Tag Archives: family

The Do’s And Don’ts When Parenting A Child With Aspergers Syndrome

15 May

Its not easy being a parent to a child on the autism spectrum! Actually… It isn’t that easy being a parent full stop!

Below are some dos and don’t, all based around the stuff I’ve learnt while parenting my little man. Remember, I’m just another parent like you! No, I’m not doctor or child psychologist and what works for us may totally not work for you. But why not have a read anyway… If anything you won’t feel do alone. Please, feel free to add anything within the comments sections:)

20130515-011419.jpgmm

So… Here it goes…

Don’t feel guilty if you failed to spot the signs at an early age.

Do remember that this is common for children diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome with many of them not gaining an actual official diagnosis, till their teenage years.

Don’t be to proud to ask for help!

Do fight for it, if those who are meant to provide it, withhold it!

Don’t force your child to be someone they are not!

Do show them you are proud of them for being the person they are.

Don’t assume its easy!

Do remember that parenting any child can at times be challenging.

Don’t feel you have to explain your child’s behaviour, every single time they do something that makes others stop and stare.

But do educate those who are willing to listen! The important issue here is, not to get stressed when out and about. this only makes things more difficult for both yourself and your child. Remember its ignorance and sadly many are guilty of displaying it!

Don’t restrict the activities you do as a family.

Do prepare your child for such occasions with the help of visual resources and schedules to avoid unwanted challenges on the day.

20130515-011954.jpg

Don’t forget you have a life too.

Do take time out for you, whenever the opportunity arises.

Don’t assume that any two children diagnosed with Aspergers will experience the exact same traits.

But do make yourself aware of such traits, preparing yourself for what may lay ahead.

Don’t assume a diagnosis is your child’s ticket to the support and services they may need.

Do be prepared to battle for them, services! Yes, you’ll be expected to provide evidence showing why it is the help is needed.

Don’t just expect others to instantly understand your child’s diagnosis

Do be prepared for ignorance & denial. Sadly many find that its friends & family who display the worst reactions to the news of a child’s diagnosis. As for strangers…. I not don’t even notice the states as my son displays a screaming match at the local train station. Ok its never easy, but you adjust and get used to it.

Don’t freak out if your child develops an interest in something considered to be strange or unusual.

Do embrace and encourage all that your child loves regardless of its wackiness.

Don’t assume your child will have learning difficulties.

Do celebrate the subjects they excel in, and offer help and support to improve in those they are not.

20130515-012535.jpg

Don’t base decisions on what you want for your child!

Do base decisions on what is best for them.

Don’t beat yourself up if you lose it! Meltdowns that go on for hours are likely to make you crumble.

20130515-011518.jpg

Do remember that your human and your child still loves you ( regardless of what they may say).

Don’t be surprised if your child announces to the lady sat on the bus, that she’s old, wrinkled and looks close to death.

Do play games and work on activities designed to help your child avoid social mishaps like that of the above.

20130515-011610.jpg

Don’t waste money buying your child the top branded toys, especially if they have failed to express any interest.

Do make them happy on Christmas morning if padlocks, staples and rulers were on their Christmas list.

Don’t be too disheartened if your child shows no interest in making friends.

Do have hope that one day that will change!

20130515-012104.jpg

Don’t force your child to play with other children…

… But do teach them the social skills required to do so! Most children on the autism spectrum will eventually show a desire to interact and play with others.

Don’t waste your time looking for cures

But do look into therapies that have been designed to help your child better develop the skills required to succeed in both child and adulthood.

Don’t assume that just because your child doesn’t display certain traits during childhood they won’t during adulthood.

But Do remember maybes are not certainties.

Don’t try to make your child fit into society!

But do mould them as you would any child so society fits with them.

Don’t use complex language (metaphors and sarcasm) when talking with your child

But do try and teach them that others will to avoid miscommunications.

Don’t force your child to wear certain clothing, eat certain foods or attend certain activities.

Do be sure to research sensory processing disorders as their refusal to do any of the above could be and likely is related.

Don’t assume that your child with Aspergers will have the abilities to cope in a mainstream school (not all can)!

Do make sure you are open minded… Sometimes special schools are all your child needs to succeed within education.

Don’t use your child’s diagnosis as an excuse for unwanted behaviour.

Do remember that all children can be challenging and all are not autistic… You will learn the difference, I have!

Don’t forget to be mum to everyone

Do remember that siblings of children with Asperger’s syndrome may display unwanted behaviour or mimic their siblings traits as a way to gain the attention they crave.

20130515-012158.jpg

Don’t assume your child will be bullied.

But do look out for the signs as statistics have shown that it is children like yours and mine who become targets.

Don’t force your child to believe in the mystical world of make believe.

