Thomas and Friends Wooden Toy Collection

We have been sent some of the Thomas and Friends wooden toys collection from Flair to take a look at. Mr C and Miss S both love Thomas so I knew they would go down a storm. I love that all 4 of the toys are of educational value. We always try to encourage the children to play with toys that are learning based to improve their skills. A huge parent thumbs up is that none of them require batteries and being wooden they can be wiped over when they get mucky.
The sorting box retails at £9.99 and is suitable for aged 18months and up. It has 4 colourful sorting pieces and a sliding lid for easy access to the pieces, it has a lovely Thomas motif on one side. Its a great toy for promoting problem solving, concentration, hand eye coordination, colour recognition and counting. It is a little young for Mr C but he still loved playing with it because it was Thomas! HE easily identified the colours, shapes and managed to get them into the correct holes.
The wooden dominoes & track puzzle retails at £12.99 and contains 32 double sided pieces. They are lovely smooth wooden pieces with engine prints on one side and track print on the other side. The pieced can be used to play a matching puzzle (see video below for demo) or just to make a track out of to push your trains around. Mr C really liked this puzzle, he enjoyed playing the matching game and naming the engines.
The Tic Tac Toe retails at £9.99 and due to the small counters are aimed at aged 3+, inside the box is the play board, 5 red counters and 5 blue counters. The aim if the game is to get 3 of your own counters in the row. I'm not sure if Mr C fully got the aim of the game but he seemed successful in blocking my moves, all be it not intentionally!! He really seemed to enjoy this game and its really good for promoting concentration and problem solving.
The wooden clock was definitely our favourite of all of the toys we were sent for review, priced at £14.99 and aimed at ages 3+. The clock comes with 12 double sided pieces, movable hands and 2 dice. The clock offers 3 levels of play, counting, learning minutes and telling the time and Mr C loved it. He already recognises all his numbers so we skipped level 1 and are working on level 2 of recognising minutes. The pieces are double sided with hours on one side and minutes on the other and the die are the same. Its a really great educational toy and I would really recommend it for your little one who love numbers.


Thanks For Reading
Mandy
xx

*We were sent the above items FOC for purposes of review, all opinions are my own.

#MySundayPhoto - 29/03/15


Easter With Lindt

I always look forward to Easter, I mean who doesn't love chocolate? But for me Easter isn't Easter until you have had a Lindt Bunny. This year I am very lucky as Lindt have sent me one of their yummy bunnys and a lovely Gold Bunny Story book. These are just 2 of a great range of Easter goodies available online from the Lindt Shop, with free delivery on orders over £40, head over now though as there are some fab deals!
The story of the gold bunny tells a mini tale of bunny running through the meadow playing with his friends chick and lamb. Hidden inside are 3 gold bunnies, 2 chicks, 2 lambs, 3 large eggs and 5 smalls eggs, which isn't bad going for the rrp of £4.87.
The delicious treats are hidden behind 11 different doors, so you could use it as a count down to Easter, a bit like a chocolate advent calendar you get at Christmas. I would have loved this as a child, we constantly bugged my Mum as to when Easter was so I would of loved to use it for that purpose, but for the purposes of review we just had to open and eat it before Easter, I mean you want to know how delicious they are right?
Mr C was the first to delve in and hunt for the golden bunny, he loved searching for him and eating some yummy treats on the way. He really liked the chick and lamb chocolates and asked if they do bigger ones like the big bunny. I think the boy maybe in to something :) I managed to hide the big golden bunny until the older kids got back from school. They where really pleased to get in on the Lindy chocolate action and loved sharing the creamy chocolate. Have you tried Lindt? Do you love it to?

Thanks For Reading
Mandy
xx

*We were sent the above items FOC for the purposes of review, all opinions are my own.

