Tag Archives: autism awareness

What A Way Raise Awareness For Autism

10 Apr

A company called CARD.com, an online issuer of prepaid Visa debit cards have come up with a fantastic way to raise awareness for autism, with this fantastic new card design…

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Sadly its not yet available here in the UK (if it was I know I’d be snapping one up). Nonetheless, I really wanted to share this fantastic idea with you all, especially those of you In the states who can already access the prepaid card to purchase online now.

The card has this beautiful design of the autism ribbon and its a truly unique way to spread awareness, this autism awareness month and beyond.

Given We pay with plastic everyday – why not do so with a card that reflects something personal and important to you while making others aware of autism in such a unique way. A great conversation starter with the checkout girl at the local supermarket wouldn’t you say?

You can check out the card by clicking Here

Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post, I haven’t been paid to share this content and have only done so as to raise awareness for a condition close to my heart.

#HAWMC DAY 13 – The 10 things I can’t live without!

13 Apr

The health activist writers month challenge (#HAWMC) is in full swing and I’m really quite enjoying the daily prompts. However, I wasn’t overly keen on today’s but given this is meant to be a challenge, I didn’t bail out.

 So, when asked what 10 things I couldn’t live without, I got my thinking cap on…

 

1) My Children: Obviously the first thing I’ll list is this! My children, they’re my everything, my who entire life, the reason I breath. A life without my kids truly isn’t worth living!

 

2) Friends and family: My mother and father who reared me and made me the person I am today. Friends who have been amazing through some of the most difficult times of my life… I’m truly thankful to you all, if only you all knew how much!

 

3) Health: I want to be around for many years. I want to watch my children grow and evolve into adults, finish education, get there first job, get married and invite me for Sunday lunch.

 

4) My blog: How superficial you may think? But this is my outlet, a place to let of steam, share any happiness and achievements along the way. It’s got me through tough times, provided a connection to something I never knew existed. Who would ever think a blog could save someone? It saved me from insanity, that I’m thankful for!

 

5) Passion: It’s what drives me to do the thinks I do. To live without passion would be like living without food and water for me!

 

6) Dreams: Whether they amount to anything is totally irrelevant, they keep me smiling and give me something to aim for… surely we all have a dream?

 

7) A Voice: No I can’t sing (I actually recall my mother telling me I sound somewhat like a cat crying out in agony) but it does give me a way to speak up when it comes to the things I believe in! It’s helped me to raise awareness for autism and aspergers as-well as a number of other charities and campaigns. I’ve realised how powerful a tool one persons voice can be, you’ve just got to know how to use it!

 

8) Technology: I can just imagine my grandmother shaking her head if she was alive to read this! Yes, she would likely tell me and in no uncertain terms, that In her day people spoke to each other face to face, not all this texting and emailing rubbish! But we are now living in a modern world, one where my Mac and my iphone have become something of a second skin. These tools along with the rise in social networking sites have provide me with more than just a way to communicate with those out of reach but has also provided me with a platform to raise awareness for something I believe in and feel passion towards! The facebook support page now has over 5,000 members and continues to grow, I love that it’s become a place for parents like myself to gain support and friendship with those who relate most. I’ve also found a place to release inner creativity, experience things I otherwise couldn’t or wouldn’t have! And along the way I’ve meet some amazing people, some Im pleased to have become firm friends with.

 

9) A Little Me Time: Sounds a strange one but without it I’d go absolutely bonkers… I’m sure of it! I may not get a whole heap of it but what I do get I fully appreciate it.

 

10) Memory’s: It’s memorise both good and bad that help me mould my future. I am able to learn from past mistakes, avoiding any recurring undesirable situations. Those help memories keep me smiling when times are difficult… Memories really do help create a more positive future. 

And an extra one for good measure…

A sense of humour, the ability to laugh at yourself. Life is a serious affair but a bit of laughter is good for the mind!

