It’s a Horrible Truth

I received my sons school report today.

My son is autistic but we are having trouble finding the support he needs.

It took us eight years to find someone willing to give us a diagnosis (not that I have received that report yet).

Until this year we had him placed in mainstream public school. I haven’t regretted our decision, until this moment.

My intelligent, beautiful son; was treated like a naughty child in that public school and I’m am incredible said to admit I treated him the same. (Behaviour wise).

I had trouble associating my experiences with my son and those of his public school teachers.

At home he loved reading, he enjoyed learning with numbers. He loved trying everything. When he started school, he became less interested. He stopped trying. I constantly blamed myself and got angry at him.

I would yell and become frustrated. I would try and talk to him and he promised to try harder just for him to slip back into the disruptive behaviour.

The teachers began to hold him back to finish his school work while the other kids had lunch and played. He was forced to repeat and was bullied regularly. Those bullies physically hurt him, he came home bruised on several occasions. However, it was my son that was named “Instigator”.

An autistic child, such as mine, can not express themselves to another. When frustrated my son will scream, when scared he will cower, when pushed he will retaliate with violence. He does not understand the intricacies of social conduct. He has no idea how friendships work. If a child hit him and called him friend he would know no different.

We were consistently bombarded with the schools “concerns” about him. We were routinely reminded that we had to have him “diagnosed” otherwise his treatment would stay the same.

I’ll be honest the first three years were liveable. Not perfect but his teachers were fairly understanding. Even though they were understanding they still stood around with their hands tied by red tape and proper professional behaviour. I’ll also note that those teachers were women.

Last year he had his first male teacher.

Everything fell apart, that fine line we had been treading snapped under the pressure.

Again and again this teacher pulled us into his class room. Stared down at as and tore our child apart.

Again and again he told us he could not “teach” a child like ours. He would tell us he didn’t have the time for our son. Never did he listen to our boy, or to us. But, that child or the staff member that pointed blame at my child was believed with no investigation.

My son began to suffer as he never had. He began to have night terrors. He told us everyday he was sick in hopes we would keep him home. His thick brown hair began to recede and fall from his head. My child was loosing weight and still his teacher treated him as a nuisance.

My husband and I began to hunt for another school one that would be willing to help. We failed to find a public School that took us seriously. Even more, that dreaded paperwork we had been trying to get since my son was three, was requested; Demanded until we wanted to scream aloud with anger.

Finally September rolled around and we found a doctor willing to listen to us. Even better she wrote a referral to a paediatrician. Because we had spent so long trying to work within our local community and we were failed. Our new paediatrician was not just out of town. He was out of state.

Within two months we had a appointments set to determine his condition.

We took him and they were supportive, the diagnosed him but I haven’t received the report yet. It’s been four months.

We had to bite the bullet and place our son in a private school we can’t afford just so he can have the support he needs to learn.

Even without the official report they are trying so hard for our son. They have him placed in special development classes to work on his social skills. His teachers take the time to talk him through his work and encourage him.

And we received his school report today.

I’m in tears, my wonderful son is trying so hard. His teachers praise him for his developments, slow as they might be. They praise him for the kind gentle child that he is.

He isn’t bullied, in fact, the other children encourage him. He plays alone because that is his choice.

Never have I felt so completely heart broken and so unbelievably happy at the same time.
…………………………………………………………………………..

This post is from 2015, I wrote and posted it on my first WordPress blog. As Me and Miss Tay is the one I want to keep I’m now posting it here.

So a quick update on my boy.

It took us nine, NINE! months to receive his ASD report and then it was only thanks to that brilliant private school that took him in. The harassed the Doctors and hunted it down because my queries were going unanswered. The even payed the overdue payments (I refused to pay the last of my bill until I saw the report). This school has been a god send (side note it’s a Catholic school) he’s advanced, he may never be an “A” student but going from a failing student to a “D” and sometimes “C” student is just amazing.

He has the support of the whole school. I’ve seen students calm him when he was in a meltdown, I’ve seen students try and teach him, with patience beyond their years, how to play sports. He gets invited to birthdays, his teachers are supportive and he has a special aid to help him.

This school was the best thing that ever happened to our boy.

His current teacher and I, don’t see eye to eye all the time but thats fine she’s pushing Dante’s limits. We, she and I, just have different methods of teaching. She thinks I should watch him do everything and I mean everything he does. Where I believe for my som to become a functioning adult he needs to be taught to take responsibility for himself and his actions.