On The Crest Of a Hormone Wave

These past few weeks with Mr L have been a bit of a nightmare to say the least, he turned 11 in January and I knew puberty would be around the corner. I just didn't know it would come so soon and so ferociously.
Aside from little niggles Mr L copes extremely well in mainstream school and is always praised by his teachers and peers. In the last 3 weeks he has been excluded from school twice, being rude, arrogant and generally badly behaved.
He also seems to be saying thinks purely for shock value, he told his TA last week that he wanted to join the KKK! He recently covered American history in school and decided to retain this piece of information. The school on the whole are extremely understanding of Logan and know he says and does things on a reaction basis. He has took it to far on 2 occasion now and been physical with staff which has seen him excluded.

Its so sad and frustrating to see my normally gentle and kind boy acting this way, he is normally considerate of people feelings. He just seems not to give a toss about nobody at the moment, not even us! It also cant help think about what that school think about him acting this way and making judgments on our parenting, I'm sure they aren't but it does go through your mind. He made us feel like the worst parents in the world last week when he was excluded for the second time. He refused to leave the heads office with us and said he didn't want to come home with us! He started saying he hates his home and wants to live at school. His head just seems to be full of ridiculousness. I remember reading up and Autism and Puberty and thinking it cant be that bad but its turned my biy into a whole heap of confusion. He is stressed about SAT's, worried about moving schools, anxious about having 5 different TA's a day in his new school and on top of that hes sprouting hair and has hormones pumping through his body. When hes not angry and irate he looks so sad, he used to love reading and all he wants to do now is sit and play his PSP or watch YouTube. The latter he has been banned from as its hard for us to govern what he watches! Hes not happy about it but I don't know enough about YouTube to know if they have parental controls. He will get it over it though.

We are just hoping that his mood levels out and he doesn't escalate any further, the next few months are going to be tough for him with SAT's and transition into his new school. I'm hoping we all manage to get through it together without driving each other mad!

Easter with Aldi

I love a good bargain and I have heard about the fab Easter bargains at Aldi from some of my friends that shop there. I have worked with Aldi a number of times on my old blog and they sent me some vouchers so I could pop down to my local Aldi and get some Easter goodies to try out.
The selection of goodies available is quite large in my local Aldi and I was really spoilt for choice, I was hit with the choices as soon as I walked through the door. I was met my a tower of Choceur Easter bunnies!
Available in milk, white and dark chocolate and priced at 79p they aren't going to break the bank, even if you have 4 children like me :) The chocolate has a really nice thickness to it for the price and Mr D said it tasted delicious.
The adorable beanie bunnies are again only 79p but they come filled with tiny chocolate smarties inside. Mr C really liked this even if he did drop the smarties all over Mummy's floor and spent the next hour picking them up :)
The jelly jumble egg is a large chocolate egg wrapped in shiny gold foil, you also get a big bag f sweeties inside the box! I like that unlike other Easter eggs the sweets are outside of the chocolate egg. 
The dairyfine milk chocolate egg with buttons is another egg that comes in at only 89p. The same as the jelly jumble egg the yummy chocolate buttons are not inside the eggs and just in the box. I really like this as it means you don't need to smash the egg open if you want the buttons first.
These are just some of the delicious range for the little ones, so lets get right on the the good stuff! The yummy chocolate for the grown ups......
I absolutely love the Moser Roth chocolate that Aldi sell, so when I saw the Moser Roth Easter eggs I knew I needed to add it to my trolley! These luxury eggs are priced at £2.99 each and come in 4 flavours. I went for the fabulous fudge, this yummy hollow milk chocolate is perfected with some yummy dark chocolate drops and chunky fudge pieces. 
Another egg for the adults is the Choceur Secrets Easter egg is pried at £2.99 and is really thick and chunky chocolate. Now Aldi obviously realised it was so chunky that even the biggest chocoholic couldn't eat both sides at once! So they wrapped each side individually so you don't have to attempt to re wrap it when you have had enough :) When you open the egg you also get 10 yummy continental chocolates inside. 
We also got some of the yummy luxury hot cross buns to try, but we forgot to take a picture as they were so yummy we ate them all before I had the chance to photograph them!! 

