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Autistic boy aged 9 bagged up like trash

30 Dec

I’ve heard some pretty horrifying stories involving the mistreatment of children with autism spectrum disorders & special educational needs, yet this next story just angered me that little more.

A week or more ago I was sent yet another link reporting a disgusting act of abuse inflicted on a child diagnosed with autism and special educational needs. The worse part of this story was that such abuse occurred at a place most consider to be a safe and caring environment, the child’s school! The abuse in question that was inflicted on the child by those there to teach him as well as protect him from harm was that of his teacher(s).

It has been reported that a nine-year old boy who was thought to be enrolled in a special educational needs programme and was assign a teaching aide knowledgeable in autism and SEN (special educational needs) was stuffed in a large duffel bag with the drawstring toggle pulled tightly.

The Child named Christopher Baker who lives in Kentucky in the United States with his mother Sandra Baker, was stuffed into the bag because he reportedly refused to work, smirked and throw a ball across the classroom (instead of putting it down as instructed to do so by his teacher).

Yet again we are hearing about a child subjected to crawl forms of abuse due to a complete lack of care, understanding or training! This is treatment no child should be subjected to, especially those with additional needs… there is no words for the disgust I felt when reading the report, I therefore dare to think how his mother must have felt on discovering such treatment was taking place.

Mr’s Baker, the child’s mother told reporters that she was called into the Mercer County school, in-which her child was a third grader, just a few hours after her child had arrived to start his day’s learning due to reports his behaviour was becoming challenging (he was bouncing of the walls)!

On reading this I found myself nodding, it’s not uncommon as a parent to a child on the autism spectrum, to receive daily calls from your child’s school! This is not only something I relate to but a great deal of parents, nearly all those I’ve ever spoken to know all to well as this is a problem they are presented with at some part of their child’s education, especially if being taught in a mainstream school which was the case for Little man.

Mrs Baker states that on arrival she didn’t see her child but instead saw a large green duffel type bag on the floor in the middle of the school hall! The drawstring toggle was pulled tightly only leaving a small hole. Beside the bag sat a educational aide! It wasn’t in till Mrs Baker heard, “Moma is that you” coming from inside the bag did she realise that her 9-year-old autistic son was being held inside.
As a mother I dare to imagine the scale of horror and anger this mother felt on discovering her child was actually rolled up inside that bag or worse the fear felt by the child subjected to such a terrible ordeal!

What gets me is the fact a educational aide is right there, sat beside him, like this is a totally acceptable thing to do to a child.
Amazingly there was more… to add to an already shocking situation, Mr’s Baker reports how on ordering the aide to release her son while experiencing a whole spectrum of emotions, the aide actually struggled to release the child what with the toggle being pulled so tightly meaning it took longer than it should to free him. Mrs Baker made a valid but worrying point, What if there was some kind of emergency, something relating to his health or even a fire within the premisses? Seriously, it really doesn’t bare thinking about, does it!

The mother reported that once out the bag her son was clearly distressed, sweaty with eyes like half dollars, he was noticeably in a state of shock.

Christopher stated when asked by his mother why he was in the bag, it was because he didn’t do his work! Later reports from various publications state that it was this with the additional factor, he smirked and throw a ball across the classroom. Seriously, do you see this as “Challenging behaviour” It was my understanding that if a child doesn’t do his work a good teacher knows how to deal with such an issue, what good is a teacher who does not uptake and embrace such a challenge of finding a way to engage a child in such classroom activities? As for the smirked or even the ball throwing… god only knows how my son would have been treated if in this child’s shoes, for he has done things considered a thousand times more challenging while attending both mainstream and special school.

What I read next deeply troubled me and I’m guessing the whole nations parents to a child with additional needs felt somewhat the same!

Reports claim that Mrs Baker was told that the bag was in fact a type of therapy bag used as therapy for Christopher’s autism! If this isn’t a shocking enough revolution, Mrs Baker also states how she was then informed that this was not the first time her son was placed in the duffel bag!

I have to admit, having read the story I needed to stop reading for a while! I then cried for a number of people and reasons! I cried for the child in question and any other child like him subjected to such cruelty, for Mrs Baker and the emotions she felt on such a horrid discovery, but more so due to my anger at the fact the school have somehow justified such actions by branding them as therapy when really its just another use of child abuse! If I, or anyone else who parents a child on the autism spectrum, regardless of what country they were from, stuffed their child into an oversized duffel bag, leaving only a small gap for ventilation and then claimed it to be therapy, we would have our arses slung in jail and any children in our care removed and rightly so! Yet if the child’s teacher is to do such an act it is instead seen as therapeutic? Bull S#%t! It’s a joke and a massive act of injustice.

Although the case is still under investigation Mr Dennis Davis (who is reported to be the interim superintendent) stated that under state and federal confidentiality laws prohibited him from commenting! He could therefore not confirm nor deny the allegations made.

Now, Little man has thankful never been stuffed in a duffel bag as punishment, but as many know he was treated in a crawl and undignified way while in his mainstream school! Little man was carried by his arms and legs in front of other pupils through the playground, he was restrained, taught in isolation, never included in educational trips or class activities (instead left with a TA in a side room during Christmas assemblies and class parties, only close enough to hear such activities taking place). There were other things, things left unproved, Little man’s word alongside other pupils against a string of adults, incidents not fully investigated or investigated at all!

At least he eventually got a written apology, given just before the pending tribunal for disability discrimination! Mrs Baker and her son have yet to get even that!

It’s my opinion that the laws (or lack of them) surrounding restraint and isolation against children with Special educational needs both here, the states and a whole host of other places, need to be changed! Just like here in the UK, there is no laws protecting children from such actions of those above. Yes, I understand that the child who endangers his teachers, peers or themselves may need to be restrained, but in what way? It’s my opinion that this child did none of the above, he was not a danger, just a child with autism and SEN, yet regardless, how is placing a child in a duffel bag considered to be anything other than abuse?
There is no hard guidelines and practice on what is considered to be lawful restraint as I know from experience here in the UK there are far to many loop holes! How is it that most teachers teaching throughout our schools hasn’t received special training on how to handle such challenges, especially when mainstream school’s across the entire country and beyond are finding themselves educating children with autism, SEN, EBD (emotional behavioural difficulties) ADHD and a whole host of other conditions?

Sandra Baker and her son Christopher, may not live here in the UK but their story is still a story that deserves recognition by us the british public! Mrs Baker is now campaigning for those involved to stand accountable either by losing they’re teaching position or at least being fully trained to meet the needs of children like Christopher! I for one think this is more than reasonable, as in all honesty… I’d be calling for a prison sentence myself (the chances of such happenings are minimal) though it is my opinion that a person capability of such an offence should never be allowed to work with children again! Whether this is in a teaching position or that of another all together.

