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The Year That Was… 2012

31 Dec

The year of 2012 will soon be over, we will wave it farewell as we enter a new chapter.

Is it because I’m getting older or do the years really fly by so quickly? It seems not so long ago I was sat here writing a post summing up 2011 yet here we are again fast approaching the year 2013… I can hardly keep up!

So, how was 2012 for us? Well, amazingly it was pretty drama free (just the way we like it)! With little man now really settled at his new school things have been… Well… “Normal” I mean I no longer get daily phone calls from head teachers demanding I collect little man! I’m actually able to go shopping without that niggling fear that my mobiles about to ring as soon as I start loading the supermarket trolley.

We have had some wonderful highlights to this year one being our second Mad blog awards win where the blog was crown most inspiring for the second consecutive year in a row. It was a truly wonderful surprise and one we didn’t expect. Lets just say I woke up with a somewhat sore head the following morning.

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I was also a runner up for most inspirational blog in the BIBs (brilliance in blogging wards) run by Britmums.

At the beginning of the year I got to attend Little mans first ever sports day. Ok, his 12 years old so that may seem strange for some. But those who like me have a child on the autism spectrum will likely have experienced the same… Their child being excluded from everyday activities as they are branded something of a health and safety risk.

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Little mans attendance at his new special school has brought with it a lot of “firsts” this year, including his most recent Christmas performance that almost had me in floods of happy tears. I also attended the school Christmas lunch which is such a big deal when you have got to the stage of thinking “You’re child will never be given such opportunities” such negative thoughts are all based purely on the bad experiences of the past.

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Other wonderful things that have happened this year include, being chosen as Toy R Us Toyologist. Alice and little man were blue group reviewers and lots of fun was had reviewing all the great toys in the run up to Christmas. Little man discovered his love of making review videos and mini tutorials, his confidence grew and as a result his only gone and started his very own youtube channel.

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We were also invited to be LEGO Family bloggers this year and as you can guess, that news had the little man excited beyond belief.

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Another really big surprise was being chosen to be one of Butlins Ambassadors. Next year we will be visiting Bognor Regis resort and I’ll be able to share with readers our experiences including how the park caters for children with additional needs and sen. We start our holiday on the 1st April and I for one really can’t wait.

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October see me as one of ten bloggers and writers who were chosen as finalist in the Savoo smartest shopper competition. I was in with the chance of winning a prize of £10,000 plus the chance to write my own money saving blog. No I didn’t win! But looking back I do realise what a wonderful achievement it was to be in the final amongst the red hot competition.

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This year seemed to be the year for competitions. What with Alice being a runner up in the Ice Age Jr reviewer competition winning a fab trip to Bristol, Little man bagging himself an iPad Mini on an online raffle that was organised by his school reward system Vivo, and that of Alice finding out on Christmas Eve that she had won £750! This was for her amazing entry into the post card from Santa competition run by Travel Supermarket (the entry & video can be seen on my sister blog mummy of many talents).

20121231-133607.jpgAbove… A beautiful trip to bristol

On the whole the year has been a kind one. Sadly we do still have the worrying situation involving my sister and the SS (see the blog post peek a boo) following us into this coming new year. As a family we are continuing to support her the best we can while fighting the system that is destroying her.

So… What will next year bring? New opportunities, more school plays and sports days. I don’t hope its a good one I’ll be sure to make it a great one.

The BIB’s and The MADS… OH MY GOD

10 May

Do you know that feeling you get when something delightful happens? That warm fuzzy feeling inside!

I do, I have that feeling right now!

Have you ever received such pleasing news that you want to stand and yell it from the roof tops?

I have! I want to stand and yell right now!

Do you know why?

I’m a finalist in not one but two of the biggest blog awards taking place this year!

A few days back I received the brilliant news that I was a finalist in the Brilliance in Blogging Awards aka the BIBs organised by Britmums.

I’m a finalist in the inspire category along side 7 other fabulous bloggers who write inspirational blogs. The winner will be selected by a judging panel and announced at this years Britmums Live in June.

How exciting.

Then if this was fabulous enough, yesterday I received some more wonderful news!

