3

Sensory & Sleep Fail…

I decided that Dylan was doing so great with new feelings that I would jump right in and try something.. half cooked pasta.

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Poor little blighter dived right in, grabbed a handful then quickly threw it away in complete disgust ran out of the room and sat on the bottom step screaming until I moved it.. Bad mummy! I’ll not try that again for a while.. Think I’ll have to do it with dry pasta and adding in a bit of cooked pasta at a time!

I think this day though was always going to be a failure seeing as he had me up since 2:30am.. wide awake and dancing to the gummy bear song. If you have ever heard that song.. you will understand my pain. I was slowly losing the will.
I got through the day with a tin of monster providing me with the caffeine that I desperately needed to function!

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Thank you monster for getting me through this..

WeeOhana xx

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Family Walk!

On mothers day we went for a lovely little walk around Londonderry Park. It is simply beautiful! Dylan fell fast asleep in the car on the way over though so he had a nice nap in the fresh air in his pram while we enjoyed exploring the world around us!

Londonderry Park is a lovely little park in Newtownards. It has a fantastic play park, football pitches, cricket nets and lots of other things along with a walk around the outside of the park which has some lovely flowers and lots of space to run in which my little girl just adores! She is very much an outdoors person!

We started off with the walk around the outside of all the things they have available there, she had great fun climbing up the trees and looking at the flowers! Which were in perfect bloom!

She then had to find a stick to have a battle with her daddy, she picked herself a lovely strong stick.. and he got stuck with a very febal one that broke quickly.. but who could say no to that little face!

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After enjoying a great walk around, watching the planes that had just taken off above us and being bombarded with a zillioin questions about everything under the sun her and daddy headed off to play in the park while I walked a little further with a still fast asleep Dylan and a small and very fluffy dog! I thought she would be suitably tired after a big walk and a play in the park but nope.. she wanted to do the walk again, so off we went for a second time!
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It was a lovely trip out, filled with lots of questions, play, laughs, running about and many reminders about why I just love being a mum. ❤

Weeohana x

1

Questions!

With it  being Autism Awareness month I decided to ask on a page on Facebook that has many bloggers on it if they had any questions about Autism. Here are the questions I was asked and my answer! =]

Sophie from mamamei.co.uk has a little brother who has Aspergers and asks
are people still struggling to get a quick enough diagnosis? “
We are currently going through the diagnosis process and it is a very long and infuriating thing. When Dylan got seen at the CDC clinic we got told that it is autism but we have to wait till he is 2 1/2 before he can even be referred across to the autism clinic and then he will be put on another waiting list before he is seen, which is a very long list. The annoying thing about this is that if they had referred him when we were first there he wouldn’t have been seen until he was over 2 1/2 anyway.  It will then be a push to try to get him into a nursery that will be able to deal with his level of needs without a diagnosis. I know a few other parents who are going through a similar thing and are having to wait for an unacceptable amount of time. One lady had her child referred to the autism clinic at 2 1/2 and he is 3 1/2 now and she still hasn’t had a letter to start the process. So; I’m not getting my hopes up for a speedy one myself.
It is very irritating because they say early intervention is key to helping, but they don’t seem so keen to provide much help until they are over a certain age etc!

Claire from Http://lifeloveanddirtydishes.com asked; What did you notice about your child that made you seek a diagnosis?
There was several things with Dylan that made me want to seek a diagnosis. One of the main things was that he was talking for a while well he said 2/3 words then about a month later he lost them and all the word sounds that he made. He tip toe walked and still does the majority of the time. He also has very poor eye contact and will not respond to his name no matter how loud you shout it! I had worries about him for a while before anyone else would accept that I was in-fact right to be worried and that he needed to be checked out by the health visitor. Even when he was a young baby I raised a few concerns with my HV, like he didn’t smile or giggle for a very long time. I also as a mum remember feeling very upset because we didn’t seem to have that automatic bond people talk about. When you were feeding him his bottle he wouldn’t look at you lovingly etc! There are lots of things about Dylan that increase my worrying about him that I spot as the times go on. Mainly though I am very eager to try to get him talking or communicating in some way so that he can let me know what is upsetting him, what he wants or what is going on in his head! This would then in turn hopefully lessen the amount of melt downs we have in a day-to-day occurrence as he could then communicate.