So… What I’m asking all my lovely loyal readers to do to help Sandra and Christopher Baker in their campaign for justice? First, if desired please watch the news report where Sandra and Christopher can be seen talking about this terrible turn of events…

Then, all, I ask is for a few seconds of your time to sign a petition on Change.Org.

This petition has already began to grab the nations support already holding an impressive 147,126 people’s signatures of those in the States and around the world! It was set up by 18-year-old Lydia Brown who is also on the autism spectrum and created the petition having heard the story and seen the publics reaction to it!

For those bloggers (especially mummy bloggers) who read my blog I’d love for you to share this and engage others to sign the petition, whether that’s via a little tweeting, a small post, or a bit of facebooking! I know I have some pretty influential contacts so please help Christopher get justice for the abuse he suffered.

Autism Awareness Ribbon

Image via Wikipedia

Guest Post, Aspergers: A holistic experience

18 Dec

It’s been a while since I featured any guest post so, when I came across Philip Walterhouse, a 25 year old guy who blogs about his life with Aspergers Syndrome to which he received a diagnosis of at the age of 16, I just had to ask him to guest post and to my delight he agreed. 

While growing up, I had no idea that I might have Aspergers.  It wasn’t until recently that I began suspecting it.
When I was sixteen years old, I was put in a position in which I had to take a participating role in my life.  It was this experience that made me realize that I could change.  I went from not caring about anything to wanting to know everything about life.  This was the moment I began to access the strengths of the Aspergers learning style. There are three characteristics of being an Aspie that I love.  The first one is the strong motivation to learn everything about a special interest.  The second is the ability to connect many different concepts.  The third is the inability to learn common sense naturally.

A person with Aspergers tends to focus on one interest while excluding everything else.  This can be a problem, but it also allows us to learn concepts and ideas very thoroughly and extensively. The second characteristic is being good at connecting ideas.  I usually read about ten books at a time, reading small sections from each book during any given day.  The books are generally all non-fiction involving my special interests like science, philosophy or
religion.  I think about what I read all day and sometimes I incorporate it into my conversations.  My mind begins to connect thoughts and conclusions from various books and conversations, ultimately converging into one thought pattern.

The third characteristics of Asperger’s is the inability to learn social common sense intuitively.  People usually think of this as something that is “broken”, something negative.  But the bi-product of this has become one of my greatest strengths.  Aspies have to break down social processes, then memorize and practice each step, something
which is intuitive to most people. One of my special interests was social interaction.  I didn’t like being around people for too long, but learning how to interact had a solitary aspect to it.  Learning how beliefs and values influenced social interactions was fascinating to me.  I explored everything from math to science to philosophy to art to religion, in the context of how it affected my social interactions. During college, I explored every subject I could get my hands on and
as I learned it, I always asked myself how this influenced behaviour. This curiosity carried over to university where I began to look at the social interactions that lead to oppression.  This was where I went through the second biggest change of my life.  It involved a child with Autism, the book Becoming an Ally by Anne Bishop and the HBO show
The Wire.

At the time I was a child and youth worker, working with a 10 year old boy with Autism.  When I started with him, he had no behavioural program and no goals.  It wasn’t long before I was constantly thinking of goals, and trying to understand and change our ways of interacting with one another. While working with this child, I was reading the book Becoming An Ally, learning about the type of power that can lead to an oppressive environment.  I was also watching the HBO show The Wire.  It wasn’t until a month into these three activities that I made the connection between them. The show was acting out how oppression happens politically when people fight for power over each other.  The book was explaining how fighting for power worked at a personal level and how it was connected to political struggles.  I was practising how to avoid a power struggle at a personal level when responding to the aggressive behaviours of the autistic child. This scenario of connecting ideas and applying them to my interactions was essential for me to understand the bigger picture and learn how to interact in that picture.  I would observe something that would seem insignificant at the time but then realize how it fit into the puzzle of human interactions.  After analyzing so many pieces, I began to see how everything worked as unit. In the scenario of the child with autism, I began to connect the similarities of how we responded to our power struggle, to how people respond generally to being marginalized.  I began to see my work as creating an environment where we were learning to behave in a way that did not marginalize or oppress. It was precisely what my Aspergers enabled me to do that most people viewed as the characteristics that I was the strongest in.  Whatever felt disabling about Aspergers was outweighed by what it enabled me to do.  This is why I would never trade the Aspie learning style for any other learning style.  It has helped me see the significance in how we communicate.  It has helped me access the small details of human behaviour that others don’t notice which has led me to a very holistic understanding of who we are.

To read more articles by Philip, visit his blog  ‘The blog of Philip Walterhouse’ by clicking HERE

Reference & Related Articles  can be found below

A Syndrome for Success

Welcome to Aspie land and what do I mean by neurotypical

HBO: Temple Grandin trailer

AS & the big bang Theory

Why is Asperger’s Syndrome considered a form of autism 

Peace of mind with KidCam

8 Dec

17

Days till Christmas

When you’re a parent to a child on the autism spectrum as well as an 8-year-old Diva & an active toddler of almost 2, you kinda wonder why god didn’t implant eyes in the back of your head!

With all three children having their own interest, you often find them dotted all over the house doing something or another.

Now, I know that children are entitled to their privacy, just like anyone else, but… and yes, this is a very “Big” but, there are some situations that require mummy’s watchful eye! OK, the Little man is totally safe when shut in his room playing lego or memorising bus destinations for hours on end. Alice-Sara can often be left to her own devices when off playing with her beloved Monsters High or off creating art in her bedroom but Harley is most certainly at the age that requires constant supervision and when the other two are together or of playing downstairs, they also need my watch over! Yes, in our house its pretty easy for things to turn from rosy to… Well, Bonkers, especially when Little man lashes out at his sister, he can really go for it, plus she don’t do half bad a detecting, then pushing his buttons!

Most parents will likely relate when I say it isn’t unusual for all hell to break loose when your back is turned as you try so desperately to engage in a little washing up or hovering in the next room. Seriously It’s risky business is that!

So… when this mum received the offer to review KidCam from Storage Options, it was one of those offers that are simply to dam good to refuse!

KidCam is truly awesome, you can use it as a baby monitoring system, put it in the car to keep an eye on them little monsters in the back seat, or even watch over them as they play in separate rooms (with its spilt screen function).

The KidCam consists of two small compact wireless cameras, wireless 4.3” (11 cm) companion screen, 2x home camera stands, 2x camera suction mounts, a home screen stand, 3x power adaptors/chargers plus instruction manual.

