Sensory Fall Activities

Sensory Fall Activities #KidsCoop

With the changing seasons I was keen to find some activities for my Sensory Seeker that would meet his needs. I looked to the Kids Co-op for Sensory Fall (Autumn) Activities that would also help him develop in other areas (fine motor, imaginative play, etc) – whilst meeting his need for Sensory gratification – (touch  different textures; sight – a ray of colours; smell – a variety of smells). That this would also lead the way into making it easier for him to understand this new season. I shall be continuing to look out for more ideas but these are my favourite linked up so far:

Sensory Fall Activities

Sensory Fall (Autumn) Activities from The Kids Co-op

Autumn Sensory Bin - Adventure in a Box

Sensory Fall Autumn Activities

Apple Scented Playdough – Danya Banya

Sensory Fall Autumn Activities

Rolling pin leaf painting – Fantastic Fun and Learning

Sensory Fall Autumn Activities

Pumpkin Cloud Dough – 123 Homeschool for Me

Sensory Fall Autumn Activities
If you do have any Seasonal Sensory projects please link them up I would love to see them.

The Weekly Kids Co-Op

Wear it for Autism 2014

Wear it for Autism 2014 #Giveaway

Wear it for Autism 2014

Date: Monday 6th October 2014

Time: Doors open at 5:30pm Show Starts at 6:30pm

Venue:  Le Chinois Restaurant and Bar, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 9NU.

Price: £15 a ticket with FREE goody bag!

Please email lisa.robins@thevines.org.uk for a ticket order form

Wear it for Autism 2014

This red carpet event is back once again after its huge success last year.

Wear it For Autism is a fashion show with a difference. All the models taking part are Mums, Dads, Grandparents and Carers – who either have autism themselves or care for those living with the condition – they are having a full makeover and pampering before taking centre-stage. All the profits will go to the registered charity Anna Kennedy Online, which supports UK families affected by autism, including providing small grants for educational and domestic resources.

Judged by Steven Smith, Angel Sinclair, Dr Pam Spurr and Maggie Paterson, Sam Tomlin, Fiona Shepherd  the Winners  in each category for 2014 are:

Mums: Ann Wright, Sharon King, Maimuna Mutaasa and Lisa Embery-Donaghy

Dads: Craig Binns and Lee Cook

Grandparent: Sandra Trotter

Family: Anne & Steven Rann

Adult with Autism: Dani Bowman

Child with Autism: Sophie Jayne Garner

Young Carers: Demi Stamp and Emma Bell

Wear it for Autism 2014

Anna Kennedy OBE said:

“The idea behind Wear It For Autism was to spoil those who usually never get a chance to treat – or even think – of themselves. Living with autism can be challenging and extremely demanding so we wanted to create a special event, that would be fun for all involved ‘ 

Anna Kennedy OBE Wear it for Autism

Supported by Models of Diversity and Pineapple Performing Arts

Celebrity Presenters this year include: Arlene Phillips CBE, Kirk Norcross, Abz, Keith Mason, Dr Pam Spurr, Amy Willerton, Steve King, Jason Leech and many more.

Sponsors are Living Autism, Miglio Jewellry, Models of Diversity, Wish Want Wear, Damsel in a Dress , Third Sector Gallery and many more.

If you would like to be a sponsor please contact anna@annakennedyonline.co.uk 

 I have 2 tickets to GIVEAWAY – Just tell me why you would like the prize in the comments below and follow the Rafflecopter

UK only

E: 28/09/2014 0:00 AM

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com

This is not a sponsored post.

Sensory Halloween

Halloween can be utilised  to help your child with sensory processing disorder deal with some of their difficulties. Halloween games and activities can help the child learn to deal with unpleasant situations, connect with their bodies, and fulfill some of their required Sensory Diet. Of course there is going to be benefits for both the Sensory Seeker and the Sensory Avoider – but I mainly focusing on the Sensory Seeker – as that is what I know most about, as my son is more a Seeker.

