Posted in Emotions

The anatomy of a post

Its easier for me to write down how I am feeling, than it is for me to say it… I feel that by writing it down I am saying it as it needs to be said. No immediate questions and no way I can get tongue tied (although I do get a bit ranty) but I do understand that this sometimes leaves me a bit closed off as a person and that can make me hard work especially for those closest to me and I own that, I practically come with a disclaimer.

That being said writing something down doesn’t come easy to me either, I will over process something in my head until it becomes a huge issue before, I even show any inclination that something is bothering me, then I will let it fester before I even think about writing it down. The writing I find very cathartic, and it helps me process thing before I can freely talk about them.

I think I have explained previously that sometimes I write down feelings, thoughts and ideas into a little blue notebook and that book travels with me to meetings, appointments, and things of the like. Not everything becomes a post, sometimes things from months or years ago become recent posts as it resonates with something going on in our lives current day.

I wrote a post whilst about not being ready to date and how to trust someone around your child when they are non-verbal etc, but I had by the time it was posted already met my partner and was on the verge of introducing to our kids, he didn’t know about my blog back then, but I imagine had he read it, he may have had some questions 😂

I have a friend that called me about one of my posts a few months back (Yes this is about you, this time lol) thinking it had been spurred on by some comments she had made to me and was a little offended that I hadn’t spoken to her about it… Imagine little old me having no idea what comments she was talking about because that post had started out in the blue book months before and then lived in my drafts for weeks. I’m not saying that somethings aren’t based on recent events because they often are but the anatomy of most my posts is a lot more in-depth (sometimes) than hearing, reading, or thinking something and immediately having a rant about it.

Looking in the blue book today, I have about 67 pages of notes, ideas, and doodles. In my notes on my phone, I have about 12 and finally in my drafts about 6. Some of these ideas date back to 2019 and may never make it into a post because what was written isn’t relevant to who I am today, or they were fleeting feelings or repetitive meetings in which can’t be elaborated on so don’t go anywhere.

I read somewhere that in order to run a successful blog you need to have a schedule of posts and stick to that schedule to help build an audience, I’m not sure what is classed as a successful blog, in my eyes his blog is successful… It doesn’t earn me money (if that’s what success means nowadays) but I feel successful because I started this blog with only a small goal in mind, to have just one other parent read it and felt less alone in their journey, if that was just one person reading it and feeling a little more at ease, or one person reaching out for advice ( do try but I am in no means an expert) or just one person realising their feelings are perfectly normal. I feel that based on the people who I have met because of my blog that it is very successful because my goal wasn’t to reach millions of readers or monetise anything. It was to simply help one person in any way shape or form because this journey is a lonely one and I had never felt loneliness like it before. I wanted to educate people or even just one person on what it is like raising a child with special needs and how hard it can be but also how rewarding and I feel I have achieved that and hopefully will continue to do so.

All my love as always 😘 M x

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Posted in Emotions, school

Wet Hands

Do you ever have a nightmare that feels so real that you can’t shake that feeling of dread that it gives you afterwards. I’ve been feeling down recently, getting lost in my own negative thoughts about myself and I think that’s maybe why I had such a terrible dream. Please feel free to skip the next paragraph if you would rather not read about it in detail as it is about a sensitive subject but I think it gives some context to the way I feel.

Click here to read the dream Every night before bed, I check on William and then go to bed myself, I often jump out of bed to make sure I definitely shut the baby gate. He’s not confident with stairs and who knows what mischief he could get up to… I woke up and could hear William laughing to himself in his room, if it’s early and he sounds happy then I usually check him on the baby monitor and go back to sleep until my alarm wakes me up at a reasonable hour, however when I awoke it was much later than it should have been, my phone had died and that meant my alarm didn’t go off… even at this point the dream felt so real and I remembered reaching for the charger and my glasses. I grabbed my dirty (clean really but that well-worn that it looks gross) grey dressing gown and pulled open my bedroom door. Williams baby gate was wide open and he wasn’t in his room. I must have taken the stairs 3 at a time, the living room baby gate was open. I couldn’t hear him so thought he had maybe fallen asleep. He was nowhere to be seen, I checked behind the sofa and chair, in the dog bed and under the table but he wasn’t there. the kitchen door was slightly ajar and although the kitchen baby gate was pulled shut, it wasn’t locked in to place. I called out for him, ‘William?’ ‘Willster?’ ‘baby?’ nothing… I sensed this awful feeling; knowing the bathroom was the only place I hadn’t checked. I walked in and the bath was full (I always empty it in real life), his toys were in there and so was he, he was wearing the t-shirt he had been wearing that day, a blue Toy Story one with a sequin panel…. only he wasn’t playing with it, instead he was under the water, face down and still. I started screaming and pulled him out of the water, he was cold. Then I woke up with what I am almost sure was a scream. My hands felt wet, not just sweaty but truly wet as if they had in fact been in the water. There were tears rolling down my face. I had never jumped out of bed so quickly in my life, Williams baby gate was closed and I struggled to open it as I was shaking so badly. There he was, snoring, safely in his bed surrounded by his squishmallows. In that moment, I didn’t care what time it was or that he was sound asleep. I grabbed him and held him tight, tighter than ever before.

