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I despair.

51 replies

ButterflyInGlassMaze · 05/04/2004 08:22


My son is 5 and autistic. I feel I'm at my wit's end. He's
in mainstream school, but the past few weeks especially have been bad ones. Kicking, spitting, throwing things, even
urinating on the floor. Nothing's changed at home, his
routine hasn't been distrupted.

He's been taking Eye-Q, but I can't see as they've made
any difference. Don't get me wrong, his does have good
days, but mostly, I feel so down about his autism. He has
very low attention span and I feel like I'm failing him as
all I seem to do is be mad at him.

His father and I separated just over a year ago. Our son
and and I were basically turfed out of the family home for
him to move his new girlfriend in. I live back with my
parents, this may be adding to my stress.

I just can't seem to see any light. It's hard trying to
get through to my son and he doesn't seem to grasp the
concept of rewards for good behaviour. In social situations, he cannot tolerate other children and very often kicks or pushes which, of course, puts me at the brunt end of parents' anger. All I can do is apologise and tell them he's autistic and this always leaves me feeling desperately sad.

Considering all this, I think my little boy is
happy. Life just seems to be a great

I'm sorry to moan, but do any of you other parents of
autistic children feel, or have ever felt this way? If so,
how do you come out of it?
I hope to hear from someone soon.

Thanks for listening.

OP posts:
rsv1000r · 05/04/2004 08:40

My son is not autistic, but has cerebral palsy, and I know how frustrating it can be to have a child who is different. Keep your chin up things will get better.

Have you spoken to the school to see if they could have some awareness sessions for other parents/children to help them understand your son's condition a bit better so that you wouldn't have to be apologising all the time.

Fio2 · 05/04/2004 08:45

Sorry you are feeling so down. I dont have an autistic child myself, but my daughter has special needs and I can relate to the feeling desperate. I am sorry you have othewr issues aswell with your relationship, it must hard enough as it is without having a relationshipo breakdown aswell. have you applied for other housing for yourself?

KPB · 05/04/2004 08:48

Hello! So sorry to hear that you are feeling so down. I have a 4.5 dd who has communication difficulties so completely understand how exasperating life can be sometimes!
Having a child with SN just makes everyday things in life, that people with "normal" kids take for granted, so much harder.
Do you have a local support group? I go to a support group for parents with special needs children and I really do find it a lifesaver sometimes. Just to talk to people that understand, unfortunately people who do not have SN children very rarely do!
With my dd sometimes I am fine and then others not. It was only last night I was in floods of tears to my dh saying how unfair life is and how I wish she didn't have her problems and I would do anything to take them away. So yes I do really understand and I feel that some weeks we have really good ones and others are not so good.
Have you spoken to school about the recent behaviour. It's just sometimes a little thing that may have happened at school can escalate. This has happened a few times with dd. I remember once when dd started at her new school (she is in a lnguage unit attaced to a mainstream school) and they were dealing with her behaviour and had quite strict behaviour techniques in place. Dd came home and smashed the house up and was being really aggresive ( the one and only time ever) and I could not cope with her. I rang the head of unit and they had, had quite a bad day with her and had given her a sad face or something. the only way dd knew how to tell me she was upset was by trashing the house, but it wasn't until I spoke to the school that I finally realised why she was so upset! Is your son statemented by the way. I really hope that everything sorts itself out! Sorry if this message is a bit garbled.

coppertop · 05/04/2004 08:54

Hi there. I have a litlle boy of nearly 4yrs old who is autistic. He's not quite old enough to start school yet but attends playgroup. Do you have a statement for him?

I can sympathise with some of the other problems you're having. When ds1 was still a baby we (including my dh) had to stay at my mother's house while we looked for somewhere to live. It had been her idea for us to stay with her but by the end of it we couldn't wait to get away. No matter how well you may get on, you still need your own space.

My own mother was/is hyper-critical of anything I do. She had an absolute field day when ds1 turned out to be an unresponsive, non-verbal (until age 3) and happier-by-himself child. It was apparently down to my poor parenting skills!!!

Much as I love ds1 (and his little brother) there are still days when I could quite happily leave him on someone else's doorstep (though I suspect he would soon find his way home ). Yesterday, for example, he got totally overwhelmed and started attacking me. I have his teeth marks in my arm now and a sore face from where he punched me. He's big for his age too so it's not so easy to hold him back.

