Friday, 28 December 2018

Looking back at 2018 with our autistic and neurotypical family

Photos of our autistic and neurotypical family from our favourite posts

Another year passed and what has happened. Here I remind myself of the top posts and parts of our lives with our autistic and neurotypical family from the last twelve months.  I hope it's been a good year for you, here's ours.

Late Winter - The first time one son spoke to the other 

David had his birthday in February.  He turned seven years old. But unlike most other seven year olds he didn't say 'thank you' for his gifts or talk endlessly to his Nana & Papa on the phone about his big day. That's because David is autistic and what we describe as pre-verbal. Basically put, David doesn't really talk.

It's not like he doesn't interact with the rest of the family. It's obvious he loves them very much. Yes he likes to spend time by himself but he'll ask play chase and laugh. And the number of times he's fallen asleep next to his brother isn't worth trying to count. He's afraid of leaving his family anywhere and very keen on us all staying together.. and being safe. Then the month after his birthday something amazing happened.  Read about the first time he spoke to his older brother here.

Spring - The intuition of additional needs siblings

Sometimes I'm amazed by my kids. Anthony's acceptance of himself as a child who is autistic and has a diagnosis of ADHD; David's ability to find happiness in the smallest of moments. Then there is the times like above when I'm brought to tears by an interaction I never thought possible.  But it's not just the boys.  Jane does an amazing job with her brothers, especially David.  Read about our moment in the Magic Garden at Hampton Court when David beckoned Jane, and for a moment, I wasn't needed.

Summer - What Roald Dahl reveals to my autistic son

I remember reading both the Magic Finger and Fantastic Mr Fox at school. Honestly I couldn't remember much about the stories except that I was pretty sure they involved some magic. So I'm not surprised that Anthony has also been reading, or at least listening to these books at school too. But instead he learned something a bit different.

Anthony answered the homework questions about Roald Dahl's life with some help from me, and then went off to play. But he did so with an extra sense of gratitude for his life. And that's something that's quite rare and worth learning too. Read about his realisation here.

Autumn - Why my autistic son spends hours playing on his iPad 

In October I wrote a post following a feature on the Victoria Derbyshire programme on kids and devices. The feature was highlighting that half of three to four year olds have their own phone or tablet. I think if I told some people how long my son can play or should I say, is allowed to play, on his iPad I'd get strange looks. I know if I told people he spent hours everyday on it I'd be judged.  Technology is important is our household and my kids learn a lot from it.

This post was one of my most viewed this year with many people agreeing - ours kids benefit from using devices in many ways that many don't.  If you've ver judged a parent whose kid appeared to be ignoring the world and only engaged in a device, or if you are the parent who has had one of 'those' looks, head over and read this post.

Well that's our summary.  I hope you've enjoyed our sharing this year.  We're in the midst of some pretty tough stuff at the moment, but we're doing our best to bring you our stories and offer support.  All the best for 2019.  xxxxx

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