Vicki from Www.tippytupps.com wanted to know;  “if you have other children, how do you balance out their needs so neither feel left out?”
This is something that I am really conscious about as I have a little girl who is five years old. I am always worried about her missing out on things because of his dislike for many things. Though me and my husband work hard to ensure that she gets to do the majority of things that she wants to do and that she gets days out just by herself so that she doesn’t have to worry about having to leave if he gets upset and that she gets all the attention. We take turns once a month where we will take her out for a full day and do whatever she wants to do, be it swimming, shopping, eating, going for a walk or anything that she thinks of! During the month if there is something that she wants to do that only takes a few hours for example swimming and my husband is off work, he will take her swimming while I go for a walk with Dylan or do something that he enjoys!

If you have any questions you would like answered drop them in the comments below and I will surely answer them for you on this blog =]

If you enjoy my blog and reading about what we are going through with Dylan and would like to read some other blogs similar here are a few;

Danielle Duggins – “I  write about experiences mostly – https://someonesmum.co.uk/category/autism/”

Ann Hickman- “I blog about how our family experiences the world.. often a differently to others http://www.rainbowsaretoobeautiful.com”

Victoria Hatton- “I write about autism too, my daughter has Asperger’s and I’m an Autism specialist teacher. I write both from a teacher and a mummy perspective: Teacher: https://www.mummytimestwo.com/…/navigating-autism-from…/ Mummy: https://www.mummytimestwo.com/…/moment-knew-daughter…/”

2

Dear Husband..

Dear Husband;
You are simply amazing. I don’t tell you often enough how wonderful you are, how strong you keep us as a family unit and just how much I love you. This past year has been a very tough one for our family, life changing things have appeared that we never thought we would have to face. We have faced some real challenge as a couple learning to accept the things that have been thrown in our path. I feel that we are now a lot stronger than we were before, and we will continue to build up skywards, together.

I must admit at the start of all this we grew apart, drastically. It really scared me, I didn’t know how I would make it through all this without you by my side as support. I thought we were going down a long and horrible road, and we were going to have to do it apart. All of this coupled with my issues that I have, has been extremely scary, I felt very low and because of this started to push you even further away and I honestly don’t know how you stuck by my side. You didn’t deserve it, and it made us argue, disagree, row and everything else a happily married couple should not do. It was horrible, I hated myself more and more, but I just couldn’t get out of that rut. I still find some days tough and I’m sure you do too, even though being a manly man that you are you don’t admit it.

I am so glad now that we are stronger than we have ever been and that we tackling everything thrown at us together. You are my best friend, my soul mate, my shoulder to cry on, my companion, the one who laughs at my stupid jokes, helps me spell silly words that I just can’t grasp, you make me smile when it has been tough day, cuddle me when there just isn’t any words to explain what I am feeling or what is going on in my head. You make the world seem a little less scary, you hold my hand when times are tough, you help me relax when things are getting on top of me, you guide me when I just can’t guide myself, you make me feel beautiful even when I am wearing the same clothes that I had on when you left for work, you give me the confidence to carry on, you give me the strength to keep my head above water when it feels like I could so easily slip under and you make me feel loved; when I just can’t understand how anyone could.

I really can’t thank you enough for all that you do, you accepted me for who I am and took both me and my wonderful daughter under your wing and treat us like royalty (most of the time ;]) You are the greatest father I could ask for my children. You always put them first and make sure they are happy and have everything they could ever dream of.
We all really love you and couldn’t do this without you.
You, are simply incredible.
My 1 in 7 billion.
My best friend.
My husband.

3

Go with the flow!

Recently with Dylan I have learned that you really have to go with whatever is working for him that day. If it isn’t something that desperately needs done that day, isn’t important, or I can wait until my husband is home then I simply won’t do it if its something that he won’t cope with. Some people may see this as a little odd, that I’m letting my son control a lot of my life, but in reality; why would I take him to do the grocery shopping when hes having a bad day, just for him to have a meltdown in the middle of the shop. Which means he is very distressed, people stare so I get upset, he gets more upset as I get worked up trying to calm him so we leave. So; why would I put either of us through that? This is why most of my shopping is done online, or when my husband is home!

Today a friend of mine had a go with the flow light-bulb moment! She is a hairdresser and has been meaning to come over to cut my little mans hair for a while, his hair is a very precious thing to him and like a lot of autistic children he finds it very difficult when it comes to haircut time! So, when I went to the yard today she was there too sorting out her horse and was chatting away to me while Dylan very happily played with the shavings when she had a brain wave.

We decided why not have a go at cutting Dylans hair while he is really happy and relaxed in a place that he loves! She headed of to her car to get her hairdressing scissors, water spray and comb! He loved the water spray and played with this for a while to get his fringe wet and get him used to her! After doing this for a while I sat him on my knee to make sure hands and fingers didn’t get in the way! She snipped away and he was happy enough for the first few snips then he started to notice what was going on! With a quick few more snips it was done and after a few minutes he was happy to restart playing in the shavings like nothing had happened! It was over so quickly and he didn’t get too worked up which lead to him happily enjoying being at the yard again in a very short space of time!

