Raisie Bay’s Series of Unfortunate Events, (and some good ones.)

Well, it’s February already and it’s cold! But…we haven’t had any snow, nope, none of the white stuff here.

It Started Well

Last week turned out to be pretty busy with the girl’s parents evening and the visit to the school’s SENDco. I really don’t like going out when it’s cold, but popping from the car into the school isn’t too bad.

The week passed okay until we got to the weekend. Saturday was fine, the kid’s had a good day with very limited laptop time. I am worried about the amount of time they spend on their laptops on the weekend, so we’ve decided to ration it. They helped with the housework and cooking and played with toys, read books and watched a little television. Boo is really into Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events. Oh my, it’s so dark, those poor children having to fight off the evil Count Olaf’s schemes every episode. Even the website states ;

All of the stories about these three children are unhappy and wretched and will most likely fill you with deep despair

She is wanting the books to read now, I’m divided on whether you should read books before watching the series or film, but I guess it’s too late for Boo now. I’ll get her the first book and see how she gets on.

Then the Sickness Struck!

On Sunday, Star was feeling under the weather, just laying around, not doing much. As the day wore on she became really hot and felt ill. I sent her to bed with some paracetamol and she managed to sleep through until about 5am. Then she got into bed with me, something she’s not done in many years. We got up at six on Monday and it was obvious she wasn’t well enough for school. She had a really awful day, and I had to change my hospital treatment to another day as I didn’t want to leave her, and I didn’t want to risk transferring the sickness to other vulnerable patients at the hospital.

Then Boo came home from School and went straight to bed because she felt ill. The pair of them are off school today, Tuesday. I’m just hoping the Little Man has avoided it. I’ve kept him away from his sisters but you can’t really stop these bugs once they start. Eldest son has caught it, eldest daughter has been hiding in her room when she’s been home. Graham said he feels unwell. If I get it then I won’t be able to go to hospital tomorrow either.

The Bad Tooth

I went to the dentist 3 months ago and she said I needed a filling in one of back teeth. She put in a temporary filling and made me an appointment in 3 months to have it filled properly.

The temporary filling came out at Christmas time while eating a crisp. It didn’t hurt, it hadn’t hurt before the filling was put in.

Then last week it started hurting. I think I had some food in it because it felt better after flossing and cleaning. But the pain came back and I’ve been counting the days until my appointment.

I went back to the dentist and she took a look. Apparently the tooth is so bad now it needs removing, as does the tooth next to it! Then she told me she couldn’t do it because I’d have to be monitored with the anaesthetic because of my medication. So now I have to wait for an appointment at the dental hospital. She did put another temporary filling in though, so I’m only eating soft food until it’s sorted. I hate tooth pain, isn’t it unbearable?

In other News

I finished the blanket I was making with a ‘Crochet Along’ Each month we were given a different pattern to make a square (or two) and then last week it was time to sew them all together and crochet the border. It’s not perfect but it’s so colourful I love it. And more importantly, it’s incredibly soft and cosy. Here is Boo modelling it, she was feeling poorly at the time, but said it was okay for me to take a photo while she pretended to sleep.

Little girl sleeping on sofa covered with a patchwork crochet blanket
CAL Blanket

I’ve also finished the Dragon Hooded Scarf that I was making, and now I have to decide whether to start another blanket or get on with the axolotl pattern.

In the meantime, I’m hoping the sickness bug passes quickly and that I don’t get it so I can go to hospital tomorrow.

Thanks for reading x

Debs Random Writings

The A Word – Talking to an Autistic Child about Autism

The BBC drama, The A Word, is back on for it’s second series. I really enjoyed the first series and blogged after at lot of the episodes as I have two Autistic children myself.

courtesy of Keshet International

The A Word is a drama, not a documentary, it may resonate with parents of autistic children, but probably not with all of them. It also has plenty of story for drama lovers who do not know anyone with autism. The best thing about The A Word is that it brings more awareness for Autism which can be a good thing.

Many years ago Autism was a condition that was hidden away, it was under diagnosed as parents covered up their child’s differences and labelled them as difficult rather than disabled. I almost fell into that category myself which is why my eldest was not officially diagnosed until he was twelve years old.

Having a diagnosis opens up the doors for treatment and help but it’s never been easy. I think this is where the drama, The A Word, will explore next. This is something which will resonate with most parents of Autistic Children, whether they can compare their child to the child in the drama or not.

