Its New Years Eve


So its News Years Eve and traditionally this is a time were bloggers look back over the last 12 months and write about all of the things that have happened that year.

I don’t really want to do that, it has been a long year, there have been some good times and some challenging times, we finally got his proper, real, written in black and white, official diagnosis of autism. Which helped with school and his statement but made very little difference to us and our day-to-day life.

We went on holiday to Lanzarote, K’s first time on a plane, and with lots of distractions, calpol & ibuprofen (for his ears) and his ear defenders he got through the flight and really enjoyed the holiday.

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We went to Wales and it rained.

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My daughter had her prom and she looked amazing! (I know I am biazed)

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So that’s it, my very short post about the last year. There are so many other things that I could post about, so many more pictures that I could put up.

Time to look forward to the next year and see what it has to bring, we will be going to Wales again and no doubt it will rain, it always does.

I’m sure that it will be just as challenging as the last year but hopefully it will also be filled with fun.

So I have just one more thing to say

HAPPY NEW YEAR

 

 

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Bedtime


We have decided that we should let K stay up later on a night, he is constantly getting up early and we think that one of the reasons that he is getting up so early is because he is going to bed so early. He is getting older and he needs less sleep than he did.

I have written before about his bedtime routine and how solid it is, how hard it is to change/move anything, so we were expecting a battle.

We did a bit of research (asked google) and found that a child of 6 needs between 10 and 11 hours a night (nhs choices), we generally need him up at 7 for school so decided that moving his bedtime from 7 to 8 might be a good move for him.

It should help him sleep slightly later (hopefully to 7 again) and also give me a bit more time on a night after school to fit in his reading etc, which can be a real challenge some nights.

We had a little chat with him and told him that we were going to let him stay up until 8 from now on, he didn’t look too apprehensive but we knew that it would be when it happened that he would  be concerned.

Night 1, by 7.30 he was sat next to me on the couch looking sad at me, but we made it to 8pm, at 8pm we went through the usual routine.

Morning 1, still up at 4am! 5am! 6am! and then finally 7am when we gave in and got up with him.

Night 2 (last night), he was tired and by 6.30pm he was sat looking very tired on the couch, in his PJ’s, but we stuck to it and at 8pm I took him to bed and we did his normal bedtime routine.

Morning 2, slept to 6.45am, and then went back over until 7.30am

We are hoping that now Christmas is gone and he is more settled that he will generally sleep better, and the slightly later bedtime will also mean that he sleeps later.

We also expect that he will take a couple of weeks to fully adjust with some good nights and some bad ones in there.

So far though, other than looking sleepy at me he hasn’t been to grumpy.

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Christmas Eve/ Early Morning…


Christmas day started at 11.30pm on Christmas eve when we had to bring K downstairs and show him that Santa had been and that he could sleep now without any anxiety.

He had been crying for a while and was getting very stressed so we decided that this might be a better way of dealing with it than letting him get increasingly upset, which would have ended up with him being a tired, grouchy boy all day on Christmas day.

He was very happy when he saw his presents and went back to bed ok, I was worried that he would refuse to go back to bed and we would end up having to open all of the presents. He didn’t sleep great for the rest of the night, but rather than been upset he was excited about what was downstairs.

We did quite well though we didn’t actually get up and come downstairs until 6.40am, He went and got his sister out of bed before coming down and waited patiently for her to be ready to go downstairs.

Opening the presents was good, he managed them all himself for the first time bringing each one to me before putting the rubbish in a bin bag and moving on to the next one.

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Christmas is about this..


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Both kids sat happily on the floor making minecraft characters together, both happy, both quiet and both having fun.

This special family time is priceless

Christmas Eve Bedtime


Tonight it is Christmas eve and we made the decision not to make a fuss out of it, not to do the whole stocking, mince pie, carrot, not to even mention Santa coming.

K has been so stressed and anxious about it that we decided that rather than add to his anxiety by going through the whole routine that most kids love we would just do a normal bedtime for him.

This was clearly much better for him as he settled really quickly without any problems at all, I am sure that we will be up in the night with him as we have been the last few nights but hopefully by not highlighting the fact that tonight is the night that the big man comes he will be less anxious and sleep better.

I on the other hand really struggled with it, I desperately want him to be excited, to look forward to tomorrow, to want Santa to come, to be happy and ready for the day like other children, I want him to do the routine and for it to be part of our Christmas.

But he can’t do that, its just not good for him.

I am sure that he will still be happy in the morning when he sees his pressies and he is looking forward to Mash for his dinner (his favourite).

 

Christmas can be hard work


Christmas can be hard work when you have a child with Autism in the house, the change in routine, the pressure to be happy, Santa, Decorations making the house look different and all the additional Christmas activities that are going on both in and out of school lead to a very anxious and stressful time for some.

K was doing really well, he likes the decorations and helped put up the tree, he loves the lights, he loves all kinds of lights so he loves having the Christmas lights up

He loves opening his advent calendar every morning and eating the chocolate, but I am not sure if this countdown has actually added to his worry as the closer we get to Santa coming, the more stressed he is becoming.

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But the more Christmas activities he was doing at school the more stressed he seemed to be getting, the non uniform days upset him, he likes a routine and he wears a uniform to school, so a non uniform day Christmas left him confused, even though in the morning he was excited to wear his new Christmas top, after school he was unsettled and difficult.

He refused to go in at all on the day of the Christmas party, he got so upset and ended up having to go to his Grandad for the day while we were at work. Generally he hates parties anyway but I have a feeling that Santa might be invited to the school party and he is getting more and more worried and scared of Santa as the month goes on.

Then school broke up for Christmas on the 16th, and since then he has stopped sleeping, he has constantly been having meltdowns, he has stopped eating and generally he has been really really hard work.

He is stressed, he is anxious, he is worried and he doesn’t know how to deal with all of this, there are so many changes and he can’t handle it.

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So next year there are things we might do differently:

  1. Put the tree and decorations up later to give him more normality at home for longer
  2. Not take him to see Santa, this seems to have added to his stress
  3. Try and take time off work before Christmas if school break early again to enable him to stay at home instead of having to go to Grandma and Grandad’s

I am really hoping that after tonight and tomorrow when it is all done with and things can get back to normal, he will also go back to normal, we will be taking our decorations down very early and this is because he needs to get back to normal as quickly as possible.

I know that there are a lot of families out there that are going through similar things right now, so stay strong, we are on the home run, it will be over soon xx