Our trip to Chessington world of adventures

 

Chessington World of Adventures

Chessington World of Adventures (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Yesterday we went to Chessington world of adventures, and I have to say it was a good day overall. As british summer dictates, it was chucking down when we left the house.

Dinky did very well at getting dressed and getting ready to go. It was much less of a battle then we would have normally have had. My dad was coming with us and created his own drama while I was sorting Dinky. We got a cab to the station and dinky was playing with her ipod on the platform to keep herself calm. She noticed two girls, one was roughly the same age and the other was slightly younger. Dinky put her music on loudish and walked up to the girl that was about the same age and she put her face an inch away from her and shouted “have you heard this one?”

I instantly apologise in reaction to the shock on the mother’s face. She looked at Dinky like there was something ‘wrong’ with her. Then I got annoyed as she pulled her child away. Dinky just wanted to talk to her daughter, she wasn’t doing anything wrong, she just does that when the surroundings are noisy or if a child doesn’t respond immediately. Fortunately our train arrived and I managed to get dinky to another carriage, as she would have tried and tried to talk to them with the mother pulling faces.

Dinky was good on the train with my dad, they were playing angry birds. When we had to change trains that’s when we hit the first meltdown of the day. We had to switch at one of the busiest train stations in London. There was lots of people, lots of fast trains, trains stopping, whistles, and shouting. Dinky started spinning around y dad and he got annoyed so she stopped and then she asked for a snack, my dad snapped a her and she started screaming and hitting. I tried to calm her down. She calmed enough to be just head butting my hip. She then started saying the same words over and over again. My dad again asked her to stop and I had to remind him that this train station is full of new and loud noises. That dinky may seem ‘normal’ but these things bother her more than he realises, more than I realise sometimes. So he let her dangle off him as long as she promised to stay close and keep her wrist reins on.

When we got on the second train she was very anxious, this came out in her saying the same things over and over and asking silly questions. When we got off we had to walk to the entrance which took about 15 minutes. I had printed out our tickets which meant we skipped the long queue for tickets! We scanned in and found our way to AS (guest services). It was empty. Dad tried to keep dinky entertained while I sorted out her ride access pass due to her inability to queue up. If I am honest, if she didn’t qualify for it we wouldn’t have gone.

Meltdown number 2. Dinky was getting more and more agitated with waiting. Also on the way she saw a ride and asked the man if she was big enough. I didn’t see and hear all that was going on as I was trying to sort out the Access pass, but the gist of it was that the man tried to measure her which she didn’t want. He told her she wasn’t big enough when he did manage to do so. Then she wouldn’t wear the height checked wristband. The guy was great. He tried to help and when it didn’t work he backed off then found a way around it. Dinkys wrist reins then had the wrist band on. She calmed a little with simba, the only problem was that I now needed her to wear a wrist band for the ride access. I tried to make it really appealing and said that it was a cool colour and meant no lining up! She wasn’t happy but agreed to wear it.

The staff all around the park were great, very accommodating and really happy to help. we went on all the little kiddie rides where the car, boat, dragon goes round and round a track. My dad and I took turns on these as they are boring as anything, but Dinky loved them! We used the ride access and it made such a massive difference to her and us. The rides were great as they had a definite ending and dinky wasn’t exactly always great at getting off them, but it wasn’t a big deal. We did have more of an issue with the soft play house and the canopy as they had no ending.

Another issue was the new ride Zufari. Despite the ride access pass we still had to wait for a while. Dinky was very anxious as she couldn’t see the ride, or what was supposed to be going on as we were in a room with a tv which didn’t work. In the end it wasn’t that great. There were a few animals, and then we ended up going into a cave and back to the beginning. It really wasn’t worth the hassle of queuing for.

The staff were fantastic when Dinky wanted to meet the Moshi monsters. They didn’t have an access rule, but I asked if she could meet them, but said that she probably wouldn’t be able to manage the queues. The staff were great, they whizzed her in to meet them and dinky felt very special! It was really nice.

