He loved it…….

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The day I had been dreading has been and gone. Teddie loved his first day (morning) he, of course, had his moment at school but they are moments we were completely expecting!

Teddie needed to arrive at school at 8.45, We left the house at 8.40 (literally live around the corner) I didn’t want to hang around as Teddie isn’t always good with waiting. As soon as we got into the playground off came the coat and he wanted to play on the play ground but unfortunately, he didn’t have enough time.

Teddie had a bit of a melt down as he couldn’t play outside, I ended up leaving him crying which I really did not want to do.

I got a call from the school at 10.30 to say all was ok! Was very pleased to hear Teddie had handed over a PECS toilet card & went without any anxiety!

Teddie will be a learning curve for us all, even me, take today as an example- I was under the impression Teddie would want to go straight into class like he did at preschool but he had other ideas.

After chatting with his one to one & teacher this afternoon they mentioned the children will start their day with a phonics lesson & there will be no out door play first thing. Being informed with this I will get to the school earlier tomorrow so Teddie can play in the play ground before school.

All we can do is take one day as it comes!

We love our Bear & wouldn’t have him any other way!

 

Dear parents….

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I’ve stood in your shoes on more than one occasion, this may be your first experience with school or like me, you may have already been through the process.

Our Teddie (Bear) is due to start school on Tuesday, He is extremely clued on, Caring, loving & kind hearted boy but unfortunately, he cannot communicate with words as Teddie is non-verbal.
Teddie uses a complex form of communication known as PECS (picture exchange communications System) It requires Teddie to exchange a series of pictures which will correspond to what he wants or needs.

Some might say Teddie is hard work (I do sometimes) We have good days and bad days just like every family does. We have days when I question is Teddie any different than the next 4 – year -old then the minute I think it somethings happens and I’m literally pulling my hair out.

We all think the same when we see a child acting out or a parent who isn’t conforming but really we should be standing together as even if you hate to admit it you probably have been in the shoes of someone who is struggling with a strong minded child.

As your son or daughter embarks on their new journey at school I’m asking you a massive favour! On your walk or drive into school next week please would you support your child in educating them with basic knowledge of a special needs child. Tell them they kind, caring and friendly just like your child but they just need more time to adapt to their surroundings or situations.

Tell them, A special needs child can differ from each induvial.

  • They can struggle with their behaviour or ability to socialise, for example, they struggle to make friends
  • Reading and writing can be an issue but this could be because they have dyslexia
  • Their ability to understand things and their concentration levels may not be the same as your child
  • They may be a physical disability
  • Communication may play a vital role in their disability.

I have no concerns with Teddie trying to make friends at school, my main concern is the other children not making friends with him!
You and your child could make the difference of Teddie experiencing everything and more the infant school has to offer- the alternative is him having to leave the school as it’s made to hard for him.

We have everything in place for what Teddie will need for when he is at school but unfortunately, we cannot control who likes who. The thought of Teddie on his own at break and lunch time keeps me awake most nights.

Even without any additional needs is scary stuff starting school at any age, trying to fuse them friendship groups can cause stress to an adult let alone a 4- year- old.

Teddie will be eager as ever to get into class come Tuesday, he’ll be ready to make new friends and knows he has to be kind to everyone.

Please send your child to school no matter what age telling them to ‘Just be kind’!

 

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Devon….

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What can I say about our trip to Devon, Other than the horrendous drive we loved all the beauty it had to offer.

We arrived late Saturday afternoon the older boys were excited to see what the area had to offer. Teddie, on the other hand, seemed very disorientation when we came into our apartment, he really didn’t know what was going on. I could see how confused he was by just looking at him, his face showed it all, worry, fear, chaos and exhaustion. While we unpacked we gave Teddie the time to and space he needed to explore and settled into this new environment.

There were activists I was unsure Teddie would participate in as in the past he wouldn’t have entertained them. We had back up plans for back up plans but to our surprise, we didn’t need any of them!

Teddies confidence was astonishing he was jumping in & out the indoor and out door pool, went down water-slides without any hesitations, even walked the full length of a high top rope bridge.

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We are always proud of Teddie but this week we couldn’t be prouder- of course, we had our little battles but we found a way around them- most of the time.