We have had a lovely early Easter treat thanks to being able to try all these lovely Aldi treats and if you are looking for fab quality and good value get yourself to Aldi this Easter.

Thanks For Reading
Mandy 
xx

*I was provided with a voucher to cover the cost of the above items for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own.

Kids Cook French Review and Recipe

Kids Cook French is a fun interactive cook book that introduces kids to the joy of cooking. It get them interested in creating their own meals. It includes classic simple dishes inspired by French cuisine. The recipe book is written in both English and French so it a great learning tool for the children to, it enables them to learn and pick up French words before they are even learning the language. We have been sent a copy to take a look at before it hits the shelves.
There are lots of recipes to chose from starters, mains, sides and of course desserts and I cant wait to try some of the main recipes. On each page there are little handy hints and tips and my children liked identifying and comparing the English to French words on each page. There is a total of 30 recipes to try and there are some blank pages at the back for your notes.
I really like how simple the recipes are and I picked out the sables recipe to make with the children as they love to help me make biscuits. With only 5 ingredients that you more than likely have at home in your cupboard you really cant go wrong.
Ingredients
125g of all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
65g of sugar
85g of unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
Method
Preheat the oven to 170c
Combine the flour, salt and sugar
Add the butter and rub it into the flour mixture with your hands
Stir in the egg yolks
Knead the dough until completely blended
Roll the dough into a 2inch long log
Cut into 1/4inch slices
Arrange onto grease proof paper lined cookie sheet/oven tray
Cook for 10-12 minutes
They are lovely buttery tasting biscuits and for extra taste we half dipped them in chocolate and covered in sprinkles!
Kids Cook French rrp £12.99 is officially released by Quarry Books on April 2nd. To order your discounted copy priced at £10 you can call 01903 828503 or email mailorders@lbsltd.co.uk and quote the offer code APG309

Thanks For Reading
Mandy
xx

#Win 2 Funky Giraffe Bibs for your little bunny

So Easter is just around the corner and I have the perfect gift for you little bunny here, would you like to win these 2 beautiful bibs worth £4 each from Funky Giraffe?
Well your'e in luck as the lovely people from Funky Giraffe have let me have these 2 bibs to give away to 1 of my lovely readers. These are just 2 of the lovely design available from Funky Giraffe and I can personally vouch for the amazing quality of the product as I used them for Mr C, who wants boring plain bibs when you can have some like this? Pop over to the Website and look at the amazing designs, you can also follow along on Facebook and Twitter.
For your chance to win just fill out the widget below and take a moment to read the terms and conditions before entering.

Terms & Conditions
  • This giveaway is open to UK & Ireland Residents Only
  • The first entry is mandatory and must be completed to validate your entry. All other entries are optional.
  • All entries will be validated before the draw and ALL invalid entries disqualified.
  • The winner will be chosen at random via the widget
  • The winner will be contacted within 3 days of the giveaway closing, they will then have 14 days in which to respond. If they do not respond within 14 days their win will become void and a new winner selected.
  • Your details will not be passed by me to any third parties.
  • The Company are responsible for sending the prize, this can take up to 28 days.
  • Any damaged/missing prizes are not my responsibility, but I will do my best to resolve with the   company.
  • The company reserves the right to substitute the prize for one of similar value in the event that the original not being available.
  • Only one entry per household/i.p address
  • Entries using software or automated process to make bulk entries will be disqualified.
  • This Giveaway is open until Midnight Easter Sunday
  • funky giraffe
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    #CorrieTour Bloggers Breakfast