Do remember that many child with Asperger’s syndrome like things based upon facts, the type backed up by evidence. If you can’t prove how santa gets round the world in one single night then chances are he will never believe. Just make sure he doesn’t share his findings with his siblings… Like little man has tried.

Don’t ask your child if you look good in a new dress unless you want blatant sharp honesty…

Do be prepared to be shown your love handles and chubby knees if you do.

Don’t believe everything the books tell you.

Do remember that every child has the capability to at least try and lie… Well, at least the desire to try and do so, is usually there! Its just that children with Aspergers are not all that hot at it! Little man usually cracks within minutes.

Don’t be so serious…

Do crack a smile, your child with Aspergers is more than capable of making you proud… Mine does.

20130515-011715.jpg

Don’t just assume your child will tell you if something is wrong! Aspergers is a communication disorder after all!

Do be ready to put on your investigation cap, as you try to discover just what has upset your child… Remember they will expect you to just know.

Don’t feel that everything has to become a mission in life because of your child’s condition.

Do be prepared to be pleasantly surprised when your child shows you that something you thought would be impossible for them… is actually totally possibly.

Don’t waste time asking yourself “What If?”

Do remember that we have one life, Our own unique and special story. All children deserve to be brought up happy with stacks of love and great memories to support it. Our children will eventually grow up and fly the nest… Yes even those with Aspergers Syndrome! My point? Just enjoy your kids, never taking a single day for granted… Even those not so good ones!

Advertisements

#Silent Sunday – Happy Easter

31 Mar

20130331-233105.jpg

#Silent Sunday (Me & My Little Man)

24 Mar

20130324-213429.jpg

The Croods In 3D

22 Mar

Have you ever watched a film and found yourself totally In captured in the wonderful world of make believe? What about at the age of 30?

This was me as I sat and watched a preview screening of The Croods in 3D at the our local Odeon Cinema. Everything about this film was magical and I think the kids would totally agree with me.

The film, a DreamWorks Animation,
Is one not to be missed! Its both a funny and extremely touching story.

The film follows a prehistoric cave family (The Croods) who together embark on a magical Journey discovering the beauty of world they live in, while learning important lessons about themselves and each other along the way.

The film starts with a fantastic opening scene made all the better with the 3D element. The scene in question takes us on the Croods chase for an egg. This is real fast food that requires much more than a trip to a local drive through. Family members work as a team to grab an egg and get it back to the cave in time for tea. its one big battle to keep the egg from various strange creatures all while keeping it off the ground and free from breakage.

The Croods, however prehistoric they may be, are still very much like your everyday family. The family is made up of Grug (Nicolas Cage) who as both Caveman and father, takes his role to keep his family safe very seriously! Then there’s Ugga (Catherine Keener) Grugs devoted wife, Eep (Emma Stone) the teenage daughter who feels her fathers over protectiveness is holding her family back, Sandy (Randy Thom) who is the youngest Crood and at times acts more like an angry four legged creature then that of a baby, Thunk (Clark Duke) the tubby son and finally Gran (Cloris Leachman) Ugga’s elderly mother and to his utter “Delight” Grugs mother in law.

20130325-234342.jpg

Some may call Grug an over protective husband and father, but his way of doing things has lead to the Croods being the only family of its kind still alive. Grug feels its safer to keep his family hidden inside the darkness of their home (the cave) While his teenage daughter Eep is just itching to discover what more life has to offer and therefore feels her father is holding the family back with his over protective ways.

20130325-235455.jpg

When the cave is destroyed, due to the result of an earthquake, Grug has no choice but to embark on a family Journey to find a new cave for his family to live in. The only problem is Eep’s discovery & interest in a cave boy (homo sapien) named ‘Guy’ (Ryan Reynolds). Grug feels somewhat threatened and Jealous by guys intelligence. Guy introduces some great ideas and inventions to the Croods such as his discovery of fire and his creation of shoes, that he puts together to help the family cross a rocky pathway. The family want Guy to help them on their Journey while Grug is concerned that the boys ideas will lead them into danger. Yet, as the film progresses, we watch how Grug has a change in heart, soon discovering that by working together, his strength and Guys intelligence can lead them to where they need to be (and a cave isn’t it).

The Croods set travel across a spectacular landscape that is filled with weird but wonderful prehistoric species ranging from flying piraña fish to strange four legged owls. The addition of 3D Technology, makes you feel that your there with them discovering this vibrant and exciting land right there next to them.

The Sun also has a key part to play in this animation! What with Eep’s increasing fascination in the planet and the light it produces and that of Guys intentions to find it and ride it to a beautiful and magical place called tomorrow.

20130325-235116.jpg

There are some real spectacular scenes and real funny moments. The relationship between Grug and Gran produces many of these moments as they both engage in some funny banter directed at one another.