What I found fantastic about KidCam was it versatility! You can take it anywhere around the home, it’s so compact & extremely light weight, yet it does all it promises and more! Another top feature was the spilt screen, meaning you can watch two children playing in different areas at the one time (one in their bedroom, another in the garden)! The two wireless cameras transmit a crystal clear picture, plus sound, back to the wireless monitor giving you the parent total peace of mind all of the time.

The KidCam works for up to a 100 m range, which is why this system is designed for the home and garden (though it can be used in the car with the use of an additional adaptor)! You can carry the monitor around the home with you, wherever you go, no need to sit by a power point or panic when you need to dart of to use the bathroom.

The system also works well as a baby monitor or when introducing a child to their own bedroom for the very first time as the KidCam is fully equipped with night-vision. Since I’ve received the KidCam, I’m able to work at my desk without the constant need to get up and find out why the children are so quite (we all know when kids are too quite, this usually means trouble)! I’m also the type of mother who will go and check on my sleeping tribe a million and one times, giving them a poke to make such they move (nightmare mother, I know)!

Now, I don’t want my house turning into some “Big Brother house” but sometimes I am busy and stuff doesn’t do itself, so the KidCam provides me with a way to get the dishes done or hover the hallway without having to worry. KidCam gives me total reassurance if and when I need it, day & night or just here and there, whatever suits me, that’s the beauty of it!

So… There you have it… the KidCam is compact, small, light, versatile, attractive, reliable and offers a parent like me loads of reassurance.

This baby has it all… it has all that of the above, plus its easy & quick to set-up.

I really wasn’t disappointed with KidCam! Would I recommend it? Most defiantly I would!

Priced at £160 we’re not talking cheap, but you really do get what you pay for and this is pure quality.

The KidCam is available now from Storage Options

Disclosure: I received a KidCam for the purpose of this review.

Christmas Inspiration at the BBC Good Food Show-Winter

7 Dec

18

Days till Christmas

I maybe a mum of three but when it comes to the kitchen side of things, I really could do with some inspiration. I’m not stating that I cannot cook, I’m just saying that I usually stick to what I know and I’m not all that big on experimenting.

So when Sainsbury’s invited me to the Good food show winter event at the NEC Birmingham, it was too big a learning experience to pass up.

Myself and a friend travelled up to Birmingham from London early on a cold Sunday morning, sadly we missed the lunch laid on by Sainsbury’s due to car trouble, but all the same, there was still plenty to see and do once there.

I’d never been to any of the BBC Food shows so was quite excited about the whole thing. On arrival at the NEC I meet up with Thomas who works for Sainsbury’s he showed us to the press area to get our press badges, we then headed off to check out this wonderful event.

There were literally hundreds of stands with a whole host of yummy treats on display, from cheese, to ice cream the aroma that filled the air was so inviting. With loads of things to try me and my friend headed for the sweet stands where we tried some beautiful mint nougat and wonderful cupcakes.

The Sainsbury’s village was dead impressive, there was so much going on including some really good live cooking demonstrations. Sainsbury’s were promoting their Taste the Difference range which was really centred around Christmas. I love Sainsburys and know for sure it will be the place where I stock up on Christmas munch this year, as we have the massive super store just down the road from my house. There really was a lot of Christmas cooking inspiration, and some treats that will be added to my shopping trolley this year for sure.

Just check out some of the images below and you’ll know where I’m coming from.

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Sainsburys were also the main sponsor of the Masterchef live event in the super the theatre and had so kindly supplied us with tickets to watch the cook off between Mat Follas and Tim Anderson. I do like a bit of Masterchef and it was 10x better watching it live. John Torode and Greg Wallace were as fantastic as usual and provided the audience with lots of laughs.

Sainsbury’s were a fantastic host, not only did they supply me with a lush goody bag that contain lots of lovely treats, the best being a lovely bottle of ready mixed alcoholic Manhattan cocktail in a pretty pink bottle (that I highly recommend you put on your shopping list this christmas) but they also supplied me with lots of Christmas inspiration.

I had an awesome time at the BBC Good food show winter, I went home with a head full of ideas and have already brought some of my taste the difference treats for our Christmas feast. 

Sunday was a great day to attend the event, it was the last day so there were loads of bargains to be had from blocks of chocolate to beautiful fresh Italian pastries. 

You could even bag yourself a new top of the range toaster or kettle at a rock bottom price.

I also found there were loads of stands selling Gluten free produce, great for families of children on the autism spectrum who are on a gluten and wheat free diet.

So… A big thank you to Thomas and Sainsbury’s for a truly fantastic day.

“Mum, your christmas presents belong in the trash!”

2 Dec

23 

Days till Christmas

On Christmas morning the children wake you up at the crack of dawn, keen to get going on their marathon of gift unwrapping. Your Child squeals with delight and surprise when they discover what’s been hiding under the tree! 

 But what if they don’t? I mean, what if they say..

 “Thanks but no thanks” 

 How would that make you feel?

 As a mother of a child with Aspergers, I know all to well how that feels, except the words above are a not exactly of his choosing!

 “Yuck, that’s nasty”

 “How much was it?”

 “I don’t like these mum”

 “Have you got the receipt so we can exchange it for something way better”

 All these terms and more have been used by the Little man, you may feel his spoilt or selfish, greedy maybe!

 The reality is Little man don’t do well with surprises, the thought of someone getting him something not of use or something he doesn’t like is a total worry that could literally mess up his whole entire way of thinking. 

With this in mind, it is safe to say that,“No, my son does not believe in Santa Claus” that much is clear to see.

 His choices for gift have always been… Well, lets say a little “absurd” though I’ve noticed that since his been “allowed” to be part of a school community his slowly becoming interested in other things, things that are considered more “Socially accepted” (though I’m pretty sure that nothing will be able to replace his “special interest” in transport) you may think his a bit of an anorak? If he wasn’t my son, would I think the same? 

 Anyhow, regardless of any of that above (to be honest I don’t know why I’m even bringing that into it) because it will always be the same whether he likes buses, Lego or the latest Nerf blaster! The bottom line is, he don’t do well with surprises and unfortunately when them “Surprises” are not to his liking he doesn’t do well on subtlety either and it would seem that Little man isn’t the only one!

 Yes, I created the A boy with Asperger’s (ABWA) Facebook page around a year after this blog as kind of an extension, that I hoped would somehow do well in the world of  “Social media” and to my surprise, it went down a storm, so much so we now have eleven amins and almost 4,500 members. The page has seen myself and many others through some difficult times and for many Christmas seems to be one of those! 