We aren’t the family that eat out a lot, mainly because I can’t justify the prices for a family of 5 but we ate out every night and most lunches when we were away.  I think Teddie ate the same meal most nights, as much as I would love for him to have something different I would rather he eats what he likes then have him go hungry (would be unheard of with the amount he eats before dinner)

We had a large pink elephant park outside our apartment as soon as I saw it I knew the apartments opposite were going to be ours. Every morning Teddie would check the park was still there, we started telling him it was closed as if he’d had his way he’d be in there from 7 am to 7 pm!

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The holiday complex wasn’t what I expected but Loved spending time with Gareth and the boys which is all that counts.

I wanted the care free us to stay there forever as I knew once we were home and back to normality our days will be filled with the older boys in their rooms playing on Xbox or PlayStation, Teddie & I will be pottering around the house in between a load of washing and drying while Gareth’s back to work. 

It was so lovely filling our days with fun filled family quality time!

I completely underestimated Teddie on this holiday he braved some of his biggest obstacles I hope he continues with that strength and determination ready for his first day at ‘Big school’ in a weeks time.

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We continue to love and support our Bear and wouldn’t have him any other way!

The holiday…….

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The car is all packed and we are ready to go, We are off on our first ever U.K holiday travelling 305 miles to Devon. (Stress levels are high right now!)

The boys have been lucky enough to travel abroad most years but we hadn’t planned on a holiday abroad this summer so we thought we would give Devon a try. 

We have no idea how Teddie will be when we are there, we have lots of days out planned and lots of swimming (all Alfie is going for). We have a backup plan for every activity so if Teddie feels he can’t do it, it will be absolutely fine!! 

The last time we went on holiday was to Turkey, We were so excited to go it was going to be like all our other holidays, maybe even better. Unfortunately, it didn’t always feel like that at times.

It was on this holiday that I first noticed Teddie’s struggles, He hated the restaurant couldn’t get out of there quick enough. Gareth and I would have to take it in turns to eat our food then swap, Some night I wouldn’t even get to eat as Teddie didn’t want to stay with Gareth.

Every meal was an issue, it became very stressful mainly because I was really concerned what people thought, I knew how much we had paid for our holiday I didn’t want people to pay all that money and hear a child every meal time. I wouldn’t make eye contact with anyone for fear I would get a look which would end with me either feeling worse than I already did or worse I shouted and screamed at them. I ended up taking my frustrations out on my parent who was with us. It is something that I am still ashamed of even now.

Going on holiday with children isn’t the easiest even without any additional needs- the holiday we had hoped for just wasn’t panning out. We just needed a tiny break from it all, even half an hour so Gareth and I could share a coffee together or even push it to eat a meal at the same time. Now I completely get it, it was my parent’s holiday and the boys are ours, I shouldn’t have expected them to help when they are enjoying spending time together. ( They did help in the end after I lost it…… big time!)

As a rule, Teddie is always with me- I think most mums will agree with me when I say the dads get to do all the fun stuff (will make out it’s a chore) with the older kids while us mums stay with the little ones. I have told Gareth this is NOT happening on this holiday, I like fun stuff as well!!!

Will keep you all posted on how we got on!!

We love our Bear and wouldn’t want him any other way!

Love everyone the same!

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I love that Teddie is never afraid to approach children who are happily playing, he runs towards them with a spring in his step, I can see his determination in his face to make the boys who are playing together his friends. As he gets to the boys, who are playing with their nerf guns, he just stops by their feet with a massive smile on his face and just stands there. I can see both boys just staring at each other then back to Teddie, knowing what they are thinking but hoping to hell they don’t say it out loud, would hate for Teddie to witness nasty behaviour when he seems so happy. But within a second of standing there, he joyfully runs back to us as if he has achieved the task he was given. 😍😍💙

Had one of them thoughtful days yesterday, as we drove around seeing all the lovely faces the sunshine has to offer I noticed how different we are actually are.
Made me question what is being different ‘normal’

  • It is a girl with blonde hair, a girl with red hair, A girl with black skin or white skin.
  • Is it a boy with brown hair, a boy with black hair, a boy who is mixed race?.
  • Is it a lady who’s a lesbian? or a man who’s gay?
  • Is it a teenager with special needs?

As we grow our babies inside us all we ever want is for them to be healthy. As soon as we reach one milestone we worry and threat about the next but in all honesty, if I was told there was a problem, health wise with any of my boys I would still love them as much as I did the previous day.

