Miles Kelly Book Review – Project Body


When we were asked to review a couple of books from Miles Kelly I absolutely jumped at the chance! We LOVE books in this house! Especially the kids! Xavier gets engrossed in books, particularly factual ones.

We received Project Body and straight away Xaviers face was buried in it! Just in the first 10 minutes of him having a look through I was asked “Mum, did you know………?” numerous times about various things. Actually some of the things he asked I had no idea about so I learnt things too!

Every single page is rammed with lots of information and facts about the body, bones, skin, wees and poos, hair, organs, blood….. the list really is endless. The are flaps to lift on every page too with even more pics or facts hidden underneath.

The book is full of amazing pictures and diagrams, cartoon characters, fun fonts which is guaranteed to keep kids engaged. There is so much to look at. It is so interesting for me too, as an adult to read. Xavier loves this book. He has read it cover to cover now a fair few times and randomly spouts out facts that he has learnt.

We as a family Would definitely recommend this book from Miles Kelly

We were sent a copy of this book to review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Annual Review

Xavier last year got a Statement of Educational Needs. This is a legal document that outlines the help and support your child needs in school/educational setting. Not long after Xavier got his statement the whole system changed and it is now called an EHCP – Education & Health Care Plan. Xavier will now be moved over to the new system. This document still outlines support needed at school but also now includes health care issues too! Its a much more personalised programme.

With the Statements/EHCPs they have to be reviewed Annually to keep information up to date and make sure everything that has been put into place for your child is still relevant, if not it can be removed and if there is anything that needs to be added on, the review meetings are a perfect time to do this. You as a parent have a say in what is included in this document.

Yesterday I experienced my first ever Annual Review. It was an incredibly positive experience. I was a little nervous going into it purely because I wasn’t sure what to expect.

There are 4 main categories in Xaviers EHCP. These are: Cognition and Learning, Communication and Interaction, Sensory and/or Physical and finally Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties. So for each of these categories there are targets set out for issues identified in this area. It also lists the things that have been put into place and how Xavier has responded to them and what needs to happen for things to move forwards. It is very detailed.

Xaviers teacher was present in the meeting, the Head of the school, and the annual review co-ordinator. I felt very at home and they had lots of stories to tell me about how Xavier had made them laugh or impressed them. They are blown away with how he has settled into their school so well. I am too! I expected there to be a huge upset at the beginning with the huge change but there was nothing at all. He absolutely adores his new school. He comes home from school with a smile on his face. He is progressing and learning. The staff genuinely understand him and that is so important to me after years or him being in the wrong setting and being completely misunderstood. His confidence has grown massively and he is so happy! I can’t thank the school enough for taking Xavier under their wings and nurturing him and believing in him! It means so very much to me. It really is such a wonderful school!

I am so proud of how well Xavier has taken on this massive change in his life like a duck to water.

 

It’s the Little Things

……that really mean so much!

Since Xavier joined his amazing new school in April his confidence has grown greatly! It really blows me away. It may only be little things to most people but they are huge to me. He can do up the buttons on his polo shirt…. he can put on his own socks… he eats ham… he actually asked me if he could try a pistachio nut the other day. He is wanting to try new things. This evening I had sweet potato for the first time and he tried a bit and didn’t like it but he just ate it and didn’t run to the bin to spit it out. He is becoming more independent with going to the toilet at home. Yes, he is almost 10 years old but he has dyspraxia which affects his motor skills. He has sensory issues too and his toileting issues have been apparent for many years now. He came home from school last week with a Star of The Week certificate for “talking to an adult when he gets angry or frustrated”. I am so incredibly proud of him!

I have been (still am) really unwell lately with my mental health and other things… too many to list here and the last thing I want to do is bore you haha! Izabel has been offering to do little chores for me at home to take the strain off. I think she sees that I am struggling and is being very grown up and really helping me out. Again it may only be little things like loading or unloading the dishwasher or feeding the cats but it all helps. I cannot believe she will be 13 in a matter of weeks! How on earth am I a mother to a teenager? Where did those years go? She is a good girl, despite her usual hormonal strops and I am incredibly proud of her too! She is growing up to be a very beautiful, kind and caring young lady.