He then went on to eat some of the horses food (which to me is bizzare seeing as it is nearly impossible to get him to eat any other human food than what he has already accepted into his very small selection of food he will eat), help me fill the hay nets and empty the wheel barrow!

All in all it was a very successful day! Fringe Trim, feeling lots of different textures and a happy little soul spending time outside in the fresh air! =]

It all boils down to.. pick your battles! Pick what is worth battling over and if it isn’t and its going to make everyone unhappy. simply do it when you get a chance! =]img_4144

WeeOhana x

 

 

 

 

 

 

14

Being Positive is Tough!

As a parent you are expected to always be positive, happy go-lucky and love everything that you do in your life that involves your kids. When you are with you kids or even around other kids, or any human really you are expected to have a smile, have lots of gossip to share and happy stories. Is parenting really all positive and great fun though? A simple answer no; no it isn’t.

Being a mum, a parent is really tough. I am currently a stay at home mum and  it is really tough, tougher than most jobs. You have to have a smile, willingness to do arts & crafts, answer 1000 questions, wipe bums, make snacks, do baking, colour, read books, play pretend, cook dinner, recook dinner as they changed their mind, and many other things.. all on a daily basis. You have to do all this while doing a dance or singing or whatever other thing your child enjoys and when they eventually go to bed and fall asleep you’re so mentally exhausted from keeping up this positive persona that you yourself are exhausted or you end up just sitting watching some mind numbing program on T.V.

Then when you see friends, especially friends who have children you are expected to gush to each other over how wonderful you children are, what new things they have learnt and just why they are simply amazing. All while showing them the latest pictures you have snapped of them, for your friend to then tell you how beautiful and wonderful your child and you do the same to them about their child. Just being honest here, but as much as I love my kids, I would love to not have to gush over them especially if I’m with a friend. In-fact I would love to be able to be open and tell them how I am really feeling, the struggles, share the lows as well as the highs. Recently though anytime I have mentioned a low to anyone they always come back with “Oh it will be fine”, “You never know, it will all be OK I bet” and all that positive cack. Now, I am one for trying to keep upbeat about all that I have going on but some-days I want to have a moan and a cry about how tough it is, and I want to have a friend who will talk to me like it is real life; For them to help me accept what is going on in my life. To help me accept it rather than fill my head with fluffy nonsense and denial.

I’m going through a lot with my family at the moment and I have really realized who is there for you and who just wants to be your friend when it suits them. I have lost several friends recently, but hey. There loss right? I told a friend once we had been to the CDC clinic about Dylan how it had went, that they would need to discuss special schools etc next time we went back as he was too young .. her reply “Can we please talk about something positive?” … I know right! Well I just didn’t reply. It really upset me, when I needed a friend to chat to and really let my feelings out too, they blew me off. Acted like I was complaining about a stubbed toe or something. There we go though, that’s another example of why being positive and why being expected to be positive is tough. I’m sure any parent could see how this would be a hard, upsetting and life changing thing for me, but yet my friend still expected me to be positive? I’m sorry but that just doesn’t make sense to me.

So next time you see a friend,your partner, your parent whoever it is you normally talk too, tell them how it really is.If your finding something tough tell them, if you need someone to rant, rave or cry at. Do it! Please do not hold it in. If you don’t have someone you feel comfortable to do that with, I’m here. I’ll be your someone to rant,rave and cry at. Don’t be afraid. Head to my Facebook page and message me and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. I hate to think of people holding all there true feelings in, these emotions and words that need out; let them out. Your mental health is very important, and if you go around always being positive, one day it will catch up with you, trust me.

I asked a few of my blogger friends; Why do you think being positive all the time is hard? Here is how they answered! =]

Amy who blogs at The smallest of things said- “Because sometimes they push me until I’m hanging over the edge!! 😂😂
(kids sure do have a good knack at doing that don’t they! They always know the right (or wrong buttons to press)

Jemma who blogs here said- “It’s just so draining. It’s like wearing your fake smile for people you don’t like. You only have to do that for a little while if you see them, but with your kids it’s 12 hours a day-non stop!
Don’t get me wrong there are genuine positive moments but the majority aren’t true and soooooo tiring!
(I couldn’t agree more! That fake smile has to constantly be there. It isn’t fun always having to play pretend!)

Samantha at Porridge and Parenting answered- “Because it’s impossible to be positive 24/7. You could be the happiest person in the world whose glass is always half full but that is unsustainable all day every day for the rest of your life and essentially you are a parent all day every day for the rest of your life.”
(Too right, it is impossible! One day it will wear you thin if you keep up the act!)