There really is no such thing a being different, we are all different without having any additional needs but unfortunately, society has led some people down a road that is filled with hatred.

The only thing that’s wrong with being ‘different’ is if you allow the judgement of others to bother you so be pragmatic, Walk tall and walk your path with a humble heart and be proud of being you! Would you really want to be all the same- I know I wouldn’t.

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

Dear Teddie…..

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Dear Teddie

The day I found out I was pregnant with you, I knew then you would be our special boy. You came as a complete surprise but we loved you the second we knew you were coming.

We had your name picked before we even knew you were a boy- of course, you were going to be a boy. It came to no surprise when we were told yes, in fact, you were a boy (it has always been Rach and her boys, we couldn’t change it now after all this time)

You were the perfect baby, fat and chubby like babies are meant to be. We slept in a feeding chair for the first few months. Daddy used to tuck my legs into our duvet so I got a sense of what our bed felt like. I could have fed you and put you in your crib but I never wanted to put you down.

I used to catch Daddy staring at me when I used to smell & kiss you while we snuggled, I honestly loved you so much (still do) I just couldn’t leave you alone.

You were the easiest baby, from an early age you insisted on being in bed by 5.30, It took us years (age 3) to drag out your bedtime too later. We never did anything in the evenings as our Bear needed his bed, we couldn’t even whisper the word ‘bed’ as you would want to go up.

You have always been confident & strong minded (you take after me for that) even now you never let your differences stop you, you are who you are for that there are a few things I want you to know:

  • 1: Never stop being you, even on bad days when you see me falling apart (or rocking in the corner) these days don’t define you or meant to hurt you. As you grow up you will see everyone copes with issues in different ways- it is by no means your fault when you see me fall.
  • 2: Your passion to succeed will not only become you, it will set you up for life. Every hurdle you face or new topic you have to learn you have always carried it out with perfection. 
  • 3: It’s never as bad as you think, The longer you procrastinate or avoid doing something, the harder it becomes. If you fail at least you tried!

Today we will face a battle like we did yesterday and will probably tomorrow but battles are there to be won.

You have a long road ahead but Daddy, Harvey, Alfie and I will forever be by your side!

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Is it bedtime yet, for me!

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I’ve escaped upstairs to have a very early bath! It’s been one of them days!

Broadband has been playing up again so I called BT to have a rant and went through all the mind numbing questions and task. Any parent will understand the words “can you turn your broadband off” even without having a child with complex needs it’s basically like saying world war 3 is about to begin! As I did what I was told I waited for it………WHAT!!! Harvey came running down the stairs moaning as he was in the middle of some stupid Fifa game, Teddies screaming as he was watching some crap about opening a kinder egg, Alf was the only one not moaning!

We got through it all by Teddie throwing my birthing ball (FYI I never used it) up the stairs and letting it roll back down while the other two had Gareth’s boxing gloves out and punching each other in the hall way upstairs!! Dinner was late going in the oven as the very lovely lady from BT was telling me all about her holidaying in the UK (thanks for that). I did lots of different variations for dinner, Chicken and bacon Kievs for Harvey while Gareth and Alfie had chicken wrapped in puff pastry, chips for Gareth, couscous for Alfie!! Teddie wouldn’t eat any of that so he had just Chips! He, of course, wasn’t happy with that and got every PECS card he could find of chicken nuggets and gave it to me- we don’t have any chicken nuggets (kill me now!)

Tomorrow BT are coming out, again so the afternoon will end the Same way today has, cheers for that!!

My hero!

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Alfie is for sure my hero, I cannot put into words how much he helps me (us) every day. Alf does the normal brother duties but he just goes above and beyond them every single day. Today we went to the zoo, Teddie was busting for a wee while we were at the park but was so scared to go he ended up wetting himself- which he was mortified about. Alfie went over with some tissues and cleaned it all up then came and sat with Teddie while I sorted him out. Luckily I took Teddie’s old preschool bag and it had spare clothes in it otherwise it wouldn’t have ended so well. There were some boys (I have a better name for them) at the park who were laughing at Teddie because he wet himself, I wanted to shout and scream at them and their parents but could tell they wouldn’t do anything if I had said something, I could see Alfie thought the same & when he and Teddie went back in the park he made sure the boys didn’t say anything to Teddie.  Generally, when we need Teddie to do something or Teddie needs help Alfie will always offer to help first as he knows Teddie will do it if Alfie does it, I don’t know what I’d do without him sometimes!