Halloween Dressing up and Sensory Processing Disorder

Halloween definitely is a time to embrace dressing up. My Sensory Seeker loves nothing better than dressing up. All those different textures, and I think it really is where he is comfortable at using his imagination. Letting them get themselves dressed will also help them with orientation, textures, fastenings (zips, buttons, bows, laces etc). We also have a mirror for him – so that he can see what he looks like. I find that when he uses the mirror he also uses different expressions – and he can see what that looks like too.  Or you can use face paint – which is fantastic for tactile stimulation.

sensory halloween

Halloween Games

The Mummy Race

My boys loved this game. Basically get into two teams with the child with Sensory Processing Disorder (or any child) to be the Mummy. Then get the other children to wrap them up. We used toilet paper but you could use bandages or any other white material for a deeper pressure. The winning team can either be the one who has their Mummy all wrapped up the quickest, or have a time limit and the winner is the one who is the most wrapped at the end. If you wanted to add more sensory experiences to it the Mummy could have to run around too.

Sensory Halloween

Go Away Ghost!

A number of children are scared of the dark, and at Halloween ghosts and monsters are even more likely to frighten them. The Go Away Ghost game can also be beneficial to the child who gets upset when something messy touches them (something in their shoe, a cobweb, a wet leaf, a grain of sand, wet paint); Or the child who is worried about something touching them; the unresponsive child who does not react to what is going on around them; the child who has trouble focusing on an activity, or has trouble making the transition between activities; and when they have trouble with an activity and needs removing. This game is good for their imaginations too.

Sensory Halloween

The child says (whispers or shouts depending on their sensory need) – “Go Away Ghost Get off!” Get the child to use their hands to get the ghost off their whole body – pushing the ghost off their hair, down their face, shoulders, upper body, arms, hands, pulling him off their fingers, down their tummy to the legs (give him a kick off), shake him off their feet, then shake all over and jump, jump around in the space. Then get the child to take deep breaths and say, “That’s good, it is better.”

Apple Bobbin and Scary Spaghetti

I think this is especially good if your child is like mine in that he struggles with his diet. Sometimes he will not even try touching something just because of its appearance or smell. Putting some coloured water in a bowl and throw in some apples is a great way to encourage him to try putting the apple in his mouth because he knows it is a game and he is not expected to eat it. I think this takes the pressure off him. This could be used with black, red and green water – maybe have the 3 different bowls. Rewarding with sweets for participating is always a useful incentive I find too.

Sensory Halloween

If they are not quite ready for putting their face in what about a game of scary spaghetti – where you place the cooked spaghetti in some jelly with some Halloween toys (eyes, spiders, etc) – and the idea is to put your hand in and pull out a particular Halloween toy to win. This will help them develop their sense of what things feel like, and what shapes they are without their sense of sight. You can do this with or without a face mask – depending on how comfortable they are with it.

Sensory Halloween

Alternatives to Halloween Parties

Frozen Spiders

It doesn’t have to be a party with lots of people around – why not try frozen spiders in the bath. Last year my Sensory Seeker loved it. I simply filled tubs with plastic spiders and coloured water. I put them in the freezer and let my Sensory Seeker dissolve them in the bath. He had a lot of fun and discovered how the blocks of froze spiders disappear in his hot bath. Also how his bath changed colour and the fascination of more and more spiders appearing as the ice dissolved.

Sensory Halloween

Halloween Craft and Sensory Bins

Or why not have a Halloween crafting session. Great for fine motor, textures, etc. We made our own Halloween treat bags from just paper and odd bits – perfect for carry a few treats.

sensory halloween

Or why not make a sensory bin.

The Weekly Kids Co-Op

Gruffalo Live Relaxed Perfomance Review

Gruffalo Live Relaxed Perfomance Review

We went to see The Relaxed Performance of The Gruffalo Live at Birmingham Town Hall. Relaxed performances are open to everyone but are specifically for people with an Autistic Spectrum Condition, learning difficulty, sensory processing and communication disorder. I would like to say that a lot of effort has gone into the production and ensuring that everyone was able to enjoy it. This was both before and during the performance.

Gruffalo Live Relaxed Perfomance Review

Prior to Attending The Gruffalo Relaxed Performance

Prior to attending there were videos of the town hall, a full guide to the story, visuals and information about the building (getting there and inside), photos of the cast (in and out of their costumes); detailed descriptions of the set, lighting, sounds and list of songs.

