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Showing posts from June, 2023

Everybody is Different

Since starting this blog I have wanted to talk about my eldest son Owen, but have not known how to go about starting a post about him. As a big believer in fate the perfect catalyst presented itself to me earlier this week and delivered me the perfect post.    Before I present that post I just want to give a bit of background to a tale of two boys.   Two boys that do NOT get along.   We all know siblings fight but our house on occasion has been utterly heart-breaking with the level of dislike and resentment that Owen has for his Autistic brother. Soon after Ryan’s diagnosis I purchased a book titled ‘Everybody is Different. A book for young people who have brothers or sisters with Autism’ by Fiona Bleach. I brought this book for Owen in an attempt for him to better understand the difficulties that Ryan faces.  It is an excellent book and very well written, Owen did read it all with me, but overall it has not helped him to accept Ryan’s differbility . He resents too much the di

Autism and Puberty

  “While little is known about the interaction of ASC and aging, it is generally accepted that adults with ASC 1) tend to be fairly poor self reporters when it comes to health issues, and 2) as a group tend to be fairly sedentary. As such, concerns related to the long term health and wellness of adults with ASC should be at the forefront of any discussion of appropriate services. –The Current State of Services for Adults with Autism, prepared by Peter F. Gerhardt, Ed.D., Organization for Autism Research I have two sons so can only really talk about puberty from a boys perspective in the sense of its effect on Ryan while also dealing with Autism and vice versa how his Autism has affected his dealing with puberty. Puberty is a confusing time for any individual but for Ryan with speech and language difficulties the confusion can be more profound. He is not necessarily able to understand what is being said to him about the changes that he is experiencing, nor can he clearly ver

Melatonin - Sleep Cycle

Melatonin In humans, melatonin is produced by the pineal gland, a small endocrine gland located in the center of the brain but outside the blood-brain barrier. The melatonin signal forms part of the system that regulates the   sleep-wake cycle   by chemically causing drowsiness and lowering the body temperature, but it is the   central nervous system   (specifically the suprachiasmatic nuclei, or   SCN ) that controls the daily cycle in most components of the   paracrine   and   endocrine   systems rather than the melatonin signal (as was once postulated). Infants' melatonin levels become regular in about the third month after birth, with the highest levels measured between midnight and 8:00 AM. In humans, 90% of melatonin is cleared in a single passage through the liver, a small amount is excreted in urine   and a small amount is found in saliva. Human melatonin production decreases as a person ages.   Also, as children become teenagers, the nightly schedule of me

The Limbic System

Since Ryan was born in 2001, I have read hoards of information on Autism, child development, healthy eating, and alternative therapies to name but a few and as I have said previously I am in no doubt that foods  play an important role in explaining some of Ryan’s difficulties. I try very hard (but am not perfect) to maintain a healthy Limbic System as I believe it has a strong role in our health, wellbeing and development. The Limbic system supports a variety of functions, including emotion, behaviour, motivation, long-term memory, and olfaction. It appears to be primarily responsible for emotional life and it has a great deal to do with the formations of memories. Susanna Heinze Obviously all of these are very prevalent characteristic ‘symptoms’ of autism, so by trying to maintain a healthy balance and approach I hope to better support Ryan on a day to day basis. As warm-blooded mammals, we are dependent on the development of emotional attachment to the parents.

School Exclusions

Throughout Ryan’s school life he has been subjected to many exclusions, some of which have certainly not been the best way of dealing with the situation and quite likely simply used as an easy way out. The following information is what was given to me when I was battling against Ryan’s first school instead of us all working together. It is all taken from the SNAP Cymru website. .  They have provided me with valuable support and guidance over the years that I am very much appreciative of. Voluntary Exclusion - what does this mean? Voluntary exclusion is where schools ask parents/carers to keep their child at home as a way of dealing with behavioural difficulties. This is not good practice and denies pupils their rights to an education and denies both parents and pupils the right to appeal against this form of exclusion. Local Authorities (LA) will consider appropriate measures where schools are found to be using voluntary exclusion. What can parents/ca

Additional Learning Needs

I have never really liked the term ‘special needs’. Every child is special and every child has needs, so I therefore have previously used Specific Needs. Just as I have never really liked the term ‘disabililty’. Ryan and I use and much prefer ‘diffability’; to mean Different Abilities. Later in this post, I talk about the statutory assessment process that we went through with Ryan who now has a legally binding document setting out his specific educational needs. My original intent for the focus of this post was to go into greater detail on the 26-week assessment process and discuss Ryan’s statement, to offer advice to anyone embarking on a similar journey.      I have, however, now changed my mind on the focus of this post and decided instead to discuss additional needs. I will therefore not to bore you with all the details of statementing for 2 reasons: First, it is 16 pages long and secondly, from 2014, statements no longer exist. They have been/are being phased out across the UK and

Ten Things About Autism

10 Things About Autism  1. Behaviour is communication. All behaviour occurs for a reason. It tells you, even when my words can't, how I perceive what is happening around me. Negative behaviour interferes with my learning process. But merely interrupting these behaviours is not enough; teach me to exchange these behaviours with proper alternatives so that real learning can flow. Start by believing this: I truly do want to learn to interact appropriately. No child wants the negative feedback we get from "bad" behaviour. Negative behaviour usually means I am overwhelmed by disordered sensory systems, cannot communicate my wants or needs or don't understand what is expected of me. Look beyond the behaviour to find the source of my resistance. Keep notes as to what happened immediately before the behaviour: people involved, time of day, activities, settings. Over time, a pattern may emerge. 2. Never assume anything . Without factual backup, an assumption is