We had daughters friend round yesterday evening for a sleep over. Thankfully, she arrived early because daughter was driving us mad with the persistent 'is she here yet? is she here yet? is she here yet?...' I was very pleased to say 'She is here'! Friend is quite strong minded, so in a way, I am surprised they get on as well as they do. Daughter managed to control her anxieties most of the time whilst she was here. She had a few minor issues, like getting an eyelash in her eye and flipping out because we refused to let the dog sleep in her room. Her friend had never seen her behave like that, I was worried it might be enough for her to want to go home. However, friend made her a 'be happy' booklet and helped calm her down. The rest of the time, daughter behaved well although they didn't do so well at going to sleep. Not that I expected them to! It was this friends first sleep over so it was far too exciting to sleep.
Daughter hadn't eaten her dinner last night, she said it got stuck in her throat, another issue we have when she is anxious. I tend to sweep it to one side and give as little attention as possible so I didn't mention it at all. I thought it was just a one off, but she got up this morning and refused anything solid. Again, claiming that she 'choked' last night and cant eat. I made her a nutritious milkshake, strawberry which is her favourite. She refused it. Saying it had lumps in. She asked for a hot chocolate, which I made, but she only drank half of that. apparently, it had lumps in it too. Daughter did tell me that she is finding it hard to eat because her friend is here and she will eat later. I wont hold my breath. In the mean time, phone appointment booked with my GP to get a new prescription of the milkshakes they supply, which don't have lumps in and daughter does actually like. I may well need a double order this time.
Food refusal is common in daughter. She gets anxious, and hypersensitive to touch, including anything in her throat. We have been here before, the first time she was 7 and it took a long time and a lot of weight loss before we improved things, the last time was August 2013, we were on holiday in Tenerife and she suddenly stopped eating. It was about one week before school started. Anxiety over school built up and caused her food refusal. I never know if it is because she genuinely doesn't like the feel of the food in her throat, or if its just 'something' she can control in a situation where she feels out of control. I guess I never will know. I will just have to go with it.
They are out with friends to the cinema today, I hand them both over and have 2 hours off. Apparently they are going back to friends for lunch too. Although daughter wont touch anything, I am fairly sure son will eat her fair share too.
Thought I would mention daughter is much more anxious this week. Already we have had more stroppiness and meltdowns than last week. Its well known with in the PDA world that the every day demands of school cause severe anxiety with PDA children. Daughter had a week of relaxing but now she is thinking that school starts soon and her stress levels are high. They will get higher as this next week goes on. Then they will stay high throughout the term. Some days good and some not so. As I described previously, just like a bottle of fizzy drink, shaken all day and the top removed when she gets into the safety of my arms. Daughter needs support at school to manage these anxieties, someone who can support her through the day and de-brief at the end. She cannot manage them alone like a 'normal' child.
For anyone who doesn't know, I believe our daughter has PDA type autism. Its not diagnosed because the NHS doesn't recognize it even though its been known for over 30 years. Please can you help? If you have not already done so, please sign the petition. BUT, THATS NOT GOING TO BE ENOUGH. In order to really sort this, we need real help from each and every one of you reading this. Please share the petition ask partners, family, colleagues and friends to do so too. Please re-post the link on Facebook, twitter or google. Please ask your friends to do the same. One person can't change the situation. Its going to take an army to change it. The PDA army. All new recruits please follow the link to sign in. :-)