I’m a worrier and we all know that, I’m insecure in my parenting and always second guess myself but despite me not being a ‘natural parent’ as I like to call them, I have worked bloody hard at it over the last 5 years and that recently it dawned on me that in what is now 9 days, William will be going to school. I am confident in my choice of school and super happy that I fought so hard to get him there but I’m having a wobble about who I am right now or at least who I will be when he isn’t here with me. I will never not be is mom but I am wondering (panicking) about what I will do on the days he is at school and I aren’t working… I already feel a bit useless, so many battles and fights to get him what he needs and his education was the biggest one, now he has what he needs, what is my purpose?
It sounds silly but without something to fight, I feel a bit redundant and worry that when he goes to school that I won’t be able to shake that feeling and it will just grow and consume me. It stupid because I know there are loads more things in wHich I will have to fight against for him as he grows older but this was ‘the one’

I think the dream was maybe a manifestation of how I feel about being without William when someone else is looking after him on what should be my days. Dreams about losing a child are apparently about grief, the grief you feel when a child moves from one phase in their life another which makes sense in these circumstances. My life has revolved around William since the moment I started trying for a baby, he didn’t even exist but he was my everything and he always will be, but I fear that I will feel so lost without him here with me… how crazy is that? Desperate to get him into school, desperate for some ‘me’ time and now I have it, I’m scared of it. I think it’s a bit like imposter syndrome, scared that i spent so long being this warrior that now I just have to be me, thats its not good enough.

It’s a strange one to be so worried about isn’t it… What would you do when all your dreams come true? well me personally have a full on anxiety attack and question who I am as a person. Most people would have a glass of bubbly and celebrate but no, I can’t do that. I have to take things to the extreme as always.

I have a fair few things I want to do, like decorate the last few rooms of the house and start my Understanding Autism Level 3 and Challenging Behaviour level 2 qualifications but is that enough? who knows?

I’m not sure what the point of my post is but just needed to get it off my chest and hopefully out of my head.

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Posted in Emotions

The green eyed monster

I want to talk about the green-eyed monster, you know that devil that sits it the back of our minds, whispering in the back of our heads sending us all into a tailspin. I’ve touched on this subject a few times in relation to the unspoken competition between parents about how well their kids are developing, how soon they talk, walk or progress.

Today I want to talk about it in general not just in relation to parenthood but everyday life, I also want to open up about some of the things I do that may cause the green-eyed monster to pop up in other people. We all encounter moments in which we want what someone else has or we think someone wants what we have. Jealousy is natural in some degrees but to some it is all consuming, there are some that don’t understand that it is just a voice in their heads.

We all experience it, I for one really struggled with it when William was a baby; I unfollowed my friends on social media who had babies at the same time because I was jealous, and it hurt to see their babies developing at a quicker rate than William. It took a long time for me to be able to be happy for those parents instead of envious. Even now sometimes I comment and say how wonderful things are, how beautiful, how smart etc but my head still occasionally says, ‘why not me?’
A few years ago that thought would consume me, and I would scroll through social media pages and sob about how unfair life was, but I have grown since then and now I can be genuinely happy for my friends, but it doesn’t stop the pangs of jealousy. Seeing Little Miss grow so quickly and overtake William in the year I have known her has been hard, seeing her ask for her Mama and ask for ‘Big hugs’ from her Daddy is a wonderful thing to witness but there is a deep sadness there for me. I guess I just want those moments for myself. We always want more than we have, its natural… The moment William said ‘Mom’ for the first time was one of the best moments of my life but now I want more. He made a noise at bedtime a few weeks ago that sounded like ‘I love you’ but it wasn’t words, just sounds but now I’m desperately hoping for an ‘I love you mom’ but it may not happen, but I ache for it, dream of it, even long for it. William surprises me every single day and in the last two years had come on so far with his development so I’m not saying it will never happen, but we just don’t know what he is capable of until he actually does it.