20130325-235839.jpg

However, if your not laughing, you may find that you’re actually shedding a tear or two. There are a few really touching scenes such as the one that sees both Grug and Guy become stuck in tar. When guy confines to Grug that this was the way his family died, Its at this moment that Grug has a change of heart towards guy and together they discover that by working together as a team they can both escape that same fate and go on to discover the land of “tomorrow”.

Its also the developing relationship amongst Grug and his daughter Eep that provides some great emotional scenes within the film. It does well to show that no matter what, humans will always experience them same emotions whether they are experiencing them today or that thousands of years ago.

I don’t want to say to much, but I will say that the world of tomorrow looks all the more brighter the closer they come to reaching it.

With the films closing scenes being as powerful as the opening scenes I’d advise that you watch the Croods with a packet of tissues close at hand.

The Croods is a magical admiration that will interest families of all ages.

I’d highly recommend watching this in 3D to really experience the film through the eyes of each character. You will truly see the world around them as they see it, so much so you will almost feel yourselves reaching out to touch it.

20130325-234742.jpg

Checkout the trailer below… It will have you itching to watch it!

For screenings and film times for your area, please check out the Odeon Website

Disclaimer: We received an invitation to a pre-screening of the Croods by Odeon Cinemas. All words and opinions are honest and that of my own.

Game Inspiration For Last Minute Shoppers

23 Dec

Its almost Christmas and with literally a few short shopping hours left I thought I’d share a couple of great last minute gift ideas for that special someone that you find all to hard to buy for.

As a mother of a child on the autism spectrum I have found myself in this situation numerous times. I can normally be found on Christmas Eve running from shop to shop like some stressed, crazed headless chicken as I try to beat the clock and find my son those perfect gifts (thankfully I’ve done my crazy chicken run already this year)!

As you all know little man is a whizz on a games console and is pretty fond of his PS3. With this he reviewed a couple of the latest PS3 games.

20121224-161335.jpg

Rise of the Guardians Video Game (PS3)

Let kids imaginations run wild as they enter the magic land of make believe in Rise of the Guardians (based on the Dreamworks film animation). Kids choose to be a magical childhood Guardian from characters including: North (aka Santa Claus), Tooth (aka the Tooth Fairy), Bunnymund (aka the Easter Bunny), Sandman, and Jack Frost. Each Guardian has their own set of upgradable and extraordinary powers that will help you take on the evil spirit “Pitch” and his infectious nightmares. Along the way.
As you progress through the realms treasure can be found and various mini quests undertaken to help level-up your characters and pry the fingers of Pitch from children’s minds.
These include freeing children from cages guarded by all sorts of nightmarish creatures to time-based defending quests where you frantically fight off a horde of evil spirits hell-bent on harming a stranded child.

20121224-161438.jpg

kids can unlock new powers and spellbinding moves that increase each character’s strength and skills throughout the game.

20121224-161533.jpg

There is also the option of a drop-in-and-out team up multiplayer mode that allows players to swap between any of the characters in drop-in-and-out four-player squad based multiplayer action on consoles. This basically means you can switch characters which is great as this allows you to experience each one therefore learning what each can do to assist you throughout the game.

Little man is 12 and really enjoys the game. It did take some getting used to but he got into it fairly quickly. Little man explained that his first task was to convince Jack Frost to join his Guardians on their quest to defeat the evil that is pitch. From here on he then needed to defeat a number of Pitch’s evil allies.

I’ve quite enjoyed watching him play and review this animation game. Ive watched as his explored each of the Guardians imaginative worlds from the Tooth’s Palace to North’s Workshop. If your hoping for a game that involves a jolly Santa in a red suit that runs around with a load of cute Elfs than you may be disappointed. The rise of the guardians is made up of iconic children Legends with an edgy twist.

The Graphics are great and although the music can become somewhat annoying, The Rise of the Guardians is in our opinion a great game for a child aged 12+

20121224-161618.jpg

Rise of the Guardians is available to purchase now from all good game stockists & is available for the PS3, DS, 3DS, Wii and XBox 360

Ben 10 Omniverse video game on PS3

20121224-171821.jpg

This game is sure to delight any Ben 10 fan. Based on the new Cartoon Network series of Ben 10 Omniverse, children can play as both Ben in the past “Young Ben” as well as that of Ben in the present”Teen Ben”
The game offers 2 player mode allowing Ben to work together with Rook (a brand new character to the series) to defeat the evil plans of a villain who’s ultimate mission is to defeat the world.

Rook, Ben 10s newest sidekick, will fight alongside Ben using his Proto-Tool, a high tech multi-functional weapon that turns into a Blaster, Power Sword, Quantum Staff, or Grappler.

The game is fast paced, offering players an assortment of action-packed levels that have been set in various show-inspired settings like the subterranean alien city of undertown.

