Thursday, 14 December 2017

Huge rise in SEND appeals is not a surprise

Boy looking out a window into the black

The latest statistics revealed this morning (14 December) by the Ministry of Justice show the number of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) appeals registered in the last academic year has risen by a huge 27% or over 1,000 cases to 4,725 appeals.  Sadly, I'm not surprised.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Getting our family out for activities

Boy, girl and father sitting on log in the park with warm coats and gloves on

Whether it's at home or while we are away, getting the kids outside is a must even though it's not always easy.  David, like many kids with autism has virtually no sense of danger, and his older autistic brother is petrified that David might get hurt.  Jane is only four still so can get tired if we are out for too long.  Exploring can be too unpredictable too.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

How to start helping my autistic son to understand money

Boy looking out of window at city

It's not unusual for the kids to be sent money in amongst their Christmas gifts from relatives (if I'm lucky, I still get some too).   But unlike our daughter Jane who thinks about what she may be able to buy, to at least one of my son's a five pound note is little more than a plasticky piece of pretty paper and the other has only just started to get an understanding of it's value.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Autumn-to-Winter Tree motor-skills kids craft activity

Autumn leaves motor skills and understanding kids craft activity materials

This is a lovely activity we've updated that develops motor skills and promotes understanding of what's happening in nature around now.

Friday, 8 December 2017

How our autistic and neurotypical family visited SantasGrotto

Autistic boy with iphone and rest of family with Santa

Visiting Father Christmas can be a few moments of magic in the chaotic run up to Christmas.  Faces alight, beaming smiles and kids playing on iPhones.  What, playing on iPhones?  OK, so that's one of things that we have when our autistic kids visit a Santa's Grotto, but this year it didn't matter at all.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Five reasons to get baking with the kids this Christmas

Christmas Star Biscuits with icing

Ask anybody what the benefits of baking with the kids are and they’ll tell you that’s obvious, you get to eat lots of delicious cakes at the end of it. True, that is one of the great benefits of baking with your children, but that’s only the end result. There’s so much that they can learn along the way and it’ll actually improve their skills and learning in a lot of different ways that you may not have considered. And Christmas is a great time to start and take advantage of more than just yummy outcomes.

Monday, 4 December 2017

My daughter wants to be a King

Girl wearing a golden crown in the sunshine

When the parent mail pounced on my inbox, I sighed.  'Reception Nativity Costumes' it said. Of course, many reception parents delight in the excitement of the first nativity play.  As a mum of three, I've seen a fair few.  We've also had the chaos of costumes mixed in with two autistic boys.  'At least that won't be the case with Jane' I smiled to myself as I opened up the email.  So true, in fact, Jane's costume chaos cheered me up no end.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

SEND and SpectrumSunday #62

SpectrumSunday logo

Welcome to December.  As the song goes "It's cold outside, but warm bed".  If only I had the chance of getting any sleep recently.  David's been up a lot in the last week or so and I 'm shattered! But, I've managed to pull myself together for our SEND and Spectrum Sunday linky.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

MadeUpMilestones: Bear's secondary school visits via @2ndtimemama

Girl gets a hug from the Disney ducks

I love sharing the posts from our #madeupmilestones guest post series. It's a real privilege to read about a special moment for someone. And today, it's from Starlight and Stories, our wonderful new co-host on the SEND and Spectrum Sunday linky.  It's all about how well 'Bear' coped with a visits to secondary schools.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Why it's good to remember times before our kids

A couple on a beach

Life before kids.  It might as well be another dimension. Nothing prepares you for the changes that will happen once you've got little versions of yourselves to look after.  Nothing prepares you for the love, the heartache or the worry.
What is Autism?
It's so much I couldn't possibly try and explain. For us it's wonderful and heart-breaking. Joyous and truthful. But as far as diagnosis is concerned, why not have a look at the National Autistic Society for their definition of Autism.
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