I’m a finalist in the Mad Blog Awards 2012 for the category Most inspiring (the very same category i was nominated for in 2011 and went on to win)!

This award will be decided upon by public vote and once again I’m up against some amazing competition such as, I want my Mummy, the fabulous MammyWoo, A Patch of Puddles and one of my favourite bloggers and fellow autism mummy’s Wendy from Savette Gazette

The awards itself will take place in September and I for one can’t wait.

Thank you everyone who voted, these past few months I’ve had so much going on that I’ve been barely able to spam your inboxes for nominations, so to know my readers voted for me anyway is truly humbling… Thank you.

I truly love writing A boy with Asperger’s but what I love more is knowing that you guys love reading it!

Voting is open till 5 PM on the 6th June 2012 So please, I’d love it if you could take a few minutes to visit the Mad Blog Awards voting page and click A boy with Aspergers in the most inspirational category. Just click Here Mum and Dad Blog Awards 2012 to vote.

Love Claire-Louise & Little man

Flu, Campaigning, Gratitude and getting sodding old

31 Mar

Yes, I’ve been absent from blogging for a few days but not without good reason!

I was hit with the nastiest most evil flu bug ever! Yes, lifting my fingers was a tiresome effort let alone typing! This thing was the Daddy of all flu’s and note this woman’s had swine flu at 8 months pregnant and even that didn’t have a patch on this evilness!

As a kid, one doesn’t fully appreciate the “Benefits” of being a young “victim” to the flu… No “Need to do lists” no commitments and most significantly… No children to care for!

Oh yes… It was hell, pure hellishness in its almighty form! Surely there is nothing worse than parenting three quite demanding children between the ages of 2 and 11 one on the autism spectrum who is wanting to have in-depth conversations on his interest one minute then swearing the next, while your basically feeling like a big piece of steaming “Shit” (excuse my language but I have no nicer words for the experience). I love my kids so… much, but flu and parenting is never going to be a good mix is it? Worse still their father got washed down with the same bug the following day! The echoes of the croup type coughing episodes throughout the house must have driven the neighbours barmy while passers-by would be forgiven for thinking they were walking past an old people’s home (only one full of kids)!

I guess it didn’t help that Little man and my daughter were ill at the beginning of the week leaving no time for adult sickness to take place! The toddler… he just ran around like a child on red bull, though he was the only member of the gang consumed with energy at this point I can assure you that the older two more than made up for any lost adventures… Oh yes…

The overwhelming need to sleep was the ultimate killer, a mum fully capable of losing sleep and spending nights up with the boy’s (Yes BOYS… the toddler is still at it) but Oh my…. When sickness becomes part of the accession then I’m a zombie moaning monster

So… You can appreciate the smile upon my super pale face today, when for the first time in a week the shivers, aches, pounding head, sweating trembling and general feeling of death decided not to show up for its evil work today… No more hours spent head over toilet pan while the older two kick the crap out of each other and the toddlers gentle knocks on the bathroom door turn to great big thuds accompanied with the words “Mummy… Mummy… What you doing…?” Over and over again! God, how you take feeling well (as well as can be) for granted!

Well, I guess I’ve got some catching up to do! Let’s not forget its April tomorrow, therefore the beginning of a month-long awareness campaign for autism! Despite trying to raise awareness throughout the year, it’s still an opportunity to push that bit harder as people tend to listen a little more and take note which I guess is because more activist are out there putting the word about, just look at last year… we even had a number of news reports and documentaries make the TV, a great thing but still we have a long road ahead before ignorance is reduced at an even greater level and importantly more awareness is raised amongst the public and those in authority… schools, LEAs… social services, the list is endless! Why is it more important more now than ever before but likely to be more important tomorrow than what it is today? The Statistics, increasing numbers of children and adults receiving a diagnosis every single day!

That’s why on the 2nd of April, this World Autism Awareness day I’ll be “Doing it for world autism” and with some great bloggers getting involved in the action I’m more confident about the whole idea, with a bit more pushing can I possibly pull it off? Haven’t a clue what I’m banging on about? Click here and discover how myself and others are planing to raise awareness on the 2nd of April, feel inspired and leave me a comment to let me know your up for it too… you don’t even need to write a blog! Yes, myself and thousands of other families could truly benefit from a smudge of your time this World autism day.