 We are quite lucky in the fact that despite Little man’s present opening can be somewhat disastrous, if not thought through, and the fact he can be quite impulsive especially around lots of people, he still copes far better than some children on the spectrum during Christmas

 After engaging in a group discussion on the Facebook page this week, it came to light that the whole situation surrounding gifts and surprises, was by far one of the biggest issues for our children at Christmas. However there was a lot of discussion around the topic of Christmas dinner, social gatherings which sadly included visits from the extended family.

 I found many parents with the exception of a few, complained that their families failed to fully understand or even accept their child, which made occasions like Christmas even more difficult families.

 I mean… Our children don’t mean to be so blunt, it’s not as easy for them to smile politely and say thank you, when let’s be honest they feel the given gift is best of in the trash than actually taking up space in their bedrooms.

 I remember from such a young age, Little man would so bluntly show his utter disappointment in a gift he had received. This made me dread Christmas and birthdays, I used to try desperately hard to… “BEG” him if you like, to not say anything rude and if he didn’t like something we would sort it out when everybody had left to go home! He would just look at me before coming out with a thousand and one… “But why” questions. Once convinced he knew the drill I’d just about relax and out it would pop… “Nan… what ever made you think I wanted this” I’d go darting over from wherever I was and quite literally gag him.

 This isn’t always the case anymore and most of the family understand this is just his way! My mum learnt her lesson quite early on and began taking him shopping for his own gifts (not usually a great idea is shopping, what with the tendency to quickly convert into meltdown mode, due to the sensory overload of the busy situation) but like myself, my mother has a plan (one that doesn’t always work… it a 50/50 thing) quite periods and the mid relaxation break at a costa branch normally helps! Strange choice for an 11-year-old I know but a decaf with cream seems to somehow make a bad situation a not so bad one.

 While on my Facebook page reading some Crimbo tips from my fellow parents of children on the autism spectrum, I discovered a few I wanted to share!

 Please bear in mind some of these children find the whole occasion that is Christmas far too much to bear and cannot cope with it at all. Many really do not like the whole social situation that comes with Christmas, where little man wants to socialise, he just has difficulties doing so.

 Christmas tips for the family of a child with autism  given by parents from the ABWA facebook page.

 One of our admin on the page… My tip is, don’t do it! Jo has asked for no decorations, to know what presents are, to do very little, to spend it at home with a mince-pie or two just me & him & Dr who! I think the buffet idea is the best tip I’ve heard of, that and allowing aspies plenty of space away from it all if there is a family gathering taking place (L)

Parent from page… Jamie hates surprises and too many presents overwhelm her so Xmas starts tomorrow for us, a present a day for advent and anything she isn’t happy with I will swap for something she wants. Xmas day will be very casual with a couple of presents to open when she’s ready and no Xmas dinner, just a normal day as far as food is concerned!

 Parent from page… Eli is obsessed with his nintendo dsi and zones out when playing games so we take it with us when we go for family holidays and he has as much down time as he needs. We don’t force him to sit with us or socialise…. He seems to visit when he wants and the dsi gives us all some peace.

 Parent from page… All my family are very aware of Liams need to get away so they always tell him which room he can hide out in when he wants and we bring his ds and he is happy. No one is allowed into his chill out room, as for presents he gives me a list of what he wants including stocking fillers… I get what I can and pass the rest on to the others then we move onto a ratio, vouchers so many previous Christmas ruined because we bought what we thought he might like …..big mistake

 Parent from page… For kyles bedtime routine (kyle is just 5) we have made a picture board using photos we took of him doing various things, they look so nice and also I think it makes it more personal for his understanding when he sees himself doing it in his room etc. I am hoping to get something to attach the pictures with at the moment so its like his “diary” he has at school. I am now trying to get some of the other things we do like taking a bus trip out etc 🙂 hope this helps x

 Parent on page… My 7-year-old son knows every present he’s getting! Last year he went on and on and on and on and on and on for a month before xmas, I learnt this year and he helped me choose everything so no surprises but he doesn’t care lol. x

 Parent on page… Limit the amount of time friends and family spend visiting you – everyone has this big thing about spending the whole festive period together but for my son this is like torture. So we have family over on the xmas day bit and have a limit on the amount of time they can spend with us , and this helps my son to stay focused and calm as he knows there is an end in sight and he knows when the time is coming where he can chill and just be himself. I will say that my son has a thing about being fully dressed, and eating in front of people, so for him it is good to know that he only has so long left till he can strip and stuff his face with xmas goodies!

 Parent from page… For those, like my son, who hate opening presents if they don’t know what it is, ask the giver to write the label ‘To Jake, a toy tractor with love from Auntie Julie xx’. It takes the stress out of the moment. Of course,if they don’t want the tractor that could be interesting too!!. X

 Parent on page… It doesn’t matter if you don’t open the presents all in one go, we do ours over the whole day and sometimes keep hold of some for the next day too. It seems too overwhelming for my lot and I wouldn’t say they’re spoiled either!

All the comments above have been left on the ABWA facebook page and permission has been obtained for their use within this post. Please remember these are personal comments from parents of children on the autism spectrum and the comments will be protected by the copyright that protects this blog

Merlin’s Magic Wand helping children benefit from the magic, that is unless they have autism!

23 Nov
Day 255: Magic Wand

Image by amanky via Flickr

When you have a child on the autism spectrum life is that bit harder, no matter how much you dress it up it’s not easy! We as a family have been judged and judged again, Little man has often been left to feel his not “Normal” that he doesn’t deserve the experiences that other children have, he feels this because at the tender age of 11 his been discriminated against more times than I care to remember! 

 2009/2010 my son missed out on nearly every single school trip that his then mainstream school embanked on. Why? Well, he was either conveniently excluded on them days, not given letters, or just remained in school in the hope I’d never hear about it! Disgusting I know.

 It was the most stressful time of mine and my son’s life, we had no choice but to take the discrimination route and just as the Tribunal date neared we settled the case happy that the school had finally given up the lie! I remember my son throwing his whole self into brick walls and scratching his arms till they bleed when the head teacher called late in the evening to inform me my son was excluded the following day and would therefore miss the one trip he had so looked forward to for months! My child was labelled a liability and a health and safety risk.  

 Thank goodness for charities like Merlin’s magic wand, the charity that creates magic for disadvantaged children, especially those with a disability and young carers like my daughter. 

 He missed all his school trips but at least come the summer holidays we would have our trip to Chessington World of Adventures to look forward to! The Merlin’s entertainment group really were creating magic for children like mine. 

 Little man didn’t feel so different as he raced around one of Merlin’s attractions, smiling from ear to ear. 

 As a parent of a child who benefits from such an awesome charity I did my bit to donate and even considered over coming my fear of heights  by embarking on a sponsored skydive next year to raise some funds in the name of this awesome charity & the NAS.

