Another School Sports Day?! Noooooooo!!!

Here is Caleb’s little sister ❤️ Today, she took part in three events at the children’s Primary School Sports Day.

In the first and second individual races, she was first across the finish-line, and then in the team relay event her group came second! She was absolutely on Top of the World, and basqued in all the deserved praise.

Her 9 year old brother also picked up 2nd place for the Long Distance Race, and came 3rd in the Sprint. He enthusiastically carried on his own Sports Day in the garden, with his sister, as soon as they returned home 😀

To be honest, the pair of them had been buzzing since bedtime, last night. Excited. Nervous. Going to dream about it! Today, searching for us in the crowd. Big waves!

But that is just NOT the case for Caleb, our oldest, 11 year old, Awesomely Aspergers boy. Things couldn’t be further from this happy picture!

It has always mystified me how much discomfort Sports Day brings Caleb, on EVERY level. 

Is it the change from the usual school day routine? Motor control challenges? Team events? Physical exertion? Public praise? The disappointment? Crowds of spectators?…

I’ve never really researched it as an Aspergers issue, but I can tell you that Caleb and Sports Day, for whatever reason, have a troubled history!

Last year seemed a lot better because Caleb had a gentle-natured male teacher who he massively looked up to, and the competitive events were reduced to a short period, with fun activities and group games taking up the majority of the day. Caleb even happily acknowledged we were there watching (!), which was amazing because usually my presence only seems to exacerbate his misery. Playing football that day, he regularly called over to us, and seemed very proud!

But having recently moved to a new school, Caleb struggled today, albeit he bounced back quickly when home. He talked about the positives much more than in his younger years. He was keen to point out what he’d succeeded at. Happy classmates didn’t criticise that he was allowed to sit out of the sprint race. No one insulted him.

But not a pleasurable day!

So I tried to put myself in his Aspergers shoes…. And this is the ‘experience’ I imagined…

Dazzling sun or drizzle assault on skin; What will these next hours hold? 

Shoe laces have (AGAIN) come undone. Fingers shake as I bend down.

DON’T look for those familiar faces in the crowd. A frenzy of excited children, surround. A rush of activity, where to now? 

Sit there! Get in line! Get ready! Look smartAn in-charge voice rings out LOUD across the field. 

A high pitched whistle blows. Cheers and chanting explode. From somewhere my own name is called. “Faster! Faster! Come on! You can do it!”…Every stranger’s eye on that finish line, high expectations abound. 

The scent of cut grass mixes with sweaty bodies.  This body, no longer my own… Heavy limbs, prickly skin, aching chest. Breathing shallow.

Can’t swallow. 

Senses in overdrive, yet feeling my energy leave. So weary.

Team points, others look to me… So much for just blending into the background. 

Everyone else happy, celebrating community?

Pressure. Scrutiny. Competition. 

Broken routine. Adapted rules.

1st? 2nd? 3rd? Not today. Yet to know HOW THAT feels.

But all the fun’s in the taking part, I’m told.

……………………………..

Glad I didn’t keep Caleb off school, despite secretly wishing for rain! Proud this is another tough area he is facing and navigating his way through.

Maybe I need to look into it more, to help him keep moving onwards and upwards. I can see, from a quick google search, we’re far from alone in this challenge.

If you can relate in ANY way, or have your own insight, I really would love to hear your thoughts and/or experiences 😊

Another Sports Day over!!✅

And Caleb already has a smile back on his face, on the same day! 

This is most definitely progress ❤️

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Does your Throat Tingle when there’s Too Many Air Bubbles in your Sponge Cake?

Maybe my body feels things differently to yours?

At the dentist I once needed a tooth pulling out because of an abscess that kept coming back. OUCH! I had to have a numbing injection. But I was SO stressed about the injection they also gave me gas and air. This Swedish dentist talked really calmly and told me a story. He described a place he went on holiday every year by the sea when he was little, with his brother, to help relax me …

BUT IT DIDN’T WORK! It was STILL the second EVER most painful thing, like the needle had gone through my head and out the other side…

The odd thing is that, another time, when my little brother also needed a numbing injection, he felt ZERO PAIN at all, and he had no extra help. What is even odder is he was only 8 years old and i was 10!!!

Another thing I can’t stand is if someone is sweeping the classroom floor with a wooden brush with thick bristles. It makes a horrible squeal and hurts my ears as well.

When I eat cake with a lot of air bubbles my throat tingles a lot. I don’t really like shop cake. My Mums homemade recipes are the BEST! Pasta sauce is also WAY BETTER smooth – I have learnt to eat lumpy sauce, but I usually leave the bits. (Now I’m 11 I don’t say ‘I hate it’ when I don’t like dinner. I’m polite and might just say something like ‘Yes, it was nice but next time you might want to get something [e.g. another brand] from Tescos instead of Co-op‘)

Also when I was little I hated the feeling of little clothes tags and the nobbly line on my socks, but now I don’t mind that sort of thing one bit at all.

So I have changed a bit as I’ve grown up… maybe when I’m a man my body will hardly notice some of these difficult things.

Who knows!

What does your brain tell your body it doesn’t like? I’m interested …Leave a comment if you like 👍🏻

From the Awesome Apergers Boy !

Very Tough Week

So I’ve not had the best of weeks… It wasn’t one bad day or hour or moment – no ‘major problem’ – but instead a lot of little ones making this week turn into a very tough week in my life.

Firstly, my brother moved into my bedroom. To some of you this is a normal arrangement, but as I like a lot of private time I can find my brother Josh (AKA the bedroom raider/thief) rather annoying.

And some normal chaos as well…At school this week it’s been tough. City centre type toilets with the worst smell and wee on the floor. This town also has rules for everything that I don’t get. Like why is it rude to point all of a sudden? I’m not being rude. It’s not with my middle finger.

There was a teacher I’ve never had before who taught us for the day. I didn’t like that one bit but at the beginning of the year we all made a promise to the school not to say nasty, hurtful things on social media so I can’t say more about that.

There’s a boy who keeps slapping my face when he passes me. Every day. They also keep calling me ‘geek’ and ‘nerd’ all the time. I don’t want to be in their popular gang because they’re not good to people, and I don’t mind being a ‘nerd’ if that means smart and happy to be my unique self…. But I don’t think it’s right I should have to have that every day – slapping and kicking/punching and names thrown at me too. Feeling so angry. Had a big chat with Mum and she’s going to ‘sort it’ she says. She also says one day I’ll have lots of friends and won’t feel lonely – and they’ll be the sort of people you want as mates. That have a laugh without hurting anyone.

Examples of annoying things in new bedroom this week too: Josh sprayed his ‘One Direction’ manspray just before bed and it got up my nose. He made noises in the night and it disturbed me. Positives this week : on the first day of sharing everything wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be actually. But on the second day Josh was holding my CD controller when he shouldn’t and he told me some of my toys were actually his – room raider tactics as usual. So half and half so far….I wish I could insist that Josh wear a special suit in the bedroom that electrocutes him if he touches my stuff, but I’m not allowed that! So instead I’m hoping that he leaves my stuff alone, and that I have the patience to get mum if he does.

But like I said in my first ever blog post “…where there is bad there is good…” …but hang on a minute! That little saying has just reminded me that, for the first time in over 4 YEARS!!! I got a birthday party invite from someone at school, that I hope to attend!

And Scott (a football team captain for the local football team and our P.E teacher) came on thursday and we did some Dodge Ball (yes odd for a football team captain to ref dodge ball but Scott does all sports and P.E games with us)… and we did a lot of LAUGHING!

As a good poster I saw with a laughing frog, once said:

 “A day without laughter… is a day wasted”