Would it help if you had somewhere else to live or do you rely on your parents for support?

coppertop · 05/04/2004 08:56

Of course I meant do you have a statement for YOUR son, not mine! Ooops!

juniper68 · 05/04/2004 10:00

I could cry reading your messages. My son 3.5 has possible autism but it's mild. I get the looks though, as he has to be in a buggy and screams at people when they speak to him. His hitting is loads better now though.
Butterfly, have you tried homeopathy? It's just ds goes with me and I've noticed a difference since he's been treated. I know it's expensive to go to a homeopath but some GPs practise it.
How long has your son been on Eye-Q? Did you know you can get something similar on prescription? My friends son has ADHD and is on it from the doc. It's DHA but I'm sure it's the same. He's 100% better at school.
You're in my thoughts, I hope you get some good support here x

Stargazer · 05/04/2004 10:09

Hi Butterfly - my son has not been diagnosed in the autistic spectrum, but he does have ADHD and is out of school for similar behaviour. Get the school to refer to your local CAHMS to see if they can offer support, maybe get your son statemented - at least that way he should get some help at school (this is the theory - I'm having a hard time getting it sorted). But mostly love him to pieces. Take care and lots of hugs.

juniper68 · 05/04/2004 10:09 this link has some more info

juniper68 · 05/04/2004 10:10

if it doesn't work try copying and pasting into address bar

dinosaur · 05/04/2004 10:35

Oh Butterfly, I'm sorry you're having such a tough time.

My DS1 will be 5 in July and has a diagnosis of high-functioning autism. He went through a very very difficult phase which began about 18 months ago of biting other children at the nursery he then attended. Things escalated until there were several biting incidents a day. The nursery did not tell us that they were not coping with his behaviour until they were on the brink of expelling him! However his behaviour at home was also awful, to the extent that we could not leave him unsupervised with our younger son for any time at all.

However, awful as all this is, I think the most important thing to remember is that our autistic children, like other nt children, do not do things like this for no reason at all - there are triggers for their behaviour, it's just that they may not be obvious to the adult observer! You mention that your son has difficulties in social situations which often result in him kicking and pushing other children. If you watch him very closely, can you see what the triggers are for this behaviour? Many autistic children have difficulties with personal space which work two ways - they will invade another child's personal space, but over-react if someone gets too close to them. Could this be part of your son's difficulty? Another problem my son still has at times is that he is a great stickler for "the rules" of whatever he is doing and he has difficulty in grasping that if someone else breaks "the rules" as he sees them, that the other child is not just "being naughty". Thus he has done things like biting another child on the finger because he had arranged a domino wrong. Or do you think that your son's behaviour might in fact be a wish to socialise and interact with other children and he just doesn't know a more constructive way to go about it? I think this was part of my DS1's problem; he was really desperate to interact with other children but he just didn't know how to go about it properly.

So what I am trying to say is that I think what you, and whoever works with him at school (does he have an LSA?) need to do is analyse what the triggers are for his behaviour and then see how you can go about unravelling them and helping him to learn new ways of interacting. For example, are there particular situations e.g. the dinner queue where incidents are more likely to happen? You need to stress to the LSA/teacher/whoever the importance of them watching very closely to see EXACTLY what happens prior to an incident - like I said, there will be a trigger, even if it is not an obvious one such as another child hitting him etc. A useful preliminary step is for them and you to keep a diary for a couple of weeks so that you can hopefully begin to see some patterns emerging. Once you have that, then you and the school can begin to work on some strategies to help him. Social stories can be very useful - do you know about these? If not, let me know and I can post more information about them.

Does he already have a home/school book, which you and the school can use to communicate information about him? If not, I would definitely suggest setting up an arrangement like this as I have found it very useful.

Have you contacted the NAS helpline? They are very good. They are running a series of courses around the country called Help! I went on one in January and it was brilliant. Do give them a try.

Lastly, in answer to your question, yes I do understand how you feel - my DS1 is doing much better now - much to my delight and relief he has settled in well at REception in a mainstream school - but his behaviour can still be very challenging and I have to say that spitting and headbutting are still par for the course on an average day at home. But I can see a lot of progress compared to where we were a year ago.