Her way has me micro managing him and mine has a list of chores (written down so he can see them, of course) that he has to do everyday after school.

I raised him from day one my way, but he likes her way, and why wouldn’t he everybody else does everything for him and he has uninterrupted attention.

But he’s succeeding and that’s all that matters.

❤️

Taominx

PS I need to find a way to thank this school.

Sleep? What’s sleep? A Mummy’s Struggle.

I’m sitting in a darkened room. The dawns light creeping across the walls as I stare into the eyes of the demon spawn I call my daughter.

She smiles at me and even as tired as I am my heart warms at the sight. I know all day today I’m going to be stressed, I’m going to look pale and drawn, I’m going to snap at the littlest things and I’m going to pass out on the couch at some point.

I also know that I have a lot to do today, between getting my son ready for school and completing my assessment for my Diploma and all those chores mummy’s like me have to do. Today is going to feel similar to those mornings after a long forgotten night with cocktails in my hand.

Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been as tired as when I became a parent to the baby in my arms.

My son, who at this point may just be my favourite (shhh), was a good baby. At 6 weeks old he slept through the night. At 2 he was in his own bed (until early morning which would be when he’d climb into mine).

However, the child in my arms I’ve struggled with setting a routine.

I’ve tried the bath, bottle, and bed.

I’ve tried letting her cry (that just caused an increase of paranoia and depression)

I’ve tried rocking her to sleep in a dark room

I’ve tried shushing toys

Trust me, I’ve tried it!

Even tried baby massage and Essential oils. This sweet child that I hold in my arms just won’t go down until she’s ready. That time is usually after Daddy comes home from work. She matches his hours and it’s frazzling mine.

Daddy works nights so he isn’t home until well after midnight sometimes it will be 3 am before he’s home and she just won’t go down without seeing him.

He can come home and pick her up, he’ll talk to her and within 20 minutes his little girl will be asleep.

Leaving mummy exasperated and exhausted!

Tonight… was different I thought I was making headway. I thought I was getting somewhere.

I was wrong!!!!

See, at one stage I was the luckiest mum in the world and both kids would be asleep by ten and not get up until 8 am.  When the alarm went off. Then something changed….

I know what changed! Miss Tay was weaned off the boob, refused the bottle and Daddy tried to save Mummy’s sanity by putting Miss Tay to sleep. It was 1 am that morning before she exhausted both of us and herself to sleep.

Then a trend started, Daddy was the only one that could put her to sleep. I figured “Hey, that’s cool, once my milk has dried up and she used to not having boob I’ll have an easier time putting her to sleep”

Dream on Mama!!!

Miss Tay decided if she wasn’t getting what she wanted Mummy wouldn’t get what she wanted!

She screamed and screamed, and screamed and chucked a fit, and Once again Daddy came to the rescue and Demon spawn Tay was down in twenty minutes.

Rinse and repeat!

For months this mummy has been trying to find a way to get her baby sleeping and tonight was by far the worst.

My little Princess surprised us all when at 11 pm she was sound asleep. (Enter mummy cheer here) I took the advantage and by 11:30 I was asleep. Ahhh the bliss, the sweet, sweet calm of sleep on my poor tired itchy eyes. Imagine my surprise when 2 am hit and Daddy being still awake had to attempt to put Miss Tay BACK to sleep. Oh, dear poor Daddy!

At 3 am Daddy had enough and Miss Tay was promptly dropped on the mattress beside me. Unceremoniously waking this mummy up with a start.

It’s now 7:30 am and Miss Tay is still going strong. She’s chattering, and laughing, she’s pulled toys out and she’s already had breakfast. I’ve changed her nappy twice and filled her “bottle” four times.

She’s tricked me several times by curling up in my arms and relaxing almost to the point I had thought I won.

But this round goes to Miss Tay, she’s bouncing and on top of the world and Mummy has to start school preparations.

Ahhh, sleep! What is sleep! How I wish for a night of cocktails but right now I’d take more than four hours sleep.

Oh, look, the other ones up now too!

Taominx

(The Tired Mummy)

Living With Depression!

If there is one thing so many people can understand it’s Depression, but do non-sufferers really understand the full weight you carry? Or just not try and understand?