Never take the “little things” for granted. I certainly won’t!

Trolley Bags Review

How many of you are guilty of forgetting your bags when you go shopping? I am a nightmare for it. Did you know that from the 1st of October you will be charged for carrier bags in shops? I know some do it already but it will be all stores from this date!

I was approached and asked if I would like to review some Trolley Bags. After checking them out I would have been mad not to. Such a fantastic idea!

Whoever thought of this is a genius!! They hang on the back of the trolley whilst you fill it with your groceries. If you use the service they have in Tesco where you scan as you go round you can have the bags open in the trolley as you go. They come in 2 sizes. One is for the shallower trollies and then the regular deeper trollies.

I tested mine out when I went shopping the other day. I opted for the shallower trolly bags but when i got to Lidl they only had deep trollies available.

They are SO handy when packing your groceries up. Who needs carrier bags? 😉

They redeemer than you realise too. See with that little lot above I probably would have used at least 5 or 6 carrier bags. The different sections are connected together with velcro. Then when you want to put them in the boot of the car they come apart and have 2 handles to simply lift and place in the boot. The Trolley bags are incredibly well made and very sturdy.

Once you’re back home and all the shopping is unpacked they easily stick back together with the velcro and can be rolled back up and are an easily storable size. Ready to go for next time!! Just don’t forget to put them in the car!

 

We were sent these for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

It doesn’t happen often…

….but I am proud of myself!

I found out yesterday that I have passed my Open University course! I studied Understanding the Autism Spectrum and I worked so hard on it! Some of it was incredibly hard. I did find it very interesting and could obviously relate to a lot of it too!

It is a BIG thing for me as I wasn’t the most Academic at school! In fact I was not interested in school whatsoever and this reflected in my GCSE results so I am really pleased with this! I am working towards an Open Degree and this is my first course passed!

Not sure what course I will study next… I need to go and have a look and decide!

Quote of the day:

Believe in Yourself!

You Know You’re an Autism Parent when….

I asked this on my Facebook Page and got a fantastic response!! So I’ve compiled them into this blog post! They really did make me chuckle!

You have small Velcro backed laminated pictures all over your house – but can never find the one you need

Bought Dan a pair of size 15 trainers today. Guy serving said ” wow take up basketball you could be the next Michael Jordan” Dans reply ” I can’t be Michael Jordan because I’m me and I’m the wrong colour”

Everything is interpreted so literally

A new lego series = being broke

It is commonplace to say things such as “Stop licking that door handle”, “you can spin, but not near the tv” or “I promise I’m not moving your line of pens I’m just hoovering next to them”

It is quite normal to have a massive cardboard box with a beanbag, space blanket, bubble wrap and starlight pillow in the living room

Your child can name more lego characters than actual people

You can’t smother chips with Ketchup it has to be separate so you can smother each chip individually
And you listen to the same thing being repeated for the thousand time that day

You’ve moved number 47 of my 78 Skylanders. Have you been dusting my room ?

You shout back at nasty comments

Everything I cook for “ME” smells…….so I now have to eat later & on my own!!

Your child can tell you more about Stampy Long Nose than what they done at school!

You will probably slap the next person who says “but he doesn’t look like he has anything wrong with him!”

Your house is being slowly taken over by Dr Who memorabilia!

You wish everyone knew what Statements were so you didn’t have to explain every time

your childs hair has almost grown into a mullet because you just cannot face haircut time!

Bathtime sounds like murder is being committed in your house!

You can’t get away with saying “In a minute” unless you are going to be exactly 60 seconds!

without melatonin your child would survive on about 30 minutes sleep!

You avoid supermarkets like the plague!

There have been lines of smurfs taking over the living room

You can have a full conversation using film dialogue!

