Posted in Guinea pigs, Parenting

New members 

Yesterday we went looking for a garden shed, what’s next to b & q but pets at home, what did we end up with two baby Guinea pigs! Yes, I know, why? 

Well, I was reading a while back about how Guinea pigs apparently are good for children on the spectrum. They like being cuddled and brushed, they like a bit of a routine as in feeding treats, they easy to maintain and they don’t bite like a hamster, rat or rabbit and they small enough to hold. 

So two Guinea pigs and a hutch later were home, yes minus a garden shed! 

Z loves them. He’s learnt how to open the hutch and tries to get the one out, the other is a little faster so he’s more nervous of him! 

He was holding him and being very gentle. 


Couldn’t work out where they were at first.


But when he knew where they lived he also knew how to get them out. 


This this one is his favourite maybe because he’s calmer?! 

So here’s to hopefully the start of a great bond between Z and an unnamed Guinea pig! 

Posted in Steaming Saturday, Vodka Friday

No more vodka Friday’s.

Nope how sad! 

No, it’s not for any reason, no one is pregnant, and yes I’m still mates with J. 

We are just changing it to a steaming Saturday instead. We shall start a litter earlier and finish a little earlier too. 

Plans were out tomorrow for a mates birthday, but G fell yesterday and broke his arm, meaning he can’t change a nappy, ( any excuse!) so I’m stuck in until Z goes to bed. Or until I’ve gotten him ready for bed then I can go. But can’t even really get drunk as I’ll have to get up with him in the morning. 

Maybe it’s karma after last Sunday morning. 

Yes. I was a horrible person! 

Normally I get up with Z on a Sunday, on a Saturday he’s normally down my parents so we both get a bit of a lay in, I tend to go for Z between 10-11, last Friday he was home. All week he had been up at 5, I was exhausted, but, luckily for me he stayed there on Saturday till 7.30. 

I woke G at 11.30 saying look time to get up, some of us have done a shift! Well, because he had woken so late he wasn’t tired, I heard him at 2.30 coming to bed. As nice of him as it was he stayed in the spare room as to not disturb me. Yea, Zwoke at 4.45, was up, so I walked him into G saying I had him yesterday he’s yours ! He said but I had a late night. Umm unlucky. When he came to ‘wake’ me at 8, saying he was tired, oh boy he had it off me! Every holiday as I know he gets up at 5.30 every day for work, but, and it’s a big but, I leave him in bed. One day I’d like to not see 2,3,4,5,6 or 7 am! 

So yes karma! Cheers, I now have to get up with Z at 2,3,4,5,6 or 7 am as G can’t. I can’t even send the both into the spare room to sleep at 3 am as its his left arm he’s  conveniently broken, so no squeezing Z into the wall. 

Maybe in 6 weeks time I’ll be grey haired, slightly skinner, ( gallbladder playing up and can’t eat food!) and an alcoholic! Wish me luck….
Oh but on the plus side, Z actually counted, 2 ( debatable if its English or Welsh!) 3 and 4. So proud of my little man!!

Posted in autism, Parenting, struggles

Would I want a cure? 

Was recently reading online about the struggles of being a parent of a child with autism. 

They ranged from lack of sleep, to smearing, to communication  struggles, to more arguments  with partners. 

I still think I’m pretty lucky with Z, yes he don’t sleep all night every night and as some of you know we sometimes start the day at 3am! But we don’t have the problem with smearing. 

After chatting to a few who do, I’m glad we’ve not ‘reached’ that should we say milestone! I don’t think I could cope with poo all up the walls, and well everywhere. So hats off to you who have too. 

Yes, Z’s language isn’t there, it may never be there, but he’s starting to get his point across in what he wants. Plus I’m also lucky that’s he’s still very young and has the help now rather than waiting till he’s five and in full time school.

A comment that stuck out at me was, ‘And why don’t people  want a cure?’. 

Would I like Z to be ‘normal’? 

If that meant him not being who he is now then no. 

