Some people think that because you have children with special needs you automatically become a Super-Mum. Although I would love this to be true, I have to admit, like all Mums I make mistakes- alot of them. And like all Mums I suffer from that terrible disease "Mothers Guilt". Am I doing enough, am I doing it properly, surely someone or anyone else would do it better?
There are some ocassions when I embrace my Superhero status and last night was one of them...
I think you all know my 6 year old Pierce has Aspergers? Now Pierce is a "text book" Aspie. Repetitive movements, obsessive behaviours, "little professor" speech (complete with an American accent), an impressive IQ and severe sensory dysfunction. Check,check,check,check,check.
Sensory dysfunction is a major issue with our ASD kids but one that is hard for us to understand. Pierces sensory system is classed as "hyper". In simple terms he is in overload ALL of the time. He hears too much, sees too much and feels too much. One of the many, many issues that arise because of this is Pierces reaction to pain and illness.
I will explain it as I understand it...because Pierces senses are in overload when he is feeling "normal", when something like an injury or illness occurs it is MAJOR and yes the capitals are warranted. I have seen Pierce go into shock over a stubbed toe. He also has a severe aversion to blood and other bodily fluids.His reaction to pain and illness is so severe it is a topic in his IEP at school. To the extent that all of the staff at his school have been made aware of Pierce and what can occur if injury or illness occur ie: he will withdraw and/or abscond. He will hit out if approached, not because he is violent but because adding any extra sensory input is something he is not able to cope with, So, don't touch him, don't talk to him...just be there and wait it out!
Thankfully Pierce doesn't get sick or hurt himself much but when he does it's not pretty! Last night was one of those nights...I had a visit from his alter ego Vomitron!
Now, I'm not sure if Vomitron is an Autobot or a Decepticon but I do know he causes absolute devestation!
Pierce has a stomach bug and woke up at 2am vomiting. Now vomiting and children is always messy but when Pierce is sick he goes into this trance like state of withdrawl. He sees nothing he hears nothing...and he vomits! He is a vomiting robot, hence Vomitron, complete with robot like movements reminiscent of the robot in Lost In Space with projectile vomiting added!
How does Super-Mum deal with this? I follow him around with towels and bowls encouraging him to " Get it out sweetheart you'll feel better" and begging him to stay in one spot. Like all Mums I know how far vomit can travel! Vomitron doesn't care, he continues on his path of destruction.
Eventually and against all my Motherly instincts I leave him to it. It's heartbreaking to see your child sick or in pain and not be able to comfort him and I still have alot of trouble leaving Pierce alone when this happens. It just feels wrong .
So, I have cleaned. I have scrubbed. I have disinfected. I have defeated Vomitron. And all those cuddles I couldn't give Pierce last night...he got this morning.