Friday, July 17, 2015

What Lurks in the Shadows

I watch Austin as he tries to be brave enough to walk down the dark hall way to his room, the fear that overtakes this boy is like watching something out of a horror film.  He is terrified!  I tell him not to be frightened and run ahead to turn on the lights so he can go ahead without being scared.  He is still hesitant.  I go with him to his room and tuck him in bed, trying to calm him.  I put on his desk light, I try to sooth him by speaking softly and distracting him by talking about his video games.  He eventually calms but explains he is still very afraid of the dark.  We have discussed this subject many times and it seems that at 10, it is worse now than ever.

I explained to Austin that I used to be afraid of the dark but (my parents were not so understanding) I got used to sleeping in the dark.  There were no lights or night lights in my room when I was little.  A terrible way to deal with a fear so intense, I could not move.  I would watch the walls in my room and pray nothing would move outside to cast a shadow.  I was genuinely terrified!  I completely understand where Austin is coming from and I am doing my best to help him. Sometimes I bring him out to the couch to watch a bit of TV and he falls asleep quickly so I get him up and walk him to his room, he goes right back to sleep with no problem at all.

It is not easy to see Austin running from a dark room or terrified to walk towards one.  He is afraid of what "lives" in the shadows, what might be lurking there.  His imagination can be vivid and he can come out with some pretty frightening tales but to him, the fear is very real.  I pray that eventually this will pass and he will outgrow this fear.  Watching Austin as frightened as I was once, I am compelled to calm him, so I walk these steps with him.  He is comforted that I am walking beside him, holding him, step by step, together.

All the best! *HUGS*

Monday, July 13, 2015

Standing Out

Austin turned 10 last week.  There have been so many changes in his behaviour since he was a toddler and some that stay with him despite his age or how much he has developed in other ways.

Yesterday, we went to the splash pad/park.  Austin and Kaleigh went off to play and there were other children who came over from the baseball game to play.  It was quite hot here yesterday, so who wouldn't want to run through some refreshing cool water?  There were a couple of girls, around 7 and 8 who came to play.  One came right up to Austin and starting talking to him, she wanted to play.  At times, Austin was not paying attention to her as she spoke and did not answer her.  I had to call him over and tell him, the girl is speaking and you are not listening or responding, I told him he needed to pay closer attention.  I want to help Austin as much as I can with his social skills, it is not easy.

I watched as they all played together, about 5 of them, Austin started directing and telling the others how to build the castle and who's job was what and when to do it.  I do not let this go on as I know this is a huge challenge for Austin, I called him over once again and told him not to direct the others, they know what to do and to relax and have fun.  Oh my!  This is no easy task for Austin.  He just gets so excited!  It is almost like watching him at 2 and not 10!  All the other kids are playing and walking and talking quietly and Austin is up on his toes running around and arms are flying everywhere.  He is so excited he can't contain it.  I can see him trying to keep on flat feet and bring his arms down.  I think he is more aware of it than the others are, they do not seem to really react to his behaviours.  Interesting to me.  Do they just think he is hyperactive?  Do they think anything at all?

I sat and looked around at the park as all the children played.  Needless to say, I did not get much of my Nicholas Sparks book read as I want to watch Austin when other children are around him.  Sometimes he can lack focus and I did not want him to knock over one of the little ones, not that it happens much but the potential is there when he is excited.  As I watched all the children building the sand castle, the only one that stood out was Austin.  He still does not play or engage like typical children.  He is much calmer than he used to be but still, the excitement and sensory stimulation is overwhelming.  He is playing happily, and I am happy to see him having so much fun but I can't help to think that there is a lot more of that 2 year old boy just trying to get out!  Is Austin trying hard to suppress the excitement he feels?  At 10,  he has much more control than he did at 2 but sitting and watching yesterday, he stills stands out amongst the typical children.  Will this always be such a challenge for him?  Will he calm down as he gets older?  Will he be able to control his excitement so he is not running and jumping all around?  He is so calm and laid back most of the time, add any social excitement and he is almost a completely different person, still a very adorable and sweet person mind you.

I am trying my best to help Austin every step of the way and I know the social game is only going to become more and more important.  Austin is going into Grade 5, I can't believe it!  I know the social dynamic is only going to get more complex.  Scary to me!  All these changes for Austin, my baby!  He is almost as tall as me and talks about gaming and girls!  Oh my!  How quickly they change and grow but your baby, they will always be, not matter how big, or how old.

All the best!  *HUGS*

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Bullying Break

School has been out for just over a week, Austin is having a great time on summer vacation so far.  He gets to play video games, go to the park and splash pad, read, play outside, go for bike rides and bounce on the trampoline ... a lot!  The best part about being out of school is no bullies!  Summer is stress free in that department, of course if Austin goes to a party or something like that, I get a little worried but it is usually incident free.

After "the boy" (that I blogged about previously) left the school Austin attends, we only had a few minor incidents of bullying, nothing as major as what "the boy" had put Austin though.  I was so grateful for all the help the school gave us to ensure Austin remained safe, I am very pleased with all their support.  It was fantastic to pick Austin up at school everyday and he was smiling again.  He was anxious to go to school, he was excited again, just like he was prior to "the boy" targetting and harming him.  I am so grateful that peace has returned for Austin.  He is a great boy and deserves to be able to go to school and not be hit, punched, kicked, thrown to the ground, called names ... you get the picture.

I can't express how great it is to see Austin smiling and laughing all the time and now for the next few weeks, we do not have to think about what he endured in school and he is in a bully-free zone for the next couple of months.  We can only pray that Grade 5 will be easier than Grade 4 was for him.  He did so well in his studies and we are so PROUD of him!  How many children could achieve such high academic scores with someone haunting them everyday?  I pray I will not ask the same question next session.

Wishing you all the best! *HUGS*