I got jealous when other parents of children like William were given school places and William wasn’t… I was happy for them and cried happy tears but fuck me, it hurt at the same time. I think that’s natural though. Jealousy didn’t mean I wasn’t ridiculously happy for them because I truly was. I called my mom and told her every time other parents got good news, ‘mom this happened, hopefully it will be us next’ and then when it was our turn, I expect those that come after us will be the same. We want the best for our children, and as happy as we are when others get that first, we long for it to be our turn and feel that in the parents that are fighting for their kids’ educational needs right now. The system is not designed to help our children or to get them what is right for them, it is designed for what is right for the local authorities behind the system.

Money is a big factor of jealousy for a lot of people, and I am not ashamed to say that I don’t have a lot of it, I work part-time, I’m paid well, and I absolutely love my job but due to being part-time, it means I have to plan my money very well. I have to think about what’s coming in the upcoming month and budget appropriately. I can’t just decide to go out or to buy something without thinking about it a month or more in advance.
I love my house and everything in it but that didn’t just happen, I wasn’t always living on my own. As we all know, 2 years ago I was married and in a 2-income household which had a big part in building up my house into a home for William. Credit where credit is due, William’s dad left the house as it was so there was least disruption to our son, I didn’t give him a great deal of choice which may have been selfish of me, but I wouldn’t have the nice things I do if it wasn’t for him, and I am grateful for that. There are things that people may wonder how I can afford on my wages, but I know the price of everything and when I need something, I budget for it as best I can with help from my parents if needed. I have a large television, which is completely wasted on me only watching BabyTV and Coronation Street, but it is something I would never have bought myself. It was a Christmas gift from my parents a fair few years ago and something I have made sure to take very good care of.
William has more toys than most children, I bought in excess for his birthday (I had been stockpiling gifts since mid-2021) not because I have money to waste or an excess of it but because I don’t know what will work for him. Two gifts have already gone in the bin because they have been broken, one on his actual birthday 😫 and I anticipate that many more will go to landfill in the following weeks. Don’t get me wrong I usually try to donate where I can but if they’re broken it’s not possible. The toys that hold William’s interest are usually aimed at younger children, but it is what must be bought to match Williams developmental age, but they are not built to withstand the strength of his actual age. Some toys won’t be played with for months, if at all and it’s a risk I take when buying anything… so there tends to be a large choice for him so that he has at least one gift he loves. I threw a small party for his birthday and that needed budgeting for well in advance. It wasn’t me showing off, look at what I have or what I can do… it was me saying that William deserves to have something nice and why can’t we celebrate his birthday like other children do? I paid for a cake which was divine and a bargain but the money for that came from my January wages, I paid for a Morrisons buffet; the deposit came from February’s wages and the balance from this months. Every step of his mini party was carefully budgeted and planned out.

Christmas is another thing in which people may think I go overboard, but again I plan Christmas all year round… I am lucky enough to have a spare room, this is now what I class as my office but really it’s a dumping ground, there is a freezer which holds copious amount of chicken nuggets for William, a tumble dryer which physically wont fit in my kitchen so is next to my desk with a vent out the window, meaning my office is always cold but there is no point in turning the radiator on as it would be huge waste of money. I often work in a jacket, or a dressing grown as it can be pretty nippy in winter. There are two sets of industrial shelves which hold Christmas decorations (I can’t access my loft) and throughout the year I buy Christmas presents which live on them until December, or birthday gifts months in advance… a little bit at time so it has the least financial impact, before I had William, I used to buy everything out of December or Novembers pay and then struggle to afford bus fair to work until February 🤣 I was always the kind of person who lived like a king 👑 for the week after payday and homeless for the rest of the month.

