Turns out It takes a village ....

This is my niece Jessica feeding her pet Kangaroo. She does this every day before rounding up the feral Koalas (a plague) and feeding them to her pet Dingo.

Oh, did I mention she lives in Australia?

Which is where Boo and I spent Christmas this year.  Where we ate from the barbie after making brash and direct comments to each other using lots of swear words.

And at my big sister's house they have a pool.

Boo as you can see was very happy there. He got loads of exercise which really helps with adolescence and the little upswings of aggression and impulsive behaviour that pop out here and there.

It also helped me to have him surrounded by family.

For 12 years I have longed and wished for someone other than myself and Mr H to truly and unconditionally be a part of my kid's lives.

I know I have the Angels and they are wonderful, but it isn't the same as having family that will welcome you into their home and make allowances to support the unique way we have to live.

So I have to travel 17,000 miles through 4 airports and their security checks with over 24 hours of flying at a cost of almost €5,000 (including babysitting for my Bratty and hotel costs in transit)

in order to have that extended family time.

It is an exhausting and stressful process - especially in light of the pop outs of adolescence.

But we do it because we cannot do this alone. You need the influence and support of other people to raise your kids properly. As Hilary Clinton said "It takes a village" - otherwise you just miss stuff.

Like Boo's eating situation. I just took if for granted that he shoves too much into his mouth and runs off, or proceeds to spit out the excess on to his plate. (I know I know GAD!) My family were really nice but they did make me aware of how gross it is.

But hey, in the scheme of our Autism Bubble home life where we get to worry about being able to talk, sleep, dress, wash, use the toilet independently and often enough to avoid a perforated bowel
and all the other things that must be taught specifically step by step.....

Eating neatly kind of got lost in the loop.

We also discovered the "privacy issue" where being in your own room naked is ok, going to the bathroom naked is okay. BUT GOING ACROSS THE HALLWAY FROM THE BEDROOM TO THE TOILET WITH YOUR WEINER OUT AND READY IS NOT OKAY!!

Fortunately this is a house of boys mostly so my niece was pretty cool saying "privacy Boo" whenever he crossed her path. But it is something I became VERY conscious of - as a result of being outside our bubble.

And finally The Incident in the Gobshite cafe Where my now 5 foot tall and very normal "looking" Boy happened to bump into someone who was waiting at the counter for the venue's extremely poor service.
 The guy responded by hitting Boo.

Of course I screamed seven shades of shite out of the old queen. Starting with "he's got autism and he didn't mean it" and finishing with "You NEVER hit another person's child NEVER!"

All of this while the 14 year old manager of the Gobshite cafe tried to find enough fingers and toes to work out how to refund my $9.40 (for 1 coffee and 1 coke FFS!)

I think he was too busy growing his first pubic hair and thinking about Hilary Duff to take any notice of the exchange infront of his cash register.

So the third part of the meeting I had with Boo's supervisor at the good school when we got back was "respecting personal space and not bumping into people"

We are going to incorporate a weekly visit to HMV in Dundrum for Boo with his tutor and supervisor and a task analyis of the steps needed.
1. Choose a DVD from the shelf after reading the back of about 25 different titles before proceeding to the counter,

2. Queueing to pay,

3. Without bumping into people.

Should be fun!



Dougal said…
He he, love the brash and direct comments, good one missus, I get it. Looks like a fantastic trip, except for Boo getting hit. Think if it was me, you would see the infamous, yet lesser spotted "agressive" side of me coming out. At the very least, would have to participate in some "swear words" myself. Hope you are all well hon xxxx ps It took me 15 minutes to work out how to get this to post :)
K.Line said…
I'm so happy you had the opportunity to experience parenting in the context of the bigger family. What a great gift! (I don't have family here either, and I know how important it is for someone else to love your child - and care for and accept that child - as you do.) It's something I miss very much.

And wow, you had some dramas! I can't believe the hitting at the restaurant. Insane and horrible.
Jean said…
Your family are obviously pretty special when you go to such lengths (literally) to sepnd time with them.
What a shock for that neanderthal in the coffee shop to be eaten alive by all 6 stone of you...maybe he'll think twice before hitting anoher child. XXX
Nan P. said…
I perfectly understand what you say about having your family around you. What I call my family of origin is only one and half hour plane journey away, but not having them around the corner for a cuppa and a chat... yes, I do miss that. As well as the family reunions, like dinner all together and all that. All the more important when you need that extra support. You know Hammy girl, any time you want to vent off steam, and just have a chat, or whatever, your virtual Nan is here... use her!

As for the eating issue, and the privacy issue, understandable they could be overseen, as you say other things take priority. In any case, good luck with the programme.

As for the G..S...E who hit Boo, I won't even comment!
Jen said…
Well done for sorting the G.S. out, I can imagine the choice of words and am loving them!! Hope all goes well in HMV. Jen
Lora said…
I am happy to be your newest follower, this is the first time visiting your blog and I am so glad to be here!

Hammie, I read the book "It Takes a Village" and completely agreed with her. However, I have yet to find that in my life as I cannot force those people to cooperate and be a part of our lives. So, I totally get what you are saying.