There was a visual story guide so that the child would know exactly what would be happening. There was also a visual guide with more detail for children with a higher understanding level. There was absolutely no reason that there would have been anything unexpected about the show. There was also an informal drop-in session on the Monday prior to the show so that the families could see the hall as it would be during the performance; find where they would be sitting, meet the people who would be on duty; meet the cast and ask any questions.

Gruffalo Live Relaxed Perfomance Review

Arriving at The Gruffalo Relaxed Performance

We were told that our tickets would be available a couple of hours prior to the performance. It meant that there was actually no queue when we picked ours up, and gave our Sensory Seeker an opportunity to get to know the venue, purchase a Gruffalo flag (his brother had a book) and go to the toilet.

Autism West Midlands at The Gruffalo Relaxed Performance

Near to where we collected the tickets there was also lots of extra information in regards to Autistic Spectrum disorder (who the primary audience was for). I believe this was provided by Autism West Midlands. They had details of how they help and how they are contactable – including family outreach, support/social groups, residential care, supported living, employment support and training. They also had a social network for families living with Autism called Connect (which also has an app for it). Connect allows the user to develop a social network, featuring the people and providers who give them support; gives the opportunity to find local people going through similar experiences; find and promote local activities and events; discover, rate and review local providers and services; access free autism eLearning, download information and resources. This is information has been taken from their flyer.

In fact if my child was newly diagnosed with Autism this would have been a great place to go. They provided plenty of information about the condition, how to help with it, and where to access help. I particularly liked the Guide to Visual Communication Resources leaflet – which also had a list of useful websites. There were also flyers for applying for an Autism attention card – designed for when adults and young people go out on their own and encounter the Emergency services. It will then help the police and other emergency services to make reasonable adjustments to how they respond to the card carrier, and details of anyone who needs to be contacted. There was a whole range of printouts on a variety of topics including sensory issues, siblings, getting active/play etc. The lady also said there was more available from their website.

The Gruffalo Relaxed Performance The Hall

The central area had had the seats taken out, providing a central aisle. This big open space meant that there was plenty of room if anyone need to go in or out of the performance. It also it meant that children had space to move about and dance. It was really lovely as it also meant that the children were able to go right to the front of the stage and see the characters up close. Feeling very brave when the Gruffalo came out – and then down to the floor where the children could touch him!!!! There was extra wheelchair spaces, and some children were up high on another level. The doors were left open and a chill out area was provided (with bean bags and toys). It was less formal and we were told that noise and movement was welcomed. Do what we need to do was the message.  There was low noise from the production and low light levels. The staff all had specialist training and were very good.

The Gruffalo Relaxed Performance

Prior to the performance all the cast were introduced and we were told which parts they would be playing (these had as previously been mentioned provided in the parent pack). Charlie Guest was The Narrator and Gruffalo; Will Towler was the Narrator, Fox, Snake and Owl; and Ellie Bell was the mouse.

Gruffalo Live Relaxed Performance

Also we were told about the room that we could do pretty much whatever we needed, that we could get up, make noise, come and go. They did ask if any feedback could be fed to them to help improve future performances and a questionnaire was available at the end (to either fill in there or to post back to them). We were even allowed to take as many photographs as we liked, as long as the flash was off. I think this help many children with special needs as I saw a lot of them happily snapping away.

The Gruffalo Live Relaxed Performance itself was amazing. Just the right duration, with a fantastic mixture of songs, attractive costumes, humour, action and audience participation. We were pleased to see that it was not just a reading of the (much loved) Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler book. Theatre Company Tall Stories had adapted it for the stage with its own added bits and extra twists. I think the scenery/lighting was a good balance of not being under or over stimulating and the small cast meant that it was not overwhelming.

Gruffalo Live Relaxed Perfomance Review

Relaxed Performance Improvements

The one thing I did notice is that no consideration had been taken into the differences between children’s needs. For example my son is a sensory seeker – and his needs are quite different to a sensory avoider. There was a lady who was worried about her son who needed to run up and down because the doors were open (and may wonder off or play with them). Her other concern was that he may try to get on stage. I know that all needs cannot be met, as children are so different. Maybe finding out why parents want to come to the performances and exactly how things could be made better will help though. In this case I think an enclosed space for the boy to run would have helped. Our son came in a Gruffalo outfit, which met most of his sensory needs. I liked that there were things for sale before the performance – such as Gruffalo soft toys – which could also have helped with the sensory experience. However, his costume could have upset certain children, and other children wanted to touch him (which is fine with us) but might not have been with other children.

