Archaic Diagnoses/Archaic Parenting

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As she asked to print more pictures to color after yesterday’s batch for the ride to the amusement park tomorrow, she originally said 1-3. Then she said it might be 4. Later on when she started to actually look them up, I specified no more than 4. As I said it, I knew she would ask for more. Because I know my daughter has Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) in addition to her extremely high functioning Asperger’s Autism. Sure enough, within 5 minutes she said, it might be more like 5, and I said gently, no, I said no more than 4. I had already let her increase the 1-3 up to 4. Even though PDA is currently only recognized in the UK, it is starting to gain more clout in the US. She is not officially diagnosed with this, but I know without a shadow of a doubt she has it. She is officially diagnosed by her pediatrician with Asperger’s Autism. Technically, it is now Autism Level 1. Asperger’s is now an archaic term since they released the DSM-5. All Autism diagnoses are just a spectrum and divided in to 3 levels. Level 1 is High Functioning which is where those who would have formerly been diagnosed as Asperger’s are now placed. I personally still prefer the term Asperger’s and continue to use it.

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Giving children sentences with multiple directions to follow is an actual developmental milestone. It is one for the age of 3 year olds. But children with PDA are overwhelmed by demands that are thrown at them at the same time. Any instruction is processed as a demand, and thus, this developmental milestone becomes a hotbed for attitude because it puts these children in a pressure cooker. Today when I told my 10 year old that it was time to take a shower, and then followed that up with the sentence of to make sure she also cleans up the mess she had left downstairs from her homework, she answers with an attitude how she knows she knows…When her father comes down, all of her stuff is in front of his seat and he comments how he sees a tornado passed through. I told him how I told her to do that part after I told her to take the shower so of course she has to do them in order. But when she comes down the stairs, for how much attitude I get the “I know, I know” when I remind her earlier of cleaning the homework mess up, do you think she goes right to cleaning that up? Of course she doesn’t. She tries to avoid that demand altogether. She goes right in to the other room to color and begin making another mess in there. It’s a never ending battle. And I know in many ways this sounds like typical child behavior, but it’s the constant attitude that I get when I ask daily for the simple task of her to clean up after herself. You would think I was asking her to move a mountain. You would think I had never made her clean up after herself before. You would think I had never held her accountable for herself before the way she speaks to me when I ask her for a simple request. And that, my friends, is definitely not a typical 10 year old.

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Still, at 10 years old, even with no wait at a restaurant, she has no patience. When we are done with our meal, she wants to leave so badly and is so bored that she is blowing bubbles in her water and playing with it like a 3 year old. Before we were ready to leave, because she was ready to go (as in, showered, dressed etc, far enough in advance) she wanted to leave 15 minutes earlier just so we could get to the parking lot and wait, just because she didn’t want to wait any longer at home (which is honestly a better place for her to wait where all of her stuff is to occupy her). But the idea of waiting in any way is torturous to her.

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I have definitely learned to allow a few minutes of leeway whenever I need her to be ready to do something or go somewhere because when I give her a warning or tell her it’s time to go to bed, or to stop what she’s doing because it’s time to go, I often get told to wait till she’s done with this game or this video or this episode etc….And I know that if I don’t, she will have a fit. And while I understand that children need to know how to not get their way, this is a little different because if it is a real time constraint and I can explain to her a real reason as to why she must stop right then and there, I’d rather save those demand times for important times when it is absolutely necessary and have her cooperative on those days rather than force her compliance every single time.

Many people disagree with the way it is recommended to parent children with Asperger’s and PDA. But I know for a fact that the old school hard knocks version of parenting was NOT working with mine. And although mine can still be a handful at times, I think all in all she has done much better, and I think the times she is at her worst is also when we are and that we need to remain calm and model for her the way we want her to act in a situations so she can learn by example. It just makes more logical sense than to instill the fear of God in her with something like spanking. That just teaches her that when our level.of frustration rises that it’s ok to hit and that’s not the proper message to send her. Just my personal opinion.

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/archaic/

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Bully disappear

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Today, I hope I made a child feel like she wanted to disappear in the moment…Sound cruel? Sound harsh? Do I have your attention? Good……….

This may sound out of character for me, but this is because this is the Mama Bear side of me.

