I love my Son dearly, however there are times he completely winds me up and leaves me feeling completely exhausted, out of control and unable to cope. 

My day usually starts when my Son bounds into the room, switches on our bedroom lights, jumps on me and demands instant attention.

Trips to the supermarket can be a full on battle when he wants to steer the trolley, usually into the path of other unsuspecting shoppers.

More recently we have been caught completely off guard when my son has gone into complete meltdown for trivial things such as crumbling his weetabix when he wants it whole.

It is at moments like this when I think there must be an easier way.

I anticipated that reading the "The Family ADHD Solution" would provide some answers for explaining some of my Son's behaviour.

What I found was that book touched on the challenges presented by ADHD, but focused more on helping parents manage their own emotions when things get tough and to appreciate the good times without dwelling on past incidents or worrying about the future.

The art of mindfulness helps to manage stress, stay in balance and objectively problem solve. This involves using frequent meditation to help focus on the present without excessive criticism or judgement.

It is now been a couple of weeks since reading the book and have been trying to practice mindfulness when with the kids, to focus on the present despite everything else that is going on around us.

I don't know how much is helping with reducing the overall anxiety and stress of everything we are going through, however it has been helpful in getting me to try approach things differently and to stop moving through each day on auto pilot without stopping to appreciate the good moments.

Have you got an tips for helping to manage the stress and anxiety from dealing with challenging behaviour?

This year has been a blur as we try to get a formal diagnosis and support for my Son, whilst trying to come to grips with what ASD (Autism) actually means for him, and what we as parents need to be considering in order to help him successfully navigate his way through life.

Despite our best efforts, we are facing an appeal with the LA as we were turned down for an EHC needs assessment and are in danger of permanent exclusion from school.  Without the assessments we have little idea of the best option going forward as we know so little about his particular challenges and needs.

The ongoing battle on all fronts has been exhausting and draining. 

My hours are spent trying to "tackle the system" rather than creating happy moments with my Son. In between the researching, form filling, appointment scheduling and battling to find support I have started to think of my Son in terms of a label, a diagnosis and the epicentre of a battle that is all-consuming.  

In addition my Son is having meltdowns with increasing frequency which we are constantly trying to anticipate and avoid, and tend to shy away from situations that might be socially challenging. We are now quick to explain to strangers that "he has Autism" when we are out, and each conversation we have at home or with other people tends to be about Autism in one way or another.

With all the battles and the challenging behaviour it can be hard to remember our sweet little boy who have given us so much to smile about.

So I want to take a moment to remember the good things. 

My Son 

An aspiring Doctor of Science
Inquisitive & keen to lean new facts
He has a love of space and rockets 

A keen little helper
Especially when it comes to helping with baking, cooking and gardening
With plenty of ideas and opinions of his own

Enjoys ham, marmite and honey sandwiches (combined in one) 
But won't go near marshmallows or berries

His endless energy makes the moments he slows down seem surreal
He gets the greatest pleasure from playing in a world of his own
And can spend hours with his Lego where he is only limited by his imagination

A confident character who makes you look at life differently

This weekend we embraced the things he loves, and after a few days of sunshine and happy memories the family are all smiling and we have been able to recapture a little of the "pre Autism battle" spirit. 

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