Tag Archives: NAS

Why some children with autism may hate the 5th November

26 Oct

It’s almost here, the one night of the year that has my son crawling around on the floor like a solider in combat. 

The 5th of November is bonfire night and as much as Little man likes watching the fireworks at a distance from the safety and comfort of the living room window, it’s a whole different ball game when outside.


In a way I’m extremely thankful that we know it’s on the way so we can therefore avoid being outside on that evening. However I’ve noticed that the fireworks are already lighting up our skies. 

That’s when It’s most difficult, when he doesn’t expect it. He will flip out and quite literally drop down to the ground. It’s not only the loud whistling, sizzling & loud bangs that frighten him, his also frighten that they are falling from the sky on top of him.

Again I think that much of this comes as a result of his sensory processing, the way in which his senses work. His also got a fear of tall buildings fearing that they will fall and flatten him. I remember speaking to the occupational therapist about this issue who confirmed that it was is in-fact something to do with his sensory processing! It actually has a name which is “Proprioceptive Dysfunction” 

Let me explain a little… We all have a range of senses and one of these sense is our proprioceptive sense which works by feeding the brain information that tells us about movement, and where our body position is in space.

When we received Little man’s OT report it was clear that he had difficulties within all his senses which in some ways made me feel quite sad. 

Well, if your child has difficulties in the sense his Proprioceptive sense isn’t processing as it should be then they will likely experience the difficulties that Little man does. He states that looking at tall building makes his head spin and everything moves around him making him feel that his feet are no longer on the ground. This kinda leads me to believe that when Little man looks up at the fireworks directly above him in the sky, as they explode and drop lower he becomes confused and is unable to sense how near or far the firework actually is.

The above combined with the loudness of a fire display is enough to send him crazy. 

Note: Little man loves sparklers and will happily hold one, this is also confirmation that yes, his fear in fireworks are a sensory problem.

I remember at the beginning of the year, I was out with the children shopping then we met up with a friend to grab something to eat. It was a freezing evening in January so nowhere near November. Can you imagine his horror as we stepped out the restaurant and onto the street where the sky suddenly turned into a mass of beautiful golds and pink as a spectacular fireworks display took affect above. We were already on route to my friends card who was parked a good five minutes up the world. The shops in the high-street were now closed and the restaurant was now way back in the distance! With no place to run he did what he does best in such a situation, he drops. My son is no “tiny little man” believe me his grown. He was ten at the time, far to big to pick up, throw over my shoulder and make a running bid for the car. Like I guessed Little man refused point-blank to get up from the ground and proceeded to crawl instead. 

Can you imagine the looks on the faces of those passing by, some people really are rude sometimes when they point and stare, (is it entertaining seeing a child in distress)? 

My friend ran for the car which we finally got him in, but my goodness it was extremely stressful for him and a memory that will stick with me forever more.

Yesterday fireworks began going off right outside the living room widow. Little man ran towards the window where he stayed and enjoyed the show in till they had disappeared. He then turned and said to me, “Lucky we weren’t outside mum” 

We have been to a few well organised public displays but always get the same result. 

This year I think we will stay indoors, grab some toffee apples and lemonade and put some comfy cushions up at the living room window. 

Lets just hope we are not caught unaware in the run up to the big night. 

The NAS have created a list of tips for bonfire night aimed at families with children with autism

 This can be found by clicking HERE  

If anyone has any tips of their own, do please let us know in a comment. 

Behind closed doors

3 Jun

It’s been a long day & night, I finally rest my head on my pillow a little after 4 am, you would think sleep was imminent. How wrong this was, in-fact little if not any sleep was had at all!

I closed my eyes and there she was, a child trapped in a young woman’s body, doused in water, shaking and screaming out for her mother!

It was an image that many would now find trapped at the front of their mind, unable to find its way out.

Some hours before I had sat sobbing as I watched the broadcast of BBC ones Panorama! It was deeply shocking, horrifying  & incredible heartbreaking TV.

If this was the case, then why did I watch it, why not turn it off? As hard as it was to witness the horrors unfolding at Winterbourne View… It was something that needed to be seen!

