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Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse

Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse

Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse is a new Marvel showing how being different can make you special. Being different it is usually perceived and portrayed in a negative way so I was really interested to see how Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse had parallels with those with additional needs. That and The Sensory Seeker is a massive Spider-Man fan so we were very keen to see a special screening.

Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse and Special Needs

Miles Morales is just a regular kid. He struggles to understand his dad and hates the school he is at. But then he gets bitten by a spider and his life changes. Meanwhile King Pin is blaming Spider-Man for losing his family, and opens up a portal to get a variation of them back, but this also lets in various forms of Spider-Man from several dimensions. Each one is different from the rest and of course completely dissimilar from the rest of their societies, with their own special powers. When they come together they realise that they are not the only ones and are able to identify with each other, as they work as a team to beat King Pin, after he kills that dimension’s Spider-Man. Miles is there when Peter Parker dies and promises him he will save the day.Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse

I think it is easy to see the parallels – not everyone is born with a disability, and it can feel very isolating to have one. Just finding others who share experiences like your own can make such a difference.

Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse: Managing your Expectations

The whole theme of Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse for me is about managing your expectations. This is first introduced by the book Great Expectations and then Miles having to write up about his expectations. It is shown through Miles’ relationship with his Uncle and his Dad – and that actually how he expects them to be isn’t always the reality. That sometimes you just need to look at things differently to see them for what they really are. Other times you just expect things to be a certain way but they aren’t always like that (like them discovering that there actually is a Spider-Man costume with a cape!)Miles Morales in Sony Pictures Animation's SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE.

Again when dealing with additional needs you sometimes just have to adjust your expectations – of what the person can do, how things may go, how you think, how others may behave, etc. I know, for example, this Christmas is a particularly difficult time of year for The Sensory Seeker so I do not expect him to cope/behave in the same way, I make allowances and just try to keep him as happy as can be.

Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse: Trying and Reassuring

At first when Miles becomes like Spider-Man he doesn’t know what to do in order to help, and gets things wrong. For example when trying to jump off a building he keeps thinking about running down the stairs, and when he finally takes the leap of faith to jump trips on his shoe laces. Another time is when he pulls Gwen Stacey’s hair off because he doesn’t know how to control his powers.Spider-Man into the Spider-VerseNew things take time – whether that is learning to deal with things, or to handle being given a diagnosis for example. Sometimes others may be able to help and other times you really have just got to take that leap of faith yourself and give things a go. I know for example with our experience we have really discovered that punishment (such as taking away a games console) does not work (no matter how much that method is used by others) – and to try an alternate way (when so many others tell you it is wrong) is hard.

It is when Mile’s dad tells him that whatever he chooses to do he will be great, which really helps him to learn to deal with his new Spider-Man powers and saves the day. A quote from the film is that, “That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed without a doubt, a real superhero.” That’s all we can do – is do the right thing, and that actually, love and nurturing is what is best for everyone.

Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse : Identifying with Others Like You

Several times the message of unity is portrayed during Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse, and of course it is with all the variations of Spider-Man coming together that really makes the difference. When Peter Parker dies his girlfriend Mary Jane says that, “We are all Spider-Man in our own way;” Stan Lee says that the Spider-Man suit “always fits, eventually”; and when Uncle Aaron dies only Spiders are the ones who truly understand. After all it is what makes you different is what makes you Spider-Man.Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse identifying with others

We may not feel like we fit, but eventually we grow and learn to be happy with who we are and who our tribe is. It is the very reason I write this blog, to help people feel less alone – and share ways I find have helped The Sensory Seeker be happier in life.Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse

Thanks to Stan Lee and Steve Ditko for telling us we’re not the only ones.

 

I was invited to a Special Screening of Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse. All opinions are honest and my own.

Images Marc Berry Reid, provided by Way to Blue.

pinkoddy blogonx

BlogonX and Me

BlogonX is almost here and although it is one of the friendliest of Conferences you can go to I am nervous as hell! And that I believe is down to the fact that I believe I am on the Autistic Spectrum.