 

Dinky went on her first rollercoaster! The vampire. She went on three times and loved it. Dinky is one for rough and tumble and likes to be thrown around, so this ride was perfect for her! she did really well.

To be honest she did really well the whole day. I wasn’t expecting a meltdown free day. We let her choose where she wanted to go, what she wanted to do, what she wanted to eat. All in all it was a great day out.
Meltdowns 6, 7 and 8 happened on the way home. I didn’t expect any different really.

We all had a lovely day and have lots of pictures and mementos to show for it! Not even the rain spoilt our first real summer day holiday outing!

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Settling into the holidays

There is a popular saying amongst the autism spectrum world

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This includes PDA. While many children with PDA do not like routine, Dinky thrives off of it, well, as long as it doesn’t involve writing or ‘work’!
She is much calmer when she knows what is going to happen next. The problem is, despite her obvious dislike of school, it was a routine she was used to. 5 days at school and 2 days at home. It takes time for her to change her routine to just home. I purposely haven’t booked activities since the end of school, because dinky needs adjusting time. This is why she has been a whirlwind of low level annoyance since she broke up.

Saturday saw Dinky use wet tissue to throw at the tiles in the bathroom, practice putting her face on the water in the sink, using her bath crayons to draw on the tiles, stuff Cheerios for later down the side of the sofa, play loudly next to the poor guinea pigs, keep putting food in their bowl, shoving their toys at them, hang upside down from the sofa, throw toys from the top of the stairs, use tipex as glue for her holiday homework diary, run up and down the stairs and draw a map on my dining table.

I’m sure I’m missing stuff out. Not all of it was necessarily bad, just low level nuisance. It’s the stuff she shouldn’t be doing that she knows she should do, but does it any way that irritates me. Just because I know hat it isn’t really her fault, it doesn’t mean I am able to shut out how irritating it is!

Although saying that yesterday and today have been much better. She has been calmer and not so much of a whirlwind. I think she is settling now. It doesn’t take long, and I guess I am lucky it doesn’t.
She is looking forward to a number of things that we have planned over the next 5 and a half weeks. We have been to soft play today, and we are off to chessington world of adventures tomorrow with my dad.
It has taken all day today to get my laptop exchanged! But now that it has I can get into visual aid pictures for the holidays for dinky!

She hasn’t been as violent lately which is a bonus. We still have spitting, but no hitting! I’m sure that wont last very long but it is nice. Dinky has also rearranged the wall stickers in her room.

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It is amazing how much the autism traits come out when she isn’t fighting everything all the time. She has had pretty much nothing to fight against since she broke up. We haven’t had to be anywhere at a predetermined time so she has been getting ready at her own pace. Also picking her own clothes is something she enjoys. Unless she feels she has to, then I pick the clothes, she tells me she doesn’t like them and picks her own anyway.
Control is key.
I’m finding I am getting better at finding ways of making her think things are her idea. Or making them very appealing. If I told dinky her melatonin was for sleep, she would never in a million years touch the stuff. She is not sick so won’t take it if I say it will make her better. The third option is parent lie. I tell her they are vitamins that make her big and strong. She wants to be big, so takes it happily everyday (as long as she gets a biscuit or yoghurt too).

So things have been smooth (ish) so far.

Long may it continue. Although I think it maybe too much to hope for with tomorrow’s trip! Fingers crossed!

Days 1&2 of the summer holidays

Yesterday wasn’t too bad. Firstly she has woken up at 5am both days. The little moments were mostly my fault yesterday, I took Dinky to currys to try and get a new laptop.
She started getting uppity so I left it. (Not that I had much choice mind!)
I then took her to get 2 guinea pigs…

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Cute little things, but she was a pickle at the pet shop. She wanted to see the fish. I’m starting to think I’m a bit late on picking up on the fact that her liking for animals is getting a little bit obsessional. Should have twigged at the sigh of the teacher every morning when dinky pulls the animal box out and tips it on the floor. Anyway, she started to get a bit anxious and began rearranging the shelves, putting things back where they belong. Which was fine, until she thought one of the mixes didn’t have enough nuts so put a massive scoop of nuts in.
When we were waiting outside for the taxi, Dinky hid in one of the dog kennels. Well, at least she was safe from the cars.
We got home and dinky was excited. She helped me to put the wood chip in and she put the hay and nuggets in, even filled the water bottle! She wanted to hold them. She was very gentle.
She did kick off over not being able to hold them again. Kicking and punching, but I managed to get her to calm eventually.

