Guess what, I’m not a super mum!

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Thank God for good makeup, otherwise, I’d look how I feel!

This week I’ve come to the conclusion I cannot do it all, I’m not the super mum people have claimed me to be in the past so I’ll let you in on a little secret…….

I just don’t care. The boys possibly wear the same pair of socks twice in a row maybe longer, mainly because I hate socks, I hate looking for them, I hate pairing them up, I.HATE.SOCKS.

Homework. I used to do the Harvey & Alfies (mainly Alfie) homework for them, I’d sit and glue a million cocktail sticks to a cardboard box to make a miniature Big Ben even though the homework instructions said to draw it. Them days have well and truly gone, If Alfie’s homework isn’t done it’s his issue, not mine I’m over sitting up the table while he’s on his PS4 chatting with God knows who online.

Saturdays. We very rarely get dressed and hardly ever leave the house. Harvey & Alfie sit on their PS4/Xbox most of the day playing games that are possibly unsuitable for their age but its two fewer children hanging around my feet annoying me!!

Earphones. I brought Teddie some earphones because I cannot cope with the constant noise coming from his Kindle, I cannot describe the sound other then horrendous if I hear it for much longer I may start headbutting the wall to ease the pain!!!!!!

Washing up. I go to bed sometimes and leave the dinner plates by the sink or I throw the dishes into the sink to “soak” but really my thinking behind the “soak” is it will be easier for Gareth to wash them up in the morning!

Sofa. Once my bum hits the sofa at night it never ends well, within 10 minutes I’m out for the count, If Gareth brings the duvet down I’ll be asleep within seconds! I very rarely watch TV at night, Thank God for catch up!!

Pj’s. I am in my PJ’s before all the boys most night, sometimes I put my PJ’s back on after the morning school run if I’m working on the laptop all day. Alfie has slept in his school shorts a few times this week, I would like to say he has put clean ones on the next morning but I’m not overly confident he has! Teddie keeps his uniform on until he literally climbs into bed as if we put PJ’s on any earlier he’ll have a shit fit as he’ll think he’s going to bed that second. Harvey, he’s 14 enough said!

 

The reasons:

Half the reason for all the above is probably my anxiety medication, it certainly suppresses feelings of not caring about things that have bothered me before I took the tablets. Although the tablets have helped my obsession with not caring about the littlest things I still have the sense of danger in the pit of my stomach that at times can take over and stop me from doing things I want to do. I have now taken the steps and self referred to Health in mind, I have had a pre-assessment with the aim to receive some CBT (Cognitive behavioural therapy) which I laugh about as it’s the area I’m doing my degree in. 

For anyone who needs help, please don’t suffer in silence, tell someone how your feeling or write it down as it honestly feels like a weight, although only slightly has been lifted. Contact health in mind!

The A word………

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A question I am always asked is whether Teddie is aware he’s any different from his peers, my answer has always been the same,

“No”

Teddies confidence has always been refreshing, without it I think he would be a completely different boy.

Teddie is unfamiliar with unkind words and name calling, I doubt he has any concept of them if a child said something to him as he’s never been around that environment. Unless there was physical contact, ie pushing Teddie would continue to play around them. There will, of course, be a time when Teddie is exposed to this bully like behaviour, I only hope this never hinders his confidence.

Teddie will happily approach new children and always tries to join in on their game, especially if its chase.
The difference between Teddie and the other children is Teddie has no concept whether the children want him to play with them, most of the time Teddie isn’t playing with the new children, he’s actually playing alongside them. If the children ran off without him he would happily run with them thinking he is joining in.

This week Gareth and I caught up on the TV series The A word. The story follows members of the Hughes family, who seem to lead a normal existence until they receive some unexpected news. Communication problems with 5-year-old son Joe Hughes lead to a diagnosis of autism.

While watching The A word I noticed a lot of similarities to our journey, we went through the motions of saying

“he’ll get there”

Although there are many similarities we have never hidden behind Teddie having special needs, in that respect, we are complete opposites.

last weeks programme, Alison Joe’s mum forgot to charge his iPod which he listens to all the time, Joe’s iPod runs out of battery in the car on the way to his new specialist school. This completely changes the dynamics of Joe’s morning resulting in a difficult transition into his new school for Joe and his mum. I sympathized with her as the slightest change to routine can make or break Teddie,

I love the series but what annoyed me was how quick Joe got a placement into a specialist school, most families I know have had to go through legal proceedings to get a placement.
I know it’s only a programme but I would have liked the series to have shown the struggles us families have to go through in order to get what our children are entitled too.

I have made more PECs cards this weekend, Teddie is still showing signs of being unsettled, even at home. I have placed social stories on our routines and the school transition around the house so he knows whats happening. I have also printed a plan & completed board for Teddies 1:1 to try, if the day can be planned ahead Teddie will feel less anxious if he can see whats going to happen (hopefully)

Life with a Bear has its up’s and down’s but as always we wouldn’t have him any other way!

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EHCP……

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After some consideration, we’ve decided to go for an EHCP ( Education, Health and Care Plan) with the plan that Teddie will attend a specialist school at some point, ideally next year.

