Tag Archives: Autism

A Bright Star No Longer Hidden

22 Jun

The annual review, a time for meeting with your child’s teachers and discussing progress, struggles and ideas. A meeting centred around your child’s special educational needs and the statement they hold.

Last week it was that time, the time for the Little man’s second annual review since attending his special independent school specifically for children on the autism spectrum. Lately, Little man’s attendance has been a little off the wall! Despite his love for his new school he continues to struggle to sleep of a night, often getting just a few hours sleep or none whatsoever. As one can imagine, mornings are becoming one huge battle us! For this reason alone I expected to hear how my son was falling dangerously behind that of his peers, what with his last school (mainstream primary school) insisting he had a reading age of 7, reception age writing skills, poor understanding of science and history, plus 2 levels below in maths and more besides. He was 10 at the time and I protested that my son wasn’t this far behind, especially in maths. His bedroom wall looked like some kind of number puzzle where he would cover it in mathematical problem solving and coding to a complex level (one even I struggled to understand)!

You see it was my conclusion that he was much brighter than he let on, but wasn’t showing this due to his unhappiness while attending a school who seriously struggled to meet any of his needs, both educational and developmental. It was during this particular annual review meeting that I realised just how right I was back then.

Here it comes… A seriously proud mummy moment…

Little man is two levels above his expect national curriculum level in maths. He is in year 7 and currently has a level of a child in year 9 on his way to year 10.

His also above in PE, Reading and more besides. He science levels were that of his expected age. English as a whole is also what is expected which just goes to show that my boy and any other child on the spectrum has the ability to shine given they are in the right environment to do so.

He has a great new system in which he can remove himself from the classroom to shake of any problems and excess energy with a run around the playground. He only has the ability to use his “Get Out Of Glass Card” twice for each lesson and teachers have reported that sometimes he finishes class having not used one. This may seem like such a minor thing but to a mum like me its pure music to my ears.

He also has a great reward system and school are working hard to try and discourage his swearing. Despite episodes still happening on a daily basis the improvements are slowly taking place and little man’s learning a little self control.

Proud… Oh yes, seriously proud! When your so used to being told the negative when it comes to your child’s education, you forget what its like to hear anything positive. This was a great example of this, it was the proudest I’d felt for a long time. I just wanted to shout about it from the roof tops.

Was I tempted to take a little walk through them office doors of his once mainstream school, the one in which his younger sister attends? Did I feel to wave his report in the air while shouting “Yer… Get a load of that! Thats my boy they are writing about!” Um maybe I did, just a little…I can’t lie. However, I don’t care what was once said! All that matters is that I have always believed in him even if those others who should have, instead made it their mission to write him off as a lost cause!

Well… Eat My Shorts!

My boys a star, a star that shines bright because his no longer hidden.

So, if you have a bright star that is currently struggling to be seen through the clouds then don’t give up on them! Believing is the key to your child’s educational success and as long as you believe others will follow. Never give up, fight for them to be seen as the star you know them to be.

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Wear It For Autism: Nominations Now Open

20 Jun

Has your life been affected by autism or do you know someone whose has? Do you know someone who is always putting others before themselves and deserves an extra-special treat? Nominate them now and they could be part of Wear It For Autism.

Wear It For Autism is looking for mums, dads, children and carers – who either have autism themselves or care for those living with the condition – to have a full makeover and take centre-stage in a stylish fashion event at London’s Vinyl Factory on Tuesday 10 September.

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Nominations are open now until Sunday 23 June 2013. Celebrity judges, including Gail Porter and Adele Silva, alongside Maggie Paterson, Principal of Pineapple Performing Arts Covent Garden, will select winners from across five categories – mums, dads, young carers, children with autism, and adults with austim. All the winners will be treated to a top-to-toe makeover by styling experts and take part in the Wear It for Autism catwalk show.

Anna Kennedy said: “The idea behind Wear It For Autism was to spoil those who usually never get a chance to treat – or even think of – themselves. Living with autism can be challenging and extremely demanding, so we wanted to create a special event that will be fun for all involved, as well as raise vital funds to campaign for the rights of those with this disability.”

