Preschooler

The Four-nado

The Four-nado

This week, the little miss turns four. Reflecting on the last four years and how much things have changed is a bittersweet exercise. She’s definitely a four-nado.

From day one she’s been a child that goes against all odds. I call her my impossible girl because there has been so much that has happened that she shouldn’t have been with us (also because she does share a birthday with an important event in Doctor Who history and one of the companions).

This year, we saw her start school and get her autism spectrum diagnosis. She travelled to visit her grandparents and enjoyed a summer with them.

She is flourishing. She is blossoming. She is amazing. She loves space, and rockets. She loves unicorns. She loves her Nana and Grampy and loves her Grampy’s motorcycle.

I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Even if I want to pause things so I can hold her tight for just a little bit longer before she gets embarrassed by me.

Autism Awareness Acceptance

Adventures in Autism

I’ve been putting this entry off for a while, because I’ve needed time to digest, to sit and actually feel the emotions that come with this.

The little miss has been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. I know I shouldn’t be surprised, because there is a large genetic component and as her father is on the spectrum (Aspergers), as well as other family members. But it did surprise me. I’m not going to lie. It surprised me for the fact that, as one of her speech-language therapists put it, there is no hard fast line that divides ADHD and ASD from each other. They are a Venn diagram. They overlap and it is entirely possible to be diagnosed with both. The treatment for a lot of the ASD issues is the same as ADHD issues.

Another component of what “surprised” me is dealing with my own educational trauma. I did not have a good childhood when it came to school. I was bright, but flighty. I was labeled as Bart Simpson before he existed (an underachiever and proud of it). Now I know I’ve got a high IQ (genius level, which means sweet eff all in reality other than I can rock standardised tests), ADHD, dyscalculia and a variant of hyperlexia. But the hell on earth I went through damn near dimmed my love of learning. It certainly has had knock on effects in my life. So when being told that my daughter, who by all measures is an intelligent, funny, loving child, has a developmental disorder… it sat me back on my heels and right back into a time where I was being physically bullied.

I’m dealing with that. I’ve talked to my doctors about it, and we’re taking it one step at a time. We are advocating hard for her, her father and I, and we’re not letting autism be the label that defines her when there are so many other things that she is. We’re letting her be our tour guide into her world. She has come leaps and bounds in a short time. I know I’m biased, but she is amazing. I see her grow and change every day. I hope her future is as amazing as she is.

two young children splashing, swimming, happy in a pool

Swimming-ly Summer

Its finally summer again.

While I’m not a huge fan of the hot weather, I enjoy watching the little miss get out in her pool and go “swimming”. Right now that’s something that I enjoy. I can even get my feet in the pool and splash a bit with her.

I didn’t learn to swim until I was almost 7. I had been in swimming lessons off and on before then, but I learned to swim in a family friend’s backyard pool. It happened almost as a fluke.

So watching her go “swimming” and learning the basics that I always felt overwhelmed in a class setting to learn makes my heart sing, and I’m more than happy to go out back and play in the pool.

I’m hoping that next year we’ll have a “real” pool out back. Even if it’s one of the inflatable ones. Swimming is good for the health issues that I have, and spending time outside is always a good thing.

Sadly, I’ve not been around for a long time, and it’s because things have been busy. We’re going to health appointments, we’re doing our therapy exercises. Life is good, but life is running by at a racer’s pace and I’ve had a hard time keeping up even with my normal website stuff.

But as the summer goes along, we’re going to have more to talk about. That’s always a good thing.

So stay happy, stay hydrated.

Just keep swimming!