Tag Archives: parents

Get The Answers You Require From The Talk about Autism Family Support Live Q&A Session

18 Jan

As a parent who has a child on the Autism spectrum I know how frustrating it can be looking for answers. Thats why I’m really excited to share some excellent news with you… Ambitious about Autism the national charity dedicated to improving opportunities for people with autism, who run an online community called ‘Talk about autism‘ have come up with the Family Support Season of live online Q&A.

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The charity has come up with 4 discussion topics that parents with children on the autism spectrum voted upon late last year. The whole programme has been designed to offer both parents and carers professional advice from leading experts within the autism sector.

Each of the four sessions will take place live on the web over at the Talk about autism website. Finally parents will have the opportunity to get some of the answers they have been searching for whether its about challenging behaviour or socialising with peers the parent support season’s Q&A sessions will do its best to answer those questions.

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The first session has already taken place back on the 16th January. The session covered the topic… ‘Getting the right support at school’ Nonetheless you can still read the entire transcript on the evenings topic over on their website. The session covered areas such as access to education, statements of sen, exclusion and more. The transcript is packed full of great advice what with the specialist advisers being Jill Davies, Manager of the Special Educational Needs (SEN) Helpline at Contact and Family, and Steve Broach of Doughty Street Chambers, who is an expert on the rights of ‘children in need’ and disabled adults. This was the first of four live sessions and a great success. Its my guess the remaining three will be just as valuable in the advise they offer.

The second live Q&A session is set to take place on the 30th January 2013 and the discussion topic is that of ‘Understanding & Managing Challenging Behaviour‘. The evenings professionals will be Dr Emma Douglas, a Senior Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) Consultant from TreeHouse School, and Richard Hastings, Professor of Psychology at Bangor University in Wales. So, if you are currently experiencing problems with challenging behaviour and are looking for advice this seems like a pretty good place to start.

As a parent to a young man with Aspergers Syndrome we’ve experienced our fair share of meltdowns and aggressive behaviours. Little man is 12 now and I often worry he doesn’t know his own strength when hitting out at other. We have had some particularly bad mornings before school when little man has thrown punches in my direction. His violence scared me! With a frightening temper I had to sought help but it didn’t come easy. I just wish there was something like the live Q&A session available back when I needed it. This topic will sure to be a life line for parents all over the world.

The remaining two sessions after that will commence on the 13 February 2013 & the 27 February 2013.

These sessions will be as follows…

Puberty, sex and relationships (13th February 2013)
Experts for the session: Lesley Kerr-Edwards, Director of Image in Action, and Professor Jahoda, Professor of Learning Disabilities at the University of Glasgow.

Supporting your child to socialise and make friends (27 February 2013).
Experts for this session: Jennifer Cook O’Toole, education specialist and author of The Asperkids Book of Social Rules – the Handbook of Not-So-Obvious Social Guidelines for Tweens and Teens with Asperger’s Syndrome, and Andrew Swartfigure, Senior Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) Consultant at TreeHouse School.

Well, I’m definitely marking the 13th February 2013 in my diary. This is a topic that I myself have a number of questions in need of answering (googling can only provide so much)! My 12 year old is fast approaching puberty and don’t I know it! Puberty and the issue of sex is a hard enough topic for any parent to face but for those of children on the autism spectrum, it is an area of constant worry and struggle.

All sessions are live and will last one hour. Each live Q&A will commence at 8pm and finish at 9pm on the dates given.

To receive a reminder about any of the live support sessions visit the website and sign up for a reminder by email.

So, there you have it! Four great topics all live and interactive. How about popping along, maybe get a specific question answered or just follow the thread to see what others have to say. Don’t forget, all sessions will appear as transcripts following the live event allowing those of you who can’t make it on night, the opportunity to have a read. Who knows maybe you’ll still find the answer to that question you need answering.

Would love it if readers could share this on there chosen social networks. By reaching out we give parents the opportunity to gain the support they desperately need.

To find out how Live Q&A sessions work click Here

Disclaimer… This is a sponsored post for the autism charity Ambitious about autism. All words are my own.

School Gate Ignorance

28 Jun

I had to write this.

Strangely following my blog post on school exclusion I was directed to a blog post by a fellow parent blogger regarding school trips and how a planed special trip organised by the head teacher for pupils who had “Not received a pink slip for unacceptable behaviour but instead done well on the schools reward system” had now been cancelled.

The Head teacher who promised the trip has now had to cancel it due to a parent complaining using the equality act.

