Thursday, 30 June 2016

Why my autistic son would be a great father

Future autistic father and son

Anthony, our eldest son with autism, used to say that when he grew up, he'd like to be a..  dad.   Possibly also combined with a part time job as a either a dentist or super villain.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

#WonderfulWednesday: The Batman Effect - Could it help kids focus?

Batman mask from ADHD child

This week's wonderful Wednesday share came from understood.org via Life with ASD & the Rest.  It's a blog post by Stephanie M Carlson called 'The Batman Effect: What my research shows about pretend play and executive functioning.'  I know, it's a bit of a mouth full.  So what's it about and why is it my wonderful share of the week?

Monday, 27 June 2016

5 ways to get sleep when you are kept awake

Autism bedroom at night
I've spoken to so many new parents, parents of children with additional needs and carers, whose primary issue of the day is that they are exhausted. Every mother reads about 'baby brain' as the baby keeps you up at night but no two kids are the same. Some babies sleep through from a few weeks, others a few months and despite efforts some kids need help for years through their life.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Favourite Friday: it's not supposed to be 'Them' vs 'Us'


"I'm prepared to go in fighting." I've read and heard the phrase so many times from parents of children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) that I've lost count. I may even have said it myself.

By definition a SEN child needs additional support.  They are "A child or young person has special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them."  Where a special educational provision is "provision that is additional to or different from that which would normally be provided for children or young people of the same age in a mainstream education setting."  (Children and Families Act 2014 Section 20 and 21).

Read the full post here.

Every Friday we share the most popular post from the previous week in case you missed it. See all our favourite posts here.

It's not a good day to be a worrier.. and I'm a worrier

British flags, Big Ben BBC
BBC News - Brexit: What happens now?

I was shocked when I was woken by the news this morning. The UK has voted Leave.

Immediately my head started to spin.. what will this mean?  What will happen next. It's not a good day to be a worrier.. and I'm a worrier.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

#WonderfulWednesday: What not to ask an autistic person

https://www.facebook.com/bbcthree/videos/10153847649365787/?fallback=1
This week's wonderful Wednesday share is based on a video by BBC Three 'What not to ask an autistic person.' It's a humorous video that highlights and explains common misconceptions about people with autism from autistic people themselves.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Pinchy fingers with Apple & Pear Crumble helps learning to write


Cooking is a great way to develop listening and motor skills for all kids, not just those with autism.  Anthony made this Apple and Pear Crumble at his Kiddie Cook after school club.  It's an easy recipe that got him working without knowing it.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Review: Watching made easy with iBeani iPad and Tablet Stand

We are a iPad and device heavy home. We have nearly as many iPhone, iPads and tablets as I have fingers. We use them for everything from doing the weekly shop online and doing jigsaw puzzles to streamlining kids TV and sports events. Two of our three children are on the autistic spectrum and use these devices as a way of interacting and coping with the world around them. We go everywhere with at least one device.  So I was fairly pleased when I was given the opportunity to review the iBeani, a new iPad/Tablet/e-reader stand that I thought the whole family might be able to use.  As always this review is independent and is from the view of a mother of autistic and neurotypical kids.

The things I hear during an England game

Boy with Autism and England Flag

Here are a few examples:

"He's not covering the post."

"Shhh."

"Cap, cover the perimeter"

Friday, 17 June 2016

Favourite Friday: The heart ache of one shoe, my son's despair


It's hard to explain to someone who doesn't understand.

Have you ever been so distraught that you can't function? Has anything ever upset you so much that you simply can't cope with anything? Think uncontrollable tears or absolute fear or rage? Or all at once? Now imagine feeling like this because your sister has only got one of her shoes on. That's what  life is like for our autistic son, David.

Every Friday Rainbowsaretoobeautiful published the most popular post from the previous week. You can see them all here

Read the rest of this week's Favourite Friday post 'Autism parenting: The heart ache of one shoe, my son's despair'

Thursday, 16 June 2016

SEND parents and boroughs should come together



The last week has seen an out pouring of emotion, information and suggestions following comments made by a solicitors firm caught 'gloating' about a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Tribunal win on Twitter.

Many were extremely upset by a series of tweets that led to the story breaking in the national newspapers including in The Guardian.  LBC and Radio 5 Live both heard from parents who felt let down my the systems in place or provisions available. 

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

#WonderfulWednesday: Rare Chromosome Disorder Week 2016


This week's wonderful Wednesday share is from Caring in the Chaos about Rare Chromosome Disorder Week 2016 and is called 18Q Reason's I love you.

It's from a mum whose daughter has a rare condition - Chromosome 18Q and with this she is likely to have learning difficulties. What I think is just wonderful about the post from Caring in the Chaos is that she makes a list, of 18 things, few of which are to do with her daughter's difficulties and all of which are to do with her daughter's accomplishments, strengths and plain old gorgeousness.

