Musings

Musings on life, adoption, trauma, autism, and anything else that comes to mind.

Noise. (And a bit on music)

I’ve chosen noise as my next topic to explore as it’s one that fascinates me, and I haven’t quite got my head around it fully yet. I have a very mixed relationship with noise. I’m a musician by trade, and a music teacher. I LOVE noise. When I was teaching secondary music I could quite happily sit at my desk surrounded by a class of thirty kids playing keyboard while I marked my A level essays, and still be able to pick out the ones who were hitting the demo button instead of doing their work. My classroom was noisy and chaotic, and I loved it.

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Me and my autism

I have been thinking a lot lately about identifying as autistic, and why – especially as a person who thought I knew quite a bit about autism – it took me so long to realise that I have it myself. There are still a lot of misconceptions about what autism is and how it displays, particularly in females. When I was learning about autism in the late 90s, the lack of theory of mind was an essential part of diagnosis, and we were taught that autism is much less common in women, but much more severe. As I’ve been doing more recent research, I’ve found I don’t really identify with a lot of the prominent autistic female narratives that I’ve found in books or blogs. For this reason I’ve decided to explore this in a series of short blogs as I get a chance to put my thoughts down, partly as a way of making sense of it myself, and partly for any other women who feel different but don’t quite know why.

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Attachment may not be the big deal we all think it is

I originally wrote this post on my previous blog, but I’ve reproduced it again here (slightly updated) as I was flattered to discover someone had linked to the original blog post (which has now been taken down). ——— I wrote a post about attachment some time ago, mainly because I was fed up with the massive mis-appropriation of the term, and the lack of understanding surrounding it. Unfortunately this sort of stuff is still around everywhere you look, so it’s worth having a quick recap with some of the key points of what attachment is, and what it is not.

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I’m dreaming of a peaceful Christmas…

Christmas was never going to be easy, but this year has been the hardest yet. Tickle has been in therapy for a couple of months now. He’s doing really well; by which I mean he hasn’t run out of the room or hit the therapist. Yet. He seems to have understood what therapy is all about – sometimes when he’s having a manic moment at home he will say he wants to go and see our therapist to talk about his ‘wobbly feelings’, but he hasn’t yet got to the stage where he can actually do this during the sessions. We knew it would get worse before it gets better – but we knew that in the same way that we ‘knew’ it would be hard work adopting a child. It’s obvious, but you don’t really fully ‘get’ it until you’re in the thick of it.

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Moving on

I used to have a different blog. I started it up when we were just starting to think about adoption, when I discovered that actually I *could* get pregnant after all, but just couldn’t do the growing a baby part any more. The first miscarriage came out of the blue, I didn’t even know I was pregnant. The second was expected, but no less painful. I started my blog mostly to keep my friends and family updated with what was going on – much easier than having to talk about it over and over. Writing has always been cathartic, and blogging has helped me immeasurably over the years. But now it’s time to move on. I’ve closed the old blog off (although I haven’t deleted the posts), for a few reasons. Firstly, because it felt appropriate to move on to a new chapter when Tickle’s adoption order was granted. Secondly, because the old blog forms the basis for my new book, so it seemed inappropriate to charge people to buy a book when they could read a lot of it on the internet for free. Thirdly, I’ve outed myself a little more now, with the book, so I was cautious about the blog being a public record of exactly when certain things happened in our adoption – this blog feels closer to me, but a step further away from Tickle.

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Sleep

Tickle’s Monster has had a severe aversion to sleep for quite some months now. Tickle already has melatonin to get him off to sleep (for which we are eternally grateful) but keeping him asleep is quite a different matter. For most of the summer Tickle’s internal alarm was set to 4.30am, and once he was up, he was up. Some days were better than others. Some days he would play in his room (relatively) quietly, or watch cartoons on my iPad. Other days he would stand by the side of our bed and scream. Or he’d hit us until we woke up and talked to him. Or he’d bang his head against our bedroom wall.

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