Understandably parents were disappointed including the writer of the blog post. However most of the comments shocked me, making me release that some parents “May never get it”

I guess many of them commenters don’t have a child with SEN or even autism. Maybe they are not a parent like me who has a child who will always receive the pink slip for unacceptable behaviour no matter what he does! I feel for everyone of them children who lost out on the trip, it’s highly disappointing and very unfair for a child to feel such disappointment (believe my Child knows). However as a parent of the child who will never receive a gold star, I would never comment In the same way most have. It’s like some kind of witch hunt. Parents want the parent who put a stop to the trip named and shamed… Why? SO… there child can be bullied?

Now, I don’t even know if the child who’s parent has complained even has SEN, but in my experience the use of the equality act and that of the sudden change in plans make me assume so! I wonder if the child involved is like mine, a child who never got to go on a trip no matter how bloody hard he tried! I wonder if that child goes home and cries into his pillow because he feels rejected once again. I wonder if that child like my child, whacks his head against brick walls trying to make sense of it all, trying to actually pin point where they actually went wrong. I wonder if that child began scratching his arms till they bleed just because they were not allowed to attend yet another school trip?

Maybe I’m wrong… Maybe it’s none of the above, maybe the child is just dam right disobedient and needs a good taking down a peg or two… Who knows!

You see that’s my point! You don’t know! As a mother of a child who was discriminated against, a mother who’s child was naughty just for farting… That could have been me and if it was, to see those horrible comments… It could have broken me at one time of my life for sure

Quite honestly, the head teacher should have known better, reward systems don’t work for every child. My child would be on a red card daily because the way it worked didn’t work for a child on the spectrum like him. It took sometime but he was removed from the system and followed a different type of behaviour programme. This situation is even worse for the child who is undiagnosed slipping through the system branded a trouble maker.

Ignorance hurts, especially when it’s done when the facts remain unclear. I hate school gates and try to keep away from them! Why? Because its a fest of back biting and bitching and I just don’t have time for such crap. What type of message does this give our children.

I felt as if I was stood at the school gate as I read such comments, I felt like I now stand out like a sore thumb from many of my fellow bloggers just for writing this.

I may lose followers over this… But I don’t care… Honestly!

I blog from my heart and it’s my heart this is pouring from!

Think before you judge another especially If the picture remains unclear. We parents should stick together, the world is hard enough for our children, we shouldn’t make it any harder.

Parents who punish children like a dog

25 Aug

I was up all night last night and this wasn’t due to the little man. I was engaging in a 24hr photobox mission on facebook (which I will write more about in another post a bit later on)! So,with no company but my own and those in cyber space who like me where pulling their homes apart in a bid for picture inspiration, I decided to pop the telly on.

Lucky I did, as BBC3 were showing a documentory (which I gathered was a repeat) called, ‘ Cherry Healeys Parenting Dilemma’ Fantastic. I remember being contacted by a PR when the show was in the piloting stages, at the time I had no interest in documenting my own parenting dilemma to the world, as Little man was really testing them parenting skills and my overall sanity, school was a huge issue and I was pretty worn out. Having seen the press release I was excited to see how it had all planed out. I was now gripped by a tv show and a photo challenge (good job I can muti-task)

Yet, I wasn’t fully prepared for what I was about to view.

The show was presented by Cherry Healey. I love this presenter, I first saw her present another bbc3 documentry on binge drinking which was brilliant. She has since covered an aray of topics even the journey through her own pregnancy, the debates surrounding breast or bottle feeding! Another recent one was a documentory on how womem see their own body image, which again proved to be fantastic viewing.

I quickly got my next photo challenge out the way (will again explain what the hell I’m referring to a bit later). I then settled down to watch the show. Cherry met a number of different families all with their own degree of problems or parenting style.

I just want to share my opinions on just one part of the documentary which covered a couple who had two young boys, I’m guessing the youngest to be 3 or 4 at a push.These parents believed that a very strict parenting routine was needed to keep the boys in order!

Firstly, let me state, “I’m not a judgemental person and I hope no one see me as one” I know as well as anyone, how it feels to be looked upon and have your parenting skills judged. I understand everyone has their own way/style in doing so, and I think that’s just fine! However, if you are willing to have your families day to day life broadcast on national television, then you expect people to watch and have an opinion. My opinion, These parents punish they’re children like a dog.

Cherry met the family at their home during meal time. Both parents were happy to contribute their views on “how children should be raised, and what works for them as a family” The family had previously been sent a video camera to film their day to day routine. During the interview mum states how both her children are made to sit and eat at the table (a fair request and rule, I think)! She told Cherry that the children have to eat all food including snacks at the table, there is no point ever when the boys are allowed to eat on the sofas! Friday is sweet or treat day and the boys are occasionally able to eat sweets while sat on the carpet. fair enough! Dad went on to say that the children are always picked up on their manners if they every slip. Please and thank you are at the up-most importance. He stated that the boys rearly need reminding when it comes to the little things like, taking their shoes off when coming in the house or not eating on the sofas, etc. Great, sounds perfectly normal and reasonable to me.

