Here’s a list of 5 memories that really stand out as moments I felt “something’s definitely not right here” with the Pickle. Things that I couldn’t explain.
They’re from before I could get any friends, family or professionals to listen to me, and before the word autism had entered my vocabulary.
1) The day we bought a new toy box and Pickle spent over 2 hours opening & closing the lid repeatedly.
He would usually look at toys for a very short time before becoming restless, but this was like he was in a trance. It was weird. He still obsesses over doors, lids and anything that opens/closes and uses them for sensory feedback when he’s anxious.
2) When none of the Supernanny techniques worked.
I couldn’t get the Pickle to pay any attention to me when telling him ‘no’, ‘stop’, ‘wait’ etc so I bought ‘Supernanny – confident toddler care’ as I’ve always thought she had fail proof methods… and when I read it, not a single damn thing worked!! F**k you Supernanny! I always thought you would be able to help! 😉
3) when I took the Pickle to see ‘In the night garden live’ with another little girl the same age.
I got more attention and love from her sitting on my lap for 30 seconds than 45 minutes of trying to keep the Pickle in the same place and stopping him from running out. I kept thinking “why is going anywhere so difficult with him? Is it just me?”
4) The day I realised that discipline didn’t work. Ever.
It didn’t matter how much I encouraged, coaxed, pleaded or yelled at him, the Pickle just didn’t get it. One day I got so upset, frustrated and at the end of my tether that I screamed blue murder at him. He didn’t bat an eyelid.
I also asked other people at this point how they got their child to listen to them, I remember one person telling me “make sure he looks you in the eye when you’re talking to him…”
“Erm… I can’t!!!! It doesn’t work! It’s impossible!!! I can’t control his eyeballs! I can’t control ANYTHING with him!! Why doesn’t this happen to anyone else? I must such a bad parent that I can’t even get my child to listen or look at me!”
5) When all of the other children were making play doh and I couldn’t stop the Pickle eating it. He was 2 and a half years old. And the younger ones weren’t eating it…
It shocks me even to this day when I tell off our Labrador puppy, or I say no to someone’s child, and they actually get upset! I reached a point where it felt nobody took any notice of me and I was pretty redundant as a parent figure so it’s always a shock when I actually get a reaction 😉
Thanks for reading!