Keep on going...

Whatever the words that you hear,
Somehow the meaning is clear,
We're all on the same ship together, moving on,

From the first time that life could be heard,
To the last sounds of men on this earth,
The question is always the same, where are we going, where are we going?
Ooh carry on, carry on,
There's a silver light beside you,
Take the hand that's there to guide you,
Through this night to where we came from,
Carry on, carry on,
When the autumn leaves are falling,
And you hear the voices calling you away,
Then do not fear, you'll carry on,
Carry on, carry on... Love is the daughter of life, comfort to trouble and strife,
She's always beside you to help you carry on
Chris de Burgh

Tuesday 22OC13

Today was shower day again, and, at about 7am, Aodhan decided to go outside instead of showering. About 8am I tried to have a shower and found only cold water. There was no electricity. Since the showers are electric, there would be no hot water until the power came back on. I was worried that it would not come back on before Aodhan decided to come in. Luckily for me, the power came back on at about 9:30, just when the battery on my computer was beginning to run low. Aodhan wanted food badly, but refused to come in until about 11am. 

When he did come in, he showered, and ate. I told him that if he wanted to go anywhere that day he had to do reading, writing and arithmetic. To my utter shock, he agreed to do all three. He read quite a bit from a website about 18 wheelers. Then he wrote a paragraph about stoplights, and then did a math section. It has been so long, more than a year I thing, since I have been able to get him to do home school work. 

After he finished, he made his bed and did his dishes like I asked. We raced off to the go kart track and I gave him four tickets.

I had invited Yesenia over for supper, so I stopped at the grocery store and bought some strawberries and a few other things. I had made dinner in the morning while Aodhan was outside. Dinner went well, and we watched a movie on Netflix. Aodhan complained the whole way through because he didn’t get to pick the movie. He also complained that I gave the boys some pasta as well as the rice and chicken. He complained that I was looking at the wrong photos. He complained a lot, but he had fun. It is so exhausting and frustrating when someone does nothing but complain. 

After the boys left, Aodhan watched TV for a little while, and then tried to slip off to bed quietly so that he wouldn’t have to change into his pajamas. I of course caught him, and he changed with no problem. He has started something new. Yesenia’s boys told him that 8pm was their bedtime, and asked him what time his bedtime was. Aodhan told them it was 9pm, but that he could stay up until 2am if he wanted. Since then, he has been watching my clock, checking every couple minutes after 8:30, and I hear him calculating, “just 12 more minutes...” etc. At 9:00pm on the dot, he jumps up and runs off to bed, gets his pj’s on in record time and is in bed by 9:01. I kind of like this development.

I wish I understood what really drove him so that I could talk about it with him. It would help if we could work on things together, but he will have no part of it. It is just such a constant battle working with Aodhan. Every single thing every day has to be an argument. Whether it is which fork to use (we have only two, but this can take a ten minute discussion to choose), or whether to change his underwear. This can take three hours on a good day. It is so exhausting. People keep saying that I should take some time for myself. The problem is that in order to do that, I have to get him to a settled down point, so that someone else can handle him. I can’t send him off with an instructor, relative or friend or even a paid specialist if he is strung out. He will eat them for lunch. The times that I can leave him with someone, are the times when he is being quiet and well behaved. I am usually so tired and behind in all the things that I want to do, like writing, that all I want to do is sit there quietly and write, or get laundry done etc. When he is stable and sedate is when I can do these things. 

Aodhan’s secret is, wearing people down. If he is left with other people, he will wear them down until they give him much of what he wants to keep him settled. And, while this works in the short term, it does not work in the long term. So, when I get him back, he is regressed. He takes a lot of energy to get moved forward one square, but will backslide five squares in minutes, removing weeks of work I have done with him in just a few hours of being with someone else.

