3

Sibling Bonds.

Amellia and Dylan are now forming such a strong bond and it has been incredible to watch it form. For such a long time Amellia was always really striving for a bond or even just some recognition from Dylan and now she is finally getting it.

Dylan will now look for Amellia when she isn’t here and will hunt through the house for her. It is amazing to see as until very recently he really wasn’t bothered to much at all about if she was here or not, as long as I was about and strangers weren’t in the house he was happy. He will now run up to her and shout “sissy” and then they embrace each other in a little hug, my heart melts each and every time.

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They will sit beside each other and watch clips on the ipad together, Amellia really enjoys reading books to Dylan and the majority of the time he enjoys sitting beside her pointing out the letters and shapes that he recognises and when they are both feeling very compliant they can even manage sharing a bag of crisps!

Amellias understanding has always amazed me too, many people struggle to understand autism and accept it but she has just taken it all in her stride. When talking to Dylan she simplifies everything she says to try and help him understand, if he is getting wound up she is trying to find out what he wants and offering him things she hopes will help him calm down or distract him and when he lands on top of her from the top of the sofa trying to get her to play most of the time she will then get up and start a game with him.

The other day we were upstairs getting ready to go out and it suddenly got very quiet, I looked at the hubby not sure if to enjoy the silence for a few minutes longer or go investigate. I snuck round the corner to see what mischief was happening and was greeted by something absolutely adorable. It was such an act of kindness, love and understanding. Amellia was stood brushing Dylans teeth. Dylan loves getting his teeth brushed and when he goes into the bathroom often will just pass you his toothbrush and wait for you to put toothpaste on it and brush his teeth for him.
Seeing this just made my hear melt, we have been working on getting Dylan to realise that Amellia can help and be fun and this just showed me that the hard work has been paying off.

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How to make your own Sensory Squishy Balls

While having some sensory fun with Orbeez I was pondering what else we could do with them to keep the fun going. I had a nosey around and found some balloons and decided we would try and make our own Sensory balls. Simple, fun and something that they could feel accomplished after making as they then got to play with them.

What you will need;
– Balloons
– Orbeez
– Top of a bottle

Steps

  • first step is to leave the Orbeez in water overnight to expand, as it does take several hours for them to soak in all the water
  • Blow the balloon up and let it go down again several times to stretch it out a bit
  • Cut the top off a bottle & place the balloon neck around the opening
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  • Now is the fun part, scoop the Orbeez into the homemade funnel and keep pushing them down until the balloon is full
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  • Then tie the balloon up and trim the end a little and you have your own homemade sensory squishy ball.

The kids really enjoyed making them and ended up creating several each!
They played with them for ages afterwards and they are still going strong now.

-WeeOhana

1

Sensory Screening Cinema Experience

The last weekend of the Easter break for the kids from school and the rain started to pour. I didn’t want to spend the weekend stuck in the house so while pondering what to do I thought I might take Amellia to the cinema if anything was on. While I was having a nosey I noticed a movie that looked like she would enjoy and my heart ached a little as Dylan had never experienced the cinema before, when I came across a sensory screening of the movie. I had a quick chat with the hubby and we decided to go for it, and if Dylan really couldn’t stand it one of us could stay with Amellia and the other head home.

With it being a rainy day I was then worried that others who didn’t really need to go to a sensory screening may go to this as something to do with the kids in the rain but the cinema had it perfect. This one started at 12 and a regular viewing of the movie started at 12:10, great! Whoever was in the sensory screening was going to be people who needed it and would hopefully be understanding if Dylan wasn’t best impressed, this gave me enough courage to book the tickets and get everyone ready to head out to the cinema!

With a bag full of Dylan & Amellias favourite snacks to keep them occupied we headed in to get some popcorn. With a bit of a queue forming behind us I was worrying that it was going to be a bit of a busy screening, but once we headed into the screen we were the only ones there and it stayed that way. Who doesn’t love being the only ones in the cinema!

What a sensory screening means is that they turn the volume down and have the lights on. Unfortunately though the adverts before hand didn’t follow suit and were still full volume and Dylan found this extremely distressing. He was shouting for home and banging his ears and head. He then took my hands and put them over his ears and seemed to relax a little. Thankfully we were the only ones in this screening because by the time the adverts had finished Dylan was adamant we were going home but I wanted to try and get him to stay until the movie started with the bright colours and quieter sound to see if he would enjoy it.

