My baby is growing up and will be going to senior school in September.

We went to Ali’s Senior School Induction Evening last night, Ali didn’t seem as phased as I thought he would, and I think he is secretly looking forward to going  It is official! My baby, my last born is growing up and I really don’t like it  To give you an idea of how big the school is I have outlined the grounds below, it is outstanding in Ofsted reports, has always been an excellent school, I went there myself and now both Alex and Ali will be there, as Alex started two years ago, he will be going up to yr 9 in September.
I have to confess though I do worry how Ali will cope with over 1700 pupils there, over 150 teachers, etc,  the school has a grammar stream as well, so best of both worlds,  I have been told that Ali will be given his own laptop there instead of having a scribe which is excellent, support to help with his limited sight, as for support when it comes to his autism, they are  waiting to see what help he will need and ready to put things into action at the time,  he is top of his class in all subjects, very very bright, I have no idea where he gets it from. I think his main problem will be the social interacting, he really doesn’t do people, although they understand this, they have facilities to deal with any problems that this may bring up which is a good thing. we can only wait and see now.

arial

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A week with uninvited visitors to the area

Last Tuesday, the green that goes through the whole estate had visitors set camp up,  as you can see in this picture. they basically took over the whole of it, En masse

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Our house is right down the end opposite the yellow field of rapeseed, both boys have to walk all through the green and all the way up on their way to school, which means they would have to walk right through the whole campsite. 
Now, this is not a traveller bashing post by any means, I have to say that the ones I spoke to were polite, friendly and even apologetic for the inconvenience and when I had explained about an incident that Alex had they said they were disgusted by the behaviour of some of the others with them, I am a live and let live sort of person and I know this is their chosen way of life,  although there was a vigilante approach from the majority of the locals who were not happy with the way the animals were kept, *horses and dogs*  I admit that dogs were running loose and yes there was noise at night, and they did have their carts and horses going up and down the road late at night. so there was quite a disturbance to some, and yes as always people did feel threatened by them.  Alex was shouted at by some of the kids on his way to school, *I drove Ali half the way to school for two reasons, one because I wasn’t sure if his allergy was to something along the walk and two because he doesn’t do people and was scared to walk past them.  The council acted quickly and notice was served and they all left the site on Friday.  Unfortunately, there was a lot of mess left behind despite the council providing three big bins for them, and a council cleanup had to be done immediately after they left, you really don’t want to know what was in the bushes,

And we are not talking about dog and horse poop!! 


Although down our end of the green, there was one visitor all the kids loved. 🙂  

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Anyway, Monday things will be back to normal and Ali is going to walk to school and I will be sitting at home very nervous in case I get a call to say he has been taken ill again 
 

The end of the week and the end of SATS for Ali

SATS “Standard Attainment Tests” Week is over, to those of you that have never heard of it, SATS are done every year in May,  year 6 KS2 Sats week has a huge impact on the children who face this time of testing and the teachers who prepare them for it. I know because having worked in a school as a TA, I know the stress the teachers are under but I also know the stress some parents put their children under.
But it’s not just Year 6 who are affected. The whole school joins in the dance, having to be quiet while the children take their tests, waiting for the word to get around that the test is over and they can do a more noisy activity.
I have never put pressure on any of my children to “Do well in the tests” in fact I don’t even mention SATS at all to them, I have always said to all my kids from the day they started school, that as long as they do their best, that is good enough for me,
 