Then the subject of discipline was raised. I was both shocked and horrified By the parents approach to this issue, so much so,I cried throughout the rest of the programme. If the boys didn’t sleep or did something considered to be,”naughty” like getting out of bed more than once, etc… a disturbing action, (which at first I thought was a nasty threat) took place. The two young boys were told if any unwanted behaviour continued then they would be shut out the back door in the garden amongst the darkness. They quite willing filmed themselves following through with the threat.The Mother said at one stage, “stop it or your going outside in the dark” and that’s just what happen! The child was filmed screaming and you could see and hear the little boys heartbreaking pleas as he begged his mummy not to put him in the garden! Shit, I was horrified. It lasted just minutes but was enough to scare the little boy to death, he sobbed trying to hug his mummy as she tucked him back in his bed telling him to remain there.

God, he is a pre-schooler his brother not much older! These are children not dogs! The father states that he doesn’t like doing this but it’s never for long and does the trick they don’t get up again during the night!

“I’m not bloody surprised are you?” I had visions of the children needing to use the toilet but holding it in till daylight through fear of the back door and the cold darkness it brings.What if the child had a nightmare and woke up, would he be handled in the same way. What hurt me is strangely these parents didn’t see it as wrong, I actually think they love them boys a lot and really do believe it’s for their own benefit.

I’ve worked hard to help little man battle his fears and phobias and to see a child being punished by sticking them out in the dark makes me livid. No, seriously it made me so angry I didn’t know what to do with myself! Little man suffers from anxiety and to see those parents actually inflicting it, while I’m trying to help my child decrease such fears, hit me hard.

Another punishment inflicted on the boys was smacking. One of the parents stated that it’s only used as the last result in an attempt to stop the behaviour from escalating to far. I know parents smack, there’s a massive debate that will always surround smacking. Yet this little boy was smacked on his hand (the second time quite hard) for behaviour that I saw as nothing other than just child like behaviour. The youngest wanted some crisps, he was told no, he continued to ask and climb over his mother. He was then smacked on his hand lightly. He then went to where the crisp were (he was clearly just seeing how far he could go and was rather hoping he could gain access to the crisp) he was then smacked hard for a second time and then carried to his room. He sobbed and throw his arms about in an angry manner. His father was stood their obviously filming him causing him even more stress. Both parents said they were smacked as children and it didn’t do them any harm (umm, I beg to differ) Cherry was clearly shocked especially when they openly admitted smacking both boys up to three times a week (well I see two smacks given over the one small incident, so I’m guessing it’s more). I can get why some parents may snap and lose it for a second, I do understand that many parents do engage in smacking.

When a child has special needs parents with no help from the local authorities, deal with behaviours far more challenging than displayed by them little boys and smacking them would just make things worse.

The parents views were pretty far off, with mum stating she would rather use her form of punishments than have a child who can be seen as demanding and giving the parent the run around in public. Gosh, I wonder what they would make of my little man and me, what with the added addition of my daughter and demanding toddler she may have something to say! Sadly the parents seem to believe that any child engaging in behaviour seen to be challenging was a result of bad and non consistent parenting.

Although I agree, consistency is 100% best. I don’t agree it is always possible. I firmly stand by my opinion, that in my view such punishments (shut outside in the dark) shouldn’t even be threaten in the first place, let alone enforced. Yes, be consistent with routine and discipline but it’s worth remembering that if your child keeps getting out of bed (there just maybe a reason)!

There are times I’m a bit soft but on the whole I tend to stick to my guns. I just really hope that them little boys don’t grow into bullies as sticking your child outside in the dead of night dosent seem like a loving nor effective parenting technique to me. Does it you?

To find watch the show visit BBC iplayer or you can read the BBC blog (an interview with Cherry Healey)

Val’s kids line

7 Jan

If your child has sensory problems then take a look and read this.
As some of you already know my son suffers a great deal with sensory problems and most are to do with touch. He can become very upset if he is uncomfortable in the clothing he is wearing. Looking though the net I came across this wonderful site’ a god send to parents. Val’s kids line. This site offers clothing that are sonsory weighted. They deliver all over the world and there prices are so fair and not over priced. And best off they are having a sale! The clothing line is so well designed there were a number of items I liked and can see myself ordering. The lady who has come up with this wonderful site and service is Val Cower and she has been voted mom entreprneur of the year ( I can see why) she offers 24hr contact for parents and teachers via email and 10am-11pm by phone. You will find contact infomation on her contact page on the site. www.valskidsline.com
Don’t take my word for it visit the site now!

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