Struggling with Social Interaction

I struggle with many areas when it comes to changes of routine and social interaction. I have a problem with facial recognition – which can include people I know and I have met several times (luckily I generally recognise people I know who they are and have met lots of times). I really seem to be struggling a lot at the moment – even people I have met on Monday I can’t remember by Wednesday! And people I have met a few times I confuse with someone else I have known for a long time! Of course this also has the problem that I cannot remember things about them. I struggle with conversation (always saying the wrong thing) and people really do not like to feel like they are not memorable. I try my best to mask it and this makes me feel really tired (or I go really dizzy and feel like I am going to pass out). That’s happened at several blog events even when I knew who the people were and felt really comfortable with them.pinkoddy blogonx

Struggling with Changes

I have been to Blogon loads of times but not in its new location. This will be the first time I will have driven to Manchester and then I need to figure my way around a new venue. I am confident that there will be lots of friendly helpful people there to guide me, but again I just feel like a right wally when I just don’t get where everything is (even at the end of the day!) and again this drains me. I see that some of the people helping to run the event are new to me too, as well as the above problem of worrying that I will not recognising those I have met before!pinkoddy blogonx

It may be a case that I am actually not on the Autistic Spectrum (and there’s many more reasons than this that I believe I am) – but these are my struggles either way. If you see me and I seem vague about who you are then please accept my apologies, and forgive me if I say anything not quite right – I never do mean to offend. I am sure after a few drinks at the launch party and I will relax.

BlogonX Questions

  • I don’t think I have a favourite pizza topping – as long as it isn’t pineapple or anchovies (or sprouts) I pretty much like them all.
  • The three dinner guests I would chose would be my mother, my Nan and my husband. Both my mother and my Nan died when I was only 20/21 and only ever saw me with guys who were a right waste of space. I would love for them to be able to meet my husband and see just how wonderful he is.
  • My biggest life achievement would just be living. There have been many times when I have been close to ending it all and to keep going when life has given me some pretty serious knocks I do believe is an achievement in itself.
  • I would love to be Winnie the Pooh – not only is he awesome but he is surrounded by some pretty amazing friends who really care for him.
  • When I wake up in the morning I reach for my phone and go straight to Twitter – the light helps me to wake up.
  • I have never thought about what I would buy if I won the lottery as I never buy tickets. I guess I would get my husband a new car because that is what he’s done for me for my birthday.

  • As above I have an awful memory so don’t really have a favourite quote. Honestly I watched the new Marvel film yesterday and today couldn’t remember if the bad guy was blue or purple when asked!
  • If I were a superhero and could have a super power I would love it to be just to have excellent social interaction skills – imagine all the wars you could solve with the ability to talk well.
  • The best piece of advice I have ever been given is from Laura Seaton after her daughter Elizabeth was ill. She said – if you can change it then do, if you can’t then just don’t worry about it. I am sure she worded it better than though!
  • I use the laughing with tears emoji the most.
  • I wouldn’t tell myself anything if I could go back in time because it would have changed the course of my life and I wouldn’t have ended up where I am now. Despite my difficulties life is pretty good.
  • The wallpaper on my phone is of the Colosseum from when we went to Italy last Easter.rome screensaver blogonx
  • You know I am rather happy being a blogger as my job. It has given me amazing opportunities as well as the ability to be there for my children – especially important now I have decided to home educate them.
  • My favourite place in the world is home. There really is no place like it – as long as my family are there obviously.

Find out who else is going to BlogOnX on the Linky

Making days out more Financially Accessible for Families with Children who have Additional Needs

Max Card: Making days out more Financially Accessible

Life with a child with additional needs can be more difficulty financially and access wise. It is why I feel that parents should not be ashamed to claim any benefits they can to help enable their child a normal life as possible. Days out can be more difficult – financially, physically and emotionally: From trying to set off until the time you get home.Disneyland with Sensory Processing Disorder

Sometimes the day can be spent so much dealing with the additional needs that it feels unjustifiable for such a financial expense. For us that usually means we do not arrive on a day out until lunch time, which then means we have to eat and have missed half a day. Or the sensory input becomes too overwhelming (especially if he gets wet at all) – and then we have to leave early.

The Max Card

The Max Card aims to create memories and bring families closer together through fun and enjoyable days out. This is achieve with the help of supporting local authorities, selected charities and venues which then gives access to free or discounted entry to over 1,100 attractions across the UK to eligible children and their families.’Max Card Making days out more Financially Accessible for Families with Children who have Additional Needs

Max Card Attractions

The discounted and free attractions available with the Max Card are available throughout the UK – which can be browsed on the Max Card Website (by Region and then by County) – as well as having some online only offers. Some you can just turn up and show your card and others need to be booked in advanced. The Max Card states that the card is for two adults and two children – but this is dependent on the venue. Discounts include things like Merlin Attractions and Annual Passes, Sensory Oojamabobs, Chewigem, Leisure Centres, Tenpin Bowling, Lasertag, Paintballing, Virgin Experience days, Libraries, Museums, Fun Fairs, Safari Parks, Farm & Fun Parks, Go Apes – and much much more.

