Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Not Everything Is Rosy

School holidays with a teenager can be hard work. School holidays with a teenager when you live miles away from anyone can be even harder. The word "bored" is one of those words I have come to dread, and it gets used quite often these days. Most of Amy's friends live a good 50 minute drive away and even though I don't mind taking her to see a friend, I can't really leave her because she isn't like your average teenager. She doesn't do streetwise or sociable or fits in with anything. She finds it difficult to mix with typical teenagers and they, in return, find it difficult to mix with her. It's not easy being a teenager and having autism because friends are few and far between; a teen with no road sense and a vulnerability that requires more supervision than other kids her age, makes most other teens shy away, mainly because I guess they feel like a babysitter. And let's face it, what 14 year old girl wants a babysitter the same age?

So I usually get left to entertain my teenager during school holidays and even though I don't begrudge this in the slightest, I do feel a pang of sympathy (and guilt) knowing that my big girl would much rather be walking around town with her mates or having girly chats about boys and things in her room, with the door tightly shut and her music on full blast. It's what I did when I was 14.

Sometimes, autism really sucks.

27 comments:

  1. I am glad I know you are in a better mood now, with lots of plans for the week. Hugs, Liska xx

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    1. Thanks, flower. It's been a trying day without doubt.

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  2. I feel for you and Amy. The distances, the teenage issues and the autism combined are really hard to work with. xxx

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    1. They are, especially in school holidays. People honestly have no idea how hard it can be.

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  3. That has made my day feel a whole lot better. I have had my great granddaughters 6 pre-teen friends playing music, eating their way through the fridge and generally horsing around all day. Can't wait until school goes back. xx

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    1. It gets tiring doesn't it. I look forward to the holidays and spending time with Amy and then when they're here, I feel bad for her because she's bored!

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  4. I sympathise as it can't be easy. Would it be better if the friends could come to you for the day or even for a couple of days and therefore you could still keep a (distant) eye on her. I'm sure the friends would love being on a farm too. Or maybe you could do something like take her and a few friends bowling or to the cinema and join in with them.

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    1. It's generally the only way she gets to see her friends outside school, when they come here. I couldn't possibly go bowling or join them somewhere as Amy gets very self conscious and she'd hate it if I were there amongst her friends!

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  5. I don't know a THING about where you live, but is there a Big Brothers/Big Sisters program somewhere nearby? It could help to have somebody who's older and could look after her but not a parent to take her to the movies or just hang out and do something a few times a month.

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    1. It's something I'm looking into as I have heard of this scheme before. I doubt there'll be much round here but I am making enquiries. It's a good idea though in very remote parts like these, it doesn't always happen I'm afraid.

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  6. You're a bit too far away from Beamish where my mother volunteers, but is there anything like that where you could both go and have fun/volunteer?

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    1. I'm looking into Amy volunteering at the local rescue kennels in time. She may be a hit young just yet but we are so limited.

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  7. So sorry to read this - but while my son is happy sitting on the sofa playing on-line games all mid term, I wish he was out hanging with pals like other teenagers- though I know I'd be worrying about him then too!

    There are a number of asperger/autism youth clubs springing up in Dublin, perhaps there might be something like that near you? x

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    1. Yes, that's the problem isn't it. We worry about them no matter what!

      I'll be looking into a befriending service soon as I have heard about them though I doubt there'll be anything round here. Still, won't know until I ask.

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  8. Hi Kathryn:
    It is very trying with an autistic teen. Did you know that there is a difficult but very effective protocol to recover kids from autism? It is called the GAPS Protocol, by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, a neurosurgeon and nutritionist from Cambridge, England. She recovered her own son successfully from autism, with the protocol she developed. GAPS is an acronym for Gut and Psychology Syndrome, and recovery from it revolves around diet, detoxification and lifestyle change. GAPS is widely and successfully used in the US and seems to be lesser known in England. There are many GAPS practitioners world-wide to help parents recover their kids successfully. It is very hard work but very worthwhile. I know as I am a former teacher of autistic kids and now a Certified GAPS Practitioner. Google GAPS.me or GAPS.com and learn about it. Tons of information out there but nothing in the school systems of the British Isles about it. You need to find out for yourself.
    Good luck,
    Mary

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    1. I find your comment particularly offensive and I do wonder how you can assume you have some kind of miracle answer to "recover" autistics. Why would I want to change my daughter? There is NO CURE for autism. It isn't luck my daughter or I need, it is support, understanding and acceptance. Your attitude is the type of degrading rubbish that our autistic society are sick of hearing. Perhaps it is your ignorance that needs to be recovered. Please do not comment on this blog again.

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  9. I despair for the autistic children who have been 'taught' by the last commenter :( autism cannot be cured, it is a lifelong condition. Does she know nothing?! Anyhow, back to your fab blog, I feel for you, and fear we will be in a similar situation when we get to teenage years. I am already needed for about 90% of my daughter's time and I can't see a time when she will be independent. The idea of a befriending service sounds great, hope you do find one. If not, let's try and use social media to set one up for you?! x

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    1. I also despair and feel very sorry for those autistic people who are being told they can recover. Imagine how they will feel later in life when they are still autistic?

      Yes, a befriending service is a great idea and I'm all for it if I can find one!

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  10. I feel this way too. My daughter is younger than yours (10) but I often wonder if she feels that way too. She doesn't voice it, but she doesn't voice a lot of what she is feeling and I think it must be there. She sees lots of other kids her age having sleepovers and doing things together. Tough stuff, isn't it?

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    1. It is tough and can be very challenging for us parents who are having to constantly make our kids feel better. The problem lies with an inability to accept autism, which has been proved in the comment above.

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  11. The ignorant twerp who thinks autism can be "cured" obviously also believes that homosexuals caused the current floods. Ignore her. If she had two brain cells to rub together, she'd be dangerous.

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    1. Quite worrying that she quotes the name of a doctor...the way she and this "doctor" think they can change the world is particularly dangerous in itself.

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  12. You don't know if this doctor has an agenda or who is funding her research. I used to work for a company who was slated because a "study" proved one of the components of a product was carcinogenic. I had to find out all about this person. Not only was she being funded by a hostile company but her "study" was to strap the pure form of the component to rabbits' noses 24/7 for a long period of time.

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  13. I sympathise, it was hard enough entertaining two boys who didn't have any problems when they cried 'bored' . xx

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