This morning we had a lazy morning, which included her lining up the coins from her piggy bank. I was taken aback at how many coins were in there, especially silver ones! So I asked her where they come from. Her answer… the floor or the kitchen (counter). I am going to have to have another talk with her about taking cartoon literally when it comes to the ‘finders keepers’ rule!
So we chilled, had lunch and went to play at the special needs clubhouse. It is worth mentioning again that as it is still the summer holidays, the clubhouse is open to anybody, special needs or not.. which is good. They have signs up in places saying ‘Remember if a child seems naughty they may have autism’, which at least gives people a clue that some of the children there might not exactly be great with the unwritten rules of social interaction.
Although dinky has no diagnosis it generally doesn’t take long for people to realise that she is one of the ‘seems naughty but has special needs’ kids. Today was no different.
Today there was a girl who was nearly 7. She was a superstar! She let Dinky boss her around and direct her as to which character in Ice Age 4 she was. (Note Social interaction in the picture above… ’limited range of imaginative activities, possibly copied and pursued rigidly and repetitively’. This is the go to game in any social situation for Dinky during the holiday)
Luckily the girl had seen ice age so could not only play the part but knew what was happening, which made it flow really well. I was worried at one point that Dinky was being far too controlling of this girl. I was ready with the timetable in my mind and gave dinky a 20 minute warning for leaving.
The girl’s dad came into the soft play area with his 2 year old son. Cue Dinky’s difficulties with social interaction, not as in a lack of social interaction, pretty much the opposite is true!
Dinky was getting over excited and then did what she does with some men (which is not good!), she jumped on the Dad’s head!
I don’t think I have been that red for some time! Ok, the other week when she said I had stolen her was pretty embarrassing!
I mean, what am I to do? I apologised profusely, while trying to peel her off the bemused father! She kept going back! I had to explain that she isn’t quite there yet with her understanding of the norms of social interaction. He seemed ok with that, but he still didn’t know what to do with this child randomly jumping all over him.
So I whipped her out. I fought to get her shoes on as she didn’t want to leave. Getting more and more stressed by the sudden change in activities, she went into meltdown. Hitting and spitting. I had to allow her to get it out, it wasn’t a major meltdown, but she had no control of herself. When she was calmer, I tried to get her moving again. She had gone into extreme demand avoidance mode. Skilled as PDA kids are in finding unique ways of avoiding demands, Dinky decides that she has to go on the rocking horse first. The director of activities for the groups was in that room and it was a struggle to get her out. Try as she might to help, she only made it worse.
Eventually I got her to leave, although I had to pick her up and walk her across the road as I couldn’t risk her deciding as she had on the pavement to sit and refuse to move. It was at the bus stop she burst into tears and asked for hugs.
We got the bus to Pizza hut and had dinner out. Not as a reward for her behaviour, obviously, but because it was already planned and I already had one bite mark, changing the plan would have resulted in meltdown, and she was still very much on the verge of another.
This came at swimming.
Dinky started swimming lessons a few months ago, after a few weeks of her getting bored and misbehaving on the sides, I allowed her to sit on the steps to the small pool. The rule is move off them and it is time to leave. As much as she doesn’t do rules, this is one she has stuck to in order to escape sitting next to me and waiting.
The last few weeks she has been pushing the limit. Today she went over the top and jumped into the small pool and frightened a baby, who couldn’t have been older than 6 months! So I had no option but to pull her out of the pool for the baby’s safety (Plus, I was getting murderous looks from the mum and dad!). She was not impressed cue meltdown… biting, punching and screaming.
Like most mums of children having a meltdown (NOT to be mistaken with a tantrum!)
I am getting used to the staring and the tuts of those who do not see the difference. She was still crying as it was time to start her lesson and was finding it hard to calm down in order to begin. She did well tough and took herself off and was signing to herself, which is her way of calming herself.
Eventually she got into the pool and I went to sit at the parents seats. She enjoyed her swim, and got out fine, however was in no mood to dress herself.
In the cab she completed the trio of social impairments by completely misunderstanding the joke from the cab driver as she is too literal.
That is enough for me for one day…
tomorrow we are off to the local autism support picnic in the park. Should be interesting!