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Fell off the wagon, back now.. Sorry!

First off, sorry it has been so long since I have blogged. We have had a lot going on and I kinda fell off the blogging band wagon, but here we go with an update and trying to get back on the band wagon.

Dylan currently does not have a school place, due to no school suitable having a place. This means that we are having to home school him for now until a place does come up but no one seems to be able to give us any clue of when a space may come up or offering us advice on what we should be doing with him while he is at home.
Mainly I have been trying to work on his self-help skills and eating. Encouraging him to learn how to turn the tap on, put soap on his hands and wash them properly, we attempted potty training again for a good few weeks and he just couldn’t get the whole needing to go thing so we have put that on the back burner for a while until he is ready and notices more of the signs. Making food a little fun with trying to encourage sensory play with food, just touching a new food before having one of his safe foods and getting out and about in the world.

He is starting to put weight back on instead of losing it so we are celebrating that greatly, even though it took 4 months to put 0.2kg on it is a plus instead of a loss. He now has the majority of his safe foods back, minus the mince but I am not giving up hope on that and have my fingers crossed it will be back shortly, or maybe some other form of meat and goodness!
Verbally he has came on, and it is incredible to watch him as when he was first seen we were told to not expect him to talk. His favourite thing to do is walk around counting, Dylan is at his happiest when numbers are involved. Encouraging his numbers in everyday situations and trying to do things that involve numbers but aren’t just counting or adding is something I have been trying to do. Sensory play but with numbers in that his has to get out, colouring in numberblocks, dot to dot to make a numberblock.. basically anything that I can put numbers into to encourage him to do it I am.
He has also have seen an OT recently which I wont go into here but will do another post about along with all the other things that have been going on with him and expanding on what I’ve already mentioned.

Amellia has started P4 and it is not going anywhere near as good as P3 went. She used to wish the weekends away so that she could hurry back to school to see her teacher and now she wants the weekends to never end. Neither are ideal, I mean I would much rather she enjoyed her weekends and her time in school so a happy medium of the two would have been perfect. Maybe one day she will find that, but for now I am reminding her I am here to chat to no matter how she feels and that if she keeps persevering it may start to get better sooner than she expects.

 

We have been enjoying a lot of family time and getting out and about together. I am hoping that the winter isn’t too wet so that we can keep exploring and enjoying these times together as indoor places are not Dylan’s favourite. Indoor places tend to be busy and noisy making it very hard to go as a family as what often happens is one of us ends up leaving early while one stays in with Amellia. This in turn causes upset to everyone as Amellia wants us to spend time together, Dylan ends in meltdown and as parents you feel guilty at having to go separate ways and defeated.

Here is to a winter where we can still go out in the open without getting too wet or cold and being back on the blogging band wagon as it is something I really enjoy!

-WeeOhana

 

 

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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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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!

 

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Leaps & Bounds of progress!

These past few months Dylan has been slowly progressing, but over the past month it seems to all be coming together. We have many words now which is absolutely incredible seeing as every time he has been seen by his pediatrican we kept getting reminded that not all autistic children talk and not to get our hopes up. He can request things like his iPad, juice etc, it’s amazing to see and I have got a lot of hope for the future now and I’m sure his language skills will continue to develop and maybe one day we will be able to have a conversation with us! It gives us a lot of hope and really lifts spirits.

In school they have started to use pecs to help him move from one place to the next, his anxiety is brought down a lot with these pictures and I am now running about like crazy taking pictures of everywhere we go so that I can use them at home with him too. I am hoping it will help when out and about with him so that we can keep him calm and hopefully enjoying what we are doing rather than worrying about what is to come next.

He is starting to try new foods, well he has licked a yogurt and they are trying to encourage him to try new things in school via pictures and are going to get me some to try at home with him, which is a really exciting prospect. Dylan’s eating has always been a worry for me, as much as the dietician says it is fine because he isn’t losing weight it cannot be healthy for him and is not ideal. I would love to be able to just pick him up something when out and about but unfortunately at this moment in time that isn’t really attainable as he doesn’t eat very much at all especially for dinners and lunch. Maybe one day he will eat a sandwich, now that would be incredible!

He has also started to interact a lot more with Amellia and the other children he knows. He will ask them for races using his makaton that he is starting to pick up and what is even more amazing is that the kids around us are so great too him. They understand him really well and it is so great to see them running around together and enjoying each other’s company. Something again I wasn’t sure I would ever get to experience with him.

