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The start of it all..

One of the first things that concerned me about Dylan was the fact that he didn’t respond to his name. Now, the normal age for children to start to respond to their name is seven months old, at this age I didn’t really have any concerns, minus him laughing and smiling late but it came in time so I just thought that it was me having high expectations after Amellia being a pretty advanced little one! Though whenever he started walking, running and all those fun things that occur once they are moving and he was still not responding to his name I started to get pretty anxious about why this was. He also had no response to simple requests or questions that children would usually love to respond to, like showing you what they are playing with, or asking them to bring you something to see.
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First of all, I questioned his hearing, but he would turn to certain things like the door opening, dropping of coins and many other things, but his name was something he just didn’t recognise or respond to at all.
Along with this he also tip toe walked everywhere and even when he was in shoes. At the start, I thought that he was just getting used to walking, but as time progressed and he was always walking on his tip toes and would even go over onto the fronts of his toes when stood still I really started to worry. This coupled with his lack of response to his name started the cogs in my burn turning a little faster on the panic front.

When we were transitioning from baby food onto finger foods he had a really strong dislike to everything that wasn’t pure mush like his baby food. He was on 6 months+ baby food until he was about one and a half, he just wouldn’t take anything at all with lumps in it and if he discovered a lump he would just spit it out and refuse to eat anymore. We tried really hard to encourage him to eat the lumpier food, but he then stopped eating it at all and just wouldn’t eat and obviously this is not good for anyone. He had started to eat crisps and digestive biscuits (still his favourite snack!) so I wasn’t concerned about the muscles in his mouth or throat because this was a worry when he wouldn’t eat lumps because we thought maybe he just struggled to chew them up or swallow them, but we quickly learnt from his select few snacks he ate that he could chew and swallow solider things ok. This then became a worry as it was obviously sensory related, so this was another red flag that had went up in my head.

He also had a huge dislike to any sort of feelings on his feet, he wouldn’t walk on the grass or sand and got very distraught by this. That was another thing, whenever he got upset, it wasn’t a ‘normal’ tantrum or upset. It would take a very long time for him to be able to calm down and he would head bang, and many other things to harm himself. Along with stimming whenever things were getting too much for him.
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When he was younger he used to babble a bit, and then one day, he just stopped. Nothing. No babbling and he has always had little to no eye contact.  Whenever this happened and everyone was still telling me that I was being silly, and that he would do these things in time I decided that I would go with the strong gut feeling that I had I would contact my health visitor.
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I was hoping that she would tell me that I was being silly, but I knew in my heart and head that this would be not be the case. She came over the next day and asked me what my concerns were, whenever I told her she asked had I been using google (who doesn’t nowadays!) and I said yes, I had, so she nodded and then watched Dylan.  After about fifteen minutes she looked at me and said that she was hoping she would come here and tell me that she would be back in three months and that she was sure he would have caught up to his peers by then but unfortunately this wasn’t the case with Dylan. She told me that I was right to contact her and she started to fill out a form, she wanted to get his referral to the children’s hospital done as soon as possible so that we could get him the help he needed.. and so started the whole process of waiting for appointments, worrying and overthinking every single thing.

-WeeOhana

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My Sunday Photo – 30.07

This week we have gone for several walks, explored a few different parks and Amellia has learnt how to ride her bike without stabilisers in two days!
One very proud mummy & daddy, and one very excited little girl to get a bigger pretty bike!

Here she is when we first took her stabilizers off with her daddy by her side to help her keep balanced and build up her confidence.. She was in fits of giggles the majority of the time, but she was getting so close! The next day she did it! =D

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Here is Dylan enjoying the swing while she went off and practiced on her bike! He loves swings and would stay on them all day!

How was your week?
Are you having a lovely time this summer? =]

-WeeOhana

Photalife
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Pure Pet Food Review

Recently I was offered the chance to review some dog food for Pure Pet Food. I jumped on the chance as its pretty difficult to find food that sits well in Lilo’s tummy. When we give her treats that most dogs would love, she ends up throwing up and well.. this isn’t fun for her, or for us having to tidy it up! I am also aware that many dog foods on the market are full of things which aren’t too great for dogs! When I saw the list of  ingredients in this dog food, and that it was made in a human food facility, I couldn’t wait to give it a shot with our little pup!

