Tag Archives: Challenge

Our Dream Of A Sensory Room

19 Oct

When I saw the home makeover competition being run by Tots100 & ratedpeople.com I knew I had to enter it!

Painters and decorators Ratedpeople.com

You see, the prize money of £2,500 to makeover a room in your house would enable us to do things that are currently far beyond our reach. My home is far from perfect, in fact its not in particularly good shape at all. I won’t even show you pictures of our half missing ceiling in the living room (yes its fell down twice almost killing us) and I’m still waiting for the second repair. However its not repairs for my living room that I have on my mind, nor is it the thought of a beautifully decorated home… No no! It’s actually the children’s rooms, especially that of the little mans.

It pains me to show you any pictures of my sons room. It’s horrid and its current state is not helping his sensory needs or that of his sleeping problems. But as I’m seriously struggling to pay for this room to be fixed up (on top of others) I feel I actually cannot afford to miss this opportunity and therefore must. Firstly let me explain some of our issues. We discovered his ceiling was actually made from Polystyrene which is a serious fire hazard so needed ripping down. Of course it was hiding something! His walls are also crumbling and the housing fixed the floor board by covering it up with rubbish hard board which has staples all over it.

Ok… I’m doing it I’m actually uploading the horror for the world to see…

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Little man has Aspergers Syndrome with sensory processing difficulties within all areas of his senses. His also a very poor sleeper. For us this would be so much more than a nicely decorated 12 year old boys bedroom! It would be our sons sanctuary, a bedroom come sensory room! This is something that would make a significant difference In his life and that of ours, his family. I honestly believe it would improve his extremely poor sleeping pattern and therefore mend mine a little.

I have so many ideas when it comes to the creation of Little mans sensory room. It would be an environment that provides him with a very laid back, chilled out space. It would be filled with things to help relax him, therefore enhancing his moods, providing sensory stimulation and importantly a great nights sleep. We know sensory rooms are a key part of little mans school routine and we know such a space could change a lot of behaviours and difficulties. I’ve tried my best to make it as inviting as possible but in all honesty at the moment its a poorly used space that as you can see, isn’t fit for use… A few sensory lights are all he currently has to jazz. It up

Below are some of my ideas…

Colour: its very important for us to ensure little mans room is very visually inviting. Bright colours are something that form a big part of this vision.

Foam mats: Little man is really into WWE Wrestling at present and its a very intense (special) interest. This means that he is forever acting out the moves displayed by his favourite wrestler. He currently has no carpet and the noise is unbelievably loud. He throws himself around the room like crazy regardless of the hour (neighbours have actually felt the need to knock at 4 am). The mats would be perfect for his sensory room. He would be safer (less bumps and bruises) and our house may just stop vibrating giving us a pleasant relationship with the neighbours!

Teen style: Its important that regardless of little mans needs and that of his room having a sensory element to it, his room still has that stylish WOW factor about it. He is 12 years old and well on his way to becoming a teenage boy. He wants a room that don’t only provide sensory comfort but looks the part too! This is why I’ve chosen the super cool sliding door wardrobe, he would absolutely love this.

Mood Lighting: A massive part of any sensory room is its lighting.The lighting in the collage background above is LED night lighting which I know he would love. His a big fan of the lava lamp and the one above would fit perfectly. As you can see from both the above image and that of the one below, a variety of mood lighting is the key to the creation of a great sensory room.

Cool down area: With the addition off some cushions, bean bags and a little dim lighting you find you have created the perfect chill out space. What’s great about a sensory room is how you have the one room yet a number of different spaces within it. A sensory room is designed to be calming and inviting. But it can provide a space designed to stimulate the body and mind. The chill-out space in itself would be the ideal place to help little man shake of any stress or simply recover following a meltdown.

Hammock: The hammock would help little man with the difficulties he experiences due to his out of sync vestibular sense. This means that he often experiences poor body awareness (where his body is within space) A great way to describe this feeling would be to imagine what it feels when you go on a fairground ride that throws your body about in all directions, lifting your feet of the ground at speed or dropping you from a great hight. A hammock or swing would actually work as a therapeutic aid as well as a relaxing space.

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The sensory curtain in the above picture is fantastic. Little man recently saw one like this at an expedition and instantly took to it! It’s a very tactile curtain and would be an ideal feature for his very own sensory room.

As for the bed, again i’ve taken into account his need for a stylish space as well as a sensory one. This bed is fantastic! It continues on the bight colour theme what with its striking green wood and very modern design. It’s also a great bed in terms of storage (something his room is currently lacking). I’ve also chose the funky tall unit with brightly coloured storage boxes to store all them wrestling figures and truck loads of Lego.