An EHCP can be applied for by the school or their parents but the 2014 SEND Code of Practice states that schools should start the EHCP process with the knowledge and agreement of the parents, this is what we are doing.

Applying for an EHCP is a lengthy process there are many steps that need to be followed: 

  • Step 1. Making the request
  • Step 2. The local authority’s initial decision
  • Step 3. Assessment
  • Step 4. Drafting the EHCP
  • Step 5. Agreeing on the EHCP
  • Step 6. Finalising the EHCP

Once everything has been agreed, the local authority will send out the final plan. This should happen as soon as possible; technically you should receive it a maximum of 20 weeks after the first request for assessment.

As much as we LOVE the school Teddie goes to we have to look Teddies best interest for the future. As the process takes forever, in my opinion, its best to apply for it all now as things change so quickly. 

Every day Teddie seems to get more distressed as the daily routine changes, this week its been the rehearsals for the Christmas play, Teddie has managed to be apart of most of the rehearsals but needs to leave before the end as its too much for him.

Today it’s come to school in PJ’S for children in need, we have implemented it for about a week with PECs cards and social stories. We have brought new Pj’s so Teddie cannot make the association with bedtime & have been telling Bear it is rocket day at school as his new PJ’s has a rocket on. This change will either go 2 ways!!

Teddie has been very distressed with the end of day routine at school these last few weeks, its been agreed Teddie will go into the rainbow room for sensory play until the end of day bell rings. By doing this Teddie can then gets his coat and can leave straight away which is less stressful for him, me & his 1:1.

We have been doing lots of phonics, shapes & number work at home, we use the bingo format as this works best for Teddie. Teddie has been able to place the alphabet in order since he was 2, he still enjoys doing it now! Making these adaptions is the best way for Teddie to learn, we are lucky that Teddie has a very good memory, you only have to show him once and he’ll just get it.

We are having a referral to see an occupational therapist to help develop Teddies skills for handwriting & his fine motor skills. The process for OT has changed, they are no longer seeing individual children but put on group therapy sessions, we are filling the paperwork out today for it, hopefully, there won’t be a long wait.

 

Life on the spectrum……..

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When I look back at my first blog, I said

“life with Bear can only be described as unpredictable”.

Teddie has come on so much since my first blog but in all honesty life on the spectrum will always be unpredictable as every day is different, he may be ok with one thing today but can be an issue tomorrow.

Teddie inabilities to communicate have never really hindered him as much as you would think it would.  Teddie’s vocabulary has improved enormously since we started his journey ( he is now stringing 2-3 words together) but still, his anxieties get in the way nearly every day.

The class toilets were out of action on Tuesday, Teddie has major toilet anxieties and will only use the 2nd toilet on the left- This was one of the toilets that were broken. By the end of the day, all the toilets in the class were out of action. Teddie went 7 hours without going to the toilet as he was so frightened to go near the other school toilets.

We had a plan in place to put a photo of Teddie on the door of the toilet he uses for a few weeks then move the photo to another toilet door in the hope this will encourage him to use the other toilet. We had to act on this quicker than expected, but the result wasn’t a good one.

Wednesday morning Teddie was reluctant to get ready for school, Alfie left without us which is unheard of! Teddie kept saying; 

“No toilet! No toilet!”

I managed to get him to school where we were all very pleased to see the toilets in the class had been repaired……….thank the Lord!!!

This is still an area we need to try to resolve, for now, Teddie can happily wee away in the 2nd toilet on the left.

Yesterday Gareth and I attended a parent afternoon in Teddie’s class, it was so lovely to see him happily playing with his friends in the playground, felt for poor Mrs.Turner (Teddie’s afternoon 1:1) running around after him, it’s definitely classed as a workout!

Although it was lovely seeing Teddie joyfully playing, I came away feeling slightly despondent. Teddies differences are quantified depending on the activity, on this occasion after tiding away (he was reluctant to help) all the children headed in the class for a storey, Teddie didn’t join in at all.

Teddie was by no means segregated, he was in the classroom playing with play-doh and focusing on his fine motor skills with Mr.Turner, Gareth & myself. Teddie became slightly distressed when we said it was time to pack away, Teddie reached out for his PECs peanut ball card which is in the sensory room. Mrs.Turner allowed Teddie 5 minutes in the sensory room where he happily jumped around watching the parrot image projected onto the wall.

As much as these sensory breaks are vital for Teddie I keep questioning if a mainstream school is right for him. Adaptions will always be made for him but the curriculum is what it is, you have to conform in order to succeed. I’m not ruling out Teddie staying in mainstream school but we have to look at the bigger picture, although this year is going so well year 1 is more structured and learning levels are increased. If Teddie cannot recite words from a book, shapes and count to a million he fails it all.

I never under-estimate Teddie, his wanting to learn is so refreshing and normally does the opposite of my worries, for now, we are more than happy with how everything is going, Teddie has the best support at school, we are honestly so lucky.

We love our Bear and wouldn’t have him any other way.