Future Relaxed Performance

The next Relaxed Performance is “The Tiger who came to tea” – Sunday 11th January 2015 at 3pm.

The Gruffalo’s Child is being performed in London 10th December 2014 – 4th January 2015 (this is not  relaxed performance).

Gruffalo Live Relaxed Perfomance Review

I received four free tickets to see The Gruffalo Live Relaxed Performance. No other financial compensation has been given. All words and opinions are my own (except those stated from the leaflet). Thank you very much we all had an amazing time, and I was really impressed with the effort involved to make comfortable those who may have not been able to cope with the show otherwise.

Circles to Encourage New Taste Sensations

Circles to Encourage New Taste Sensations

Today I am going to share with you how circles can encourage your Sensory Seeker (and avoider) to try new taste sensations. Not just circles but how other shapes, sounds and interests can help prior to eating. Plus some ideas for inspiration.

Circles to Encourage New Taste Sensations

My Sensory Seeker as regular readers may know, is a bit (a lot) of a fussy eater. We try not to make too much of a fuss and provide him with foods throughout the day that we know he likes (so he doesn’t starve). See my previous post here. Well I was reading in the Out of Sync Child has fun about ‘Fed Up by Angela Gilbert. Basically it is about how playing with things associated with the food presented helps consumption, especially of new flavours/textures. This means that if before a meal consisting of say food shaped into circles, if the child plays with circles before eating then they are more likely to try new taste sensations.

So what foods are round?’

  • Carrots, peas, cucumber, tomatoes,
  • Pancakes, muffins, scones
  • Spaghetti hoops
  • Cheerios
  • Rice cakes
  • Blueberries, grapes, cherries, melon balls, oranges
  • Burgers

Can you think of others?

In fact with the use of shape cutters you could turn any food into circles. This could be adapted for any other shapes, including their interests – such as using Lego cutters for Lego obsessed children. This can also extend to noisy food – making loud sounds before eating food that can be loud too (popcorn, crisps, nuts,raw carrots, apples etc).

Activities with Circles

The most obvious choice for me at the moment is to let them play with Loom bands (age dependent and make sure they are not likely to put them in their mouth).Other ideas that spring to mind are with balloons, balls, bubbles, bubble wrap, beanbags. Make circles from toys – that can be anything cars, Lego, dinosaurs. Make sensory circles by drawing in mud, shaving foam, sand, rice, etc. How about craft – paper plates, toilet roll holders – again any material can be cut into a circle.  The sellotape and glue-sticks are also circular. The ideas are endless and can be adapted for the child’s interests and sensory needs.

Kids Co-op Circles

I found some posts from the Kids Co-op that may help further inspire you:

Penny + Balloon Atom Smasher - Gift of Curiosity

Circles to Encourage New Taste Sensations

Finger Print Autumn Trees - Our Little House in the Country

Bubble Art - Tiny Tots Adventure

Circles to Encourage New Taste Sensations

Shape Art - Buggy and Buddy

Beach Ball Poetry - Creative Family Fun

Circles to Encourage New Taste Sensations

Sensory Ball Play - Sensory Activities for Kids

Fun Food Faces - B-Inspired Mama

The Weekly Kids Co-Op

School holidays and The Sensory Seeker

School holidays and The Sensory Seeker

Work destroyed – torn to pieces and coloured over, head butting, saying inappropriate things, playing with food, not eating favourite foods on an already limited diet, not sleeping, standing on his hand, spinning, attacking his brothers and smearing ice-cream all over his face. Yes this is the first three weeks of the school holidays. But you know what – it is going well!

School holidays and The Sensory Seeker

Ways to cope with The School Holidays and The Sensory Seeker

The fact that I can even list what my 5 year old has done that is a tad bit stressful so far these holidays is real progress. In fact a lot of them were one off incidents instead of daily occurrences. In fact the reason I am even able to write this is that the school holidays are going so well that he has gone off to a summer day football session. It is at his school with a familiar adult but still a massive step forwards. I think that the two key ingredients for me are that I am not letting myself get wound up about them (he can’t help it and it must be worse for him) and trying to ensure he has a sensory diet to lower the risk of him not being able to cope.

