Small Steps Amazing Achievements – Weds 30th July #SSAmazingAchievements

Welcome to this week’s Small Steps Amazing Achievements, hosted over here for a month or so whilst Jane, Darren and Ethan at @ethansescapades adjust to being a family of four. I can’t quite believe it’s nearly the end of July already!

Thank you to everyone who linked up last week, I really enjoyed reading the posts and sharing them via the #SSAmazingAchievements hashtag.

If this is your first time reading, posts can be old or new and please feel free to comment on other posts linked up.

Here’s the badge code if you’d like to grab it:

Ethans Escapades
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We had some amazing milestone moments last week, I enjoyed reading them, thank you. From O’s first crawl with @lovedbymummy, fun with water with @youbabymemummy and @bubbles3563 to an extremely cute little drummer boy with @lystramaisey and some sibling cuddles with @ethansescapades, everything was lovely to read.

It was really difficult to choose which posts to highlight, all last week’s posts can be read here..

Please link up below, I’m looking forward to reading your posts Jx



Bye bye Buggy (on the school run anyway) #SSAmazingAchievements

I’m writing this post today about a #SSAmazingAchievement that has slowly but surely crept up on D and I. It concerns this:

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We’ve used a SN buggy for years now, it’s acted as D’s safety net. She’ll walk beside me and then her sensory issues will take over, it could be someone walking behind us or on the other side of the road, it could be a fast noisy motorbike, anything out of the ordinary with a risk of a bolt into a busy road.

There were people who didn’t understand, who called her a big baby and an OT at her SN school who decided that it was my fault she was using the buggy, not taking into account D’s anxieties or the fact D needed a buggy sometimes just to feel safe. I don’t drive so if we hadn’t used a buggy, D wouldn’t get to school.

In the end I had to formally write to the OT as I felt we were being bullied and, that given time, D would feel happier walking to and from school.

This was nearly two years ago and this last term it happened! I’d been gradually decreasing the buggy use, making her walk more and more. We’d make up little games on the way, distractions from anything that might cause angst and found little checkpoints: the rose bushes to collect fallen petals from; the vintage car with the unusual tax disc, the low walls to balance on and the friendly cats.

I’d take the buggy and just push it along all the way, D knowing it was there but walking beside me, her tutu skirt (over leggings) sparkling in the sunshine. A few weeks ago we progressed to no buggy, a massive achievement which she’s done in her own time, with gentle positive encouragement and certainly not the bullying tactics of that OT.

Yesterday we walked to the village and back, an unfamiliar route for D so we had the buggy as back-up (and somewhere to put the shopping), but D happily walked beside me, holding my arm. We’ll use it again for a hospital appointment and a busy town trip as back up if needed but to see how far she’s come, in her own time, is fantastic.

Immensely proud of her.

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Foraging – Tues 29th July 2014

It had to be done.

I walk through the “Deep Dark Woods” – as D calls them – at least twice a day during term time and last week noticed that there were masses of blackberries just about to ripen. Masses is an understatement really, the DDW is a long (ish) twisty path with stinging nettles and blackberries nearly meeting on either side. A journey past the little pond that is either bone dry or flooded, depending on the weather, and then you’re back in civilisation, coming out onto a main road and near to D’s school.

It’s taken a “bit” of negotiation with T, he really doesn’t like going out on (what he would term) unnecessary trips but he enjoyed himself today.

We found loads of ripe blackberries and, surprisingly, I was the only one who got jabbed by the prickles.

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A very successful haul, which got a little bit competitive as is always the way, but look what we’ll be cooking with tomorrow:

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The pond has virtually dried out too.

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Then it was shopping time, not as popular with T and D, but fortunately not very busy. There was a wait to pick up D’s injection after last week’s muck up, a time during which D sat by the window and meowed because she didn’t want to be there.

All was calmer during a coffee shop break, T and D sat next to each other and Minecrafted. Somewhere they’re both very comfortable in and the staff are always welcoming to them. It’s always great to see them working together and, I guess, because they are each playing separately – but together – there is the option to leave the “world” at any time.

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Home and pool time. Splashing, laugher and fun before T’s competitive streak surfaced again. It was fun and T’s even agreed we’ll forage some more in a few days.

I hope everyone’s day has gone well Jx

Here’s Bob! Mon 28th July 2014

Meet Bob, our little webbed-feet friend who has made T and D smile today.

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He’s quite a busy little frog, we find him in all areas of the garden, but he enjoys the pool most.

Bob (bless him) has also been instrumental in getting T outside today too, he’s been in one of those “I don’t want to go out, so I won’t” moods for the last couple of days.

If it involved football, there wouldn’t be a problem, but a mediocre (to him) trip? No thanks. It’s not something I want to push atm, he’s had such a lot of change and angst this school year but there will be days when we have to go out and I’m sure there will be protests and consequences.

Anyway…thanks to Bob, T did get some fresh air today. He enjoyed floating around in little dinghies with D, each pretending they were in a bumper car.

