Regression :(

Dylan has had a rather large & pretty upsetting regression recently.
He is finding anything outside of the security of his home a huge challenge.
Things Dylan used to really enjoy have become nearly impossible for him, and the hard thing is we have no idea what started this regression and what has made him so scared of being outside of the home.


Parks have always been a little bit of a struggle for Dylan, but he used to be able to last about 15 minutes before he would start showing signs of distress and the need to leave, and this was ok. We could generally distract him and get him to stay for about 20 minutes which then meant Amellia got a nice amount of time to play too, but now its as soon as you even go into the car park.
You pull into the car park and he can see the park and this is a park that he has been to many times before so it isn’t a new environment that is setting him off and he just starts screaming and lashing around in his car seat. When you then take him out and set him down he is inconsolable, and because he doesn’t have any understanding to what you are saying to him it feels like an impossible task to help him understand that the park is fun, safe and you can enjoy it.
I can understand how this must sound crazy to most parents, I mean a child not enjoying a park it even seems crazy too me, how can my child not enjoy the park?
I have to teach my child that the park is a fun and safe place, that i itsn’t somewhere to be feared.
What makes it really hard for me to understand and to see is that if you walk to a park when he is in his pram he is trying to clamber out of his pram as is desperate to get out and play but as soon as his feet touch the ground when you get him out he just crumbles and cannot handle it.

Somewhere else that Dylan used to really enjoy going to is a little Mums & Tots that I go to that is just for children with additional needs. He used to love it, would run in most times sometimes he would have a little fuss but then would head straight to the ball pool and would spend the time happily pottering about doing whatever he fancied.
As of recent this is not the case at all. As soon as you pull into the car park he is screaming in the car and is not happy. I settle him down by letting him into the front of the car and he then pushes all the buttons and we head in.. as soon as the doors open he is straight on the floor screaming and giving off.. you would think I had taken him to a torture chamber and not a place he used to love.
Fortunately I don’t feel just as judged here as I would anywhere else. Many here understand and are very supportive, and I really think key to this all is making friends and chatting to people who are in the same situation as it really is an extremely hard one to understand unless you are in it too.

His favourite place to go used to be up to the horse where he loved getting involved with mucking out, making up the feed and just being around the horses, now he will just lay on the floor screaming and it is really horrible to watch, somewhere he used to really love and is so eager to get out of the car but as soon as he does something just stops him from being able to enjoy it.

I just wish he could tell me in some way what is going on, what is stopping him from enjoying these things and how to help because right now I feel pretty useless.



What’s your advice?!

Dylan has his first appointment with the dietician coming up soon!
I’m not entirely sure what to expect but if they can give us some advice on how to encourage him to move off this diet of toast, mince and rice crispies would be great!
I don’t have any concern about his weight really as he is pretty sturdiy and healthy looking boy, but eating a diet that is very minimal isn’t going to be the greatest for his inside.
We have to remember to do his food diary for three days before we go, but I’m pretty sure I could fill it in today and it would be right for then as we have tried everything we can think of to get him to eat other things!

To try and encourage him to have a more varied diet we have done from lots of messy play (which he really dislikes) too trying to sneak tiny bits in.. he spots it a mile off! At our first appointment with the CDC team we were told to do lots of messy play as your mouth is very closely linked to your hands with the feelings that they both feel.

We have persisted with the messy play, but he is still on dry pasta, sand and painting has recently been accepted but unfortunately that is about as far as he is willing to go at the moment. If we try him with things like shaving foam or anything even slightly goopy/sticky he will just leave the room and not come back in until it has been cleared away.

It’s hard work, but at least he eats something and isn’t wasting away.                            

Fortunately what he does like to eat is very healthy too.. though I’m not sure how long you can eat mince meat for dinner before it gets bad for you as I’m sure all that iron isn’t the greatest!

Have you any hints or tips to try and encourage him to eat a more varied diet?



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


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


Sensory Pasta Play!