    Yesterday I was really excited to be invited to attend a bloggers breakfast at the Corrie Tour, I'm a Manchester girl born an bred and have been raised on a tv diet of the famous cobbles.  It wasn't my first trip down the cobbles, I was a regular visitor as a child to now closed Granada Studio Tour and I was excited to see how the whole set up had changed.
    We started our day in the Rovers for our exclusive bloggers breakfast, we got all cosy with a coffee and a bacon butty. It was pretty surreal sat in front of the fire munching on my bacon barm and its really small compared to how it seems on the big scree, our tour guide explained how they unclip all the walls for filming purposes.
    Normally whilst on your 50 minute tour you cannot go behind the dressed set signs, but lucky for us we could get up close and personal to all the sets and props and were free to take photos touch as much as we liked. New to the tour is the fabulous Rita's Kabin set in all its glory, complete with real sweets!
    Photo Credit Daddy's In The House
    After we had free roam of the sets we went on the guided tour that paying customers would experience, I loved all the info the great tour guide gave us about the sets. After the set tour we headed into the green room and saw the graffiti wall signed by cast members who have visited the tour.
    After wandering down the corridors lined with photographs and dressing rooms we went into wardrobe and make up. Seeing some of the most famous costumes on the street up close was fab! We then sat down to watch clips of Coronation Street through the years, there were lots of familiar scenes and I really enjoyed this part of the tour.
    After this part of the tour you are led to the double doors to be let loose onto the Street, as you walk out onto the Street the classic theme tune is playing.
    Whilst on the street you can wander down the famous alley ways, go into the Platts back garden, snap your photo in front of the Rovers Return. New for the tour is the opening of Websters Garage and Prima Doner. You are free to wander round at your own pace but if you fancy there is a guided tour on the hour from outside Roys Rolls!
    I took lots of pictures but didn't want to flood the post with pictures so go check out my google album for all the tour pictures.
    The Coronation Street Tour is open daily from 10am for the rest of 2015. Its really easy to find just past the MOSI. The tour will cost £16.50 and is more than worth the ticket cost for any Corrie fan. You can book via Ticketmaster to guarantee entry on the day and time you wish to visit.

    Thanks For Reading
    Mandy
    xx

    Schleich Mini Dinosaurs

    Schleich make some of the best imaginative play toys in the business, each one so beautifully crafted and full of detail. With a range that consist of figures from fantasy to farm yard there is sure to be some Schleich for your child.
    Brand new for this year is a collection to delight any dinosaur fan! The new collection of 10 dinosaurs priced at only £2.99 are ideal pocket money toys. We have been sent 6 of these stunning looking figures for the children to have a look at.
    From a parent perspective for the price I really couldn't believe the intricate detail on all 6 of these figures. Every single textured detail is perfect and really good quality. From a child's point of view they look really life like and are the perfect toy for some fun imaginative and role play activities. As a parent of children on the autistic spectrum these are the types of play we like to encourage the most to aide the children further development.
    The Pentaceratops with its 5 horns and powerful neck shield was a relative of the Triceratops, it has probably the largest skull of all land dwelling animals. Mr D loved the detail on his horns.
    Thanks to its distinctive tail spikes and plated back the Stegosaurus is one of the most famous dinosaurs.
    The Saichania was up to 7 metres long and a herbivore. Its body was completely armoured and it had a thorn like excrescences at the end of its tail to defend himself from attacks. This was a dinosaur the children have never heard of, so they were straight on google to find out more about him.
    The Triceratops had a man sized skull with 2 large and 1 small horn and a huge ruff. It was thought that they could easily defend themselves against predators.
    The Tyrannosaurus was a massive 13 metres long was a 2 legged carnivorous dinosaur, he had a powerful skull and teeth that were nearly 20 centimetres long.
    The Velociraptor hunted in packs and were only 70 centimetres long, although only 60 centimetres tall they could move at around 65kmph.
    Mr C took a shine to these fab dinosaurs and immediately started making dinosaur noises whilst playing with them. He was very interested in knowing what all their names were and which one was George's (from Peppa Pig) dinosaur. I told him it was the Velociraptor as its the one that looks most like George's dinosaur.

