Tag Archives: charity

Guest Post – Tired Mummy of Two takes over!

28 Apr

As you all know, we here at A boy with Aspergers love to bring awareness to a great cause and this is certainly one of them. Please read on to discover just what the lovely tired mummy of two is doing to help bliss raise the funds needed to support premature babies  …

Hello there, I bet you didn’t expect to see me here did you?

I am on a bit of a mission to hijack blogs everywhere to get you all talking about my wonderful and exhausting prize draw. Some of you might recognise my name as I ran a hugely successful tombola just before Christmas where I put 196 presents under peoples trees. As this was so successful I started to think of other things that I can do.

In January my sister in law gave birth to my nephew, he was 10 weeks early and very small weighing 1lb 4oz. Obviously this meant he was kept in NICU and then the SCU. When visiting him I came across Bliss and all the lovely work they are doing in these units to support the parents of these gorgeous babies. From providing leaflets and information to training specialist nurses Bliss are there for them and for my sister in law. I decided that I needed to do something for Bliss and bought some running shoes, I couldn’t even run after a bus when I started but now on 20th May I will be running 10k. Obviously I am trying to get people to sponsor me to do this but as a little thank you I have arranged a prize draw for everyone who sponsors me.  At the moment I have more prizes than I do sponsors so it is looking very likely that people will be getting something nice through the post soon.

You can find a list of the prizes here

To sponsor me you can Text “XOGY47 £1” to 70070 or click on my Just Giving page

The Official logo of the UK Special Care Baby ...

The Official logo of the UK Special Care Baby Charity, Bliss (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To be entered into the prize draw you must validate your entry here this is to abide with competition and gambling laws.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post but a guest post in support of Tired Mummy of Two, a fantastic blogger raising funds for a great cause.

Are you making your child feel worthless?

24 Feb

Interesting figures released today, show that anger is the biggest issue driving young people into counselling.

A survey, out today, which was conducted by Relate counsellors, reveals that the most common reason why young people need counselling is because of issues with anger, followed by self esteem and not getting on with parents*.

Children from all walks of life come to Relate for counselling, and official figures show that as many as 54% of these children are there to deal with feeling’s of anger! This was closely followed by issues of low self-esteem at 44% whilst 43% felt as though they were not getting along with parents.

Sadly this research also revealed that nearly three quarters of young people said they felt stressed at least sometimes, with nearly a third saying they felt stressed often or all the time.

The research highlighted:

A massive 64% of young people are depressed or suffering with mental health conditions.

Girls are more likely to be stressed than boys 37% of girls said they often or all the time felt stressed compared to 24% of boys.

It showed the great increase in family break-ups to be as much as 41%
Whereas as many as 23% were stressed as a result of Parents having mental health conditions, where’s 21% were stressed as a result of today’s pressure’s within social media.

What is greatly upsetting, is the shocking statistics that were revealed as, counsellors warned, ‘Being criticised by parents’ is the most common thing that left as many as 82% of children and young people feeling worthless! This was followed by ‘not having anyone to talk to’ or ‘being bullied’ 45% and ‘not getting encouragement from teachers’ 40%.

As many of you already know, Little man easily falls into depressive modes, his self esteem has been moderately damaged due to the treatment and discrimination he entailed whilst in Mainstream school. The fact that Little man has Aspergers Syndrome makes it that bit harder as he has them “typical” difficulties of poor social interaction, a very black and white thinking style as well as the tendency to sometimes act on impulse and say things that others may consider to be “Inappropriate” this therefore doesn’t make him the most popular child in the playground. The fact that Little man has problems regulating his emotions, as well as being able to put what his feeling into words, he hasn’t been so lucky to be able to benefit from such a service.

As a child, I dealt with my own host of mental health problems! I was suffering greatly from OCD and spurts of Bulimia, and this of course resulted in my own depression, which as child, seemed far harder to deal with. Once My little sister was diagnosed with Cancer age 2, things did become much harder and this did result in a short course of counselling.

My point is ‘Counselling can be a great lifeline for these young people. In some cases, having someone to talk to, can really mean the difference between life and death!

Relate has over 70 years experience and are doing a fantastic job to help some 15,000 young people, highlighting their findings to bring more awareness to the rising number of young people dealing with some of the above on a daily basis.

Checkout the campaign video below

Cooking up a treat with celebrity chef Simon Rimmer & One Products

15 Feb

I love reading other people’s blogs and often find myself In awe at not only the bloggers talented writing skills but their domesticated flair

There are some fabulously creative bloggers out on the blogosphere, many of them showcasing their show stopping foodie creations stunningly presented in some flawless images. I’ve always been honest when stating, as much as I am able to cook, I’ve never been one to make stunningly presented dishes, ingenious creations or well followed & recreated recipes! Something normally happens, that or I just don’t have the time, therefore sticking to what I know best. As for baking, well I’m simply what some would describe as a cake from the packet kinda momma, though I actually love cakes & desserts and always promise myself that I’ll brush up on them creative baking skills!