If you know a parent, carer or child affected by autism, or if you want to take part in Wear It For Autism, nominate now at www.annakennedyonline.com

Tickets for the show are available now, priced £25 each. All profits go to the registered charity Anna Kennedy Online, which supports UK families affected by autism, including providing small grants for educational and domestic resources

Sponsor’s for the event are, Littlewood’s,Toni & Guy, Pineapple Arts, London Beauty Queen and Mahogony

Here Comes The Sun – Tips To Help The Sensitive Child Cope

13 Jun

As the days and nights become increasingly warmer your sensitive child on the autism spectrum may require a little help in coping with the sensory issues that summer may bring.

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So here’s a few tips aimed at those parents of the sensitive child! After all everyone deserves to have a great summer don’t they!

1) Does your child show a dislike to most sun protection products? Little man doesn’t enjoy the application of sunscreen and will spend half the day refusing to comply with my request to apply it. The dislike of sunscreen by a child on the spectrum could be due to a number of factors all of which are a result of the child’s senses. Little man hates the feeling of the lotion on the skin (protests that all feel sticky). This is as well as the smell of the lotion and the fact he needs help with the application process. Here’s some suggestions…
A – Try a powder protection like the one from bare essentials its odourless too.
B – Let your child learn to apply the sun lotion themselves using a mirror then try to cover hard to reach areas that will be exposed to the sun with clothing (thin and cool material)
C – Experiment with different brands of sun protection. Many have different smells and textures and most brands offer sample size bottles or sachets.

2) Try to organise outdoor activities around the midday sun. Children with autism who are sensitive to the suns rays will thank you for it.

3) Use a good insect repellent! No one likes getting bitten by insects and its a 1000 times worse for the child who is tactile defensive. Clothing that comes into contact with the skin is already an issue for these children but if clothing rubs causing friction to an insect bite things become intensely over sensitive. Then there’s the issue of infection to bite. Little man doesn’t listen if I tell him not to scratch a bite, he really can’t control the need to do so, having no power to resist. Your best bet is to just be safe and avoid insect bites altogether. As before experiment in till you find the right product for your child. Another good tip is to use fly nets at the windows or an air conditioning unit at night.

4) Cover up with a hat! As you should for all children insist your child on the spectrum wears some form of sun hat. Your child will be more comfortable in the sun and this will reduce the risk of sunstroke and little mans most feared pain… The headache! If your sensitive child refuses to wear a hat then try alternatives such as a sun umbrella and whenever possible, staying indoors during the hottest point of the day (the midday sun).

5) Does your child with Autism have a fear of flying insects? It isn’t a trait as such, but not uncommon for children with autism to have such a fear. Sometimes its due to factors such as the noise these insects make… Noises such a buzzing from bees, flys and wasps. It can also be down to a fear of getting bitten or stung due to it happening perhaps one day in the past. Regardless of the reason, its usually an intense fear, one that children on the autism spectrum will struggle to deal with. Its all too easy to hide away from those things we are scared of! However this only makes things more difficult in the long run as one day them fearful critters will sneak up on us. My tip… That its better to deal with fear head on by facing it! This can be made much harder when the child who is scared of such insects has a type of autism. But it can be done! It normally just takes a little longer. Ideas…
A) Let children learn more about the things they are frighten about. Use the Internet with them to unravel exciting facts.
B) During warm months use Mosquito nets at windows.
C) Be persistent when helping your child face their fears. Keep on trying on a daily basis.
D) If extreme (to the point your child wont leave the house) then speak to child practitioner for information, advice and ideas.

6) Use a thin 100% cotton sheet instead of a duvet at night! If your child is already a poor sleeper the heat could potentially make this issue worse. Try offering your child lighter cooler bedding. In the summer months little man will often use a sheet instead of a duvet. As long as its 100% cotton we don’t have any tactile issues.