Little man really found the game exciting and given his not a massive Ben10 fan this surprised me.

He told me that each level offered something new. Each equally exciting yet challenging in its own way meaning he wasn’t easily bored. He also explained that the game allows you to switch forms and battle as one of 13 playable alien heroes, including never-before-seen aliens like Bloxx and Gravattack.

Alfie, little man’s cousin who is also on the autism spectrum found himself captivated by the game. The boys have enjoyed engaging themselves in some serious gameplay as they have come together as Ben10 and Rook helping one another through each level as they play in 2 player mood.

20121224-171951.jpg

Ben 10 Omniverse is available to purchase now from all good game stockists & is available for the PS3, DS, 3DS, Wii/WiiU and XBox 360

Monopoly Zapped (Compatible with iPhone, iPod and iPad)

20121224-175640.jpg

What Hasbro have to say about the game…

“MONOPOLY Zapped Edition is an amazing new game experience from Hasbro. Now you can bring your favorite game to life with loads of awesome mini games on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.

Landed in Jail? No problem! Just play the Get out of Jail app mini game…if you can launch Mr MONOPOLY over the prison walls to his getaway car, you’re free!

Plus you can transfer MONOPOLY dollars directly to your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch using your own personal Touch-banking cards! The whole family will love this exciting new way to play MONOPOLY!

Play MONOPOLY and your iPad together!”

Little man has had the game a month or so put has only just played it as things have been so hectic.

He was actually lucky enough to win an iPad on the school reward system Vivo, who ran an online raffle. With this he downloaded the monopoly app from Apple app store and we put the game through its paces.

Their is no questioning it, this is monopoly on a whole new level. Gone are the days of your basic game board and plying pieces. Technology means monopoly is now compatible with smart phones and iPads… innovative it really is.

We loved the mini games and the whole concept of escaping jail. Banking becomes electronic with each player having its own electronic bank card. This is great though it does take away that little bit of educational magic that monopoly brings with it.

But we are moving with the times and there is no disputing the fact that the digitally interactive game experience is a great one!

Available from all gone toy stores for around £25.

Giant Pass The Pigs

GIANT Pass The Pigs

20121224-175429.jpg

Giant Pass the pigs is a groovy game, one that myself and the kids have had loads of fun playing.

GIANT Pass The Pigs (RRP £14.99) has been designed for children of the ages 8+ and the game is for 2 players.

This game of Pass pigs is like no other. The pigs are of the giant type, simply Inflate your pair of porkers, throw them and see how they land. Will you get a Leaning Jowler, a Mixed Combo or will you Pig Out

The pigs are of the huge inflatable type, so there really is no little parts to contend with (every mothers dream). The game can be played both in and outdoors, just ensure you have a lot of space so nothing gets broken.

We love the family game and welcome it onto our santas little helpers Christmas gift list. I found it to be perfect for little man. He had lots of fun dashing the pigs around the garden, there really is no skill involved yet it does help better a child’s gross motor skills.

Just remember to keep them away from any toddlers who may try and use the inflatable pokers as a space hopper.

Available from all good UK toy stores for around £14.99

So there is our round up! Whether its a game for a console, an innovative iPad compatible game or a good old fashion hands on traditional family game, I hope we have helped to give you a little inspiration.

Have Yourselves A Merry LEGO Christmas

16 Dec

As many will already know my little man is a tad LEGO crazy. That’s why we are very pleased to have been granted the privilege of becoming official LEGO family bloggers.

A week or so back I wrote a post titled “What children with Aspergers really want for Christmas” I wrote this as result of a tread I started on my Facebook page asking other parents of children diagnosed with Aspergers what was on their child’s Christmas wish list. The feed back was amazing what with some 5,000 + page members I managed to start a decent conversation thread and gather lots of great answers.

The list featured the unusual strange requests such as leaf blowers and doughnuts to the more desired gifts of smart phones, Star Wars and iPads However, appearing most frequently on the list was that of LEGO… Whether Lego StarWars, Lego city, or Lego friends… Lego was most definitely the most desired gift of all. You can read the post Here.

With this I couldn’t wait to bring my readers this very awesome Lego gift guide which won’t break the bank. All the Lego sets below are currently being sold for under £20. I do hope this will provide you all with some last minute Christmas inspiration.

20121216-122132.jpg

Lego Creationary: This is a must buy family game for Christmas that allows players to really show of their Lego building skills. This interactive game requires 3-8 players allowing larger family groups and friends to enjoy the game together.