I do however blog the topic of food every now and then! This is often for one of the following reasons, I’m reporting  a close encounter with the London Fire Brigade, writing about chocolate either the complete lack or over indulgence of the stuff, or I’m reviewing a yummy supermarket buy!

So, you can only imagine my surprise when I received an invitation to come and cook with celebrity chef, Simon Rimmer (BBC Something for the weekend)! Ok, had someone called in a prank, nominated me for my yummy imaginative creation of chicken nugget surprise, as that’s all time will permit these days! Maybe it was something like that “Can’t cook won’t cook” show!

Actually, it was none of the above, you see Simon Rimmer would be demonstrating a few of his mouth watering creations and then myself and a few other lovely bloggers would recreate them under Simon’s watchful eye! The idea of this foodie get together was not only for the benefit of gaining some cooking skills or learning a new recipe or two, but also to learn about a brand that in-till now, I sadly had no recognition of.

One Difference’ is a brand like no other, a brand that has been created to actually make a real difference to others!

Seriously, I’ve never known it possible, yet there is a brand that actually does all that it does to benefit others! Producing a range of products only to donate 100% of its sales profits to charitable causes! Sounds, a tad far fetched doesn’t it?

Let me elaborate, One Difference, brings us a range of everyday essential products, One Brand’ that are sold via major retailers across the UK and internationally, to fund humanitarian aid projects across rural communities in Africa.

We were lucky enough to meet the brands director, ‘Duncan Goose‘ an inspirational man who shared some information on the brand and what it stood for. Products include the launch of, the ‘One Clever Loaf’ two unique varieties of sliced bread, due to launch later in the year! Through the sale of One Clever Loaf within the UK, start-up bakeries in Africa are funded to generate income for families as well as providing food for the communities they serve.   

Another product is that of ‘One Good Egg’ produced by selected British Lion EU certificated organic farms across the UK. These are three range, organic eggs RRP £1.99 with 100% profit being used to fund community egg farming projects in Africa. Communities are provided with hens, equipment and even training in hen husbandry, in order to provide protein rich nutrition for families, and a sustainable source of income!

One Good Egg’s are sold nationwide and are available from Tesco, The Co-operative and Ocado

Other products consist of, One handwash, One water, One toilet tissue, One Porridge, One Water and One plasters.

Duncan is also raising awareness for the HIV crisis in sub-Saharan Africa and is therefore donating much needed funds for life saving HIV programmes in developing countries, through the sale of the brands ‘One Condoms‘ with 100% profit going into the programme. They even sell glow in the dark condoms (which I thought was worth sharing, what with it being Valentines night and all that) 🙂 

Maybe I was actually invited for my eagerness to raise awareness for worthy causes as opposed to my talented kitchen skills, cough…cough…

Whatever the reason, I was pleased to be a part of it, and whole heartily impressed by not only the quality of these products (we used the eggs and bread within our dishes) but also what these guys stood for and the amazing difference they are making to the life’s of others.

On arrival at Battersea London, Simon was just gearing up to get cooking, some fabulous tips were given as he demonstrated how to create 3 dishes with the use of One Products. These were dishes I’d never even considered making at home (well, until now)! I could see the benefits of the day unfolding and actually felt pretty inspired to throw on my apron and get going.

Simon demonstrated 3 stunning dishes before we teamed up with another blogger and  recreated one ourselves (at least this way I wouldn’t be solely to blame for any kitchen mishaps or dodgy food)! Actually, all went to plan, we recreated, Chorizo Scotch Eggs with a Pepper Chutney and despite the fact I hate eggs, preferring to munch on just the sausage meat, I think it came out splendid. 

Before this great event came to an end, it was lovely to be able to sit and eat the dishes we had created along with a pudding Simon had put together, plus the welcome addition of some crisp rose wine and a good chat with some lovely bloggers.

To finish off, One Difference presented us with a beautiful woven basket containing some lovely One Products! We also got to keep the apron (to my little man’s delight).

I really did enjoyed the day, meeting celebrity chef, Simon Rimmer, the inspirational One difference director, the lovely PR team representing the brand and of course the great mix of fellow bloggers attending on the day. The greatest part was, not only did I take home some new skills, a new found sense of creativity, but also the discovery of a new brand that do this amazing thing of changing peoples lives!

When now shopping for bread and eggs, it will be great having the knowledge that the money made from my purchase will help change a families life… How amazing is that!

Please pop back tomorrow when I’ll  share the recipes of what we made on the day! Check out the images below for a tasty treat of what’s to come.

