21

CDC Take #2

I’m really not sure how I feel right now, what thoughts are going through my head or how I’m even expected to feel. I just can’t pin it down to one feeling.. in all honesty, I’m feeling a lot of them all at once and it isn’t doing my head and heart any good at all.

We arrived 10 minutes before the appointment hoping that it would help to get Dylan settled before the appointment.. but boy was I wrong. He screamed the place down and continued to do so for the 15 minutes late that our appointment was too. The lady then came to get us and said she had heard him from when we had come in. (thanks for making us wait then!) We then went into the room with the other therapists and it all started to become very real.
When we went in Dylan was not a happy bunny, pulling us by the hand to signal he wanted to leave, screaming and standing by the door. Thankfully the speech therapist remembered that he loved pop-up toys so she brought this out to see if it would settle him. He settled for a little while then she tried to remove this to encourage him to try something else with another of the therapists there.. but he just wasn’t playing ball. He settled after a while with some coloring and posting games, typically he was very happy when it was time to leave.

As all this was going on, I was having questions thrown at me left, right and center. Well no, they were very good at making sure they didn’t talk over anyone or myself, but I think it’s because I was the one in the firing range it just felt far too much. She was asking if this was how he got on when he goes into new places, how he had improved and I told her with a smile all the improvements I had felt he had made and she half smiled and told me they were great. Unfortunately though they all veer down a very obvious path and not the path that you want your child to travel.

The first thing that we got ticked off her list of things to get sorted was an education plan. She said that she didn’t think he would cope in a mainstream school even with a 1:1. She said that she would worry about his safety and that it just wouldn’t suit him at all. So all the information for this has been sent off and we are just to await an appointment of when to go and see them for them to write-up a report.
If I was being honest with myself, I knew this was going to be the outcome. Though I was living in hope, denial and wishful thinking.

The next part did shock me, I knew in my heart and my head that he was autistic, it was blatantly obvious. She had told us at the previous appointment that what she suspected was autism but he was too young to say for sure; but she told us at this appointment that; yes it is autism and that he is severely autistic. She said that he ticks every box for classic autism. It was a shock how she described him as severe, but when you look at it from a realistic point of view, he really is. Everyday life is a real struggle for him, and clearly something he doesn’t particularly enjoy when you are taking him out of his safe spaces.

My emotions are everywhere, I have written this post still feeling numb, unsure and disconnected from my emotions, because right now I’m really not sure where they are.
Friends & family keep asking how do I feel, honestly, I really don’t know right now.
I’m trying to make it to the next day with a smile, trying to stop it from sinking in. I don’t know when it will sink it, it may be in a matter of days or months but I know when it does I wont be someone you want to be around. Well, more I wont want to be around anyone. I will hide away and more than likely my hubby will need to take time off work to help me through this.
It’s not a simple path that we are going to walk, I’m going to fall off the wagon and right now; it could be any moment.

It’s a huge thing, it’s life changing not just for Dylan, but for the whole family.

-WeeOhana

3

Deliveries! =D

This week we got a few super cool deliveries!
One of them was a super amazing soft play mat that I had won in an auction on Facebook! If your interested in buying some soft play for in your house or business etc. I would really recommended checking out one of their auctions here!! They do them pretty regularly and there is always a bargain to be had!
When I saw this mat there was no way I was going to let it slip through my fingers!
It is the perfect size to fit in the little play corner we have in our room, blue and pink so means both my pair are happy and some wonderful stars stitched on to add a little magic! It is about the thickness of a gym mat, so wonderful for when the kids are throwing themselves about and works wonderfully as a head protector whenever Dylan decides to Do this.
Another winning feature on it for me was that it folds in half easily with a little grab handle, perfect for when we are having people over, or want a little floor space for train track building etc! Also very simple to clean, a quick baby wipe and it looks perfect again after any spills! I was more than impressed however with how quick I received this, I won the auction on Thursday, paid after dinner on Friday, it was posted on Monday and at my door on Tuesday morning! Wonderful quality, lovely customer service and super speedy delivery, I will be ordering some more shortly!
Here is a little video of Dylan enjoying dancing on the new mat to his favourite toy, BeatBo

 

The next delivery was one that took a little longer than I hopped, but boy was I pleased when it arrived! My sister sent me a link with what was the most perfect t-shirt I have ever seen. I then proceeded to look on the website and discover more and more amazing designs.. Luckily I had to be pretty controlled as the postage cost goes on weight of parcel and you can only have a certain amount in one parcel.. so I ordered us all one each of these t-shirts, but got a little disheartened when they didn’t do them small enough for little Dylan.. this didn’t discourage me though! I proceeded to place my order.. and discover that they did hoodies too! I mean .. check out this t-shirt!  (which I now have as a hoodie too)
img_6129So yes.. considering my blog name, and that this is also our favorite Disney movie I needed all of the things! I’m super impressed with how soft the t-shirts are, but I am very deeply in love with my hoodie.. fluffy on the inside, nice big hood, just perfect!
You can check out what they do here! They have three different designs each day that are at a cheaper price than the rest, but the others are also really reasonably priced and with some super awesome designs you wouldn’t find elsewhere!