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Bob (the frog) had a little break in a bucket next to me whilst the splash-fest was occurring

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Tomorrow we will be venturing out to the shops, wish me luck! I hope everyone’s day has gone well Jx

The History Of Autism

I’ve been sent this infographic which I wanted to share, for further information please visit mastersinspecialeducation.com.

History of Autism
Source: Masters-in-Special-Education.com

The History of Autism

Over the past century, the definition of autism and the array of disorders it encompasses has not only changed but also been subject to gross misunderstanding. Let’s take a look at a short history of autism, as well as current diagnosis rates and information.

What is Autism?
Autism is an umbrella term for autism spectrum disorder, which is characterized by: (5)
Constant problems with social communication and interaction across a variety of contexts
Repetitive, restricted patterns of behavior, activities and interests
Early-onset emergence of symptoms (typically in the first two years of life)
Symptoms that cause major impairment in social, educational or other important areas of functioning
It’s called a spectrum because of the wide range of symptoms and impairment levels children can have. Some are only mildly affected by their symptoms, while other children are severely disabled.
The Greek root of the word “autism” is “autos,” meaning “self.” Individuals with autism are generally withdrawn from social and emotional interaction, giving rise to the term. (1)

Autism: A Brief Timeline
1911
Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler first uses the term in reference to certain symptoms of schizophrenia. (1)
1920s
Stemming from the belief that autism symptoms are caused by diet (including those high in gluten), biochemical treatments are used, and diet supplements and restrictions are put in place for children with autism. (3)
1930s
Electroconvulsive therapy is first used to try to correct antisocial and self-destructive behavior. Though controversial, this type of treatment is still used in rare cases today. (3)
1940s
“Autism” is first used to describe children who experience emotional or social issues. (1)
1943
A definition for autism is put in place by child psychiatrist Leo Kanner. He describes autism as “lack of affective contact, fascination with objects, desire for sameness and non-communicative language before 30 months of age.” (2)
1944
German scientist Hans Asperger detects a condition with similar afflictions that is now called “Asperger’s syndrome.” There is still believed to be a link between autism and schizophrenia. (1, 2)
1950s
Autism is falsely suspected of being caused by cold and uncaring mothers. Parentectomy, or the removal of the afflicted child from his or her parents for long periods of time, is utilized for treatment by a doctor in a study. (3)
1960s
Various treatments are tested, but there is still a limited understanding of what helps patients. Pain and punishment are still inflicted on children to try to correct antisocial behavior. The use of LSD is implemented. As a serotonin inhibitor, it is believed that altering the patient’s state of perception will help alleviate symptoms. (1, 3)
1965
Bernard Rimland, an American psychologist, establishes the Autism Society of America, one of the first autism advocacy groups. (2)
1980s
Early forms of behavioral therapy are used primarily in the treatment of children with autism, and autism is finally categorized separately from schizophrenia. Neurosensory therapy is introduced, as researchers and doctors begin to believe that sensitivity to auditory stimulation is responsible for some antisocial behavior. (1, 2, 3)
1990s
Holding therapy, in which a child is restrained and forced to perform various social reactions like maintaining eye contact, is used. (3)
Today
The term “autism spectrum disorder” is used, and specific tools for diagnosing the severity of a child’s case are developed. Applied behavioral therapy and psycho-dynamic therapies are typically used to treat children with autism. (1, 3)

Autism Today
Due to a more thorough understanding of the disorder and effective treatments for its symptoms, more children are getting the help they need to live more social, emotionally fulfilling lives. We now understand a lot more about the disorder and who it affects.

1 in 68
Estimated number of children affected by an autism spectrum disorder. For boys, the number is 1 in 42. (4)

2%-18%
Likelihood that a person will have a second child with autism if they already have one (4)

1 in 10
Number of children with autism who also have Down syndrome or another chromosomal disorder (4)

2 years
Age at which a diagnosis of autism is typically reliable. Most children are not diagnosed until they are 4 years old. (4)
Unfortunately, along with a more thorough understanding of autism has come a boom of diagnoses and fear regarding the cause of the disorder.

120%
Increase in autism spectrum disorder prevalence between 2002 and 2010 (4)

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Yummy in my tummy, healthier mummy #RealMumsAllBran

I have a confession to make, I very rarely eat breakfast. The mornings are generally a rush of lunch sorting, teeth brushing and general school preparation.

What I tend to do is either miss out completely and have a coffee shop decaf coffee instead or a bit of seeded toast mid morning. Which isn’t ideal, is it? I’m also not that keen on the taste of milk on its own so any cereal has to be extremely soaked in and my calcium requirements are usually met with afore-mentioned skimmed milk decaf coffee.

So, when BritMums and Kellogs asked for volunteers to take the #RealMumsAllBran 5 day challenge, I eagerly applied and looked forward to a) getting my act together and b) giving the cereals a try.

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When the cereals arrived I was surprised by the flavours, my previous experience of All-Bran had been seeing a relative of one of many diets, it resembled twigs to me. Thankfully this was not the case with:
Golden Crunch (a slightly caramel flavour)
Red Berry Crunch (yummy and fruity)
and
Chocolate Wheats (just lush!).