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We were sent the Turkey Terrific super sensitive food to try, when a small box arrived on my door step I was surprised. I wondered how I would be able to get even a few meals out of this to see what Lilo really thought or how it sat in her stomach.  I could not believe it when I opened the box. The food is dehydrated and this tiny little box makes up 2kg of food, I couldn’t believe it! The ingredients in the recipe are; 3 1/2 Turkey Breasts, 4 1/2 Parsnips, 1 1/2 potatoes, 125g Green Beans, 1/4 cabbage, 1/2 apple, 1 bunch of carrots and 200g of beef liver, and that’s it! How wonderful, all proper things that you and I would eat! To make it up you add the right amount of scoops of powder into the bowl for your dog’s weight and then some hot water, then  for the hard part for you dog… you have to leave it for 15 minutes to re-hydrate!
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Lilo wasn’t too pleased with the whole waiting thing! She was jumping about and looking at me like I was mad with her bowl sitting on the counter. When I put it down she was a little confused, and wasn’t too sure on the whole thing, but tonight she had her last bowl of it and thoroughly enjoyed it! Though I now need to get anti-slip bowls.. by the time she had finished her dinner she had pushed the bowl all over the kitchen trying to get every last bit! When I first gave it to her I was worried about how I would keep all the dehydrated powder in the bag, but with a little look in the box I found that they also provided a little clip to keep the bag closed! Wonderful!
Pros: It doesn’t take up a lot of room as the box is so small for such a large amount of food, full of goodness and Lilo really enjoyed it!
Cons: Your dog has to wait a little which is not very fun for them!

The treats were absolutely amazing, I for one, always find that dog treats always have this horrible distinctive smell to them which I can’t stand, but these ones were just amazing. They smelt so incredible and again were just full of goodness! I gave them to Amellia so that she could give Lilo one or two.. as soon as she opened the pack she smelt them and said “Wow mummy these smell so good, I think humans can eat them too!” I then had to tell her no, they were just for Lilo, before she decided to sit down with Lilo and share them out!
Pros: They smelt amazing and were thoroughly enjoyed by Lilo!
Cons: My daughter wanted to eat them too!

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If you fancy giving Pure Pet Food a try, here is a little link that will get you 40% off all of there starter packs! https://purepetfood.co.uk/pure-revolution 

-WeeOhana

Disclaimer: This food was sent to us free of charge in exchange for a blog. These are my own thoughts and opinions.

 

 

 

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Simple Sensory Fun!

I knew that the wonderful weather was sure to come to an end at some stage, so when it took a turn for the worst we decided to have some simple sensory fun!
I hunted through the house for things so that we could all enjoy, I came across some shaving foam and decided that now would be a good time to try it again with Dylan as it was about a year ago that we tried it before and he really hated it!
I wanted to try to add something to the shaving foam so that it would make it a little different, though we didn’t really have much!
I thought sand would be a great idea so headed out to the shed thinking that we had some left for going in the sandbox.. but we didn’t! Though we did have some very fine gravel left over from when we set up Pudges new tank! Perfect!

So; what you need to have this simple sensory fun in your house is;

  • Shaving Foam
  • Sand/fine grit
  • bowl to mix it in
  • animals etc to put in it if wanted
  1. Add the shaving foam into a bowl – As much as you want to use to play with!IMG_8567
  2. Then add in the sand/fine grit and mix up. – Again just as much as you want for how gritty to make it IMG_8572
  3. Finally I put it into a container that we for our sensory fun and added some animals to try to encourage Dylan to play with it and get his hands dirty!
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What I learnt from this simple sensory fun was that Dylan is still nowhere near ready for play with shaving foam, as soon as he touched it and it wouldn’t come of his hands instantly he was trying desperately to get it off!  I quickly wiped them clean and he shot off to the living room and into his tent for safety.
Amellia really enjoyed playing with it though and burying and finding the animals!

