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World autism awareness day

Today is world autism awareness day. 

 

What does that mean for me? To me it means awareness of myself. I’m self diagnosed high functioning autistic, with a nod of agreement from the Psycologist I was seeing at the time because she can’t say yes without doing the tests, but both of us knew so why spend the money..
She had recently diagnosed my daughter as high functioning autistic, and in that process Bernie and I had gone throught the symptoms and realised; that’s me, I do that, I can seen that in me, yes, yes, I used to do that, hmmmmmm, I’m seeing a pattern. 
So, I’m on the autism spectrum, so is my 12yo daughter. My wife and 9yo daughter are NTs (Neuro-Typical) a great way of saying normal when you know there is no such thing as normal..
Awareness. I’m slowly become aware of myself, my need for space and quiet. Why something as simple as someone tapping a rhythm on the table can slowly drive me to the point where if I don’t catch it in time, my volcano just explodes and it gets ugly for a while… It gets better with age, and with reading and understanding. I sometimes know the signs. Bernie knows the signs even better, and I’m learning to trust her when she says I need to stop or take a break or walk away.
Being high functioning autistic (formerly known as Aspergers, which was easily shortened to Aspie, maybe I need to try for HFA) means logically being right almost all the time. What happens when a HFA parent tries to parent a HFA child? A small war, is what. Usually with 2 meltdowns, a tired referee and scared younger child. 
What does awareness mean? It means being aware of the Autustic people you know (and might guess). It also means being aware of the NTs that look after them and surround them, love them and have their hearts broken by them. We might even be the lucky ones, we are high functioning, we speak, we can go to the toilet on our own. There are those than can not, and families that surround them and work tirelessly (more likely permanently tiredly) to look after them. 
Be aware, but not alarmed. Just love us, and give us the space we need at times. Love the ones we care about and care for us..
Have an awesome day. 
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Minecraft Party

Lizzie had her 9th Birthday on the weekend as a Minecraft party where yours truly was crazy enough to setup 8 computers (plus a server and my laptop) on the dining room table so Lizzie, Beccy and her friends could all play Minecraft together on a dedicated server.

it's not a lie...

The Cake (Closeup)


We had lots of Minecraft themed foods, with raspberry licorice as TNT, red, blue, green, yellow, brown and orange M&Ms as redstone, diamonds, slime balls, gold nuggets, coal and carrots respectively. There was also cookies, chicken (nuggets), torches (chips), sticks (fries) and of course the cake:

They had a ball, though there was some griefing at times, and the noise was a bit overwhelming for the aspi’s at some points.

We even had one of the other dads join in for “5 minutes” when he came to pick his son up.

There is a collection of further photos below.

One further addition was some signage around the house. We had the sign on the front door, as well as signs on the girl’s bedroom doors. in keeping with the warning, I setup iPods in each of the girls rooms, plugged into a dock/speakers, playing Skeleton and Zombie sound effects through the respective web pages. The Zombie’s worked much better, they just have better sound effects.

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Back on the air again.

It’s been so long, it’s almost “hello world” again. Since the last post I/we have worked frantically to get the caravan ready for out big trip, discovered Minecraft, had Christmas in Lakes Entrance, Travelled over 4500km with the caravan up the east coast of VIC and NSW, did some QLD theme parks, spent a few days with family near the Australia Zoo, and travelled back through the centre of NSW and Victoria in 38 degree heat. Then it was back to work, playing Minecraft, deciding to put the house on the market, decluttering, throwing stuff out, decluttering some more, cleaning, throwing more crap out and cleaning some more until finally just under an hour ago we’ve had the photos taken so the property can go on the market in a week or so.

In amongst that, I’ve been mentally up and down rather a lot, and mostly down, or at least too exhausted to feel up to any sort of blogging, so here we are. Easter has been and gone for another year, though it’s only early April.. no look at that’ its almost mid April, the year has flown by, even the kids are saying so.

I’ll try and keep the posts more frequent, I promise.

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Larmenier

The Next step in Beccy’s Aspergers journey has been her enrolment at a second School, Larmenier in Hampton (55Km each way from home) four days per week. Larmenier is designed as a school for children with social and behavioural issues, and is currently about 32 students for the whole school, which is slightly bigger than Bec’s normal class size. Larmenier class size seems to be about 6-8 students. They do all the normal work, plus lots of social skilling, and fun subjects like science, cooking, and probably more computer work than the average Mainstream School. The process is well organised and Beccy will be spending her Tuesdays at SPJ and then Travelling about 1.5 hours each way to school Mon, Wed, Thurs & Fri.

Today was her second day, and things have gone really well so far. She has made friends with the two other girls in the school, and made Hamburgers for lunch today in the cooking class. The travel has been a drain (on us all) and Bec tends to snooze a lot of the way home.

It looks like we have found a little office to work from in a strip of shops nearby, allowing us to setup a satellite Tech Doctor office and work during the day, rather than travelling back and forth twice.

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Aspergers Diagnosis

In March, Beccy was formally diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome a form of High Functioning Autism which, to paraphrase Wikipedia results in a lack of nonverbal communication skills, limited empathy with their peers, and sometimes a tendency towards being physically clumsy.

During the diagnosis process, we learnt a lot about Asperger’s, and I have now put myself in the category of Self Diagnosed Asperger’s.

What does it mean? Mainly that I know now, why I do some of the things that I do, why big family (or other) gatherings can be overwhelming (massive over stimulation, particularly auditory), why parenting Beccy can often lead to a meltdown in both of us (you cant win an argument with an Aspi, so 2 of them arguing is a recipe for disaster).

I’m sure there will be more to come.

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