Mr Independent

Personal grooming has always been an issue for Bruiser. He’s never liked it. But, its fair to say that a lot of children don’t when they are very little. I can remember that Wriggler didn’t like it at all. Bruiser however, it isn’t just for instance, the hair washing. It starts before he even has to get in the bath. It’s not something we can just spring on him. Like most things, he needs to be prepared for it and it has to be when he agrees to it.

Over the last two years we have worked tirelessly trying to desensitise Bruiser to being wet, touching bubbles, cleaning himself. Whilst we have made great progress, nothing much seems to have worked in relation to the personal grooming aspect. Recently his Daddy managed to get somewhere with him and started counting him down to hair washing once he was in the bath and counting him down to the last jug of water over his head. Although it hasn’t taken away all the anguish, it’s helping.

Bruisers Occupational Therapist (OT) has advised that part of the problem is Bruiser not being in control, not knowing when something is going to happen. In essence its the unpredictability of certain situations that he doesn’t like and this in turn causes him a great deal of anxiety (ie how many times will we pour water on his head, how hard soft will the pressure from our fingers be on his head), which is why he resists.

As part of the process towards getting a diagnosis, Bruiser underwent a sensory profiling with his Occupational Therapist (OT). The sensory profile report didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know but it did confirm things. As a result of the profiling report though, his OT was able to put in place some strategies to help Bruiser in his everyday tasks. We are now using the stickids programme which his OT has tailored just for him.

mr independent

One of the strategies she talked us through is teaching him the skills to do things for himself sooner than most children would ordinarily do them. This will give Bruiser the confidence to do things for himself and be more independent and thus reduce the anxiety that he feels during these tasks.

As a result; recently we got our first tears free, stress free bath time. Bruiser CHOSE to go in the bath one afternoon. He CHOSE to wash his hair on his own (I helped on his instruction a teeny tiny bit).

Mr Independant

He CHOSE to tip jugs of water over his head.

Mr Independant

He CHOSE to clean himself.

Mr Independant

He CHOSE to use the blow dryer after!!

Mr Independant

Whilst this isn’t always the case, his confidence to do things for himself is growing. I have to admit *sniff sniff* that im starting to feel more and more redundant in some areas. He has even started taking himself to bed. He brushes his own teeth, gets into bed, reads himself a story (now he can’t read but he knows the stories in his books to heart so uses the pictures as prompts to tell him whats happening as he turns each page). Then he goes to sleep.

Now he doesn’t seem to have a problem with any of this. Its his choice. I do find it quite upsetting that he doesn’t need/want a big cuddle at bedtime, Wriggler at 8 still wants the comfort of bedtime snuggles with a book. I’m sure in time I will get used to his increased independence but for now I just need to cheer him on from the sidelines because he’s doing an amazing job!

 

 

 

Autism Awareness Day

Today is Autism Awareness Day at the beginning of what is Autism Awareness Month.

Today is also the three-year anniversary of when I officially gave up work to be a full-time mummy to my boys and also full-time carer (to want for a better word) to Bruiser.

It’s not something that we planned on happening. I was all set to go back to work, just like I did after having Wriggler. I was currently on sabbatical as maternity leave had finished and I had a few issues about my days and hours to confirm with my employer while I awaited extra hours in our local nursery for Bruiser.

Obviously I was filled with dread about my impending return, I was also filled with a lot anxiety about whether or not this was the right decision to make. Bruiser had just started showing more signs that something wasnt right. He’d always been a different baby compared to Wriggler and other children that we knew but we couldn’t quite put our finger on it. Autism had been mentioned on occasion but, we were ignorant to what Autism really was and what these odd behaviours really meant. But just before I was to make a final decision about work, Bruiser stopped talking. He stopped walking. He stopped crawling. He couldn’t do anything. Our days were filled with worry, frustration, screaming and crying amongst the various calls to his consultant and trips to A&E thinking something was wrong with his arms and legs.