Helen from mumatron says “I think it’s hard because it’s unnatural. It’s more normal to show a range of emotions.”
(It sure is! We were given emotions to show them, not to try and disguise them as this wonderful happy, positive person when we are feeling quite the opposite sometimes!)

Sarah who blogs at Whimsical Mumblings replied with- “I broke down into tears the other day in front of my children, and felt SO guilty. It’s hard not to show these emotions as well as they good ones. I honestly don’t think we should hide them though! Show your little ones it’s ok to express your emotions.”
(Don’t feel guilty Sarah, like you say yourself it is important for our little ones to see all the emotions that we have and understand that we can show them whenever we need to)

 

Do you find there is anything you feel you have to be positive about when you really don’t feel that way all the time?
WeeOhana xx

 

 

0

How To Make Your Own PECS!

The other night I made my own PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) for Dylan!
There are several stages of PECS, for the moment Dylan is on stage one as he has just started using them! PECS is a form of communication that is used with lots of children on the autistic spectrum but can be used with other children too.It is where they learn to relate pictures to the items that they want.

I have seen lots of people who make these online and charge a fee for doing it then send them to you, I was very tempted to do this until I thought about how often I would need to order new ones as he got new interests, foods he likes etc. So I decided to have a crack at making my own and it really wasn’t that difficult! Took a little time to get all the things together and work it all out, but I did and I must say I’m pretty proud of myself with how they turned out =D So I am going to show you how I did it and what I used so you can make your own too! If you need any extra help/advice etc drop me a comment and I’ll be more than happy to help! =D

I already had a printer, which is the Epson Expression Home 322. I have had it for a while though so you may be better sourcing your own printer! Mine isn’t a very fancy printer but does all that I need and was a very friendly price! I then sourced a Laminator (Amazon.. my favorite place for finding everything I need/ want ;]) it wasn’t a fancy all dancing one, just one with good reviews and could do exactly what I wanted! (Click here to view it) Along with this I also ordered 100 Laminator pouches.. I’m not entirely sure why I ordered 100.. but when I see a good deal I can’t resist! ;] (Find them here) I then needed a paper-cutter as I wanted all the edges to be straight and nice! (This one!) and the last thing I ordered online was some Velcro! (Here) You will also need some paper and few bits of thicker paper too! =]

Now, I am going to try to do this in a step by step stages so it is easy and clear to follow! =] I’ll try and not waffle as we know I do get carried away sometimes! 😀

  1. To start I made lists of what I wanted to make PECS on. I started off by just doing two, Snacks and TV Programs then thought of nine of each that Dylan liked and wrote them down!
  2. Next I searched online for clear and simple versions of these images! I found when I searched to put the words “White Background” after whatever I was searching as it means they won’t get distracted by looking at the whole picture
  3. I then made a folder on my laptop for each PECS board and save the nine images of each topic into the correct folders
  4. After finding the nine images I then went into the folder and selected them all. You do this by left clicking once on the first image then holding shift and left clicking again on the last picture
  5. When they were all selected I then right clicked on the images and selected the option print, which opened a pop up.
  6. When in the pop up I scrolled down the side of it which gives you the options of how to print the pictures until I got to one called Wallet. This meant that all the pictures could be printed off on one sheet of paper and would all be the same size!
  7. Then I used the paper-cutter to cut them all out. This took a while for me as I liked to make sure they were all exactly the same size! Very simple to do though with the paper cutter recommended above as it has a built-in ruler! =D
  8. I then put them into a laminating sheet with a good distance between them so that they would all seal correctly and wouldn’t peel once laminated.
  9. Once the PECS images were done I left them to cool while I laminated the thicker paper that I would be using for the background!
  10. I then cut out the images again, making sure I didn’t go to close to the image as I didn’t want the laminate to peel off them!
  11. Next I stuck 6 of the Velcro dots onto the piece of thick paper all evenly spaced of course ;]
  12. In the middle of each of the PECS images I then stuck the other side of the velcro dots on. (I know I said nine but have only put six on the page, this is so that you can change them about, or remove some and put the other ones on when things aren’t available!)
  13. Admire your work and feel very pleased with yourself! You have just made some PECS for your child which will greatly improve communication and hopefully make meltdowns less often as your child has a way of telling you what they want when they get used to the PECS =D

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These are the ones that I did,and I would love to see the ones you have done! Especially if this step by step has helped you! =D
I wish you all the luck on your PECS journey! =]
Also remember if you have any questions on how to do this etc, Just ask! I’m more than happy to help!

WeeOhana xx