 

Post 13/30 #HAWMC set by wego health

#HAWMC Day 4 – Why I chose to share my story

4 Apr

Why do I write about my sons Aspergers, and has my reasons changed since I first started writing this blog?

I can’t deny it, they have indeed changed and quite a lot I may add. I’m more passionate about raising awareness now than I was 3 years ago when I first started blogging. There was no specific plan, I didn’t suddenly make the decision to share my story then go looking for somewhere to put it! I guess you could say it was as if myself and WordPress just crossed paths one day and as a result here I am some 3 and 1/2 years on. I quickly discovered that WordPress offered me a platform to off load both my worries as well as achievements, ones that others took for granted, such as managing to get your child dressed and into school that morning or something as simple as your child allowing you to cut his finger nails. Honestly, I never imagined people were reading it or would even want to, right then and there It was purely for my own sanity!

But like most things in life stuff changes and my very first blog comment saw to that! This was received from a mother just like myself, one who understood the daily struggles as well as them times we felt the need to celebrate! I soon began to discover a whole new world, one that consists of those who finally understood my situation. Why? Because they too had a child like mine! Many had already fought a host of battles, others were still fighting for a diagnosis in-order for their child to receive the support they terribly needed.

I have some very loyal readers, ones that have been there since day dot! They have witnessed our journey from the very beginning, they have seen myself evolve from a mother plunging into the depths of depression to the person I stand today.

Those watching from the sidelines saw myself try to climb the mountain, continuously falling at many points on the way. There were so many times I felt like giving up, admitting defeat, then with the encouraging words read within a string of comments I’d pull myself up and start climbing again, till I finally reached the top.

It’s actually strange sitting here thinking off all them huge mountains we’ve needed to climb since, and how like the first I’ve continued to fall only to eventually reach the top. As a parent of a child with Aspergers and Special Educational Needs, I’ve found myself stood facing every typical hurdle from diagnosis, discrimination, statementing and of course the big old battle of getting the right educational setting to meet my child’s complex needs. There are plenty of others nested in between and I’m under no illusion that there are plenty more still to come (after all my son is only 11).

Over the years I’ve learnt a lot not only about my child’s Aspergers and various other needs, the system and the ins and outs of education law, but that of myself and the person I had become, my inner passion to help any parent who felt as I once felt, scared, worried and a lone.

I discovered I’d opened a window to our life and that window was not only providing me with an outlet to off load my inner thoughts but provided others with something they could relate to.

As a result the Facebook page was born, with now 12 committed administrators who help me keep it ticking over its become a supportive and informative online haven for some almost 5,000 members.

If you told me some 4 years ago we would be where we’re at today, I’d never have believe you. An exhausted mother with a son refusing to sleep or even go to school, assessments every other week that were sending Little man into a frenzy of meltdowns I felt powerless to control, a top draw loaded with Prozac… Yet still a good few months from diagnosis, and let’s not forget a school attendance order and a pending court case… Like I said I’d never had believe you!

Embarking on such a journey has helped me to eliminate built up anger or the glowing red cheeks as I cringe with embarrassment as my son throws himself around the supermarket. I now embrace his Aspergers and try to remind myself of this when things go sour (though I’m only human)!

But above all else, it’s helped me unleash a passion I didn’t no I had, to raise awareness for what some refer to as the hidden disability! I’m passionate to help anyone who finds them self stood in a crowded room screaming yet no one looks up, or the parent struggling up that mountain!

It wasn’t just a diagnosis we brought home one day but the willingness to fight all that comes our way, get through it and then help others to do the same.

Now that’s why I continue to share my story and It’s my son existences that lights the way!

This post was written as 4/30 in the #HAWMC want to learn more or discover post from various other health activist? Click Here.

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Are you Doing it for World Autism 2012

2 Apr

It’s here, World Autism Awareness Day and as promised today I’m doing it for autism by posting a picture while wearing something that resembles the autism awareness colours and holding up a card simply stating “Doing it for world autism” (yes, kids enjoyed creating the oversize mask).