7) Whether appropriate clothing! I found that during the colder months I have to fight the little man to wear his coat, yet in the summer he refuses to go out without it. Experiment with different coats that are appropriate for the current climate. If your child insists on wearing a coat in summer then give them thin cotton summer jackets. Be sure to make sure the material is suited to your child’s tactile needs (little man will not wear waterproof material)!

8) Head to the beach! Being by the sea is always much cooler with the sea breeze. Little man always seems so much happier when we are spending time at the coast. We try to visit less crowded beaches to keep his stress levels down.

9) Avoid the shops! If like little man you’re child on the autism spectrum hates shopping at the best of times then avoid shopping trips during them hot summers afternoons. This is a recipe for meltdowns… You’ve been warned.

10) Cool down! I’ve found that by giving little man a battery operated hand fan he manages the summer heat much better. We did try using cool mist but spraying this on the little man’s face didn’t go down to well. See what works best for your child but if you do opt for a battery operated fan then be sure batteries are fully charged and maybe keep a spare set in your handbag just in case.

Well that’s about it for now. Hope these small tips help and if you have any of your own, then please share in the comments section. Thanks.x

Shutting Down

22 May

I’ve been pretty silent, I know! Its not like me, not to blog for long periods of time, but these past few weeks have been different! I’ve actually been completely out the loop when it comes to social networking, my tweets have been few and far between and Facebook has been left unvisited.

I’m not to busy, I won’t lie! I’m not on holiday or having some girly time someplace fun. I’m at home, in pyjamas on the sofa mostly.

In my everyday life, my social commitments have suffered too. I’m not spending much time with friends, I’m not even answering my mobile or home phone when somebody calls. Its actually really stupid but I haven’t been able to complete the smallest of tasks. I dread having to do almost anything.

That’s how I knew…. The signs are all there, ones I’ve experienced before making them so apparent this time! Depression… I was depressed and knew I had to do something about it, and do so fast. But that was just it… I was lacking any get up and go which meant that the prospect of visiting a doctor or even booking an appointment to see one was all to much to bare.

Thankfully, I’m starting to feel myself again and though it will take some time to get on top of it all, I’ve started and that’s the hardest bit done.

So, why was she depressed, you may ask? Many assume its the pressures of parenting a child on the autism spectrum but for me that’s a little bit of a cop out. I’ve been parenting little man for almost 13 years. Since the age of 18 its been my life. I’ve since had two more children and being a mother to all three of my children has brought great joy into my life. Yes, when little man is refusing to get up from his bed or even leave the house of a morning I do feel a tad close to breaking point, but guess what? Its not made me depressed… I don’t think it has anyway!

The truth is, life can be a bit full on somedays and when all your problems collide that’s when things go a bit tits up. I can’t put my finger on just one thing and say its this whats caused this depressive period. That’s impossible!

With deadlines looming for reviews and guest post, I just shut off. This blog and that of my other were left at times for days without a post. With my hair thinning at age 31 years and my doctor telling me it was down to stress I just had to let go a little and remember what it was like to be me again.

I love blogging, that much I’m sure off. I just wanted to take a little me time in order to remember that.

So here’s to the continuation of blogging… Here’s to me smiling again.

Oh, and before I drop off, a message for the world! “If you ever feel like your slipping into a black hole of depression then act quickly to nip it in the bud! Many of us are not visiting our GPs, mainly due to the stigma associated with depression! Just remember its an illness and lucky enough its a fixable one too! To be the best we possible can we need to feel our best… Fact!

Life In The Spectrum Bubble

10 May

Maybe you’ve noticed, maybe you haven’t, that this blogger hasn’t been the most active these past few weeks? I’m not being lazy, experiencing writers block or falling behind! No, I’ve simply been taking time out, working on other things!

As a parent, especially to one on the autism spectrum you sometimes feel as if your whole life is taken up with social skills training, advocating, battles and special interests. You find it difficult to shut off your mind, think about anything else, take real time for you, yourself as a person.

