. If she'd got a dx of type 1 diabetes 2 years ago, you'd have been monitoring her diet and sticking her with points ever since.
But this is a hidden disability, not life-threatening if you don't know what to do. She did what she needed to to feel comfortable and you were sleep-deprived and bewildered as a consequence.
You are not a shit mother by any means, and now you know that understanding what's going on is helpful, you will continue with that mindset as she gets older. No self-loathing allowed. You didn't know.
Those eye opening moments can sometimes hit us quite hard.
But of course, all your frustrations were borne of an expectation that we will train our babies and children to conform to expectations which are largely adult led. We're constantly bombarded with advice relating to getting children to settle themselves to sleep and sleep when we sleep, with the premise that any adult intervention in the form of hugs, rocking, laying down with them, or many of the other things that parents of kids with ASDs often end up doing is nothing short of mollycoddling. and its the same when t comes to sensory aversions to particular foods - there's always people convinced they can cure any child of fussiness by not pandering to their whims)
But now you've had that hand on forehead moment and understand why your DD doesn't do things the way that the parenting manuals say it's supposed to happen and you are in a position to help her work with and around her sensory needs.
Kids with ASD can be undersensitive to some things and oversensitive to tohers, btw. DS1 has huge issues with noise and Weather. Most Weather hurts him in some way.
It's not your fault you daft bint.
Where was this workshop when you needed it. Where was your support? Where was the intervention that caught you and your daughter early enough to help you with this.
You're a good parent. You're trying your very best. You can't possibly know what you don't know until, well, you know it.
I suspect my 6 yo DS has exactly the same issues. He does all those things you describe and I feel awful about all the times he was told off and expected to be "good" too. But how could we have known? I had never heard of sensory issues before this year, and tbh would still have no idea if it weren't for mumsnet.
I have started parenting him with those issues in mind and it has made a huge difference to our relationship, so I suppose that's positive!
same story here.....you do feel bad about the times you have told them off for misbehaving when they are just finding ways of coping....you dont know what you dont know until someone or something enlightens you....once you know, you do things differently.
Just be happy you can learn to help your DC cope better now that you know.
Thanks everyone for making me feel better. It's a learning curve, it really is.
Yep, I've learned my dd is under sensitive to touch and over sensitive to smells and noise (which i've kind of always known).
The touch one was the real eye opener, though.
I honestly wish this workshop was available to everyone. It's Hanen Talkability. Apparently only available in a select few areas up and down the UK, which is a real shame.
And sometimes... they are jolly well misbehaving! You just learn to lock up the crystal (and the biscuits), be creative about re-directing and save the cross face for when they're trying to feed bits of the stuffing from their little brother's toys that they've pulled apart to him. You do also learn that you need to let certain things go, though.
Polter - where did your child do the alert programme - I have seen you mention iyt before and would be interested in it for my son.
Everything starlight said. We were very fortunate to go on a 12 week workshop within 2 months of getting diagnosis. My DB has autism so wasn't entirely new territory for me but the whole course was a god send especially for DH who up until that point was a bit head in the sand about it all.
Excuse me for daft questions, but I am new to all this. How did you find out that your DD was undersensitive to touch? In general, how does one find out DC's sensory issues?
Not had chance to read it all through, but this seems like a good explanatory site, Aika
Aika, there are useful books and stuff around, but for me I found close observation of DS and tracing back reactions, and weird behaviour, to a source trigger was the most useful.
For example, he found it easy to sit and concentrate at home, but wriggled and twitched at school on the carpet. Teacher had it down to him being a PITA.
His shirts had to be tucked in, they were around 4" too long for comfort.
Sometimes the trigger is too odd to be identified easily.
Thank you ouryve Some things look familiar.
Eyes had to google PITA ))) but wow, how did you figure it was the shirt?
I am overwhelmed by desire to help DS and total clulessness as to what it must be like for him.
He wakes up almost every night and cries between 15 mins to 1 hour. I can not figure our what it is, but I know that he sleeps better when I cuddle him - perhaps it's sensory, perhaps he just likes it.
How old is he, Aika? It's a bit hot for one, at the moment, but both of mine slept better with a grobag on, when they were small. DS2 only gave his up, last year (he's 7) and we still use it when he's poorly (and likely to puke all over his duvet!)
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