Friday 29 September 2023

Helping my autistic son to have more responsibility

Teenage shoes

There's been a lot of focus on schools and qualifications for teenagers over the last few years - and rightly so.  But being a teenager can mean learning a lot more than just academics.  For many kids this is the time they need to learn about  being responsible for themselves, learning the life skills they will need to become as independent as possible.  For some it will be learning about budgeting and time keeping for others this might be being able to make a meal or get dressed independently.  

Thursday 31 August 2023

Getting the kids ready for going back to school

The school summer holidays is always the longest break in routine for our kids. Whilst our kids with autism struggle with these changes, many kids find the transition into and out of school holidays challenging. 

Friday 4 August 2023

Taking my kids to the Falconry display and crafting a barn owl family

We're spending a lot of time at home this summer.  A combination of budgets, timings and other activities going on in our lives.  We are fortunate to live not far from Hampton Court and they have some events on.  This year we have been to the jousting which all the kids enjoyed and we also saw a falconry display there too.  It went well and we have a craft to make as well. 

Tuesday 6 June 2023

How will our autistic son cope when he starts work?

Job list

My 15 year old son did a practice job interview at school today. He took in a suit to wear and practiced questions with us last night. For Anthony, this type of thing is really important. He was diagnosed with autism at four years old, and ADHD when he was around seven. We've been looking at colleges and my mind already races forward to the day ... a day he's looking forward to actually... when he gets a job. And I wonder about him in a workplace.

Sunday 14 May 2023

Mental health and our autistic son

School boys

Earlier this year our eldest son really struggled with his mental health. He was missing lessons at school, struggling to cope outside the home and crying and worrying about his future a lot.  I read some recent research from Wysa that showed more than 8 in 10 teenagers are experiencing mental health worries, with 1 in 3 needing professional support. According to the research, half of young people can't access the support they need, with many feeling too ashamed or uncomfortable to talk to teachers or mental health teams at school. 

Tuesday 25 April 2023

Trying to tell if my pre-verbal autistic son is in pain?

David is not like most other twelve year old boys. He's not got a favourite football team, he doesn't eat pizza and he's never played a game of Fortnite. But that's not surprising.  David is autistic and part of this means he's also never tied his own shoes, independently brushed his own teeth or used spoken words to tell us anything other than his basic wants.  One of my greatest concerns is that David will need to tell me something and he can't.

And one of the things I worry about him not being able to tell me... is if he is in pain. 

Tuesday 11 April 2023

Helping my autistic kids feel a bit better when they are under the weather

Boy with temperature

Nobody likes feeling sick. Even minor ailments can get in the way of you going about your day. Add in not understanding why you are feeling unwell or how to make yourself better and it gets even more complicated.

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. 

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