I have been to people’s houses or seen pictures on Facebook and thought God I wish I could do that or have that or go there, we all do it, but we all handle it differently.

The reason I have been so honest about what I have and why is because I would never want anyone to look at me through green eyes when there is no reason to in my opinion. We each manage what little money we have differently, and all have different circumstances.

I’ve never been a massively jealous person when it comes to relationships, this is probably why I didn’t realise my ex was having an affair 🤣 as a person who has more male friends than female, I would never hold someone to different standard than I hold myself but that doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally get a little worked up over daft things. That there isn’t a voice in my head going ‘what if…?’ but I think that’s natural of all of us. Its part of being human but so is being able to trust people. Its hard to get out of a mindset in which you think everyone will hurt you but it’s imperative to do so in order to move on in a healthy way. People do shitty things and we cant stop that; we aren’t able to stop other peoples actions but we can learn from them without the result of those actions consuming us.

I used to have only child syndrome, despite having a sister haha 😳… What is mine is mine and that’s the end of it but as I have grown up, my opinion on things has changed massively. If I have something and someone needs it or wants to borrow it, then I see no issue in helping them out. (Partners not included 😂)

Social media is the devil, its so easy to post a picture and pretend to the world that your life is perfect, you can filter yourself and crop out the cracks in relationships, the mess in your house and the worries you feel when you look at your child. There is no shame in being honest and again I think I have said this before but fuck you Mrs Hinch for making me feel bad about my messy house, fuck you Kardashians for photo shopping your bodies to a ridiculous and near on impossible standards, as crazy as reality TV is, I give huge credit to the stars of Geordie Shore and reality shows of the like… not because of the surgery they keep having to meet the standards they feel they should but for portraying themselves in a realistic way. They get drunk and messy and wake up looking rough with last nights make up on… I don’t even watch the show, but I have seen clips and newspaper headlines trying to shame them, but we all do it! We all forget to take off make up before bed, we wake up looking like we’ve ran an obstacle course in our sleep. I hate the unrealistic nature of things online… Don’t get me wrong, I love a snap chat filter, but I also know its fake and I think that’s the struggle a lot of us fail to understand sometimes. We shouldn’t be jealous of something that’s not real, we shouldn’t aspire to be like these people who pretend to be what they are not!

My green-eyed monster rears it head less often than it used to but its still there and its part and parcel of being human, of being who I am and I’m not ashamed of that and nor should I be.💚

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Posted in Brief updates, Emotions

Calling all lazy parents

I would like to take a moment to state that I do not always want to play with my child. I sometimes can not go through the same set of flashcards for the 500th time I’m a day.

We all have moments in which we check our watch and realise bed time is a long way off. This doesn’t make us bad parents, it makes us tired parents. It makes us human.

Becoming a mom or dad doesn’t make us super human. It doesn’t change the fact that we crave time that’s ours and ours alone. That soak in the bath which involves candles, a book and enough time to shave both legs 🦵 time which doesn’t involve accidentally sitting on a rubber duck.

We want to watch TV or a movie that doesn’t involve animation or singing. I would like to have a power ballad stuck in my head instead of nursery rhymes.

There is no shame in needing a little time out. We can not always be on it 100% of the time and its important to try and take that time when we can, so we don’t burn out.

I remember thinking that my kid would have limited screen time… that didn’t happen. It is I who ended up with limited screen time 🤣 I can’t remember when I last watched Corrie when it actually aired instead of days later. I gave up completely on the other soaps as there just aren’t enough free hours in a day.

I work part time and absolutely adore my job. It gives me something to focus on that isn’t being Williams mom and I need that but I admire those full time workers and full time parents. I choose to work and if someone chooses not to then that is their business. There is a lit of stigma around parents that work and parents that don’t. There seems to be no happy medium. There is a archaic kind of judgement that working parents should be home raising and looking after their kids but then a judgement against those that choose to stay at home about how they should be working. I feel like non of us can win!

So this post is dedicated to the parents who aren’t ashamed to say that some days they only give 99%. The ones who don’t want to listen to the same song for the millionth time. Who pretend peppa pig goes to bed at 5pm. The ones who pretend toys are broken but have secretly take the batteries out 🔋 enjoy that 1% of time you need for yourself because you deserve it. You deserve to shave both legs, to wash all the conditioner out of your hair and to not have to hide in the kitchen when you want to eat a whole chocolate bar!