This isn’t a good thing, we all need to just be ourselves, doing some of the things we love from time to time. Its not that I don’t love parenting my son as I do his siblings, and it isn’t because I dislike blogging because, actually… I love it! I just needed a little me time.

Things at home haven’t been too eventful… If anything drama levels have remained reasonably low so I don’t have much in the way of news to report. Little man has been experiencing some sleepless nights (as usual). What’s worse is his been experiencing some awful toothache and this has affected him badly. He is very sensitive to this type of pain and is having difficulty coping with it. His senses are in overdrive, and with refusal to see the dentist I think we are both at our wits end.

I also got a letter from his school today threatening court action. Little man’s attendance is well below but when his refusing to sleep and then attacking me as I try to pull him from his bed of a morning it isn’t the easiest task to undertake. Its not that little man dislikes school because he actually quite likes it. However, changes such as new children in his cab, new teaching staff and friends leaving, makes little man want to shut the world out.

Between looking after little man and the toddler during the day, I’ve also been busy working on my own stuff. Myself and a friend have been doing some selling at bootfairs, vintage fairs and craft markets, selling mainly that of vintage items, jewellery and other lovely bits. I actually love doing this, especially during the warmer months. Not only does it raise some much needed funds but it gets me out doing something, meeting new people.

We have to remember that just because we are parents of children on the autism spectrum, it doesn’t mean we can’t have interests, time spent on other stuff! We should be able to do this without feeling guilty too.

I’m not denying that when your child is on the autism spectrum life becomes a bit more hectic, it does! However, you adjust and adapt, making routines and adjustments as best you can.

Its easy to find yourself stuck in the autism bubble, you’ve just got to pop it, remembering that before your child’s diagnosis you concentrated on other stuff! After all,its not healthy to do nothing but study the best therapies and educational resources all day long.

We are far better parents when we are more relaxed, free from stress and happy overall.

All my children need a sane mummy… And I’m just working hard to avoid myself becoming anything other than that! After all I’ve been there and it isn’t a pretty place!

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.

Review – Butlins Bognor Regis – Wave Hotel

10 Apr

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This is one of two reviews I’m writing. This review will focus on the Wave Hotel and Premium dinning plan. The second, which will shortly follow, will feature the rest of the resort and its facilities.

So, last year I was selected to be one of 40 Butlins Ambassadors and at the end of the year I decided I’d book our family break for this April Easter half term.

I booked the break for a family of 6. The party consisted of myself and 3 children (Alice 10, Harley 3 and Little man who is 12 and has a diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome). Also coming along was my mother and a good family friend.

The Accommodation…

We decided we wanted to try the newest of the resorts 3 hotels the ‘Wave’ and due to the number of guest in our party, we were offered interconnecting rooms.

We have been to Butlins a few times before with our last trip being a weekend break staying at the Ocean Hotel (which we were very impressed by). This time we would be staying midweek for a total of 4 nights (Mon-Fri).

As my eldest child has Aspergers Syndrome his very routine reliant, likes to know what is happening when and where and can become upset or somewhat challenging when faced with change. For this reason I made it my mission to fully look into all the accommodation and dinning plans available to us before booking. I also sourced images from the Internet and brochures as well as Videos on youtube to share with the little man so that the facilities were not considered too “New” for him.

My reasons for opting for the Wave Hotel was its focus on families with older children (Ok, Harley is 3 but both little man and Alice are older). The games room (Little man is PS3 nuts) and the positive reviews I had read.

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We arrived at the Hotel reasonably late (9.30pm) which meant we were the last to check in. Despite this there was still a few parking spaces left in the hotels private car park. The hotel has its own entrance separate from the main resort entrance. We did enter the wrong way despite the wave being clearly signposted (I blame the kids backseat arguments) but the guys on the gate were most helpful and understanding. The hotel car park also has allocated disabled parking available.

From the outside the hotel is most attractive, very modern and quite obviously newly built.