Best wishes, please post again with more information about him,

Dinosaur xx

mrsforgetful · 05/04/2004 22:10

Butterfly- I have 3 boys- Thomas 10 with Asperger's/ADHD ,Leigh 7 likely to be diagnosed with Asperger's and Alex 4 ....NT the moment!
I almost say that with a smile as really having 2 with 'differences' of the same type of autism has clearly shown me how there is no hard set rule of how it can present itself- so if Alex gets to 6/7yrs without concern then i will relax- but because Alex reminds me of the other 2 in lots of ways and that Leigh's difficulties really showed in the last 18mths....then I need to get past that milestone to feel he really is NT!

In addition I am probably Asperger's too- i had a terrible time growing up and fet 'odd' for years- i am treated as 'depressed' and i accept that 'label' as at least it gives me access to support via psychologist/psychiatrist etc.

My husband is 'deep' and has already had 1 son diagnosed with AS as a teenager when he was married before. point is that i understand how overwhelmed you feel- I am 'lucky' as i've said before as on the whole my kids can express themselves very well- and i feel loads of compassion for any family who's child cannot do so- however with my son's great verbal skills come rudeness and insults....and other people expect so much more from my boys than they can give- people make the mistake of assuming that as they are so able in one thing then they are great at everything.

My 'struggle' at the moment is schooling for Thomas....a few months back it was my concerns about Leigh....for me next month will be something else- i go from one issue to another.

I am married but am dealing with this largely alone and feel separated.

I truly believe i live my life on a rollercoaster- and have learnt now that there is always an UP after my can be difficult to beleive that sometimes- and to be honest you need to experience an UP to be able to look ahead.

Keep posting on here- this is like a diary where you can 'say it as you feel' and sometimes you can just read someone elses description and feel empathy.

It helps!

Take care

Eulalia · 06/04/2004 21:37

Yes I feel like this often and seem to be shouting at my ds (age 4.8) quite a bit recently. He is hitting me a lot too and I am ashamed to admit I often push him away when he does this but it actaully hurts me and I feel like an abused parent! I don;t feel like I am handling him the best way but it is hard as I am with him so much of the time. I think it will be easier when he is at school. sorry this isn;t helping you at all. I do think that autistic kids do go through bad patches and it does get better as they get older and understand more.

Hope things improve soon

ButterflyInGlassMaze · 07/04/2004 00:12

Thank you all so much for taking the time to read and respond. It means a lot to me.

School. James does have a statement. He has 2 LSPs - one mon & tues, the other wed - fri. He's only doing half day as his behaviour's been so bad the SENCO said it'd be best for everyone to cut them. I agreed even though I feel they should be trying more with him. The reception class teacher even said to me, "I don't think he belongs here". The fact that she was smiling about this really hurt. I think she just wants an easy life.
I've visited another school which has a special unit for autistic children, but I'm still undecided as to whether it would be a good move. Would he be picking up the more negative behaviours as opposed to the positive, "normal" ones? It's so hard.

My family have been as good as I can expect them to be. I feel lucky that I have them for support and of course, there's more than just me for James to interact with which is great, but at times, I can see it's pretty tiring for them, too - what with the noise, mess and broken things.

I've noticed that children laughing and making general noise can sometimes unnerve him. Even on the television. If we're out, he'll cover his ears and say "Go now" and want to leave. It's babies in particular crying/screaming. I don't know how to get around this.

He's a very loving child, but children are very wary of him - see him as an aggressor as his playing seems to be chasing them then pushing/wrestling/general roughness. Do I let him do this, do I stop it? I so want him to mix with others, but I'm afraid. One of my friends has a baby and I dare not take him there anymore - had two serious incidents. There are no words to express how awful I felt.
He was in a shop with his grandma on saturday playing with a toy, a little boy about 3 came to play and James pushed him over. The boy's father went to hit James. Grandma had to get in the middle. Grandma desperately tried to explain about his autism and was bombarded with abuse. It's so heartbreaking.

All of these things are so difficult to deal with. I know it's not his fault and that he can't help the way he is.. he's so sweet and cheeky and funny... and I feel bad for feeling so bad, if you know what I mean.

He's been taking Eye-Q for 4 months now. He's had good weeks as well as bad so I can't really gauge the success of it.

I would love to know more about social stories.
I would love to know how you all cope.
Talk to me, please.

Thanks again for reading. I hope I haven't insulted your eyes too much.
Love to you and yours

OP posts:
Eulalia · 07/04/2004 09:21

Hi Butterfly. Sounds like you are having a rough time just now.

