Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Autism is not naughtiness!

So the Daily Fail is at it again, sensationalising a story into something much bigger. I wonder if they are secretly edited by Katie Hopkins??

This time it's a story about a 5 year old boy, suspended from school, in Birmingham. He is autistic, with ADHD. The school is reported as saying he was the 'naughtiest boy ever'.

So of course, the subject of autism and other related problems, comes under scrutiny. Before I start, I would like to say...


What is it with autism that gets such a reaction? Why are they constantly branded as 'naughty' children?

Now firstly I would like to say, I didn't put any 'ism' label on my beautiful 10yo for many years. Even now it's not official. I found his behaviour as a toddler very challenging, VERY. I didn't know why he would scream blue murder in Maccy D's?! I didn't know why food shopping with him was an utter nightmare!? I found it all so hard, I was still working, I was utterly desperate with my depression. I had even considered driving my car off the road, on my way home from work, late one night. 
Yes, it really was that hard. 

I didn't know what I was doing so wrong! In the end, I stopped going out. I left the full time job I was in, went back to my part time job. Apart from that, I barely left the house, it was easier.

Then little A came along, my little gift from *wherever you believe*. It was a tough time in my families life, there was a lot going on. I had gestational diabetes, was checked often. Had him at 37 weeks because of his size. Had him via emergency Cesarean. I was 35 years old. Oh and I was obese......

If you believe everything you read, I am completely and totally to blame, for my beautiful boys Autism.

I DON'T believe everything I read!

He taught me so much, he's still teaching me every day. He also made me realise exactly what the issues were with RJ. 

So I read, I google, I go to classes. I learn everything I possibly can, to help make my boys lives a little easier. I remove the things that make my sons sensitivities play up. What does this mean for my household? Well, I tend to keep the house reasonably tidy, every area clearly separated, they need the organisation. Even though my sons bedroom seems a tip, they know where everything is, if I move it without prior notice, they get upset.

I can't put the cleaner on, when little A is around, he can't cope with how loud it is. 
I have to leave a 'run' through the living room, so that little A can stim freely.
I do all my shopping online, there are very few super markets that they can cope with, for any length of time. They may seem like little things, but they become very big things if not paid attention to.

The story in the media today, in my honest opinion, is a complete failing on the schools part! The child was diagnosed with autism. A classroom is a noisy, cluttered place. Especially first thing in the morning and especially a classroom full of 5 year olds. My sons school has a little bell, if it gets too noisy and he can't bare it, he gives the bell a little shake so that one of the teachers knows. Then he can be taken to a quiet place, or the class can be quietened. Just that little detail helps him no end, and in response he's going to school a lot easier this year.

The primary school accepts RJ's little differences, even without any diagnosis. I know that RJ doesn't have the sensitivities to noise that little A has, but he still has his quirkiness. They've accepted that is who he is, I am dreading him leaving this year!

Of course, on top of everything else that's being said, is the 'lazy parents' argument. If I'm so lazy, then how come my son isn't 'naughty'? He has autism, he went through the crazy diagnosis programme. That's not easy, and it won't leave someone diagnosed that doesn't have these problems.

I do all the things I've mentioned above, so my sons don't show the 'bad' behaviour, outside the home. 

There is a complete failure, across the board, to understand Autism, ADHD and any other related behaviour. From the governments to the school teacher. You are a very lucky parent if you find a school/teacher that understands it. I am one of the lucky ones......so far.

There needs to be more advice for the parents of these children too! I went to 2 'early bird' classes, run by a local school, in collaboration with the NAS. But these classes are hard to come by. They should be readily available, not charity run! I don't expect to know where the money to fund it should come from, but surely it would save money in the long run, if these children are not being thrown out of school!

This little picture has become a bit of a mantra, when it comes to my posts about autism, but it's even more important today.......

x Ojo x


  1. What an inspiring post. So sorry to read about your struggles, but amazing to read about all the changes you've made to support your sons. You're an amazing mum. X

    1. thank you! We never think we are good enough, so it's nice when someone says something nice xx

  2. Jo, you are absolutely right on so many levels here. I have now stopped reading stories like the one you mentioned, if it is in any paper with a red top or the word Daily in the title, because I am now of the opinion they exist purely to create a full blown forum argument on their social sites.
    My heart goes out to any parent with a child with autism, adhd or learning difficulties, because we as a complete society are just not well enough informed about how difficult your life is every single day. There are far too many people ready to point the naughty or bad parent finger - walk a mile in your shoes before drawing conclusions, I say. You do an incredible job with your boys and it is obvious how much time, effort and energy you put into making life easier for them xx

  3. I saw that article too and had many of the thoughts you describe above. Yes, it says more about the school thatn the little boy. I realised reading this how much I do to contain Natty's idiosyncrasies within our home environment too. She doesn't have autism but she does have her own way of relating to people, doing things and running off. We find what works for us and stick to it don't we. Well done you for your love and strength. H x
    Thank you for linking to Britmums SEN round-up.


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