LEGOLAND Windsor, Brick or Treat, Halloween, Fireworks and the Hotel

Ordering a Max Card

To order a Max Card contact the local City Council who will be able to let you know if you qualify (it is also for Foster Families) or email hello@mymaxcard.co.uk if you’re not sure who to contact. If you do not have a local authority or charity who issue the cards and you know of one that would be happy to help then please contact Max Card who are always on the look-out for new ones to join in so that more families can benefit from their worthwhile scheme. The Max Card is valid for two years from the month that the local authority receives the card: The expiry date is on the reverse of the card.

Find Max Card on Facebook and Twitter

Gloucestershire currently do not offer The Max Card so I was sent one in return for promotion. All words and opinions are honest and my own.

Pirate Captain Says Game

Pirate Captain Says Game

Pirate Captain Says Game

The Pirate Captain Says game is an adaptation of Simon Says. Players listen to the commands of someone who is not actually in the game. If they say “The Pirate Captain says” then players do the action of what has just been given. If the action is said without saying “The Pirate Captain says” first then they have to do a forfeit of star jumps (the number dependent on the ability of the player).

Pirate Captain Says GameWe chose to make a Pirates game to fit in with our trip to LEGOLAND Hotel Windsor, where we stayed in a Pirate room. It helped keep The Sensory Seeker focused and count down the days. The commands used were then all related to Pirates: Walk the plank, Scrub the decks, Climb the rigging, load the cannon, sailor’s salute. Some of the instructions none of my boys understood and had to be shown, but soon picked it up. The Sensory Seeker did very well and watched what his brothers did and copied.

Benefits of The Pirate Captain Says Game for The Sensory Seeker

The Pirate Captain Says game is good for The Sensory Seeker because it helps with his attention, gross motor skills, sense of body perception, noise, touch, attention, visual, build on vocabulary, social and just down right having fun! In fact next time I have told the boys that I will give them real brushes to “scrub the decks” – well they may as well clean the floor whilst they are down there! This would be a good game to transfer outside too. I really liked how it was suitable for my younger three boys bridging the gap between their ages and abilities.

Proprioception – Sensory Processing Disorder: Body Position

What is Proprioception?

Our brains are very busy-bees. They receive a continuous flow of information from each of our 7 different sensory systems all day long, everyday- & the brain has to sort through it & prioritise the information to decide how to best understand what is going on & then decide what to do based on all of the information available. The sense Proprioception is that of body position, location, orientation, and movement. The information is received through receptors in muscles and joints – for example force, speed and control, about how and where we are moving in the space around us.  This is basically where each part of our body is in relation to others, and how much effort is required from each of the parts to get the desired movement. This can affect how we drink from a cup with control, throw a ball to hit a target, how to move our body to fit through 4 desks in a small space.

Proprioception - Sensory Processing Disorder: Body Position

Proprioception is probably the hardest area to really pin-point as a sensory processing issue. There’s lots of overlap with other skills (like motor planning) so the thinking part to do with making a plan about how you’re going to carry out a movement & going along with it.  Issues are to do with too much or too little information processed by our brains. Horse riding has been found to help with this sense, as swimming.

Proprioception - Sensory Processing Disorder: Body Position

Impairment of the proprioception sense is most reported at times of growth particularly during adolescence and is worse when the individual is tired.

The Sensory Seeker and Proprioception

We noticed with The Sensory Seeker that at preschool he was unable to pour something from one container to the other, as he was unable to understand the relationship between his body parts and the effort (when to stop) of when to pull back (from pouring). I think that him standing on his head/spinning etc is his way of trying to understand this – but this is my Mom theory and not based on anything scientific. We find plenty of time on the trampoline helps and taking things slowly when walking down stairs/slopes.

upsidedown-254x300

Identifying Sensory Processing Disorder with Proprioception

TOO MUCH  – Can be seen by movements being stiff.

How we can help

•Have a ‘time out’ corner
•Provide slow rocking movements to help relieve muscle tension
•Allow breaks from movement activities

NOT ENOUGH

• Use way too much force with objects e.g. jerky when drinking from a cup, push really hard with glue
• Push or lean heavily against people or walls
• Might prefer tight clothing
• Toileting problems (e.g. lack of awareness of need to go)
• Drooling
• Spill from mouth when eating
• Might appear rough or aggressive, like ‘rough-housing’

How we can help
• Allow them to lean on something when sitting (compensating when already fatigued/ end of day)
• Sit on a therapy ball

Proprioception - Sensory Processing Disorder: Body Position

• Use heavy or weighted items to give more awareness about where their body is (e.g. heavy cups and spoons)
• Place something weighted on their lap while sitting e.g. bean-bag, back-pack over shoulders/ weighted products – lappad, jacket etc.
• Give them ‘heavy-work’ jobs- e.g. moving chairs, carrying books/ boxes of toys.