I didn’t go back to work. We made the decision that Bruiser needed me at home every day. The whole family needed me to be at home. Everything was stressful enough without throwing my work into the equation too. So on Friday 2nd April 2011, I made called work and told them that I wouldn’t be returning…

So began a new era, one that would change us all, as individual people and as a family unit.

It was only on this day last year when I realised the ironic significance of the anniversary.

We don’t have a definitive diagnosis yet for Bruiser. We are getting closer. When we started this journey we were told that we might not get one if at all before he was four to five years old. Things have progressed though.

Obviously TAC meetings, Speech and Language Therapy, Messy Food play therapy and more recently Occupational Therapy and Communication and Interaction Therapy to name only a few have helped Bruiser. First and foremost though, it has been our patience and dedication as parents that has made the changes to our lives for the better to help him.

I have spent countless hours on Makaton training courses and practising at home teaching Bruiser Makaton. Together with the knowledge I have gained on Speech Therapy courses, Bruiser can now communicate (to an extent)!!

It can take Bruiser over an hour to eat two chicken nuggets and five chips, or one yorkshire pudding for a meal but we sit with him and stick it out every meal time so he eats ‘something’. That’s an improvement on one chip in an hour over a year ago!

We’ve spent countless nights sitting by Bruisers bed for hours at a time getting him to sleep, only for him to wake half hour later so we have to do it all again. I can honestly say I got more sleep when Bruiser was a new-born baby, feeding every two hours day and night than I have in the last eighteen months! I have almost perfected the art of falling asleep while walking 🙂

Our lives are governed by routine, preparation and careful planning, always being five steps ahead all of the time.

We spend time making sure his drinks have no bubbles in them, his cups aren’t wet, his toys are in their places, his bed teddys are in the right order, that he doesn’t get wrinkly in the bath. We make sure its not too noisy for him, that’s it’s never too light or too dark, too hot or too cold.

Yes, today is Autism Awareness Day, and April is Autism Awareness Month. But for us EVERYDAY is Autism Awareness in our house.

 

 

Makaton Monday ~ Beautiful / Delicious

I love this sign. I almost feel Italian when I use it 🙂

Bruiser likes this sign too. He loves to tell me that the flowers look beautiful or the tress and the clouds when we walk home from school. He even tells me that I look beautiful when I don’t tie up my hair or when I have my nails done.

Recently Bruiser has been trying to tell us he likes food. He tries to say delicious but it sounds something like ‘wewishious’. It isn’t very clear and anyone who doesn’t know the sound struggles to get what he’s saying which results in a lot of frustration for Bruiser. We have chosen this sign for ‘Beautiful’ for him use to tell us food is delicious. He’s taken to it very well. Only last week he told me his milkshake was delicious, over and over again! 🙂

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BEAUTIFUL

BEAUTIFUL

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Bruiser signing ‘Beautiful’

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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MAKATON MONDAY

Makaton Monday ~ Where

Following on from the success of Makaton Monday last week with Why, I thought I would share another similar sign this week. ‘Where’.

This sign for us was another sign that we needed to know from very early on. For Bruiser although we have used it with him and he clearly understood it very well, it’s quite a new sign for him to actually use.

It is though, the first sign that Bruiser has started using with ‘directionality’. Previously Bruisers signing has always been in front on him which is fine for him and the level he is at but, just recently I thinks he started noticing how I sign with him more and more and he has started using signs in the same way. This is a big step for Bruiser! Its clear now that he is understanding more and more about Makaton as a language and the importance of hand placement and directionality and not just as tool to get his needs met. Together with his emerging vocabulary which is now becoming quite vast (although not very clear) his communication in general is taking off at a phenomenal rate and he is becoming more and more confident using his signing and talking!

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WHERE

WHERE

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Bruiser signing 'Where' (using directionallity)

Bruiser signing ‘Where’ (using directionallity)

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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MAKATON MONDAY

Makaton Monday ~ Holiday

This weeks Makaton Monday was only ever going to be one sign… Holiday!

