Autism – Is it really invisible

What is a day like in our house. To be honest, it probably isn’t much different to anyone else’s home, maybe a little manic seeing as there are seven of us in total and it’s not a very big house. Two of my children have autism, one is 25 years old the other is 7 years old.

If you meet my 25 year old would you see that he is autistic? Maybe if it was a photograph you wouldn’t be able to tell. If you came to our house or saw him in the street you might think he looked a little different, walked a little different, talked a little different. Would you know he was autistic? Maybe, I suppose it depends if you knew much about the condition. You would certainly pick up that someone was not quite typical about him.

If you met my 7 year old you’d probably have more trouble figuring out that she was autistic. She’s immature for her age but so are a lot of 7 year olds. She looks like other children and plays games like other children. She gets obsessed over things, but then so do a lot of 7 year olds, she likes to be in control all the time, some may call it bossy. She sucks her clothes and messes herself and has problems drinking from a regular cup, would you notice, would you call it autism?

They say autism is the invisible disability. It’s true that autistic children and adults do not have particular physical features, although I’ve heard people say they think they do. Having autism does not necessarily mean that you will have physical disabilities, maybe this is why it’s called invisible? Autistic people can behave like any other person at times, maybe that’s why it’s called invisible? Anyone who knows someone who is autistic will know that the condition is very visible most of the time.

When both of my children were going for diagnosis the first stage was having them observed by professionals, they seemed to find enough evidence in their observations to warrant further investigation into autism.

Is autism invisible? It seems to me that it is more often visible than invisible and with more awareness people will view even younger children as being autistic and therefore unable to control their behaviour, rather than just seeing them as ‘naughty’

I’d love to hear your views.

The Big Nasty C Word

A year ago my friend lost her life after a long battle with Cancer. She found a lump in her breast shortly after her little boy was born. Sadly she knew from the start that her battle was one she couldn’t win because of the aggressiveness of the disease. She did, however, fight it with all her might for six years and never lost her dignity. Rest In Peace dear Clare.

I lost my mum to Cancer on Christmas Day 2008. She didn’t know she had it until a hospital visit in late November. It was everywhere and there was nothing that could be done. She had no chance of fighting and lived only fifteen days after her diagnosis.

Two of my friends have also lost their mum’s to the dreaded disease in the past few years.

Then just a few weeks ago a lovely family man, Gavin, also lost his life. He was one of my first ever friends on Twitter when I joined nearly four years ago. Last year he told me he was going to have his wisdom tooth removed. I’ve had all of mine taken out and made a lame joke about being ‘wisdomless.’ Sadly, they found things where not right, he had Cancer. They operated and for a very short while he believed the battle was won, but it had spread and the battle was soon over.

It’s awful losing someone to this dreaded disease, and every day online you will find someone fighting their own battles. When Gavin died I decided I’d like to do something for a Cancer related charity. The very same day I heard about Wig Wednesday which the supports the children’s Cancer charity Clic Sargeant. Did you know that every day 10 families in the UK are told that their child has Cancer? The gruelling treatment often leaves Cancer victims without their hair, and that’s what Wig Wednesday is all about.

Quite simply, on Wednesday 22nd May I will be wearing a wig all day, on the school run, to the shops, everywhere. I will purchase my wig from the Wig Wednesday shop where all profits go to the charity. (I quite fancy the Curls Aloud Wig in red.) I will be raising money for Clic Sargeant and raising awareness for the next couple of months.
Donations can be made through my brand new Just Giving Page. Please give a little if you can, every donation counts. Then on 22nd may I will wear my wig and share my day with you here on my blog.

Happy Easter

I think Easter has to be my favourite time of year, what is there not to like? There is something for everyone.

If you are religious then there is nothing more wonderful than an Easter Sunday service. It’s what the Christian faith is all about, being accepted by God for eternity through the resurrection of Christ. Our church provides a truly uplifting service. Today’s was in the form of a play by the worship group, featuring the detective Philip Marlowe on the case of the missing body.

If you are not religious then there is a long weekend (for most), chocolate, family gatherings, chocolate, Dr Who, chocolate, Simnel Cake…you get the picture. It’s what you make of it really, but it can be good and full of chocolate.

Then of course there is the promise of spring, daffodils, buttercups, newborn lambs and sunshine. Well, that would be true if it wasn’t for the snow. I’m sure spring is just around the corner, after all the clocks have gone forward now so summer is on the way, spring better hurry up and make an appearance before it’s too late.

I like Easter better than Christmas, it’s cheaper for one thing. I splashed out this year with Thortons eggs, bagging a bargain with their combination offers, free delivery and a 20% off code. It worked out cheaper than the supermarket eggs anyway.

Yesterday, I made a delicious traditional Easter Simnel Cake, click the picture for the recipe from my cake blog.

Easter Simnel Cake

The Little Ones all made Easter cards at school which are proudly on display.

Happy Easter everyone!