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Today was the Awards Assembly at my daughter’s school. She was only getting one award this year, but it was a pretty big one for her. 3rd place in the 4th and 5th grade Spelling Bee, where she gets to go up on stage and receives a medal this year (there are 12 competitors in the Bee). She’s never placed that high before. My husband, my mother-in-law and I were all there, sitting through an hour and a half assembly just for the 2 minutes she’s on stage for her one award. We listened and clapped for every other kid who received an award.

We were sitting right behind her class, but she was sitting with the band quite a ways away because they play during the assembly. My daughter has Asperger’s Autism. She isn’t treated well at school. On top of her quirkiness, she happens to have inherited the bad luck from both sides of her genetics to have landed in an ill mannered, nasty, bratty class of kids. This was quite apparent even just today by observing her class in comparison to all of the others during the assembly. They are more rowdy then classes 3 years younger than them, and it’s not because they’re just silly nice kids that can’t contain themselves. They are disrespectful, arrogant kids who have no reverance for other children receiving awards or the sovereignty of organized gatherings and the type of behavior that should be modeled. This is not how I raise my daughter. But, of course, these are the children she needs to get along with because they are her social life every day, 5 days a week.

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As soon as my daughter was called up to receive her medal, the girl directly in front of me from her class starts running her mouth to the kid next to her. My mother in law told me that she saw her mouth my daughter’s name. While I didn’t hear anything she said, it was apparent that she was speaking condescendingly about her because the kid she was talking to (who knew who I was) kept looking back at me, then looking at her, then looking at me, then looking at her….as in….shut up, stop talking about her, her parents are right behind you….

I wasn’t about to let that go. It’s bad enough my child doesn’t stand up for herself enough against these kids who make her feel worthless and invisible every day. There was no way I was going to allow that to happen in my presence. There was also another girl that, while she didn’t partake of the conversation, she continued to turn around and give us nasty glances, which she has a knack of doing, and she has said some incredibly nasty things to my daughter in the past as well. She has no fear of glaring at adults in the nastiest of manners. So I had quite alot to say in their direction. When I got through with my comments in letting them know they need to stop talking about my child when I’m sitting right behind them and that I can stare too, and that while I might not have heard what was said, body language said it all and that I’m not stupid-my daughter ranked third in the Spelling Bee for a reason. My mother in law also chimed in and said, “That’s right, we’re right here”. My husband gave them the stare down. The girl who was talking about her was literally scared straight. She wouldn’t even turn sideways and she was rigid and breathing heavily….all signs that she knew she was caught red-handed and was guilty. Those kids need to know that while my daughter might not stand up for herself, that their behavior does not go unnoticed and that her parents are more than aware of how they all treat her and that we won’t tolerate it and that we can be big and scary. Maybe they will remember that the next time they go to pick on my daughter.

Besides being bullied by my adoptive dad my entire life, because that’s just what narcissists do, I was bullied quite a lot in school.

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I will do all I can to try and help my child through these tough years. Childhood sucks when you’re not popular and you are an easy target. I will advocate for her every step of the way.

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Dealing with her pain on top of my own healing is one thing. But what escapes me is that she takes it one step further, as many kids with Asperger’s and PDA do, and she takes all of her frustrations out on me. Now, I know that all kids do this to a degree with their parents because home is a safe haven. But she does it to a ridiculous point. She is like a battering ram coming at me many days. It often feels like she bullies me. And no, it is not because I don’t know how to parent my kid or because I let her run rampant and out of control. She only acts like this to a few select people that she is close with. She is a perfect angel in school. She knows how to behave extremely well. But all of the anger and sadness and frustration from her life gone wrong and from how the children at school have made her feel gets turned on me. There is nothing I can ever seem to do right for this child. And once again, my common thread of….Nothing I ever do is right or enough. I am never good enough for anyone.

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https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/disappear/

Second song of the day: Bully by Shinedown….another one of my favorite bands

It’s 8 A.M.
This hell I’m in
Seems I’ve crossed the line again
For being nothing more than who I am

So break my bones
And throw your stones
We all know that life ain’t fair
But there is more of us
We’re everywhere

[Pre-Chorus]
We don’t have to take this
Back against the wall
We don’t have to take this
We can end it all

[Chorus]
All you’ll ever be
Is a faded memory of a bully
Make another joke
While they hang another rope
So lonely
Push him to the dirt
‘Til the words don’t hurt
Can you hear me?
No ones gonna cry
On the very day you die
You’re a bully

Hey!
Hey!