YOU CAN MAKE £ FOR YOUR FAVOURITE CHARITY WITHOUT DONATING A PENNY

5 Dec

20

DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS

I really aimed to post this on Saturday as one of our weekly recommended charities that are worth supporting this Christmas, but a little thing called life happened to ruin that plan.

This is actually not a charity, more a way to help a number of charities. ‘Give as you live’ is a programme brought to you by Everyclick that enables you to make money for your favourite charity just by shopping online as you normally would.

You yourself don’t actually need to donate a single penny.

Hundreds (and I mean hundreds) of online retailers have joined the ‘Give as you live’ programme pledging to donate a percentage of its sales to your chosen charity, all you have to do is shop as you usually would. Basically this gives you the opportunity to raise money without actually donating a cent.

To get a better understanding of what ‘Give as you live’ was really about, I headed to Liberty’s in London’s West End to find out more.

Liberty’s is a high-end department store just of London’s Regent St. Over one or two glasses of bubbly the lovely Polly Gower’s CEO, Everyclick and founder of ‘Give as you Live’ told me all about it!

The lovely Polly told me that the Give as you Live programme is connected to all 220,000 UK registered charities and the programme unlocks an untapped, additional fundraising revenue stream that is free to all charities online. Participating charities can receive up to 90% revenue share and already more than 600 charities are raising funds through ‘Give as you Live’ with more charities being supported every week.

The Give as you live programme can be used with over 1,300 of the biggest online retailers, from supermarkets, travel agents, to dating sites. I decided to go and checkout and discover just how many stores where part of the programme and as promised all the big names were there. Every retailer that I used online was part of the programme… Some Examples are Tesco’s, John Lewis, Sainsburys, M&S, itunes, Debenhams, play.com, Boots, Mothercare, Topshop, Toysrus etc… honestly every single store I could think off is listed on the Give as you Live programme.

Another thing I learned from Polly is that Everyclick are able to provide your publication with a gift guide sharing the best-selling gifts this Christmas for all it’s readers and sites such as mumsnet are already a part of it.

Here is a list of products that seem to be pretty popular this Christmas, and here’s how much the online retailer will donate and your chosen charity will raise from the purchase of such items.

Product: Apple ipod 2 Price: £399.oo Raised for charity: £5.99
Product: Iphone 4S Price: £499.00 raised for your charity £7.49
Product: Amazon kindle Price: £89.99 Raised for your Charity: £4.45
Product: Ride on Dalek Price: £209.99 Raised for your charity: £6.30

In December 2010 £6.8bn was spent shopping online, if the same amount was spent on Christmas shopping this December 2011 through ‘Give as you Live’ a potential £170m could be raised for UK registered Charities.

The whole online shopping experience for you is no different, you spend not a penny more than you would if you didn’t shop via the Give as you Live site! Just by using Give as you Live to access your favourite online stores this Christmas you raise money for YOUR chosen charity. All you need to do is decide what charity you want the funds donated to? Mine would have to be the NAS 🙂

You can even make your own wish list and share it with friends and families.

So… If you still have Christmas gifts to buy and plan to do so online, please do it through ‘Give as you Live’ site making sure your chosen charity benefits this Christmas.

To shop or find out more go to www.giveasyoulive.com today.

Give as you live are also running a competition allowing you the chance to win a fantastic £500… to find out more click HERE

Lastly a big thank you to Polly and her team for a truly fabulous night at Liberty’s.

Give the gift of a shoe box this Christmas

13 Nov
Christmas in the post-War United States

Image via Wikipedia

Christmas, a time for family, togetherness, gifts, mulled wine and mistletoe.

Parties, large dinners, chocolate and far too much pudding

I love this wonderful time of year and like many I’ve been guilty of taking the big C for granted.

You, see it’s not just Christmas for me and my family and it’s not just Christmas for you and yours, it’s Christmas all over the world, touching many a person’s heart, bringing smiles to billions.

I feel guilty when I stress about my Christmas list and how I still have to buy this, that and… Oh god that something else for uncle so and so! I have to step back and remember the point of Christmas, forcing myself to relax.

This year I’ve had Christmas on the mind since July what with Santa’s Little helpers and the building of the wish list, how could I not!

However there has been no stressing (well, not yet) I haven’t yet brought much but one or two of the children’s gifts, however there is one very special gift I’ve already prepared, “The gift of a shoe box”

That’s right… a shoe box! However it contains no shoes, (well, only a plastic pair) odd you may think? Instead it contains something so much better, It contains Christmas for a child I’ve never met and not likely I ever will!
This is me seeing the bigger picture, remembering what Christmas should resemble… The knowledge of knowing you’ve raised a smile for a child who without your shoe box wouldn’t have experienced the joy of receiving a gift on Christmas morning.

