The School Disco #SmallStepsAA

By | October 16, 2017

You may have seen from my Instagram pictures that D attended a disco at her SN school last week, here she is having a twirl or two just before we went in:


You might think “hmmm, school disco? Loud music? Will that be okay for her?”

She loved it and did not stop dancing for the two hours it was on, apart from drinks of water.

I guess it was primarily because the disco was in the school hall, a place she knows very well and she knew I’d be there, sitting on the sidelines, her reassurance figure – although not joining in as I had done previously.

To see her dancing away, enoying the music and the lights was wonderful.

There was a Conga line too, snaking through the hall, children joining in, laughing as they weaved their way around.

Children cartwheeling, children break-dancing, having fun, smiling, either lost in the music by themselves or fingers entwined with a friend.

It was lovely to see and, as it finished at 9pm on a school night, I’ll bet there were some tired classes the next day, D certainly was. 

Looking back to that frightened little girl in mainstream primary, who couldn’t enter the school hall at all, it made me grateful that her school can put on these events so that D and her friends get a chance to enjoy themselves outside of the school day, but in a very familiar setting.

Time is rushing by so quickly, she’s 13 now, I hope there’ll be opportunities as a school leaver and young autistic adult, to attend similar events in the future.

Our #SmallStepsAA for the week.

If you’d like to join in with any old or new posts, the linky is hosted by Jane at @ourlitescapades this week, but you can always link up below as the code synchronises:

The Box #TheMMLinky 

By | October 16, 2017

There is a box in my living room, sometimes it overflows but the contents change week by week:

It’s my eBay box, items that make it into the box are destined for eBay, to go on to people that will make use of them.

It’s not a huge box and I wouldn’t want it to be, it’s a manageable box.

Ever since I was told that I wouldn’t be able to wear shoes/boots above a heel height of an inch following my foot operation, I’ve been sorting though, either recycling via Clarks shoes or selling any footwear no longer appropriate.  Once fully healed, my feet will also be a shoe size smaller, so it’s a great opportunity to de-clutter.  

It felt a bit of a sentimental wrench to put the silk shoes I wore on our wedding day into a “recycle at Clarks” bag but; as they’re now the wrong size, the heel is now too high and the silk is very discoloured (they’re 15 years old), I’d rather they be put to use and help provide stationary in third world countries.

I always tend to have a de-clutter leading up to Christmas anyway, my motivation is having a bit of extra cash to make our Christmas fun.

In the grand scheme of things, if an environmental disaster hit our house, I certainly wouldn’t be rushing to rescue shoes that I wouldn’t now wear or office clothing, so it makes sense to ship them off to someone who will.

Now to #TheMMLinky, it’s my turn to host this week and I’m looking forward to reading and commenting on the posts linked up.

Last week’s Linky had a great variety of motivational topics and tips and I particularly enjoyed:

@chaosinkent ‘s reminder that, we might get overwhelmed with our day-to-day but it’s important to have fun too 

@ojosworld ‘s goal planning before a big birthday and I think she’ll get there

 
And @raisiebay ‘s re-inforcement that positive thinking is the way to be.

Welcome to the Monday Motivation Linky! Each Monday, one of your four, fabulous hosts will take turns to host the linky, which will open at 6am for you to add your posts.
There are just a couple of rules…

You can add up to two posts with a motivational, inspirational or positive theme. If you want, you can add one of your own and one you’ve seen elsewhere, but do tweet or message the author to let them know!).

Or, add a post from Instagram – a motivational or inspiring quote, perhaps.

Please comment on the host’s post, plus at least four other posts – one must be a post from one of the co-hosts, and one must be the post before yours. Don’t forget to add ‘#TheMMLinky’ to your comment!

Please add the linky badge to each post linked up.

The linky will close for new submissions at 11 pm on Wednesday. 

The host will retweet each post linked and will comment on all. Please share the love and retweet your posts using the hashtag #TheMMLinky and tag the host, (either @schoolrunshop, @TheAsplands, @AutismMumma, or @Stephstwogirls) in your tweets.

The host will share two favourite posts from the previous week.
We look forward to reading your posts.

InstaLinkLove – week 58 #instalinklove 

By | October 14, 2017

Welcome to the fifty-eighth week of InstaLinkLove. 

I am really enjoying looking after the linky whilst Vicky, Ross, Grace and Ross settle into their live as a happy family of four.  

If you haven’t joined us before, then this is the easy-to-use linky which helps you get your Instagram posts a bit more interaction and interest. 

Thank you to everyone who linked up last week and welcome to those who are back for more and those who are first-timers.

This is a really straightforward, no stress (none of us need that in our lives!), easy to use linky. All you need to do is link up the URL from up to two of your most recent Instagram posts. I say most recent because this is better for interaction. 

