Tag Archives: Lewisham

A great 2011 for A boy with Asperger’s

21 Dec

A boy with Asperger’s 2011

At the beginning of the year I wrote a two-part post covering all the stuff that had happened during 2010 (yes, seriously this took two post and most of it was nothing but bad happenings). So, looking back through 2011 and realising just what an amazing year’s blogging I’ve had, I just had to do it all again.

So here it is, the busiest year on the blog so far, A boy with Asperger’s 2011

January: Not the best month to be honest, we finally get that all important statement of special educational needs for Little man, only toilet paper would have been worth more. Nonetheless we fight to the depths of the earth and it’s amended later in the year and thankfully contains everything he needs thanks to those all important independent assessments & reports.

February: We finally get some good news, which I document in the post, “The end of a chapter” The mainstream school in-which Little man used to attend finally holds up their hands and we get that all important apology in writing, we therefore settle on the Disability discrimination case only weeks before the tribunal hearing. Another great high to February was the invite I received from Cadbury that saw me and a friend attend an excellent Adult only event (no not in that way) we actually tried to set world records doing normal household chores with a twist (making a bed, unravelling toilet rolls and more besides). This was also the month that I got to interview Colin an adult with Asperger’s who had a very interesting message for Mr Cameron.

March: This was a terrible month, the month that saw my eldest Little man (AKA, A boy with Aspergers) get punched in the stomach by a much older youth of eighteen, while playing at the park with a friend and his mother. Little man was just ten at the time and had said “The wrong thing” to a group of older kids, you can read the post “How could that hurt my little boy” for the full story. March was also the month I shared my concerns on the pending Green paper in the post “Aspirations or clever financial alterations

April: I’m contacted by the lovely Anna Kennedy in regards to her ‘Autism and bullying’ campaign, as a result of this little man appears in an ITV news report which I wrote about in the post “Little man’s television debut” which was perfect timing, what with it being autism awareness month. I also highlight how appearing on the television went to his head a little resulting in him asking everyone and anyone “Do you know who I am”

May: It was this month I wrote one of my favourite post to date “I’m no Vicky Pallord” I also discover that I’m nominated for a Mad blog award shortlisted in two categories, “Most inspiring blog” & “Blogger of the year”

June: Brings with it a fresh start for the Little man when the local LEA crave in before yet another tribunal, agreeing his place at his independent special school for children with autism and aspergers. This was also a really exciting month in the world of blogging, I was featured in two local papers, making front page news in “The Southlondon press” with the Headline “Mum sets blogging standard” & I was also featured in the “Newshopper” both highlighting the news that I had become a finalist in the Mad blog awards 2011. I also got to attend my first ever Cybermummy (blogging conference) and with it the blog received it’s first ever sponsor Londontown.com who paid for me to stay in a beautiful hotel on the night of the conference.

Nonetheless, although the above is all fabulously exciting, June was also a very emotional & overwhelming month, what with Little man adapting to his new routine and little sleep, it resulted in me writing this very open and honest post “falling apart

July: This was the month I started the Santa’s little helpers feature resulting in me working with some pretty spectacular brands, we were also invited to the multimedia screening of Mr Poppers penguins in London’s , Leicester Square. Alice-Sara brings her friend who are both  excited by the odd celeb spot. In the middle of the month me and the children attend the Pandemonium festival in Northampton to celebrate the release of kung-fo panda 2 as VIP guest of Cadbury. The children get to test the new mini games, Harley becomes obsessed by the panda himself and we eat lunch next to the ambassador of china (Yer, I was praying that Little man didn’t treat the guy and his family to a demonstration of a meltdown, “Asperger’s style”)! Myself and Harley my youngest also attended the Boots bump to Baby event in London’s beautiful Haymarket hotel where Harley took a shine to the lovely Rachel Stevens and the boots clothing range (from the pic below who would think his only 18 months here). July is also the month I treat readers to an up-date on the amazing progress Little man is making at his new school.

August: A busy yet crazy month as I celebrate the publishing of my three page article in the SEN publication (please check it out by clicking HERE if you haven’t already). Myself, youngest Harley, sister and her daughter get invited to the tots event of the year, “The lollibob” where we go VIP and the kids have a blast meeting the likes of Bob the builder, Peppa pig and Ben and Holly from the Little Kingdom.