I’ve never really taken the time to understand depression even when being assailed by its demons. Even bringing up depression has friends and family reeling “no! you don’t!” They’d say or simply scoff and brush it off “you’re just having a bad day”

A bad day…..

A bad is when you blow a tire and you 45 mins late to an important meeting! A bad day is when your kids just won’t let you pee by yourself and then you spill milk all over the shopping centre floor! A bad day is when you simply don’t get enough sleep so you make mistakes at work which forces you to have to redo everything!

That’s a bad day!

My “Bad Days” consist of being physically sick because my mind is full of shadows, my bad days are not moving from bed all day and sleeping my life away because I just can’t see the benefits of living! My Bad days are watching everyone around me through a grey haze because I don’t fit in or feel like I should even bother, I’m convinced those same people hate me but won’t tell me, I’m convinced they will toss me out like an old sandwich… No remorse, no concern, nothing holding them back from completely wiping me from their lives and memories.

My “bad days”,, as you call it, are warped into desperation and illness. I’ll spend nights not sleeping because my mind won’t stop telling me the world doesn’t want me! I’ll spend days not eating because my emotions are just so very dark that I’m feeling incredibly sick. I’ll do all these things day in and day out.

My bad days are more than my good days. If I asked a non-suffer when there bad days like mine were I bet they’d probably say a few times a year. You’re a few times a year can be our “good days”!

Swallow that!
Let that marinate in your minds eye… tell me if you can live in the shadows like we do!

I’m not writing this so that I can gain sympathy, I’m not writing this because I want attention. I don’t want that attention! I hate having my life tainted with depression and anxiety!
I want to love my life!
My life is awesome!
I can understand, logically, that I am incredibly lucky but emotionally I’m always waiting for the fall out. Mentally I’m always fighting with myself to recognise the awesomeness that is my life! I’m tired, mentally, emotionally and physically tired of fighting myself and then fighting the pitfalls of life.
I’m tired!

No……
I don’t want your sympathy.
Your empathy… maybe.
Your understanding….. yes!
Your support…… most definitely!

Right now I’m sitting here thinking “gee you sound like a whinging little parasite, who cares about your issues? Nobody is going to want to read this you’re wasting your time! You’re not important enough for this to matter! Why would you bother with this post? Everyone is going to think you are only after the attention. Nobody likes those people who beg for attention! Scorn…. ridicule… that’s all you’re going to get because they can see through you and your attempts at bringing awareness!”

But I want to write this because I DO want to share with you! I want to show people they aren’t alone! And right now, with my depression swirling around my head, I think that this is the PERFECT time for ME to write about it!

Do you know what depression is?? Do you know how to combat it?? Do you know who to see when it hits?? I’ll be honest I’m horrible at all those things when it comes to me!

But when it comes to others I’m quite happy to show you the way!

And my blog is how I’m going to!

So, What is depression?

Anyone can feel depressed, most people have. But BEING depressed is different. Depression is the onset of low emotions that persist for days, weeks, and months at a time. Some sufferers have depression so bad that their low moods can last years. It can affect you physically as well. Lots of sufferers deal with headaches, nausea, and aches and pains. A lot of sufferers even gain or lose weight as their moods change. I, myself, binge eat when my mood plummets and then it’s a vicious cycle I get depressed about my weight then I eat and get depressed about how much I’m eating.

How does it affect you?

Depression affects you in various ways. Including the way you think and act. Many believe that depression is about low and negative moods, the moods are just one aspect to how you can be affected.

So, What are the signs?

• Lowered self esteem and/or self worth
• Changes In sleep
• Changes in appetite
• Changes in sexual drives (decrease or absent)
• Uncontrollable emotional states ( generally towards the negative! Feeling guilty, inadequate, pessimistic anger, irritability, and anxiety, etc),
• Varying Emotion levels (feeling down in the morning but gradually feeling better as the day continues)
• Reduced Pain Tolerance (lowered pain thresholds and an increase of persistent ailments)
• Poor Concentration And Memory ( some sufferers feel demented)
• Poor Motivation
• Less likely to go out
• Failure to finish work/school work
• Withdrawing from friends and family
• Relying on alcohol or sedatives
• Inability to enjoy normal activities (activities they have enjoyed in the past)
• An increase of negative thoughts (I’m a failure, it’s my fault, everyone would be better off without me, etc)
• Feeling tired and drained constantly
• Always sick
• Headaches and muscles pains
• Churning Stomach/nausea

These signs and symptoms are continually and may present at any time and sometimes for no reason.