As part of the Samaritans Purse appeal ‘Operation Christmas Child’ I prepared a shoe box that was happily supplied by the lovely friendly staff at my local ‘Shoe Zone’ store. I filled it with treasures for a Little girl somewhere in the world who would have not otherwise felt the joy of receiving a gift this Christmas.

Before packing my shoe box with girlie delights, I wrapped the lid and the box in pretty pink Disney Princess Christmas gift wrap, and lined the inside with sparkly metallic tissue paper. I then placed the following things inside the box

One small doll and accessories

One floral headband

One pair of dress up princess shoes

One Disney princess necklace and clip on earrings

One small girlie mini note pad

One drawing pad

 One packet of hair grips

4 mini bags of sweets

One small packet of colouring pencils 

Before finally placing the lid back on and tying the box shut with some pretty ribbon (Only loosely as this needs to be checked by the volunteers).

I made sure I picked up an information leaflet from Shoe Zone that gave me all the required information, list of things I wasn’t allowed to give and some examples of the things I could! The leaflet also contained the necessary labels that highlight if your gift is for a boy or a girl and the age range the contents are aimed at. The label is then stuck to the lid of the box.

You must include a donation of £2.50 to cover the cost of sending your box to its designation. You can give this by check or cash placing it in a small envelope and placing it inside your box, but better still you can donate online which makes it easier for the volunteers who have to hand check every single box before sending it on. What’s more, if you do make your donation on-line you can track your box and find out just where it went, isn’t that awesome?

I first heard about the appeal on a popular forum used by many “mummy bloggers” and since reading  it, its been wonderful watching the Mummy bloggers come out in force and doing what they do best, raising awareness for worthy charities, just like this one!

The lovely mummy mummy mum has spread the word and encouraged others to fill a shoe box by running a competition (you enter by linking your picture of your filled shoe box).

Michelle twin mum has also raised the roof on this one and has all the parents at her children’s school on the job! Her post is fantastic and it includes some awesome pictures of her beautiful children filling shoe boxes.

It’s not to late to raise a smile by filling a shoe box, you have just a few more days to get a shoe box, fill it with New treasures and get it to your nearest Shoe Zone or Stead and Simpson store (check on their website for other drop offs) by the 18th November.

 

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If you really don’t have the time to shop, wrap and drop off, then why not select a pre-filled shoebox from as little as £11 on their website

It’s so simple, yet so rewarding, I promise, you’re feel great doing it!

So, have I inspired you? I hope so… every shoe box is another child’s smile…

ON CHRISTMAS MORNING!

Things the whole family can do this half term

14 Oct
Summary: London Transport Museum Author:SolGru...

Image via Wikipedia

Things to do this half term to interest all the family including the child with Aspergers.

 It’s hard when half-term comes around and your left to entertain three children one on the autism spectrum who isn’t easily pleased.

 I give it my all when taking all three of the children out together. I find that most of my problems come from Little man and his sister, Its like embanking on a world war two mission. 

 However, regardless of how many times I’ve heard myself state, “Never Again”

There’s always a next time.

 When taking three children out anywhere, great organisation is required! When one of them children are one the autism spectrum, this level of preparation goes to a whole new level.

 I admit, I’m the kind of girl who likes to do things on a whim, but since becoming little man’s mother this is damn right impossible!

 Here I have put together a list displaying a number of places we have visited.

 LEGOLAND

 Little man loves Lego (he builds buses out the stuff) he therefore loves visiting a land full of it. Alice my daughter is also very keen and always enjoys a day visiting the attraction.

Legoland is part of the Merlin’s entertainment chain. If your child is on the spectrum or has any other form of disability or is in some way considered to be disadvantaged, you can apply to ‘Merlin’s magical wand’ who provide family days out to one of their attractions (some being Legoland, Chessington and Thorpe Park).  Tickets are for all the family (only one application can be made per year) Merlin’s can also help families cover travel cost (including mileage) and occasional provide funds towards over night accommodation in special circumstances.

 If you can prove your child is notable to sustained long queues, they will receive a wrist band entitling them to enter via the exist point of each ride (note the new system does mean that on certain rides a certain time between rides needs to have passed before accessing). Photo id and proof of disability is needed to gain the wrist band. 

 We will in deed be returning to Lego land this half-term! Staff are friendly and most seem to have some idea when it comes to hidden disabilities (which is always a positive in my book)! 

London Transport Museum

(Covent Garden)

 A firm favourite with the little guy not so much with the siblings (the excitement wears of on the second or third visit)! However daughter is happy to take the tour, again…….. Given we hit the Covent garden market place following the museum with the opportunity to indulge in an ice cream (even in October)!

