Thursday, 28 May 2015

Happy Birthday Panda

I can't believe it has been a year since I began documenting our journey and life living with Autism and as I have said many times before it is the most rewarding chaos I have ever had the honour of experiencing.

Our blog has received over 3,800 views and we have published 51 posts which is quite simply mind blowing. I am not sure what we did expect when we started this process but we never expected it to be this big and wonderful. 

To mark Panda's 1st birthday we are recapping the top 3 posts that you lovely readers have either clicked on or shared during the last 12 months. They are:

3rd place: Photograblog with 62 page views (and my favourite post).

2nd place:Myths & Misconceptions with 70 page views. 

and in 

1st place: Horror Friday with an amazing 71 page views. 

I particularly like this post and agree it certainly deserves a place in the top 3 due to the amazing description I was given of what an autistic meltdown is like. It also brings together in a cumulative summary the disastrous beginning Ryan experienced to his education and the amazing transformation we have fortunately seen since then to the amazing teenager he is today.

I would like to turn this post and celebration over to you now and ask you to vote for your other favourite post or posts and thank you all for the support family, friends and fellow bloggers have given to us over the years helping us all on our journey together. Please do feel free to share our blog with any one you think would enjoy our story and benefit from some of the information we have gathered together. 

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Sabastion's Story

Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most. – Buddha. 

 Continuing on with our newly blessed peace and tranquillity Ryan and I went to stay with my parents for a couple of days during the Easter school break.  On our first night there Ryan and I settled down to watch Big Hero 6 as he had been nagging me for a while to watch it with him. I had no idea what this movie was but was just happy to spend some quality time with him particularly as he was inviting in to his world, his space. We were a short way through the movie when we both happened to notice a brightly flickering star or planet outside the window. It was mesmorisingly changing colours from red to blue to green.  I knew that my father has a wonderful set of binoculars permantly set up on a tripod for mum to watch her birds or for an occasional bit of star gazing. While I went to get them set up in the garden, Ryan hastily downloaded a star map onto his smartphone and we were quickly able to identify the wonder as Sirius.  Ryan quickly became enthralled and began googling the Star on his laptop, delighting then in telling me all the facts he had discovered. We soon forgot the movie and spent an awesome evening star gazing. Hobby #1

Now as you know from our previous blog post ‘Photograblog’ Ryan has a very keen interest in photography and is surprisingly good for a self taught teenage boy.  All his previous pictures have been taken simply on a Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone/phablet, but he has been having increasing problems with the basic machine and even more basic camera so hasn’t taken any photos for many months. He has been saving his pocket money and at the end of the Easter Break purchased himself a new Sony 21mp, 35x optical zoom digital camera. It was an awesome deal and he has re-immersed himself into his world of photography with a vengeance which is wonderful to see and a new digi-photograblog will be published soon. Hobby #2 (re-born).

I went to visit my sister in Birmingham just before the new school term began at the end of the Easter break and pleasantly discovered that she had a new corn snake in her ever growing collection of animals. She has owned her original corn snake for 15 years and recently agreed to take on a rescued corn from her local vet who knew she had one already. She has very  kindly gifted the rescue snake and full vivarium set up to Ryan as yet another new hobby and a way to get him off his computer obsession, the only other hobby he has had up to this point. It is a hobby that I too can enjoy with him as I have no interest in computers and gaming but love snakes. She is the most amazing sister I know.

We have now been the proud owners of our 7 year old female grey anery corn, named Sabastion (yes Ryan's choice of spelling and boys name :D) for 5 weeks now and are loving hobby #3.

Monday, 4 May 2015

The calm after the storm

I am so pleased that our previous blog post ‘X-box Meltdown’ has generated such a positive reaction and lovely comments. I had ended the post with the comment that I needed to find a hobby for Ryan that was as unique and individual as he is himself. 

One of the suggestions we received was to try Scouting. We actually tried Beavers when we first moved to Wales. The first group we tried told me they were not able to take on a child with Autism or any other differbility as they did not have the staff to support him. The second group we approached were fortunately far more welcoming and accommodating and they tried their very hardest to include Ryan, unfortunately it was too much for Ryan to cope with at such a young age, while we were all still learning to live with his diagnosis of Autism, that he eventually finished attending.  He is a creature of habit and comfort and as much as his older brother and dad love to go wild camping, Ryan and I are of the same mindset that we prefer the warmth and sanctity of home. Scouting is not for him.

Another suggestion we received was to try horse riding. Now this particular activity has not generally been advised for those of us that have Hypermobility. Myself and my eldest sadly suffer badly from Hypermobility syndrome, Ryan thankfully doesn’t appear to suffer too badly, however the movement generated from the action of horse riding can put an incredible amount of pressure and strain on our already weak joints and the danger of injury from falling is greatly increased for us also due to greater possibility of dislocations, tears and fractures. This idea too was therefore politely declined.

Since the meltdown episode at Easter things have been different for us all as a family and especially for Ryan. Even school have commented positively on the change that they too have observed in him. Think for a moment if you will please of a volcanic eruption. They are spectacular and completely devastating but once the lava has ceased spewing and then cooled there is a serene sense of calm and beauty. The soil is once again rich in nutrients and you quickly see new growth take root and bloom. This analogy perfectly describes and sums up Ryan’s most recent meltdown. A different child has emerged from the rubble and dust. He is calmer, more communicative, and more confident in himself. Not only was the meltdown an explosion of an obviously immense build up of pressure, frustrations and hormones; it seemed though to reset his hormonal balance and clear away a myriad of negative energy build up. How long this new clam will last is anyone’s guess, as new pressures begin once again to slowly build, but we are seizing the precious time we have nurturing all the rainbow of light that this newly established calm has so far produced.  We will explain more on what those new outcomes and changes are in the next post...Sabastion’s Story.