The A Word  focuses on the family lives surrounding Joe, a seven year old Autistic boy and his parents, Alison and Paul. In the last series we saw Joe getting his diagnosis and his mum finding it difficult to accept, she wanted treatment and cures, she wanted to do all she could to make him ‘well’ again. Of course, this is not possible, Autism is a life long condition. You can see improvements, all kids grow and mature and this is true of most Autistic kids too. The spectrum of Autism is huge and even though it’s a cliche it’s true when they say that ‘when you meet one child with Autism, you meet one child with Autism.’ I have two children with Autism and they are both different, they have their similarities too.

The first episode of the second series of The A Word, shows a more accepting family. Two years on they have accepted Joe for the sum of all his parts, including his Autism and now are trying to make others accept him too. In particular his school, where  Mum, Alison, talks to the other parents about Joe, explaining that he is different and that the children should accept that some children may be different which will pave the way for more accepting adults in the future. This doesn’t seem to go down too well though and Alison and Paul have decided to move Joe to a school which understands his needs. This is something that many parents of Autistic Children find extremely difficult so it’s a great topic to explore.

Also, in this first episode, Alison and Paul realise that Joe is also beginning to understand that he is different and they decide to talk to him about Autism.

This is something that most Parents of Autistic Children will face at some point. It depends mostly on the severity of the Autism and the acceptance of the family to their child’s Autism. With my eldest I had no idea why he was the way he was. I never questioned why he was different and tried to make him behave the same as the other children, I encouraged him to have lots of friends and our home was usually full of little faces. I pushed to the back of my mind his lack of interaction with these children, in my head he had loads of friends. I knew he was clever at school, even if he was disruptive and ‘naughty’ at times. I put it down to him being so clever he got bored easily. In my mind, if he was clever, then there couldn’t be anything wrong with him.

When I finally admitted that something could be wrong I took him to see the GP, where at 10 years old he kept dragging the chair around the room while I was trying to speak, or sat upside down making silly noises. The GP said I was depressed and gave me some pills. My son laughed at me all the way home.

At twelve years, we finally got to see a psychologist, who decided, as he sat in the corner eating the sole of his shoes, that he was, in fact, on the Autistic spectrum. He was old enough and clever enough to understand that he had been diagnosed so I never had the problem of when to tell him.

My younger daughter was just six years old when she was diagnosed. I had known from birth, it’s one of those things that if you’ve been through once, you just know. I didn’t do anything about it until other people started noticing. I wasn’t sure if it was just me or if indeed she was Autistic. I didn’t want her to be Autistic, I wanted to be wrong, so waiting for someone else to point it out was, in my mind, the only way to be sure. We went along for the assessments and the diagnosis was pretty quick. But, because she was so young there had to become a time when we had to tell her.

I really can’t remember a specific time of sitting her down and telling her she was Autistic. I think we just mentioned it casually and answered questions as needed. Her teachers needed to be told and they talked about it with her too. She has had good experiences with her schools which has been a relief. My biggest worry was her transition to Secondary School but she has managed really well because her school is good, they understand Autism and have everything in place to help her. I am pleased that she is coping in mainstream school and I really hope it continues. We already know there are very little options otherwise.

Raising awareness of Autism is a good thing, getting people to talk about it is great. For too long people have had misconceptions about Autism and even been afraid of it, now it’s time for understanding and acceptance, Autism isn’t going to go away and it’s something that could suddenly appear in anyone’s family. No-one is immune.

The A Word is helping to raise that awareness by portraying Autism in a family setting, with lots of other family drama going on around it. Even if you don’t like the story line or the characters you must surely enjoy the gorgeous views of the Lake District!

Have you seen The A Word?
What did you think of it, has it made you more aware of Autism?
If you have an Autistic Child when did you tell them they were Autistic, or why haven’t you told them?

I’m on a mission to get 1000 followers on my Facebook Page, would you join me there and make my day?

My Random Musings

Driving Back to the 80s

I was a teenager in the 80s so it’s a very special decade for me. I had a boyfriend in 1982 and he had a Triumph Spitfire Convertible. It was incredible driving along with the the wind in my hair, very exciting for a teenager. Sadly, some jealous person filled the petrol tank with sand and the car was never rescued.

One of my favourite 80s programs was Knight Rider, and Michael Knight’s best friend was his car Kitt, an AI computer module in the body of a highly advanced robotic Pontiac Trans Am. Kitt was always coming to the rescue and I would have given anything to own a futuristic car like that.  