My older kids all did well in all their exams and usually were either straight A or High B students, getting their A levels etc getting into university off their own bat, 
I think I have always been the teacher’s nightmare parent, I don’t believe in homework and always given my kids the choice of if they want to do it or not, and believe it or not for the majority of the time they choose to do it, I have never put pressure on my children to revise for any tests/exam’s, It is something you either know or you don’t. I don’t believe in children having the added stress put on them for SAT’s either especially when they are so young.
Anyone who has read my previous post will know that Ali missed his first day of the SATS as he was in hospital, the next day he did go into school but was still tired and not 100% but sat his tests along with the other kids, for him things are even harder, you see not only is he HFA “High-functioning autistic” he is also Legally blind in his left eye and has very poor sight in his right eye, he is also left handed which makes things even more difficult for him when it comes to writing. Despite everything he is in mainstream school and so far has coped, He has a scribe for writing as his handwriting is very slow and big so he can see it, he also has exceptional keyboard skills, having been taught Nessy fingers touch typing from when he was about 6, but despite all the setbacks he faces he is always top of the class, he has an excellent memory, and when it comes to maths he works them all out in his head, a fact the teachers found out when they used to call upon kids in the class to work sums out and they would ask them to write down the answers as they called the question. by the time Ali wrote it down he would be about five questions behind. once when he hurt his hand the scribe offered to write them down for him. they discovered that as soon as the question was asked he knew the answer immediately, his answer was written down by the scribe while all the other kids were still thinking about it.
Anyway, I have gone way off the mark here.
Ali did so well with his SATS that the head actually came up to me at the school sponsored walk and asked if it was ok to give him a present for working so hard and doing so well over the week despite being off on the Monday and basically feeling out of sorts for the majority of the week. His present. A fuck off bar of chocolate. just chocolate as at the moment we still don’t know what caused the severe allergic reaction and have been told to avoid anything with nuts. and let’s just say he was very proud of himself. I have no worries what his results will be on the tests as I know he has done his best but it does worry me is there are kids who are not as bright as Ali, there is another autistic boy in yr 6 who I know has struggled as his mother said to me at the sponsored walk, a few of the other mums whose kids were ADHD said the same. I want is the Government to stand up and recognise that children are not all the same, they are diverse and wonderful. Many children fight daily battles whether medical, social or emotional ones which impact on how they can prepare for the SATs, how they cope and the outcome.
By testing them in this way the government are only highlighting their difference not embracing it.
And to the parents who are constantly on at their children to study and revise, you really are doing your kids no favours putting the added pressure on them,
I can honestly say my kids have always made me proud and done well despite me not putting any pressure on them.
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Ali proudly showing off his chocolate

 

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Holding out his card to be stamped for each lap they have done. his guide is enjoying a cake while he waits and yes Ali is taller than the teachers lol

 

Thank fuck for the NHS!

I really should have written this Monday night but my head was still trying to get around the events of the day,  I have actually written down the whole time scale on a notepad because of the complaint we are putting in, and now I am going to write it down here so if I lose the pad I have it,