 Lately I’ve been running some competitions here on the blog to win tickets to a number of Merlin’s attractions, It’s basiclly a sponsored competition isn’t it! However unlike many other companies and brands do, Merlin’s didn’t offer any compensation to the blogger, after all it’s free advertising to the brand and many bloggers spend time writing and checking each entry before drawing the winner. Many of the other bloggers I know refused to do this, they just don’t have the time to run a competition and the fact their isn’t really a thank you for doing so added to this (after all this wouldn’t happen in newspaper or magazine).

 Nonetheless, I didn’t vacillate when it came to such competitions and was happy to help, after all look how Merlin’s have helped my child and millions more like him on the autism spectrum. This was me giving them something back alongside my readers! So, why not!

 Yesterday I visited my Facebook page (A boy with Asperger’s) only to discover something that hurt and angered me!

 This is what I read…

 Dear Merlin’s Magic Wand Applicants,

 For those of you wishing to take advantage of our complimentary tickets for 2012, there has been a change in the way that Merlin’s Magic Wand will manage applications in 2012, for those families whose children are on the Autistic Spectrum or who have any Autistic related disability.

 This year (2011) Magic Wand handled over 5000 applications, nearly 50% of these were from families with children with ASD.

 Our Charity has very limited resources and funds and unfortunately we are no longer in a position to be able to manage these applications as efficiently as we wish. Therefore we have had to put in the following process in order for us to continue to work with families of Autistic children.

 Applications from individual families will no longer be accepted. You will need to contact your local National Autistic Society Branch (NAS) in order for them to apply for tickets on your behalf. If you are not a member of your local NAS, you will need to contact any other organisation that you are a member of (incl Special Needs School) that specifically handles children on the Autistic Spectrum. They will be able to submit an application on behalf of all their members.

 The NAS are aware of this new procedure and the regional offices will be asked to contact the families on their books to see if they wish to take advantage of our attractions complimentary tickets.

 We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause, however, this change needs to be made so that we can help as many children as possible and for us to continue our promise of giving children magical experiences.

 Thank you

 Hilary Birkinshaw Charity Manager

 Nicky Elliott Applications Manager

 The Merlin Magic Wand Charity

3 MarketClose/Poole/Dorset/UK/BH15 1NQ 

Fax: +44 (0)1202 667867

 This was posted on the wall by one of the admins I have appointed on the page.

 I read this three times and was utterly disappointed to learn that basically Merlin’s our heroes were kicking us in the teeth just like so many have and will continue to when you’re a family that consist of a child with autism.

 From reading this a number of times I am in no doubt that this is yet another act of discrimination against our children! How can it be interpreted any other way when it quite clearly reads, 

“This year (2011) Magic Wand handled over 5000 applications, nearly 50% of these were from families with children with ASD.”

 Before going on to state that they will no longer accept applications from families of children with ASD directly and this must now be done via NAS or through application from a special school!

 As mentioned I fought a discrimination case and we come out the other side smiling, I’ve helped a number of families who also have children with autism who feel they are being discriminated against. 

It’s even harder when a group of children are being  singled out and treated differently than children with other types of disability especially when it is being done by a children’s charity!

Above Little man enjoying a trip to Chessington world of Adventures thanks to Merlin’s Magic Wand in 2010

Here is Merlin’s promise which I’ve taken from the Merlin’s Magic Wand Website

Magical and memorable experiences

Unfortunately, many children, through circumstances which are not of their own making, are not in a position to be able to experience many of the things that most children take for granted, including trips to theme parks and attractions. 

This may be through difficulties in the home, or maybe because they have to care for a sick parent or relative. Sadly, sometimes children suffer abuse or have serious health problems which prevent them from having a normal life. 

We hope that by making available magical and memorable experiences, at one of Merlin Group’s many and varied attractions, Merlin’s Magic Wand Children’s Charity can bring some pleasure and improvement to the lives of some of those children.

 I do wonder if Merlin’s are fully aware of the laws surrounding disability discrimination. Surly the big guys at Merlin’s run this decision past it’s legal team?

 Here’s something they should have read…

 Service providers are not allowed to discriminate unlawfully when providing goods or services to people. Discrimination when providing services means:  

  • refusing to provide a service, providing a lower standard of service, offering a service on different terms than you would to other people.

 So, yet again, because you can’t see autism it makes our children less worthy of a smile?

 Has Merlin’s ever considered the fact the reason the applications sent from families of children on the autism spectrum is so high is because there are a massive number of children with autism that actually benefit from this type of help? Autism is more common now than ever yet the misunderstanding and judgemental crap is still smacking them in the face with crap such as this!

 Merlin’s what were you thinking?

 From what I understand Merlin’s Magic Wand is a charity for disadvantaged children and that’s not only those with disabilities! Example… A single Parent can apply for help from Merlin’s simply stating how disadvantaged their children are simply because she is so broke, Merlin’s will then make the decision whether to issue the tickets or not!

 The point I’m making is, our children should be allowed to enjoy the things that children are meant to enjoy without having to fight tooth and nail to do so. 

The fact that Merlin’s are stating it is only the families of children with autism who need to take this new route of action is discriminating and god dam flagitious. Our children didn’t ask to be born with autism and we as parents spend much time and energy trying to install self-confidence into our child with autism or aspergers syndrome. I tell my son he is no different from other children, he just has some extra special ways, yet his not silly he knows that the world is a harder place to live in when you have a “Label” such as his! Its imperative that children on the autism spectrum don’t get left on the sideline, but receive the same opportunities as others their age.

 Not every family of a child on the spectrum are members of the NAS and sadly this may shock you Merlin’s but do you know how hard it is to get your child into a special school? Your changes will not affect my application as my son goes to a special school but only after one hell of a battle, one that almost killed me! Now your asking parents of children like mine who haven’t been as fortunate as me to win the battle with the education system, to battle  your application process. Yes, sadly I find this barbaric and have trouble understanding how you think your actions are even justifiable? 

 Merlin’s are not saying this to the parent of a child in a wheel chair, just to the parent of a child with autism… Why? Because you can’t see autism just from looking at the child, there is no physical disability so our children are sadly pushed aside.

 I ask would Merlin’s state this about a child’s race or religion? I don’t think so!

 They have more and less stated that they hope by taking such action the application number will fall and they can help more worthy children to have fun.

 Will, I be sharing this with my 11-year-old son? No, I don’t want him to feel rejected not by a charity that he is thankful to, not to one that he trust, I wont do that.

 Since making the discovery I have visited the Merlin’s magic wand Facebook page which has a wall full of comments from parents, advocates and adults on the spectrum. Sadly I have not read any statement given from Merlin’s. I await such a statement, I would of course like to hear why? and hear it from them!