With four categories, vehicles, buildings, nature and things, a Roll of the Lego Dice will reveal which one. As you build your fellow players have the job in guessing just what it is your creating. With three levels of difficulty imagination is the key. Recommend Age 7+

The game normally retails for around £23, however Argos currently have it on special for £18.75 (the joys of last minute Christmas shopping)

20121216-122337.jpg

Lego Technic Tracked Crane. This is Lego like I’ve never seen before. This kit has all the pieces to create a perfect fully working Tracked Crane. It can be manoeuvred into different positions and has a number of fully operational features such as the extending crane arm. What’s more this is a 2-in-1 model that rebuilds into a bulldozer that features moving tracks, rotating superstructure and more. Suitable for Age 8 Years + and currently priced in many stores online and in store for as little as £11

20121216-122433.jpg

LEGO Marvel Superheroes The Avengers – Hulk (4530)

This is a brilliant kit, especially for the child who loves both superheros and Lego. There are a number of figures that can be purchased in the Avengers range and the hulk is one of them. The kit includes a Hulk buildable figure that can be customise using the flexible building system. Hulk stands over 7″ (18cm) tall when fully built.
Build bigger figures with the exclusive high friction joints.

This kit is targeted at children aged 6-12 years and its priced really reasonable with many retailers selling for a little over £10.

20121216-122534.jpg

LEGO Friends Andrea’s Bunny House (3938)

Andrea’s bunny house forms part of the Lego friends range of toys that has produced and targeted more towards girls (though boys can quite happily play with them too). This is one of five smaller sets, you can also get Olivia, Mia, Stephanie and Emma all complete with their own play set. Andrea comes complete with buildable bunny hutch where she keeps her much loved bunny Jazz. These sets are targeted at children aged between 5-12 years old. They are reasonably priced with amazon currently selling this particular set for just £9.50

20121216-122644.jpg

LEGO CITY MINING 4200

4200 Mining is one of many Lego city kits. This particular one comes with a yellow 4×4 vehicle with open back storage. You also get a mining Lego figure minifigure as well as a whole host of other accessories designed to help the miner find his gold. Little man is a fan of this set… The contents is more than enough to keep the kids busy for an hour or so on Christmas morning.

Set recommended for children ages 5-12 years and can be brought for around £7.99

LEGO Stocking Fillers…

20121216-122909.jpg

LEGO NINJAGO – Masters of Spinjitzu – Slithraa (9573)

The Ninjago spinjitzu range are a great stocking fillers for Lego lovers. Both the excitement of a figure and a game where you must spin your way to victory against the Spinjitzu masters with the help of your 4 battle cards and weapon sets.

Set Includes… Slithraa minifigure.
blue transparent spinner, blue crown, LEGO bricks, golden weapon, 2 regular weapons, a character card and 4 battle cards.

This suits Kids between the ages of 6-14 years. They can have great fun with the spinjitzu sets as they battle it out with their friends. I’ve managed to find these on the Symths website for £7.99 other than that I could only find a number of them on various eBay stores who seem to be selling these for a frightening £17.99 or more. So… get yourselves to Symths… And quick!

20121216-123022.jpg

LEGO NINJAGO – Masters of Spinjitzu Booster Pack (9556)

If you like the sounds of the above than why not also get a booster pack for the stocking. The Booster pack 9556 contains some 25 pieces including minifigure snake bytar in dark purple. You also get a whole host of other accessories and weapons including 4 more cards.

The booster pack is recommended to children between the ages 6-14 years and can currently be purchased from symths. Again, I’d get in quickly as this is pretty hard to find so at £3.99 its an awesome price.

20121216-123054.jpg

LEGO NINJAGO – Lloyd ZX Keyring

LEGO Ninjago fans will love to find a Lloyd ZX who is attached to a keyring within their stockings. The minifigure provides Lego lovers with a funky way to dress up their keys. Perfect stocking filler for LEGO fans both young and old.

The True Magic Of Christmas

13 Dec

20121212-231026.jpg

This enchanting, charming, beautiful house is located at 25A Hayes Lane Bromley Kent. The family who live here have been showcasing their ever growing collection of Christmas lights for some 25 years now?

Why?

Well, its all done in the name of charity. The festive home owners have helped a number of charities by putting on a spectacular Christmas light display in the hope of raising funds for those less fortunate, national and local charities and even children with special educational needs.

I first saw the house earlier in the week when I was asked to collect my son from school due to illness. Of course it was the middle of the afternoon so the lights were not yet switched on. With that I decided to take the children back tonight for a closer look and let’s just say we wasn’t disappointed!

The house is absolutely smothered in twinkling fairy lights.You will find an assortment of Santa’s displayed on the roof top, as well as a range of giant snow globes and a Santa loaded hot air balloon.

If that’s not exciting enough, the front garden has been totally transformed into something of a magical winter wonderland that leaves children bedazzled.

The first thing that catches your eye as you approach the house is a beautifully lite mini Ferris wheel with a host of festive faces upon it (Santa and a Snowman included)!