Of course we all have expections of our children, they crawl, walk, talk, start school, start uni, start work, get a partner, settle down and have children. In reality how often does this happen? How many children leave school with no grades, do their parents love them any less? How many end up having children very young? Suppose at the time parents maybe dissapointed but it’s not the end of the world. 

Do I want Z to lead a ‘normal’ life ? Of course, but if that means he don’t leave school with grades, find a partner a settle down I’m ok with that.  Would I ‘cure’ him for that reason ? No. 

If it came to a time when Z said, mam I want to be cured, then that’s his choice. 

Why would I want to take a part of my son away? Ok you can have the non sleeping part! Autism is part of him, it’s who he is, and without autism as I’ve said before he wouldn’t be who he is. 

Without autism, would he know his numbers to 100? Would he know the alphabet? Would his little face light up with excitement at a new finger puppet? Would he be able to tell the time? This I believe he can do. Would he have been doing thirty plus piece puzzles at two and shape sorters at six months. Honestly I don’t know. 

Without autism, would he sleep all night? Would he be toilet trained? Would he be talking? He maybe, but then he wouldn’t be Z. 

So yes, I agree being a parent of a child with autism is hard work. Maybe more when you have expections I don’t know, or if the diagnoses came as a shock. But I’m guessing at this age parenting is hard anyway. Ok, yes parenting a 3 year old you get tempers etc with autism you can get tempers mixed in with meltdowns. Yes you get judged at tutted at in the street, but so do all parents.

So really what is normal? 

When Z is older of course it’s going to be that little harder, I’m expecting it to get harder. Hopefully his language will get there and that will be a huge help. 

But for now even through the no sleep days, they are always harder, and yes I do shout, I do loose patience and then feel really guilty. I would be lying if I said I didn’t shout and everyday went smoothly! In reality I really am enjoying being a parent to a child with autism. So far he’s taught me that I can’t give up, I have to fight for him. That yes it’s ok to shout at him because we will forget it and move on, when he gives me his big gummy smile or big belly laugh. When I see for myself the progress he makes, even from the simple things of noticing something to giving some one a little more eye contact. That children with autism do show empathy. To say he don’t show his emotions is a myth, he often comes to give cwtches, or if your really special he’ll let you tickle his back! He will look at you and give you a huge smile, he’s got a friend in E and when he’s not seen her for a few days he greets her with a cwtch and a kiss. But of course that’s not affection! 


Most importantly that things do work out, I can stress and worry but it will be fine, until the next big thing that needs stressing about comes my way! 

Posted in Uncategorized

First trip of the year to Folly farm! 

Think most people have been to Folly Farm, if you havnt you need to go! 

Z had an inset day on Friday, so as the husband was working, J and E came with us. 

It was great, was really quiet, not that I’ve ever seen it really busy. Both had a good thirty minutes or so on the play equipment before we went animal spotting. 


Being empty meant they near enough had it to themselves the entire time. 

We went to see the animals, last time Z wasn’t bothered, he just wanted to play in the puddles, this time he tried climbing to get in with the birds, and penguins! He took notice of most animals and laughed at the meerkats annoying the porcupine! 


Most of this time he was on my back, the beco toddler carrier is great, he’s safe can still look if he wants to or can put his head down and hide if he needs too. When he wants down its simple to put him down too. 


The Penguins didn’t want to be in the water, as J said it was too cold! Z tried climbing the fence to get in with them! 

By this point J and I needed coffee! We stopped by the soft play, the little soft play was ok at first, till he spotted the bigger one, then he spotted the wooden one. I was a bit nervous of putting him on that one as it is huge, and can be easily lost, but because it was quiet there wasn’t a problem! 



Yup it’s high! 

We went back to the car grabbed our dinner and sat and ate it, Z played back on the play equipment and J and E froze! 

Next up was the barn, we did try and get on the train but just missed it. Last time we were here the only animal Z touched or showed any notice of was the goat, again not sure if it was the same goat, but it was the only one who came to greet Z! 