Monday, 13 June 2016

It's not supposed to be 'Them' vs 'Us'


"I'm prepared to go in fighting." I've read and heard the phrase so many times from parents of children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) that I've lost count. I may even have said it myself.

By definition a SEN child needs additional support.  They are "A child or young person has special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them."  Where a special educational provision is "provision that is additional to or different from that which would normally be provided for children or young people of the same age in a mainstream education setting."  (Children and Families Act 2014 Section 20 and 21). 

Friday, 10 June 2016

Favourite Friday: Sporting red plastic belt accessories for half term

It's not just the kids that people look at oddly because they have autism.  Never mind their peculiar behaviour, screaming collapses, strange way of talking or just complete lack of speech, I'm 'odd' even when I'm on my own thanks to my latest clothing trend. Red is definitely not my usual colour, but it has been this week.

Every Friday, Rainbowsaretoobeautiful publishes the most popular post from the previous week. Read the rest of Sporting Red plastic belt accessories for half term here.  Why not catch up here and see all the Favourite Friday posts.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

My #CarersWeek, life with my autistic kids

It's nearing the end of Carers Week 2016. My week has been like many others, full of highs and lows, based mostly on the highs and lows of my kids.  I have three kids and although I'm 'mum' to all three, I'm also a parent carer to my sons Anthony, age 8, and David, age 5. 

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

#WonderfulWednesday: Hospital appointments


Usually my wonderful Wednesday share is from a single source, but this week I've been inspired.  Not so much by posts.. but by the kids in them.  This week I'm going to share a few great stories that go to show just how amazing our unique kids are even when in hospital.

When David went into hospital at the end of last year I was petrified.  The staff were great, everything went well, but I was a wreck.  When your child has any sort of additional needs I think there is this extra heightened sense of fear.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Autism parenting: The heart ache of one shoe, my son's despair

Yellow shoes and my autistic child

It's hard to explain to someone who doesn't understand.

Have you ever been so distraught that you can't function? Has anything ever upset you so much that you simply can't cope with anything? Think uncontrollable tears or absolute fear or rage? Or all at once? Now imagine feeling like this because your sister has only got one of her shoes on. That's what  life is like for our autistic son, David.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Sports Day Medal motor skills craft actvity



Helping kids understand or engage with sports events can sometimes be a challenge whether they have autism or not.  Why not engage them with medals, everyone likes to be a winner.  This medal making activity that we did at Me Too & Co  and for Sports Day this year has some great ways for developing motor skills.

Helium balloon learning and motor skills activity


For our eldest son's recent eighth birthday he declared that he wanted "those balloons that stay up." Instead of just opting for a giant foil figure eight I looked around and found an easy way we could have some educational fun with helium balloons at home.  Many kids with autism can benefit from developing their motor skills, listening skills and team work, so our helium balloon games focused on these.

We played musical balloons, pass the balloons and find the balloons.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Favourite Fridays: Speech sounds developing with Toy Story

Autistic boy's Woody doll

David has for a while now been using Makaton sign language with some speech sounds to communicate. We've been concerned that as well as autism, David may have some other speech difficulties because he has never really said more than one sound for a word. He'll say 'p' for 'up' or 'da' for down. He can ask for a yogurt 'gu' or an apple 'pul'. But this has rarely extended beyond this one syllable or easy syllable shapes.

Syllable shapes refer to the way that we put consonants and vowels together to make words. Without wanting to be too much like Countdown, speech therapists think of syllable shapes as putting consonants (sounds) and vowels (sounds)  together. So David's 'da' would be CV (One consonant + one vowel).  A CVC word would be his version of apple 'pul'. The more complicated the more advanced the shapes. Read the original post here

Every Friday, Rainbowsaretoobeautiful publishes the most popular post from the previous week.  Why not catch up here and see all the Favourite Friday posts.


Thursday, 2 June 2016

Sporting plastic red belt accessories for half term?

Red chew toys for autism

It's not just the kids that people look at oddly because they have autism.  Never mind their peculiar behaviour, screaming collapses, strange way of talking or just complete lack of speech, I'm 'odd' even when I'm on my own thanks to my latest clothing trend. Red is definitely not my usual colour, but it has been this week.

Both our boys are very sensory seeking.  Just like Jane, their younger sister, most kids love hugs, tickles and cuddles on the sofa.    The boys are a bit different. 

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

#WonderfulWednesday: Restaurant launches autism 'quality time' scheme

This week's wonderful Wednesday share came via  Dimensions and a link from the Coventry Telegraph article Restaurant launches autism 'quality time' scheme.

Andrew Iredale co-owns Seasons Restaurant in Leamington Spa.  He has a seven year old son with autism and understands how difficult it can be for families who have children on the autistic spectrum to go out to dinner. As a way of raising awareness and combating stigma, the restaurant is hosting an 'early meal option' for autistic dinners and their family every first and third Friday of the month starting in June.

Isn't it great to raise awareness right where you work? 
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