My cheeky little man!!

My cheeky little man!!

Friday, 18 May 2012

Behind closed doors

Ben is my life, I love him so much but I also find him at times very hard to live with. Most people who know me know that he is violent and I often say this but I think very few people know how extreme his violence can be. I guess I hide it away because in some ways I am almost ashamed to admit what happens when people arent here. It also happens when out and about and when we are in the company of others but not many people know that this happens on as regular a basis as it does.

I know all children can have a bit of a meltdown or tantrum and hit out on occassions. The difference we have is that Bens violence is daily and not always caused by a typical reason like not allowing him something. Ben hits me regularly for what seems to be no reason at all. We constantly try to address all of the problems his autism brings and feel we are good at that and he can be such a happy child for example when he is looking at maps, watching the simpsons (when the adverts aren't on!) and playing on his computer. These are not the times that we find hard, nor are the times when we say no to something and he hits out, this is normal, maybe not all 6 year olds still do this much but Ben is still developmentally delayed in many ways so we understand he will have the typical odd toddler tantrums. Bens violence however is different and heartbreaking.

Imagine being hit, punched and kicked on a daily basis by your child, having all your body sore on a daily basis because of bruises and scratches. Imagine waking up every day and knowing that this will be another day of beatings and pain. Ben is very strong, he doesnt just slap, he punches, kicks, headbutts, bites, scratches, pulls hair and strangles. Ben grabs at every part of my body and pulls at my clothes, I own very few items of clothes that do not have some kind of rip or tear.

If I was to count how many times a day these incidents occur it would be impossible it is continual for most of the day, my only respite really is when he is at school, luckily he goes to a special school and gets the bus to and from school which gives us a reasonable break from him. We also get some respite so he goes out for trips out with a befriender and he enjoys this, some people see this as unnecessary and see us as scroungers for this but try for a minute to imagine a child that does not sleep well and every waking moment he is home he hurts me, then tell me that I shouldnt get some waking time without him! It breaks my heart that we need this help, I would give our benefits and help up in a heartbeat for a "normal" child who didnt hurt me daily.

So now you see a child who can read, is getting better at writing, and has good language doesnt mean he is only mildly autistic, it just means he has developed well in those areas he is still challenging in others, it has been a long time since I left the school playground, I am not in any way trying to say my child is worse than anyone elses or trying to boast about his achievements however I do think autism is a double edged sword the good and the bad. If you have met one child with autism you have done just that, met one child with autism, life behind closed doors can be very different and life isnt always as it seems.

On a positive note behind closed doors chocolate always brightens the day ever so slightly, as does a certain brand of icecream :) The next blog post I promise I will try to make more positive, I have just tried to make these first ones kind of outlining things as they are, the double edged sword isnt always bad, my boy is a little super star and makes me so proud in so many ways and I will never ever stop loving him despite the pain I experience from him.

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