August was also the month that saw chaos unfold in the devastating London riots. I organised a Lewisham riot cleanup on twitter with the use of the hash tag #lewishamriotclean and from then on everything went a little mad, what with being interviewed for the BBC breakfast show by Gabby in the back of a taxi on the way to Lewisham following a sleepless night due to the sounds of rioters looting the supermarket directly across the road. Then as myself and Little man (yes, he cleaned Lewisham too) stood in Lewisham with a dust pan and brush waiting for fellow locals who I’d rounded up with the help of social media to join us, I’m shocked to discover the BBC are there to greet us. Yes, they interviewed me and followed my progress throughout the day, I later cringed watching myself on the 6pm news, in a report that seemed to go on for ever. My use of the quote “Lewisham is cleaner than usual” following the councils own operation seem to be something of a hit and spread across the papers and internet like wide fire! The images of Little man clearing up outside JD Sports still melt my heart and make me mighty proud.

 

August saw us working with some great brands, Micro Scooter & Meccano to name just a few. Little man also has great fun testing sensory toys this month and I try to raise awareness for child mental health by opening up and writing “Just a Little girl

September: This is a month that holds some great memories for me, not only did myself and some of the other Mad blog award finalist find ourselves invited to TKMaxx London’s flagship store to choose evening dresses and accessories for the for the Mad blog awards ceremony but I also went on to win ‘Most inspiring blog 2011’ at the awards itself, which was held at the fabulous Talk-Talk experience centre in London’s Soho. Not only did I win, get to meet a host of other fab bloggers but I also experienced a great working relationship with my mad blog awards sponsor ‘OptiBac Probiotics‘.

With all the above going on I really don’t know how I managed to squash in one of my most popular post on the blog to date, “How well do you really know your child’s teacher

October: was a month that saw the blog working with some pretty big brands such as Sainsburys & Argos, I make two local papers again having been interviewed by the SouthLondon Press and the Newshopper on winning a Mad blog award! Little man takes over the blog, (well, kind of, he finally says how he feels in his first interview, for the blog) where he talks about his Asperger’s, discrimination, bullying, feeling different and acceptance, click Here to read.

November: I’m delighted to become a judge at the BBC Christmas ideal home show for the face of Argos competition which was an amazing experience. I’m invited to lunch by Sainsbury’s at the BBC NEC Winter food show where I also get to watch a live Master chef cook off, I have a great time and meet some awesome people at Liberty’s London when I attend a charity event and I also start working with the wonderful ‘John Crane’ and ‘When I was a kid’ check out the post ‘Joining Forces‘!

It was in November I wrote the post “Merlin’s Magical wand helping children benefit from the magic, well that is unless they have autism” which had 2,000 hits within a few hours and is the busiest post of 2011!

December: The last month of ‘Santa’s Little helpers’ I therefore launch the ‘Santa’s Little helpers, the big christmas countdown’ we feature loads of fantastic competitions with awesome prizes up for grabs. I also get invited onboard P&O ferries to take a trip from Dover to Calais alongside the lovely “Romanian mum where we shop till we drop, and to end such a fabulous year’s blogging, I’m lucky enough to be invited by the fabulous Tots100, to it’s big Christmas party at Butlin’s Bognor Regis where myself, friend and children get to stay in the beautiful Ocean hotel, though Little man finds the change a bit hard to bear.

Wow, there it is, what a year!

There’s been some massive ups and as you can expect one or two downs (what do you expect, this isn’t a fairy tale you know!) But you have to admit, it’s a massive improvement from 2010 that sadly along with 2009 saw much stress and heartache, which just proves, you never know what’s lurking around the corner!

I really do hope that ‘A boy with Asperger’s’ has provide readers with smiles, laughs, entertainment, inspiration, awareness and more!

Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all my amazing loyal readers
We love yer!

Why I organised a Lewisham riot clean up

16 Aug

 The Great british public wave their flags and sing the national anthem during an exciting world cup football match.

Many feel proud to be British when our good troops leave for war in Afghanistan.

Many Brits celebrated the long extended weekend of the Royal wedding by getting drunk and partying their arse off at one of the many street parties.

The above are all prime examples of how Brits come together to celebrate and display their British roots.

 This was a nation that came together when the horrific scenes of flying debris and screaming, hysterical London commuters hit our television screens on the 07/07/2005. Yes, a time where most descended into a nation of morning when the life’s of 52 people were so crawly claimed by the London terrorist attack that Simultaneously injured another 700 people in the explosions on three London underground trains and one London Double Decker bus.

