>Autism? ADHD? or just naughty?

>A bit of background for the people who are not fully aware…. This is my first born son Jordan is 8 years and 9 months old. He was diagnoised as being on the Autistic Spectrum

>A bit of background for the people who are not fully aware….
This is my first born son Jordan is 8 years and 9 months old. He was diagnoised as being on the Autistic Spectrum about 3 years ago now. Jordan also has ADHD, which was a diagnosis I fought against for ages before I let him be diagnoised 4 years ago. He also suffers from hypermobility.

Alot of people are surprised when they hear that I didn’t want Jordan being diagnoised with ADHD. As far as I am concerned, it is a label. A label which seems to be getting pinned on a lot of children without a lot of thought going into what else might be troubling them or causing them to behave that way. Yes he is hyperactive. He once didn’t sleep for 3 whole days. He is constantly bouncing around like he has been wound up like a clock work toy.
Call me niave, but I just wanted my son to be known as Jordan. Not Jordan who has ADHD. I was also very keen for it not to be used as an excuse for him to misbehave. I have been strict on him, and still am. He has no fear, even at 8 years old he would step out in front of a car if I let him. He constantly has to have his hand held while out and about. Although, I am very aware how others may see an 8 year old having his hand held, my sons safety is paramount. I am also very aware that his peers may see him, and how that could affect him within school, for instance bullying.

The diagnosis of Autism wasn’t a shock to me, I had always known that Jordan was different as such. But as he is my first born son, I have never realy known any different other than comparing him with other children, such as my friends children.
Jordan does behave differently to others. Largely because his brain responds in different ways to how someone without autism does. He can, and does, kick off when something troubles him and upsets him. He can’r explain himself very easily and gets easily frustrated. The result? my 8 year old son throwing himself around, banging his head and screaming and crying. Yes people do stare, but to be honest, I block them out, I concentrate on trying to get through to Jordan by using some of the techniques that I have learnt over the years.

I don’t have a particular technique that I use again and again that is a sure fire success. Mainly because every ‘kick off’ is different, has had different triggers, and will in no doubt take a different approach to bring back down. I use a range of different techniques, and I am always open to hear new ones too. The ones I use are not read out of a book but things that I have just found over the years that work.
Controlled Breathing is one that I have used to help Jordan alot, but has lately not been helping so much. I use my ‘authoritive but calming voice’ to say ‘in through the nose, out through the mouth’ and actually breath with him, demonstrating how to do it. It does take a couple of goes to get him to even attempt to do it, and I do wonder if the technique is actually helping me at the same time to calm me down to deal with the behaviour better. We all know how important it is to stay calm in a kick off situation and this definitely helps me. But it does help him to calm down.

One of the problems that I think anyone who has, or deals with someone who has autism, is the fact that they look like everyone else. People do assume that because Jordan looks like an 8 year old, he will behave like an average 8 year old. But Jordan has the mental age of child much younger, so while he still loves his Thomas the Tank engine, others his age are playing with wrestling figures and playing football. If he has a physical disability that was visible to others I am sure they would treat him different and maybe not look at me in disgust when Jordan does kick off!

Autism is a subject that others are becoming more aware of, and I know that not everyone is as ignorant as what I have described, but there is a large majority of people out there who look at children who are crying, or tantruming as being naughty, or even looking at the parent/carer as lacking the skills to control the child. All I ask everyone is that if you see a child who is screaming or crying, or even banging their head against the wall, don’t make an assumption. It could be any manner of things….

One last picture of Jordan having fun 🙂