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My Blog: My Journey being a Dad…. Intro

It’s a rollercoaster of highs and lows, but I am here and succeeding, well just !

 

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Since my son received his diagnosis of “being on the Autistic Spectrum” life has become better in some ways but it’s been an uphill climb.

For anybody chasing a diagnosis, no doubt one of the factors for this is the hope of help and support that should follow.  Unfortunately for us this didn’t happen, we were happy to get the diagnosis, but all we had to show for it was a piece of paper saying so, no advice, information or guidance as to what happens next.

We had to visit the GP numerous times before we were eventually referred to CAMHS for further help and assessment, and even she looked like a rabbit in the headlights having not dealt with anything like this before.  She was also very intent on trying to give us medication as parents for stress, anxiety and depression.

Eventually having waited nearly 8 months, things started to happen, Psychiatrist, Medication, QB Test for ADHD, Family Therapy, parenting workshops and Psychologist sessions.

As a result things are better, but we still have numerous meetings with his school, they will put things in place and all will be well, then things slip and which causes distress to my son.

My advice for anybody who has got a diagnosis but no further help is to keep on at people, you have to fight to get anywhere, GP, CAMHS, Autism Outreach, Local Autism charities and organisations – often these will fund workshops and courses which we have found very useful.

At the end of the day, there is help in many forms, you just need to find it, don’t give up – you are not alone.

 

 

 

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I’ve changed my mind – Dogs are a godsend after all !

Looking back at the time we borrowed Murphy dog (god bless his soul!) from a work colleague for a week, things didn’t quite go to plan!  But the back end of last year we finally grabbed the bull by it’s horns, or should I say the dog by it’s tail and took the plunge!

Meet Holly (Long-Tongue) ….

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An 11 month old Shih-Poo.  Although we have been considering a canine companion for years, this was a relatively spur of the moment decision but we have never looked back.

A lot of preparation was needed for our son, in terms of explanation and social stories, also empowering him in taking ownership and some responsibility.

Holly has been amazing, and through the darkest of times she has been there for my wife and myself, whether it is to cuddle or distract us from the daily stresses constantly thrown our way.  Our son likes to cuddle her too, although she doesn’t seem to keen on this most of the time, as she sits there being bear hugged whilst giving me a “HELP DADDY!” look.

There have been ups and downs, like the time she chewed both the legs off my son’s vintage Star Wars Rebel Trooper figure and then did it again to another (she seems to have a penchant for vintage Star Wars).  This was a bad time as he really lost his s@!% with her!  But he eventually forgave, maybe not forgot though.

But how could you not forgive that face?

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Help for Siblings….

Help for Siblings……..

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As you know, Autism not only affects those on the spectrum, but their families too.

It can be very difficult at times growing up with a sibling who is on the spectrum.

Recognising this in my own children we found a local organisation called SIBS Service who support siblings of people on the spectrum.

SIBS service runs fortnightly and is available for children aged 7 – 14 in Leicestershire, at various locations including Braunstone, Coalville, Hinckley, Loughborough, Melton Mowbray and Hinckley.

They focus on the sibling, allowing a safe and nurturing environment to let off steam through creative craft and activities. They also hold a yearly camp and an evening BBQ for all the family as well as other regular activities.

Our Neurotypical son really benefits from this service and loves going, it helps him understand and process some of the difficulties he faces from his brother on a daily basis, and he is able to socialise with people who are going through the same issues thus reducing the feeling of being alone

 

For further information go to: https://sherralyndalziel.wixsite.com/sibsservice

Cancer – A Social Story

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Sometimes people are poorly due to an illness called Cancer.

Cancer is when cells in the body mutate and grow uncontrollably – they can affect other organs within the body.  There are many reasons as to why people get Cancer and cancer can occur anywhere in the body.

Sometimes people may look well but Cancer can make people very poorly and is often inside where you cannot see.

There are many treatments for Cancer which include Operations (to remove the cancer), chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

You cannot catch Cancer from somebody who has it – it is not contagious.

In order to try and make Cancer go away the person who has Cancer will have to go to the Hospital, lots of times, for lots of tests and treatment, often with other family members for help and support.

Cancer doesn’t just affect the person who has it, but it is also upsetting for everybody else who loves the person that has it.

It is OK to feel sad and emotional, and it is OK to talk about it and ask questions, but just remember to try and be nice and kind to everybody as people feel very sad when somebody has Cancer and find it harder to cope with normal things.

Picking Scabs – A Social Story

I really like picking my scabs and it is OK to want to do this.  However by picking my scabs I am risking getting an infection and it stops the wound healing properly which can leave behind a scar.

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Scabs are a special barrier that your body makes to heal your wounds and stop infection.  If you pick you scabs then you may have to have medicine from the Doctor which can taste horrible.  So the next time you have a scab, don’t pick it and let your body heel.

Unfortunately Anakin wasn’t as clever as you and he picked his scab – this is why he had a scar.

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Picking my nose – A social Story

Sometimes I feel like picking my nose.  This is totally normal and it is something I am used to doing without even realising I am doing it.

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However it is not good to pick my nose, and when I feel like I need to, instead I should get a tissue and blow my nose.

My nose acts as a filter for dirt and germs, so when I eat a bogey I am actually eating dirt and germs as well as bacteria from my fingers which could make me poorly.

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Also, Ewoks never pick their noses as it is not socially accepted and if an ewok is caught picking their nose they are made to do hard labour by making tree houses for Chief Chirpa.

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Buffet Food – A Social Story

It is really nice to eat at buffet restaurants – there is so much nice food !

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It’s OK to want to take lots of food, fill your plate up and eat it all – yum!  And it’s OK to feel worried in case all the food goes and there will be no more.

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However it is better to just put a little bit of food on your plate.  Once you have eaten that bit you can go back and get some more, there will still be some left.  It is good to do this so that you don’t get full and waste your food, it is also good in case you don’t like something and have to leave it.

Also when eating it is OK to want to use your hands and get in a mess.  However it’s not good manners to do this so you need to use your knife and fork where possible.

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This will make you look like a child who has good parents and will also stop you getting in a mess like this;

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And after all – Luke Skywalker uses knives, forks and spoons!

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