As you read this now we are on our first family holiday. Camping!! eeeek 🙂

It was planned rather spontaneously a few months ago and whilst myself, Hubby and Wriggler have been looking forward to it all this time; its something that we only started to prepare Bruiser for this last week. It started with the sign! I only learnt this sign myself a few weeks ago on my Makaton Enhancement Workshop.

Bruiser didn’t fully understand to start with what was happening and every time we left the house, he thought we were going on ‘Oyay’ (holiday) right then! Over time though he’s started to understand and was by the time the day arrived extremely excited to say the very least.

All the planning involved in getting ready to go and preparing Bruiser for it, I realised that I was lacking a few things; signs, Makaton signs and symbols. I was over the moon to discover that the Makaton Charity had done a free resource downloadable on their website titled The Beach. This is the link for it. There are a whole range of signs for different holiday activities including, beach, bucket, spade, crab, pier and more. I was especially excited to see that Kite was one of them. We’ve bought the boys kites to take with us. I’ll be interested to see how quickly Bruiser picks that sign up!

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holiday

HOLIDAY

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Wriggler and Bruiser signing ‘Holiday’

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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MAKATON MONDAY

This Is My Child… This Is Bruiser

Bruiser is our beautiful 3yr old son and little brother to Wriggler (age 7). He has the most gorgeous auburn hair and hazel brown eyes. He loves playing with toy cars and rockets in fact most transport vehicles. He is one very happy cheeky little chappy but he also knows his own mind too and this comes across in stubborness. From the outside he appears perfectly normal.

In a nutshell, Bruiser was born 10 weeks early after suffering a near fatal feto-maternal haemorrhage in the womb. He was starved of oxygen during this time and also suffered bleeds on the brain. He did eventually survive the fight for life but we were left with the devastating news that because of the oxygen starvation and bleeds on his brain, he would more than likely be mentally retarded or suffer with cerebral palsy. He would never walk or talk or go to school and would require round the clock care. Bruiser stunned us and his consultants with his development though and to date we have no such diagnosis. However, he does have other difficulties. Ones we weren’t expecting or even remotely prepared for. 

We don’t have a diagnosis at this stage but he is currently been screened for Autism. He has a lot of other difficulties too… delayed development, a severe speech and language disorder, social communication and interaction difficulties, sensory processing disorder, sleep disorder and eating difficulties. Up to a year ago, he was non verbal and even now still has a very limited vocabulary but his talking is coming. He uses Makaton as his primary method of communication, this was in fact his first language! and I have to say, he is a terrific little signer and can boast over 500 signs to his ‘signabulory‘.

From the outside it looks like we just get on with it, which we do we have to. But, I don’t think outside people quite grasp the enormity of the struggle it can be sometimes. Dont get me wrong bringing up children is hard bloody work at the best of times for everyone. But for us life predominantly revolves around Bruiser and his difficulties. It shouldnt, but it does. It has to be planned around him, planned five steps ahead of him all of the time. We have to prepare him for everything even every day things like bedtime, bathtime, mealtimes. There is no spontaneity. A simple trip to the shops can result in full on meltdowns because we pick up more than the loaf of bread we told him we were going for.  

Dont even get me started on the people who stare and pass judgement at our apparent inability to control our child and total lack of parenting capability when Bruiser is having a moment. 

Id like to say we have a support network of people, family around us to help us out but, unfortunately we don’t. Me and Hubby do this all by ourselves, 24/7, 365 days a year. We’ve never had a day or night off! Life for us is very emotionally and physically draining, including big brother Wriggler who I feel like I have neglected over the last couple of years. So much attention and focus is on Bruiser that he doesn’t always get what he needs from me and his Daddy. Quality time is what he craves and it’s so difficult sometimes. He gets dragged around with us to Bruisers regular appointments, therapy sessions and meetings. Even something as simple as listening to him read his school book at night is an impossibility some days. He has recently started attending his own groups though to help him better understand Bruisers difficulties. He attends a Sibling Support Group run by Barnardos. He has loved going to this and meeting new friends who have siblings with similar difficulties. He’s learnt loads and although he has always been brilliant where his brother is concerned and never complained about anything ever, he is now even more caring and understanding with Bruiser when they play. He helps him so much. He gets him talking and copying his imaginative play. A lot of credit for Bruisers recent explosion of development can be given Wriggler. He is an amazing big brother and they have a wonderful relationship.