I read an inspiring article this past week on Paddy McGuinness who spoke opening about his twins who have been diagnosed with having autism. There were mixed views on some of the comments he made on social media but I completely agreed with what he said and could really relate to him.  “Some days, it feels like you’re slowly drowning. It’s like you’re under water desperately swimming up to get oxygen, but never getting there.” (hello magazine) Although for us we have yet to have a diagnosis I’m certain Teddie will get an autism diagnosis.

I called CADU again this week to check an appointment hasn’t been made for while we are on holiday (will just be our luck) I spoke to a lovely lady who point blank said Teddie will not be seen any time in the next few months!! Cadu is currently under review and things are or may change. She mentioned a specialist health visitor will come out to see Teddie then there will be anything from 4-8 week wait to be seen in clinic which will probably mean Teddie waiting a whole year from the date he was first referred.

School holiday has been ok so far, “It’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man is snoring”- A song we have sung most mornings his past week, although it always turns out nice it’s like the weather secretly know it’s school holidays and enjoys installing panic in us parents when we have a day planned!  We have had a few days out so far, although we have faced a few issues with Teddie it has by no means ruin our day, we deal with them and move on.

We love our Bear and would never have him any other way!

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As one chapter ends, a new one starts.

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How is it even possible that our baby finishes preschool in a few days and about embark on a new chapter in his life, school.
I say to new parents, enjoy the time you have with your little ones because it honestly feels like you blink and they’re starting school.
I’ve always thought once they start school, they lose that ‘little one’ label, you see such a change in them. I know we constantly underestimated how much Harvey and Alfie could actually do, at home, we did everything for them. I remember seeing a video of Alfie cutting vegetables with a sharp knife, I don’t let him use a knife at home now and he’s nearly 10!

Lots of parents have an option of whether 6 weeks holiday is too long, right now I’m counting down till the boys break up, ask me again in a week and I’ll be that parents, saying it’s farrrrrrrr to long.
I’m looking forward to the lazy morning’s & not having to rush around trying to find socks that match every night then again in the morning as I’ve fallen asleep on the sofa the night before. I absolutely HATE socks, they are the bane of my life. Where do boys keep their socks because they are not in their draw, nor the washing basket or the tumble dryer, seriously where are they??. Alfie Went to school in the same socks twice in a row last week, Harvey does this most day but that’s cos he’s a 14-year-old, apparently, it’s ok!.
As much as I’m looking forward to not wasting my life on socks, school holidays also means I’m running a cafe, breakfast, lunch and dinner needs to meet restaurant standards. Why can’t my boys just eat normal food? Alf wants pancakes, Teddie want a loaf of bread toasted and cut into the shape he desires (and that’s just for breakfast) and then there’s Harvey- this boy can eat! Harvey wants a full English for breakfast, pizza for lunch (a whole one) and then an Italian pasta dish for dinner, thank god we have that money tree in the back garden!

The odd afternoon I’ve been taking Teddie into his Reception class he’ll be in in September, he loves the outside play area & the other class that’s adjoined to his. This afternoon some of the current reception children were still in class as their parents hadn’t been seen. I walked over to find him queueing with the other class children, did make me laugh that he wanted to queue with them.
Last week I had a meeting with the current school senco, area senco and Teddie’s pre-school manager. We talked at length about what Teddie will need come September. We created an effective IEP (An IEP or Individual Education Plan is a plan or programme designed for children with SEN to help them to get the most out of their education) We talked at length about my concerns and the issues he faces every day and not knowing whether they will affect him come September, it was thought best to be ready with the support just in case.
It was thought that the difference Teddie may experience might not truly show until year 1 as year 1 is a lot more structured than reception.

Teddie will be seen by the specialist teacher team, I so pleased to find out it’s someone we know and has a connection to our little family (parent from boys old school) I look forward to her coming alone on Teddie’s journey.
I have no idea how the school will pan out for Teddie, all we can do is try and hope he’ll be ok and If he isn’t then we have other options.
For now, we continue to love our Bear, and wouldn’t have him any other way!.