Firstly I cannot believe that that man went to hit your child. How horrendous. I have never been in that situation but sometimes when I can see that the "he is autistic" speech isn't going to work I just say "he has a mental health problem" which people seem to understand better. I do feel that these aren't the right words as autism is more than that but sometimes simplicity works with people who don't know and frankly don't care. Of course then you get the problem of "well he shouldn't be out and about then, hurting others..." I did fall out with a friend of mine when her boy was aged 2.5 and ds was in the habit of pushing him. She made a big fuss and said that ds was a danger etc etc. In actuality he'd only pushed him a couple of times on our last outing together and the boy had only fallen on his bum. Hardly a danger. If your boy is just a bit more aggressive than the average child then I'd not worry. My ds tends to be rough but finds the boundaries hard to deal with, eg when in the swimming pool he splashes and flaps and if anyone is nearby he won;t notice, also tends to jump into ball pits and not noitce if someone is actually there so may jump on top of htem. My only way of coping is to just be besdie him as much as possible to prevent events. Also I will say to another parent (if s/he looks understanding). "Please watch your child near ds" I have to do this as I have dd to keep an eye on too. by the sounds of things my ds was like yours about a year ago and he did get better with younger kids. I do think that autistic kids find toddlers ie 18 months to about 3 difficult to understand as they are unpredictable and often aggressive themselves. Better to just keep him away from them. I am not worrying too much just now about ds making friends and socialising, just keeping him out of trouble! Often explaining to the kids themselves does help, as they can be amazingly accommodating.

I don't know about social stories as we've not used them. There is a workshop here soon but it is in the evening and I find it hard to leave the kids. Also I feel ds doesn't respond well to them. He finds it hard to connect the abstract to the reality of a situation. The road training they did at school seemed to be quickly forgotten. I am sure others here on this board can help though.

Regarding school I would say go for specialist school as he seems to be finding NT children hard to deal with. You can always see how he goes into mainstream later, maybe secondary school. I have also visited a secondary with a SEN unit and they said they had the SEN kids with the NT ones as much as possible (ie were assigned to a class together) but only moved into the SEN unit when they needed support. So there would be lots of integration.

Better go - am writing an essay and ds and dd are in the shower...

Hope that helps

Eulalia · 07/04/2004 09:25

Sorry that should read "I have also visited a mainstream school with a SEN unit"

dinosaur · 07/04/2004 09:55

Butterfly that's awful, your poor DS and poor Grandma, I know my mum just dreads ever getting in a situation like this with my DS and steers him away from other kids if they are out anywhere, which is sad. I really feel for you, I know what it is like to be on the receiving end of the disapproval.

You can get little cards from the National Autistic Society which say on them something along the lines of "This young person has autism. Please be patient and bear with us" and then a very brief explanation of autism - I only got them quite recently and in fact have only used one once, but found it a lot easier than actually saying it out loud, which I thought would make me cry! (Although afterwards I was all worried and posted a message on here asking other people if they thought I'd overreacted!)

If it is any encouragement, my DS1 used to be much worse with younger children than he is now, but like you say he really does not like younger children crying/screaming and sometimes still reacts very badly if my younger son cries (although other times he tries to "comfort" him, so he is learning). But unfortunately, as Eulalia says, there is not much you can do except make sure that you or another adult who is able to cope with him is close by his side and able to restrain him if he does try to do something to another child. Obviously you want to encourage his desire to mix with other children. Can you enlist the help of any sympathetic mums who could invite you and him round to play with their children? I have found that gradually encouraging my son to mix with and build up friendships with a small number of nt children has helped him a lot. He used to get terribly over-stimulated and freaked out if we went to something like an indoor play centre or ball pit, so we just left those activities alone for about 18 months and concentrated on very small play sessions with one or two other children. He recently went back to an indoor play centre for the first time since 2002 and I was very pleased at how well he did.

Social stories - I have the Carol Gray book of social stories which I do not really use any more and would be so glad to post to you if you send me a message via contact another talker. They are a bit simplistic but will be enough to give you the general idea. Also I will dig out the material on social stories that we did on the NAS Help! course and could photocopy that and send it to you, although not until next week as I am now out of the office until after EAster.