Listening to The Sensory Seeker

I have stopped trying to force him to do things because I fear he will become an adult that can never do them. For example we missed seeing The Lost Dinosaur when we went to The Eden Project because he really could not cope with the sensory input anymore. The barefoot trail really helped him but he was really struggling. We have learnt to watch and listen for his cues and act on them. In this case we removed him from the situation and went back to the holiday park.

Diet and The Sensory Seeker

The food thing is so frustrating but actually relaxing about it has been what has worked for me. So what if he has smeared food all over himself before eating it, yes not the most hygienic but it won’t kill him. Surely it is better than him not eating at all. I am careful as to how many foods I give him, make sure they are not touching, something I know he does like. I never expect him to eat anything – even things he does like. I am prepared to barter with him to get him to eat something healthy. He is learning to understand about when he is at school and when he is not. He has shown this by telling us that he can have pancakes on non-school days (they take time to make and wash up after). Just before the holidays ended he decided that he did not like chicken roll – which was the only sandwich filling he would eat before! Now he only wants to eat wraps. There’s no point in making a battle of it I just listen to what he wants.

School holidays and The Sensory Seeker

Things that have really helped with our Sensory Seeker and the School holidays

A paddling pool – we have a big pool outside and he can get in and out when he pleases.

Guns – water and the BOOMCo Madness Rapid Blaster – good for helping with his hand development.

The trampoline – this is an all year round thing that helps but our 14ft trampoline is great for him.

Ice – we made some frozen Lego shapes, great for his sensory needs.

School holidays and The Sensory Seeker

Cardboard boxes – squeezing into a tight cardboard box was good, and he loved that he was able to destroy it afterwards.

School holidays and The Sensory Seeker

Chocolate milkshake – this has been a big bartering tool this summer.

Picnics – I think he prefers cold food and he has loved the variety of a picnic. Plus with it not being hot food he can eat when he wants to. Particularly successful was when we made a last minute decision to take some jelly on a picnic.

School holidays and The Sensory Seeker

Luckily we have a chill factor jelly maker that makes jelly in minutes and not hours. Following on from the success of Character’s Chill Factor Slushy and Ice Cream Makers they have now bought out a Jelly one! Simply leave in the freezer (minimum of 6 hours) and then when you want to make Jelly add your mixture and it is set in minutes! You need to use half the amount of water than normal, and you squeeze, squeeze, and squeeze some more. Then after a few minutes flip it over and leave for another minute to set. The jelly maker is suitable from 5 years (although they will need someone to make the jelly mixture). We found that it was really good for our five year old Sensory Seeker’s hand development. I am always forgetting to make the jelly so this is just perfect for me. Or for my impromptu visits to the park with a jazzed up picnic.

Not worrying about bedtimes – we will suffer later no doubt but whilst the sun is shining late at night and there is no school we have been much more relaxed about what time he (and all the boys) go to bed.

Keeping him active and entertained – using visuals such as alphabet bingo or working through his Gold Stars Starting Maths for the summer gold stars challenge. Children need to keep their education going through the school holidays so they do not forget things. As he is behind his peers I feel that this is particularly important.I picked the lower age book (3-5 years) and think it has been beneficial to both of us to see how easy he seems to be finding it. I feel it has really helped illustrate just how far he has developed in his reception year too (as he is still working towards all but one National curriculum levels and may be moved to P-levels). Each page has a simple activity and it is very visual. It was good for communication as we both discussed things in the book and what was expected of him. He is loving the stickers that he gets as a reward for completing each of the pages too. If he does all 30 then he will receive a certificate too. It has helped me identify that he needs more help/practice with colouring in.

School holidays and The Sensory Seeker

We have also had lots of play, meeting up with others, days out, etc. with much more planned for the rest of the school holidays.

I would love to hear how other people are coping with the school holidays with their child with Sensory Processing disorder. Or any tips/strategies that they use.