All you need to do is find your Instagram account on-line, click on the photo that you want to link up, click on “share post” and then copy and paste the link to that specific page.

The only condition is that you go over and like everyone else who links up. 

Here’s my favourites from last week’s link-up:

Please remember the rules:

*You can link up to 2 images per Instagram Account per week. 

*Please remember to visit and “like” the other pictures linked up.
 
It would also be great if you could share your post with the linky on Instagram using the hashtag #instalinklove to help grow the community. 

 
Thanks and really looking forward to seeing what you’ve been up to on Instagram this week x  

One Year On 

By | October 12, 2017

I didn’t realise it was a year today since my first both-feet operation, hasn’t it flown by?

And, of course, when I did remember, I wondered how I should feel about it, bearing in mind it wasn’t a successful procedure and I’m currently 7 weeks post-op from the first remedial one in my right foot.

It hasn’t been an easy year, I’ve experienced nerve pain and walking difficulties and it’s really affected my wellbeing, as you’d expect.

But enough of the negativity, I am so so pleased with how the first remedial operation went and cannot wait until next Tuesday when I have an X-ray and a check-up and hopefully dates for the remedial operation on my left foot will be discussed.

Above all, I’m grateful that the surgeon agreed to do these remedial operations because it is going to be so worth it – I might do a L’Oréal hair flick there!


I’m sitting in D’s SN school hall, watching her have an absolutely fantastic time at a school disco, there must be 30 pupils from her school here, all dancing in their own ways, having fun.

I can’t think of a more positive way to spend 12th October 2017, one year on, my word(s) of the week Jx 

Small Steps Amazing Achievements 9/10/17

By | October 9, 2017

Welcome to this week’s Small Steps Amazing Achievements, as Jane at @ourlitescapades and I co-host, the Linky is back with me this back.    

Thank you to everyone who linked up last time, we enjoyed reading your posts.

If this is your first time reading this, you can find out about the Small Steps Amazing Achievements linky here, we do hope you join in. Posts can be old or new and please don’t forget to visit and comment on other posts too, helping to spread the linky love.

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

“Our
<div align="center"><a href="http://ourlittleescapades.com/small-steps-amazing-achievements/" title=“Our Little Escapades" target="_blank"><img src="http://ourlittleescapades.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/SmallSteps.jpg" alt=“Our Little Escapades" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Jane and I enjoy reading and commenting on your posts and sharing them via the #SmallStepsAA hashtag.

Here’s Jane’s highlights from last week’s post:

“It was lovely reading about Erin’s nine month update over at @eelliotblog, it reminded me of my little lady 

Flossie surprised her mum by standing up unaided to play her keyboard over at @LornaFillingham 

and lastly it was great to read via @earlyrisingmum that Sir had such a positive annual review”

Look forward to reading your posts, please link up below 

Goal – My Monday Motivation and #BlogTober Day 7

By | October 9, 2017

When I usually write about Goals, as a “bit” of a football family, it’s normally this:

As not only has T been kicking a ball with his left foot since he could walk but Hubbie has been a Chelsea fan since he was 9….a long time.

My “goal” is of a different kind, it’s to walk regularly again, once my right foot is healed and then after my operation early next year on my left foot.   

I’m now 7 weeks post-op on my right foot and due to have the pin in my second toe taken out next week, after that I should be able to weight-bear on that foot and see what footwear I can fit into.

I was meant to be going out tomorrow (Tuesday) and thought I’d have a little walk/hobble and a test yesterday to see how fast I am.

The answer is “not very”, a walk which would have taken 3 minuets took 10 and I felt slow and a bit vulnerable.  Another after-effect is that my foot has hurt all night and I couldn’t take anything as my prescribed pain killers make my brain hyper-alert, they’re a morning-only for me.  Zombie feeling today.

So, whilst other people’s goals might be a marathon to fund raise or weight loss, mine is simply to be walking properly after both my operations.

The marathon has always been a long-standing ambition but I can’t run before I can walk, literally.

Gaining valuable reassurance with famil.care #ProductReview

By | October 9, 2017

We’re a society who just loves our phones, aren’t we? It can seem quite anti-social, seeing people transfixed by whatever is playing on their screens but, if you’re “sandwiched” between elderly parents and children, there is a way to get reassurance from your phone, for both generations.

Famil.care have launched both a free app and a paid-for app which offers reassurance that your family member, if they are living in their own home, are safe and well.

Hubbie’s dad has been widowed for nearly four years, very resolutely determined to stay in his family home and we were asked to take a look as to how the famil.care service could help us.

The free app is Nexus famil.care and can be downloaded onto either iPhones or Android phones.

The app we were asked to trial is famil.care senior, here’s some information from the website:

“famil.care is a simple solution to help your seniors when they’re in need. It has many features that make it easier for you to assist and support your senior relatives, it can be a life-saving solutions also preventing your senior to enter a nursing home too soon.