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Posted in EHCP Process, Emotions

School Allocations Pt.2

I’m writing this in real time but by the time you read it, almost two weeks will have passed and hopefully I’ve composed myself although as I edit this, I doubt it…

 I feel like I have hit a roadblock, like Wiley Coyote has dropped an anvil on me… I’ve cried a lot today and when I say that I mean messy, loud angry crying. I had to take a little bit of time out of work as I broke things and shouted at nothing. The worst thing is… It hasn’t even made me feel better.

On Friday I received a reply to my monthly email chase about Williams school allocation, as you will be aware if you have read any posts previously, William is due to start school in the spring term. This is what his caseworker told me over the phone, its in his EHCP and has been a focal point of all our discussions since. I time my email after the Local Authority have their monthly meeting which is around the 15th of each month, and I usually get a generic reply in return but this time the reply stated that they will be in touch before his transition in September?! September?! SEPT-FUCKING-TEMBER!!!!

Now I want to be quite clear about this, but William’s case worker is an absolute bag of wank is quite illusive, at one point I didn’t believe he existed until he called me to tell me they had agreed that William required a specialist school… I could have kissed him, here appears this man to tell me good news and then follows it up with his EHCP, the news I had waited for, for what felt like forever. Fast forward to now and my opinion is very different. Now he’s that cunty manager that’s sends you bad emails or feedback just as they are leaving the building, we all know the type or see them on television. Out the door, shouting back ‘you need to work a double’
Richard does this, he replies to my monthly emails at 5pm on a Friday and if I have any follow up questions, I have to wait until he’s back in the office, not that he ever replies to my questions anyway 🙄

I have emailed him twice, the SEND team, left messages and have yet to hear back with any clarification, was it just a mistype in the email? Did he use the wrong generic template? I’ve emailed our SENCO and Williams nursery to garner some kind of insight into whatever is happening, and no one can help me, but all said they will try to find out. Surely it will be in William’s file somewhere about what the plan is for him transitioning into a school? I find it hard to believe that they don’t have some kind of CRM system so all parties can view notes etc.

My realisation is that if they fail to find William a place by the end of May then they have breeched the EHCP then it doesn’t give me enough time before September to take them to a tribunal. They’ve fucked us and I genuinely believe it’s on purpose, they know it would never get to court before then and they are using it to their advantage.

I have emailed several people within the SEND department now, Head of, standards officer and the review manager. I’m hoping someone can help me. If I have no responses within the next 48 hours, I will be writing to my local MP.

My anger is akin to that I felt last February, when they did something similar during the allocation process for last September 2021. I cried and broke things back then too. I’m hoping by the time that this post goes live, that I have updated it with good news or even any news at all, hence the delayed live date but I’m not feeling very hopeful.
My anger is almost painful, I feel hot and sad, hopeless, alone and scared but not surprised by it. My main source of anger is that fact that they don’t seem to care about William, they don’t care that he is missing out on education, he has nursery at the moment but from 29th March, they cannot legally keep him there. What happens after that? I work and William’s dad works, do we quit? Do we take unpaid leave? Who pays my bills? Who looks after William? Legally he needs to be in school, but they don’t seem to care. I’m back Asking myself the question…. WHY DOESN’T MY SON MATTER?!

I have had one response from anyone in the SEND team, one, singular… and it wasn’t from Richard (I’m not shocked by this in the slightest but if you still have any faith in the Local authority the please feel free to insert your own shocked face here) the email I receive wasn’t especially useful but it came through at 8.20 the evening after I sent it, I’m sure that’s not office hours so it was very appreciated. The person that replied was one of the email addresses I found on the internet and fired something off to in the hopes they could help. Sadly, they couldn’t as it wasn’t her department, but they did say they would forward on my concerns to Richard’s manager. No reply from her yet either so I’m not holding out hope.

I emailed my M.P, Karl Turner who according to other people is a community champion for his constituents. His office replied the day after my initial email stating they were going to reach out to the children’s service at Hull City Council and will be in touch with me once he has a response. Hopefully they will reply quicker to him than they do me, in fact hopefully they will reply full stop.