20121213-010729.jpg

Nutcrackers and toy Soldiers line the pond area while further along the grass the scene of a nativity really blows you away with festive cheer.

20121212-231451.jpg

Everywhere you turn, every inch and every corner, you will find something to amaze you. A beautiful wishing well and a life size moving Santa. Colourful wooden trains, talking elves and more.

20121213-012202.jpg

As you walk about exploring your surroundings, traditional Christmas tunes can be heard playing through mini speakers. They even have a special red post box just for posting letters to Santa.

20121213-012800.jpg

Here’s a little video I made to try and capture just how lovely the light display really was.

As I stood looking at the amazing display that has brought families from a far to see it, I realised just what a truly amazing thing the family living inside are doing for others. The surrounding communities get the privilege of visiting with their children while many charities are indeed lucky enough to benefit from such a place.

20121213-010255.jpg

I noted the television flashing in the window and realised that the family were probably sat indoors doing what you or would be doing… only just outside their window, their home was now something of a tourist attraction. But here they are for their 25th year… Seriously how amazing is that? That means these guys were putting smiles on the faces of children while raising essential funds for charity since I was 5 years old.

20121213-011142.jpg

I dunno about you guys but I think whoever is living behind door number 25 must be a pretty amazing family.

20121212-231803.jpg

As a mum to a child who benefits from such kindness (as you know little man has Aspergers and special educational needs) I just wanted to spread the festive cheer and if possible get those who are able to visit the house to do so.

20121213-010555.jpg

Children will not be disappointed. We drove 3 miles to see the lights and would of driven further if needed.

20121213-011830.jpg

20121212-231651.jpg

Sadly, this is in fact the last year that the family will be transforming their home into a beautiful Christmas winter wonderland. So… Wouldn’t it be amazing to finish this lovely tradition on a high? I would love the family to make a lovely large sum of money in donations for this years chosen charities. I plan to go along again before the end of this jolly festive season, so I can give a little more! I haven’t got much but I know every penny counts.

20121213-010438.jpg

So, are you local to Hayes Lane, Bromley? Have you seen the magical wonderland? If yes, I’d love to hear your thoughts! If you haven’t yet visited and are within traveling distance why not pop along and help make this a beautiful end to a magical tradition.

20121213-014441.jpg

Spend Less Time Cooking And More Time With The Kids This Christmas

5 Dec

I absolutely hate peeling spuds, the whole tasks really grinds my gears. Not only does it somehow make the tips of my fingers sore but I also seem to lose half a potato to the bin by the time I’m done!

What a time consuming, boring task!

Over the years my peeling of potatoes hasn’t really improved despite the increase in family size. A great example would be Christmas Day… Its on this day that I seem to spend the majority of the morning stuck in the kitchen peeling veg instead of enjoying the festivities with the children. Yes… I do enjoy cooking but I’m not a massive fan on the preparations side of things.

But seriously, its not just about peeling potatoes, its more the issue of missing important family time to the kitchen.

The video from Aunt Bessie’s highlights my point perfectly. If anything I feel somewhat envious of the mothers ability to get dinner on the table so quickly therefore allowing her more time with the family.

With this I thought I’d have a go at sharing some of my ideas on ways to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with the family this Christmas.

1- Frozen & Ready peeled Veg – This year I’ve decided to do a mix of my own roast potatoes and that of Aunt Bessie’s. I’m also going to opt for some ready prepared veg. Given the child’s father is with us for dinner he will be doing the peeling and if I can get away with it, the cooking too.

2 – I will prepare the sausage meat stuffing for the Turkey on Christmas Eve. If I’m feeling really lazy I could just add some sausage meat to some packet stuffing! However, I do love homemade stuffing and given I don’t do it that often I’ll make to effort.

3 – This year I plan on not over doing it when it comes to the selection of veg on offer! I always do this and find I have it being cooked on all four hobs as well as in the steamer. I don’t know why I do this every single year, especially given there is always loads left over. I just never learn!

4 – I plan on making a really fancy dessert this year and will again make this on Christmas Eve. I’m planning for it to be a dessert that can be served cold so I’m not required to spend longer than needed in the kitchen come Christmas Day.

5 – the last few weeks I’ve seen the shelfs in the supermarkets filling up with treats. Some of which have been on offer and actually look incredibly tasty. These include nibbles and party foods that you tend to serve Christmas during that of the early evening. This year I will most defiantly be stocking up. Who wants to return to the kitchen to spend even more time preparing food instead of eating from a tin of Quality streets while watching the ‘Polar Express’ with the kids?

Oh… And like stuff isn’t stressful enough this year, but I’ve found myself needing a new built in cooker or replacement door as our cooker door has quite literally fallen off and smashed into a million pieces. So, unless I pull the pennies together and fast, Christmas dinner will have to be elsewhere…. Actually is that such a bad thing?