Now warm & safe in my bed I was hunted by the realisation of the situation. How many more were there… How many more care homes are operating in such a horrendous manner? We already know that Winterbourne are part of the Castlebeck chain of independently ran care homes with an estimated turnover of ninety-million pounds! Then there are the undiscovered, the thought chills me to the bone!

Within my head there are so many thoughts, questions that turn my stomach with fear.

How many more unqualified, under-trained monsters are being given the title support worker or carer?

How many whistle blowers have raised concerns and seen them swept under the carpet?

How many past complaints to the ‘Care Quality Commission‘ (CQC) have been ignored, emails deleted without a second thought for those that may be in danger? I wonder how many complaints will continue to be ignored?

How many cases of abuse have been missed at the hands of the CQC due to poor inspections of care homes?

How Many victims young & old, who are laid in their beds , will wake to the hands of evil as it grabs ahold of them and drags them from their feet?

MY GUESS IS… TO MANY!

As a mother, a human being my arms longed to hold them young victims, to keep them safe from harm. With every act of torture my heart sank a little more, the anger within me tore at my gut as I felt powerless, so bloody powerless!

Some may say that to have anger within yourself is a bad thing but I’m sure those that like me sat and watched that report, feel exactly the same way I do. The only good that can come from such anger is to channel it into something positive such as change!

Its well documented that social care has been worse hit by the government cuts, leaving the most vulnerable in frightening situations. This is anything from children with special educational needs not getting the support needed; individuals with mental heath problems facing the stress of reassessments leading to the loss of incapacity benefit; the closure of support groups & day centres and those in care homes. Yet the government  fail to address such issues despite the compiling evidence that keeps on growing. Things shouldn’t have to get this far before action is taken, yet somehow it always does.

The media has brought about some pretty disturbing headlines off late. Although I am In the uttermost agreement that those seen abusing the young  residents residing at Winterbourne view are total scum that in my opinion should not have been released on bail, we have to look at the bigger picture.

The CQC, local authority and management of Castlebeck have a lot of explaining to do. As mentioned the CQC had not only inspected Winterbourne view more than once, but also failed to respond to the whistle-blower who is reported to have contacted them on three occasions.

The Local Authority use the tax payers money to fund placements at ‘Winterbourne View’ for  young adults with autism, learning disabilities and challenging behaviour. With a weekly fee of up to £3,500 (that and the fact they have a duty of care), you would have thought the Local Authority would carry out all the appropriate checks before splashing the cash.

Last but not least you have the management of the establishment. Are you telling me that this was unknown to them? Does this included the upstairs locked corridor with bedrooms either side, no CCTV but a security system at each end! Does this not ring alarm bells? This is an area that holds the rule, “NO GUEST ALLOWED” Yet In a statement Castlebeck said, “We are deeply distressed by the completely unacceptable and appalling behaviour of a small number of our employees at one of our facilities…” (Full response) Castlebeck itself is owned by a Jersey-based investment vehicle called Lydian Capital. It is said that Lydian Capital is backed by a group of Irish tycoons led by JP McManus, John Magnier and Dermot Desmond.

The guardian reported,“Castlebeck is not the only care home business owned by the group. A Jersey investment vehicle called Grove Limited – chaired by fellow Irishman, Denis Brosnan – also counts Desmond, McManus and Magnier among its investors. It controls the Barchester Healthcare empire of more than 200 homes, making it the second largest in the UK behind Bupa and Four Seasons Healthcare.” For me this is terrifying news.

The latest report given by the guardian tells how this isn’t the first time the quality of care at Castlebeck facilities have come under scrutiny. With the mention of a death that may have been party caused by restraint (an open verdict was given) There was also an alleged sexual assault that was not reported by staff to management nor the  police. This alongside smelly dirty accommodation that had poor infection control was discovered during an unannounced inspection (which clearly shows the need for such measures) The guardian have named the semi-secure hospital/care home for men with learning disabilities & autism as, ‘Cedar Vale’ .