You can protect your loved ones right away and help them in everyday activities, while they can feel you’re there for them and ask for help when they’re in need.

When you download famil.care nexus on your smartphone and famil.care senior on your loved one’s mobile, the apps immediately pair and work 24/7.”

Really re-assuring isn’t it? The thought that immediately the phones are paired and the app is immediately available upon launching the senior’s phone and help is immediately available without having to search for it.  Additionally the subscription supplies an emergency button.  

There is also a variant of the app for junior members of the family, again a paid option with an emergency button (click here for more information on the button and how it works).

The emergency button can be worn as a pendant or attached to a belt and operates via Bluetooth on your relative’s mobile phone, it has an integrated battery as does not need charging.  It’s also water-proof so can be safely taken into the bathroom or used outside, which is a relief as a fall is something that we get concerned about.

In addition, voice memos can be recorded.

So, what if something happens?


If a fall or another emergency happened, famil.care automatically sends an alert to your mobile phone by using the emergency button, the GPS location also flags up and – most importantly – the microphone in the senior’s phone is also activated, enabling a very speedy assessment of the situation.

If, for any reason, the emergency button or your senior’s mobile phone is disconnected, the app will alert you so that action take be taken to get the phone re-connected.

We trialled one such potential situation and were pleased to see that all worked as it should.   If there are any issues, there is a dedicated and free call centre 

Our conclusion:

This will provide peace of mind for both the parents and children of elderly/vulnerable adults.  The fact that the phone’s microphone will automatically switch on is a massive help and it means that it is suitable for being outside of the house, with the GPS feature.

There is also a famil.care juniors option and this is great interest to me as my children grow up.

“I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.”

InstaLinkLove – week 57 #instalinklove

By | October 7, 2017

Welcome to the fifty-seventh week of InstaLinkLove. 

I am really enjoying looking after the linky whilst Vicky, Ross, Grace and Ross settle into their live as a happy family of four.  

The flu is still with me, annoyingly, but I’ve really looking through your fab pictures.

If you haven’t joined us before, then this is the easy-to-use linky which helps you get your Instagram posts a bit more interaction and interest. 

Thank you to everyone who linked up last week and welcome to those who are back for more and those who are first-timers.

This is a really straightforward, no stress (none of us need that in our lives!), easy to use linky. All you need to do is link up the URL from up to two of your most recent Instagram posts. I say most recent because this is better for interaction. 

All you need to do is find your Instagram account on-line, click on the photo that you want to link up, click on “share post” and then copy and paste the link to that specific page.

The only condition is that you go over and like everyone else who links up. 

Here’s my favourites from last week’s link-up:

Please remember the rules:

*You can link up to 2 images per Instagram Account per week. 

*Please remember to visit and “like” the other pictures linked up.

 

It would also be great if you could share your post with the linky on Instagram using the hashtag #instalinklove to help grow the community. 
 

Thanks and really looking forward to seeing what you’ve been up to on Instagram this week x  

Flowers – Day 6 #BlogTober 

By | October 6, 2017

Today’s prompt is “Flowers”.

Flowers play a massive part in cheering our D up when she’s chock-a-block full of hormones.

Flowers like Hyacinth, Rose, Violet and Daisy.


She absolutely loves “Keeping Up Appearances” and, even though she knows virtually every scene – and will tell me what’s about to happen before it does – it is our go-to when puberty and hormones are getting our D down.  Chocolate helps too, naturally.


D does a pretty good impression of the saying above too.

Quite partial to freesias here too, we were married in Jersey and my bouquet was a bunch of freesias.  Every time I buy/are given a bunch, we’re reminded of our day.

#BlogTober Day 5 – Education

By | October 6, 2017

Yesterday’s prompt was Education.

If you’re familiar with my blog, you’ll be aware that I have a daughter in special needs school and a son in mainstream secondary. Both have autism but, due to their varying intellectual and emotional levels, are most definitely in the right environments for them.   D couldn’t cope in a mainstream environment and T would not get on within a SN school.

We have always followed one rule when it comes to our children’s education:


Instinct – amongst other things – told  us that D wasn’t benefiting from a mainstream primary school environment and also promoted me to google “autism” before any “experts” had mentioned it.

We also relied on instinct with regard to T’s schooling, for both primary and secondary.  

I remember a fellow SN parent saying to me – when D was really struggling in primary – that I should keep her within mainstream because there is an obligation to accommodate and meet her needs.  Well, yes there is but if I can see that my child isn’t settled and was quite frankly, too traumatised by the whole environment to learn, then I have to do what’s right for my individual child.

And it paid off, D has absolutely flourished in the right environment for her.  As has T.

I recently wrote a couple of posts sharing our experiences and tips for starting in primary/nursery school and secondary school with SN, they may help anyone reading this x