Whether your having the whole extended family over for Christmas or its just you and the kids, its important to remember that as great as Christmas dinner can be, its nowhere near as great as the time spent side by side with those you love.

This Post contains a sponsored video. However, all words are honest and that of my own.

Peek A Boo

23 Nov

A beautiful blonde two year old toddled around the house, she giggle excitedly as I removed my hands from my face to shout the words “peek a boo” Her laughter electrifying, my love for her magnified and displayed on my face in the shape of a smile, so big it left little room on my face for anything else.

But then she feel ill and my smile melted, replaced with a thousand tears of heartache… Tears too heavy for a 10 year olds cheek to carry.

Cancer robbed her of many years of childhood, in its place was chemo, Radiotherapy and missed birthdays at home. Her bed not slept in, her duvet untouched. Her home a side room on a children’s ward, that despite the balloons and teddies galore, it wasn’t home… It was just a room for a child to poorly to be home with me, her big sister, playing peek a boo.

Yes… The diagnosis of cancer was nothing but bad, bad luck! It couldn’t be avoided! There was no one to blame!

My mother, devastated, told the doctors they must do all that they can! If that meant medicines that saw her thick beautiful golden locks fade away, then so be it!

If radiotherapy meant she may just have a mild learning disability in the future… Then so be it!

If it meant she may never have children of her own… Then again, so be it!

At least she would still be with us, breathing the air that I breathe! She would still be there to play peek a boo, to hold hands as we grow up! To stand beside me on my wedding day… to drink tea & grow old with me . She is my little sister and there was no questions need answering! She just needed to stay here with me…. And she did!

She did just that, she fraught the cancer that was attacking her little body and even though she was left with a mild learning Disaibilty… Every other possible scenario evaporated, and I mean every one of them!

You see, almost 3 years ago, she gave birth to the daughter we had always suspected she would never have because of the treatment she underwent. Suddenly it felt like god could not be more giving when he gave her the beautiful gift of a daughter, one that she adores.

Finally bad luck had been banished or at least I thought it had… We all did.

That sister of mine who had already been through so much now found herself in the hands of evil, as she became the victim of domestic violence. Love was blind, she struggled to break free because of love, control and power stood in her way.

She was under his spell but eventually broke free for her child’s sake.

Needing help as a new mother and a single one at that, with the council not offering her a home and the prospect of homelessness and possible conflict from her partner she reached out for help in a direction that would only later turn out to be the direction she should have avoided at all cost.

The Social Services!

Only now has her true nightmare bargain… this evil is worse than any cancer! It is one we are powerless to stop it!

From a cry for help to a cry of pain as the Social Services (SS) announce after a year or so of involvement, that they want to take her daughter away… Assess the family as alternative carers if she doesn’t agree, or those carers fail the assessment, an interim order will be shougt and that little girl would be so wrongly snatched away from a loving family home!

Now… I can imagine what you are reading this thinking! SS don’t take kids for nothing. I used to think the same! I honestly never needed to think about it much! I’d read in the paper about targets and bonus, that of forced adoption and secret family courts… But it wasn’t part of my life and I guess my ignorance didn’t want me to think such evil was possible.

I assure you they do take children away from loving parents who have committed no crimes, and this is how…

RISK OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE!

Only now will you understand why I talked about my little sisters cancer! Not because I was crying out for your sympathy vote but because its a huge contributing factor!

Because my sister has a mild learning disability the SS used this to their advantage. She isn’t slow… Hell no, but sometimes she is too compliant for her own good, especially when those doing the pushing are those she thinks she should trust… An authority figure!

Then something happened… something that had my sister flee to them for help and protection but instead she got blackmail. Alone, confused and emotional having just been the victim of abuse! Getting her to agree to conditions on a child protection agreement with that of a signature was like scavenges swarming its prey it was Profoundly immoral and malevolent.

To then set her up in a flat, just so they could monitor her every move while pretending to be there to support her is unthinkable but true. All the time notes were made, notes containing events and points that didn’t even ever happen! With unannounced visits who was there to witness this, who was their to be my sisters witness. With my sister unaware their was even an issue till recently, she failed to tell me…. I only wished I knew these things sooner.

Now they state that my sister, (who I can say with my hand on the bible, is a great mum) May not be able to meet her daughters needs in the future… Because her daughter is advanced at almost 3 years old! They therefore state she may became too cleaver for my sister to parent!

As if it could get any worse… Another reason given for their actions was that of my sisters past abusive relationship which she was sadly the ‘Victim’ off. It seems that falling in love with a scum bag and falling victim to domestic violence now makes you a concern worthy by the SS! Apparently if you have been in this type of relationship the SS can state with confidence that there “Maybe” a risk of emotional abuse in the future! And in the UK “Maybe” and “Future” is good enough!