    Thanks For Reading
    Mandy
    xx

    *We were sent the above items FOC for the purposes of review, all opinions are our own.


    The Importance of Self Care

    As a parent self care is important, it is even more so important when you are the parent of 3 children with additional needs. For the past 8 weeks we have been going to a course called Riding The Rapids, which is all about behaviour management. But in order to cope with challenging behaviour you need to be making sure you are taking care of yourself.

    It is sometimes easier said than done to get some you time when you are parent to 4 children, but what the course has taught us is that it doesn't have to be about going out and doing something, it can just be doing something you enjoy and that doesn't involve the children. Part of our homework for each week is to schedule in some self care.

    Last Sunday was our 13 year anniversary, but being a Sunday meant we had no time to celebrate, Sundays are all about routine and preparation for the return to school after the weekend. So we had arranged for my Mum to come and look after the children for the night on Thursday. We booked in to the local Travelodge which is attached to an entertainment complex. Its where we always go for a night away from the children.
    We had a lovely meal, a meal that we could chat over, take out time and most importantly eat whilst it was hot!! Meal times tend to pass in a blur of routine and you find yourself eating on auto pilot, whilst checking everyone else is eating to. We then went over the the pub we have been visiting for the past 8 years, its a really relaxed atmosphere and usually quiet. Since our last visit they introduced a curry night and it was rather busy, but we manged to find a table in a quiet corner and hit the cocktails.
    Now at home we are usually ready for bed by 10pm (rock and roll I know) but being away from the children and relaxing we hoped to stay out longer. A combination of alcohol and a 6am get up for school run saw me yawning by 10pm. I think Dave could of gone a few more hours thanks to the vodka and energy drink cocktails he was drinking! By 10.10pm we were doing the early walk of shame out of the pub, to add insult to injury that we are light weights as we left a pair of pensioners were just coming in to start their night! 
    Within 30 minutes of being back in the hotel I was snoring! Poor Dave I wasn't much company, he dint mind, I don't think lol
    We had an epic lie in the next morning thanks to the 12pm check out, if I'm honest this was the best bit as 6am get ups are a little taxing on the soul, especially when 2 of the children seem to suffer from insomnia!
    We headed home refreshed and ready to take on the challenges our 3 ASD children throw at us daily, little did we know it was a much needed break as a storm was about to hit, but that's for the next post.......

    Thanks For Reading
    Mandy
    xx

    Kurio Family Blogger Review - The Kurio XL Tablet

    So back when I was on my old blog I was sent delighted to be invited to part of the Kurio Family Blogger Panel and we where really excited to receive the Kurio XL Tablet for review. We have had the tablet since way back in November and wanted to give it a through going over before writing our review.

    The Kurio XL is the ultimate android tablet for the whole family and is priced from £129.99. For your money you get the tablet, protective case, usb charger, car charger and a stand. The Kurio XL boasts a 10 inch touch screen and a IPS colour panel. It uses the android 4.2.2 operating system and has an impressive quad core A31S processor making it super speedy. It comes with 8gb storage and the option to expand this by up to 32gb with an additional micro sd memory card (sold separately). It also has a front and rear facing camera on board which allows you to record mp4 video.

    We have had lots of tablets in the house and all of them provided to entertainment the children wanted. As a parent though there was a few things missing and the Kurio XL Tablet provides all those needed extras. The most important one being the ability to give the children allotted time slots to use the tablet. You can easily set limits for play each day or for the whole week. I love this function as I have 4 children and they all want to play. As 3 of them have autism transition for them is hard, so the ability to set times has made technology time a lot easier in our house. When their time is up they simply hand it over to whoever is next up! There is the option to have up to 8 registered users on the tablet so they can have their own area for their own apps and you can keep everyone happy at the same time. This was another favourite feature of mine as the children all have different tastes and the fact they can load their own profile  and see only their apps was one less thing to worry about. Another feature the children were interested to explore is the motion sensor. How many times have you found yourself playing a game and tilting the controller the way you want it to go? Well the XL tablet gives you the ability to do this. Miss S particularly loved the cooking game and using the motion sensor to pour the ingredients into the bowl.