Griffin and I used to live in Alaska and even though we lived in Anchorage, a huge thriving city, we were very isolated from the outside world for several reasons. My Bipolar depression in the winter, the challenges we had with his autistic behaviors just trying to get out of the frickin door. Being a single parent with ZERO support and having severe mood swings was just one of our reasons. But I digress

I just want you to know that you have support from me and that i understand what it's like, if you ever want to stop by on fb or the blog and vent!

Excellent post! Sorry I rambled on so much :)
Andra said…
Love that you had a great time in Oz and your family are supportive. I don't know how your didn't clock the guy in the restaurant, not sure verbally attacking him would have been enough for me lol. I bet he will never make the same mistake again. Hope all goes well with the Hmv trip with Boo xxx
Make Do Style said…
Fab story and insight xxx
You know what I think of the hitting incident!!
Taz said…
i wish I could have been a fly on the wall when the GS hit Boo! I'd say he'll think twice before acting like a thug again! It's great you got to spend some time with other people who love Boo unconditionally, but so hard you have to travel so far to do it!xx
drwende said…
So glad you got to enjoy family support!

If it's any comfort, I suspect most parents at some point discover that their child has some irritating and embarrassing habits that have been overlooked within the family. You have a plan to cope, and that's what counts.
Lisamaree said…
FR Dougal! well done. I told you the autism world rewards persistence!
I was too shocked to do much else. My brain was kind of going "say what now?" while the automatic pilot was reacting to the "so rude" comment the prick made while hitting Boo.
Weird situation. xx

K-Line: you so get me on this. It is really bloody hard hey?

Jean: He left the coffee shop just after us (the 14 year old manager had told him they were closed so he could go and watch Hannah Montana) and we watched him walk past us as we were moving the car. I think he looked suitably chagrined.

Nan: It is feeling like you have a safety net under you when you need it. Or not. xxooxx

Jen: too shocked to use my best swears. seriously. Boo not impressed with plan for Supervisor and Tutor to come to HMV. Stay Tuned xx

Lora: lovely to meet you. WTF were you doing in Alaska with BPD??
I am seriously tuned to avoiding depression and gel, I get how hard that must have been for you.
Stay connected, as much as possible xx

Andra: If I was as tall as you I might have but like I say I was in shock. And I am pretty scary when I yell. If Boo was as tall as you, and he will be, the fecker wouldn't have touched him.

Kate: Thanks Darls

Taz: not only do they love Boo, they think he is pretty cool. And they really value it when he returns their love. My younger nephew was including him in a game of cricket and you could tell it meant something to him to be able to do it. (Boo was the third umpire) That counts big time. xx
Lisamaree said…
Dr Wende: thankyou. That really helps. xx
jazzygal said…
Hey Hammie...great post. Boo looks fabulous...and so, so handsome!
It's a pity your village is so far away but even if your village is close by unfortunetely there's no guarantee that your relatives will help:((

As for the gobshite...OMG I want to scream obscenities nat him too!

Oh..tks for the link;) xx Jazzy
Clive said…
Goodness and I thought you said this trip had gone well! What a charming guy you met in the restaurant!

We had a lovely man push Murray and Clive out of the way today in the queue in Hodges Figgis - unbelievable really but he won't be so quick to do it again!

Loved your post!
Anonymous said…
wow, I take my family support for granted - sometimes I get too much for Dillon haha. And you have to travel to the other side of the world! dont know how I would manage without them in seriousness. are you ever tempted to save yourself the 5k travel expense and stress and live over there? id say the swimming pool and the sunshine helps too!
Unknown said…
I really can't believe that somebody would hit a child in public - OMG!
It didn't happen me yet. Sometimes I worry as to what my response would be. Pretty violent I would imagine. It's officially true then- violence does tend to bring violence back.
As for your family - it's better to have a supportive family at the other side of the world than near you but only seeing them twice a year. And there are plenty of those around. Welcome back, we missed you! V.
Nick McGivney said…
I dunno what all the fuss is about. Sheesh! Here's me thinking you were bonzer but no, chucking a wobbly on some poor bushie, getting right in his dial and giving him heaps. Yer probably gonna get ropable on me now but I don't care, ya big galah. I'll still think you're ridgie dide. Shall I rack off now?
Lisamaree said…
Jazzy: the other part of our village is quite near yours and they do fuck all too. xx

Clive: it is not my favourite part of the trip. So I prefer to forget about it mostly. I hope you tore seven strips off the fecker in H&F xx

Katie: HI! There is limited ABA in my home town and what there is is user pays. So because of the "Good School - we stay. Will certainly sell up and return home in time for the vocational services!! xx

V:it's only once per year. Couldnt afford that twice! But hey, going to really push for some speaking engagements on the iPhone app to try and make it more often.

Nick! But we really did have a gorgeous bit of eye fillet done on the barbie with a light basting of dijon. and yes, we sat around being brash and swearing a lot. xx
Thanks for your amazing comment! We should totally do a "neuro-centric" fundraiser! Am I crazy, or did I see you on the news last week???
Petunia said…
How handsome is Boo!!! Love the pics and delighted you got to spend some good times with your family even if you did encounter the biggest GS while you were there... I have a visual impression of them having to peel a lived Hammie off him after he was chewed up and spat out (and deservidely so!) xxx