 

-WeeOhana
x

0

Normal? I think not!

I read something really odd on a Facebook group today. A lady was asking the group that because she is a stay at home mum her fellow thinks that when he comes home from work he gets to watch whatever he wants, chill on the sofa ignoring the children and what they want to watch and relax. She then makes dinner while he watch’s what he wants then she spends the evening watching his programs. She wanted to know if this was normal behaviour! What do you think? What happens in your house?

I personally think this is absolutely ludicrous! Firstly my little girl would not let my hubby come in and just chill on the sofa without jumping on him, quizzing him about his day and everything he did then filling him in with what she has done when he was at work. Then if he was to turn off the program they were watching, I’m sure there would be a fight! My reaction would also not be very pleasant! He has been at work all day, and yes I know that he works very hard etc and I’m not belittling that at all, but his kids want to see him. He should also want to see them too and share his experiences of the day and enjoy hearing what they have done!

Also I feel that a lot of stay at home parents really do not get enough credit! It is hard work, very hard work, it is enjoyable but tough. So why should one get to come in and just relax and forget about everything when the other has been at home with the children all day! Least the working one gets out of the house and some time away!

As for the who gets to pick what they watch at night.. in my house we are generally pretty good at deciding together. We generally have a series that we are watching together so will watch a few episodes or if we fancy a movie we will pick together! Obviously sometimes there are things that my hubby really wants to watch so I let him watch and vice versa but generally its a mutual decision with what goes on the T.V!
Why should one of us get priority?
We are both equal, not one better than the other.

WeeOhana xx

1

Learning Curve to friendship <3

Amellia has been working really hard on building up her relationship with Dylan. She understands that he is a little different to others and that he doesn’t enjoy touching, close contact or really playing with her. Though I’m sure you can see how this is very difficult for a five year old to have to understand, and to follow through with. This is especially hard for her as she is basically the polar opposite of Dylan!

She wants to shower him with love and care. She wants to play with him 24/7, kiss and cuddle him and have in-depth conversations about what they are building with the Duplo blocks.. but she has slowly learnt that this isn’t going to get her very high up in Dylans popularity list. When he was building she used to go over and try and help and he would get frustrated at her and hit out, I always found this very hard to watch and explain to her over and over again. She wasn’t doing it out of badness, she just wanted to play and engage with her brother like she would other children. Whenever she then came anywhere near him he would hit out, try to bite her, scream etc at her.. and he still does now but not to anywhere near the same extent. They are both learning how each other work. She knows that if she goes and does something he can’t explain to her he is happy by himself so he will shout or do something else to show her, he has also learnt that not every time she walks past him or sits near that she is going to interrupt what he is doing.

I have seen huge progress between them recently, like all of a sudden they have clicked. They understand each other that little better and she understands why he is a little different and has accepted that she needs to treat him a little differently. Friday, was a huge moment for them. We came down in the morning when they had both awoken and Dylan was pottering about and Amellia was waking up and doing some drawing on her ipad.. when Dylan tottered over to her and sat up beside her all of his own accord. She then handed him her Ipad by choice and showed him what she was doing. She knows he really enjoys drawing so straight away he started to draw, he then took his little hand and placed it on hers. The squeal of delight out of Amellia was just magical. She didn’t want to move and declared this day to me as “The best day in her whole life” This is something that she has been waiting for, for a very long time!
img_4845They then sat like this for the next ten-fifteen minutes swapping whoevers hand was on top, while I melted with happiness for my little girl. This is the connection that she has been dying to get from her little brother since he was born and finally her dreams were coming true ❤
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I had seen that the friendship was growing rather steadily recently, like something had just clicked. She seemed to know when he didn’t want fussed over but was very quick to jump in when he was in a playful mood or was doing something she could do along side him! She did a lot of running about the house beside him before he would even acknowledge that she was there, but now he is looking for her when he starts running about, its magical.

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The other day they had lots of fun out on the trampoline together and Dylan got very upset when she got off, so she then got back on and bounced with him again! Then before she left she handed him a bit of chalk to draw with a zipped the trampoline up so he couldn’t get off by himself! This showed to me that she understood his cry was for her to come back, she then found something to distract him before she left and she also made sure her little brother was safe and couldn’t get hurt.

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This was on Thursday, she had gotten into the car beside him, and as you can see by her face, she is being careful not to touch him too much with her arm! He stayed a minute or two longer then was ready to depart and go back to the trampoline. His most favorite thing in the garden!

They are slowly working each other out, but today has been a big step in the right direction. I couldn’t be more proud of them both. When you have your sibling who understands you and supports you, it can really help you along.  ❤

WeeOhana xx

0

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

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