 Was the place closed down? It would seem not! Castlebeck claim the problem has now been addressed…

As a mother to a child on the autism spectrum I found the report extremely upsetting, yet it’s my opinion that any half decent human being would feel this way following a programme so direful it shocked the UK and beyond!

Yes, we need a more effective inspection regime and no we should not employ those who are under-qualified or have not undergone the appropriate training needed to care for those with complex needs. 

WHY IN GODS NAME IS THIS PLACE STILL OPEN?

Correct me if I’m wrong, When health and safety inspections are carried out in food courts, restaurants and take away outlets, given they are not up to scratch they are closed down! Why isn’t it the same for a place that has a duty of care to those with complex needs and autism? I struggle to find any explanation as to why the place wasn’t and still isn’t closed down! There is no need for talk or pending investigations, Panorama provide unquestionable evidence! What more is needed

The only answer I can come up with is that the NHS/Local authority have nowhere to place the residents from the home if they are forced to move them. At the end of the day it all comes down to money and its likely no-one wants to foot the bill, they never do!

Winterbourne View is a place that needs closing down for the sake of the residents and their families.

So come people are we going to stand back & allow any more shame on our country, or are we going to do something about it? Remember two voices are better than one so, lets start talking! 

Did you watch the Panorama report on Tuesday 31st May or see it in the news? 

Do you want to try to help change the system?

Do you think the care home in question should remain open?

Maybe you just want to have your voice heard by speaking up for the vulnerable  

There are a number of things you can do to help prompt change!

  • Sign the online petition, created by the National Autistic Society (NAS);
  • Contact your local MP (Find your MP with this twitter list);
  • Leave me a comment;
  • Join the discussions on Twitter using the #Panorama;
  • Blog  about it and Link up to other blogs;
  • Join in with today’s (Friday 3rd June) tweet storm Friday. Just log on to twitter & tweet your comments using the tag: #aaukcampagin;
  • Join one of the many facebook groups.

Bloggers Reactions 

These bloggers tell it like it is!

Watch the BBC Panorama Report: Here

Blink and I’ll sleep for a week!

18 Apr

Life right now is nothing short of manic. There’s simply no other word to describe it!

April has been one incredibly overwhelming month and we are just past the half-way mark.

I feel I’ve been put through my paces and had every emotion in my body put to the test. Some days I’ve been in fighting mode, others I’ve been so exhausted I’ve just wanted to crawl into my bed, hide away from the world while indulging in some longed for sleep. 

With each passing day I’m one step closer to hearing my little man’s fate, and no matter how much I try to prepare myself, I somehow feel that we’re hanging from a cliff top ready to drop!

Little man currently has no school placement for the whole of our borough and those that boarder us have taken one look at my sons papers & decided that they don’t have a placement available or lack the resources needed in-order to meet his level of need. 

Each day his left without a school is one day closer to him never going back! This shameful situation has ultimately made him regress, causing his social skills to decrease, and his dislike towards school to heighten. My ten year old son is now so anxious at the prospect that he will one day be expected to step foot in side a school along side other children that he will now require a tremendous amount of support when that day comes!

Whoever said that children on the higher end of the autism spectrum, have less complex needs were delusional! 

Just because my son has a reasonably good vocabulary and met most of his milestones doesn’t make his needs any less complex. However I don’t need to go into that, I don’t have to try and prove such a fact anymore, the system finally took note, it just did so a little later then needed!

This past year or so, my family has been left dangling from a string, I often ask god when that string will break.  April has come around so quickly, this time last year we were at the beginning of the tribunal process. However this wasn’t a special educational needs appeal but sadly a disability discrimination case! At that time and for a significant time thereafter, Little man endured so much. Fixed term exclusions that subsequently occurred one after another, removal from nearly every school activity, including educational outings, school plays, Christmas assemblies , etc. He has been illegally excluded and subjected to long spurts of isolation (received 1-to-1 teaching, just him and a teaching assistant in what was known as the den), he would only attend from nine till twelfth, and was made to play in the infant playground with children of a much younger age. My little man was classified as a potential health and safety risk that was a threat to children and staff! Can you imagine how that impacted on a little boys self-esteem! In December 2010 I eventually made one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for my son, ‘ to remove him from the educational setting that was impacting hugely on his mental well-being!’  As a parent I could not stand by while he was subjected to such treatment. 