He took notice of the rabbits and horse, even tried milking the cow! ( maybe that’s just ‘coz it’s water?!) He even touched a lamb! 



Next up fair! In all fairness both Z and E were really good, we went on the Waltzers with them as they are a bit too small for that on their own, but the cars and the train they went alone and he actually sat there smiling, until the second time when he fell asleep! 

Again back in the carrier and E wanted to play at the ‘beach’. 


Was a quick thirty minute snooze, a wake up and on to see the giraffe, a stop at the Penguins to see if they were swimming, but they wernt. The giraffes were in their home, and it really makes you take in how tall these guys are! When they are in the field, yes, they look tall but close up, eeek! 


For the last half hour we let them play back on the wooden adventure, burn off the last little bit of energy they had before heading home, a quick look in the shop, a flashing ball later we were in the car, heading to find a McDonald’s! 

Can’t wait to go back! 

Posted in Uncategorized

Green green grass of home! 

Decided to head back to parc penallta this afternoon with J. We parked in the top entrance first off. It’s cheap to park there think it’s £1 for 2 hours or £3 all day if I can remember. It does say if you have a blue badge you get an extra hour on your time. 

Z had fun rock climbing, and impressively got up there himself, I followed him and J and E went the easy way! 


We walked or rather run the paths around, then went in search of the observatory, half way Z wanted to go back to the car, how I knew this was because he ran. I just caught him before he ran across the car park. So he went as E calls it in my bag. The beco toddler carrier, it’s been a life savour, there’s places we can go and find like the observatory, that would have been much harder taking his pram. 


The views are lush from the top, we could see the valleys, and some sheep that E wanted to go and touch!


We didn’t walk down the other way this time, the open space is enough for them to run. There’s lots of benches to sit with a picnic!

We headed home across Gelligare common, this I think is E’s favourite as we get to see the animals. Sheep, lambs, horses, calfs and some cows! 

We stopped the car and the horses just gathered around, we didn’t have anything to feed them either which we did feel a little guilty! 


Glad my window was up or this guy would have been in! 

 

Can even see the beacons in the distance. 


We don’t realise how green our area is, how lucky we are to have all this on our doorstep, just driving home and seeing the roads go for miles puts a smile on your face.

These little adventures on a Sunday with J and E are getting fun! 

Posted in Uncategorized

An after school visit to Aberavon beach! 

When the sun is shining and your mate says what you doing after school and there are no actual plans it’s a get in the car and head to the beach moment! 

Wasn’t too busy there when we arrived as it was 5.45! We were lucky to be able to park right on the seafront and not across the road in the car park. 

There’s two parks we could see, one toddler park and one bigger park, there’s also a skatepark there. 

We didn’t play in the parks this time, they had way too much fun on the beach! As it was quiet and the sea was way out they could run. 

Someone had kindly dug out a little pool for us, and both were happy to play in it! 


Yes he fell in it!  

We walked for a while to wards the top after they had run about, not sure what’s up there but there were lots of rocks. Maybe little rock pools, we can go exploring next time! 

I know the other way there’s another beach over the rocks that the dogs are allowed on, so it’s good that when we go as a family pooch can join in too! 


The promenade would be a nice little walk, there’s the new lesuire centre there, the cinema and a Burger King. They seem to be doing quite a bit of work, and will be nice too see what it is like when it’s all finished! 

Posted in Uncategorized

When autism is hard.

Mostly I see Z like you guys see your own children. I also get to see Z said when autism is involved. I’ve always said I treat Z the same as I would a Nuro typical child, but sometimes he does get treated differently. When I say no I mean no! 

Yesterday, he pulled a little girls hair, I said sorry to the mam, asked was she ok, luckily the mam is part of our group, I moved Z away, and when the little girl was calmer, I took Z’s hands placed them on her back and said gentle, we must be gentle. 