[Verse 2]
Think it through
You can’t undo
Whenever I see black and blue
I feel the past
I share the bruise

With everyone
Who’s come and gone
My head is clear
My voice is strong
Now I’m right here to right the wrong

[Pre-Chorus]
We don’t have to take this
Back against the wall
We don’t have to take this
We can end it all

[Chorus]
All you’ll ever be
Is a faded memory of a bully
Make another joke
While they hang another rope
So lonely
Push him to the dirt
‘Til the words don’t hurt
Can you hear me?
No ones gonna cry
On the very day you die
You’re a bully

[Solo]

[Bridge]
It’s 8 A.M.!
The Hell I’m in!
Your voice is strong!
Now right the wrong!

[Chorus]
All you’ll ever be
Is a faded memory of a bully.
Make another joke
While they hang another rope
So lonely.
Push him to the dirt
‘Til the words don’t hurt
Can you hear me?
No ones gonna cry
On the very day you die
You’re a bully

[Repeat Chorus]

Hey!

You are perfect to me

 

 

 

For my daughter….who I wrote about tonight for my daily prompts blog post. She is someone who always thinks she’s less than perfect. This song came on my playlist this morning as I was taking her to school. If she could have only internalized and believed these lyrics about herself to have helped her with tonight’s situation at the restaurant…..And heck, I still need to internalize these lyrics myself. I’m still working on chasing down all my own demons…

My newest anthem

Shake It Out
Regrets collect like old friends
Here to relive your darkest moments
I can see no way, I can see no way
And all of the ghouls come out to play
And every demon wants his pound of flesh
But I like to keep some things to myself
I like to keep my issues strong
It’s always darkest before the dawn
And I’ve been a fool and I’ve been blind
I can never leave the past behind
I can see no way, I can see no way
I’m always dragging that horse around
Our love is pastured such a mournful sound
Tonight I’m gonna bury that horse in the ground
So I like to keep my issues strong
But it’s always darkest before the dawn
Shake it out, shake it out,
Shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
Shake it out, shake it out,
Shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh whoa
‘Cause I am done with my graceless heart
So tonight I’m gonna cut it out and then restart
‘Cause I like to keep my issues strong
It’s always darkest before the dawn
Shake it out, shake it out
Shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
Shake it out, shake it out
Shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh whoa
I tried to dance with the devil on your back
And given half the chance would I take any of it back
It’s a final mess but it’s left me so empty
It’s always darkest before the dawn
(Oh whoa, oh whoa)
And I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t
So here’s to drinks in the dark at the end of my road
And I’m ready to suffer and I’m ready to hope
It’s a shot in the dark and right at my throat
‘Cause looking for heaven, found the devil in me
Looking for heaven, for the devil in me
Well what the hell I’m gonna let it happen to me
Shake it out, shake it out,
Shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
Shake it out, shake it out,
Shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh whoa
I just heard this song for the first time tonight on an episode of 911 and I shazaamed it (one of the greatest apps). I liked it because of the sound of the music, I couldn’t really hear many of the lyrics as it was mainly background music other than the chorus which isn’t the lyrically potent section. Once I got the name of the song, I googled the lyrics and really related to the lyrics and they are extremely relatable to my life right now. It is exactly what I need as my “I am woman, hear me roar” anthem and the “I will prevail, I will overcome” anthem. And I love the video as well. Oftentimes, I love songs and then am disappointed by the videos. The videos are often not in any way how I would have envisioned them, were I the one to create a video for those specific songs. This particular video was beautifully put together and I think captures some of the meaning of the lyrics quite succinctly.