During the beginning of October 2010 at the height of the discrimination the local education authority (LEA) finally agreed to undertake a statutory assessment of Little Man’s Special educational needs that he so desperately needed! In all honesty this couldn’t have come at a more convenient time! I was quickly running out of ideas and needed my child in an educational setting with staff equipped to meet his needs. 

Believe me, I was under no illusions that this was now plain sailing… some may say I’m somewhat a pessimist but as I’ve stated once maybe twice before that I prefer the term ‘REALIST!’ And as expected the LEA didn’t wanna play fair!

In January 2011 I received the proposed statement of special educational needs but instead of providing a statement that held the potentiality to see him progress, I instead received a proposed statement that provided nothing more then, ‘GOOD OLD COMMON SENSE!’ This statement was made final in March and delivered with a covering letter explaining that the statement had only been finalised to meet time-scales and would be amended to include my suggested amendments…. YES, I’M STILL WAITING!

In February 2011 just a few days before the disability discrimination hearing we eventually came to a settlement that saw his ‘old’ primary school review its policies, train staff in disability discrimination and a formal apology was given to myself and of course little man. 

Little man is currently being educated in a library on a 1-to-1 part-time basis by a tutor his now overly attached to.

Why? Because no ‘special school‘ will offer him a place.

On the 3rd of June our appeal against parts 2, 3 and 4 of little man’s statement will be heard by the SEN first tier tribunal. I will need to prove that the one school I’ve found that can possibly meet his needs, an ‘independent special school’ should be named in part 4 of his statement. I will also need to prove that part 2 does not list all his difficulties and that part three needs amending as to provide the right provision needed for him to succeed, such as… 1-to-1 support from a learning support assistant or at least a teaching assistant, as-well as occupational (OT) and speech and language (SALT) therapy.

 

I’m thankful for the fact that I’m a trained tribunal support adviser and volunteer caseworker for the NAS. This has obviously given me a greater understanding of the SEN law and tribunal process, nevertheless emotionally it’s no easier! I’m still a parent who has had to watch her child regress. Of course I feel a certain amount of anger towards this horrid system that has allowed such a situation as ours to reach this point (let’s not forget that I’m a mother who has been taken to court twice over her child’s school attendance, no one wanting to investigate the underlying issue nor listen when I pleaded for someone/anyone to help! I guess to some prosecution was the more appealing option) However it’s this past resentment that keeps me fighting and empowers me to help others who are walking the path I’ve walked!

So here we are now in April 2011 and as mentioned it’s been incredibility pressing. I’ve had a Birthday that saw me turn twenty-nine, I’ve been busy with my volunteering duties and contracted Pneumonia which I’m only just beginning to get over! I’ve been preparing Little Man’s appeal while also going a tad insane as a result of the Easter holidays & if this wasn’t enough… MY HOUSE LOOKS LIKE IT BLEW UP!

Despite all the above there is something else that has happened these past few weeks in-which I consider to be far more significant then anything I’ve already addressed! Its something that happened within me, a realisation if you like! I’ve had my eyes opened and although I knew Little man hand significant complex needs that admittedly have been made somewhat worse due to his lack of a suitable education, I’ve got to see his difficulties and what scale these are impacting on many areas of his life. The proof that without early intervention, an understanding environment and the right support, the effect on the child with Aspergers can be detrimental. 

On the 4th and 15th of April Little man underwent two independent assessment. One was carried out at our home by a fantastic independent psychologist (EP) who had her work cut out for her, commenting right from the start that Little man was a hard child to assess! The second assessment was carried out in central London just off Harley St, but this time by an independent speech and Language therapist (SALT) who again was a pleasure to met. Both assessments were carried out for the purpose of the tribunal. I needed independent assessments in order to gain reports detailing Little mans current difficulties and suggested provision to be added to part 2 and three of his statement.

