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The Challenges That Come With Independence

12 Oct

So, its been a while since I blogged, all reasons beyond my control.
Well, Little man is officially a teenager now. On the 1st October he turned 13.
As a result his special school felt that he was ready to make a huge step forward into the world of independence.
Instead of of being collected by the school bus every morning he would walk to the train station through the park, take the 20 minute train ride followed by short 5 minute walk to school. Was I hesitant? Of course I was, what mother wouldn’t be? You see, little man had an intense ‘Special’ interest in trains that lasted many years. He was therefore very excited about this big new step he would be taking! Me I was worried sick that firstly we may find him over obsessing about transport once more. It may seem harmless to most but when a child with Aspergers is obsessive nothing else in the world matters.

This however was not my only concern! Little man is a child that struggles to sleep of a night time and if he had experienced one of he’s ‘All Nighters’ then how could I possibly let him ride the train to school? He could fall asleep and spend hours going back and forth to Hayes and Central London… What if he woke up in central london? At least if he was getting collected our morning battle would come to an end once I’d physically removed him from his bed and got him on the transport. But he hated everything about the new transport system, the one he had been placed on this September with little warning of any changes! Little man was used to taking a taxi with two other children and an escort which is provided for by the councils SEN team. This September no more than one day before the return to school he discovers that his escort has gone and will be replaced by another. He also discovers that there is no longer a taxi but a mini bus with a new driver and a heap more kids too. The battles to get him onto the bus were anything but easy! The last week before his independence training started someone from the SEN travel coordination team called me to say that little man was on his last warning! Apparently the new escort couldn’t handle the children, especially little man. I hear a fight broke out between my son and another boy. As a result the escort was pushed (not by little man but another child who as a result had been taken of the bus for good).

So, with this and little man’s pleas I decided that the transport plan drawn up by the school would probably be best at this current time.

To cut a long story short, since little mans been taking the train his had more days off than I care to remember! The first few days were fine. He loved the feeling of independence traveling to school gave him (he still does) however, his sleep pattern has once more gone up the wall and getting him out the door has been a fight that I’m losing. Even when he has left for school his been leaving late. With this and the constant warnings, Little man is on his very last chance and this time its with me!

I’ve made the decision to reintroduce the melatonin despite how its effects make him more drowsy during the school day. What else can I do? It gets to 4 am and I’m seriously at my wits end! Just the other night (well, I say ‘night’ but really mean early morning) I found myself screaming at him… “Why can’t you just go to sleep?” Only for him to look and me and reply “I want to but I can’t… I just cant.” its frustrating… Its frustrating for him, for me… And for the school, especially when they can see his a bright young boy with heaps of potential.

I find myself becoming so angry at life, for we go through these battles, get over them only for them to resurface months later. Its one hell of a rollercoaster, one I have no choice in riding.

Little man doesn’t tend to talk about thinks that may have upset or confused him during the school day, which sadly can lead to all sorts of difficulties, leaving me playing the private eye game. Switching of isn’t easy for most, especially when we have worries and troubles laying heavily on our minds. This for little man, a boy who has difficulties expressing them worries, a boy who already lacks precious sleeping hours, is a struggle on a level most would fail to reach. Its stuff as such as this that makes those morning and night battles that little more difficult than it currently is.

I do sometimes wonder how many other parents there are out there… Going through the same nightly and morning battles that we do. I know there are plenty but at times its a real lonely place.

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My Epic Adventure

28 Jan

I’ve just discovered the MoneySupermarket competition and thought it would be cool to enter by telling you about my dream grand adventure.

Firstly, it would be a child free adventure, one I’d take with a friend in order to provide myself with some much needed respite.

There are many places on my too go list but I couldn’t presently think of a better place than the Swiss Alps. For my epic adventure, I choose Grindelwald Switzerland, the place of magnificent scenery, famous snow topped mountains, lush pastures and flower filled meadows.

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I’m not into Skiing but Grindelwald has so much more to offer from scenic hikes, to husky rides, ice skating to sledding.