With him pressing my hands tightly over his ears by his request he started to relax as the volume went down and the bright colours and sing song ways of kids movies started.  He shouted home a few more times and I decided next time he asked I would take him. After a few more minutes he got off my knee and looked like he was going to make a bolt for the exit, I’m pretty sure he was until he spotted the numbers on the chairs.
Thankfully with it being an empty cinema we left him to his own devices walking up and down the chairs looking at the numbers and bouncing the chairs as he counted.

He lasted the whole movie!!
This was such a positive experience for us all; Amellia totally loved the movie, complained that it wasn’t long enough and sitting still really isn’t her thing and even though she could have wandered while watching she sat perfectly still the whole way through. Dylan enjoyed his first trip to the cinema, maybe not in the expected way but he enjoyed it in the end and we all got to have a family afternoon out doing something we haven’t done before.

Thank you Omniplex for making these sensory screenings so that people who struggle with full volume and darkness can enjoy something that others do on a regular basis. We will be back in the near future, so many kids movies coming out this year that me & the hubby had long discussions over who was getting to see it in the cinema with Amellia but now we all can!
I also highly recommended the movie Wonder Park, it was amazing  and one we will be buying once it is released on to DVD we enjoyed it that much!

 

 

 

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Everyone is a little bit autistic ..

Everyone is a little bit autistic, right? Wrong!

This seems to be a saying lots of people throw around when you are going through diagnosis or you are chatting to them about autism when they really aren’t all that clued in. Many people said it to me, and let me tell you it doesn’t bring comfort to anyone in fact it just wound me up greatly.

If your going to make such a big statement think it through properly. Here is an easier one for people to understand because autism is still a very confusing thing for many people, myself included and I have an autistic son.

Your friend tells you that they have had some back pain, are feeling moody and a headache. Would you tell them that maybe they are just a little bit pregnant? No you wouldn’t, because you are either pregnant or not. A bit like autism you are either autistic or not.

Autism isn’t just meeting a few of the diagnostic criteria its meeting them all.
To get a diagnosis of autism you have to be seen by many different professionals over a period of time who will then refer you on to the autism clinic if they all agree that you or your child has delays and struggles in all of the areas, not just one or two.

If you were to spend a week, even a day with someone who has autism you will be able to witness the struggles that they face with day-to-day tasks and activities.
Autism is a life long condition, it will have affected the person since a very young age and will do for the rest of their life.

So NO, not everyone is a ‘little bit autistic’ just like not everyone is a little bit pregnant when they experience a few of the symptoms once in a blue moon.

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Our Favourite TV shows & movies!

Recently I was reached out to by HD Televisions Panasonic to share with you guys our favourite movie and tv show that we have recently watched. TVs simply amaze me now with how clear and crisp the pictures are. Sometimes you feel like you are actually there alongside the actors and tv presenters when they are showing you certain things and the kids especially love the colours being bright and crisp on there show.

I find it takes a lot more to grip you in to a tv show that you have to wait a week to see now that so many are accessible to binge watch on the wide range of on demand services.

At the moment my husband and myself have found a show on TV that we are really enjoying and are left talking about the previous episode for the week while we wait for the new one to air. If you haven’t watched it you should really give the good doctor a watch, I find that we can be laughing along with them then the next moment you are crying. It’s about an autistic surgeon intern while he pursues his dream of becoming a fully qualified surgeon. You also follow along with the other interns, their stories, how they then get to know him and what changes they make to help him cope. I think it’s a great program for raising awareness about autism and will hopefully help others who have watched it to understand a little more.

A film that had us laughing the whole way through was the Netflix original ‘Isn’t it Romantic’. Rebel Wilson is such a great actress and in this movie she does not disappoint. At the start of the movie she believes that love isn’t for everyone and expresses her dislike towards Rom-coma several times, but during the movie she ends up living her nightmare and being in a rom-com. I’ll not say more as I don’t wait to spoil it with it only recently being out, but if you’re looking for something light-hearted and funny to watch it’s certainly worth putting on!

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My little girls favourite TV Show at the moment and has been for a long time is Yo-Kai watch. She loves that you can watch the episodes over and over again and must have watched each episode about 30 times over. It reminds me a bit of Pokémon, though she will argue for hours about how it is so much better than Pokémon and far cooler!
Her favourite movie is the Greatest Showman. When we first watched it we had a movie night full of snacks, laughter and love, now she often asks for the soundtrack to be played in the car and knows everything there is to know about Hugh Jackman! She loves anything with catchy tunes and something she can dance too.
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Dylan isn’t really into any TV shows or movies, he prefers very repetitive music, especially the gummy bear song, backwards. . it’s now what plays in my nightmares! Lol.