 We, were a nation that stood united, these in our society didn’t choose to go looting for top of the range computer games and trainers. Plasma TVs remained safely fixed upon the walls in which they belonged.

A heart-breaking, soul-destroying turn of events that left our nation and the rest of the world in bits is an example of how the British come together in times of dismay.

 Yet, here we are that very same nation, with very different morals.

 Our country was put on alert for a possible terrorist attack, we were deemed, high risk!

 We would need to see action, plans brought to the table so to speak! Yet, what was about to commence was a very different turn of events! With the man who has been grunted the power to run our country indulging on a holiday, to which I’m purely guessing was some place hot, expensive and free from suspected terrorist alerts, and that of our lovely London mayor on the missing too (another lucky man on holiday, maybe he joined the PM) I for one couldn’t even contemplate taking such a threat seriously, how could I if the PM was sunning himself aboard?

Well, given our history, I assumed that the great British public would come together as one, as they had always done so! We would get each-other through it, what ever happened.

  Then something happen… Buildings were douched in petrol or alcohol, quickly converted into an inferno of fierce red flames that took their grip letting of thick black smoke that rose into the skies of London causing a fog of darkness! Cars were burnt on the roadside, high street shop windows broken, debris covering the streets like a huge blanket.

Though this wasn’t a terror attack, this was something else all together! The London riots were a result of our own people, young and old, black and white. Yes, there may have been reasons for the Tottenham riots but we were now seeing behaviours of such disgust for no other reasons than pure yobbery and greed. Peoples homes, business and vehicles set a blaze for what? What did it prove,what was gained from it? Many parts of the country now display an array of boards that replace windows, some were replaced that same day, others remain the same as the cost for replacements can’t be met.

I try to teach my children never to steal, yet they have now been showed that despite it being such a bad thing to engage in, many will steal and in such a violent and disrespectful way! It just doesn’t help when the police can be seen watching but not intervening through no fault of their own but those who gave such instructions . The supermarket across the road from our house was being looted from 10.pm till 6. am  in the morning and this caused all three children to get very little sleep, due to not only the noise but the sheer fear of what was happening around them.

 Such behaviours displayed by rioters are scary, many young children felt fear as the riots went full swing, yet there are some children that didn’t feel this way as some as young as 11 if not younger, were reported to be rioting and looting, some seen in the papers with supermarket baskets hung from the handle bars of their little BMX bikes. Little man didn’t cope well with the horror that was unfolding on our tv sets and outside our very door. His anxiety levels are already high and this just added to it. I tried to keep him from hearing too much, in-order to protect him, however as his mother I knew I couldn’t keep him from hearing the horrors that are taking place in the world he lives in! He sees things on the TV and can easily get hold of a newspaper. He maybe on the spectrum but he has Aspergers and is pretty intelligent but sadly highly anxious.

My Little man also has a range of sensory processing difficulties. He can’t drowned out background noise like some can, certain sounds can interfere with his mental well-being, causing him stress and even pain. During  day three of the riots that were taking place in south London Lewisham, as they were many other areas across the country, we saw our local supermarket being looted throughout the duration of the night. Little man didn’t only have difficulties disconnecting his mind from the fears of the events he had seen or read about, but worse was his inability to filter out certain sounds so when the supermarket was looted the noise that was caused by the store security alarm drove him absolutely insane to the point of angry over exhausted sobs.

 I spent most of the early hours venting my anger on Twitter, (followers were great support, managing to keep me from the blink of madness). It was while on Twitter I noticed the Twitter hash tag, ‘#riotcleanup’ I noticed that my area was lacking support so I decided to struck up some kind of group made up of volunteers for a Lewisham cleanup. I used the hash tag #lewishamriotcleanup and set of on a mini mission all alone.

 To be 100% honest I don’t know what I was expecting to come of it. In a way I didn’t expect anybody to listen to me to the degree that they did. I really did think, deep down that I’d be lucky to get a few re-tweets maybe the whole of the Local community were asleep in bed, (well, those not rioting and looting) given it was at least 3am when I first embanked on the riot clean up campaign. Yet, I should have known better that myself and little man would not be the only ones being kept awake by shouting, fighting, banging, smashing glass or even that of annoying store alarms that were set of throughout the entire night, ” Oh yes, the alarm was going off from 10 p.m. till around 6.30 am when the greedy takers had stopped taking, correction… I mean stealing!