A must visit to the library every Sunday just for a DVD and then you are there for nearly an hour before he finally decides which one he wants to take home to watch and then it’s on repeat until we give it back the following Sunday

Your child rocks from one foot to the other repeatedly and you don’t bat an eyelid

You are only allowed to buy “twisty pasta” …bows, tubes or shells are not permitted!

you child LOVES a certain food…. until they change the packet then its a no go zone! No matter how much to try to explain that the contents are the same!

You have to cut your child’s fringe in their sleep because they won’t go near a hairdresser… And the morning is spent trying to gauge if it is straight and then celebrating that it is passable!

I do not want to know the intricacies of mine craft, nerf, YouTube or Lego thank you

Don’t bounce that rubber ball near the TV screen,for the millionth time in ten minutes!

You can speak almost exclusively in SEN acronyms.

Thank you so much to Trish, Alison, Angela, Beverley and Farzana for your input!

From the Heart

I have been bottling this all up for months… years even!

I feel broken! I am married with 2 beautiful children but feel completely on my own and feel that everything is closing in around me. My world is crashing down. Broken.

I have spent nearly all day today in tears. I feel so down. I just have to deal with it though. I have to be strong. Right now I don’t feel I can carry this “I’m ok” falseness anymore. I’m not a fake person so why am I pretending to be ok? I feel like a fraud.

I recently received my son Xavier’s report from the Educational Psychologist and since reading it EVERYTHING has hit me like a ton of bricks! I deal with all this on my own. I deal with the Autism on my own, the schooling issues on my own, the specialist and hospital appointments, the violence and rage after a bad day at school, the bullied child…. on my own. I deal with my daughter who is going through massive changes in her life right now… she’s started to develop, so hormones are well and truly kicking in, she has to deal with her brothers violence sometimes, she is moving to secondary school in september, she’s asking about periods and puberty… I’m dealing with it all on my own. That is my job as Mum I know but I thought along this long and bumpy road of Parenthood, I would have some support. Nothing.

I have had 3 breakdowns previously. I have been sat on my kitchen floor hugging my knees and rocking and screaming to be locked up in a mental hospital. Crying out for help. Nothing.

I have come through those breakdowns all on my own! I made the decision a couple of years ago to come off my anti depressants as I was starting to feel better and knew I could do it… on my own. I did too! I did it! I picked myself up… dusted myself off and was stronger than I had been for a good few years…. until now.

I feel like I have been falling and falling for months and months on end and now I have hit that very unhappy place called Rock Bottom! That place I didn’t want to return to… ever! Like being stuck in quick sand and reaching out and struggling to keep from getting sucked in…. but I am drowning in that quick sand.

I shouldn’t be dealing with all of this on my own at all and that adds to my sadness. My kids are my WORLD I love them to the moon and back a million times over. I want to be the best mum I can be at all times. I want them to feel they can open up their little hearts to me about anything and everything. I want them to be happy. I want to be happy!

As soon as I found out my son had Autism I ordered loads of books, visited lots of websites and totally knackered google trying to find out everything there is to know about Autism so I can be prepared and deal with it in the best way I possibly can. Why can’t others put a bit of effort into this? Should it be just me doing this or making these steps? We have this in our lives now forever and I have embraced that. I love my son for who he is. I would not change him for anything and I accept the Autism. Why can’t others who are close to him accept him for who he is? He has been through so much and must do on a daily basis, he is in his 2nd mainstream school at the moment and this still isn’t the right setting for him so I am hoping and praying that he gets his Statement of Educational Needs so he can be moved to a Special Needs school. He is 8 and he has cried to me that he doesn’t want to live anymore and can I take away his Autism as he wants to be normal. It breaks my heart.

I have been battling this for so long now, people say to me “Oh you’re so strong!” No no! I must just be a good actress as I feel as though I am going to crumble into a million pieces any time now. I didn’t sign up for this to do it on my own! I take my hat off to those who do!

I will ALWAYS be there for my children until the day I die…. but sometimes… just sometimes, I need a hug and need someone to tell me that everything is going to be ok.

Starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Yesterday, with no warning at all, saw me called into school to meet with the Educational Psychologist. This is another good step in the right direction in getting Xavier a Statement. The meeting lasted 90 minutes. I was asked what my concerns were. Well my biggest concern was the fact that I have been told by school that my son isn’t really learning anything. Now school are trying to deny they ever said that and said Xavier is unable to work independently, he needs adult assistance at all time otherwise he becomes incredibly anxious, frustrated and unable to cope. When supervised though he is actually producing little bits of work. These bits of work are not on a par with his peers and apparently the school has completely adapted the national curriculum so much to fit his work in, so much so that it is barely on the curriculum. So all this time I have been given the impression that next to nothing is being produced, then yesterday the SENco had FOUR work books full of work on her desk! Most of it is scribed by his 1-1 worker. His handwriting is very behind and the EP was basically (if you’ll pardon the pun) writing off his handwriting and saying computers are the way forward for him and she is completely dumbfounded by the level of computer skills Xavier has.

She asked about his behaviour at home! So I filled her in with the good and bad stuff. Generally at weekends and holidays he is the calmest person you’ll meet. After school and on Sunday nights he is the most uptight, anxious, angry, aggressive and violent person you’ll meet! Which says to me that school bothers him! He is being picked on at least once a week by nasty kids.

The Educational Psychologist was also trying her best to persuade me to NOT send him to a Special Needs School and to keep him in Mainstream. Her reasons being he is too clever and it will bring him down and he will pick up behaviours from other Autistic children and it could become a problem! REALLY? Well firstly I know my son is clever… shame the staff who work with him are not fully trained to bring out the best in him and help him reach his full potential. Secondly I have had a number a talks with the Head of the Special Needs school I would like him to go to and I’m sure he would be telling me that Xavier is “too clever” for his school rather than telling me that he looks forward to taking Xavier under his wing and helping him progress! Thirdly, I wouldn’t want him picking up some of the behaviour of the kids in his Mainstream school if I am brutally honest!

Then there was a little knock on the office door… I looked round and there was Xavier with his big wide chocolate brown eyes grinning and waving at me. I do love this boy so very very much. I called him in and we had such a huge cuddle! I asked him how his day was going. He said “Yeah, it’s ok Mum! Can I stay with you in here?” when I explained that we needed to finish talking then the EP lady will be talking to him afterwards and that they were going to play a game, he got all upset and was stuck to me like a limpet! I dried his tears and told him he only had 1 hour left and I would be coming to collect him. He reluctantly accepted it and we finished off the meeting.

I asked the EP what she thought Xaviers chances were for getting this Statement and she said that in her opinion it is very likely seeing as the process has come this far. Normally they turn people away right at the beginning if they don’t feel there is a strong enough case. I actually had to hold it together at that point and wanted to cry (with joy!) but I really don’t want to get excited until I have that piece of paper in my hand.

We are again another step closer… I am so very exhausted but I know that this HUGE almost 3 year long in total, battle is going to be worth it.

 

Great Gizmos Friendship Bracelet Review

Izabel was very pleased when we received the Friendship Bracelet set from Great Gizmos to review! She has done a few similar reviews recently but loves trying out all the different types.

This style is very different! In fact I looked at the wheel you have to use with the threads and wondered how easy it would be but Izzy being Izzy picked it up straight away and made it look easy peasy!

In the box you get various coloured threads, instructions and the wheel. As shown in the picture, the heart pattern on the wheel is what you will get by following the coloured dot markers. The instructions tell you where to move the threads to in order to get the desired pattern and also in the box is a couple of stickers to fit on the wheel which give you different patterns to follow for different designs. It is such a simple and great idea.

Here is the finished product. It took Izzy no time at all to make this and she has made lots more since! She got on really well with the kit and didn’t need to ask me for any help whatsoever! Which is probably a good thing as I was confused just looking at it! 🙂

Izabel was very impressed with how easy the kit was to use and the lovely bright coloured selection of threads included.

We were sent this item in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.