 I didn’t receive the email about the changes, I don’t know why, maybe I will in the next few days, they obviously have a number of parents to upset given they have stated that half its applicants are families of children with autism. 

 I will finish the current competition I have running solely because I have opened it and it wouldn’t be fair on those who have entered to suddenly remove it, however, I won’t be running another competition on their behalf simply because I’m not just a mother who writes a blog I’m a mother to a child on the autism spectrum who writes a blog and it would seem that right now Merlin’s couldn’t give a flying f*** about that!

So, there you have it, Merlin’s Magic wand are bringing smiles to the faces of children all over the world, that is unless they have autism!

Please leave a comment and share your views, especially if your child or loved one will be affected by the changes. Like I always say, in order to raise a subject and get heard we need to spread the word, so lets do it!

Popblast the approved pop for teenyboppers

19 Nov


When we were asked to have a listen to Popblast album & give a few copies away, I thought why not, it could prove to be a bit of a hit and a top stocking filler for the little teenyboppers this Christmas.

Well, I wasn’t wrong, ‘Popblast went down a storm in our house, my youngest 23 month old Harley swung his nappy for an hour at least.

Popblast is a CD jam packed with non explicit pop music aimed at children who like to sing & dance. The CD is crammed with awesome upbeat pop music  that us parents can trust.

In my opinion, Popblast is simply wonderful, it’s fab tunes engage children in movement, song and dance, with all the dance moves given in simple steps like, ‘clap your hands’ or ‘stamp your feet’  making it easy to follow for even the youngest of ravers.

Yes, myself and Harley had a blast listening, dancing and singing along to this album. Harley loved the ‘Pyjama song’ and displayed some pretty cool moves to the ‘Monsters stomp’ Even the older two got in on the act!

I’ve already stated the benefits of dance for children on the autism spectrum and this CD is just perfect. Little man loves music and he loved dancing with his baby bro, it really has been a mini party at ours this past week.

Children will have a brilliant time dancing around the bedroom with a hairbrush as a mic. No more sitting watching the box as Popblast will engage your child in some energetic dance, helping them to stay fit and healthy while being dealt a massive helping of fun in the process.

Popblast is great for all and may provide a stack of benefits for the child on the autism spectrum or those with additional needs. This especially looks to be the case when it comes to the Live shows, that promise to teach children some important life skills through the use of motivational interaction using games, song, and dance routines. These skills involve the issues surrounding friendships, respect and personal well-being to name a few. I honestly haven’t attended an event and I’m purely stating my opinions having watched some of the videos of the live events and listening to this fantastic album which really kind of speaks for itself!

If you fancy attending one of the live events, I’d suggest keeping your eyes peeled and ears pinned back listening out for dates and checking the Popblast site for event updates. 

The fabulous new Popblast album consists of ten fun tracks including that of the groovy ‘Pyjama song’ that Harley went mental for! All songs are available for download from all major outlets or can be purchased through the ‘Popblast website’ or at one of their spectacular live events.

You can even listen to the songs on the Popblast website before you buy… How can you get it wrong?

However, despite the ease that comes with getting ahold of a copy of this album, wouldn’t it be just awesome to get your hands on a one for free?

I was given 5 copies of the Popblast album… one for myself to review and 4 to give away!

So… Do you fancy doing the Monster Stomp or the Pyjama Dance on Christmas Day?

If that was a yes, and I do hope it was! Then here’s how you can win yourself and you’re teenyboppers an official Popblast album…

Compulsory action

Follow  @popblast on twitter and let them know I sent you by tweeting “I would love to win a @popblast album with @clairelouise82” ADDING THE POST URL

Extra entries

Say Hi to Popblast on facebook letting them know how you heard about them (Note this does not give you an extra entry, but leaving me a comment to let me know you have done so, validates your entry)

Subscribe to this blog via RSS reader.

Stumble the post

Share on facebook using the share button below.

PLEASE LEAVE AN ADDITIONAL COMMENT 4 EACH ACTION TAKEN AND LEAVE AN EMAIL, TWITTER OR OTHER FORM OF CONTACT WITHIN YOUR COMMENT. 

Competition will end on the 4th December 2011 at Midnight and 4 winners will be drawn at random. Winners have 72 hours from the time of contact to send their postal address so I can post this out directly.

Competition is open to those in UK only

Disclaimer: We received  a free copy of the Popblast album for the purpose of this review

How to make your own visual aid in 10 easy steps

12 Nov

Visual aids are a fantastic resource for a child on the autism spectrum and can be used in a number of ways.

This could be anything from PECs to encourage communication, reward charts for the encouragement of appropriate behaviour; schedules (whether for the whole day or just parts of it, such as school, bedtime etc…) Social stories to help prepare for change and many others.

We have used visual aids for the last few years and I discovered the true beauty of them, back when I went on the ‘Early bird plus’ parenting course for parents of children with autism & aspergers syndrome, which was ran by NAS and our local authority, a good three years ago! At first I spent a small fortune kiting us out with a load of tools, from visual cards for games to schedules and social stories. Of course when you’re a mother to a newly diagnosis child, you spend a small fortune on these things just doing what you think is right! Well, Like many I learnt the hard way, and I’ll never fork out big bucks for something that can be easily made in the comfort of your own home (Well, unless someone presents me with a well made product that’s fairly priced and sold by someone who isn’t just looking to make a quick buck from my child’s diagnosis, that is)!

We don’t use an all day schedule for Little man, though we used to, however, our life is a tad crazy at times and it becomes a little hard to follow. You see, I don’t want Little man becoming to reliant on routine, yes, routine is good and he loves it, but life cannot always be this simple and sometimes a little thing called “Life” gets in the way. Nonetheless he has one at school and also follows one to help him with his bedtime routine.

HOW IT WORKS

Little man has a chart that has a small pocket that holds a number of small cards each displaying its own symbol or image!
What’s great is, by designing your own you can completely customise it to fit around your own child’s routine (or in most bedtime cases, desired routine)! Here’s an example… Your child maybe the type of child who settles only after a story, may take medication and also have a small bath an hour before bed. You would therefore make cards that resemble these actions, plus any additional cards that symbolise other areas of the routine like… a tooth-brush, pyjamas, warm drink, toilet, kisses, lights and bed. This doesn’t even need to be in the form of pictures, your child may even prefer words! You may start with pictures and as they grow change over to text, whatever works best for you, that’s the beauty of it.

Another great aspect to the whole concept of schedules is that they work for children with and without autism. This means your child wont feel that its anything out the ordinary, especially if schedules are being used both in the home and educational setting. Children with Aspergers Syndrome especially, are quite aware of their differences and can sometimes get downhearted, I try my best not make Little man feel singled out, as-well as trying to avoid his sister feeling left out, if you know what I mean? That’s why I have ensured that both the children have a bedtime schedule as well as a chart to display their own set of targets to ensure they keep all of their pocket-money or even add to it (quite a new thing, it has its up and down weeks) this way it’s a win-win scenario as no one feels singled or left out!

