Thursday, 8 December 2016

A terrifying reminder that all my children are vulnerable

Holding a child's hand

I used to think some of the parents collecting their kids from the school were insane. They'd be stood chatting away with a selection of small children milling and running around them. What are they doing? The road is right there, I thought.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

WonderfulWednesday: An autism parent fell into a hole and @Metooandco

An autism parent fell into hole

Ah, I do feel like I've fallen into a hole sometimes, more often than I'd like actually. That's why this week's wonderful Wednesday share is the above that I found via Special Parents Handbook on Facebook.

It can sometimes feel isolating when your child has a disability.  When I was at the antenatal classes I had visions of making friends with the mums there, and then later I thought I'd make friends with the preschool mums and then later those at the school gate.  Honestly, it didn't really happen like that.  Sure I've got to know a few people, but not many and not very well.  I found it hard to relate. It was like everyone else was talking about raising their kittens and I had dinosaurs.

I started going to play sessions at a local charity called Me Too & Co.  They are a local charity run mostly by parents of disabled kids that supports the whole family. And I found being able to talk to people who understood what I was going through was such a relief. Yes, my kids could finally play in a venue without having their behaviour judged but more than that they offered support in getting the right education for my kids, DLA and you name it. They were there as much for me as they were for my kids.

So like the image above, as a charity of parents, they not only got in the hole with me... they brought the form so I could get a ladder ready for the next time I fell in.  Without these kind of friends I'd be struggling more and feel more alone. And most wonderfully, having the support of other SEND parents, SEND Bloggers and autism parents has given me the confidence to help others and make friends outside this community too.

External Links - Me Too & Co

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The pressure of inclusion, especially at Christmas

David near school

David wasn't in last year's Christmas show. I didn't think twice about it.  This year I got a call to say, he could be in the Christmas sing along.  I'd like to say it went well. But all I can say right now is I'm watching tears drip into my Costa coffee.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Keynote exert: As a SEND parent

Ann Hickman speech

At the end of November I gave a keynote speech to Special Education Needs and Disabilities professionals in London.  Here I'm sharing exerts from the speech on what do we as SEND parents want? Today, I share part of the setting I gave in my speech.. being a SEND parent. I'd love your comments on what you'd share about being a parent.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Madeupmilestones: Upside Mum and the school show

madeupmilestones picture

I'm proud of so many of my kids achievements.  My boys often don't hit the same milestones as listed in the 'little red book' milestone chart and I've learned that creating our own milestone charts celebrating their own achievements is more valuable to me.  This series celebrates the #madeupmilestones of those we care about.  This month it's from Upside Mum who shares a moment at a school show, something many of us may face at this time of year.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

WonderfulWednesday: No better feeling via H2AU

No better feeling pic

It really is an amazing feeling.  When your child, or anyone you know for that matter even yourself, steps outside their comfort zone. When that person finds change difficult and new things terrifying, it's even more an accomplishment and this is very common for people with autism.  That's why this week, my wonderful Wednesday share is this image from H2AU: the stuff of our life

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Easy bread mix helps kids learn to wait and share


Lots of children with autism find it difficult to wait for things.  Sharing is difficult for many kids, including those with autism or ADHD, because they have to wait for a toy, going on the bus is difficult because they have to wait for their bus. David used to have meltdowns at the bus stop because he didn't understand that we had to wait to for another number bus.  This cooking recipe is easy, fun, helps them learn about waiting and is ideal for this season of  'sharing'.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Spectrum and SEND Sunday #38

Spectrum & SEND Sunday linky

Hello, and welcome back to Spectrum and SEND Sunday #38,  hosted by Danielle over at Someone's Mum and me. This is the place to share your autism, special educational needs and disabilities posts and if you are new to linkies, no worries, you can look at my guide on what they are and what to do.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Progress and prosperity


"Progress".... sounds like something out of an election campaign. In fact Al Gore used it in 2000 "Prosperity & Progress".  As good as prosperity is, it's not usually the term I'm listening for when I walk into a meeting at my kids school.  If my kids aren't making progress or progress at the right pace then their education can go back to square one.
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