This morning we woke up to a cold and wet day! Horrible, especially when I have two little ones to entertain as school is out for half term!
I was trying to think on my toes of what to do with them that was a little different to the usual coloring or toys that we have! I decided on something sensory to try out, hoping that if my little man didn’t just dive in he would copy his sister and at least give it a try!

I hunted in the cupboards to see what I could find and I hunted out some pasta! Some sensory play, that isn’t to messy and wouldn’t stick to my little mans hands which is something he really doesn’t like! I had some swirly pasta and then i broke up some pasta sheets into a bowl.


I then put the bowl on the floor and picked the pasta up and dropped it into the bowl so that it made a different noise and he came running out to see what was happening and he dove straight in! I was so happy, he was picking it up and running his hands through it all the time while laughing away. I then found a bigger container so that he could move them about a bit more and sit in it if he decided to.

He loved it, he was putting it between his toes, and even decided to take a little nibble on a bit which is truly incredible with his very strict diet and unwillingness to try anything different.


A very simple sensory play, but it was very effective!
Next time I am out I am going to buy a few bags of different kinds of pasta and color them all different colors, so it is even more visual for him!
After a week or two of playing with the pasta I may start to put a few bits of cooked pasta in at a time, only a very small number at the start and then slowly building. I know slimy things are not his favorite and is the reason he wont eat several foods (ham,pasta,etc) so I am going to do it very slowly and hopefully he wont notice the change and will accept it very well! =]

weeohana xx


Mums & Tots!

When I was at my CDC appointment with my little man they recommended a mums and tots group that was just for children who attended the unit as they know how hard it can be to go to other mums and tots with lots of children/noise etc! So I thought I would give it a bash!

When I would go to other mums & tots he couldn’t handle the noise, amount of people, amount of toys.. everything was just a giant sensory over load so he would go into a meltdown. This would consist of him screaming/crying/throwing himself to the floor/hitting his head off the floor/running at walls/scratching at himself.. people would stare, which made me feel extremely anxious, upset, judged and many other things. The leaders of the mums & tots would come over and sing/give him toys/try to help.. but obviously that just made it worse. Obviously they are trying to help and didn’t know what else to try/do.. so I ended up leaving and taking him to the car to settle him down, I would say to myself that maybe he would like a different mums & tots, that I would try others. Believe me, I tried several different mums & tots, I think I went to all of the ones in my area, but in the end I gave up. The longest I managed to stay at one with him was 15 minutes. When we first went in, he hated it, So I gave him my phone and sat him on my knee for him to watch Morph and accept what was going on around him and hopefully join in. A lady beside me made a comment about how he should be off playing with the other children and enjoying himself like a normal child rather than sitting playing on my phone. I didn’t even bother to reply.. I picked him up and left. I made a group decision for him and me, that we wouldn’t go back to a mums & tots for a long time.

Until when I was at my CDC appointment and they told me about the mums & tots I thought it sounded fantastic, it still took me a few weeks to go to it, to get over my anxiety of the looks/ what ifs and so forth! When I went, I couldn’t understand why I had put it off!

Its a fantastic mums & tots ran by a wonderful group. When we first went in, he wasn’t too happy.. so the lovely ladies there got out the bubble machine and then went away from him. He sat on my knee for while watching the bubbles, then he got up and started popping the bubbles then ran off and saw all the other wonderful things they had. The ladies then got me stuff to fill in while chatted to me about what they did and what was going on with my handsome man.
There was only 5 other children there, in a big hall with all the toys spaced out and a wonderful sensory room. It was fantastic, he pottered about by himself happy as larry without a care in the world. It was wonderful to see, and I chatted to a few of the mums, some of them in a very similar situations to me, it was great to speak to others who are going through the same sort of thing, who know what its like to still be feeding your two year old 10+ month food.

We now go every week and when we pull up outside the hall his little face lights up and he starts flapping in the wonderfully excited way that he does! Its great, to get out of the house and for us both to enjoy ourself and relax.

Is there anywhere that your children especially enjoy? Places they really don’t like?

WeeOhana xx


Child Developmental Clinic

It was my little mans CDC appointment the other day, and I really did not know what to expect from it. I had asked several people who had been to them before and everyone gave me different answers, so I’m going to tell you about my experience and how it all went!