So, How do you treat depression?

If you’re lucky you can get through it without intervention. Most people however employ treatments that deal with depression through Psychological (therapy) means, Pharmaceutical means, or with Natural Medicines and Therapies (meditation, aromatherapy, etc).

Psychological Therapies can be done alone or in groups. The most common and most effective treatment is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). It is a structured treatment that works by identifying thoughts and behaviours that cause depression or those that hinder recovery. This treatment method teaches you to think rationally about the issue at hand and to alter negative thoughts and behaviour patterns or reactions into something more realistic and positive.

The other treatments are Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), Behaviour Therapy, Mindfulness-based Congnitive Therapy (MBCT)

Pharmaceutical forms of treatments don’t just consist of antidepressants. More severe cases, use antipsychotics, mood stabilisers, and antidepressants to combat their conditions (such as Bipolar Disorder and Psychosis).

There are a lot of antidepressants to choose from. The antidepressant a suffer ends up using can be one of SIX types. All work, all have side effects and all are given based on many factors, medical history, age, symptoms, other medications, severity, pregnancy or breastfeeding (if you’re a women). They vary from person to person, so finding the right antidepressant and treatment for a single sufferer can take months. It’s, however, extremely important to find a treatment method that works for you! Forget how your best friend, sister, aunt, neighbour is doing. It’s all about YOU!

The most commonly used type of antidepressant in Australia are Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s). These include Sertralines, Citaloprcem, Escitalopram, Paraoxetine, Fluoxetine, and Fluvoxamine. All of the SSRI’s are generally well tolerated and non-sedating (generally).

Others types of antidepressants are

Serotonin and Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRI’s have fewer side effects, prescribed for severe depression and are safer when overdose occurs),

Reversible Inhibitors of Monoamine Oxidase A (RIMA’s have fewer side effects, non-sedating, less effective treating severe depression, help with anxiety and sleeping difficulties),

TriCyclic Antidepressants (TCA’s are effective but harmful, affects newer drugs ie SSRI’s, likely to cause low blood pressure),

Noradrenaline-Serotonin Specific Antidepressants (NaSSA’s are newer antidepressants, helpful with anxiety and sleeping, generally low in sexual side effects ie drop in desire/ability, may cause weight gain),

Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors (NARI’s designed to work selectively on Noradrenaline, less likely to cause drowsiness/sleepiness, after the initial does is likely to cause restless sleeping patterns, increase of sweat production, cause sexual difficulties, cause urination difficulties, increase heart rate).

This blog is important to me and mental illness is close to my heart. I appreciate you reading and hope you learnt something. Even if it’s just to listen harder when someone says they are having a “bad day”. Please if you believe a friend or loved one is suffering help can be reached at anytime on the following 24 hr Free call phone services.

Beyondblue.org.au
1300 22 46 36

Lifeline.org.au
131114

SANE Mental Illness Helpline
1800 688 382

The information I have shared to day can be found on the Beyondblue website (linked above) as well as a Mental Health check list.

The information used in today’s blog can also be found on Black Dog Institute website.

Both of these websites hold vast amounts of information and are in an easy to read format. I found them both truly helpful when researching this condition.

Take care of each other


Taominx.

As always, I am not affiliated with any of the brands, websites or products showcased in this blog. This blog was written based on personal experiences and research. Any information in this blog has been shared by me with the intent of distributing information, this information is in no way to be used as medically diagnostic. I am not trained medically and am simply reciting information available to the public in hopes of helping sufferers and there family to seek professional help from certified practitioners.

How to Take Great Newborn Photos Using Only Your iPhone.

So you’ve finally had that little bundle of joy and now you want to share them with the world!  But, how do you get a photo that paints you as a supermodel instead of a sleep-deprived zombie?

You know the ones!

Mummy sitting pretty all clear-eyed, smiling brightly. Baby looking calm, chubby and completely adorable. The photo so clean you could almost swear that they were sitting in front of you the whole time!

Yup, those photos!

Sometimes you can fluke it but mostly it takes several shots to get that one perfect picture. So many people will just shrug and say “I just had a baby! Who cares how I look?”