So,how did I get on?

Well, I was extremely pleased with how much healthier I felt. I definitely felt better from the inside out after eating a bowlful, from the very first day (and that was despite being on really quite foul anti-biotics for a leg infection).

I did wonder if I would feel a bit “gassy” after having 5 days worth consecutively but there was none of that, just a happy, regular (if you get my drift) feeling.

I was surprised how tasty I found the flavours, the fruit in the Red Berry Crunch, the caramel in the Golden Crunch and the chocolate (oh, yes, indeedy) in the Chocolate Wheats all made for very pleasant bowlfuls.

My favourite was, you’ve guessed it, the Chocolate Wheat. I’ve been ordering more boxes in our online shops and made a rather tasty All Bran fruit loaf too, which was packed full of good things and tasted like a malt loaf.

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In conclusion, I am a definite convert to All-Bran and regular breakfasts, but if I slip and have a bowl at 10.30am, you’ll excuse me, won’t you?

This post is an entry for the Real Mums of All-Bran Linky Challenge, sponsored by Kellogs

and I’m very glad I took part!

The Waiting Game – Sun 27th July 2014

Yep, that’s what we were playing today, the Waiting Game, only it didn’t feel like a game.

T, in particular, likes details to be very clearly set out. If we’re going out, he likes (no, make that needs) to know exactly where we’re going, in what order and what time we’ll be back. It’s the same with anything, a need for a timetable. If we divert from it, there are silent, angry repercussions from him.

Today we were meant to be heading off to the Deep Dark Woods for some blackberries, it didn’t happen because we had to wait in for some parcels.

You know how some companies provide an excellent service with a text message giving a 2 hour window? There was none of that. In fact the only tracking information I could gauge was “out for delivery” from 7.56am. Not very helpful.

But, in spite of the timetable (or lack of them) issues and as long as I remained within earshot of the door, it’s been okay (ish).

We’ve made Fruit Pops and there’s been no nosebleeds. Result!

We’ll go blackberry picking tomorrow.

I hope everyone’s day has gone well Jx

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Fruit Pops #KidsInTheKitchen

We’ve been having fun in the kitchen today, a bonus for me that it involved a few giggles and some fruit too.

Today’s recipe came from adaption of a feature in D’s Girl Talk Art magazine, it was entitled “Brilliant Bananas” but our version is more of a cake-pop effect, so we’ve called them Fruit Pops.

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We did try making this with the whole bananas last week but both T and D found that the frozen bananas were too
heavy and large to dip properly.

So, we adapted.

Fruit Pops:

Equipment needed:
Tray
Foil
Coffee stirrer/lollipop sticks
Saucepan & bowl for melting chocolate
Small bowl for sprinkles

Ingredients:
Fruit that can be sliced/eaten whole – we used sliced bananas and seedless grapes
White chocolate for melting
Sprinkles

Here’s how we did it:

Cover a tray with foil.

Slice your fruit and pop a stirrer/lollipop stick into the separate pieces. Put onto the tray and into the freezer for about 2 hours.

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About 10 minutes before you want to make the Fruit Pops, melt some chocolate in a glass bowl, in a saucepan half filled with water. Or you can microwave the chocolate for about a minute, but don’t let it over heat.

Put your sprinkles into a bowl.

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Get your tray of very cold fruit out of the freezer.

Now for the fun bit!

Dip one of the fruit pops into the chocolate and then as quickly as you can into the sprinkles. Reason being the cold fruit will make the chocolate set very fast!

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Once they’ve all been done, you can either eat immediately (it is chocolate, after all!) or pop back into the freezer where they’ll keep for about 3 weeks (or significantly less if Mr Bluecrisps is around).

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Not sure why I’d never had a frozen grape before, they’re yummy!
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My Sunday Photo

Bunny in a loom band cossie!
(Slightly impractical and best not worn in the sun or the pool)

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It Got Better – Sat 26th July 2014

So, after the unpleasantness of a nosebleed first yesterday, D had another one first thing this morning! Not a fantastic start to the weekend but, thankfully, she was a lot calmer about it. She still totally forgot what I’d shown her to do last night during the first one, but I’ve reiterated it again, both during and in our chats later on in the day. Poor D. I guess it’s the heat, but two in two days is yucky.

Nosebleed aside, both her and T have had a good day.

For T, it’s been watching a football match, his football season doesn’t start again for a while and he returned home hot but happy. I even got a cuddle today, T doesn’t “do” cuddles very often.

For D, we’ve been crafting with a kit that she got for her birthday but had been reluctant to try out until today. It was ideal for D, lots of shiny tiny pieces and girly templates to put them in.

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She did well, following instructions and I got a “well done Mumma!” on finishing mine too.

Good news too, my pesky leg is finally over the “feel worse before start to feel better” so we can start planning activities, yay!

I hope everyone’s day has gone well Jx

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