 I put my iPhone on the bedside table and tried to clam the little man down who was now sobbing on my pillows (all three children were in my bed) I then sat by the bedroom window watching the looters using trolleys to carry their “freebies” The looters no longer ran as they had done some six hours earlier, they now strolled  taking their time! It looked as through it was a normal thing to do, anyone would think these guys were shopping at a 24hr supermarket, not robbing one that closed at 9.pm the night before. With not a police officer In sight except for the odd blue light driving right past the free for all, you can almost understand why some went back for seconds and thirds having filled their get away cars to the very rim.

 London and beyond was now becoming a burning inferno of terror. With the Government cutting back police the country didn’t stand a hope in hell, nor did the policemen that I saw being kicked and punched all over the papers on Tuesday morning.

 It was crazy when I re-checked my twitter stream, what had happened during the half an hour period of me being away was a little surreal. I had loads of new followers who were now also using the tag #lewishamriotcleanup. With many agreeing to meet with me at the Lewisham shopping centre at 9.am.

 The whole idea behind the cleanup was based on more than “Cleaning” My mother works for the council so I knew most had started early on a mission to clean the streets! My mission was to help those business who would show up at work in a few hours time to find the devastating mess and bill left by rioters and looters. Even if it meant sweeping glass, making tea, or just showing support, while showing others that we’re not all bad eggs, some of use stayed in our houses choosing not to rob our local high street shops. This went for the bigger companies too, (through we knew that it was the smaller retailers who would suffer most) that’s why we targeted lots of support to those smaller independent business.

 I decided to start getting ready for my mission but before I did I went through the many messages and mentions on my Twitter to establish if I would actually be doing this alone, despite  the support forming in cyberspace I wondered if when it came to it, would anyone show up at 9.am? It was only then that I saw a message from BBCs London the breakfast show requesting a live radio interview 15 minutes before my planed meet up. My heart was beating at a rate so fast I felt it in my feet, I said yes only to hold the nerves in the Pit of my stomach for the next few hours. Everything kept moving on at a rate that was hard to keep up with, (highlighting the power of social media in a good way). Next thing I knew I was dressed, the children’s father arrived to look after the children (all except little man who begged to come and help) We both set off towards Lewisham town centre “which had seen some awful riots these past few nights and days, along with the surrounding areas such as Lee and Catford.” It was in the taxi I did my live interview for BBC radio which luckily went swimmingly. Once out the taxi I noticed no one except on lady looking lost. This was our first fellow riot clean up volunteer. The group grew to around twenty, others came to wish us luck! I was more than shocked to discover a BBC news reporter was there who interviewed both myself and little man and some of the others. A member of the Lewisham refuge team came to inform us that all was in hand and we were not needed! I wanted to work with the council not against. We spit up and set off in small groups towards Catford High Street. I met fellow volunteers along the way and also discovered that more had turned up outside the shopping centre and would now set upon the mission within different areas of the borough. My small group had the pleasure of having the BBC reporter and later camera crew by our side the whole time, though this felt a little crazy. I did a good few interviews with her which were aired on the BBC London news at 6.30 that same evening. The report was quite a long report that also saw little man being interviewed. The reporter herself was lovely and really supportive off what we were doing making it that much easier. I also done a string of online and radio interviews throughout the day via my mobile phone, Yes, I did really say, “Lewisham was cleaner then usual”  it was true and just needed to be said  I tweeted what and were we were going and meet some fellow tweeters along the way.

A shop window in Catford high street following riots and looting

The Mess left by looters in Catford high street

 Little man felt quite angry at the whole riot business, especially as his beloved London buses had been targeted (except this time it wasn’t a terrorist attack)

Google images London bus ablaze in Croydon South London

A few of the Lewisham Riot Clean up crew

 One of the fellow clean up crew was a lovely young girl of 16 years who proved that not all youths are looting JD spots, some are actually cleaning it up. Yes, right at the end of the day we discovered the huge amount of smashed up glass that had been left dangerously over the pavement in front of the shop. I was so proud of little man and by taking him out there with me I hoped to show him that there was still good people in the world, and I think I achieved that.

Little Man outside JD sports with a fellow Lewisham Riot Clean up member.

This mum made front page news

10 Jun

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

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

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

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

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

In big bold letters the headline read…

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

 full story on page 31

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

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

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

“Oh yes… So it is”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


%d bloggers like this: