Monday, 13 January 2014

Anxiety in Aspergers - the root of the problem?

One of the advantages of keeping a record of Home education is the ability to see how things go round in cycles. What can seem to be a monumental problem at one stage suddenly fades away and before you know it it's  forgotten as the issues which seemed so huge at the time have usually  been overtaken by another seemingly insurmountable challenge!

Take our house for example. A few months ago I was bemoaning the fact that my Autistic son never had a bath. Last week I nearly fell off my chair when he asked for one!

We have changed the time he bathes you see. Bath time is now in the morning when he gets up. When he didn't put up any objection I realised it wasn't intefering with his time on the computer with his friends so there was no resistance. Life is by no means perfect, after all we still have to deal with the problem of hair washing and cleaning his teeth but, for now at least, we seem to have cracked the bathing situation and also hair cuts (which not more than a year ago was unthinkable)

The sleep situation hasn't improved much (my son is awake most of the night|) but we have been determined not to make a big thing of it. There are days when he will keep himself awake for two days then go to sleep at normal times whilst on other days he will sleep most of the day.

I was discussing the prospect with him the other day of looking into the use of Melatonin   to regulate his sleep patterns.

" Oh I know about that" he said,

"It's produced naturally in our bodies. Have you only just come across it?"

" Well no actually I've known about it a while but would rather you make your own decisions about your life. Does it cause you unhappiness or inconvenience when you are up all night?"

"By and large 'no' ," he said, so for now at least, we have decided to leave things as they are until  my son considers out of synch sleep patterns  cause him a problem!

Even going out has improved. My son is not exactly a socialite but he has recently been to Morrisons for lunch (that wouldn't have happened a year ago) and he has asked to visit his Grandparents, has been to the cinema, been shopping,even walked the dog the other day and not a panic attack in sight.

The only thing that bothered him was when  a fighter jet went over (which is what triggered panic attacks in the first place) and he ran downstairs. I explained that whilst I couldn't guarantee it,there was unlikely to be another one (they normally fly over two at a time) he picked himself up and went back upstairs.

So if you are having a difficult time (don't despair there is light at the end of the tunnel). We have been through  'baby voices' 'furniture throwing' 'door kicking' and whilst there will surely be more to come, if you listen intuitively to your child and your gut instinct then those times are likely to last far less than if you rigidly stick to what others tell you ''you must do'.

Our children are precious, much of what they do is caused by anxiety and, if taken in that context you are far more likely to be able to understand and deal with it appropriately.

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