We received a free Chill Factor Jelly Maker and Summer Gold Stars Maths book for purposes of review. No other compensation has been given. Words and opinions are my own.

Aspergers teen driver

Driving Test passed by Teen with Aspergers

Our Teen with Aspergers is Driving

Only yesterday I was doing my A-levels whilst pregnant. So how is it today that the baby I was carrying is now the proud owner of a full driving license?! How did the time go so quickly? 7 years ago I would never have believed that this day would come. My son was struggling  in so many areas, and had been newly diagnosed with Aspergers’ syndrome. Now we have so much hope for him and his future., driving is just the start. In fact now we are struggling trying to get him to decide on Universities and courses! We have established that he does want to go, and has an end goal of what he wants to do – but that’s it. Actually looking at them and making a decision for himself – well that’s just another hurdle. But for today we celebrate that our teenage with Aspegers can drive.

Teen with Aspergers Driving

Now for the next nightmare. Insurance – omg! It seems the more expensive car that is bought the cheaper the insurance – but is that wise? And will he know what to do (socially) when out on his own? I guess it is natural for all mothers to worry (Aspergers or not). And actually the sensible lad in him is very reassuring. What about the other idiots on the road though – eek. Today someone walked across the road (fully) then (without looking) ran back again in front of me. I think everyone around was shocked, and horrified. Me I was just glad I pressed the brakes fast enough. The poor guy who was nearly hit couldn’t say sorry enough, I was just shocked speechless. My 11 year old (who was in the front) just said that he hoped that never happened to his brother. But I am sure my oldest will be fine. And when I have got over worrying about him, I am sure it will be his little brother’s turn!

Ethans Escapades
summer sensory diet

Summer Sensory Diet – Tips and Inspiration

I find the best way to help my Sensory Seeker to cope with the School Summer holidays is to provide him with a Summer Sensory Diet. As he doesn’t like change, ideally, a visual aid. This would  show a new summer routine, which meets all of his needs. I like to make sure I continue to provide educational stimulus, so that he does not fall any further behind his peers. I will also help  him to develop his gross and fine motors skills. He needs plenty of outdoor activities to help burn off some his wild energy and meet his proprioception and vestibular needs; some noisy activities for his auditory sense; and of course plenty of tactile activities. Of course I will also set up just invitations to play, and use his imaginative (I love a bit of craft): These are also educational for him but in a less structured way. A plan not only helps him make sense of what is happening, but also gives him an idea of time, and when he will be returning back to school. I will also factor in down-time (he loves computer games and watching television) – both for his and my benefit.

summer sensory diet

Summer Sensory Diet Ideas from the Kids Co-op

There’s some great ideas on the Kids Co-op that inspire me, or I can utilise to help make my Summer Sensory Diet plan – here are a few of them:

Educational

15 Busy Bags for Fine Motor Skills – Powerful Mothering

Watermelon free Printables - Gift of Curiosity

Handwriting practice Letter B - Crystal & Co

summer sensory diet

Outdoor

Backyard Tight Rope - Kids Activities Blog

summer sensory diet

Outdoor Playspaces Kids Love- Frogs and Snails

Nature walks (and free printables) – Livin Montessori Now

Tactile

Chocolate Slime Playdough - Epic fun for kids

summer sensory diet

Ooooey Gooooey Slime - Our Little House in the Country

I am keen to find ideas for Apps as he sees these as playing computer games. He needs to learn how to blend his sounds, count from 10-20 – and other Early Years Goals. He is going to go up to Year 1 but be measure with P scales.

My other advice is to have lots of snacks. These can be frozen! As well as great for touch and smell.

What are P levels?

When children are in Year 1 they have finished the Early Years Foundation and move on to The National Curriculum. This starts at level 1 (and goes to level 3 in infants, and level 6 in juniors). Those children who have not achieved a level 1 at National Curriculum level would be marked with a W (working towards). This can feel deflating and confusing for a child/their parent who has made so much progress but the assessment shows the same W. P levels used when a child does not meet the National Curriculum levels but still allow progress to be seen. They are designed to show layers of small change below that of the National Curriculum levels – 1-8.

