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.

Hello Upside Mum, I can't wait to hear about your #madeupmilestone.  Here we go...

1. Who has achieved their #madeupmilestone, tell us a bit about them 

My eldest son J is 6 years old and is in his second year at primary school. He was diagnosed with a global developmental delay, including autism when he was 3 years old. He had a difficult birth and from before he turned one we were aware that he had difficulties and wasn't reaching set 'milestones' within the recognised time frames. He didn't crawl as expected and walked first (which we later found out was not a good thing - crawling is an important developmental stage that children shouldn't miss out.) He took a bit longer to sit up and until this day he is termed non-verbal, though he makes a great effort to verbalise. It's just not always decipherable. Once our second son came along, the differences in J's development became more apparent and his younger brother soon overtook him in many aspects. His spatial awareness is not good, he has no awareness of danger and can't control some of his emotions and reactions (amongst many other things.)

2. When and where did the #madeupmilestone happen?

He has had quite a few #madeupmilestones and I found it difficult to choose the one I felt most proud of. The truth is I'm really proud of every tiny little thing that he achieves and we make a big effort to celebrate it and show him how well he has done; to reward him for his hard work and relentless effort in achieving these things.

The milestone I have decided to write about here happened in school just before the summer break, at the school end of year show. My son's school and the staff are amazing. I always marvel at the work they do with all of the children and the great things they all achieve. It's such a positive place. The end of year show, celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the school, did not disappoint.

3. The fab part... what happened?

My son is not always good at following direction or instruction. He can be quite tuned out and at times likes to go around in his own world. He needs encouragement to be involved in activities with others, unless he actively chooses to join in. Taking part in whole class or school activities is difficult for him and at times he does not take part in school assemblies or watch shows that visit the school. The school discos he has attended have been a little distressing for him and he prefers to be outside the hall. He doesn't like the loud music and at times the pitch of it. He particularly can't handle if anyone screams or yells.

The show was a journey through the decades since the school opened. Each class performed a poem, song, dance, etc. from the decades and the teachers and older pupils gave facts and told stories about the school through the ages. My son was at the end of primary one at the time and his class were singing about the eighties. They wore hats with rainbows they had painted on them and sang the theme song from the TV programme 'Rainbow', as well as the song about the colours of the rainbow. I was worried he wouldn't come onto the stage. At the Christmas show he had to have his assistant sit with him on the stage, she had to stop him from leaving a couple of times and when it all became too much she had to take him off. I thought this time would follow a similar pattern.

The class all came on and sang their songs, as well as sitting whilst the stories were told. My son not only sat on stage for their whole performance, he joined in with the singing (with his approximations of words) and even did the actions for the songs! I'm not an overly showy person emotionally but it certainly brought tears to my eyes. Pride is not a strong enough word to describe how I felt. After they were finished he spotted me in the audience and wanted to come off to get to me, but it was real progress. He did so well. I'm not foolish enough to think this is how it will always be from here on, but it's a major step forward and a real tribute to how hard he tries and how much he has learned.

J at Upside Mum

You can read more about J's achievements and about Upside Mum on her blog.   Thank you so much for taking part! School shows can be difficult for many kids - I'm pleased this was a great milestone for J. 

If you'd like to take part in my #madeupmilestone series, please do not hesitate to email me, I'm interested in hearing about any special event for anyone you care for.  Contact me, Ann on


  1. Ah love this series - and what a great #madeupmilestone from Upside Mum #eatsleepblogrt

  2. Well done little one. How special! X

  3. That's brilliant - I remember similar downs, ups and downs with school shows and the emotions that go with that. They all matter! Glad you had a good one x #SSAmazingAchievements

  4. How wonderful, school performances can bring out so many emotions for the children, some positive, some not so, with some proud ones needing tissues for tears of absolute pride and joy. The me for linking up with #SSAmazingAchievements


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