On the 4th of April I sat and watched him struggle to cope with the assessment process that was carried out by the EP, his concentration was noticeably low and he found it near on impossible to focus on anything he was given! His anxiety levels were scoring. The Ep worked so hard with him and after four long hours she managed to gather enough information to write her report. 

On Friday we hit Central London for Little mans SALT assessment but even in a different setting from the home Little man found it hard to participate. With much persistence and an offer of a chocolate egg from the therapist we eventually got some off the testing done. I had of course realised that an SALT programme would be needed, but sat there listening to him try to make sentences with the inclusion of a word given by the therapist while looking at a picture in a book. It proved that despite his vocalness, his ability to put what he sees into words is somewhat a struggle for him. His literal understanding was also very apparent on the day!

Both therapists mentioned the possibility of an underlying condition which of course was ADHD and the EP is also pretty sure his dyslexic ( however she was in agreement that his mathematical skills are great) It was also recommended by both that little man undergoes an independent occupational therapy assessment (OT) due to concerns with both his fine and gross motor skills. I’ve also stated with certain task Little Man is like an elephant playing football.

After the SALT assessment we spent the day indulging in Little mans special interest (transport) Visiting London land marks by train, tube and bus. We visited Greenwich market where Little man met a magician which bowled him over before spotting a vintage model bus which after a little begging I reluctantly brought him. We hung out at the O2, visited Canary Wholf (that he didn’t enjoy and got the message across by bending his body into a ball and screaming that the tallest building in London was falling on-top off him! Well, that’s a post for another day) We also took the clipper (fast river boat) along the River Thames. He had such a blast and he smiled almost the entire day, with not one meltdown in sight!

 As I sat on the Dock-lands light rail (Yes we commuted on many types of transport that day!) I watched him shuffle awkwardly when another child sat by. He was obvious to the battle that lie head and maybe it was better that way!   

picture of  Little Man and Mr Magic

My little man, is just that little! His a ten year old boy and it’s not to late to give him what he needs! I hope that the professionals within the LEA and those employed by such a service read this and realise the effects their decisions, treatment and all to often delays have on the child and their family as a whole. Yes it’s your job, but this is mine, “to see that my child gets what he needs, is given the same opportunities as his peers and gets the adequate education he and so many others like him are entitled to” 

“Yep, you may not like it ‘LEA’ but this mothers on a mission!!”

SO SENDING YOU ALL A MASSIVE VIRTUAL HUG FROM MYSELF AND THE LITTLE MAN TO SAY THANK YOU, YOUR TRUELY THE MOST WONDERFUL READERS!

The end of a troubled school year.

29 Jul

Well, here I am sat at my Mac at what some would consider to be a crazy hour. Yes, Ok it is 05:45am and I guess once upon a time I would have been laughing my arse off at anyone who was sat blogging at this time. Well, how times have changed. Most bloggers will understand what I mean when I say when you feel that need to blog you get up and blog no matter what the time. Yep I was laid in my bed with at least three weeks worth of blogging material filling my head to the point I could no longer take the built up pressure and just needed to get on here and free my mind in preparation for the next massive instalment of muddled information in relation to our wonderfully crazy life of Aspergers, buses,  school battles, laughter and lashings of love.

So here’s what’s been giving me the banging headache. Beware I’m warning you I’m about to off load an overload of information! So grab a coffee or two and enjoy.