So Monday started like any other Monday, boys get up and ready for school, Ali has some muesli for breakfast, leaves the house at 8.20am to walk to school,
At 8.46am I get a call from the school asking if I have their permission for Ali to use his inhaler again as he has already had two puffs and is still bad, he had, a bad asthma attack walking to school, and could I get up there please asap.
So shout yes, of course, give him the inhaler let him use as much as he needs, and will be there in ten mins. I get to the school and am taken to the office straight away where Ali is sitting with his hands and feet in a bowl of water and a damp cloth on his forehead struggling to breathe.  they explain that he was almost at the school when one of the mums noticed he was struggling to breathe standing still and coughing so she helped him into the school.  I take one look at him and said I would take him to the local cottage hospital,  which is about five mins away and a minor injuries unit really but does have a nebuliser there as well and we have been on a few occasions and the waiting time is a lot less than the usual A & E main hospital about 17 miles away. so I get to our local cottage hospital and they take one look at him at reception and run off to get a wheelchair and get him to a room to be seen asap, Ali feels sick so being next to the disabled loo he goes in there and throws up,  The put him in the wheelchair and the receptionist runs him around to the nurse while I limp along behind. by the time I get to the room, he is on the nebuliser, they have taken his temp and he is tachycardic and covered in this rash from head to toe, the nurse calls 999 and asks for a paramedic asap,  it took them 3 and a half mins to get to the hospital, in the car, they look at Ali and give him an injection of  Epinephrine and a Hydrocortisone shot, and hook him up to what the guy joked and called his MOT tester, *12-lead electrocardiogram * He had a very weak pulse and rapid heart beat, once they had got him sorted they gave him another adrenalin shot, Epinephrine and called for an Ambulance to take him to A & E,  I’m sitting there and Ali is mumbling so they take off his mask and he in between trying to breathe asks if I can take his picture to show his friends.  this is normal for Ali, he loves his hospital pictures
lol  so they put the mask back on and I take his pic, the paramedic ask’s if I can take a picture of the rash as well so they can compare it to when he gets to the hospital to see if it is getting worse or not. so I take a picture of the rash, it is now 10.14am, they then load him into the ambulance while I get my car to follow them to the hospital,  they drive off with the sirens and lights flashing and I try to follow as close behind as I can, typically I get stuck behind loads of lights changing.  on my way to the hospital, I call my husband and explain what’s happening.  *yes I have a phone cradle and hands-free kit* and tell him not to worry about leaving work and I will phone him when I know more.  I get to the hospital and not one parking space so I have to queue up to get a space, by the time I get in to see him the paramedics are just taking off all the leads and I take another picture, by this time he doesn’t look as ill and I thought it would be a better picture than the one I took earlier because he looked like death in that one and I didn’t think it would be suitable for his show and tell at school, anyway the paramedic said he was a very lucky boy and that if I had decided to take him straight to A & E myself he may not have made it as he had Anaphylaxis which they say triggered his asthma given him the bad attack and caused the really high temp, vomiting, very weak pulse, rapid heart beat, rash etc, I said my thanks and they said their goodbye’s to Ali who was starting to feel a bit better by now.  his temp was back to normal, he was off the nebuliser although still feeling a bit sick, and the rash was going down, it wasn’t as red, so the hospital kept him under observation for three hours,  then a new doctor came in……. and this is what brings me to the putting in a complaint part,  This Dr was the rudest most obnoxious person going, she was asking Ali questions and he didn’t understand her accent (Indian??) and when he said he couldn’t understand she actually snapped and said don’t you speak English. At which point I lost it and said yes and better than you I also explained he is autistic doesn’t talk to people he doesn’t know and is finding the whole thing scary enough without her shouting at him, that’s when we got told if he is still the same in half an hour we can go home as no point in wasting their time doing any tests to see what has caused it as it could be anything, in fact, according to her he didn’t look ill at all and demanded to know why he had been brought to her A & E from another hospital, I explained it was just a cottage hospital and that was the paramedics decision, anyway she stormed out in a huff,  the nurses outside the door heard her, what she said and the tone she said it in and told me to put in a complaint, apparently this was not the first time she had treated patients like that.  it is now 3.30pm, he is discharged and we get home.  Ali goes straight to sleep and wakes up at about 7 pm, hungry and back to normal.
I have made a formal complaint, and also an appointment with our GP to discuss tests to see what caused this severe allergic reaction, as the paramedic had said the next time might be even worse.  the problem is we have no idea what triggered it in the first place.
Anyway the good news is so far he seem’s fine although I have been driving him to his sisters and he walks from there so he doesn’t have to walk through the grassed area in case it was something airborne, but there was also another reason for me doing the run as well, but that is a whole other blog post! 
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Unflavoured Toothpaste has changed our lives

I know when it comes to autistic kids they are all different, some will eat anything including the furniture to those who will only eat one brand of chicken nuggets. 
We have always been very lucky with Ali, he has always been a fantastic eater, to the point where he would eat none stop all day if we allowed him to and his weight is a constant battle we have had since he was young.   He would eat none stop when he was little we had a fridge lock but he soon found out how that worked, I have had to hide food to stop him eating his way through everything. 
He has very few dislikes, lettuce, marmite and cauliflower being the only couple of food things I can think of, but he had one thing he really can’t stand and that is MINT, not a problem normally  if you don’t like something you don’t eat it.

But the majority of toothpaste contain MINT and getting him to brush his teeth has always been a battle, even the baby fruit flavoured toothpaste had a slight minty undertone but the battle wasn’t as bad and yes it was fine when he was little,  we did find an orange flavour once again it was only suitable for little ones.

