Friday, 1 November 2013

Why the name 'Stardust'? and a bit about 'Resolute'

The definition of Stardust is the following:
noun: stardust
    a magical or charismatic quality or feeling (that is why the name was chosen)
In our house we try hard to be more positive than negative, this is what keeps us all going.  If we dwelled on all the difficulties we had to overcome then we would never move. 

Stardust has a brother, lets call him Resolute (definition: admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering). He is 14, he also has a diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome with oppositional defiance disorder and high anxiety (this basically means he will not agree with  anyone about anything without holding swords up until dawn).  It can be very tiring for him and everyone around.  When someone is adamant they are correct believe me they will not give up.  Resolute was very keen on getting a diagnosis and he had a thorough assessment done earlier this year - we travelled to The Tavistock Clinic in London.  He has managed to keep himself focussed in school to an extent and out and about, but at home we have had to endure very difficult moments.  Times when anxiety has struck him so hard.  This has caused lots of struggles. 

He was relieved by the 'label' he was given as he has been insistent for a while that he has similar challenges to Stardust. I am a bit funny about naming a set of behaviours, it does play havoc in my head, but I do have to hold my hands up and say that it has helped Resolute to know what's going on with him.  He literally breathed a sigh of relief after he found out.  I saw a weight lifting from his shoulders and since that day he has had a shift in behaviour - still lots to work on but not so ultra challenging.  He decided after he got his diagnosis that he didn't want to stay at the school he was at.  Too academic, too pushy and nothing like the philosophy we have at home.  We hunted about high and low and we discussed about home schooling, but he was keen to move on to another setting and was sure we would find one.  We did, but it was all the way down south.  It is a small independent school in the countryside and he loves it.  The teachers are respectful, the pupils are all kind to each other and he has a good laugh.  He isn't spending his days competing about who has the latest gadgets, he is computer programming and playing FIFA and doing lots of things teenage boys should be doing.  The most important thing is that he is happy there.

Stardust sees Resolute a lot - we try and make sure we spend at least every third weekend together and he is home for all the holidays so it really isn't as bad as one may imagine.  Things soon slip back to normal after a few minutes, it is like we have never been apart.

I don't spend a lot of time thinking about the boys having their difficulties.  It can be too overwhelming and I think at times unhelpful (maybe depressing).   We take each day at a time and slow everything down to the speed of a snail.  The slower and calmer I can be; the more productive and happy they are.  I do so much listening, not to words but to everything.  I observe like an owl. I know the boys inside out and back to front and they know me too. 

They can feel emotions across miles - they know my mood is going to switch before I do. They can feel a baby crying and the hunger inside its belly.  They can feel anger from people conversing in the street, and often believe it is directed at them.  My two boys have an amazing ability to pick up on individuals that are less than genuine.  This can cause problems, but sometimes it can be helpful.  They have if you like a sixth emotional sense and they don't know what to do with it.  It causes crazy reactions inside of them and this is when they can become disengaged, agitated, angry and aggressive.  To say a person on the autistic spectrum has no empathy to me is like saying fish can't swim.  They have gallons of the stuff, so much that it hurts.


  1. Your post was very interesting. I am seriously impressed that 'Resolute' knows his own mind and is adamant about what he wants, I think that is fabulous.

  2. Thank you for your comment. I have always taken the approach of a more peaceful parent and I honestly believe this is what has helped us get to the place we are today. Sometimes being adamant about what you want is not a positive. Lots of flexibility needed always in order to be able to function productively in society - it can cause many a problem!