Yes, Grindelwald in Switzerland’s Alps offers its visitors both relaxation amongst beautiful surrounding and true epic adventure. Here’s how I’d make this trip the most memorable for the least amount of money.

Getting there…

Visitors can fly to either Geneva or Zurich and then use public transport (railway) to reach Grindelwald.

Getting About…

There is no need for car hire when staying at Grindelwald as the area has fantastic transport links. There is a good running train service, cablecars, chairlifts, gondolas, buses, trams and more with most forms of transport being very reasonably priced. You can even hire yourself an E-Bike for just an hour or a whole day if desired.

Where to stay.

Hotels ain’t cheap in this beautiful part of the Swiss Alps, however Hotels are not your only option. How about staying on a farm? Seriously you can sleep on the hay at a friendly Swiss farm amongst the goats and cattail. However if this isn’t your thing there are a number of really cheap stay hostels with prices from as little £21 pp pn. I discovered a great little hostel for £43 pn that is located right at the bottom of the famous mountain Eiger. Another really cheap way to visit the alps is by camping at one of its camper parks

20130128-231742.jpgphoto credit

Dinning…

As opting for a self catering holiday normally works out a lot cheaper therefore providing me with more cash For the fun stuff. I could see myself enjoying lunch at one of the villages many cafes. The local shops also sell reasonably priced local produce,such a cheese meats and … Yes, Chocolate. I’d love to spend at least one night camping, toasting marshmallows on an open fire while tucking into some beautiful locally brought bread and cheese.

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Photo Credit

Epic things i’d do while Visiting this magical place.

20130128-232108.jpgPhoto Credit MySwitzerland.com

I would have to have a go at Trotti biking. I’d hike through beautiful scenic vistas and visit the nearby lakes and only once I’d reached 2,000 meters above sea level would I race on my Trotti bike back down the mountain on a 40 minute ride of my life through the stunning Swiss countryside. Trotti bikes are two wheel stand on electric scooters. Trotti biking is excellent fun and won’t break the bank with prices from CHF18-30

If visiting in the summer I’d have to try my hand at a hike. And where better than the Grosse Scheidegg mountain pass connecting Grindelwald and Meiringen. Its very much about the scenery and I have heard that on clear summer days there are spectacular views of Grindelwald, the Eiger and the Kleine Scheidegg. It can amount to 3+ hike but its also cost nothing, its free to take in such beauty .

Ice skating in Grindelwald town centre sounds like fun and doesn’t cost much either. The town also has a busy night life with bars and concerts. Like anywhere some bars are more expensive than others. I’d make it my mission to visit those with the best offers and happiest happy hours.

I’d take an amazing sightseeing trip on the Jungfrau cog railway (Ticket to the top of the world). The 50 minute journey takes you through underground tunnels and through beautiful mountain scenery. It includes a stop at Eigarward in the middle of Eigers North face allowing you to get up close through the observation windows. What’s more the trip takes you to the beautiful ice palace 1,000 square meter igloo surrounded by magnificent ice sculpture.The last stop is yet the best, the Aletsch Glacier (the largest in the Alps) a chance for me to snap some truly breathtaking pics for me to instagram. Ok, its not that cheap with tickets costing between CHF130-160 but with all the money I’ve saved on this holiday it wouldn’t be an issue.

To make this trip extra epic I’d just throw myself from the Glacier Gorge (with a bungee attached of course) plummeting 85m downwards towards the beautiful glacial meltwater river… Can you get more epic than that?

Here’s a video I found of a bungee jump from the Glacier on youtube.

Video credit to ClickClickBoom

Just by being sensible with your money it really can go a long way. Its simply about cutting back in some areas in order to get more benefit from others. Decide whats important to you and then budget efficiently allowing yourself to have an epic adventure while on holiday.

This is my entry into the MoneySupermarket Grand Adventure Bloggers competition.

Although I know its to late to nominate I put forward mumofthreeboys and superlucky

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