Something he has started to really enjoy also is playing mario, he is learning how to control him and enjoys walking him around the map. Before he just used to hold the button and laugh as he fell off the edge, which is funny.. but finding something he really enjoys doing and playing is great!

Obviously he still has his hard times, but I totally adore him and he is simply wonderful. I will continue to encourage his growth and I truly believe give a child the tools and encouragement they need and they will progress in there own time!

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Mount Stewart!

Recently I decided to become a member of the National Trust! I don’t know why I haven’t done it before with so many great properties so close to me, but I decided that I would get a lot of use from it this year with both the kids able to enjoy it now!
Our first trip out using our membership was to Mount Stewart. We had heard about the new park that had been built there and when we woke up on Sunday and it was a glorious morning I decided that once I had fed and watered the kids I would take them out to see what the new park was like!
Amellia was very excited and just couldn’t wait to get going, and was even more excited when I let her know that it was only a 15-20 minute drive. A beautiful drive to along the Strangford lough with a spectacular view of Scrabo Tower!

When you go through the gates to Mount Stewart if you are wanting to go to the park go straight on at the round about and park in the first car park on the right! Once parked and you have everyone bundled out of the car, you then head to the little hut just in front of the car park! We got greeted by a lovely man who chatted to us about the park and told Amellia & Dylan to have a wonderful time! He then pointed us in the way of the park.. walk down the path and first left is up to the park but it is a barked path so not great for prams! We choose the second left so that I could push the pram up easily.. well not really easily it is a pretty uphill path but it was ok, We stopped to admire views and then hunted out the entrance to the park!

img_5865The park is based on letters wrote by Lady Londonderry while she was away in Spain to her daughter. They are trying to get these books republished so that they can help the park come alive to all the children who visit but for now you can check out some snippets from the books here.

As we ventured in I wasn’t really sure what I was expecting to find, I thought it would be a cute little park, but I was wrong, It was an amazing, large, very open, with wonderful made play features in! Whenever we arrived nobody else was there as it was early on a Sunday morning, so it made it perfect! I parked the pram in the middle of the park, lifted Dylan out and we set out exploring!

My little girl loved spotting all the wooden animals about the park and was on full charge mode to find them all in a record-breaking time! There was lots of them all crafted into different animals! I was so impressed with them all, the detail on them was incredibly! By the time Amellia had raced around and found them all, Dylan was still busy inspecting the first on he found in great detail! My favorite was the cute little octopus & Amellia loved this rabbit the best!

Onwards to explore! There was stepping-stones.. well stepping logs in this case! Climbing frame, balance beam, seesaw and lots of other wonderful things all made out of wood! It was just simply amazing. While Amellia was happy exploring and climbing on everything possible, Dylan really enjoyed pottering about in the big open space in the sun!

At the far end of the park there is a big open space which Amellia and Dylan spent a long time in, drumming on the stepping logs, running about and digging in the dirt! Dylan really enjoyed this as he has only just accepted the feeling of dirt on his hands, so they both sat down for a while and played in the dirt.. and ended up covered! Typical!!
There was also a big wooden chair at the end.. which I tried to get a lovely photo of my pair in.. obviously it wasn’t successful, when do those pictures ever go well, right!?
img_5920We spent two hours here, running about, laughing, climbing on things, watching a honey bee on a flower, practicing our balancing and enjoying being outside without being to restrained on where we could wander! Dylan wanted to stay there for a lot longer than I expected, he normally really likes new places like this for about thirty minutes then realises that it is somewhere new and starts screaming to leave. I think what really helped here was that we had gone so early so we were the only ones there, there was lots of open space between everything so lots of room to potter about and enjoy the fresh air and it was such a large area that I only had to turn him round a few times to keep him close by so that I could see Amellia too!

When it was time go he came over to me and put his arms up, so I picked him up and walked about for a little while showing him the wooden animals again so that Amellia could have minutes before leaving!

We then were going to go to the cafe to grab a spot of lunch.. but silly mummy forgot her purse, doh, so we had to head home for some lunch! The kids cannot wait untill the next time we visit, which will be very soon and I will remember my purse next time!

You should be sure to pop by and visit Mount Stewart if you are wondering where to head for a day out with your family! I will be sure to let you know about all the other hidden gems around the Mount Stewart gardens whenever we have explored further!
-WeeOhana x

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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…/”

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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.