The whole situation just devastates me, how can Richard leave it over a week (at the time of writing this line) to reply to multiple emails, everyone else was emailed on the Tuesday and haven’t replied, how if that effective or efficient. I have always had understanding as I am fully aware that they are an understaffed and unfunded department but now my understanding has gone. I have waited patiently for them to do their jobs properly for over 2 years if not more and they have done nothing but let us down, lie to us and intentionally keep us in the dark and a week later, I am asking myself the same question as I did last week… WHY DOESN’T MY SON MATTER?!
If I was keeping William out of school there would be fines, and potentially prosecution and jail time, so who will be accountable now? Who will be in trouble for him not been in education? WHY ISNT HIS EDUCATION IMPORTANT WHEN IT’S SOMEONE ELSE’S RESPONSIBILITY?!

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Posted in autism and covid19, Emotions

There is an App for that…

Is it just me or is being a mom lonely? Is being a mom to a child with special needs even more lonely? Is being a single mom lonely? Or are we all just lonely and on our own different journeys?

At the time I wrote this post (or the scribbles that eventually become a post) in my trusty little blue notebook, I think it may have been the beginning of last year and then I’ve wrote some recently because some of it as usual makes no sense but at one point, I wrote a little list about things that occupy my mind when I can’t sleep which aren’t really valid now.

  • When did someone last hug me?
  • When did William last see so and so? Will he remember them?
  • When can I go somewhere without a lateral flow and PPE?
  • Will I ever need to get fully dressed for work again? (Jokes… I’m on camera 🎥)

I have the answers to all these now but obviously when I wrote them, the tear splashes on the page indicate how upset I was. Especially since number one was about hugs 🤣 and I am notoriously not a hugger. The 2m rule was a huge bonus for me!

 I’m not sure if its Covid and its many strands and the scare mongering that comes with it, but I seem to have become a little very reclusive despite restrictions being lifted. I find reasons not to do things or subconsciously put obstacles in the way.

Covid genuinely frightens me, I was first in line for the vaccines and the subsequent booster. ‘Yes please, inject me with that 5g tracker’ 🤣 each to their own and no judgement for those that have chosen not to but personally I believe that if you haven’t lost someone in the pandemic then you maybe don’t understand its devastating effects and that you are lucky, if in fact anyone can be lucky in such uncertain times. I question if this uncertainty will ever end, if covid will ever fully go away or we can just live with it, but my internal pessimist doesn’t think it will. This is our new normal and not to misquote Shane Meadows but This is England 22! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

Every keeps talking about not been able to hide away forever and not been able to live with restrictions but I seem to be quite content being locked away in my home but I don’t think that’s a good thing, it’s a bit like I have Stockholm syndrome but to myself 🤪 Don’t get me wrong, I leave the house and see people and do social things but not like I used to, maybe its because I work from home and socialisation takes much more effort now, whereas before it was as simple as walking across the road from work and having a cheeky pint and a carvery. Maybe its because I’m a single co-parent now so I can’t just do things at the drop of a hat, it must fit in with work and William’s visitation with his dad and can require military preparation whether it is with or without William.

Everything can so easily be done over the phone or a computer now, what’s happening in the world? You can find out on your phone. What boxset should I binge watch now? Ask Google or check the Netflix rankings. Missing friends or family? Video calls via Facebook or WhatsApp. Need to work from home? There’s Microsoft Teams or Zoom for that. Doctors’ appointments? There’s an app for that (which is much quicker at giving appointments than my actual doctor) Meetings for William? All done remotely. Except for seeing Big Nanna, I would walk through a plague of Zombies for that! 🧟‍♀️

I’m not saying I never leave the house as I obviously do but its so easy not to. Everything is online now, I even met my boyfriend L on Tinder, highly recommended. Him (most the time 🤣) not the actual app, the app is like a meat market but more for fish, catfish that is… it passed some time during lockdown before restrictions were lifted and it was entertaining even though I lost all faith in humanity, some people seemed normal and then BAM! Flat earthers, criminal records, married men, women pretending to be men, couples looking for a third??? And that’s only a small fraction of the people I spoke to. What the actual fuck! I was on the verge of giving in when L messaged me. He seemed so normal, but my replies were terrible as I was expecting him to be a mental case or to try and convert me to scientology or something, how we formed a relationship, I will never know 🤷‍♀️ I think I would give the app about a 2.5 out of 10 but that’s purely down to L💕 don’t even get me started on POF or the mommy friends site peanut 🙄

I guess I bring on some of the loneliness myself, whether its social anxiety, pandemic panic or just laziness. Let’s face it I have explained previously about some of my anxieties around playdates and the like. I love my own company and I very rarely argue with myself 🤣

I was never really a visitor; I prefer people to come to me but then also freak out about people coming in my house and finding things to judge me on.