Another challenge I’ve set my self is to take part in the April health blogging challenge! 30 prompts, 30 days, 30 post… goodness let’s hope that flu stays at bay!

On a massive high note, I’ve discovered some of you lovely lot nominated me for “Brilliance in Blogging” (BIB) award hosted by Britmums (without none of my begging too)! As a result I’m actually shortlisted in not one but two Categories, Change and inspiring! WOW, there are some amazing bloggers on that shortlist and I feel privileged to be there! Whoever felt me worthy of a nomination, Thank you… YOU’RE TOTALLY AWESOME!

Now I wont spoil it by pleading for you to now vote for me but I’ll include the badge regardless, well it would be totally rude not too! 🙂

Change Shortlist


Inspire Shortlist

On top of all this it’s the Easter holidays which means no school for 2 weeks… with this I’m feeling that there maybe some crafty play and a serious need to carefully construct a plan of action for some day-trips. Maybe I’ll even share a post on any autism friendly finds I may discover during the Easter break, watch this space!

And lastly Good Friday is my big 30, Yes sadly I’m leaving my twenties kicking and screaming and in true Claire-Louise Birthday fashion I’ll celebrate this milestone by not only getting my heels and lipstick on while drinking cocktails throughout the night… yer right… But I’ll also be hosting a 30th birthday giveaway… So… you can raise a glass and toast the wrinkles with me!

Hint… Hint – The Mad Blog Awards 2012

25 Mar

Can you believe that already were in March soon to be April? The year is flying by and I’m afraid that if I blink, I may just miss something.

Last year was an awesome year for me on the blog. Little man was settling well into his new independent special school and as a result I found myself spending a bit more attention on the blog. It was during this time last year that some of my lovely readers nominated me for Blogger of the Year and Most inspiring blogger in the ‘Mad Blog Award 2011’. Thanks to all your votes I went ahead and won the title most inspiring blogger 2011, plus I was a runner up in the Blogger of the year category. Yes, for once in my life I was speechless, and the good publicity helped me get the message out and raise a little more autism awareness than I probably could have otherwise.

We appeared in some local newspapers and Little man totally believed himself to be something of a little celebrity (bless him).

I’m still actually getting my head around it all, when funnily the nominations for the ‘Mad Blog Awards 2012’ have just opened to the public, starting the process all over again!

I won’t pretend that I wouldn’t like to be up there on the nominations list again…. I would love it!

Would I like to be nominated Blogger of the year this year…. Goodness, yes please!

Would I like to be nominated Most inspiring and possibly go on to win it again this year…. Goodness, yes please!

Do I want to keep the title ‘Most inspiring’ and possibly add another little glass award to my current one sat on my display shelf…. Yes, Yes, Yes please!

I don’t need an award to make me feel I’m a worthwhile blogger, honestly, my readers do that! I also don’t need an award to make me feel better about myself or that of my parenting or even writing… only I can do that!

Actually… I don’t need an award at all, but to have one is a lovely thing, and sometimes in life, it’s lovely to be part of something special and for me that’s what it felt like last year, and I loved every second of it!

I hate doing the whole plea thing for votes, I worry I’m jarring the hell out of you all, but here’s hoping those lovely lot who nominated me and voted me to win an award last year, will so kindly do so again this year.

Don’t worry, I wont stalk you and stick pins in your eyes if you don’t (well all those except family members that is)! No one has to take just 2 minutes to help poor little old me maintain my current title and possibly bag another (my mother told me going for sympathy works well)!

No, Seriously though, I do love writing the blog and if you love reading it, I’d love for you to nominate me as the 2012 Blogger of the year and to help me to keep my title as most inspiring blogger… that too would be fantastic!