    The set up was really simple and you have the option to do a custom setup where you can pick and choose the apps you want to have on. There is also the option for recommended set up which preinstalls 50 apps that Kurio think your child will love. We liked this option as the apps went down a storm with all 4 of my children.
    The tablet uses google play store so you will need an account to be able to download apps. The host of apps available is immense and I like that I can use it when the children are in bed. you can frequently find me lay in bed watching Netflix or scrolling through Facebook. I actually found I preferred the tablet to using my laptop, the screen quality is crystal clear and it doesn't weigh to much. Thanks to the included tablet stand I can have it stood up on my bedside table.

    As parents we all worry about allowing our children to access the internet but Kurio has kid safe web surfing built in. There is 450 million websites that have already been filtered, categorized and updates daily. You can choose one of the pre defined kid safe filters or customize your own filter. You can also block website and there is an easy to use safe and block list. The benefit of this is that as your child gets older you can adjust the filter and allow them access to more.

    We have all been enjoying the Kurio Xl and I even had the opportunity to experience the fantastic Kurio customer service. In January the power button on our tablet became a little sticky and eventually stopped working. A call to Kurio saw a brand new tablet arrive the very next day and my faulty tablet being taken away. No quibbles, no questions, the tablet has a fault its under guarantee we will replace it. No waiting for repairs or anything, I was super impressed. We have had no further issues and we love our Kurio.
    There are definitely some cheaper tablets on the market but I think the Kurio XL warrants the price tag and is definitely worth the spend. The quality of the tablet alone is amazing but when you add on all the fantastic parental features it offers its worth it weight in gold.

    The Kurio XL tablet is availble to buy from Amazon, ToysRus. You can find out all you need to know on the Kurio Website as well as following them on Facebook and Twitter were they share their app of the week!

    Thanks For Reading
    Mandy
    xx

    *We were sent the above item FOC for purposes of review as part of the Kurio Bloggers Family

    #Win 1 of 3 Kidzpod Lunch Bags


    How many times have you stood in the kitchen anti bac in hand trying to clean out the grimy corners of your child's lunch box? I have 1 on packed lunch and their lunch bags are a breeding ground for bacteria.

    Kidzpod are created by a parent who was tired of this task and wanted to ensure his children's lunch bags are bacteria free.
    The kibzpod are coated in biocote which prevents bacteria from breeding from tiny particles of food waste that is floating round inside our children's lunch bags! A quick wipe round with a cloth and you can rest assured that the lunch bag is safe for the next use. They are also top shelf dishwasher safe for extra convenience.

    Your child can change the look of their kidzpod daily if they want to by changing the image under the film on the front of the lunch bag. You can get some fab design from the kidzpod website or simply print off your own. The kidzpod are priced are available in 5 colours with the choice of 18 inserts, they are priced at £12.99.

    But the lovely people at kidzpod have given 3 to me to give away to my readers. So for your chance to win just take a read of the terms and conditions and enter via the widget. Make sure you pop over to the Kidzpod Facebook Page and give them a like!

    Terms & Conditions
  • This giveaway is open to UK & Ireland Residents Only
  • The first entry is mandatory and must be completed to validate your entry. All other entries are optional.
  • All entries will be validated before the draw and ALL invalid entries disqualified.
  • The winner will be chosen at random via the widget
  • The winner will be contacted within 3 days of the giveaway closing, they will then have 14 days in which to respond. If they do not respond within 14 days their win will become void and a new winner selected.
  • Your details will not be passed by me to any third parties.
  • The Company are responsible for sending the prize, this can take up to 28 days.
  • Any damaged/missing prizes are not my responsibility, but I will do my best to resolve with the   company.
  • The company reserves the right to substitute the prize for one of similar value in the event that the original not being available.
  • Only one entry per household/i.p address
  • Entries using software or automated process to make bulk entries will be disqualified.
  • This Giveaway will close Midnight Friday 10th April 
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    Three Months Post Diagnosis

    Its now been 3 months since we received Mr D's diagnosis of Aspergers  and I think we have finally come to terms with the diagnosis. It sounds a bit crazy saying come to terms when we already have 2 diagnosed, but that's because Mr D's diagnosis was such a shock to us all.