It is our experience as a family of a child with additional and special needs that I am supporting the Mumsnet ‘This is My Child‘ Campaign for children with all difficulties. The aim of the campaign is support the parents of children with additional needs and to inform others by busting the unhelpful myths about special needs.

This campaign needs everyone’s support so please contribute where you can and join the online forums, blog about it, tweet, goggle+ and facebook your support. It all helps to make a difference. If just one person did this after reading our story we would be forever thankful.

Makaton Monday ~ To Eat

Makaton Monday with a twist this week; it is especially for a little boy who loves and enjoys to look at the pictures, signs and symbols that I share on my blog (thank you to The Makaton Charity). Please join me and Bruiser in saying a big Hello to Makoto.

Bruiser saying Hello Makoto

Bruiser signing and saying Hello Makoto

‘Hello’ is one of the first of signs we taught Bruiser. I wonder if Makoto can sign ‘Hello’?

Makoto lives in Japan with his Mum Dad and Sister. His parents run a non profit organisation called the ‘Wai-Wai Kids Club’. It is especially for children with Autism, Down-Syndrome and other intellectual disabilities. The Wai-Wai Kids Club Npo also support, UNICEF -Japan, World Vision -Japan, Save The Children -Japan, WWF -Japan and the Care House for Orphans in Yokohama SeaCoast Church. You can support and follow them on twitter at @kankanonmai

Hello to all of Makoto’s friends and the all the staff there.

Makoto has Down-Syndrome and with his friends, he loves to learn Makaton. He can do some signs; Mom, Dad, You and Me. Ive seen a lovely photo of him signing ‘You’ on twitter. His parents tell me that Makoto’s most favorite Makaton symbol to use is ‘To Eat’ together with ‘Dinner’ and he likes to put it on the board. I wonder what Makoto’s favorite food is? Bruiser likes to eat chicken nuggets and fries from McDonalds!

Given that one of Makoto’s favorite symbols is ‘To Eat’ I thought I would share the sign for it today. Bruiser likes to sign ‘To Eat’ too and uses it a lot with the sign for Chocolate and Ice Cream.

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Ryan has started using this sign with 'Shops' and 'Money' when you ask him where he wants to go!

TO EAT

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Bruiser signing 'To Eat'

Bruiser signing ‘To Eat’

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Have a wonderful week Makoto #keepsigning

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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MAKATON MONDAY

Makaton Monday ~ Lego (Toy Bricks)

A new sign for Bruiser. ‘Lego’! Not that new that we havent used it previously but before this weekend I can honestly say I don’t think Bruiser has used it.

We introduced the sign to Bruiser in readiness for this weekend as we were invited to attend the Launch of the Lego Galaxy Squad at the National Space Centre. It was a wonderful day out for us and the children. It’s no secret that my boys love Space but they also love Lego too (and so do Me and their Daddy ;)) 

(I’ll blog about the day in more detail later this week)

Despite still having very little fingers Bruiser developed a love for Lego from an early age. Wriggler his brother is always playing, building and creating with it and has built himself quite a collection of Lego consisting of Transformers, Spiderman, Superman, Ironman. He even had a Lego advent calendar at Christmas! Bruiser though usually likes to take all the wheels out of the box and attempt to make a car or other transport vehicle which then needs a garage and that’s where I come in 😀

The sign is relatively simple for little ones to grasp and Bruiser in true Bruiser fashion only needed showing once!