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN SCHEDULE

I wouldn’t mind getting me own brand of schedule out there and onto the market! One that’s simple yet fun, easy to follow and doesn’t leave you feeling poor! I’m forever having ideas for schedules running away in my head, maybe because I’m always thinking of ways to make life that Little bit simpler for both little man and the family as a whole. However, life offers little time, so for now… how about I show you a dead simple way to make a bedtime schedule with nothing other than a few bits and bobs from your craft box?

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

3/4 sheets of paper or card
Velcro Dots (available from all major craft shops)
laminating sheets & laminator
PC and printer (though not essential)
brightly coloured pens
ruler (if not using a PC)
scissors
small piece of sticky tap
Glue stick
Glue Dots (Optional) can use a glue stick
some stickers for decoration (optional)

Step one: Decide which area of your child’s life will benefit most from a structured routine, then make a list of the symbols or words that make up your routine (bed, tooth-brush etc.-etc). Next you need to make the base for your main chart. You can download and print templates from an array of sites that offer free downloadable resources such as symbols, I will include some resources at the end of this post. Otherwise if you fancy getting really creative simply use a ruler to make your own (I made my own using text edit in my mac). Once you have finished printing or drawing your chart, you may wish to cut it down to size, depending on how many symbols you have to attach. We used A4 paper so cut it in half. If you have lots of symbols, keep it at A4 size.

Step two: Once you have done the above, put it to one side, its time to make your cards! These are quite small and you can make these in a number of ways…

a) Download from one of the sites given in the resource at the end of this post or check out free clip art on google! Once you have found what you want, you can then print them out.

b) Use your ruler to mark out the number of square boxes required to make up all the symbols or words in your routine (just count the number of items in your list). We made our boxes 3 by 3 cms but you could make yours bigger or smaller if desired! (If using text as opposed to symbols you may wish to make these slightly larger, you could use rectangles over squares) just make sure there is enough space to house them all on your chart.

c) If you are using instruction ‘B’ over that of ‘A’ you will then need to add the images or words to your cards! If you fancy doing a bit of a freestyling, then great… draw away, otherwise look in magazines or uses the google images ect, make some cuttings and get sticking, attaching your cuttings to the card templates. If using words, write these in nice bold lettering, or even add some small text above your symbols as I’ve done .

Step three: Now take a laminating sheet and laminate the paper containing your card templates. Note you should not have cut out your cards as yet, all should be on the same sheet of paper regardless whether you downloaded them (Step two [A]) or made them by hand (step two [b]c]).

Step four: Once laminated, cut each of your cards out and leave to one side.

Step five: Next bring forward your base chart and before laminating, you can decorate if you wish, using the brightly coloured pen (important don’t add stickers just yet).

Step six: Once decorated, laminate your chart.

Step seven: Take your Velcro dots and your glue dots (a glue stick works fine also) and glue the rough side of the velcro dot to your chart, with the other smoother side to your card. Do this for every card in your routine, these can then be attached to the Velcro on your chart.

Step eight : With a small piece of paper fold it in half and use the tape to stick down the sides and end. Apply a Velcro dot to the back and the other side to your chart , then use stickers or whatever else you fancy to decorate. This will be your envelope to store your symbol cards when not in use.

Step nine: Here’s the fun part ! Its time to decorate your chart by applying the stickers to the base chart. These can be easily removed and wont damage the chart due to its laminate casing. This will allow you to apply new stickers whenever you like, completely revamping the whole chart meaning it can therefore grow with your child and his/her changing interests.

Step Ten: Hang on the wall, choosing somewhere quite low, making sure its accessible to your child. Last but by no means least, have some fun as you but your creation to the test.

Congratulations
You just made your very own visual aid.

FREE RESOURCES  

Click on any of the links listed to uncover download resources to help you create your schedule.

Visual Aids for learning

SymbolWorld

Use visual strategies 

 Trainland

 Tinsnips

Pics4Learning

Melatonin for the child with autism

8 Nov
A bottle of melatonin tablets

Image via Wikipedia

 I may have recently mentioned that Little man has had a change of medication. He is still taking Melatonin, however now his on a different brand, ‘Circadin’ which is a prolonged- release tablet.

  Melatonin isn’t a medication given to Little man as a way to control his Aspergers syndrome, it’s actually given to help him to sleep at night and remain that way in-till a suitable hour. Many children on the autism spectrum have difficulties with settling to sleep and little man is definitely one-off them. 

 Melatonin, actually belongs to a natural group of hormones and it’s something everyone’s body naturally produces. It’s the Melatonin we produce that helps us to become tired and relaxes our mind enough for us to sleep. Its thought that those on the autism spectrum do not produce enough of this hormone hence the reason why so many are unable to sleep or sleep for long periods of time. 

 Little man has had this problem since he was baby and in all honesty it’s grown much worse with age. I wrote an article for SEN magazine back in August which describes the time I woke in the night to find my 4-year-old son frying a bit of bacon in the kitchen, a child who couldn’t understand why I would be angry about this. The most worrying time for me was when he turned all the hobs (gas rings) on and almost gassed us (We now have a safety switch located on the wall.) However Little man is now 11 years old and I feel he is that bit more responsible about stuff like this and doesn’t tend to act in these dangerous ways quite as much. Don’t get me wrong he is still so much more impulsive than most children, I’ve just banged on about the midnight cooking so much, I think his got the message!

 As he grew that bit older, I noticed it wasn’t so much him waking in the small hours that was the problem, more the fact he wasn’t settling to sleep at all. I got sick of hearing people’s advice when stating, “Take his computer away, remove the television from his room etc….” What people couldn’t grasp was the fact that these items had sod all to do with it! It was his mind he couldn’t switch off, not the television!

 Little man started taking Melatonin when he was 8 years old around 8 months before formal diagnosis which he obtained from CAMHS following numerous assessments (another post altogether). At first it worked a treat, I suddenly discovered that I’d spent the last few years a ‘Night Owl’ and now couldn’t adjust my own sleep pattern, just as I began making progress, Bang… the Melatonin would stop working it’s magic and we were back to square one! I really didn’t want my child receiving stronger medication, though I’m non judgemental to those that do take this route, I just felt it wasn’t for us. 