There must be something in the water these last few weeks, we are up with the birds signing and the cats fighting. Yup, were up silly o’clock! Think the light nights have effected him, even though I’ve gotten a black out blind for his room, he knows that it’s not dark outside, so is still refusing to go to sleep! 

Lack of sleep means less sleep, meaning early mornings and a grumpy child.  Nothing can go right for him. We get in from school at 9.15 by 9.20 this was the state on my living room. 


Why? I’m thinking it was because we didn’t go in the car, but I’m not certain. Why did he tip everything out? Because I stopped him from going out in the rain, brought him in, he threw himself on the floor and then tried kicking the door. To be honest I didn’t want to spend hours in a&e if he had kicked the glass out of the door, so I moved him into the living room, where he can throw himself on the floor, he can throw his toys and jump up and down and try and attack me, through the baby gate. 

When all he’s done is whinge, cry, and grump, try to attack me and throw things, it’s hard. More so because he’d can’t tell me why he’s doing it. I look at him and say I wish you could talk. I wish you could tell me what’s the matter.

Sometimes I wish life was simple, Z was like all the other children, but he’s not. I’ll pick the battles when I can, and having a tidy living room isn’t one I’m going to pick! Yes, I’m leaving it like that to take Z to school, it may even be like that when he gets home from school, because I don’t know if I have the energy to pick it up again, when there’s other things to be done. Things as in putting his clothes back in the drawers, tidying the mess he’s made in his room, putting the balls away and instruments in the sensory room so it’s safe for when he wants to go back in at 3.45. 

The late night early mornings are what makes it much harder I think, I know I’m actually really lucky, some people have it so much worse than I do! 

Posted in Uncategorized

Z’s progress 

So last time I wrote about what he was getting up to, he had been to school for 8 weeks. We’re now in around week 20 minus the weeks off for Easter. 

So Z can still put his numbers in order, still knows the alphabet, and still makes choices of what drink he wants. 

Little progress he’s made  is in he’s gone back to enjoying colouring, he’ll sit and do some colouring  for me me again. He’s eating fish fingers, chicken nuggets, and pancakes, the sweet pancakes! 

He knows his colours, in the bath he was playing with his stackers, each time he held up one I’d say the colour. Then when he wasn’t holding any I’d say a colour and he would get that stacker from the water. 

He’s doing really well during his drum lessons, playing a little longer each time. 

He’s noticed babies and will try and kiss them or stick a dummy in their mouths! 

He’s saying lots of new sounds that sounds like words. I’m sure he’s trying to say crocodile, and he will shout oi! 

His teachers say he’s doing well at school, his concentration is getting much better and will work for tickles! 

Social skill wise he’s always been friendly to E, will cuddle her and give her a kiss, this last week he actually sat on a seesaw with a little boy from his class, outside of school hours. 

Now if only he could talk and tell me what he knows and why he does things! 

Posted in Uncategorized

The 5th month.

It’s already May, 33 weeks till Christmas, yes just let that sink in right now, 33 weeks! 

Anyhow, if your still there, Bank holiday, we didn’t go anywhere today. A few weeks back I moved Z’s room around to stop him climbing on his windowsill, yea it didn’t work, he still managed to get up and under the bed. So last night it was move the bed to where it was originally. Now Z don’t really like change. Things get moved discreetly, the odd toys now and again, so imagine moving a bed room, I can’t! As he’s trying to climb the bookcase to get at the windowsill I’ve put a chest of drawers in front of that. One either side. When he could see what I was doing I thought maybe, just maybe, if some of his toys were in his room it may distract him enough to keep from trying to climb. So that’s what we’ve done. Moved the toy Storage unit to the side of his bed. This will also keep the light from the landing going onto his bed. 

How well do tonight when it’s bed time I don’t know. I’m hoping to bath him and read a story before he goes up and will be tired enough to fall asleep. Wish me luck! 

The good thing is as its Monday I only have two days at work so can finish off those stranglers. 

If I don’t achieve anything else this month I’ve achieved something!