 Yes, we have been to the above thousands of times ( exaggeration, though it tends feel this way) but with kids entering free and adults paying £10 (you can normally find many offers at your local train station or online) it’s not expensive. However stay clear of the dinning area (Money, money, money… If you want money left, you will grab a Mac ds on your way home! Please take my word for it)! 

The transport Museum is very autism friendly so there is no worries on that front. 

Crystal Place Park. 

 Just up the road from where we live, Crystal place park host the ruins of the old palace. 

There is a large boating lake and lots of sculptures of  dinosaurs dotted all over the place, (lots of children on the spectrum love this feature) and a giant maze which little man is terrified off. There is also a big swing park with some pretty funky play equipment, a mini petting zoo (not open all year round) plus the famous Crystal palace sports ground

 The park has no entrance cost (small cost for the zoo + boating lake) Little man seems to love it as well as my other two children, (Alice and Little Harley). There is lots of space to just ran about in, which is a great way to get little man tired ( following a trip to the park seems to be the only time he sleeps of a night)

Greenwich Park

 We used to live in Blackheath which host one of the many access points to the park. Currently there are some works commencing as part of the Olympics 2012 but there’s still plenty to do. 

Sometimes during half-terms and summer holidays there is a train that can take you to one end of the park to the other (note it’s a big park) Little man is train bonkers and this is his best part of the day. There are also a number of deer kept in the park and squirrels will take nuts gently from your fingers if you offer. The park has a huge lake where peddle boats are rented out cheaply plus a large play area that doesn’t seem to get to busy since the works started out (which is better for us given little man’s social skill difficulties). There is also a massive sand pit great for sensory play (not to great if your child can’t stand the stuff due to the fact he is tactile defensive… Yep that’s little man, though this only applies to him sitting or standing in the pit).

 The park also offers a great view-point of London and appeared in the film ‘Layer Cake’

The park is famous for its time keeping (yep, it’s of course the home to Greenwich Meantime) and just outside the gates you are greeted with the lovely Greenwich Market! Little man loves this place as there is a stall which sells a massive selection of vintage model buses and vricals.

The park is free but some of it’s attractions (train and boating may require a small fee depending on the time of year). 

The Science Museum

London

 Free entry and granteed to provide a great day out. Lots of things to discover with many interactive displays for the kids to engage in. Both Little man and Alice love the Science Museum though little Harley is still a tad young to experience the full benefits of such a place. 

One of little mans favorite features is the simulators. Yes, I’ve got to admit, they are mine too. 

Please note these normally require a payable fee to ride.   

 You will also find a pretty awesome gift shop which isn’t overly high in it’s pricing. Little man brought a lava lamp on his last visit (with his tutor).

NEW CHELSEA F.C. MUSEUM 

 We haven’t visited the museum as yet which is located on site behind the legendary football stadium at Stamford Bridge. It’s reported to be a massive 670sqm and offers state of the art technology to create a totally awesome experience. Visitors can experience a mix of audio displays through to interactive tours with 16 different zone all together there is something for all football fans. Little man doesn’t play footie but his grown up with a family full of  Chelsea supporters (count me out, I only support Frank lampard *giggle*) It’s my side of the family that are Chelsea nuts and it’s my father (Little man’s grandfather) who will be taking little man this half term. My brother and nephew will also join them much to their delight. This one isn’t for me and Alice and we will do something else on that day. Not sure the youngest will get anything out of it given his only 22 months old so guess he will join his mummy and big sister on a shopping trip (that’s my kind of day out)

 We will let you know what little man thinks on his return from the Chelsea Museum. 

Check out the cool video below to give you an insight into what It’s all about.

Ready Steady Lick

19 Jul

Don’t be put off by the title, this is a family blog and is no way inappropriate, Ok!

 I actually post tonight, sharing some need to know information for biscuit lovers, charity campaigners, fundraisers  and competition chasers alike.

 Not only am I going to tell you an easy way to raise funds for the fantastic children’s charity KidsOut,  “A charity that make it their mission to give disadvantaged children and young people fun, positive activities and experiences that contribute to their development, providing them with a happier future” but I’m also offering you the chance to get your mitts on a great prize courtesy of Oreo.

 Last week I received an email from the lovely people at Oreo’s who invited me to take part in their new Double stuff Oreo lick race. The lick race is a competition to find Britain’s most entertaining Lick Racer’ while encouraging fun family moments. “Well my family has often been looked upon as entertaining, normally during one off little man’s full on meltdowns during a trip to the local supermarket, given I’m used to a bit of public attention and the fact I’m totally sick of dieting, I thought why not” 

How does it work?

 Based on the ritual of twisting an Oreo, licking off the creme, and dunking the remaining biscuits in milk, a lick race is all about having fun as a family by doing the ritual in a way everyone can enjoy! 