Well, just because you’re a parent now doesn’t mean you can’t look as awesome as you feel. I have so many pictures of me and my children. I still regret that so many pictures have me as a frumpy dumpy housewife (nothing against housewives. I’m one myself) So, why not put your best foot forward… or in this case best face!

Don’t stress the photos are easy even if it does take time, But that’s why they created the “burst” shot. They are so easy, in fact, You can even use your phone!

So how do you do it?

For Mum and Dad

Always start with a shower!

I know! It’s so simple and regular that you’ll probably be thinking.

“But why are you mentioning this?”

I bring this up because it’s so easy to forget to have a shower when you have a newborn (one of those things that nobody ever tells you can happen) A shower will set the mood for your photos. You will feel clean, clear-headed, and just so wonderful.

Wear comfortable clothing!

This point is probably self-explanatory too, but being in clothes that are uncomfortable will deteriorate your photo happy self very quickly. So aim for something chic and comfortable. Abiding by this rule will also help if the photo session takes longer then you think. (It will because of it so much fun).

Go for a natural look! 

Don’t give yourself dramatic makeup (unless of course, that’s your thing)

Go for a minimalist look. The aim is to look soft and maternal not like a fierce party girl. You want to make the other mums swoon at your natural glow and pristine skin.

“Show me your best side”… so important.

Everyone has one.

Just look at the way you align your selfies. You are naturally inclined to shift into a position that makes you look spectacular.

And even if you don’t feel like it. Standing up straight will make you look healthy, happy, and will stretch those beaten joints and muscles.

If you get this right your body will also look leaner and meaner.

For Baby 

Make Sure Baby is Clean and Full.

A new nappy and a full tummy will make baby sleepy. Keep her warm (or him) and they will be easy to pose and work with to get that perfect shot. Comfort your bundle through the whole experience and you’ll be smiling at the end.

Dress Baby in the Cutest Outfit! 

Have fun with this!

Baby boy will look adorable dressed in suspenders

Baby girl will look priceless in a tutu

Clichéd?

Maybe?

 They are classics for a reason. Just have fun with it! There are so many stores online that sell the perfect outfits for the photos. I always favoured Ruffle bums!

My favourite stores are With love 4 kids and La Sienna Couture.

Pinterest and Instagram are great for finding amazing handmade outfits for Bub or even inspirations for your photoshoot.

The Picture! 

Like I said these photos can be captured on your phones or smart device. No need for you to spend thousands on a brand new camera. You can get some amazing apps for iPhone and Android.

I have an iPhone and I use camera+ you can set this camera to burst mode and it will catch shot after shot. Be careful though it’s slow in burst mode so if you move before it’s finished it will capture some great blurs or ground shots.

I tend to get frustrated with it so I just continually tap the capture button.

The light!

You need the best, cleanest light. This step is important the better the light the better the picture. A good rule of thumb is later mornings (about 10 am) this time of day limits the shadows cast by your chosen backgrounds and lightens up the star of the picture. (That being bubba bundle and you!)

The background!

You want a background that is minimalistic. This keeps you and your baby as the main focus. A blank wall is always good or use a nice outside setting such as a park. Just make sure to keep the background “quiet”.

After the Photoshoot! 

Once you’ve spammed the capture button a great editor is recommended (you don’t have to. Sometimes the perfect shot needs no editing)

I use Snapseed to edit my photos (again another smartphone app). You can control almost all aspects of the picture. Like I said sometimes the best shot to use needs no editing but others may need something as simple as a crop.

And post!

Post your favourites on your social media sites or print them off for your loved ones and just wait for the compliments and praise.

These are some of my favourites I took with my phone!

Miss Tay was 3 days old in this picture and had her first fill of breast milk.
Miss Tay was 1 month and just received her first Ruffle Bum outfit.  The outfit is a Made with Love 4 Kids Ruffle bum.
Two Months old and loving the camera. This outfit is Made with Love 4 Kids
Two months old and Cheeky. This outfit is Made with Love 4 Kids
Miss Tay is so photogenic it’s crazy. This outfit is Made with Love 4 Kids
October 2015, Naming day dress and flowers, 4 months old. This Dress is a La Sienna Couture outfit.
snapseed-6
Seriously loved the fake flowers.  Outfit By Made with Love 4 Kids

Love Taominx

These are helpful hints only and I cannot be held responsible for any failed attempts
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