    There had been some concerns about his behaviour and inability to concentrate at school since Reception, but it was always put down to settling into a new class and just being a young boy. Things came to a head in year 2 when he was point blank refusing to go to school, do work when in school and general inability to cope with the simplest things. It was decided to do a referral to CAHM's and get him assessed, at this time school were making noise about him having ADHD and to be honest I kind of agreed with them. I have a few good friends who's children have ADHD and Mr D is a lot like them in some ways.

    So on December 19th after a lots of assessments and appointments I went along to his diagnosis appointment. I had to go alone as Miss S was poorly that day and Dave had to stay at home with her. I had convinced myself on the way to the appointment that they would say there was nothing wrong and we just needed an alternative way to parent him. Fortunately the Psychologist was the same one who diagnosed Mr L and Miss S so there was no beating around the bush. He just came right out and told me following all the appointments and assessments that Mr D had Aspergers. I was utterly stunned into silence. I don't remember much of the rest of the appointment as I was a little dazed, I was handed a pack containing lots of leaflets and that was that, I was sent home to deal with this diagnosis.

    That was 3 months ago and we are still finding ways to deal with Mr D's unpredictable behaviour. He seems to test us in ways that the others don't, silly things can seem to set him off into a rage. After the diagnosis appointment I jumped at the chance to attend the 10 week Riding The Rapids course. We are at week 8 this week and I can honestly say the course is amazing. I would recommend anybody to attend if they can. It teaches you to be a behaviour detective and try to get to the bottom of why the behaviour is happening. It has been a really useful tool in working out certain things that set Mr D off. He likes things to be just so and one thing falling out of place sets him off for the day. We have realised he is over sensitive to noise and smell. The strange thing is all these things were there before diagnosis but we just couldn't see them, or didn't want to see them. We have informed the school of his diagnosis as getting it in writing takes months! He has been getting extra help in school and in general is doing well. HE has bad days, like we all do, but now they understand why he does certain things and reacts in certain ways its made things much easier. Gone are the days when I would be called over for a chat by the teacher to be told he has done something wrong. I am now being told how well he is doing, how he did an amazing piece of writing about the stone age, how creative he is with poems & stories and how he picked up a new dance after only being shown it once!

    In the grand scheme of things his diagnosis has been a positive experience, its made his life easier and that's all that matters to us. We don't want him to have to worry about a thing, that's our jobs as adults and his parents. Now we understand him a bit better our lives are a little easier, its no bed of roses but who's life is. I'm sure there will be bumps in the road with all the change heading our way over the next 6 months, but we will deal with it they way we always do and continue Raising The Rainbows the best way we know how.

    Thanks For Reading
    xx

    #MySundayPhoto - 8/3/15

    I haven't taken many photographs this week and I was stuck then of which to share, so I decided to share all 4. With World Book Day being a heavy focus for the week and all 4 of the children agreeing to take part I was rather excited!
    Mr L has never taken part in dressing up for school so I was so glad to finally get a picture of him in something other than his uniform!




    The High School Placement

    This past week was when all Year 6 parents sit awaiting that letter, the letter which names their child's High School place. Mr L has a statement so I have known his High School place since the end of January. It was this very letter that made me take a step back from blogging for a while. When your child has a statement in year 6 you just let them know which school you would like your child to attend and the panel decide if they agree.