This is filmed and uploaded to the Oreo Lick Race website or better still you can do it live via web cam (No, not with my little angels… uploading later was my choice).

Once you’ve uploaded get your family and friends voting for you to win!

 Not only will you have a giggle, the chance to win a VIP family holiday to Florida but for every video clip uploaded Oreo will donate £1 to the charity ‘KidsOut’ with three categories and up to five entrants per category allowed, your given plenty off opportunities to bag the prize and raise a tidy sum of £15 for this fantastic cause.

Enter in one or all three of the categories
Child Vs Parent

Sibling Vs Sibling

Grandparent Vs Grandchild 

Oreo kindly supplied me with a Lick Race Kit containing everything I needed to participate.We have filmed a couple of races in the parent vs. sibling and sibling vs. sibling categories “I’m still working on my mother for her co-orperation within the Grandparent category, which isn’t proving easy but I’ve still got some time left and I’m a determined woman!” I plan to complete a few more races giving myself the prefect excuse to stuff my face with a few more yummy new double creme Oreo’s before uploading. Did we have any tantrums during the Lick race? Of course this is my families Lick Race I’m referring to! Little man did get upset once and he accused his sister of breaking the rules (a few flying Oreo’s and a table may of made interesting viewing for the crazed reality fan sat at home, but with a quick press of the delete button I took care of that!) 

So why don’t you all get licking! Remember there are rules (such as no teeth) amongst others, so before kicking off your Lick Race visit the Oreo lick race official website HERE to find out how to play, the rules of play and what you need to participate (yummy Oreo biscuits, milk, tumblers, web cam or video cam/mobile phone and internet access) 

Oreo kindly provided me with an extra Lick Race kit to give away to one of our lucky readers.

The kit contains all you need for your Lick Race including a stylish HD flip Cam with tripod to record your Double Stuff Oreo Lick Race.

 All you have to do is comment below telling me one of your most memorable family moments.

The competition will only ran for three days so that you still have time to record and upload your Lick Race. Please leave an email address or twitter id so I can contact you if you win. I will contact you on the 22nd July in-order to get your address (UK only). If I haven’t heard back from you by mid-night on the 22nd I will have to re-draw (this is due to the lick race finishing on the 31st July 2011)

This giveaway will end at mid-night on the 21st July 2011

Oero Lick Race competition closes on the 31st July 2011 

 To find out more about KidsOut a charity visit their site by clicking HERE 

Visit the Oero site to play, ‘Who’s the slicker licker’ (a watch to win online game) win a Wii every day plus 1000s of Double stuff lick race prizes. Visit the Oreo facebook page

A love hate relationship

1 May

So, today I’ve been inspired to write this post by my beautiful daughter.

You see, my little princess is feeling a little left out! I guess I haven’t really treated her like the little princess that she is just lately.

I hold my hands up, life has been far to busy and she hasn’t received quite as much attention as I would have liked to have given her. I’m not stating I’ve neglected here, “As if my little diva would let me,” I’m merely stating that we need some one-on-one time without big brother! There has been less chick flicks & girlie pampering but far to many tears.

I look at my daughter with such pride, she is this truly amazing little girl who never fails to melt my heart. Like most siblings of Children on the autism spectrum, she seems quite mature for her eight years.

Over these past few months, which I must add have been pretty emotional for all, I’ve noticed my little girl has mimicked one or two of little man’s behaviours. It doesn’t take a genius to know why she has done this, after all little man gets quite a bit of attention when displaying such behaviours. Alice-Sara (My daughter) has claimed that she can no longer use certain cutlery when eating her dinner as it makes her feel fuzzy (tactile sensitivity). She has stated that it’s to noisy in school and has gone as far as throwing a tantrum over a miner mishap that wouldn’t normally bother her. This isn’t all! More recently see seems somewhat resentful towards her brother. It’s understandable given a good degree of the time he isn’t very nice to her and is extremely hard to live with, but it’s also to do with how much time I need to spend attending to Little mans needs, both social and educational. Last week I almost died of shock when my daughter, who enjoys school refused to attend. She throw me with her claims that she hated it and certain teachers didn’t understand her, yes, something her brother has stated through sobs of tears! She insisted that in-order for her to attend I would need to write some letters and sort things out in terms of her education! She also informed me that maybe it would be better to home educate her for a a bit while things settled down, Her worlds not mine! “Guys this little girl has a stack of friends and is popular with both the pupils and the teachers. Her reports always come back glowing with nothing but prise written all over them”. I knew what this was really about! With Little man’s pending Sen tribunal due to be heard in June, I have been writing statements, emails and filling out a ton of paperwork, mainly parental information needed to form part of his independent SALT and EP assessments. I have also been doing quite a bit of casework for my role as a TSS volunteer. Alice-Sara confirmed this to be the issue when I insisted we talk about it on the way to school when she so angrily stated why storming towards the front door, “Oh, You would have done it for him.” Yes, ‘him’ meaning Little man!

