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.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Six school possibilities for SEND kids

Child in a bright red raincoat plays in tyres in a school playground surrounded by fences

Surely every parent hopes they've made the right choice of school for their child?  There's a lot of pressure to make the right choice matters. This is where your child will spend their formative years, and you want them to flourish educationally and socially in the right environment.  However, when it comes to a child with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) it can feel overwhelming and complicated.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

The A Word so far; my top five explanations

Autistic boy resting on his knees in a green park surrounded by trees and grass and a cloudy sky

Have you watched any of The A Word yet?  I'd love it if you did. If you don't have autism in your family you may have wondered what's going on at various points in the last two weeks of the show. As tonight we approach the half way point of the series (I think), I thought I'd throw together my top explanations for what Joe's been up to in the series, as identified not by an expert, just by me and my experiences with our autistic and neurotypical kids.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Making Christmas shopping easier for our family

Shopping with autism

Christmas shopping when you have a family that's 2/5th autistic can be... more challenging.  My two boys are anxious around new people and places.  The stores are full of bright lights and loud announcements mixed with Christmas music that makes them feel full of noise and overloaded by sound.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Super sensory gift guide

Sensory toys are brilliant for our kids. They are a way of exploring and interacting with their environment.  With two of our three kids on the autistic spectrum, sensory toys are a must have at Christmas, but all kids would benefit from them and probably like them too. As our David is pre-verbal, it's not always easy to ask what he wants, but I've come up with a few plans.  Here's my latest selection of sensory stuff I've found to give you some ideas.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

WonderfulWednesday: WorldToiletDay

David in a blue ice-cave with an ice bed for World Toilet Day

Every week the wonderful people at The Makaton Charity share a sign of the week through their #wetalkmakaton initiative. I think it's often a great way of raising awareness of much more than just communication needs.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Routines seem to benefit us all

Jane in a tower - My top three books with autistic kids

Our recent realisation into how important routine is for David affected more than I thought.  There's something about seeing your child in an autistic meltdown that is like nothing else.  It's devastating. Routines make David feel safe.  And looking at this incident I realised that as much as I like the idea of spontaneity, much of our lives are now routine driven - and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Is learning another language a good idea for my autistic kids?

Have you thought about whether it would or wouldn't benefit your child to learn a second language? For children with autism, a lot of people assume that it's better to avoid delving into foreign languages altogether.  I've heard from other parents, with autistic kids, that the weren't sure about speaking more than one language with their children.  Anthony an Jane have both recently have French lessons at school and I wondered - is it a good idea?

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

WonderfulWednesday: It's the BAPS Awards via @weareMFON

If you missed the big fuss last year when the SEND Blogger BAPS Awards were launched, then lucky you get to be wowed from the outset.  My slightly belated wonderful Wednesday post is about this years BAPS Awards - they were so successful they are back and looking better than ever.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

What will a new series of The A Word mean to us?

Will the rather iconic imagine of a little lad wandering down a lane in the Lake District to the sound of awesome beats be entering our world again tonight?  The second series of The A Word starts this evening and I'm eager to see what's changed in the world of autistic Joe and his family.  Plenty has changed in our lives in the last 18 months since the first series aired so I'm guessing it'll be the same for them.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Could my autistic son's obsessions help him in the future?

No one knows what the future holds. We can plan and have ideas, but things can change and develop, or sometimes things don't progress like we hope.  And whilst I can see an endless list of opportunities and possibilities for our neurotypical daughter, I'll be honest, I often struggle to see the same thing for my boys. But sometimes, I have a thought, and my latest one was about Anthony.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

SEND and SpectrumSunday #60

Hope you all had a good half term? I'm back this week for our SEND and Spectrum Sunday linky with some exciting news. The absolutely fabulous Victoria, previously of Mummy Times Two and now from the all new, Starlight and Sparkles blog is coming on board as co-host for a while.  Yay!

Friday, 3 November 2017

Staying sane in the run up to Christmas

Half term is over - the countdown has begun.  Anthony announced this week - it's seven weeks till Christmas.  And like every year, I'm not ready.  But I've got some ideas to help me.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Sponge splat fireworks sensory paint activity

We can spend a lot of time in our house looking out the bedroom windows over fireworks weekend. Fireworks used to be a real worry for us but slowly, the boys have come to delight in the sparkles in the sky.  We prepare for them coming and this sensory splat craft is a fun way to talk about it.

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