This is not a sponsored post.

Many thanks to the Children’s Occupational Therapy Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust for supply this information and granting me permission to use it.

Scooby-Doo Halloween Party

Scooby-Doo Halloween Party

When planning a party for Halloween why not consider having a Scooby-Doo theme. Not only can you incorporate all scary monsters, ghosts and ghouls into it, but you can also feel protected by Velma and the gang. We were invited to a fantastic Scooby-Doo party as part of an exclusive screening of the all NEW original Scooby-Doo movie, Franken Creepy. Here I picked up some tips to share with you for hosting your own Scooby-Doo Halloween party.

Scooby-Doo Halloween Party

Halloween Scooby-Doo Costumes

Halloween costumes are a must at a Halloween party, and that goes without saying, but my youngest son absolutely loved that he did not need to be a ghost but could instead be one of his favourite cartoon characters Scooby-Doo himself. The costume also went over his head which is really good for his sensory processing disorder.

Halloween Scooby-Doo face paint

If you have a child who does not like dressing-up then maybe they could settle with some Halloween face paint. There are plenty of ghosts, ghouls, spiders, bats, monsters in Scooby-Doo so there is plenty to pick from. Or it could add to the costume. Face-painting whilst at the party gives the children something else to do too.

Scooby-Doo Halloween Party

I liked the idea of using a stencil to add Halloween designs to hands (or you could do it on their cheek). I think this is a great idea for children who are not keen on even having Halloween face paint on because they are tactile resistant.

Scooby-Doo Halloween Party

Halloween Scooby-Doo Scenery

My Sensory Seeker absolutely loved all the visual stimulation at the Scooby-Doo party – simple to do really as it was just coloured paper, cobwebs, spiders, tomb stones, bats etc. All different kinds of pumpkins too – I loved the one made of Lego.

Scooby-Doo Halloween Party

Halloween Scooby-Doo Balloons

There were plenty of Halloween balloons – with ghosts, skeletons, etc and these added not only decoration but gave him something to again appeal to his sensory tactile nature. There was also a Balloon Modeller there – once again providing a good source of entertainment for the children.

Scooby-Doo Halloween Party

Scooby-Doo Snack – Biscuit Decoration

I loved the Scooby-Doo shaped biscuits* set up ready for the children to decorate. This also was good for my Sensory Seeker’s hand development as he had to squeeze the icing out onto the biscuit. It also utilised hand-eye co-ordination and creativity.

scooby_snack_biscuits

Of course he was also able to eat it!

Scooby-Doo Halloween Party

Scooby_Doo Halloween Party food

There were some great ideas of how to turn everyday food into a Halloween theme. One of my particular favourites was by decorating a pot and filling it with fruit.

scooby-doo halloween party

I think the children’s favourites were the numerous sweets around!

Scooby-Doo Halloween Party

Scooby-Doo Halloween Movie

Then we all went into the theatre to watch Scooby-Doo: Franken Creepy. Scooby-Doo and those “meddling kids” Shaggy, Fred, Daphne and Velma are back! With reference to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, we learn the reason why Velma is so intent on getting to the bottom of spooky mysteries. After the Mystery Machine blows up (as a warning) the gang end up going to Transylvania, Pennsylvania for Velma to claim a cursed castle she has inherited from her great-great uncle Dr. Von Dinkenstein: This mystery is personal!

Scooby-Doo Halloween Party

It was great to see the original crew but now with a modern twist. There was lots of signs of the modern age such as laptops and referencing to social media. It held its same great charm it always did, and my boys were truly captivated as the mystery unravelled. I liked the educational references (such as Frankenstein was the doctor not the monster) and was really impressed with the sound and graphics.

Halloween Scooby-Doo Party Bucket

The boys then got to take home a bucket full of Scooby-Doo goodies and sweets and other treats. A great way to end the party and keep the fun going.

 

*Biscuits courtesy of Biscuiteers: Biscuit Boutique & Icing Cafe


We were invited to an exclusive screening of the Scooby-Doo movie Franken Creepy. My Sensory Seeker was provided with a Scooby-Doo costume and we cannot say thank you enough. All food and entertainment was provided free of charge and the boys took home a Scooby-Doo goodie bucket. All words and opinions are my own.