Today was, well, one of thooooose days.
We had to wait in for a sky engineer and she just didn’t know what to do with herself. She didn’t want me to play with her. She wanted to crash round the living room but was scaring the new little guinea pigs.
She read the book on guinea pigs and was telling me all the facts about them, what they can at and what they can’t. She was just popping in and back out again all day. As usual the engineer came out in the last hour they were supposed to come. We then went to the shop as Dinky HAD to get the guinea’s some carrots and broccoli as ours is frozen and they needed fresh vegetables. She was a bit of a pickle getting ready and going but she enjoyed being the authority in vegetables, I asked her if there was anything she thought we needed at home. She did really well actually.
Well until the way home. Managed to swing her round by distracting her with a Tottenham fan! (For those not in the know we are arsenal football club fans. Tottenham are our biggest rivals and Dinky has been brought up to know the difference!)
At home she was a bit of a whirl wind then got stuck into watching Netflix on her tablet device while playing with her Bat cave and batman figures.
She was a pickle getting ready for bed but went up ok. I have no idea what she was playing with but she was crashing about for a bit. Hopefully come next week when we get into motion with the activities ect then she may calm. Also the not going to school on weekdays on the calendar is odd for her. Change. Transition. Something dinky doesn’t really cope with well.

Tomorrow it is supposed to rain. I may have to take her to soft play to run off a bit of excess energy.

A day of phone calls!

So today I have spent a good portion on the phone.

First was someone getting back to me about an assistance dog. I had spoken to a friend last night who said that she had seen one in London for an autistic child and perhaps dinky would benefit. She knew I wanted a dog for Dinky so I left a message. They were the first to phone today.
The gentleman on the phone was lovely. However unfortunately they don’t cover our area.

Next up, a long phone argument with currys over my 2 month old laptop they say they can’t repair.

Then…

I get a call from the co-ordinator of paediatric services for the trust where our CDC is based. She covers 3 paediatric centres. She was open and honest and said she was new to the role. She spent 6 years at another base. In that time she had only come across one PDA presentation in the department.
It is unique.
To be fair that sums dinky up. If she is going to do different, she will make sure it is still not the usual different.
She was shocked that one of the paediatricians didn’t know what PDA was. She said that he will be retrained. When I said that he ruled out autism spectrum after a 30 second conversation with her where she ignored him for the first part, she said that they wouldn’t have an autism assessment by a multidisciplinary team if it was that easy to rule out. Also the female presentation of autism and aspergers and to an extent PDA is different and needs to be identified.
Seriously I was smiling and trying not to cry.
She will make sure that no other family gets turned away because a paediatrician is not up to date with the autism spectrum disorders!
She will find someone within our CDC who knows about PDA and can recognise it in children. If necessary she will call advice in.
She said that she would like to see Dinky, but she is probably based too far away. I said “if you know PDA I can travel!”

She discussed provision for dinky at school. When I told her she said she would put on the end of the letter that she would recommend that I ask the school for an Educational psychologist assessment so that dinky’s needs in school are noted and she gets the required support.

I quite like this lady!

She is going to see what is available appointment wise at the CDC in order to get dinky seen relatively quickly, but they might be pretty booked up.

If it is within 3 months I will be happy!

She asked me if there was anything else she can do. She said she is happy for me to call her if needed regarding Dinky’s assessment phase.

Other than that, just some boring bits calls.

I got dinky from her last day of school. Nothing spectacular.

We went into town to look at some guinea pigs and then went swimming.

I’m shattered.

For anyone who would like to know more about PDA I recommend the one stop shop with loads of great info

Www.thepdaresource.com