Blog posts, musings, and thoughts on life in general

I've written a book. 

"Me, the boy, and 'The Monster" is a book about what it's like to parent a traumatised child. It's a raw, honest account, and it's borne out of my own experiences as an adoptive mum. Living with trauma is HARD. It's hard for the kids, and it's hard for the parents. I'd like to stand by your side, and tell you that you are not alone, that there are things that can help make things better.

Half term has been generally quite good. Today specifically, not so much (wake up at 2.30am....) but in general, much better than the summer holidays.

We have been out together as a family. We have gone for long walks. Tickle has expressed sadness at the loss of our cat, and the loss of his scooter bell (level of sadness remarkably similar for both). The expressions of sadness have been appropriate and non-violent.

Tickle has been swimming every day. He's been to Gran's, and has had a day out with Grandad and Granny Sue. He's drunk hot chocolate, made funny faces, shared his crisps with a little boy he didn't know.

It's been, dare I say it, almost... normal.

Two sleeping catsWe had to have our cat put down yesterday. She was only two years old, so it came as a huge shock to all of us. We are all coping with it in our own ways; Fairy is distracting herself with books and writing stories, I am crying buckets and welded to my duvet, Husband is musing about getting a memorial wind chime for our apple tree. Tickle, however, has been the biggest surprise. Tickle, is demonstrably and unashamedly sad.

Tickle doesn't spend much time interacting with the cats, but I know he does love them, and considers them part of the family - whenever we go on holiday he tells me he misses them, and he's still not quite sure why they don't come with us. But that's not why I am surprised by his grief. I'm surprised because it's a really big emotion, and he is allowing it to exist in his body without feeling the need to block it out or run away.

This morning, as usual, I was woken up by Tickle shouting at Husband. When I heard Husband start to shout back, I thought I'd better get out of bed. Tickle had thrown a toy at Husband's face (again) - though thankfully this time it was only a small one and didn't do any actual damage.

Tickle came to sit with me in bed for a bit. He didn't like this much, which he chose to communicate to me by throwing his glasses on the floor, and then shouting at me because he couldn't see. I got back in to bed and ignored him until he'd calmed down a bit.

We had a chat. We talked about what was worrying him - school, as it turned out, or more specifically, one boy at school who he is worried about. This particular boy actually left school at the end of the summer term, and I've spent the last few months trying to help Tickle understand that he isn't coming back 'for ever and ever'. However, it seems like it hasn't quite gone in yet, and he's still pretty anxious about whether this boy will hurt him.

This flowed naturally in to a repeat of the conversation we usually have following an incident like this: "It's OK to be worried, but it's not OK to hurt people."

Autistic people aren't supposed to be any good at communication. It's this word that is always used - deficit - like there is something wrong or something lacking from the way we choose to communicate. Granted, autism is a spectrum, and some people on the spectrum do find communication difficult, and aren't very good at it. But then, some people who aren't on the spectrum also find communication difficult, and aren't very good at it.

I am *exceptionally* good at communicating my feelings, thoughts, opinions, and desires to other people. I say *exactly* what I mean, no more, no less. The trouble is, I have realised as I've got older, that most people don't like this at all.

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Now available to order:
AAMA CD - a 14 track CD of songs written especially for adoptive, foster, and special needs families.
AAMA the book - an accompanying book explaining the science behind the music, and how to turn these songs from a bit of silly fun to a useful tool for supporting your child’s communication and development

Please select...

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© 2019 Cat McGill