Then in 1985, Back to the Future was released with the fabulous De Lorean Time Machine Car. I loved the film and I loved the car. Back to the future also had two brilliant sequels featuring the De Lorean which was finally trashed at the end of the third film by a train. A couple of years ago I got to see Paul Bradbury’s De Lorean at the Gadget Show Live, which he’d modified to look just like the one in the film.

You can see more cars from the 80s Films and Tv over on Virtue Lease Cars site. How many of them do you remember?

I asked my hubby, Graham, which would be his favourite car from 80s Tv and he said it would have to be The General Lee, a Dodge Charger from The Dukes of Hazzard. In the opening  scenes of the show you see the car fly over a police car!

Back here in the UK, cars were not so fancy, in fact it’s hard to find any UK television programs that feature cars, but there is one iconic one. The Trotters Reliant Van from Only Fools and Horses. This one has a special place in my heart as my Dad used to drive a Reliant Van, only his was blue and he did have back windows. 

If you have children born in the 80s they may remember the first appearance of Postman Pat. He’s still around today and he’s driving his LDV Sherpa Post Van.

” Everybody knows his bright red van, people stop and smile as he waves to great them.”

I hope you’ve enjoyed my road trip back to the 80s. Do let me know your favourite 80s vehicles or let me know if you’ve heard of the ones I’ve mentioned here.
disclosure: this is a collaborative post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

My Favourite Movies and Television Programs

I’m cheating a little here as I missed yesterdays Blogtober post and now I’m combining it in with today’s post. The prompt for yesterday was favourite TV programs and today it is Favourite Movies you Never get sick of watching.
I’ll start with Movies.

There are a few movies to date which I have watched several times. I find that some of the older ones are looking dated now compared to the technology we have these days. That’s the problem with being a sci-fi fan, it gets dated pretty quick.

I’m not just a fan of sci fi though, I also like musicals!

Back To The Future:

I have watched these films time and time again. I find it difficult which one is my favourite although I really think it may be the third one. I still get tensed up when they are on that train near the end, despite knowing the outcome. Even my hamsters are called Doc and Marty.

Mamma Mia ; 

I have watched this movie so many times I cannot count and I never get sick of it. I wasn’t a huge fan of Abba back in the 70s although I did like them. It was kind of uncool to admit you liked them at school. Then in 1998 I saw Bjorn Again  live at an open air concert and it was lovely hearing those familiar songs again. Then the movie came out in 2008 and I’ve watched it over and over. I’d really love to see the live show next.

The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy: 

Sean of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The End of the World. I love these films so much and have watched them over and over. These are my families ‘special occasion’ films, or films that we love watching all together. I’d say Sean of the Dead was my Favourite.

curtesy Universal Pictures 

Star Wars;

 All of them. It’s my eldest son who is the biggest fan but we have watched the movies over and over. We have every single one of them. The youngest three of our family are also fast becoming Star Wars fans too.

The Bruce Willis collection:

 Die Hard: I love the Die Hard movies too, I’ve watched them all over and over and love the action.
Twelve Monkeys: Bruce Willis and a funny looking Brad Pitt.
Sixth Sense: Not the usual crazy Bruce but a dead one instead.
The Fifth Element: The futuristic Bruce Willis film which is full of crazy, but I love it.
Hudson Hawk: Again, crazy story line which is just fun and of course it has Bruce Willis in it.
Pulp Fiction: The one that starts in the middle then goes to the start before ending just after the middle bit which was at the start. Get it? There’s also some cool dancing from John Travolta.
Armageddon: I like a good disaster movie too…it’s the end of the world, but no because a particular actor that I’m fond of saves it.

I could probably name quite a few more movies that I’ve watched over and over so I’ve had to narrow this down quite  a lot.

So now let’s try with Television.

I love Casualty and Holby City. Casualty recently celebrated it’s 30th anniversary and I can put my had up to having watched it for 30 years! I remember when it wasn’t on every week and we had to wait months for a new series. I also used to watch London’s Burning around the same era.

photo curtesy Radio Times

The Great British Bake Off. If you read my blog regularly then you would already know this. I follow the show religiously and choose something each week to bake myself. I’m not sure I’m going to like so much next year when they change channels and most of the presenters!