The reception area is smart and sleek with great lighting. It has beautiful water features to tie in with the whole wave theme as well as a large seating area, bar and coffee shop, cash machine and large checkin and reception desk. Its here you will also find the entrance to the state of the art games port that gives families access to PS3s, Wiis, 3DS consoles and even Mac desktop computers. There are a number of leaflets detailing local attractions on display as well as a good selection of family DVDs that are free to borrow (with a refundable £10 deposit).

We were situated on the hotels 5th floor and there were 4 lifts in operation. Lifts are not overly huge but we were easily able to load the luggage trolley and all six of us in the one lift. Given we arrived later than most the lifts were empty at this hour. The ocean themed imaging and jaws theme tune music, does really add to the whole “Lift” experience. 🙂

Our doors were opened electronically with cards for which we were given two cards for each room.

As mentioned we had 2 rooms with an interconnecting door. In one room we had a huge bed, kids room, bathroom and nice size balcony with great sea views. In the next room we had the exact same again, only with twin beds. Each had huge wardrobe fitments with electronic safes. There was a nice size fridge and full sized ironing board with iron. There was a hairdryer that was connected to a nice vanity unit with large mirrors. Lights were operated by an electronic card and lighting options were good. This is particularly important as Little man has many sensory sensitivities and the right lighting is essential to his mood. There was both low lighting and bright lighting in the main room.

The main room has a large TV with lots of channels and it is fitted to the centre of the wall in line with the bed. In the kids room you have bunk beds with a TV at the end of both beds. This is great only we didn’t find any headphones meaning watching both at the same time wouldn’t be an option. However, the reception may have provided these if asked, only we were to busy having fun that we forgot to even ask in the end.

As we had the interconnecting rooms, little man was able to have his own space which is important to a child on the spectrum. Only without sounding too negative, little man didn’t feel that relaxed in the room. The children’s rooms are very small and have been designed to resemble cabins. This didn’t sit well with little man. The low lighting was a little to blue and he commented that he felt like he couldn’t breath because of its size and lack of windows. Then again my daughter of 10 absolutely loved her room. She couldn’t wait to get in bed and relax at the end of each night so it all depends on ones own needs and taste.

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The children’s rooms have these really funky images of Octopuses and seahorse’s that are meant to come “Alive” with the use of a free iPhone app. Sadly my app wouldn’t work so the kids missed out. I have seen this work when used on a Butlins writing pad and when it works its fantastic. The app may have required me to have more space on my device. The iPhone is admittedly very full at present.

The bathroom is of a great size and has a good size bath with shower fitment. The water was always hot and the bath filled up quickly. The power shower was fast and powerful. Little man hates baths but loves showers (this again is a sensory thing)! He spent lots of time in the shower and noted how much he loved the lighting feature on the shower head (it changes colour).

We were provided with lots of soft clean white towels and a small selection of toiletries (note, we were provided with these whenever we ran out when staying at the Ocean, though this doesn’t seem to be the case for the wave) luckily we had brought our own.

We found our rooms to be of a good warm temperature on arrival and the heating was easily operated by a digital box on the wall. The decor was nice and modern with a yellow and blue theme throughout.

Tea and coffee facilities were provided, though it was felt that there just wasn’t enough milk for 3 adults. Nonetheless these were topped up daily which was appreciated.

We were pleased with the presentation of both rooms with all areas being very clean and tidy. Daily house keeping was of an excellent standard over the first few days and a good standard for the remaining day.

There was also some nice little touches, such as the addition of a card left on the table which wished us all a Happy Easter.

Free Wifi was provided in and around the hotel. This was easy to log into with no sign up required. Download and streaming speeds were great in the hotel and Ok around the resort. This was a bonus as I was keeping up with my emails via my iPhone and the kids had brought there tablets with them.

I did notice that when any of us including the children walked across the floor, this was rather loud, despite the addition of carpets. I’ve been informed that this seems to be common in newly built buildings. As I have a child with Autism who at times requires medication to sleep I did worry about the night times.