 Now Ali is a big grown ass 10-year-old with adult teeth and while we go to the dentist on a regular basis, *Bribery works wonders getting him there and to agree to be examined, it usually cost’s us a new game for his ds/Xbox etc, its once every 6 months and well worth it.  

We have been lucky so far in the fact that neither of the boys has ever needed a filling, although Alex has braces but that is another story.  Anyhoo, getting Ali to brush his teeth is a nightmare, Meltdown city to be exact, we have bought the blue oral B stuff as it has a slightly less minty taste, but still, leaves that fresh aftertaste and he still hated it.  
every day I dreaded the toothbrushing battle, I was talking to a friend a week or so ago who has had cancer and we were talking about Ali and I mentioned that the morning battle had actually left me with a bruise on my arm where I had him holding my arm so tight to stop me from brushing his teeth because he won’t do it himself, and he told me about the toothpaste he uses as he can’t stand mint anymore because it actually hurt his mouth, in fact, he described it as it felt like it was burning his mouth,  something Ali once said to me,  but of course when a kid says I don’t like toothpaste it burn’s, you think, come on kid, there are many excuses but that one is the worst. 
Anyway, I asked what toothpaste my friend uses and he told me about this stuff so I ordered some. 

Game changer! Third day with Ali’s new toothpaste. No flavour, no tears, no melt downs and an amazing brushing we both feel good about! He will brush own teeth now in 2 minutes! both morning and evening, no battle no fuss, in fact, the first day he must have brushed his teeth about five times.The only regret is I didn’t find this years ago,  postage took a week, so from now on, I will order several tubes to keep some in stock at all times. what is even better is the price,  now I am used to getting stung for some things but this is only £3 a tube, I pay nearly that for our normal toothpaste, plus you can buy quite a few for the £2.80 postage cost, in fact, this site is fantastic as they sell loads of stuff from Fidget toys to button chew necklaces, 

The only regret is I didn’t find this years ago,  postage took a week, so from now on, I will order several tubes to keep some in stock at all times. what is even better is the price,  now I am used to getting stung for some things but this is only £3 a tube, I pay nearly that for our normal toothpaste, plus you can buy quite a few for the £2.80 postage cost, in fact, this site is fantastic as they sell loads of stuff from Fidget toys to button chew necklaces, I have put the link where you can get Oranurse at the bottom so if you are in the UK you can click on the link to order, I guess in other countries you could search and see where suppliers are. 
All I can say is if you have a child that doesn’t like mint toothpaste and refuses to brush, it’s well worth a try,  It has certainly changed our lives. 

 

 

https://www.multi-sensoryworld.co.uk/products/unflavoured-toothpaste-0-3

They’re the new craze sweeping the playground!

 

Not the most technologically advanced toy we’ve ever seen in playgrounds in recent years, but the colourful items have now become must-have items in your local schools. Children are completely and utterly obsessed!

If your kids are often salivating over expensive items such as games consoles and tablets, this could be a relief, because fidget spinners cost a few quid. Bargain!

Both my boys are now proud owners of one, yes even Ali who has never really shown an interest in anything that isn’t plugged in, needs charging and connected to the wifi

As I said cheap enough and not half as annoying as the last craze Alex had of flipping bottles to land on the base……. 

 

Sesame Street’s first autistic character, has made her debut on the show.

 

Most people who actually know me and my family, know that my youngest son Ali is Autistic, granted he is HF but that is not to say we have not had a lot of problems over the years,  some are getting easier as he gets older, some are getting worse,  and we are getting new challenges as well nowadays there were not a problem when he was younger.
Of course like the majority of parents of a child that has been diagnosed with something, you do everything in your power to find as much information as you can, you follow website’s, join forum’s, and follow blogs,  It is through this following that
I have known about this since the first concept of the idea, one of the people I have followed for years, actually works for sesame street and his son is severely autistic, I will say that not only has he been very informative in the past, he is also very funny.  well worth following 

http://www.theautismdaddy.com/      https://www.facebook.com/AutismDaddy/