Alice-Sara loves her brother, however things are not always easy for her. All brothers & sisters normally quarrel, I’m not denying that, but come to our house, I promise you its beyond ‘Normal’!

Now, it’s not always the little dude who is the one to kick things off, my daughter has become accustomed to setting him off and she’s learnt how and what buttons to press in-order to get her desired reaction. However his rigid thinking and tendency to be inflexible and controlling has either brought her to breaking point or reduced her to tears. Lately she can’t seem to breathe without it bothering him. Just a few days back little man treated the family to a night on pain-killers. My daughter needed Calpol (children’s medicine) for her headache and although I had just taken a couple of good old paracetamol for my own chronic headache, I could have done with something a tad stronger like a few handfuls of tranquillisers to knock me out for the rest of the week!

Alice-Sara decided that having tried a ‘Fish Finger’ for the first time they were actually quite yummy. When dished up and the kids sat down for dinner, little man’s eyes wondered across the table in the direction of her plate. “OH NO…”

Little man: “Mum, you’ve given Alice the wrong dinner!”

Before I could answer…

“No, she hasn’t. I like fish fingers now.” Announced Alice-Sara.

Well, what happened next wasn’t anything unexpected as it happens on a regular basis! A full-on blow up was had that consisted of him claiming that his sister shouldn’t be allowed to like fish fingers as he likes them! “She’s copying me,” and “You’re horrible mum! They were my fish-fingers!” Those statements and a load more, accompanied together with kicking doors and throwing whatever was in his reach went on for a good proportion of the night. A real head banging event!

Last spring when things were really difficult at school for Little man which resulted in some challenges at home, I began to worry for both my Little man and my daughter. His aggressive behaviour was at a point that was deeply concerning. We went on a day out accompanied by my friend who ended up having quite an eventful time and one I’m sure she wont forget for some time! It was during this day out that I decided we as a family needed to seek professional help & support! Alice-Sara was happily flying a kite on the heath following the ‘Bike & Kite’ festival we had just attended. Out of nowhere came little man who had decided it was time she stopped! He run over giving her a massive shove that saw her fall to the ground. No tears followed, she didn’t even complain, just got up bushed herself off and returned to the joy of flying her kite. In that exact moment I realised that I had just witnessed something that scared the ‘crap out of me!’ Was this the ‘Norm’ for her? Did she consider it an acceptable thing for her big brother to have done? Would this little girl ‘my little girl’ grow up thinking it was Ok to be pushed around? I don’t want my daughter to ever allow herself to be treated like this, not by anybody including that off her big brother! It was lucky that at this time I was in contact with a lady who works for the autism outreach service for our area and how lucky was I when she agreed to visit me at home and have a chat with my little princess. I also gained some good ideas on strategies that I could implement that would hopefully stop little man becoming so physically aggressive towards his sister. It took some effort but results were seen, his hitting faded out and Alice-Sara would no longer turn a blind eye to his behaviour.

Sadly these past few weeks something has changed in the little man and myself and daughter have received some unwelcome attacks as a result. He even attacked his sister on a packed train when returning from the West End because she, ‘Disrespected Transport for London’ when placing her tired little feet on the seat she was sat on.

How can I make it stop? Consistency is our only hope. Strategies that we used last year have been tried but sadly failed, however this mum is on a mission and won’t give up on finding another strategy that works!

I’m guessing a number of parents of children on the autism spectrum will agree… consistency is a ‘must’ for all children but isn’t the easiest thing to apply when dealing with the child with Aspergers and they’re challenging behaviour.

To bring this post to a close I’ve finished with something positive. After all this talk of violence I think I need to! So, besides sharing some contact details for sibling support groups that some off you may find helpful, I’ve also included this beautiful picture that I captured yesterday on the train when on our way out for the evening to see a show in the West End to celebrate the Royal Wedding. Little man has his arm around his sister who happily excepted a hug as opposed to a slap or a punch! No-one requested he gave her a hug, it’s something that you just don’t see him do! I don’t know who was more surprised me or my daughter!

The Charity Barnardo’s run a number support groups for siblings of disabled children around the country. Some groups are mixed for both the Sibling and their brother/sister with a disability, whereas others are dedicated to the sibling alone. (028) 90672366 is the contact details for the London regional office. If anyone requires the number for their area drop me a comment or contact the above number as I’m sure they will help.