There are 20 categories in this years awards from ‘Most helpful blogger’ to ‘Best writer’ you can even nominate me for all of them, I wont tell you off, really I wont:)

When nominating you will be asked to nominate blogger of the year first, then you can nominate in the other categories, you don’t have to nominate someone for every category but you only get the one opportunity to nominate, so do have a think about it! Please click the button to nominateMAD Blog Awards 2012

Thanks for reading everyone…. now go nominate, before I begin stalking and pinning at your eyes… followed by *evil laugh*

I’ve finally gone Mad & proud of it

21 May

Stop it, I know I’m not the full ticket, but that’s not here nor there!

This really isn’t about putting the milk in the washing machine nor falling asleep while stood at the kitchen sink attempting the washing up! This is a different kinda ‘Mad’ altogether!


Do you remember around a month or so ago, when I wrote my shameless, ‘SOS’, post that mostly consisted of a load of begging and up-front pleading form me? Well, I’m here to deliver my second dose of classy begging as last time your kindness resulted in me reaching the finals! Yes, I’ll repeat that incase you missed it! “I’VE MADE IT TO THE FINAL!” and the final I’m referring to that of the, ‘Mad blog awards 2011‘, in which I’m shortlisted in the category, ‘Most Inspiring Mad blogger‘, sponsored by ‘Mothecare’. I’m really chuffed to be shortlisted alongside such talent.

But hang on in there tiger! That’s not it! Hell yer there’s more! I also made it onto the shortlist for the ‘ Mad Blogger Of The Year 2011’ sponsored by the fabulous ‘Parentdish‘ this sees me placed alongside five other very talented parent bloggers, who have some fantastic blogs! This category is not decided by the public but instead a judging panel.

Wow! I have to say that I feel truly honoured and thank everyone who put me there in both categories. You’ve helped me achieve this big fat cheesy smile that’s currently spread across my chops. Gosh it’s gonna take a hell of a lot to burst this mummy’s bubble. I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about anything which is why I’m holding onto this feeling with both hands.

Well, given that it worked last time it only seems logical to do it again, “begging that is” which is pretty much made up of…

“PLEASE, PLEASE, LOOK I’M ON MY HANDS AND KNEES!” or “PLEASE VOTE FOR ME, I’LL LOVE YOU ALL FOREVER AND EVER!”

On a more serious note (though the above was no joke), I would like to state that what really touched me is the fact my readers took them two minutes or so out their day to vote for little old me! I really mean it when I say you guys are totally ace.

I remember when I first embanked on my blogging journey, becoming part of the mummy blogging gang. Of course I didn’t see myself as part of anything at that time, I purely found comfort in writing down my thoughts, fears and hopes. In all honesty I never really considered it being of interest to anyone but me! After all, Who want’s to know? Then you get that very first comment! I remember mine clearly, a fellow mother who had a child & hubby on the autism spectrum! She reached out and without actually knowing so, she reassured me, “I wasn’t alone & showed me that,Yes people were interested in the blog”

As for the diagnosis, its like a roller-coaster of emotions! You don’t only learn a lot about yourself but those around you. Some become closer but some of the closest disappear.

There was a point at the time of diagnosis and that leading up to it, when Little man would not attend school (full on school refusal). This wasn’t dealt with by offering some form of support, but instead by taking me to court. It’s ironic really given my son has been school-less for the past 7 months due to mainstream no longer meeting his needs & no other school willing to take him on. The school attendance officer had written in a formal letter to our CAMH’S practitioner,“I can’t see why she would cry! Her son has a cousin with autism” This was in response to a letter the practitioner had written informing her that he considered it likely that Little man was on the autism spectrum possibly with Aspergers syndrome (which he went on to be formal diagnosed with just over a year later) He wanted the school attendance officer to know this alongside my reaction to the news, stating that they should reconsider court action, instead offering support wherever needed. Her comment was a great example of ignorance in its boldest form, sadly there was plenty more to come.

What I’m trying to get across to you all is that this blog came about in one off our darkest hours! Amazingly though its now become a real positive platform that also opened so many doors, one being to the wider community of mummy bloggers (with or without children on the spectrum).