Curtesy Wikipedia

Doctor Who: I’ve been watching this for 44 years! My dad was a big fan when I was a little girl and I (seriously) used to watch it behind the sofa in the reflection of our sideboard which had a very shiny veneer. The Doctor of my youth was John Pertwee. I was so thrilled when the series returned in 2005 and have watched it religiously since. I went to the Children in Need Doctor Who Concert in Cardiff in 2006 which was hosted by David Tennant.

curtesy Den of Geek

Masterchef. Again it’s cooking, I love to watch the contestants come up with something from a bunch of ingredients and no recipe. I’ve learnt so much from this show. I’ve also learnt that there is no way I could work in a professional kitchen. It may be rewarding but it looks such hard work.

Curtesy BBC

The Apprentice: I will admit that I am getting a little bored of this now but I do love to watch the apprentices make such fools of themselves. I love to guess who is going to be fired.

curtesy BBC

Doctors: I don’t watch this show religiously but I do when I can. I love that it’s set in my home town of letherbridge (he he) and I’ve seen them filming locally so many times. I once watched them film their Christmas episode in September. I saw a Christmas tree outside a local shop and thought ‘wow that’s a big early’ then I saw Santa getting mugged and the film crew and realised what was going on.
Another time, some of the cast where staging a protest outside a local cafe while I just walked casually by. I’ve also met Mrs Tembe (Lorna Laidlow) and I find it amusing that she has a real ‘letherbridge’ accent but doesn’t use it for her character in the program.

curtesy BBC

So That sums it up for me. Of course I could go on and on about programs and films that I have watched many times, but I like to keep these things brief. Also, I’ve realised that my tastes have change so much over the years. I love a good mystery drama, comedies and also some scary stuff. I used to be big fans of Buffy and Angel when they were aired. I also watched The Walking Dead for a few series but then got fed up of the depressing story lines.

What are your favourite films and/or television programs?


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Does Screen use Make Your Kid Autistic?

I was reading a blog the other day, quite an inoffensive blog that I read often. This blog had featured a guest post which was also quite inoffensive, apart from one comment ‘Is the iPhone and iPad a trigger for autism?’
I felt angry just reading this. It’s just not fair, any mum of an autistic child will tell you that guilt is something that many parents feel despite knowing that it’s not our fault. It’s true that the exact causes of autism are unknown but it’s also true that it has not been proved to be caused, or even triggered by outside sources. It is most likely to be genetic and I’m sure one day this will be proved.

Going back to the iPhone and iPad trigger autism statement the post cites two different documents for back up. One states that screen time for under two year olds can be bad. I cannot disagree with this, I don’t think babies should be given ipads or phones to play with or be stuck in front of the tv for hours. Small amounts of television isn’t that bad, I know one of my babies loved listening to nursery rhymes and other tunes along with pictures for a short time. It’s balancing that with time spent interacting and playing with toys with the child. Of course a child will suffer if screens are the only stimulation they ever get. The other document was a study carried out on children in three USA states and apparently shows that autism rose in states where there was more cable television, or more rain to keep the child indoors. The problem with studies like this is that they don’t take into consideration other important factors that could be the cause of autism. So, although children watch more tv and from an early age there is nothing to suggest that this was the actual cause, there are far too many other variables like the families income, diet, race and history.

Many autism parents find devices like the iPad a fantastic way of entertaining and teaching their child. Children do love technology and this also goes for many autistic children. I have used one to keep my child pre-occupied while waiting for surgery, she was much calmer than previous times when there was no distraction to stop her from getting stressed and upset. There are many other times when it’s necessary to keep a child (autistic or not) calm and pre-occupied and these devices are ideal.This article calls the iPad a ‘miracle’ device for autism. I don’t totally agree but it can be really useful if you have an autistic child.

My children love watching television too. They watch it together and then go off and talk about it, draw pictures about or even play things they’ve seen on television. This is normal, this is fun, this is not destroying their childhood, it’s enhancing it. I have five children, two have autism, they have all been brought up the same and probably watched the same amount of television. My older children enjoyed playing console games together and my younger children have mastered the computer at a young age. I don’t believe any of it has harmed them. Only one of my children (one of the older ones) has eyesight problems. I do get my children’s eyesight checked regularly though.

My younger children will enjoy spending time sitting at the computer playing games or watching videos. They learn a lot and laugh a lot. They have regular breaks and don’t go on if they are feeling ill. They have probably spent more time in front of a screen that myself, their Dad or their older siblings ever did at their age but I don’t think it has harmed them. Take them away and they still know how to play together, they have fantastic imaginations and loads of energy. They are not overweight and do not have eyesight problems.

More importantly my children’s autism was not caused or triggered by any sort of screen time and I stand by that until proved irrevocably otherwise.

Let me know what you think in the comments? or on my Facebook Page.

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.