    We took a lot of time researching before we chose a school we thought Mr L would like, would meet his needs and selected this school on his statement. This was way back in October 2014 and we had to wait till January to find out.
    We had selected for him to attend the local high school's resource provision, panel however disagreed with our decision. Mr L for the past 6 years has had complete 1 on 1 support, the same 2 ladies looking after him every single day. After much trial and error this was the support model that worked best for him and enabled him to cope in the mainstream setting.
    We are aware of how the 1 on 1 support system works in mainstream high school and felt this wouldn't be appropriate for Mr L. The resource unit has only 15 pupils and around 5 staff, we felt the smaller numbers would be better for him to cope with and he would need less 1 on 1 as he was with less people.

    The paperwork returned and we skipped straight to page 4 where the named school will be, I was completely floored that panel had disagreed with our decision. They had named the local high school, but the mainstream provision. They had offered  full 1 on 1 support and additional funding to cover break and lunchtimes. From speaking with other parents we knew this was a really good offer, many before us have failed to get the additional funding for outside of lesson times. I just cannot see how this is going to work for him though. From reading through the accompanying paperwork we can see that they take advice from us the parents, his current school, the educational psychologist and the SENCO and the current school. Everyone apart from the named school agreed that Mr L would fit best in the resource provision. So we were a little confused why the panel would go against a 3 to 1 decision.

    We called the panel team to ask for an explanation and they have said that the support on offer in the resource is not enough for what Mr L needs. The children who attend it are given a lot of freedom to do things for themselves and free to access the school unattended. This is out of the question for Mr L as he can be very impulsive and needs someone with him to keep him safe. A specialist provision for him is also out of the question as he is highly intelligent and needs the mainstream education. In a specialist school they do a limited curriculum and Mr L would become bored to easily, this in turn would effect his behaviour.

    So We have been left with little choice but to send him to the mainstream and hope he can cope with the transitions. Basically in high school they have different 1 on 1 supports in each lesson, who specialise in the subject area. This means he will have an overall mentor who he will meet up with in the morning and evening but he will have 5 different 1 on 1's through out the day. Mr L doesn't cope with change or transition very well so  we worry how he will cope with this.

    We had a chat with his current school, the proposed school and Mr L to go overall our concerns and they where all very quick to address them. Mr L will not be unattended at any part of the day, we will drop him and collect him at the visitors entrance every day, he can go down for his lunch earlier than the rest of the school. Although not a pupil of the resource unit he will have full access at lunch and dinner time, this was an great relief for us as we know be wouldn't cope with the busyness of the playground. As he has a statement he will be reassessed every 4 weeks, so if he really isn't coping at least  we already have a date for reassessment. The big plus in all of this though is Mr L's reaction, he is excited to go and wants to go. There are a few of his friends going to the school and he is really looking forward to it. Although we still have reservations I think if we don't at least let him go and try we will be letting him down. So we are now in the process of arranging his slow transition after he Easter holiday and getting him to meet some of the staff he will be working with come September.

    Thanks For Reading
    xx

    #Win a £20 Next Voucher

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    Welcome to Raising The Rainbows

    There are somethings in life you just cant put down, I have tried twice now to do so and always find myself picking it back up again. Life has been a bit of a rollercoaster recently and I haven't rode it very well if I'm honest. But as with everything in life a change is as good as a rest and I like a new challenge................ So say to Hello Raising The Rainbows.

    Why Raising The Rainbows?
    Well Autism is a spectrum condition and if you have met 1 person with autism then you have met just 1 person with autism. Each one is so wonderfully different, just like my 4 children. a spectrum of colour. The blog will undoubtedly follow the ups and downs of our family life, with 1 on the diagnosis trail and 1 due to branch out into high school in September it maybe a bumpy ride.

    I recently helped my Big Brother set his new blog up Daddy's In The House and he persuaded me to restart a blog and help him on his journey, so go and check him out!

    So if you know me already from Life With ASD and Me, Hi I'm back and if you don't Welcome, looking forward to our new journey!
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