School! Well, I’m not sad its over! For six weeks that is. Most parents will already be giving it all the ‘Oh I can’t wait for these kids to go back to school’ after a few days of them running around under their heels. Not Me! I’m happy to have my two monsters home. I’m not suggesting it’s going to be an easy summer however I am suggesting that it can’t possibly be any harder than these past six months. Regular readers will understand where I’m coming form when I say it’s been an exhausting, draining, intensely frustrating  journey. Basically life had become a sack of shit ( Excuse my use of rotten language) But this is the only place along with my facebook page I can truly express such stuff! Unless I go scream and curse in a field with some cows. We don’t want people thinking I use these insulting words around little dude! Let’s be honest here… Yes it hurts when those around you look at your child cursing and wringing then look up at you as to say.. ‘WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT THIS BEHAVIOUR?’ You do nothing, avoid throwing petrol on the fire so to speak only to be judged for it. But come lets face it I would have been judged either way and the reason I know this is because I’ve been there a thousand times before and all though it hurts its like a fall you get over it. I will apologise for certain behaviours! It’s not all Autism you know. Little man is a nine-year old boy and like many he has moments. Nevertheless I will not apologise for my child’s autism.  Yes, I swear I’m human and at the end of the day I have three children one Ok can just about say Dada but I do have a daughter. I can honestly say I have never heard her swear in her almost 8 years of living. Little man! Well, his the curse monster and he swears so much it half seems normal (Not good I know) Sorry I’m merely making a point and by doing so I’m losing track of what I’m supposed to be writing 🙂 which was to state my point that is..I’m so pleased to see the back of my children’s school for the summer.

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not being nasty nor is it my intention to knock the school in fact at a guess I would say they would say the exact same thing about me and me little guy. I’m sure they don’t want me down there all guns blazing a good proportion of the week like I don’t enjoy the phone calls, exclusions and bubbling volcano that happens to be my son on a bad day. I think its fair to say it’s a win, win situation.

Things aren’t all that bad as we had a pretty relaxed (well I kept my sanity) last few weeks at home and school. Many would consider this to be a joke but lets not forget his recent behaviour and the problems that we have had with him and school. Not having any exclusions the past few weeks has to be an achievement in itself. I was talking to his class teacher the other day and it seems that since my decision to remove him from school during lunch hour and taking him home to eat with us there has been a sufficient change in lunch time behaviours. It’s quite easy to work out how this has been achieved! He hasn’t been there to have the problems it’s that simple. His teacher agrees that it’s a marked improvement. Little man is unable to cope with the truly over stimulating environment the playground has to offer. This often leads to him darting back and forth up the corridors, halls and classrooms. His anxiety levels score and all though he can’t handle this unstructured time he fears missing his lunchtime and having it replaced with him sat in the office. This only seems to fuel his anxiety and anger as it all becomes very under stimulating. That’s the thing with my son! There is no in between His what some would describe as unpredictable due to his ever fast changing mannerisms. As his parent I know I’ve made the right choice as things are better for little man now his indoors and his eating. It can’t be healthy for a young boy not eating breakfast and then not touching his lunch. He must have been staved by mid afternoon. I find it hard to see where he got the energy for his running and fighting? Lets not forget the little sleep he has. No food nor sleep yet running around like a cheater on pro-plus. At least now he doesn’t come in and eat everything in reach. This for me is a great thing and is one more target ticked off our list:)