This idea was one I put together quite late in the day but still remain hopeful that lots of you will take 5 minutes and snap and share a picture too? Bloggers can post them on their blogs to get the message out, as well as linking here, sharing on twitter using hash tag #worldautism12, share on the A boy with Aspergers Facebook page and anywhere else you fancy. What do you gain from it? Nothing other than the knowledge you took a few minutes to help raise awareness for children like my little man! You don’t even have to be a blogger just sharing your picture on twitter or our Facebook page means everyone can do it but only if they want too!

I’m hoping to collect enough images to create an awareness collage (You can see some old ones by clicking the autism college link in the blogs header).

So, what do you say? Everyone and anyone, whoever you are, wherever you are… Please help me raise awareness and stamp out the ignorance that surrounds us daily!

It will always be world autism day in our house and thousands others besides… Can you take five minutes to make it yours?

So… here’s my picture! Please don’t judge my smoking, it was one of those mornings, plus after Little mans refusal, I was simply filling in at short notice 🙂

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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*

Look here comes the naughty kid

3 Mar
English: Subject: Quinn, an ~18 month old boy ...

Image via Wikipedia

You look at me, your eyes pressed firmly upon me, you do not look away, instead you stare that deadly stare, the one I hate but have to bare!

Are you sniggering? Seriously… Why? Isn’t it time you moved on by?

Shaking your head, Oh, that would be right! Don’t you think I’ve had enough of that tonight?

OK, you’re laughing now… is my child’s discomfort, confusion or happiness, funny somehow?

Leaving? You have an appointment to gossip down by the school, I guess you’ve never seen a child quite as rude as mine before!

Of course I understand, his party invite didn’t arrive, lost in the post you say, yer, that would be right!

He wonders why the children have gone inside, Little man now has his pick of the rides, but sadly the see-saw, he’ll not be able to try.

It’s OK, please there’s no need to explain, I understand, your child is not able to play at our house today, his bedrooms a mess, so his chores he must abide… another time maybe, how about when his 45?

Seriously ladies, he doesn’t bite, his actually house trained, though have a meltdown he might!

Shit… that’s a camera… you’re taking pictures… you twat! A zoo animal he is not! take my advice, go run and hide, because right now, I might shove that camera right up your behind!

God, yes I’m stress! Please don’t suggest…. what I might… Did you have sleep last night?

It’s an excuse, his naughty for sure, look at his mother, I say no more!

Off to the doctors… is Johnny all right? Catch it! I ensure you, that’s not right!

We live in a society where ignorance is breathed like air, one or too may sweetly smile, while others just stand & stare, never in their lives have they seen such behaviour before!

Now, You may have experienced the deadly stare from the eye of a passer-by, as your toddler demonstrates his new skill of throwing himself on the floor! Yes, I’ve seen it, daily in fact, I’ve heard the gasps of horror as my child sets about attacking the neatly stacked tins while on a supermarket binge. I’ve witnessed the shaking heads, the tuts, the suggestions from those who misunderstood the situation! I’ve explained, I’ve cried, I’ve stuck my finger up and smiled, I’ve dealt with it swell, I’ve dealt with it not well!

My child is a boy, an 11-year-old boy… who wants to be liked, his actually quite nice!

I’ve witnessed how a busy park suddenly empties on a hot summers day, the parent that grabs her child and runs away! I’ve lost friends, they faded, disappeared simply ignoring me, hoping I’ll go away

Ignorance is crawl, inflicted by those, young and old, those that don’t know you or worse, those that love you!

It happens… it will always happen! It’s called parenting a child with Aspergers Syndrome, more appropriately… Hidden Disability Syndrome! He looks no different, his ticks and traits, hidden within a mass of boyish ways, but make no mistake when they surface you’ll judge him, you’ll judge me, you’ll judge our life, our family, our values, opinions and sadly you wont stick around and realise your own silly mistake!

This April is Autism Awareness month, with the 1st of April being “World Autism Day” I ask, that on this one day… you see the bigger picture, you take this one day to Google the words Autism and Aspergers, you read with an open mind and an open heart, I ask that you leave the ignorance behind you!

