Reflection

How has 2017 come to an end already, where has this year gone?

The support we have had from family, friends and strangers who now we class as friends have been overwhelming.

I started writing Life with a Bear mainly because I felt like I was going insane with the behaviours I was experiencing from Teddie, I needed to vent my frustrations through writing. I never expected to get such a good response just from being honest with how I was feeling with Teddie’s journey. 

This year has brought ups & downs from having appointments cancelled left, right and centre, Overcoming one hurdle only to be faced with another, leaving preschool and starting school.

The kindness and support Teddie has received from the staff at preschool and now at school are truly amazing. Teaching is a job but caring the amount these lovely ladies do about Teddie’s well-being goes above and beyond their job role.

In the beginning of our, journey I don’t actually think autism was something I even considered, I just thought what Teddie was experiencing was a speech delay.

It wasn’t until I started researching speech delays in children I stumbled across an article on non-verbal autism, as I read through the article it was like someone was reading about Teddie, I knew in that moment Teddie was autistic. 

I’m often asked how I feel about Teddie’s disabilities, I understand why people would ask that question, I would probably ask the same thing. For me, it’s never been an issue, would I prefer Teddie not to have autism? I’m really not sure. 

Don’t get me wrong at times (most of the time lately) I HATE autism;

  • I hate the waves of distress it brings Teddie.
  • I hate the anxieties that haunt’s Teddie daily.
  • I hate the fear & sadness it brings him.
  • I hate that Teddie cannot express love or emotion like we do.
  • Most of all, I hate there’s no cure!.

As much as I have hate for autism, autism has made Teddie who he is. The love we have for our Bear takes over and will always outweigh the hate.

From the minute Teddie was born I knew in my heart he was gonna be our special Bear. I couldn’t take my eye’s off him and haven’t really since.

Teddies personality is infectious, he is so confident (considering) he lights up a room when he enters it we honestly couldn’t be prouder of him.

Parents often count down the years till their children grow up and are off their hands, I know we certainly have with Harvey (I’ve got my eye on his room). As much as I wanna push Teddie into the wide world we have to realise that maybe something that doesn’t or cannot happen.

For now, my everything is solely learning, researching and help educate people on what life can be like for families affected by autism.

We wish everyone who follows us a very Happy New year!

All about the emotions……..

feeling

 

For months we have been trying to find a way to help with Teddie’s anxieties. While we have been looking for ways to help we have overlooked the emotions that come with these issues. Unlocking his emotions may well be the key to supporting him with his current anxieties.

There are a trillion different techniques for learning and discovering feelings online & in books but implementing them is no way as easy as its mentioned.

Emotions are traditionally fractionated into six ‘basic’ emotions;

  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Afraid
  • Disgusted
  • Surprised

Helping Teddie express his emotions when needing to use unfamiliar toilets we may have a better understanding of how he’s feeling.

We do not understand why using certain toilets affect him the way they do, he has the fear on his face whenever I even whisper the word toilet. We want Teddie to be in control of his feelings & have the ability to tell us when he’s scared, sad or happy!

We are aiming to focus on the main 4 emotions first, Happy, sad, angry & afraid I have also added “poorly”. Teddie knows when someone else is unwell but are very reluctant to brand himself whenever he is poorly.

Visual has always been everything for Teddie, we have made PECS cards for all six emotions, the school are focusing purely on the main 4 while we will cover the 6 at home. I have made cartoon PEC’s cards & family PEC’s cards showing the different emotions.

If we make learning the emotion fun enough Teddie will know them by the end of the week, Teddie learns things at a ridiculous rate.

I will start with a word bingo game followed by saying an emotion and get Teddie to pick the corresponding card. These learning techniques have proven well in the past. Teddie loves to play word & number bingo, I’m confident he’ll love this game just as much. 

Once Teddie understands his emotions we will create the Emotions Wall, Teddie can use it when he is experiencing an emotion that he is struggling to express.

Last week we met with Teddie’s teacher, senco, specialist teacher and his EP (educational psychologist) to complete another one plan.

The specialist teacher will be in discussion with the class teacher and see him every term, the EP will use puppets to help communicate Teddie worries and fears. With these professionals helping we may have enough to apply for an EHCP next term, fingers crossed.

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

School holidays……..

 

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The last few days have been testing, to say the least, and not just from Teddie- the older two seem to think we are on an all-inclusive holiday.

Harvey needs a new bike as the make we got him for Christmas isn’t in with the crowd, luckily for Harvey, his Christmas bike was showing signs of a fault so it was exchanged for the better make yesterday (with a considerable amount more to pay)

Teddie seems to be moaning at everything of late his cry is like a knife cutting me in half, Think I’ll go watch wonder woman and see how she manages it all.

This morning Harvey left the back gate open after his paper round it’s not something he would normally do but he was in a rush to get to his friend’s pool party (if only hay) I heard a very high pitch bark and knew Sonnie had got out.

Luckily Sonnie wasn’t hurt he was just scared and hiding by our front door as a lady was trying to approach him to see if he was ok.

I felt sick to my stomach of the thought Teddie walking out & going off on a wonder. I sat in the downstairs’ toilet and just sobbed, it needed to be done in all honesty.

I have felt so under pressure with a million of things, this was the final nail in the coffin. I knew Harvey would be upset by what had happened and what could have happened to Sonnie or Teddie. I told him he needs to constantly look at the bigger picture, had Teddie walked off he would have never been able to tell anyone where he lived or what his name was (although most of the neighbour’s know him, it’s beside the point)

Every parent can relate to when you have a baby you cannot just leave the house without making sure you have everything you need for that day, It normally involves taking half the house with and you will still forget something. Having a child with special needs is very much the same but without the bags. Going out can be very stressful for everyone but mainly for Teddie.

We took all 3 boys to see a car show my husband’s company had put on, Alfie was so excited to see all the sports cars, we made Harvey come as he seems to think he’s a lodger now & always busy.

Teddie was fine until we got out of the car, he cried from the minute we shut the door behind him. It was an area he had never been to and looked so scared. Gareth held him nearly the whole way round, in hindsight, we shouldn’t have taken him but we just didn’t know if he’d like it or not.

As soon as we approached our car, Teddie got down from Gareth, walked the rest of the way feeling safe knowing daddy’s car was in sight.

I still completely forget at times that Teddie might be affected by the choices we have made for a day out.  It’s so hard not to get cross with Teddie when the other two are having a good time and he’s not, the fact is Teddie is different from the other two and steps have to be made to help him.

I have always said new environments are not an issue for Teddie but when I actually think about it there not new environments. Teddie new school he’ll start in September isn’t new as his brother goes there, his preschool: We pass it on walks nearly every day, Doctors & hospital appointments: he’s been in and out since he was a baby. Although the situations are new the environments aren’t.

Teddie, Alfie and I went to the beach over the weekend, the weather was lovely and both boys loved the water and played in the sand with their cousin Lillie. Teddie didn’t have a care in the world, didn’t cry once, he was happy in his surroundings and felt safe to leave me and play.
Beach life it is then……….

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

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