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This is real simple sensory fun, hopefully your little ones like it as much as Amellia did and don’t react with disgust like Dylan!

-WeeOhana

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Beach Fun!

During this lovely weather, we have been getting out for lots of walks and enjoying ourselves. One of my favorite walks was when I took the kids to Crawfordsburn beach and we walked along to Helens bay and played in the sand and the sea!

While we were walking along towards the beach Amellia decided that she would like to push Dylan in his pram! Its was very hilly and it’s pretty hard to push a pram when you can’t see over the top of so I gave her a little hand. As she was pushing him along with  we had a little chat and she told me that she wanted to practice taking him for walks in his pram now so that she could take him out when she is a teen!
How cute does she look pushing the pram! ❤
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We then got to the beach and thankfully Dylans prams has nice big wheels so pushes wonderfully over the wet sand! The sea had just gone out so the sand was perfect and Dylan was happily napping in his pram. This meant that Amellia got to really enjoy the beach, play with the waves, make Rapunzel and hunt around in the seaweed without having to worry about leaving if he woke up in a bad mood.

We had such a wonderful time and it felt like some good old mummy daughter time too with Dylan fast asleep and Amellia having lots of fun, chasing her about the beach and helping her to build her Rapunzel!
It was a lovely day and will be a fond memory for us both!
Hope you are all enjoying your summer time, what have you been up too?!

-WeeOhana

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My Sunday Photo – 23.07

This week we have spent a lot of time enjoying beautiful beaches around us!
Amellia went down to visit my mum & dad for a few days so I took Dylan along to the beach alone so that he could play in the sand and if he hated it we could leave straight away without feeling guilty that Amellia hadn’t had a chance to play. He loved it!

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Seeing as he really enjoyed it I decided that I would take them both to the beach together to play.. typically Dylan fell asleep in his pram walking to the beach! Amellia still had a lovely time playing with the waves, etc! =]

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How was your week? =]
-WeeOhana

Photalife
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They aren’t all the same.

Many people have been telling us how lucky we are that we have already got Dylan seen by therapists, that we have got his education plan started and that we are already on the right route for him. Though how true really is this?

They tell you of the story of their best friends, cousins, aunties child who was only recently diagnosed at the age of ten. That they had been going through school without getting any extra help as they didn’t know anything was wrong until the school or someone else pointed it out. They then encouragingly tell us that Dylan will do great because if this kid could do it in mainstream school, why couldn’t he. That people didn’t even know, so people won’t notice with Dylan.
By this stage I’m already tuning out, nodding along, or looking at them like that have 6000 heads.
Don’t get me wrong I am super pleased that this child that they know somehow is now getting extra support and doing fantastically, but lets be realistic
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If you think these stories that you are telling me are helping me, or if you think all autistic children are the same; I encourage you to come to my house, give Dylan his lunch and then take him out to… let’s say for example soft play. (All children love soft play, right?) You can see what its really like and I can have some much needed me time, maybe I’ll clean, bath, or even have a nap!

Now that you are back to a refreshed and rested me, let’s have that chat again.
Do you now understand how this story is a much different case than Dylan?
You see, he couldn’t cope in a mainstream school. He is non-verbal, and well you have just had him out for the day so you witnessed his melt downs, how he lacks the understanding of any basic instructions, that he doesn’t enjoy what most kids enjoy, that there is no chance that he could make it to the age of ten before we questioned this. How in a mainstream school he wouldn’t cope a day, let alone several years?

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I will listen to your story and tell you how great it is that this child has now got the help they need, but please don’t try and link it to my son until you have witnessed what he is like.
That it isn’t just because of my background that this has been spotted early, that this would have been spotted by my health visitor anyway even without my questions and phone calls to her.
My son has severe autism, this affects everything and anything he does, every day.
Not just when he hasn’t slept well, or has a cold, or on Sunday.
This is every day, everything we do, and anything he does.

“If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism” – Stephen Shore.

-WeeOhana