My worries were warranted as on our final night at 12.50am I heard a knock on the door. Little man had been having a minor meltdown some 20 minutes before and the Butlins rep informed us that someone had complained about banging on the floor. When your child has just finished a meltdown it can feel a little upsetting that others have phoned down to the reception to complain. However the rep was most understanding and very polite. Nonetheless it is felt that this is worth mentioning as if your child is very active especially of an evening you may want to ask for a ground floor apartment or go at a quieter time of year when the hotel is less full (term time if you have little one’s would be best). Its not very nice having someone knock to tell you that they’ve received complaints while your 12 year old is just calming down but doing so with listening ears.

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Rooms also have a telephone so you can easily call downstairs to reception with any questions. I was told I could use the hotel phone to call an 0845 national number for free but having followed the instructions more than once I couldn’t connect. Thankfully the reception staff were very accommodating letting me use the reception phone.

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Pros…

Great sea views
Nice clean rooms
Good house keeping
Free Wifi facilities
Great shower and bath
Good wardrobe and storage space
Very comfortable beds
Self controlled heating
Room under all beds for suitcases
Option of easily interconnecting rooms
Free cash machine withdrawals
4 lifts (especially of importance for wheelchair users and those with small children/pushchairs)
Games room
Kindle library (with options to borrow both kindles and iPods)

Those little things that may make it that little bit more perfect than it is already…

Room Service option

Drinks vending machine (nearest vending machine is at end of car park when bar/coffee bar closed)

More detailed room guide specifically for the hotel room (just to advise on how to work TVs, heating and phones).

More mood lighting for children’s rooms (like those provide in the main rooms at the ocean. Also some under bed trays like those in the Ocean would be good.

Some door stops or heavier doors that naturally close much slower so that these don’t accidentally keep slamming shut.

Dinning…

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As mentioned we opted for premium dinning plan and would be receiving both breakfast and dinner (half board).
On arrival we were allocated a dinning pass for the deck restaurant.

Firstly if your child on the autism spectrum has a very over sensitive sense of smell and is upset by this then I’d highly recommend self catering because as you probably know, the different smells of various foods can be upsetting to a child on the autism spectrum.

This is sometimes the case with little man but this has been steadily improving and we decided that if the noise and smells became to much for little man then one of us adults would leave with him.

Thankfully we experienced little problems on this front with only minor unavoidable upsets experienced.

There was a very good selection of foods on offer both during breakfast and dinner. This is great for those fussy eaters like little man. This is also a self service option so little man didn’t need to worry about different foods coming into contact with one another and was able to put different foods onto different plates with no questions asked.

At breakfast there was everything from fresh juices, cereals, toast with various spreads, fresh fruits and yogurts, freshly made omelettes and pancakes to full English fry ups.

Dinner time was just as good when it came to variety. A good selection of meat and fish with various sides of potatoes, veg and more. There was vegetarian options and menus designed specifically for the children. You were tempted by the salad bar, different soups and fresh breads, cheese and biscuits as well as a vast selection of both hot and cold puddings. I think the self service Ice cream machine was an instant hit with all three of my children with little man wanting to serve it up for all of us as he had developed a love for operating the machine.

As a premium diner you also have a Carvery and Someone cooking hot pastas which I must say were absolutely delicious.

We didn’t eat on the Friday but on the following three evenings we ate dinner I was very impressed with what I’d chosen and left feeling happy and content.

I’ve never been great with breakfast as don’t seem to eat as well at an earlier time. However, it was nice and the kids received a good start to their day.

We dined at various times of the morning and evening and never waited to long for a table. Though on the first morning we were allocated 2 tables next to one another which did mean I found it hard to keep the toddler seated (he kept wanting to go from table to table). Once we had explained that we’d like to remain dinning together on the one table, no further issues were experienced.

There were plenty of high chairs for little ones as well as smaller cutlery and even Billy Bear plates.

Pros…

Huge selection of food on offer
Self Service
Quality of food
Helpfulness of staff
Non rushed environment
Baby foods and bottle heating

Those little things to make it even better would be…

Clearer menus of whats on offer (many people need to grab there glasses or lean over others trays to read small cards.