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Makaton Monday Lego

LEGO (TOY BRICKS)

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Makaton Monday Lego

Bruiser signing ‘egho’ (Lego)

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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MAKATON MONDAY

Makaton Monday ~ Green

Green… Bruiser’s favorite colour. How funny that Bruiser should discover a butterfly, his favorite creature sporting his favorite colour!!

I’ve previously shared the sign for Butterfly and I have to admit, its one of my favorite signs and considering the complexity of it, Bruiser can sign it wonderfully too.

Bruiser found the butterfly fluttering around the kitchen. In fact we’ve had quite a few these last few weeks coming into the house and generally wreaking havoc as Bruiser chased them around the house trying to catch them to ‘talk’ to them! Because that’s exactly what he did with this little green one.

He signed to the butterfly that it was a butterfly. He told it, it was ‘green’. He told the butterfly it was his friend. He then proceeded to push it around the house on his trike.

He was so loving towards it which is unusual for Bruiser as he’s normally only affectionate with inanimate objects. He kept signing to me that it was green. ‘It geeen mumeeee, geeen’ 😀

I will point at this point that the ‘Butterfly’ was very dosile, probably due to the heat (can you blame it) and that it was not harmed at all while Bruiser explored and played.

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GREEN

GREEN

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Bruiser signing 'GREEN'

Bruiser signing ‘GEEEN’ (Green)

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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MAKATON MONDAY

I Live In Hope

Communication and social interaction is something that comes naturally to most children and adults alike and something that we all take for granted. For Bruiser this is something of a challenge.

Bruiser currently attends a nursery setting at our local children’s centre. With the help of his inclusion worker and his key person in nursery, together using Makaton, they’ve managed to get him interacting with the other children and he has role played along side them and they pretended that there was a fire and they were the firemen and they put the fire out. This for Bruiser is HUGE! I’m actually gutted that I wasnt able to witness this interaction for myself because outside of the nursery setting, his brother aside he doesn’t interact much if at all with other children.

At the weekend though, we went to a close friends birthday party at a local farm. These situations Bruiser can find quite difficult and he usually toddles around on his own doing his own thing. This party was different though as group participation and interaction with other children couldn’t be avoided.

I was incredibly proud how he coped with it and although at points he was on the brink of a meltdown, between me and his Daddy we managed to avoid it happening at all.

The icing on the cake for me though was watching him eat (yes eat!!) ‘some’ of the party food at the table with the other children and then completely out of the blue he turned to the little girl sat next to him and said “my mumeee dare” and pointed at me.

I welled up instantly. It was monumental. Id seen it for myself that he was capable of interaction like that and the best bit was that he did it off his own back, no support or help from anyone was involved. It was spontaneous.

(im crying typing this)

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This for Bruiser was one teeny tiny step but it was a monumental achievement and im so incredibly proud of him.

I Live In Hope

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Ethans Escapades

 

Makaton Monday ~ Chocolate

Happy Easter. I hope that you have all had a lovely weekend.

.

We had some lovely quality family time spent visiting and spending Easter Day at home just the four of us… devouring copious amounts of chocolate 😀 Already feeling the overload ha ha.

Yes Chocolate is a very much used sign in our house and I do believe it was amongst the first ten signs we introduced Bruiser. (He has a very sweet tooth!)

Chocolate was also amongst his first ten words when he started to talk again. He currently uses ‘gok gok’ but has also been known to use ‘gogar’ ‘gokokok’!

He uses the sign and the word now to ask for chocolate, chocolate milkdrink (gok gok gilk gink), chocolate bar (gok gok baaaaar), chocolate eggs (gok gok aregggs)… you get the picture 🙂

So it didn’t seem appropriate that I let this holiday weekend go by without mentioning and sharing one of our favorite signs!