Although a large number of us have faced some laborious situations, hurdles with a string of challenges to over come, and those constant battles to obtain the basics, such basics that without your child having ever received a diagnosis you would properly never have believed such necessities could be restricted from any child’s reach. You find out what really lies behind the school gates, you sit in the head-teachers office at your child’s school more often then you did your own when you were a child. Nonetheless I hope this blog shows that no matter how hard things become, you do get through it, and do so that bit wiser, stronger and if anything more determined.

What started as just my own personal diary changed over time. Although I still blog about the day-to-day life of parenting three children, one with Aspergers, I wanted to be sure to share anything of use, hear what others had to say and offer support where possible. It became my aim to reach out to parents of diagnosed children, especially those of newly diagnosed children as I was quite aware of that feeling of isolation that nearly always accompanies a diagnosis of autism. I also wanted to connect with those on the spectrum, and anyone else willing to listen. Importantly I wanted to try and remove some of the stereotype views & stigma surrounding autism & aspergers, that often lies with those who don’t have the privilege of knowing someone on the spectrum.

I want my writing to empowered other parents to speak out or to simply see that a diagnosis of autism doesn’t have to be a bad thing (after all that diagnosis entitles your child to services that were previously beyond their reach) If my story has helped just the one family, that’s an achievement itself.

Someone once told me “To beg is not classy” Now when did you ever hear me say I was classy? I’ve thrown all caution to the wind by deciding to get fully involved in the awards, “which I must add are totally amazing” If this involves getting down and dirty with the self-promotion then so be it! After all I’m proud of my little space and if sharing it makes it that bit bolder. That can only be a good thing.

So please If you fancy making this mummy’s day then please visit, ‘The Mad blog Awards 2011’ and Vote 4 me Aka, ‘A boy with Asperger’s as the ‘Most Inspiring Mad Blogger’


Lots of love Claire


My SOS call

9 Apr
Hello all my fabulous, stunning, goddam beautiful blog readers!
I’m posting today purely to grab some attention and ask every single one of you to do me a little, teeny-weeny favour (hence the major sucking up)
A little birdie with the name of, ‘Twitter‘ informs me the ‘Mads Awards’ are back for 2011 and this year they are being sponsored by parentdish. nominations are now open and the mum & dad blogging community are going crazy. I sat wondering what the hell all the fuss was over! So, me being me popped over for a nosey. Well, this mum got quite excited, I was like a kid at christmas. I suddenly thought to ones self, “Mmm I fancy a piece of the action!”
Well, let me explain… there are fifteen categories and I quite fancy the title, ‘Most Inspiring blog’ Catchy don’t you thing?
I wont give you no sob story, (you should know me by now) instead I’ve decided to jump in at the deep end and do some serious begging. I can’t do this alone, it’s only you guys that can possibly make this happen! So if you love the blog as much as I love writing and sharing it, then please, please begging hands and knees style, nominate the blog for the ‘Most Inspiring Blog’ award.
Yep, it’s a tad cheeky I know, but, “hay what is a mummy gotta do to get an award around here” 🙂
On a very serious note, I should state that this plea has not been made just because I wish to get my mitts of the gorgeously, wonderful prizes (though gosh I wouldn’t say no to anyone of them) This plea is made as it’s my belief that by you lovely people taking a few seconds to nominate this blog, and then me actually getting somewhere, we can together create even more awareness for that something that lies so close to my heart and most properly yours, ‘Autism & Aspergers‘ I convinced myself this could be fate (what with it being April and autism awareness month and all!)
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PLUS I THINK THE AWARD WOULD JUST LOOK DIVINE IN MY SIDEBAR!
Just kidding :0
Well, if you find that the blog ‘A boy with Asperger’s’ gives you inspiration in some way then please take a quick two seconds to nominate by clicking the image within the post or in the sidebar.
Please note the blogs full URL is required, ‘aspergersinfo.wordpress.com’, and you must first nominate the blog as blogger of the year! The following page will list the fifteen categories. As mentioned, I would love you all to vote for us within the, ‘Most Inspiring’ category. (Feel free to add us to anymore you feel fit! So cheeky, I know!)
Well I thank you in advance my talented, handsome, beautiful, exquisite, ravishing readers……..
Ps It will make the Little man’s day 🙂
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