Are you in touch with any other parents of autistic children who live locally? It can be a great help to spend time with other parents who are dealing with the same issues, and perhaps most importantly, who will not judge your child because he does not conform to their norms.

Above all, please don't despair, you are not alone, there are lots of parents out there in similar situations, please do keep posting and get in touch with me via contact another talker.



coppertop · 07/04/2004 12:01

Butterfly - Your poor mum, having to face that horrible man. What a terrible example he must be setting to his own child too.

We are just starting to use Social Stories. At the moment we're working on cutting down on ds1's rituals and routines so that it doesn't take so long to do relatively simple things. Our first story is being drafted at the moment by our speech therapist (SALT). My job is to take some specific photos of ds1 as goes through his bedtime routine. At the moment this takes 1.5hrs to go through so we're hoping a Social Story will cut this down a lot.

Ds1 is also very sensitive to noise. He hears a lot of frequencies that most people don't. A so-called 'silent' dog-whistle being blown will make him scream. He's getting used to the sound of crying as his little brother is only 14mths old, but other noises still make him put his hands over his ears and say "Too noisy".

He used to be really passive around other children but now fights back if anyone pushes him or hits him. The problem is that he's quite big for his age and is very strong too. I've been on the receiving end of some of his punches and kicks and I know how much they hurt!

I have no experience of schools yet. Ds1 is due to start at a mainstream school in September. We are lucky that his teachers are interested in helping him and getting everything into place before he starts. The Head has even offered to come and visit us at home when he starts school! (I'll have to do lots of tidying-up first though! ).

How do I cope? The simple answer is that some days I don't. The holidays started last week for us and have been an absolute nightmare so far. Ds1 seems a little calmer today but the change in routine has affected him badly. Yesterday I felt like picking up ds2 and just leaving ds1 to get on with it. Ds2 and I have been punched, kicked and bitten this week. Even dh has been kicked and punched, when usually ds1 is a real daddy's boy. I get through it knowing that no matter how bad things are, the next day might be better. The good days more than make up for the bad.

Keep posting.

Eulalia · 07/04/2004 12:10

coppertop - feel a bit better after reading your post as our ds's are the same age aren't they? my ds seems to be really difficult at the moment for some reason. He was fine for awhile and I felt his 'mild' diagnosis was a good one. The last week or so he has been much more autistic and I am finding it hard to cope at the moment.

Gosh this is turning into a sad club. Helps to write it down though I guess.

coppertop · 07/04/2004 13:28

Eulalia - Yes I think our children are similar ages. I know what you mean about how they seem to change. During the last week of playgroup before the holidays ds1's autism seemed to be so mild that he could almost pass for NT. This week he's been so impossible to cope with that I haven't dared to leave the house for the past few days. The annoying thing is that I know he would really benefit from going to the park for a while but he's been so unpredictable that I just can't risk it by myself.

Oh well...I suppose at least we can all feel depressed together!

Thomcat · 08/04/2004 09:56

Butterflyinglasssmaze - Just welled up at work reading this thread.
My daughter doesn't have autism so I can't relate to a lot of what you are saying. She has Down's syndrome so I can relate to some of the things you say and the overall feeling of your posts.

I don't really know what to say to you. Other mothers here will be able to help you much more.
I see Coppertop, Dinosaur and Eulia have all posted to you, but there's still Davros & JimJams to come, so lots of mothers who you can share advice with, and lots of support from not only the mothers on mumsnet with children with autism but all sorts of special needs.

I wish there were more I could say. Lottie is only two and her special needs haven't realy come to light yet iykwim. She's not yet walking or standing and only has about 50 or so words but that's nothing to complaon about. I sometimes feel like a fraud on the SN section and certainly don't feel qualified to give you advice of any sort. i just wanted to reply and say that I do feel for you and show my support by posting.

TC xx

artistmum · 08/04/2004 14:39

Hi Butterfly and friends

I know this feeling well. My son is AS/High Functioning Autistic, and nearly 6. Sometimes knowing that going out will involve lots of apologies and explanations and looks from other people, means we end up staying home instead.

As he is getting older, the differences between him and NT kids are becoming more obvious. Other people find it impossible to understand that although he has a very sophisticated understanding of the world around him, and excels in IT, science, geography & history (KS2-3, I would estimate), he has the social skills of a toddler. He is totally unaware of basic things like people saying hello or goodbye - only responds if I make him aware that someone is greeting him - even if that person is standing right next to him, he just doesn't notice.

