Wednesday 29 September 2021

Thoughts from my children Part 3

Have I told you that I love my children?? I have, oh well I'm going to tell you again!! They've both been doing lots of reflections on things that they do and don't like, as well as how they view, see and feel the world around them. They blow me away every time that they articulate to us how their brains work. So here are a few more thoughts from my children.

[I not like wearing shoes and socks. They too tight on my feet. They don't let me feel where I walk. I like feeling the ground. The ground makes me feel good.
L, 8 years.]

[I am Autistic. I am a good friend. I like to run and jump and bounce. I like being Barr feet. I don't like loud noise but I like being loud. I like superheroes. I can talk now. I a good listener. I am me.
L, 8 years.]

[Bouncing, jumping, tumbling. This is a very happy place.]

[I'm Autistic. I'm creative and I'm a visual thinker. I love learning and making new friends. I'm logical and I think literally. I tune in to fine details that others miss. I'm a sensory avoider and a sensory seeker. I'm empathetic and accepting of others. I'm unique.
O, 11 years.]

[Autism. Some days are hard. Some days are easy. Every day you will learn something new about your children and yourself. Every moment is worthit. Breathe and remember that your children need you. Autism is an adventure.]

[When I talk and when I listen, sometimes I need to move around. I need to wiggle and move cos that help me to concentrate.

[You see a child cooking.
I see a child crossing his midline, tasting new foods, learning life skills.]

[Please remember... You are your child's safe place. When your child is having a rough time, please don't show them judgement. They need you to be understanding. They need you to love them unconditionally. They need you to be there for them.
O, 11 years.]

[A little bit of vitamim sea soothes the soul.]

[Sometimes when people ask me questions, I can't answer. My brain got to think of the answer so I needs time to think.
L, 8 years.]

[Autistic people are human beings. We might be neurologically different from those around us, but we're still human beings. We have feelings and thoughts, strengths and challenges just like everyone else.
O, 11years.]

[Hyperfocus. This is the ability to zero in intensely on a subject or topic.
Autistic children, and adults, may hyperfocus on a topic that they become extremely knowledgeable on the topic. Being able to hyperfocus on a topic or special interest my bring calm for an individual if they feel overwhelmed.]

[My brothers and my knowledge about our Autism isvery positive. Mummy and Daddy only ever talk positive about Autism. All parents need to do that.
O, 11 years.]

[Some people prefer "I am Autistic," other people prefer "I have Autism."
I prefer to be known by my name and not by my diagnosis.
O, 11 years.]

[Why do people tell you to "just beyourself," but then they judge you for being yourself?
O, 11 years.]

[When I was little and I didn't know how to talk, I had stuff to say but my brain not (know) how to make the words come out loud.
L  8 years.]

[Everyone that has been diagnosed as Autistic has their own set of strengths. They also have their set of difficulties that they need to overcome. Every individual is just that, an individual. 
O, 11 years.]

[Sometimes I think my brain wants to be a butterfly cos when I have an idea, it flys away. My brain can't catch the idea, it just flies away like a butterfly.
L, 8 years.]

[Society needs to accept that being neurodiverse is perfectly okay.
Being neurodiverse is pur normal. We can't be anything other than neurodiverse. Our Autism is not going to disappear.
O, 11 years.]

[I can't sit still for long cos my brain want to keep moving. When I move, I listen better.
L, 8 years.]

[Sensory overload due to loud noises, doesn't feel like "this is a little bit too loud."
It's more like the sound is bouncing around my brain making it incredibly difficult to concentrate.
O, 11 years.]

[Autism Lesson 101:
Stimming feels natural to me. Stimming calms me, I can express how I feel
through stimming. Stimming just happens.
O, 11 years]

[Autism Lesson 101:
"Not looking Autistic," is a huge myth.
There is no one look to Autism. Every individual is just that, an individual.
O, 11 years]

[Autism Lesson 101:
Some topics, like Harry Potter and Space, draw my interest in more then other topics.
Talking about and learning about me favourite topics is calming to me.
O, 11 years]

[Never change who you are so that others will accept you.
Find those who accept you for who you are.
O, 11 years]

[I think it is important to talk about Autism in a positive manner,
because for me, being Autistic is a great thing.
Autism allows me to view the world differently
and to think way outside of the box.
O, 11 years]

[Sometimes my body and my muscles are tired but my brain, it just not tired
so I can't go to sleep. My brain just keep going and going.
L, 7 years.]

[In our house, normal is having a brain that is neurodivergent
from everyone else.
O, 11 years]

[Autism, anxiety, sensory processing difficulties, ADHD aren't always visible.
But that doesn't make them any less real.
O, 11 years.]

Tuesday 21 September 2021

Just a dog named Ruby.

This is a story about a dog named Ruby - a stubborn but caring English Bull Terrier.

Shortly before L was due to arrive earth side in 2012, Daddy Superhero spotted a notice on his then work online notice board of an English Bull Terrier for sale. He has always had English Bull Terriers as family fur members, so we just had to have a look. The Bull Terrier was a rescue pup and in her first year of life had been through four owners, this intrigued us. We were told that Ruby had only just turned one.

I took O along with me (because Daddy Superhero was working) to meet Ruby and her former owners and immediately fell in love with this goofball puppy. We were told by her then owners that Ruby was stubborn and hard to control (ummm, she's a Bull Terrier, aren't they all stubborn??) and that she wasn't great with children. Her then owner explained that they were Ruby's fourth owner but she was just too boisterous and stubborn for them and Ruby's previous three owners. This really broke my heart, this beautiful brindle English Bull Terrier had been passed from owner to owner because they didn't understand the nature of the breed.

When O and Ruby met, they sat down on the grass side by side and O started giving little sticks to Ruby. Ruby took every single stick very gently from O's hands. O was only two and a half years old! Not good with children? Really?

O and I decided on our way home that we just had to have Ruby as our family fur member. So after speaking with Daddy Superhero, Ruby was collected and brought to her forever home.


From day dot, Ruby acted like she had always been with us and she was just marvellous with O. They became best buddies within days of living with our family. Whenever O was outside in our back yard playing, she would usually end up sitting on Ruby's bed or in Ruby's dog house getting puppy cuddles. When Ruby sneaked inside, she would end up in O's bedroom. They were the best of friends.

Ruby did think that she was part dog, part rabbit and part lorrikeet though! She would happily share her dry food with our pet rabbit and when Cutie (the rabbit) was out of his hutch, Ruby would go into the hutch to eat the dry rabbit food and rabbit poop!

Then L arrived earth side. Ruby was equally as loving and caring with L as she was with O, she had a new hooman child to look after. From the very beginning Ruby has instinctively known when either of the little superheroes has needed assistance. 

If either of the little superheroes were having a rough day, Ruby was there comforting them. Ruby used to sleep under the window of L's then bedroom.


The big boisterous, stubborn English Bull Terrier was the calming family fur member that both little superheroes needed. Back in Perth we used to say that Ruby was an untrained assistance dog. Ruby would never pass the public access test because she loves meeting new people and can't help herself when it comes to food, but she always knew exactly what to do to calm her hooman children.

And if there was any mischief being had, Ruby was usually in the thick of it!!

Ruby used to let the little superheroes get away with things that others wouldn't. Ruby would let L take food from her mouth. Ruby would let both little superheroes sit on her.



Ruby even featured in a photo shoot that the little superheroes were asked to appear in. The photographer wanted little superheroes and their pets!

When we made the decision to move from Perth to Queensland, it was a no brainer, Ruby was coming with us. We had to make the incredibly difficult decision to rehome our pet rabbit, both little superheroes were just devastated but unfortunately rabbits cannot be kept as pets in Queensland without a lot of modifications to their hutches.

The look on both little superheroes faces when they were able to give Ruby pats and cuddles at our new home in Queensland was wonderful. Ruby was exactly what both little superheroes needed to make our transition into life in Queensland easier.

This year Ruby turned twelve years old. Due to where we are now living, Ruby lives with the little superheroes grandparents. As L says "Ruby old now so she live with Grandma and Duddud cos they old too!" We visit Ruby several times a week and she does come for the occasional sleep over but her old bones struggle to get up our stairs.

We discovered late last year that Ruby has the same heart condition that our previous Bull Terrier, Ranger, suddenly and unexpectedly passed away from shortly after O was born. Ruby's heart is literally too large for her body and her system struggles to cope. Ruby is on some pretty strong heart medication to help slow the heart disease down and we know that one day, we are going to make the incredibly difficult decision to let her go peacefully.

She and Henry are great mates and while Ruby still believes that she is a puppy, her old bones struggle to keep up with Henry's energy.

While we had a Bull Terrier named Ranger when O was born, Ranger unfortunately passed away within a few month of O arriving, so Ruby is the first fur member that O can remember. When we visit Ruby, she follows O around because in Ruby's mind, O is her hooman child. When the day comes that we let Ruby go, both little superheroes are going to be hit hard but especially O. 

This stubborn bull terrier who we were told was not great with children and who had a rough start to life being handed from home to home, has proven that she is the best fur friend that we could ask for. And Ruby still knows exactly how to calm both her little superheroes.