SCHOOL TRIP

Here’s another constant problem I’m worried about. Will Little man be able to attend the school trip like all his peers? He had a recent trip to finish of the school year. I feared the worse what with the Allotment business but it was agreed if I attended he could defiantly go. ( I was told he would still attend without me as his TA was going but it was feared he would not last much of the day) Lucky for him I managed it and got a sitter for my youngest. The trip was to attend a local park, have a picnic, chill out and play some sport or spend time in the swing park with its funky water squirters that the kids went crazy for. I have to say I really enjoyed the day. Spending some time with little man was nice and it was also useful to see him practising social skill no matter how hard it was for me to watch. I finally met the other child in his class diagnosed as having ASD. This is the child that some have said little man bullies. I can understand in a way why he maybe perceived as doing so, but given more time was spent with both the children a greater understanding would be achieved. It’s extremely clear to me that little man has a huge amount of resentment towards this other child. He only has to talk and little man pulls this face and moans ‘GO AWAY, PLEASE GO AWAY AND SHUT UP’ This little chap seems to have had a journey all of his own and his wise beyond his nine years in many respects. I love the way he told me I do certain things because I’m autistic! This boy said them words with pride and to me (I maybe wrong) He seemed happy with himself. He was Autistic and proud. Little man however has told me before about this child in his class who often quotes his autistic proudness out loud. He said its stupid and he shouldn’t want them knowing. He is so assumed lately and he tries so hard to suppress his true self around others meaning gigantic overload release once behind closed doors. I think he wishes to be as confident as his peer with autism. He sees the child he was before in terms of aloofness. I mean this little lad was great but he didn’t really care if he was left out. He often came and chatted to me about his trading cards and it was upsetting to see the friend he had made was in fact not a friend at all more a child who saw an opportunity to take a child on the spectrums kindness and trusting way for grunted. This was the child who I considered to be a bully. No, there was no name calling, hitting or public humiliating maybe that’s why it wasn’t seen. It was a one-sided friendship the bully just stole and blackmailed the little boy into handing over the things he wanted. Don’t get me wrong his just a child doing what many children do. He could be bullied himself or maybe he don’t see this as bullying. He hears the child say he has autism but does he truly understand it’s meaning? I very much doubt it which just shows that the bully is just another victim of an ignorant society. He just sees a way to get what he wants and that’s that. Then there’s my boy the one with Aspergers. Blunt, upfront and loud. It’s true! But these are clearly a result of his Aspergers. What child is so blunt when shouting out things at another child. Most bullies would not do this in view of the teacher and no matter what was done in terms of punishment the child isn’t very likely to continue this behaviour in his teacher presence. It’s easy to see that little man is upset by this child. I got them talking and when alone Little man was able to hold a conversation with him well that was in till the boy told him everyone’s different and he should kick or punch a wall when angry. I guess its kind of like your elder always thinking they know best. They are so alike and little man hates this (and the fact the boys “special interest” is pigeons does not help this already complex situation) Little man coped quite well with the trip and although he struggled to follow teachers instructions he did give it a good go. I think me being there is somewhat confessing for him as he can’t connect the two. School and home are two different things to him no matter how hard I’ve tried it’s just to hard to change his rigid way of thinking. So of course the way he saw it was why do we have to wait for the class before heading off somewhere? Why can’t we go home when his had enough? The worse being there was a red roundabout and he often plays buses on it when we are at the park as a family. He doesn’t want anyone knowing about his love of buses but was finding it a torment as he was desperate to play his bus game. What he did was rather clever as he got the children to sit on the seats casually shouted £2 each please in a joking manner. (£2 is the price of a bus ride.) Then he just spun them around and around I could see the concentration on his face and I knew what he was doing! What he was saying in his head. Of course things can’t always be this simple and he ran into a few problems along the way. Children sitting on the bar instead of the seat or children trying to push the roundabout along side him. He was hitting out, chasing kids and at one point burst into tears. I found this so hard to watch and felt like screaming ‘Be your bloody self, play what ever you want it’s better than being sad.’  Other things also contributed in making the day more difficult. He didn’t really have a great schedule so a good section of the day was spent asking when, where and what time is it which was tough for me:( But we did it. We managed inclusion for a good five hours and though little man wasn’t in control we did it and came out the other side knackered but smiling:) As for the other little guy with Autism I would love to meet his mother who has done a great job in helping her son manage his aggressive behaviours and learn to love accept and understand his autism. I hope someday my little man stands that proud.

ITS PARTY TIME!