The whole day before I had so much nervous energy I ended up sorting out my whole kitchen, cupboards and the lot!  hadn’t expected to get much sleep that night but I must have worn myself out running about like a lunatic cleaning/sorting/worrying etc as I actually managed a pretty decent sleep! Which was a great start as it gave me the energy I needed to be able to listen and concentrate on what was being said.

We were called from the waiting room and met a lovely lady who explained to us what was going to happen during the 90 minute appointment and that there was six other people there to observe him .. so seven people to watch my little 23 month old boy, that seems like an awful lot right! Well it seemed like even more when you walked into the room and saw them all staring at you..all happy, smiling and welcoming faces just very over whelming! My little man wasn’t sure at all what to think, but they are all very used to that and they had everything under there belt, the winning one for him was bubbles! He loves bubbles, what child doesn’t! They then all introduced themselves one by one; physio therapist, speech therapist, Occupational therapist and so forth! The questions then came as he was being observed by all the people there and as one by one they all went over to him and tried to get him to do whatever it was they wanted.. from walking up stairs to making eye contact.

There was so many questions asked I can hardly remember any of them or how I even answered, my partner told me he was impressed with how well I handled them all and answered them all… So I’m thinking they weren’t really the easiest of questions and that is why I have forgotten the majority of them, mixed in with my anxiety I’m surprised how I even remembered to breath through it all let alone answer all these questions thrown at me!

They then went around the room and gave there feedback to us about there findings; one thing that I was worried about was the muscles in his legs being a little short as he is constantly on his toes and not only just a little bit he goes fully up on his toes and occasionally will even walk on the other side of his toes! His muscles are fine though and we were advised to get him some heavy boots to try and encourage him to walk flat footed otherwise he will end up shortening the muscles in his legs. I am now on a hunt for some cute little boots in a lovely size 5! =]

The speech therapist told me to work on his eye contact and that we would have a few appointments with her shortly to help and give me more ideas on how to get him to give eye contact. Then the others mainly spoke about how to try and help him in the world around him, doing lots of messy play to try and encourage him to get used to different textures and how everything in the world around him is. To try tight clothing when I take him out to see if this helps him to feel settled as its like getting a big hug and close contact. I got lots of ideas of things to do with him to try and help him get used to different textures etc so that he will then hopefully start to eat a lot more things! Did you know that your hands are very closely linked to your mouth, so hopefully when he accepts different feelings on his hands he may start to in his mouth too!

It then came back round to the lady who was asking all the questions and listening to what everyone said; she looked at us very seriously and said that it was Autism.
Even though I had expected this my heart sank.. I just needed to get out of the room. Away from all the eyes watching and all the ears listening and waiting for my reply.
She then went on to tell us that she couldn’t refer us to the Autism Clinic until he was two and a half years old, so that we would have to come back in six months for this and that when we were back we would also discuss where would be best for him to go to school and to apply for schools too then as it was important to get on there lists from the start to make sure he got a place.

I asked a few more questions about how long till certain appointments etc.. then quickly left after thanking them all.

Even though I expected this outcome, it was still a huge shock. I am still coming to terms with it and I’m sure I will be for a very long time. I’m really not sure how to feel about it all.. all I know is that our life has changed forever.

I love him & I always will, no matter what.

WeeOhana xx



The Start of a Long Journey

I’m not really sure what to write, or how to phrase what I write really, I just know that I need to write it somewhere as a place to get it out and as a sort of journal for what all is about to begin. Currently we are just starting a long journey with our handsome son to see what is going on with him. Our first step is Monday when he is getting seen by the audiologist.

I’ve had my worries about him for a while, but it took me  until a few months to convince myself that I wasn’t just being silly and there was something going on. I then decided to book a doctors appointment and went armed with a list of my worries and concerns about what was going on with him. I felt like a crazy mum going in with a list, but the doctor there knows me well, was very welcoming and told me he was glad I had a list so that I didn’t forget anything. So after him checking over my little monkeys ears/throat etc we discussed what I was worried about, he decided that we needed to get the health visitor over to see him asap and to get the ball rolling to sort things out with him. One thing he said that really got to me was that “he will either progress from here, or start to go backwards.”