I think it is part of the reason that things got so bad. A few years ago, I was so drained by my life, not just Aodhan, but other things as well, that I kind of disappeared inside of myself, in search of myself. I kind of left Aodhan on his own, attending Alpha and doing what he wanted. He did fine, but, puberty hit and so did his hormones. Who knows how much better he would have been if I had been able to keep on coping, but I couldn’t. It doesn’t really matter. It is not my fault. It is not Aodhan’s fault. It is no ones fault. it just is what it is.

Wednesday 23OC13

This morning, Aodhan made a half hearted attempt to keep his pj’s with him, but he put them in his drawer when I told him to. He ate breakfast and then did all his reading, writing and arithmetic without too much issue. If you had told me three months ago that I would be sitting here doing homework with Aodhan, I would have said you were crazy. But here we are. He changed his sox, and he is not collecting the same amount of shit he used to in his backpack. He just keeps things, but he lets me clean it out every shower time. I worry that some of the reason he is happy down here is because I am letting him call the show.

He held out changing his underwear this morning. It works to just give him time and nothing else until he complies. It is going to be hard at home. He has too much freedom to go to Alpha, or to go out and explore or whatever. I sure hope some of this works by the time we come back. 

After homework, he changed his socks, brushed his teeth and made his bed. Well, kind of made his bed, he threw the covers around a bit and made it a little neater than it was. We did his school work relatively quickly.  When everything was done, we headed off to the golf club.

So Aodhan is off having tennis lessons. 45 soles, 20 for the court and the club for the day, and 25 for the instructor. He seems to like the guy. Aodhan had lunch here, skewer roasted chicken breast, rice and salad. I explained to the cook that he could have no wheat or dairy. Like RCYC, they have the same kitchen staff all the time, so they will get to know him. I made spaghetti again for him this morning - he loves it. I guess I am living kind of gluten free too. But I stole out and got an ice cream bar this morning though, so I am not exactly dairy free :( I guess my autistic nature will not go away.

Thursday 23OC13

He woke early this morning and put his pants on over his pjs. He did however, go take them off when I got up and told him to. He said no to the shower and headed outside. I told him he could do his school work first. He did the reading with not too much problem, and then sat down and wrote almost a whole page about the CN tower. He read his reading list, which is a list of the words he had trouble with when he does his reading. He balked at the math. I convinced him to go have a shower then instead of waiting all day, and finally, after some coercing, he decided to. 

After his shower, he wrote out his spelling words, these are the words he spelled wrong when he did his writing. He played around wanting to write them in tiny tiny unreadable letters, or writing imaginary made up words instead. He finally copied out his list. He did the math, but slowly and constantly stopping to have conversations about why he had to do it. But he did it.

Finally he was done. He put away dishes, after an argument about why he has to. He had some spaghetti, and, after he left the dish sitting where Alice could get up and lick it, he washed his bowl. (Note to self, maybe I should let Alice lick his bowl more often). He took a banana, and I was determined to see where he was putting his banana peels. I followed him up to the roof, and found that he had been making a garbage heap on the bags of building supplies the host family has up there. I chastised him and, knowing it was useless to try to get him to do it, I cleaned it up while he complained and said it wasn’t him. I left him out there with his banana, and said we were not going anywhere until his banana peel was in the garbage. He appeared at the door about five minutes later without it, and I told him he couldn’t come in without putting the banana peel in the garbage. He came back a couple of minutes later, and threw the peel away. 

We went to the golf course, and Aodhan had another lesson with Rail Aguero Ortiz, the tennis instructor. I have told the instructor that he is autistic and that I don’t care if he learns too much, just a little, as long as he has fun.

Aodhan and Alicia after bedtime kisses

The room at the Arequipa Golf club where we often hang out.

The golf course. They seem to be setting up a tent for a big event this weekend.

Aodhan playing tennis with Rail - (pronounced Raoul)

The playground at the golf club. Aodhan can go on this trampoline.

A view down the course.

The golf club swimming pool

My favourite floor at the golf club. It is slices of tree inset into pebbles.

I don't remember this room before, I have to check back in my old blogs - it must have been there