I’m sorry if you’re yawning people I just have so much I want to say so gonna make this as quick as possible. My Little man has had a rather eventful few weeks in terms of fun. He was invited to his first birthday party. When I say first I mean someone other than family. Like lots of children on the spectrum Little man rarely gets an invite from school and although it hasn’t seemed to bother him he was elated to finally receive one. As far as I was concerned the child who had invited him was a friend from school but it turns out that he doesn’t attend the school anymore as he has been placed in a specialist school better suited to his needs so the invite was passed on by his brother. Little man went to the party and I sat worrying myself senseless about how he was coping and how he was behaving. I have to be honest I couldn’t wait for it to be over. At five I headed off to collect him with my fingers firmly crossed that I wasn’t about to walk into a war zone with a bunch of unhappy parents and a dozen screaming kids. With bated breath I knocked on the door and thank goodness I was greeted by a smiling parent who told me he was fantastic. He did start pacing the house as I was five minutes late collecting him but apart from this all went well. All that time I spent worrying could have been used doing something constructive but at least now I could relax. On the way back home little man told me all about his friend and how when he had left school he didn’t know what to do and wanted him to come back. I spoke to his teacher about this and it seems that his friend left before little man’s behaviour problems in school had spiralled  out of control. Wished I had known this as my little guy was hurting. At the time he didn’t have many friends and I can’t imagine how this felt for him no wonder it affected him in such a un positive way if he wasn’t able to express such upset. I remember being told nothing had changed at school and it was always assumed that it must be the massive change at home affecting his behaviour at school (I had a baby and this is what was considered the trigger) I couldn’t understand how as his relationship with his baby brother was better than I had ever hoped for it to be. He was the dotting big brother who said ‘MUM HE IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PERSON IN THIS WORLD.’ Yes, he said this when he first met his new baby brother on the day he was born. He was sat holding him in the hospitals delivery room at the time. Of course I was one proud momma and that was one of them moments you cherish. Nevertheless it was a huge change so I have never wrote this off. Now I think it was because too many changes were happening for my little man these changes were both good and bad but all at the same time. A massive brain shake for any child.

Staying on the subject of parties this wasn’t the only party little man attend! As it was the end of the school year like every year his school puts on a disco for all the pupils and parents are asked to attend. Myself, Little man and his sister had a great time. It was held in the schools playground in the early evening. The weather was beautiful and I really got comfort from seeing them both so happy. Little man bowled around with his little partner in crime and my daughter happily danced with her friends. It really was a blissful evening and went exceptionally well. I will be honest in saying I dreaded the whole thing all week! Hundreds of kids, Mothers I rarely spoke to and a great amount of tension between myself and certain members of stuff because the way things had been left after our recent meeting. However I needn’t of got so upset as it was fine and I felt more relaxed the longer I stayed. Little man coped with the whole disco thing really well. I thing having the disco in the playground was a marvellous idea. As the disco was in the evening the temperature was cooler than the midday sun ( Hot weather often drives little man bonkers) And the music was loud but didn’t have much to bounce off where in the hall it would have and it could have ended up being too much for him and I’m guessing he may not have been able to stand it. We stayed till the end and it felt good to be leaving at the same time as others instead of having to cart little man of home because something had happened or he wasn’t coping. At the gates I meet his friend’s father who invited little man to their home a few days later and it was arranged he would collect him along side his friend at home time. Little man was super excited and spent the next few days switching between Alex (His friend) and buses (His “special interest”) It was great knowing he was feeling so good and at least he was experiencing the things childhood and friendships should bring. He went and he had a brilliant time. He was reported to have behaved and has since been back and even stayed the night (yes me sat at home worried sick that he would get up and just wonder home in the middle of the night was a nightmare) again he proved me wrong and though yes he didn’t sleep as I expected! He managed to stayed put and instead kept his friend awake the majority of the night *giggle*

Lastly I just wanted to share my exciting news. I passed my telephone interview and I start my training to become an autism education advocate with the National Autistic Society hopefully by the end of the week I’m just waiting on the paperwork to be sent in order to get stated. Training will be home based but with two practical training sessions that require me to spend two weekends away in November (Destination unknown at present) I’m so looking forward to it and really hope it opens doors for me. My son having Aspergers has made me passionate about autism. I would love to be able to make a difference to those on the spectrum and those affected by it. The telephone interview was a conference call so this meant I had questions from more than one interviewer. I was nervous but felt more at ease the longer we spoke. I did finish thinking that’s it I’ve bloody gone and blown it. I’ve never been over confidant when it comes to interviews and test and though it didn’t go to badly I did feel I could have done that bit better. When I was told that someone would email me to inform me if my application had been successful I was shocked to discover a mere fifteen minutes later that the email was there sat in my inbox and yes it was successful. Well, It goes without saying how pleased I was and I showed this by giving family a view of my victory dance. I want this so much and will give the training my everything. By doing so I hope to help and advise other parents and careers who like me didn’t have a Dickie when it came to their child’s rights within the educational system and sen framework.

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