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CHOCOLATE

CHOCOLATE

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BRUISER SIGNING 'GOKGOK' (CHOCOLATE OR CHOC CHOC)

BRUISER SIGNING ‘GOK GOK’ (CHOCOLATE)

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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MAKATON MONDAYClick badge above for more Makaton Monday

Makaton Monday ~ Dinner

Bruiser has eating difficulties that take on a sensory nature. Lead by the professionals who told us to let him eat what ever he wanted we did just that. Unfortunately this back fired and we now have behavioural problems in that he wont eat anything other than crisps and chocolate. So a tough parenting approach has had to be taken. Two weeks ago we started our ‘starve Bruiser of crisps and chocolate to make him eat’ mission.

Its been hard going, there have been a lot of tears and I don’t mean just Bruiser’s! But coming out of the end of this last week, I think he’s grasping it and is now tucking into his meals. (once hes established its ‘nod dot’ (not hot) and ‘nean’ (clean)!

When he sees you putting meals on the table for him now, hes runs up to the table sitting himself down, signing and saying dinner ‘didar’ 😀

Its wonderful to see him tucking into his food. It brings a little tear to my eyes everytime.

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DINNER

DINNER

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Bruiser signing ‘didar’ (dinner)

tucking into tea

tucking into tea

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

Makaton Monday ~ Butterfly

Bruiser is very receptive to any visual stimulation. Things that give repetitive motion seem to give him a sensory comfort which he loves. Butterflies come into this category. Last summer he loved been outside watching the birds fly and the butterflies flutter.

After seeing some butterflies on a cartoon recently. He was trying to tell me what they were but couldn’t say it verbally. When I eventually figured out what he was telling me after rewinding the sky box, I went and got my Makaton signs out, hopeful that I would come across the sign, so I could show Bruiser what it was.

It was very funny watching him learn the sign. He was all thumbs bless him and struggled a little trying to get it right before he let me go behind him and lead with his hands a couple of times. He mastered it in the end on his own :).

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BUTTERFLY

BUTTERFLY

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Bruiser signing ‘Butterfly’

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

Autism Sunday #autismawareness

For most people, today is just a normal run of the mill Sunday. But, I couldn’t let today go by without mentioning that it is in fact Autism Sunday and do my bit to raise awareness about the disability.

Autism Sunday, also known as the International Day of Prayer for Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, is observed annually on the second Sunday of February.

Autism Sunday was first held in 2002 during Autism Awareness Year (also an idea shared by Ivan and Charika Corea) in the United Kingdom. Autism Awareness Year was supported by 800 UK organisations. It was the first ever occasion of partnership working on Autism on such a large scale.

Autism Sunday was initiated by parents Ivan and Charika Corea parents and carers of Charin Corea who was diagnosed with autism in 1998. They have been lobbying and campaigning on the serious issues concerned with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome since 2000. They founded the Autism Awareness Campaign UK in 2000 and in 2008 they launched a new autism charity for a new generation, the UK Autism Foundation with a view to campaigning on behalf of the poor.

In 2002 a historic service for autism was held at St.Paul’s Cathedral in London. What started as a small acorn of an idea hatched in their front room has turned into a massive worldwide event celebrated around the world. Autism Sunday is now a major disability event in the calendar.

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Out youngest son Bruiser, is currently been screened for Autism. We were initially led to believe that his odd behaviours and traits were delayed development as a result of his prematurity. However as he has grown, more and more peculiarities have become evident that have given us and the professionals working with us and Bruiser cause for concern.

Bruiser was always a happy baby but he always struck us as odd at times. He didn’t interact much if at all. He always seemed like he was in a world of his own. He didn’t cry when you left the room nor did he acknowledge you when you entered a room. He didn’t giggle and we were hard pushed to get smiles out of him while we were playing with him. As he got older and stronger though, he hit all his physical milestones.

However, Bruiser never babbled as a baby, it was just before his first Christmas at 11 months old that he started babbling and just after his 1st birthday, he said his first word. But then words and sounds came think and fast and by the time he was 15 months he was saying ‘mam mam’ for Mummy, ‘t-sir’ for t-shirt, ‘air’ for hair ‘bable’ for table ‘ibib ible’ for iggle piggle.