My sisters cancer and abusive relationship means they won’t be giving her the chance to be her daughters mother, despite this enormous love she has for her that is so powerful only a parent can ever understand it.

She was set up to fail! Parenting class and support were a parenting assessment conducted by those from SS! As a result 60 pages of lies can be found filed under her name.

If she goes to court and she loses, she will be silenced! Her freedom of speech removed by the secret family courts. If she tries to speak she will be jailed! The gag will be forced in her mouth.

How is this still happening in Britain in the year of 2012? How can somebody take a child based on a report of maybes?

How will my little sister who has already been dealt so many heartaches and battles take on one of this scale… She is constantly in tears and cannot eat or sleep… Just how can she fight this.

Her little girl should be beside her, breathing the air she breathes, holding her hand…

My sister should be the one she plays peek a boo with!

This video will open your eyes to a system built on money and targets… One that removes human rights, data protection, freedom of speech and worse children.

Lastly if their is anyone who can help please do contact me please.

Aspergers and how it really affects us as a family

12 Oct

Some people comment “It must be so difficult for you as a parent” My answer is always the same… “We’ll, I don’t really know any different”

You see, your born with Aspergers Syndrome and given little man is my first child it means I’ve been parenting a child on the autism spectrum for some 12 years now. It’s not like he suddenly got it and as a result everything had to change! You adjust from child free young women to mum and you adjust in the way that works for you and your child regardless of any condition or disability.

Ok, that doesn’t mean we don’t have difficult days… God only knows we do! But we have good days too.

The thing is, little man isn’t sick, his not got a disease but a condition. His a child that is very able he just struggles within certain areas of life but is able to learn skills to make these areas more comfortable.

There are some very difficult challenges that come from parenting my little man, the lack of sleep is most probably one of the hardest. But then so is watching him become extremely anxious and upset and being powerless to fix it.

I’ve mentioned before that for us the “label” isn’t an issue. It’s my opinion that many families need to acquire a formal diagnosis to open doors to services (that even then you have to battle to obtain them). Autism is a spectrum and although some families don’t feel the need to seek an official diagnosis, many others do.

A younger Little man with a younger Alice just before diagnosis

20121012-062046.jpg

However, there are some downfalls of that diagnosis and that’s the way others suddenly treat your child. We found ourselves fighting a discrimination case that we brought against Little man’s old primary school as he was forever excluded, bullied, isolated and more. The good thing the label did do, was give us the grounds to bring a case and ultimately win it.

The truth is the official diagnosis helped us get little man the education and treatment programmes he needed! It didn’t change Little man, he was still the same little boy he was the day before diagnosis… Yes he had Aspergers he just didn’t have Aspergers on paper!

Little man with baby brother Harley now 2

20121012-061632.jpg

In all honestly, life is much harder when your child has Aspergers but mainly because the system… It’s the system that needs fixing not the child.

Early intervention is extremely important as we all know. Nonetheless 18m to 2-year waiting lists to even see a child paediatrician is just diabolical! It’s in this space of time your child starts experiencing certain difficulties but has no access to the appropriate services! By the time he has the diagnosis the difficulties are now boarding on extreme yet your waiting another 18 months for an assessment for recommended treatment of appropriate programmes.

Little man’s siblings do often find things difficult especially Alice-Sara who has often experienced violence at the hands of her brother and his unpredictable behaviour. Yet, she has always been a sister to a brother with Aspergers and although this doesn’t make things different its still all she knows.

Another sibling war

20121012-061538.jpg

We get on with things… We are presented with problems such as that above we tackle them and we keep on tacking them in till improvements are made. Sometimes these are made quicker than others.

I’d be lying If I said little man’s Aspergers didn’t affect us as a family… Of course it does! But life isn’t unbearable, it isn’t a total display of darkness. Days spent full of meltdowns and distress. Sometimes Aspergers doesn’t come into it! Not everything he does is down to an Aspergers trait, sometimes his just having an almost teenage moment and although behaviour can seem challenging its just that of being a child growing up and having a moment of hot headedness.

Aspergers is apart of little man but it doesn’t define every aspect of his personality and even when it does it doesn’t have to be in that of a bad way.

Aspergers makes little man more goal orientated and rule bound which can be an extremely beneficial trait for a young boy. He is passionate and honest (most of the time) and very intelligent in many areas.

Parenting little man has also made me change as a person. It’s introduced me to a whole new way of thinking. It’s given me drive and passion, opening my eyes to what it is I’m good at and what I want to do with my life.

It’s brought me here to this very blog, its got me writing, sharing something that’s important!

We’re happy and although somedays we may seem as though we are not! We are… We are happy!

%d bloggers like this: