Tuesday, 11 March 2008

I seem to have someone's mojo - let me know if you want it back

I got up at 6.00 this morning, utterly determined to get out and run. You're impressed, I can tell. I deliberately did not listen out for rain/wind/plagues of frogs on the basis that I was going out regardless and I would just decide on what top layer of clothing might best fend off the elements. I couldn't find my iPod (later discovered hiding in a towel in my gym bag) but still I went out. It's probably good for me to run without music now and again anyway.

I had planned a gentle(ish) session - 15 minutes running, 2 minutes walking x 3 - a total of 51 minutes. (Although looking back at some of my older posts, not that long ago that sort of session would have killed me. Or at least made me REALLY grumpy.) I set out on the road across the hills nearby and it was very very gusty - with the wind in my face it felt like I was running on the spot at points - with the odd violent splatter of rain that didn't quite add up to a proper shower. No-one else about, hardly even a car. Did see a bird of prey of some sort hovering just off the side of the road where the rabbits hang out - I'm sorry, I am rubbish at wildlife so can't identify it. A falcon of some sort maybe? Kestrel? It wasn't very big, certainly. The very very good news is that it is now actually getting light at that time of the morning. Spring at last! The clocks will be going forward soon and robbing us of a precious weekend hour of sleep!

Anyway, I had my 2 minutes walk after 15 minutes and then set off again, reached the turnaround point and just...kept going. Didn't want to walk, didn't feel like it. My breathing was remarkably steady and even (normally I breathe rather heavily even when I am running okay) and the legs were fine. So I missed out the other walking sessions and got home after about 50 minutes. Again, could have run for longer I think but needed to get home to take over the morning child-herding from Husband who was planning to walk the 4 miles into work. Heh! That makes us sound like the Fit Family, doesn't it? I promise you, we really are not (as anyone who saw the state I was in when I got back would testify.)

The boys were preparing their breakfasts when I got in. First Born was carefully cutting the crusts off his buttered (well, dairy-free spread-ed) bread. And then eating them. Can't quite figure out the point of that. Both boys were in a chirpy mood for once, not sniping and chewing bits off each other in retaliation for unpardonable slights like "looking at me wrong". I even got hugs.

Both of them were also keen to know what we thought of their school reports which had come home last night in sealed envelopes. I have avoided giving them a proper response as Husband and I like to do that together but I have said we are pretty happy. And we are. Second Born got his usual hymn of praise - he is apparently quietly spoken, charming and helpful at school. He clearly saves the yelling, stamping, door-slamming and brother-baiting for home. How kind of him.

First Born's report was pretty good too. He has more challenges than his brother: he has many of the symptoms of dyspraxia and some that are borderline Asperger's. In particular he has a tendency to just get lost inside his own head. This is more than just a failure to concentrate - he can't seem to differentiate between the external stimuli he gets - like his teacher talking, or what's on the board - from the internal ones buzzing around in his brain and sometimes he goes with the wrong one. That's when you find him gazing intently at a piece of plastic, or his own hand or thin air, and physically trembling with the force of what his imagination is doing. Must drive his teacher batty.

He also has major trouble with some forms of social interaction. He is fiercely loyal to his friends and actually makes friends pretty easily but he can't understand the unwritten rules of social contact - they are too fluid and slippery for his brain to grasp. He finds it nigh on impossible, for example, to tell the difference between jokes and friendly gentle teasing on the one hand, and outright bullying mockery on the other. So he will react angrily (and his anger is quite a sight to see - very drama queen) to someone who is actually just trying to play with him. Equally he can't see the impact his own behaviour has on others so tends to offend and upset other kids without meaning to and without understanding how he has done it. Oh, and he's loud. He has no volume control whatsoever.

Reading that back, it makes him sound worse than he is. He manages to rub along fine in school he just is never the person anyone in his class will pick to be their partner in a piece of work. All that said, he is managing to cope pretty well. We just get the feeling that some of the teachers at school need to cut him a little slack in some areas - make sure they sit him near the front of the class facing the teacher (if he is facing any other way he will get fixated on whatever it is he is looking at) and that they give him enough time to copy stuff off the board, for example, which he struggles with.

All things considered, his report is pretty good though so I think the boys will be up for a little treat come the weekend. And knowing them, it might well take the form of aromatic crispy duck!


  1. No. That's okay. You keep the mojo!
    Interesting reading about your son. My girlfriends father has Asperger's Syndrome and life as his daughter has been a challenge. Yet he is a loving man and a good dad, just not what one might call conventional.

  2. Oh, your son's situation sounds awfully familiar. I had very similar problems at his age (except that I didn't get angry; I burst into tears. Of the two, I'd recommend getting angry, really.) Things got a lot better in my teens, although my AS wasn't diagnosed until I was 18. I still have the concentration problems and so forth, but I'm much better at finding ways around them.

    It should make an enormous difference to him that people know this isn't his fault. Nobody knew about these things when I was little...

  3. Gosh - I'm exhausted just reading all that: well done you!

  4. I'm envious of your mojo. Why can't I get enthusiastic about exercise? I make so many excuses. But, recently I was diagnosed as borderline diabetic and if I don't begin some kind of regimen, it will not turn out well. What is your secret? From whence comes your great mojo?