Sometimes darkness, can show you the light

The Light
Like an unsung melody
The truth is waiting there for you to find it
It’s not a blight, but a remedy
A clear reminder of how it began
Deep inside your memory
Turned away as you struggled to find it
You heard the call as you walked away
A voice of calm from within the silence
And for what seemed an eternity
You’re waiting, hoping it would call out again
You heard the shadow reckoning
Then your fears seemed to keep you blinded
You held your guard as you walked away
When you think all is forsaken
Listen to me now (all is not forsaken)
You need never feel broken again
Sometimes darkness can show you the light
An unforgivable tragedy
The answer isn’t’ where you think you’d find it
Prepare yourself for the reckoning
For when your world seems to crumble again
Don’t be afraid, don’t turn away
You’re the one who can redefine it
Don’t let hope become a memory
Let the shadow permeate your mind and
Reveal the thoughts that were tucked away
So that the door can be opened again
Within your darkest memories
Lies the answer if you dare to find it
Don’t let hope become a memory
When you think all is forsaken
Listen to me now (all is not forsaken)
You need never feel broken again
Sometimes darkness can show you the light, beautiful
Sickening, weakening
Don’t let another somber pariah consume your soul
You need strengthening, toughening
It takes an inner dark to rekindle the fire burning in you
Ignite the fire within you
When you think all is forsaken
Listen to me now (all is not forsaken)
You need never feel broken again
Sometimes darkness can show you the light
Don’t ignore, listen to me now (all is not forsaken)
You need never feel broken again
Sometimes darkness
Can show you the light
I absolutely LOVE this song and this video. It is so inspiring and such an anthem for me to find my strength within my darkness. Dark matter and black holes are only a portion of the vastness of the expansiveness of space. I am not only the sum of what I have experienced in life. I am much larger and much longer than that.

You never believe me…

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We are really struggling with this one. Particularly point #5 at night when she is supposed to clean up after herself. Tonight’s excuse….she has a headache…and when questioned, she goes in to a tirade of how I never believe her….and there she sits, up in her room blowing away on her recorder….too much of a headache to clean up but perfectly fine enough to toot away on a recorder….RIGHT!!! But when pushed to complete those demands, the meltdowns and attitude that accompany are out of control. Some days are better than others. On those days she will concede no questions asked. Some days she will even dust things for me for no reason. But then there are days like today, where everything has been going well, attitude has been in check and to argue about this and end on a bad note just doesn’t seem worth it. It’s not slipshod parenting. It’s not the easy way out. It’s not letting her get her way, or teaching her she doesn’t have to clean up after herself. Parenting a child who has Asperger’s Autism, and then Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) on top of that is a total different strategy. She did end up coming down the stairs and I called her out on the fact that this was a perfect example of why I question her constant “reasons/excuses” on many nights for not cleaning up. Because her claim of having a headache, which I do believe, but that it’s obviously not bad enough for her to go right to sleep and that she can be up there playing her recorder and doing things she wants but that she uses things that may be real problems to get out of things she doesn’t want to do, though they aren’t bad enough to impair things she wants to do. It worked well that she came down in to my turf. If I would have gone up to confront her it probably wouldn’t have gone as well. But since she was down here, she conceded and “volunteered” to clean up. I called her out on it, didn’t tell her she had to, so it became her choice essentially. But I pointed out the flaw in her claims and turned her PDA strategies on it’s head. PDA parenting win tonight!!!

 

 

Anything but typical

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My life is anything but typical.

Music teacher by day,

With an ever changing daily schedule. Never a 9-5 day in my life. And work still happens in the darkest hours of the night and weekend hours of morn. It never ends.

The place where I seem to be most at home. Where I do things right. Natural, easy.

Mother by night and by weekend.

The role I thought I’d be better at, but always feel a failure. Each time I’ve tried, the challenge has been much greater than I every expected.

Stepchildren, two. Neurotypicals. Raised as teens but taught by mom to hate me. Resolved now as they have grown. Biological daughter, one. A-typical. Diagnosed Asperger’s Autism and Pathological Demand Avoidance. Every day, never knowing what to expect.

Mom: what I want to be so much better at, but I have so many wounds of my own still to heal. And creating now for others in the meantime.

Wife whenever my husband is home.

And these days he doesn’t make it      home too often.

He’s working, trying to make ends meet for us.

Two jobs now,

To fix up our house.

But the wifely duties exist even when he’s not around. They echo in my head. And play like a record named “Guilt” if things aren’t taken care of. Especially now that he’s working so hard.

That echo, wherever could it originate from? That brings me to…

Daughter every day,

Especially in my head.

Replaying those voices, reminding me that it’s never good enough.

When the parents’ voices becomes your own, is there ever a way to replace it?

Especially hardest when my physiology only seconds the notion that I’m not good enough.

That was born of the other parent. The one that thought a pre-verbal abandonment trauma was best for all.

And now that she’s back, she brings love and support. But always the caveats.

The roles play endlessly in my mind. Even when I am not physically acting each one out, they all converge in the vast jungle inside my head.

I never want to be typical. But I continuously work towards the resolution of warring times in my head.

 

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/typical/