After speaking to my doctor I was hoping to have a weight lifted off my shoulders and him telling me that I was just being silly, not to rush him and so forth but as you can tell, thats not how it went. I came home and got on the phone to the health visitor to get her to come and sort us out. I had to wait a week until she was available to come over, and I’m sure a lot of you reading this are parents and you know how long a week feels when you are in panic and upset about your child.. little did I know the waiting time of a week was the shortest I would endure in this process.

When she arrived she asked me what my worries and concerns were and we got to have a good chat as he was having a little nap. My worries were.. I suppose still are!

  • He doesn’t respond to his name, no matter how loud you shout it. Though hears things like doors creaking etc. At the start I was worried he was deaf, until I realized it was more a selective hearing thing. (this is getting checked on Monday though as they have to clear his hearing before checking everything else)
  • He is 21 months and doesn’t say a word, he babbles a bit, but no words or sounds that mean anything to him. He used to say dada/dog etc and knew what they meant.. now they have disappeared.
  • He tiptoe walks, a lot. Like right up nearly as high as he can get.
  • Extremely fussy with the foods he eats.. Doesn’t really like lumps or bumps in his food.
  • Doesn’t brings toys over to show me/his dad or his sister
  • Isn’t keen on his sister sitting beside him, when she does he will try to bite her/pull her hair.
  • Very little eye contact, or response to emotions from others.
  • Head banging against a wall/floor (very upsetting to experience =()

As I told her these she asked me had I been on google and were these all big worries or just little things.. when I told her that I used to work with children with additional needs she started to listen a little more, and then when he woke up and demonstrated to her several of these things she then said that I was right to have a list written. She then plowed on to serious mode.. She told me that she hoped she would come here and see him and tell me that she would come back and see him in a few more months and that he would grow out of the things he did. Unfortunately she told me this wasn’t the case and she wanted to write down reports etc and get them sent off that night to get him on the list to be seen by the child developmental team as soon as possible. . This was at the start of July.

I have had a lot of time to take it all in, think things over and over again, worry, get upset, get annoyed and most emotions possible really. This is a real tough thing to be going through and to be left in the dark with when the ball will start rolling. I have his audio on Monday so at least that is something but I am yet to have an appointment from the child developmental team. I am going to ask them when I am in on Monday if they have a clue about time frame.. I think the not knowing when it is all going to start is the hardest.. Especially when I know that when the ball has started rolling it wont be straight forward and that it will be a long time after many appointments to know what is going on.

As his mum, I just want to make it all ok everything be fine and one day for him to wake and to have came on leaps and bounds. Be talking and everything.. but as the days and weeks go past, I know that wont be anytime soon. It hurts a lot, but I have to keep my brave face on, keep smiling and positive for my family.

One thing I have found through all this though is that you constantly seem to be on the look out for things that are different/worrying/wrong etc.. So I have tried to concentrate on the positive and enjoy what makes him, him. The way when he laughs, its from deep within him, he has the most wonderful and infections laugh and when you have discovered what makes him laugh you can do it 1000 times over and he will find it just as funny as he did the first time! How when you hand him something new he will inspect it in great detail, turning it over and over again in his hands looking at all the tiny little details on it. That he empties out the whole box of hot wheels to find the one with the red roof and then will grab any other one to have one in each hand.. then will go to the table and play with them for ages without anything distracting.. unless his sister goes near him! 😛  That he will pick the tiny bits off the carpet and place them in my hand and will do this until he thinks they have all gone! When he climbs up beside his sister and for the brief moment will sit beside her and how excited and happy she gets by this, and how at the park he will find a bridge, and go back and forth across this bridge the whole time we spend there chuckling away to himself. He does a whole load more that makes me so proud and privileged to have him as my wonderful son. I love him, and I always will, no matter what the outcome is.

WeeOhana. xx