A little more info when you arrive at the Deck restaurant for the first time (how it all works… I wasn’t sure if it was the one queue formed or a queue for each counter etc…)

On the whole the Wave offers a very present stay with friendly staff, nice rooms and good facilities.

The dinning plan also makes a great addition to your accommodation and is located right outside the hotel for convenience.

Did we love our Butlins Experience? You bet we did!

Here’s a video below giving you a sneak peak of our up coming review of the Bultins Bognor Regis Resort and its facilities.

Checkout the Butlins official site for all current prices and special offers

Disclaimer: As a Butlins ambassador I was provided the accommodation and dinning plan free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are solely my own and have not been influenced by my position.

A Quick Hello From Sunny Bognor

4 Apr

As a Butlins Ambassador I’m currently enjoying an Easter Half Term mid-week break at their Bognor Regis Resort. Myself, the three children, my mum and a friend are staying in the lovely new hotel the “Wave” and are really enjoying our experience so far.

When I come back I’m planning to write up a review in which I will share our thoughts on all aspects of our break. I will also be sure to share my thoughts on the services offered for those families off a child with a disability such as autism or Aspergers.

What I will say now is that Little Man is coping with the changes reasonably well and we are managing to have a good time despite the odd mini meltdown.

I’ll leave you with a few pictures for now… Enjoy!

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#Silent Sunday – Happy Easter

31 Mar

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Communicating Though Technology

4 Mar

Like many people on the autism spectrum my little man has a fondness for his PC and more so the Internet. But its not just a hobby, Interest or even an addiction! Its his voice, the great one within… The one he can’t seem to use to express himself in the real world.

I’m not saying that Little man can’t speak, because he can! He is very verbal (ask our neighbours, the bus driver or even the postman)! Its just that little man struggles to put some of what he needs to say In the right set of words. This can lead to frustration, misunderstandings and a degree of sadness.

Of course I’d always heard about both children & adults with Aspergers having some type of connection and in many cases, great knowledge when it comes to the world of computers, many children branded as little whizz kids. I didn’t think much about this, that was in till my own child took to the keyboard.

I’ve never had to really ever teach little man something more then once when it comes to computers. I remember his interest at a young age. He was eager to know what all the fuss was about and couldn’t wait to explore cyber space. At 12 years old my son can now show me a thing or two when it comes to using a computer especially when it comes to windows (yes, its true, once you use a Mac you never go back).

Both the existence of computers and the net has opened a whole host of doors for children like Little Man. I’ve noticed that online his much more confident, fancying himself as something of a comedian at times. He loves talking to others about the world of Mind Craft, making Youtube Tutorial videos and sharing his love of wrestling and transport.

Its simple, the computer has no string of facial expressions to understand, it doesn’t constantly change its tone with every mood, it won’t ever demand you stare at it in order to prove your paying attention… Its your connection to the world and those in it. Its a place that lets you express yourself without fear in a way you know how! No ones looking at you and even if they are its through a web cam which according to the little man is an extremely cool invention (his words not mine).

As your child gets the most out of their new communication tool, they also learn and discover all there is to know about it! Little man has no issues when it comes to making spread sheets and presentations. His a massive fan of power point software and seems to understand where every file lies on his PC (even those he has no access to).

It allows him to write at speed instead of lagging behind as he struggles with his fine motor skills when doing things the traditional way. Whether his working on a new movie trailer for his youtube channel or sending that occasional funny tweet that makes everyone laugh, his expressing himself without fear… His learning, communicating and experimenting all at the same time.

All the above is fantastic, making me a very proud mother. However, though I think its great, as his mother I still feel its important he learns the communication skills required to use away from the computer, out there in the big wide world. That’s why together along with his school Little man is thought communication and social skills that we encourage him to use both on and offline.

So… Will I be at all surprised if my son grows up to get a job that involves computers, the net or both?

No… I think its looking pretty likely don’t you?

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