Then one day it all stopped… no words, no babbling, no sounds, (it was like he suddenly didn’t know how) just crying lots of crying and extreme frustration!

After numerous consultations with his paediatrician and health visitor, he was referred to speech therapist and also to the community paediatricians as together with other behavioural problems that were also starting to become more evident, he was suspected of having Autism.

Bruiser’s traits seem to be more of a sensory nature. He doesn’t like loud noises, crowded places. He has eating difficulties associated with food textures. He displays OCD characteristics in that things have places, he doesn’t like being dirty, everything has to be clean. He wont even eat food without knowing and checking that it’s not hot and its clean. He doesn’t like bubbles in his drink and he can’t stand it when his feet become wrinkly in the bath. He loves and lives by his routines.

Although he shares a very close bond with us and his brother, when in a social environment with his peers ie nursery he doesn’t socialise or interact with the other children. He stands and watches but doesn’t join in. Or he finds himself a car or other similar toy and rolls it on various surfaces watching the wheels.

Bruiser; now aged 3, has only very recently started talking again. I believe this though is a consequence of his ability to now communicate through the use of Makaton. Which I will add, he does very well 🙂

Any sort of diagnosis in respect of Autism is a long way down the road for us. Whilst we do now get a lot more help these days from various professionals and support groups, life is hard work for all of us. These last few years we have found ourselves getting pushed to our limits whilst also having to push for Bruiser

I believe that the more awareness that is raised out Autism, the better the understanding society will have about the disability. This in turn will lead to better help and support for those affected by it and their families.

For more information about Autism Sunday, please click on this link. For further information about Autism and to access help and support please click here to be directed to The National Autistic Society.

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Are you affected by Autism/Aspergers? Id love to hear from you, hear your story.

Thank you for reading.

Makaton Monday ~ Daddy

For a lot of children, Daddy is usually their first word or indeed in with their first words. It was in fact Wriggler’s first word. For Bruiser however, Daddy didnt come until he started to talk ‘again’.

He was about 2-months past his 2nd birthday having gone the previous 6-months speechless, soundless to want for a better word! In that time he had had to learn to babble all over again. Once learnt however, he used it repeatedly, obsessively like he was saying it purely for the sake of saying it. Trips to collect his Daddy from the train station or work were spent saying ‘Diddee diddee diddee diddee diddee diddee….’ you get the picture 🙂

Daddy is on the same level as Mummy for melting your heart when its heard for the first time and everytime after that for that matter. A major milestone in our world!

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DADDY

DADDY

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Bruiser signing 'Daddee'

Bruiser signing ‘Daddee’

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

Makaton Monday ~ Mummy

For anyone that has read my post Nil by Mouth, you will know how important the word ‘Mummy’ is to me.

‘Mammam’ was Bruiser’s first word aged 1yr and 1week. Unfortunately due to difficulties associated with his development which we later discovered are traits of Autism, he lost/forgot the vocabulary of over 50 words that he had developed at 15 months old. Up to a few weeks ago, despite re-establishing himself an albeit limited vocabulary he has never re learnt the words he forgot, this included ‘Mammam’.

We have taught Bruiser to sign ‘Mummy’ and he uses this sign very well but, its not quite the same without his little voice saying my name.

However, a few weeks ago Bruiser started making an ‘ee’ sound. We quickly realised that he said it when ever i popped out, nipped upstairs or when he was trying to get my attention and it occurred to us that he was trying to say ‘Mummy’ 🙂 After setting up various scenarios to try to get him to say it, he said ‘ee’ to me and pointed at me. I cant tell you how happy this made me. It still brings a tear to my eye and a lump in my throat whenever he says it now.

I have a name… again! 🙂

MUMMY

MUMMY

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MUMMY
Bruiser signing and saying ‘ee’ (mummy)

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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Im linking up this post with #magicmoments