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.

When did it become OK to mock disabled children based on who they’re parents are?

7 Jul

Tonight I write this post about an important issue that has really been irritating me these past few weeks.

Being me, I just can’t leave it be and found myself needing to raise the issue here on the blog. 

So, what is it that’s eating me?

Well, sometime ago, last December to be precise, a certain “so called” comedian publicly made fun out of someone less fortunate than himself live on TV. Frankie Boyle went all out and shamefully made Katie price’s disabled son Harvey the butt of his incredibly vile “Jokes”

So, why have I brought it up now? 

The story has yet again been brought to the publics attention through the media as a result of Katie’s new show, ‘Katie, Sticking up for Harvey’ which has been aired on Sky living. I haven’t seen the show, unfortunately I don’t have access to the channel, however I did read a recent article at the, ‘Mail Online

 “Mock me all you like but leave my disabled son alone: Katie Price’s heartfelt denunciation of Frankie Boyle’s vile slur and the TV bosses who defended it.”

This was the headline that drew me to the story that I found myself reading with an open mind. 

Now, I’m not your biggest Katie fan, I don’t really watch much of her stuff unless my sister is about, not because I don’t like the woman, just because I’m not really interested In her world. However when I have seen the show and its had scenes with her son Harvey as well as her other children, she comes across as a loving mother. Now I know she’s no angel and gathering from this article she isn’t claiming to be one, yet the comments I have read from the wider public left me a little dumbfounded. It’s my opinion that many missed the point completely. It all came across as some kind of “We hate Katie Price Campaign!” 

One thing I continued to read over and over again was, “Of course Katie didn’t write this she’s to thick” Come on guys… a) does it bloody matter who wrote the article, it still clearly makes the same important points and b) have you all forgotten, the woman cannot be that “thick” she has made herself a tidy sum of money that will see her children through education and beyond. This brings me onto my next point. Sadly many comments showed a certain amount of resentment, with many asking how can she possibly understand what its like to raise a disabled child purely because she has a nanny! I’m sorry but I feel many parents of disabled children myself included, ask for the outside world to look at us without ignorance! Is Katie price exempt from this? “Stop Milking it” was another comment… “Oh god I hope that person never has to raise a disabled child, the pure cheek and ignorance of such a comment” Sadly I expect Katie expected such comments, still this doesn’t make it right. 

Although I’m aware of people having their own opinions, I found it quite shocking how some even felt it was Ok to condone Frankie Boyle’s sick remarks (to sick for me to repeat). 

Just because Katie price doesn’t have to worry about getting funding for her child’s school placement or getting the council to part with the cash for respite, doesn’t make her any less of a mother to her child, it doesn’t mean she loves him any less then you or I love our children. Most importantly It doesn’t give scum-bag comedians the right to pick on a disabled child like Harvey, surely it doesn’t right? 

To read comments stating Harvey should be hidden and it’s Katie’s own fault for having him in the lime light clearly highlights that we still have some way to go with raising autism awareness. I for one commend Katie price for standing up for her disabled child and speaking out for him! Would I have done the same? Hell yes, I’d done it in a heart beat!

As for both Fankie Boyle and the TV bosses who defended him…. You guys should be utterly & totally ashamed of yourselves! Disability discrimination shouldn’t be happening especially by those in the public eye, its nothing less then disgraceful and I don’t know how you can sleep at night!

This mum made front page news

10 Jun

Early Tuesday morning I’m awoken by an excited Little man.

Oh, yes he knows what day it is… his been counting the days since Friday.

We walked into our local newsagents a little after 6:30 am. Little man darted over to the newspaper stand knocking over several boxes of unpacked crisp and a shop assistant filling the fridge. He was causing complete chaos at this very early hour!

“Mum, mum look, we are on the front page!”

The little guy was right! There on the front page of the local rag was a picture of myself and the Little man.