 I learnt that by stopping and restarting the medication it worked better, nonetheless this was only for at a few weeks at a time, meaning I walked around with permanent shopping bags hanging from under my eyes. Little man spent a lot of the earlier days out of school and at home sleeping! I knew that the best way to deal with this was to get tough and keep him awake tough-out the day in-order to sleep at night, but trust me, it wasn’t easy! Have you tried to wake a child who can become very aggressive at 7.30-am given he only went of to sleep at the ghastly hour of 5-am? As mentioned Little man didn’t begin on any type of medication till he was 8 years old, yet we had been faced with the reality of sleepless nights from day Dot. 

 When Little man started reception at age 5 years, sleeping was already a big an issue as ever and by the age of 7 years the school already had the education welfare officer on my back. I can honestly say that it was at this very period of my life that I was the lowest I have ever been to date. I was taken to court and fined like some careless mother who couldn’t give a rats arse about her child. Yet here I was screaming at the top of my lungs, “I need some help here” yet it felt like no one could hear me (the cold hard reality was no one wanted to hear me). I was just 24 years old then, seen as a young mum without a clue! The court went as far as to send me to parenting classes and stick me on a parenting order. 

 It was back then I lived my life on red bull and expressos, weighed a little over 7 stone and booked myself into a counselling . Little man’s Asperger’s syndrome was now at its height of making itself known. My own child would hit, punch, kick and bite me. I remember one day falling to the ground sobbing, I looked up to see him stood before me laughing. His grandmother later asked him why he thought it was funny? His answer, “Mummy had a red face” 

 It was such a long deliberating fight to get him on the CAMHS waiting list and I released that It was only me that could get him there. My therapist, who was a god sent, said to me during one session, “You’re not a bad mother, go with your instincts” that was the best advice anybody could give me back then! I refused to listen when teachers told me rubbish, implying it was his home life that was the issue, always telling me they saw no issues at school (note they forgot to mention to myself or CAMHS that he had been placed on the sen register, and was bullied for mimicking the opening and closing of a train door) these were things I didn’t discover till I wised up and requested his entire educational record under the freedom of information and Data protection acts when gearing up for a discrimination case. 

 I think that the school expected miracles once little man started on the Melatonin. He would constantly be brought in late, given I had spent the last three hours trying to get him up dressed and out the door! I always got dealt the same insulting comment, “What did you forget to give him his sleeping meds last night” Yer…. right, of course I bloody did. It always rattled me a little more given the fact I’d not slept a wink and spent the morning trying to persuade him to remain in his clothes instead of stripping and running away. It still makes my blood run cold, how quick someone who is meant to be a professional is so quick to judge. 

 Of course I ended up back in court, thankfully the parenting order was scrapped, nonetheless I was still fined for the hard fact that yes I was his mother and regardless of any medical reasons and so forth he hadn’t been in school on so and so day so I was therefore guilty. Can you believe that the head-teacher wasn’t able to come due to school commitments and as my sentence was said out that same head master was busy leaving me a voicemail, informing me my child was excluded for 4 days (the 3rd exclusion in around a month)! No, they were no longer stating he was the angel at school like they once did!

 It’s fair to say that his sleeping issues that are a result of his Aspergers syndrome, have had a huge effect on our lives and my (looks, ha-ha seriously bags and wrinkles are not a hot mamma look)!  My point is, lack of sleep has a huge impact on everyone’s ability to function in everyday life, combined with the effects of poor social interaction, the ability to see an-others way of thinking, anxiety and the day-to-day pressures of life itself makes life a lot more pressing for a child on the autism spectrum and therefore the family too. 

 The new medication is taken in tablet form which has been a bit challenging as his so used to the capsules. I’ve noticed that once taken his much calmer within the hour. He sleeps well though there are still nights that it starts lacking in its benefits so again we need to break for one or two days, I try to do this during weekends but sometimes it’s the case by mid-week. Despite this the medication is actually much better then the last one which was actually having no benefit at all. 

 The first week of the new meds there were a few side-effects such as a hangover effect on wakening and he become much more emotional, crying on return from school for no particular reason. He also felt really tired and would fall asleep as soon as he walked through the door, which isn’t something we are not used to, and not really ideal when he has to sleep through the night. I must note, however off-putting these side-effects may sound, they lasted a little over a week, then began to disappear so to push on is the key. 

 If you’re a parent and your child suffers from difficulty in sleeping it can have a massive impact on your life. Little man is under the sleep clinic and although things are not always great, there is the odd few nights we get a great kip which compared to what its been like previously, its good progress. 

 I would advise any parent, whether their child has a diagnosis of autism or not, to go with their gut. Don’t suffer in silence, a GP can make the appropriate referrals and is able to prescribe a medication such as Melatonin (those in the states can obtain this over the counter and looks something like the image above). You as the parent need sleep in order to do the best job possible in raising your child, seek advice before it gets any worse (and believe me, it will)!

The comment from a child with autism

6 Nov

Have you ever logged onto your blog to be presented with a comment that brings tears to your eyes within a second of reading it? I have!

Writing the blog, ‘A boy with Aspergers’ has not only helped me express myself, giving me a platform to put down my thoughts, share our trails and tribulations, celebrate our achievements as a family, a place to off load both the good and not so good, but it’s so helped me to connect with other families like my own. I have always hoped that other families draw comfort from my words, somehow relate and feel they are not alone! There are many parents of children on the autism spectrum, that have commented one my blog and when they state how the blog or facebook page has helped them somehow, I feel inspired to write more.

But what if its not a parent, teacher, carer or other that comments on your blog, what if its a child, one who is on the autism spectrum, a young teenage girl who within a few simple words manages to share her likes & dislikes, express her lack of happiness with the world she lives in, as well as the things she longs for most as a teenager? She didn’t want the latest mobile phone or a tenner to go see a movie with a friend, no! She wanted something that most of us take for granted, either that or something we don’t fully appreciate. Below you can read the words that I read when opening my blog today, the words of one teenage girl on the autism spectrum…

I am a girl who got Autism. Who can’t really make new friends too hard me make really upset.
I am a girl who really like to handwriting a lot, liking to make the teacher laugh!
I am a girl who like to dance, listen to music, go on a computer or on a laptop.
I am a girl who sometimes repeat her self.
I am a girl who gets wind up all the time.
I am a girl who gets into trouble a lot.
I am a girl who get pick on a lot.
I am a girl who need to make a new friends who i really trust.
I am a girl who is feeling really alone.
I am a girl who always staying in at play times sometimes.
I am a girl who really need to gets help.
I am a girl who really talk anyone.
I am a girl who feels like getting push out of stuff.
I am a girl who always put same things!
I am a girl who really need a new friends who can keep secrets and who I really trust of a best friend.
I am a girl who feels really alone.

Note these words have not been edited in any shape or form & the original comment can be found over on the page “Autism love list” located under the header above.

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