They say that “time is a healer” and I think that maybe that is true. If you told me that 12 months ago; I would have cried with the anger, pain and fear I was trying to overcome at that time. Angry that autism had claimed my youngest son now as well as his big brother, pain that I could of done more for him if I had known sooner and fear that I just wasn’t ever going to be able to do enough to help him. [Read more…]
The Mayo Autism Support Association is holding a “Collective Views” meeting on Tuesday the 7th of June 2016 at 7pm in the Parish Centre, Castlebar, Co. Mayo, We would urge all parents across Mayo who have children of all ages (including Adult children) to please attend this meeting. [Read more…]
I have watched with bated breath as Conor has changed from a little boy who has been floundering in our world trying his best to make sense of it all to finally flourishing. His little personality is emerging as he starts to explore his surroundings, trying to climb, taking chances (sometimes leading to me pulling him off the back of scooters as he hurtles towards a wall laughing his cute little head off). He is starting to spread his wings a little and “try out” the world around him.x
I see his growing confidence and independence emerging despite all the challenges he faces every day. A smile rises on his on his face as brightly as the morning sun when he “knows” he has done something for himself, he has challenged himself and has overcome a new obstacle. [Read more…]
If you ever see me out walking with my boys or call to our house unexpectedly you will usually find one of us singing Nursery Rhymes to Conor and Jack. They both absolutely adore music and song, unfortunately myself and the crows outside sound quiet similar but luckily both my boys seem to appreciate my attempts to make them happy through singing (
badly) their favorite songs. Music and song really helps them to feel happy and calm so I always try to include what they love in their daily lives.x
The sad part about them both not being able to speak just yet means they can’t “sing” just as you can I would so I am always trying to find ways to encourage their interaction, giving them more control over their environment. One way I can really help them is through Visuals/Communicative aids that help to give them a “voice” when we are having fun together during song time.
As Jack is a only just starting out with PECS (Picture Exchange Communication) I wanted to make sure I created a Visual he could use just as easily as his older brother Conor. [Read more…]
It can be bittersweet sometimes watching the boys as they play happily on their own. Peeping through Conor’s bedroom door I watch as he happily throws his Angry Bird Teddies up, up, up in to the imagined sky I think he sees above his head. I find myself just then swallowing down a deep sorrowful pain I can feel rising in my chest that always seems to start in the pit of my stomach somehow. It feels sort of like a balloon expanding but pushing up, up, up into the sky waiting to break free just like Conor’s teddies but it is the most sorrowful and painful feeling I have ever experienced in my life. It comes and goes and can catch you off guard sometimes just like one of Conor’s “flying” Angry Bird teddies which have been known to “ping” you on the head when you pass Conor’s bedroom if his door is open. His teddies much like that sorrowful feeling can catch you by surprize and steal the peace you thought you had in your heart.x
Jack just like his big brother Conor loves to play on his own, I know he loves me but for the most part he likes to be on his own, playing in his world, lining up his toy cars, listening to Bingo the Dog or Wheels on the Bus. Sometimes I think if I hear “The Wheels on the Bus go round and round” one more time my heart could burst with the pain I feel inside. Not because I can’t bare to listen to it the million times a day Jack has it on repeat but because I know that in some way on some level that is how Jack copes in our world. Having his songs on repeat all day long reminds me that just like me he is doing his best to cope, to live his “normal” in our world.x
Face the fear and do it anyway.x
Sometimes I wish I could go back in time to when I was young; somehow, back then things always seemed to turn out alright.x I remember being small and afraid of the dark, afraid of monsters under my bed, or unknown noises in the dark. Back then all it took was for my dad to leave the hall light on for me at night or my Mum to check under my bed, to give me the all clear so I knew I was safe. I remember that feeling of relief that everything was going to be alright. No matter what the problem was if Mum or Dad said it would be okay, then I knew it would be.x
I sometimes find myself wishing to be that young again; when that was all it took for me to know things would turn out alright in the end somehow. Over the last few months I have found myself struggling with the weight of the responsibility of what now rests on my shoulders, the reality of having two little boys who are unable to speak, who have Autism and SPD, Developmental Delay and Intellectual Disability, who rely solely on me to survive now and in the future. I think every parent feels that way from time to time but I feel it more acutely with Conor and Jack then I do with Hailey, as they rely on me so completely all of the time, it can be so breathtakingly overwhelming.x [Read more…]
Every family has their “go-to” toys, family favorites, much loved, worn out games, puzzles and toys that will hold a treasured place in the memories of little hearts, forever. When you live in a special needs family; you really learn the value of time spent together, I don’t mean physically in the same place but that real sense of “together”, connecting on a level that spoken words can’t really describe. [Read more…]
Conor’s Fight to find his Voice.
I think one of the absolute hardest parts about Autism for me as a Mum is not hearing my children speak, not hearing their voices, not hearing the “I love you”s I so want to hear. That is by far the hardest part. The thought that Conor and now Jack have all these thoughts inside their heads and they can’t “express” them, breaks my heart.
Over the years we have tried everything to help Conor, we have driven around the country bringing him to Speech Therapists, tried all the ways you can imagine and it just didn’t work. Over the Summer a very close friend of mine told me about an amazing Speech Therapist she had brought her beautiful little girl to. She had helped her little girl find her voice again. Her little lady was almost the same age as Conor so I knew how she felt for all those years wishing her little girl could speak, and now she was starting to!
She passed me the Speech Therapist’s number that her little lady went to and I arranged an appointment. It was by far the best thing I have ever done for Conor. Every week since that fateful day I made that first phone call, Conor goes to Speech Therapy to his amazing Speech Therapist Roisin in the Speech Centre in Castlebar and every week he makes more progress. [Read more…]