The Little Man’s Catwalk Debut

On  Tuesday we were invited to the Start-Rite Press Party in South Bank, London. The Little Man was invited to model some shoes on the catwalk. It was an invitation I just couldn’t refuse. I’m not a shoe person myself but I love children’s shoes, and I knew the Little Man would be fantastic on the catwalk.

We took the train to London, Eldest Daughter came along too. We decided to go without the buggy! The Little Man is a great walker but he tends to run/wander off, so I used his harness and reins. Out of all my five children I’ve never used reins before, I just don’t like them, but I’ve never had a little monkey like the Little Man and I figured his safety is more important than me not liking walking him like a dog. It turned out it was a good idea, so much easier to get around and on and off transport without a buggy! The only time I had to carry the Little Man was when he fell asleep on the train home and I had to carry him to the taxi.

Eldest Daughter decided that we should have lunch at Wagamamas, so we did. It was the Little Man’s first trip to a proper restaurant (ok, hands up, I have taken him to Mc Donalds before!) and he was brilliant. He had chicken and noodles and cleared his plate. (well apart from the noodles that ended up in my bag which I stupidly left open right next to his chair)

The Little Man waiting for food and enjoying his noodles!

After lunch we headed up to the event and found they had given the Little Man my name and he had girl shoes to model. Ooops! The Little Man didn’t mind though, he loves shoes and it doesn’t matter if they are his sister’s, his dad’s, his mum’s, he’s always putting them on. These were lovely light blue brogue type shoes, so you couldn’t even tell they were really for girls.

Trying his shoes on

Then came the catwalk and the Little Man was a star, I’m sure you’ll agree. In this little video Eldest Daughter was holding the camera and he ran straight to her, as was the plan. What we didn’t plan was that he wouldn’t want to return to mummy afterwards.

As well as the modelling there was a lovely clown lady with balloons who kept the kids really entertained, food and drink and, of course, shoes.

We had a lovely day and would like to thank Beccie and Start-Rite for inviting us.
Disclaimer: I was invited to this event because Start-Rite Shoes are the sponsors of the School Days category of the Mad Blog Awards of which I am a finalist. The Little Man was given a voucher for a new pair of Start-Rite Shoes.

The Vanilla Swarm

On Thursday afternoon’s school run I couldn’t believe how cold it was, I could tell that snow was on the way. We’ve had a fair bit of snow lately I really didn’t expect more. In fact when clearing out the understairs cupboard the other day I was tempted to box up and pack away the wellies for next winter. I’m so glad I didn’t! Friday morning we woke to tons of the white stuff. Kate Bush has 50 words for snow, including vanilla swarm, eiderfalls, erase-o-dust, whippochino, but the words that came to my mind that morning are unprintable. Enough already, it’s supposed to be Spring!

Still, the world carries on, and fresh snow is beautiful, I love the way it covers the muck up. So we got ready and I took the kids to school. The Little Man took a little longer than usual, he’s still completely in awe of the snow and has to stop every 10 seconds to feel it with his gloved hands. Star decided to make Gruffalo prints in the snow all the way to school which was lovely, only I didn’t have my camera with me.

By lunchtime I’d had a call from the school to pick up Boo as she wasn’t very well. I’m not sure what was wrong with her but her recovery was pretty quick?

In the afternoon I have to pick up Little Man at 3p.m and the girls at 3.30p.m. I usually take Little Man for a walk to the shops to fill in the time, but it was so cold I came home and begged Dad to go and pick up Star so I didn’t have to go out again.

It carried on snowing. By Saturday morning we had tons. Star looked out of the window and said, ‘wow, it’s a winter wonderland out there’ which is fine, but it’s supposed to be SPRING!

So we made yet another snowman. This one was named Snowy by the Little Man, original I know, but he is only two!

It’s almost tea time now and still snowing. Will it ever stop? Sorbet deluge, boomerangablanca, deamondi-pavlova, icyskidsi…..I love Kate bush.

Here’s a few photo’s, no kids, but they were there at some point.

click to see a bigger picture

P.S. It’s the last few dates to get your votes in for the MAD Blog Awards if you haven’t done so already.
Raisie Bay is amongst the finalists in the Schooldays category, I’m still pinching myself I can’t believe it. Do take a look and share some love for the bloggers.

 Come and see how others have been spending time outdoors over at CoombeMill country kids

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

Some people only write reviews when things go wrong with products, which is good because it lets people know that there could be potential problems. I’ve also seen negative feedback with say things like, I had to return this item because the colour did not suit me…is this useful?

I write reviews on most items I buy because I like to give genuine feedback. If I have a genuine problem with a product I will write my review in the appropriate place.

I write reviews on my blog too, but they are mostly positive. Why? Because I only write reviews for the things I’ve loved. If I don’t love them I let the person who sent me them know with details why and then let them decided if they would rather me write a negative review or not write one at all. It’s always the latter.

This is my blog, my place and I’ll let you know about the things I love. If you want to find out what other people have hated about the product then you will need to look elsewhere.

My reviews may all be positive, but they are still genuine.