Contact a Family is another organisation who cater for siblings of children with disabilities. Further info can be obtained by calling… 0808 808 3555

Mencap are happy to put people in-touch with their local sibling support group. The number for England is: 0207 4540454

Kids are an organisation which runs play, education and social initiatives for disabled children and it is suggested that siblings may also benefit from their clubs, outings and residential weekends, and can be contacted on: 020 7359 7635 email: enquiries@kids.org.uk

What are you looking at?

3 Apr

Hello everyone

Firstly let me send you all a belated happy world autism day.

Secondly let me explain why I didn’t get the chance to say that earlier!

Well, it’s been an interesting few days. As some may know Friday was ‘Autism Rainbow day’ I did my bit by dressing in all the colours of the rainbow. Judging by the public reaction to my clobber I’m guessing the cause isn’t that well known here in the UK. To many I just looked like a colour blind nut job. Well, it was all in the name of autism so what did I care, I’m totally used to being stared at, as it comes with the territory being a mum to a child on the spectrum!

Friday and Saturday were no exceptions. Let me elaborate a little.

Dressed in my rainbow mix match I decided to head to the supermarket to get something for dinner. My daughter was at my mothers so it was just me and my boys. I’ve written a good few post about the dangers of shopping with an Aspie over the two and a bit years I’ve been blogging, yet did I take my own advice, ‘Avoid taking him where possible, otherwise do so with caution?’ No of course I didn’t!

I’m normally very careful when it comes to taking little man to the supermarket, especially when his only just returned from his tuition at the library! The thing is I can’t even use the bath room without him by my side these days! So surly you can see my predicament when he was literally hanging from my jeans as I tried to make my escape through the front door.

I admit that I’m unsure if he enjoys visiting the supermarket or not? You see eight times out of ten he will have a meltdown with at least half of these being earth shakers (meaning full on blow ups) So you can see the potential risks involved. It’s like a military operation just getting there. He seems to love getting the shopping, acting the little man and of course asking for things, but at the same time all the waiting and crowds of shoppers really tick him off.

I was looking at the flowers for mothers day and I was trying to look at speed but within a few minutes little man was huffing and puffing like an old man. He then tried to unstrap his sixteen month old brother from the pram as he wanted him to play. Of course I grabbed the baby and strapped him back in as it was far to busy to have him on his feet. Little man freaked! He called me a string of hurtful names and began menacingly kicking at the display. On top of this the baby was howling the place down. Little man refused to push the small trolley he was pushing so I tried to push this along with the pram, but the trolley slipped from my grip and went smashing into the flowers. The baby was wailing, little man was cursing, and the fellow shoppers were enjoying the entertainment.

Can you imagine, I hadn’t slept a wink the previous night so was exhausted, dressed so bright I couldn’t be missed, flowers everywhere (praying I wasn’t charged damages), baby screaming so loud the tins were rattling and my little man throwing himself into everyone and anything that stood in his way while giving me an ear bashing.

On my knees I tried desperately to gather flowers from the floor (not one member of the public offered me some help) Suddenly all the noise, the babies screams, little mans shouting and the all the background noise decelerated, it all sounded muffled and I realised that I could hear my own thoughts over anything else around me. The voice in my head told me to get up and run… I almost did! but then that voice ordered me to do something else! “Get up off that dirty floor, brush myself off and take a look around me”

As I came to my feet, brushing petals and leafs from my jeans (that had patches of coloured material stuck to them in an attempt to vamp them up for autism rainbow day, I noticed that everything was slowly getting louder. I felt as if I was coming out of a dream like daze. The baby was no longer screaming, more sobbing, Little man was still ranting (he could go on for hours.) Looking around i noticed just how much of a spectacle my family had become.

“Excuse me everyone”, I shouted at the top of my voice, resulting in people either stopping in their tracks or making a run for it’

What I said next came from nowhere but my good it felt bloody fantastic.

I can’t remember word for word but it went something like this…

” Yes, His my son! No I never dragged him up! Yes his behaviour isn’t ideal, it’s bloody hard work! No your xxxxxxx stares don’t help!”

I grabbed the pram looked down at little man then finished by telling everyone,

“He has Aspergers, which is a type of autism. He don’t care that your staring but at this moment I do, So don’t!

I left feeling so much better then I could have. I was pleased that I had spoken up and felt no regret for doing so.

The following day was world autism day, I was now on a mission if anybody wants a repeat of yesterday I’m ready.
Of course I had to think like this as I was of out to meet a friend with the kids. The day was pretty much drama free but I needed to put a few people in there places.

At the end of an eventful few days my little man was drained and for the first night in ages little man slept.

“Yayyyyyyy

The only thing was he feel fast asleep on my bedroom floor right across the bedroom door. Not good when your dieing to use the little girls room.

I took a picture to share with you all.

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