In big bold letters the headline read…

“All about a boy… Blogging mum up for award”

 full story on page 31

The man stood behind the counter gave me a smile and a wink as Little man placed his 50p on the counter. He stood tall and proud in the hope he was recognised!

“That’s a handsome young fella in the paper! Hang on a minute, he looks familiar”
 The shopkeeper joked!

Little man shouted so loud it’s likely he damaged the poor guy’s ear drum when replying, “That’s me with mum… can’t you see?”

“Oh yes… So it is”

Little man was displaying a huge grin, obviously enjoying his five minutes of fame!

The shopkeeper, a lovely elderly gentleman that I’ve known for some years, went on to say in a chirpy tone, “Well, as it’s you on the front cover… the papers on me today!”

Little man stood thinking, overcome with confusion. Completely baffled by the man’s comments he asked, “What do you mean? The newspaper isn’t on you… It’s on the counter!” He was shaking his head as to imply the shopkeeper was a tad stupid for making such a ridicules comment!

Now, let’s not forget that this is a little boy with Aspergers, who has a tendency to take things rather literally! So, I explained just what the shopkeeper had meant to which he politely thanked him for his generosity by stating he was ‘Safe’ (he has a mind like a sponge) before making his swift exit.

Little man had more excitement to come. The article in the ‘South London Press‘ was one of two Newspapers we would be featured in that week.

The Second paper, ‘The Newshopper’ was released the following day. Both papers were running the story about a Lewisham mother of three, who had made it to the finals of the ‘Mad blog awards’, a national blogging competition showcasing some of the best British blogs written by parents. Of course that ‘mother’ was me *smiling gracefully* 

No, I won’t deny it! When I was sent the press release to edit and forward as I pleased, I didn’t expect much to come of it!

This blog is simply a documentation of our life alongside my own thoughts and opinions. As crazy as our life may seem to others, it’s a life that many parents of a child with autism will possibly  relate too as the norm

You just don’t expect your blog to end up in the newspapers! Then again, you don’t expect to your blog to be in the running for a national award (especially in two categories)

I will often write a post and once complete I read it back and think to myself, “Seriously who wants to read this stuff?”

Gosh, I love how this blog has changed me. Its helped me to discover a lot about myself! If you had asked me three or so years back, “Do I enjoy writing?” My reply would have likely been… No! Seriously…  My English teacher would have a heart attack if she read this. Ok my grammar isn’t top notch (sorry miss, I try) Yet I’ve discovered that putting down my feelings for the world to read is somewhat therapeutic! I’m expressing myself in a whole new way… And enjoying it!  Ask me now if I love to write and my answer would be a whole lot different. Now that is something I never saw coming… Ever!

I’ve written this blog while in an array of psychological mind sets. There’s been tears (to many), laughter, sadness, anger, joy, exhaustion and excitement!
Since becoming a finalist I’ve been lucky enough to encounter some awesome opportunities… Did I mention that I’m currently writing a piece for this months SEN magazine? *cheeky giggle*

With every congratulations whether it’s from the press, a friend, family member or fellow parent to a child with autism, I feel a great sense of achievement that this mum who is no means a super mum, has managed to get her voice heard when raising an issue that is not only close to her heart, but one that is also enormously important!

This is more then a blog award competition (don’t get me wrong, winning would be oh-so-fabulous & your votes are most welcome) What I’m trying to empathise is that although autism and aspergers has come a long way with the help of the media, there is still so much to say! All over the world children are being failed through not having their educational needs met, where adults are left unemployed… regardless of their skills.

I thank the ‘Mad blog awards’ for bringing about a powerful way to get heard while having a great amount of fun in the process! As for you guys… Thank you for getting me here by nominating the blog… All you need to do now is vote (cheeky)!!

To vote the blog, ‘A boy with Asperger’s’ as your most inspiring/inspirational mad blog 2011, visit the Mad voting page: Here

The article in the, ‘South London Press’ can be found: Here

The, ‘Newshopper’s’ article can be found: Here 


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


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