One of my favourite aspects of a sensory room is how tactile they can be. Little man is very tactile defensive and needs a lot of tactile input to help him adapt and improve his tactile sense. Given he loves Lego the idea of a Lego wall is a great one. It’s very tactile and will further enhance his imagination.

I’ve really enjoyed pulling my ideas together for this challenge. I’ve had them floating around in my head for the last few years and although certain elements have slightly changed (like chosen items and colours) the overall desire to create such a wonderful space remains very much the same.

As a self diagnosed pin head, pinterest is yet another place you can find more of my sensory and autism related boards! I’ve also created one especially for this competition. You can find it by clicking Here

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So… There you have it… Our current dream of a sensory room and some very shabby existing interior.

Please note: If like myself you are wanting to create a sensory room, I recently discovered a post on a blog called PlayPennies on creating sensory rooms on a budget. Really worth a look.

Disclaimer: This post is my entry into the Tots100 and RatedPeople.com Home Decor Competition.

#HAWMC Day 2 – A NOT SO INSPIRING QUOTE

2 Apr

There is one quote that quite frankly gets on my Nelly … “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”

Why is this even suggested? Who made this stuff up? Come on, seriously, I live in a country where it takes a month to even get a slot with your local GP let a lone a CAMHS Paediatrician (Child Adolescent Mental Health Service) who is there to assist me with any issues or difficulties relating to Little Man, his Aspergers Syndrome, Anxiety and a whole other host of issues! “So… Frankly, who needs some piece of fruit?”

Yes, maybe I shouldn’t take such old wife tales so personally, actually I don’t! I’m pretty much able to disguise between what needs to be taken with a pinch of salt and what needs to be absorbed as reality, though this isn’t the case for everyone… this isn’t the case for Little man.

This is a child who mostly sees the world in black & white, without the support given from certain therapies he may just spend his days indulging in an apple a day only to get that sudden bump to earth when he actually requires a doctor to come his way and will they?

The likelihood of actually chocking on one of these healthy daily snacks seems more likely and yes the doctor would still be “Away” just when you ironically need him!

Of course my point isn’t related to apples, well not as such, its about services, much needed services that parents like me and thousands of others physically need to fight for! We deal with the hidden disability, the stigma nestled between child mental health and that of neurological disorders… yet here we are still finding our child stuck on a waiting list, one that’s so long it’s not surprising that when you receive the much awaited letter, your child’s out collecting his P45 and your at Bingo.

So, as I sit and watch the UK slowly slip down the pan, as the coalition destroy just about anything in its path I wonder how we move on from here? I basically want to know why a man who promised a better deal to those with disabilities, their families and registered carers, is now doing what can only be described as his “Best” to kick us to the curb first, in his mission to take over the country acquiring himself one or two well deserved nick names a long the way? Is there a game plan, this is politics after all! Surly he doesn’t think that making yourself into this hugely hated figure within society will get you any brownie points in the long run? Is it plain to see that he didn’t receive my vote?

See, now I’m running of course….

The reason behind such a sudden “Pop” directed at the UK Government is for the same reason most find themselves ticked off! As a member of this society, I sure am sick of hearing promises that quickly find themselves forgotten and buried within some dusty old file in the house of commons! As a mother of a child with Aspergers and Special Educational Needs, who fought for a statement of sen only to fight for that same statement to be amended! A parent who has endured the battle for her child’s right to an educational placement that can meet his needs, I was bitterly disappointed at the proposed “Green Paper” and worse the lack of progress since (well, public progress)! Yes, the LEA and Health Authority will now work together, families will be able to access the services “they can’t access now” till their child becomes 21! Lets not also forget that both LEA support services and those provided by the National Health Service will become readily available, what with the change in the assessment process! Remember this is for the benefit of those with disabilities and their families, nothing to do with government cuts and quick fixes at the expense of the most vulnerable! It will all be perfect wont it! Everything will be so much more efficient & faster this way, you may even get a little respite if your lucky … Blah… Blah… Blah… YES, We’re all still waiting?

So, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?” Um, NO! Broken promises, shabby money saving cuts, and politics, that my friends is what keeps that doctor away!

This post was written as part of the #HAWMC, 30 prompts, 30 days, 30 post (this was day 2)

Check out the wego health facebook page for more info and a whole load more bloggers talented bloggers  the challenge.

Back to school with Matalan

6 Sep

Some weeks back, I wrote a post giving some, ‘Back to school tips’ to fellow parents of children on the autism spectrum. One of these tips related to shopping and the common issues experienced when having to shop with a child on the autism spectrum. With these issues in mind, I made the suggestion of purchasing your, “Back to school necessities” online, and to do so within good time!

