Thursday, 23 March 2023

Ways to teach our autistic kids about the natural world


Teaching anything to my autistic kids can be a challenge.  Even when it's an area that they are interested in it can be challenging to support them to learn when they have such significant difficulties with communication.  David is in Yr 7 according to his age but in many ways he's operating like a child who is in Yr1.  He speaks in only a few words and needs to be shown most things to learnt them as he only understands some of what is said. 

Wednesday, 15 March 2023

Will increased free childcare, in the budget, discriminate against autistic, SEN kids like mine?

The government has announced an extension to free childcare but a quick calculation shows me that if my son, David, was in childcare now... he would only get ... three... just three hours childcare a week, a tenth of that of his fellow peers. And all because he has autism.   If free childcare is going to be offered it needs to be offered without discrimination. 

Monday, 13 March 2023

What is alternative provision?

Boy in woods

I have been working in various types of education for nearly 15 years.   I have three children (if you can call my teenager a child) in education - two of these with special educational needs attending specialist provisions. One of whom started in what's called mainstream (a regular government funded school) and has ended up in a special school as mainstream became unsuitable for him. 

Friday, 24 February 2023

Helping our autistic son sleep when he is feeling stressed

Anthony reading the AniMalcolm novel

Stress is a normal part of life, but when it becomes chronic, it can impact our physical and mental health.  It can impact our whole life and we've been struggling recently with it impacting sleep.  

Wednesday, 8 February 2023

The joy I get from fictional autistic characters

The Sound of Violet Movie Image Credit:'Morning Star Pictures'

Whereas some people wonder if Sherlock Holmes had Asperger's Syndrome, it's difficult to tell if this fictional character was designed on the autistic spectrum.  However, there are some absolutely brilliant novels which are, in my opinion, better for their autistic adult characters.  

Thursday, 26 January 2023

The clothing of an autistic teenager

Teenager wearing hoodie

Anthony is rapidly heading towards his 15th birthday.  He is well and truly into his teenage years and it shows.  He is changing all the time - he's now way taller than me, struggles with his new array of emotions and constantly wants to assert his independence (when before everything was help me).  But even as a relatively well functioning autistic teen, change is challenging.  And to top it all off the wardrobe of a teen changes too. 

Friday, 20 January 2023

Ideas for helping our anxious son

Teenager in hoodie holding head

Stress and anxiety are a big part of our home at the moment.  Our eldest has recently identified anxiety as his greatest struggle when trying to get through the day.  As a teenager who was diagnosed with both autism and ADHD by the time he was seven he has often found it difficult to communicate how he is feeling or what's wrong.  It's great that he can do this but it's heart-breaking to hear your child say "I'm scared every moment of every day." 

Sunday, 1 January 2023

Ways to improve our well-being for 2023

Woman mediating by a tree in winter time

In the last year a lot has changed.  It's become obvious that taking care of my family's mental health is a major priority, much more than ever.  It's something I've always been aware of but it has turned into a daily concern here. 

Sunday, 11 December 2022

Protecting our autistic kids in winter weather

As it starts to get very cold, the snow starts to fall and the days become darker we still want to get out and about with our kids but need to be extra careful with them.  Our autistic kids can't always communicate with us about how their body is feeling and there senses can become overwhelmed by winter weather.  So what can we do to support them?

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