The Weekly Kids Co-Op

You may also be interested in Jenny’s Waterplay Activities Kids Co-op Round up

he is disabled

He is Disabled

Being reminded that he is disabled

I think the main problem I am having with deciding whether to hold our son back at school a year or not is that it means accepting there’s something wrong not quite right with him. Funny as we all know he is disabled, he gets disability money and has full-time one-to-one support at school. It is easy to compare him to others with disabilities and think that the term really does not apply to him. He is so behind his peers in so many areas, but yet he’s just our son. Sometimes it’s easy to think that it is me with the “problem” – not giving him enough attention, bad parenting, I do not have the patience. I would rather those things be true and strive to help him as much as I can. But the reality of it is it is him and the fear that he may never develop further is frightening.

he is disabled

Pushing all these fears away and just being positive not thinking that he is disabled really helps with day to day life. So he wets himself and doesn’t sleep at night – lots of children do that at aged 5, he is still young. If he moves up then I could see that as a problem as he may be the only child to do those things. If he stays down then those younger than him may overtake him.

The Fears

I know this is covering old ground but the decision day is getting closer. I had a chat with him and he really wants to move up. On days when I forget that he is disabled he seems so level headed, and that it would just be stupid not to let him move up. Suggesting that he will fail before we even let him try. But should we not upset him and just wait for him to fail, or should we nurture him and prevent him from failing. I know that the education system is more likely to help the school financially after he has failed – but we are lucky that he’s at a good school and they do not want that. He’s had a lot of changes lately and he’s not been himself. I had the back door open earlier and I told him not to go outside. I said that it was too wet. It was fresh air – I didn’t add that. I just said, “Kyle, don’t go outside. It is wet.” He is five years old. He said, “What did you say?” and I repeated it. Then he repeated, “What did you say?” and I repeated it again. This happened another few times before I just kissed and hugged him. Then I went upstairs and cried. He is disabled and just because it is invisible does not mean that he does not need the help. I have to stop thinking in terms of failing him and think in terms of what is best for him. I wish I had the answers.

he is disabled

But after the decision is made I shall continue being positive for him. He has come such a long way. If he stays behind he will be ahead of his peers. Then that will be good for his confidence. If he moves up then it will be because it has been decided that it is best for him and he can cope. Either way I can forget that he is disabled then he can just be Kyle again.

Just different

Just Different

Today  at school the children were asked to wear something and make a donation for Just Different, a charity which helps raise awareness of disabilities. Of course my boys have some idea about disabilities, with 2 members of the house having them. Here is a guest post from the Charity Just Different to help explain what the charity is all about.

Just Different

JustDifferent is a registered charity founded by Toby Hewson, a young man with Cerebral Palsy. Toby’s vision is of a world where everyone is accepted as equal regardless of their disabilities or differences. To achieve this vision Toby has a team of disabled adults who deliver unique workshops about disability and difference, which challenge and change negative perceptions held by children and young people.

“I always find it quite awkward around disabled people, and so when I first walked in, I didn’t really want to take part. But when you started explaining it, I got less afraid, and understand so much better now” Year 9 Pupil

Whilst PHSE education remains a non-statutory subject in the National Curriculum, the DfE states that the subject is an important and necessary part of the pupil’s education. In order to fulfil its duties relating to SMSC a broad and balanced curriculum is required, which meets the pupils’ needs and prepares them for the challenges and opportunities of adult life.

Just different

“For many children, contact and direct communication with someone with disabilities is limited or non-existent. This opportunity is an investment in children’s (and teacher’s)
capacity to challenge discrimination” – Teacher Year3

Since 2008 JustDifferent’s workshops have benefited over 159,000 children and young people across the
UK with messages about acceptance and tolerance. These are a platform to dispel myths about disability, tackle discrimination and build a more inclusive society, focusing on children and young people – our next generation of employers, educators and policy makers.

“There is nothing like actually confronting the issues! I think I speak for a lot of teachers when I say that with little personal experience of disability, it is difficult to talk to the children with real meaning and understanding. The workshop was a real learning experience for me and I know that experiences like this are the best way to learn and gain an understanding for children and adults,” Primary Headteacher

If you would like further information about our unique “Disability & Difference” workshops please visit our website www.justdifferent.org or contact Sarah on 01243 778275 or by email at bookings@justdifferent.org

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