We are always on the lookout for something new to watch so would love to hear about a TV show or film that you have really enjoyed so we can watch it too.

-sponsored post-

 

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Softplay Success!

Finding a new place that Dylan thoroughly enjoys and caters to his needs is always a bit of a struggle and a huge success when we do. Recently we found a place that ticks all of the boxes and I hope that it will be a place your children can enjoy too if you live or are visiting the area.

When Ad is off work and able to go places with us I like to go somewhere new. It means that there are two sets of hands in case things don’t go our way and another set of eyes to keep a close watch while Dylan explores! It also means that if things don’t go the right way it is someone to talk to while I bundle him up to leave, help me ignore the judging eyes and grab the bags.

We headed to a soft play called Indiana Land and we couldn’t have found a better place to spend some time together! We paid £2.50 to get in, which is a bargain for soft play. There was only a few other children there, so nice and quiet for Dylan’s first time exploring.

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He was settled from the moment we got in and couldn’t wait to get exploring. It has a nice amount of empty space which gave lots of room for running around and some great slides, rope bridges, obstacles and a ball pit. Dylan really enjoys open space because when you go to a soft play or even a park he finds it very overwhelming trying to decide what to go on. He loved just being able to running without having to make any decisions immediately. He then took my hand and wanted me to go exploring with him. Which many soft play places don’t like, so I was really pleased that they didn’t mind me going on with him to help him familiarise and get used to everything there was to offer.

After a while it was obvious that he was getting overstimulated from all the running, jumping, sliding and just having a good time. Ad then spotted a sensory room!
It had a passcode on the door so we asked the lovely workers at the reception if we could go in and they happily opened it. Inside it was amazing, big bean bags to relax on, ear defenders, several different light features that you could change the colour on, timers and a fiddle board.

 

I really liked that it had a passcode because it meant that others couldn’t just come in and out while he was having his chill out time before heading out to run around again.
I’ve never seen a sensory room at a soft play before so this really is such an inclusive place.

Highly recommend here if you live around or are visiting the area especially for parents with ones on the spectrum/sensory needs etc as it’s a struggle to find places that cater to them and this place is perfect!

The only thing that would worry me about going on the weekends would be that the freefall may be open. It was locked when we were there as it was during the terrific tots time which was a big relief if it was open and Dylan took a notion to go down it we would have probably had to leave as once Dylan gets an idea in his head it is pretty impossible to distract him.

-WeeOhana

 

 

3

Amazing & almost unbelievable progress!

This medication is seriously a life changer and for all the positive reasons!

So for the first week in school they noticed improvements but since going up to the 20mg we are being blown away by the changes. She is sitting to do her spellings, numeracy and literature work with only needing a few reminders to keep on task rather than constant ones. She is actually enjoying doing her work and is coming home really proud and eager to show me what she has done and how neat her writing is, which has come on leaps and bounds! Before her writing was pretty unreadable, now you can actually read what she has wrote and I am sure that in a few more weeks time with practice her writing will get even better.

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The even huger thing is that she was seen by her physio and she has discharged her! They thought possible dyspraxia when we first went to see her paediatrician as she couldn’t do simple things like stand on one leg for any length of time or walk along a line of tape, but now she can do it all so well the physio says she is actually ahead of peers for her gross motor skills!

Her physio is just lovely and said that she was so happy to be discharging her but also didn’t want too as Amellia is such a pleasure to work with and is full of character and love. She said that she has never seen such an improvement in a child from taking the medicine and that Amellia’s ADHD must have been affecting her immensely.

The only side effect that is currently around for her is problems with getting to sleep. This is something she struggled with before but it has got worse. We have bought some relaxation tapes and she has been prescribed melatonin but I’m only going to give this to her on school nights after she has tried to get over to sleep by herself first.

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She is still 100% herself, outgoing, chatty and full of love for life but able to focus now to have a proper conversation with you. It is simply amazing and to think when the idea of ADHD was first floated I wasn’t sure about medicating due to the worry of it changing her personality, that when I said to people I was going to give it a try and they thought I was crazy.

These changes are amazing and going to help her achieve her best in life that she can! This girl is going to do big things, I can just feel it!