Well, I must admit, that I myself failed, “Yet Again” to follow my own advice. Last week I still had school shoes, lunch boxes, PE kits and more to buy!

Well, thank you Matalan for saving me from what may have been, a shopping nightmare! Little man has been known to have some almighty mid shop meltdowns and I didn’t fancy another!

Yes, the lovely people at Matalan sent me an email setting me a challenge. I’m pretty used to challenges, but in this case it was the welcomed type!

The Challenge

Matalan online sent me a £50 voucher,  all I had to do was spend it carefully, getting as much for my £50 as possible. Lastly, I was to share my bargains here with my readers!

No problem, I’m not only a mother but a woman who loves to shop!

Bring it on!!!

So,  from the comfort of my sofa, with no meltdowns, anxiety or tears, I went shopping at Matalans online store.

On loading the site, I discovered that there was a sale showcasing items from just £1, (Oh yes, that’s my type of sale)!

So, voucher at hand, here’s what I got…

1) Girls button shoes (Black) Price: £8

2) Boys black trainer (Black) Price: £7

3) Black slash design leggings, Sale Price: £1 (reduced from: £6)

4) Back to school wheel design lunch bag, Price: £5

5) Back to school wheel design drinks bottle, Price: £2

6) Girls red school cardigan, Price: £4.50

7) Grey baker boy girls hat, Price: £3

8) Red Pump bag, Price: £1.50

9) Black Velcro Plimsolls, Price: £2.50

10) Girls five pack of briefs, Price: £3.50

11) Girls Hooch studded biker boot, Sale Price: £3.75 (reduced from £15)

After having added all the above to my trolley, I discovered I still had £8.25 left to spend, and what with having already got all I needed, I decided to get…

12) 3 Price red pan non stick pan set, Sale Price: £5.50 (reduced from £22)

13) Non padded Balconette bra, Sale price: £2 (reduced from £6)

14) Daisy white D plus bra, Sale Price: £1 (reduced from £6)

Total £50.25

Ok, Ok, I went 25p over, though I think that’s good for me.

That’s 14 items listed there, didn’t I do well?

Red pump bag £1.50, black plimsolls £2.50 and 5pk of girls briefs £3.50

Girls Baker boy hat, £3

Left: Boys wheel design lunch bag £5 and right matching bottle £2 

Red girls Cardigan, £4.50  

Delivery

delivery was super fast, arriving at my door with a smile just two days after I placed the order. My delivery was free as part of the challenge, however, Matalan are offering all customers spending £40 or more a special delivery rate of just £2 for a limited time.

Exclusive

I also received an exclusive reward, ‘A boredom busting voucher booklet’ entitling me to a discount of 20% of at ‘Yellow Moon’ as well as lots of other offers to keep the kids smiling such as, Kids bowl free, kids go free to Merlin attractions, (Legoland, Chessington and more) 2 for one on visits to Merlin attractions and many more.To little man’s delight the boredom busting booklet also contain a 25% off City sightseeing bus tours (yep, we’re going next week).

I am unsure if the promotion is still active. To find out, or check for any other offers, check the Matalan site or the blog (URLs at the bottom of the page).

Sale

The Sale is currently still on and is offering some items at a massive 75% off  As you can see from the above, it hosts some great bargains!

For me my best buy has to be the Hooch boots that had a fabulous £11.25 saving. These will do Alice-Sara proud in the winter I’m sure! They look really well made, as-well as being bang on trend.

Leggings £1 (were £6) Girls biker boots by Hooch, £3.75 (were £15) 

The non stick pans, well, how can you resist a price like this? £5.50 is a steal.

Non-stick pans in Red, £5.50 (was £22) 

The two bras are a bargain at £6 each but getting them both for £3 is super, and was simply my little teat to me! (Sorry guys I haven’t posted a pic of these but you can check out the underwear range online)

We decided that the leggings were much to nice for PE and having only cost £1 we are very pleased with them.

Even the items not in the sale were a steal. Little man has problems with his fine motor skills, making laces a problem! His black trainers with velcro fastening are ideal and a great price too!

Girls Black button shoes, £8 

Boys black trainers, £7

Autumn range

I was sent some fantastic books showcasing the new women’s and homeware range for the Autumn. The books were super posh and came with CD-ROMs

It’s clear to see that Matalan’s have had a redesign and I was pretty  impressed and excited at what was on offer throughout both of these books.

Looks like its going to be a fantastic Autumn at Matalan this year.

to shop at Matalan just click HERE

Visit the Matalan sale Here or the blog HERE

Like Matalan on Facebook Here Twitter heads, follow Matalan on twitter by clicking HERE

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