I've left a message for his child development paediatrician, requesting an appointment/referral to the local behavioural unit, because I want new thoughts on curbing his destructiveness. Its depressing to try and create a nice home, only to have him destroy everything in sight. Also, a lot of the time, it's like he has a child's version of manic depression, he's either ecstatic - lots of handflapping, bouncing around, running in circles, leaping off things, and shouting OR miserably depressed - floods of tears and tantrums & aggression over slights that are often imaginary. Social Stories don't seem to work on him - he'll listen, agree an appropriate course of action in various situations, but in practice, he never does any of the things suggested. Just doesn't seem able to make the leap between theory and practice.

He likes being around other children, so I took him to a council-run playscheme yesterday, which he was very excited about, because he said he wanted to play with the other kids. When we got there he turned his back on them, and played with a farm set by himself. It was like he was there, they were there, but there was an invisible, soundproofed wall seperating them.

Observing him from a little way away, it strengthened my resolve that if he ever goes back to school, it will be a MLD/SEN unit of some kind, not a mainstream class. When he's with SEN kids he just seems to interact so much better with them than NT kids.

Eulalia · 08/04/2004 16:01

We have got headshaking at the moment which is new and very hyper behaviour. His speech seems to be better but this just means that he can bark orders out at me more easily now Also he asks me to say things, just stupid phrases usually and sometimes even just noises. However he is doing lots of "what's that?" which is normal, but trying to get him to understand that I need more info than that is very difficult. I am just supposed to know what 'THAT' is, often it can be a noise for example....

Whoops don't want to turn this into a moan thread. Sorry for hyjacking it butterfly - how are things with you now?


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Jimjams · 09/04/2004 14:38

Butterfly- hi.

I have an autistic son who is non-verbal and in mainstream school. He's been doing half days and will gradully up to full days over the next term (he's in reception). I chose not to send him to the autism unit as our local one is pretty crap and he would not have been given 1 to 1 which in my opinion is essential. He has full time one to one in mainstream school and I do like the fact he has positive role models (not that he takes much notice of them ) School is working for us, but his mainstream school has been very good and accomodating and flexible.

As for the agressive stuff we've started to have that a bit (pinching mainly) but mostly his little brother. He does scream a bit and gets funny looks for weird stuff he does.

Do you have a group of friends with autistic children. Being able to mix with the auti world makes life 100 times easily. We've just been camoing for a week and I am quite pleased to be away from the NT world again. Had my fill of it for the moment

Welcome to mumsnet anyway.

InternationalGirl · 12/04/2004 21:21

Hi everyone:
I am new here but thought I would just share a little too. I have been observing the threads for a few days and think it is wonderful how you are all so supportive of each other. I feel like I already know some of you already. I can definitely relate to some of you - especially those with young ones with autism.

My dd has just turned 4 at the beginning of March and was recently confirmed as having autism. We had suspected this for awhile and had been monitoring her behaviour and now that we have a more confirmed diagnosis it is making understanding her behaviour and lack of language/communication a little easier for us. We have realised that nowadays there are so many more resources available for families with kids with autism. She has just in the last couple of months decided that a good way to get attention is to pull hair, spill your drink (if you are holding one) and - when with other children - push them. No matter what you say she just doesn't 'get' that it is not appropriate behaviour.

Some days are good, some days are not. I have sat on the bus on the way into work with tears welling up as I wonder if we are doing the 'right' thing (whatever that is). I have found that arming ourselves with information and having someone 'who knows' to talk with really helps.

I know it is exhausting being a parent of a child with autism as they can be so unpredictable. Sometimes simplifying things and getting excited about the little things makes a lot of difference for us like 'she said a new word today' or 'we had success on the potty'- YAY!!

I can't believe I rambled on for so long...

Butterfly - you have a great little boy who is special and sometimes makes you smile. Keep posting it really helps to know you are not alone.

Take care.

coppertop · 12/04/2004 21:32

InternationalGirl - Welcome to Mumsnet.

This is a great place for support. It's where I come to have a rant (done a bit too much of that lately!), have a laugh, and also to 'meet' other people who understand why it's such a big deal when your 3yr-old points at something they want to share with you.

The day ds1 uses a potty/toilet will be a very happy day in the House of Coppertop!

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