This is probably the worst analogy ever, but Covid is a little like those adverts you used to see on late night Channel 4 before Eurotrash aired… the ones about sexually transmitted disease.
You’ve slept with Anna, she has slept with John, Jamie, Jack and Steve, therefore you have slept with them too. You kind of have to think that like when it comes to contact with people who’ve had Covid… If I’m seeing so and so for a coffee then I must think about who that person has seen before me and where they have been and so on, its never ending and exhausting 🥱 having your mind working that hard when it already feels maxed out navigating day to day life is simply not possible.

I’m not really sure what the point to this little rant was, I’m lonely, I’m not lonely, there’s an app for everything and Covid is the new STI 🤷🏼‍♀️

Much love 😘 M. x

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Posted in Emotions

It doesn’t grow on trees

Kids are expensive!!! End of post.

Joking aside, I know all kids are expensive, but William sometimes takes the mick… He recently started eating the carpet in his bedroom 😭 Its was semi avoidable as I could rearrange his furniture to make the areas he had pulled, less accessible but he would just find more places. Fast forward a week and I now have laminate. Honestly, I question sometime if the universe thinks I’m made of money 🤷‍♀️ I work part time and run a house by myself, there is food in the cupboards, the heating is on and there is an abundance of love and cuddles when needed but that doesn’t cover some of the things I have needed to buy in a hurry, like laminate and fitting etc.

I want to talk about DLA, we all know that when I signed up for this, that I was very pessimistic about it. We didn’t need it. I could provide for William on my own. He isn’t disabled. Etc etc etc.

Below is a list of things off the top of my head in which DLA has helped us buy

  • A carpet cleaner (on to the second one)
  • Specialised bed protectors (multiple attempts and varieties)
  • Nappies (before nappy service)
  • Drinks bottles (multiple and in bulk)
  • Vitamins
  • Strollers and accessories (new, adaptive & second hand)
  • New or adaptive clothing to prevent Pica or SPD overload (multiple and in bulk)
  • Duplicating favourite toys (in case it breaks and need to swap it out asap)
  • Weighted blankets
  • Sensory lighting
  • Black out blinds
  • 6149072 chicken nuggets and counting
  • Taxis to appointments
  • Laminate flooring

Disability living allowance had made our lives so much easier financially over the last 2 years, as you can see from the above list, it has bought some random but much needed items. William, when he has access to it will smear and eat the contents of his nappy (this was before the nappy itself became his new snack) the carpet cleaner used to be out every other day… now it’s rare but still a necessity. Its difficult to know exactly what will work for William (or any child really) I found a juice bottle that William couldn’t spill but could easily drink from… it was amazing, so I bought a few. Fast forward to maybe the third or fourth batch that I bought, and they leaked all the time! Something had changed in the manufacturing process, and they were now useless to us. We then must try different bottles and try to find one that suits our needs and hope we can find more of it. We currently have 2 from ALDI that were quite expensive but holding up well 🤞
The same applies to sensory items, lets face it… anyone who has had to buy something with the words ‘sensory’, ‘adaptive’, ‘special needs’, ‘disabled’ or any thing of the like will know they tend to double the prices if not triple. There are actually companies out there that try to scam parents of special needs children by advertising such items… but that is a story for a later date.

Strollers?! Let’s not even go there about wheelchair services and how useless they are. No update since 17th November 2021, multiple emails, and calls. NO CONTACT! Whilst waiting for my referral to go through (the first time, the time it got lost in the ether) I bought a second-hand adaptive stroller which has been a godsend. It was expensive and is slowly falling apart now but it is honestly a lifeline, I had tried multiple reasonably priced strollers made for bigger children but they didn’t last 5 minuets 🙄 I have since had what I believe to my third referral to wheelchair services and now have a wheelchair sat in my office that is unsuitable for William to use… as you can tell from the lack of contact, they are in no rush to rectify it either. I think we are at a stage now where I will probably have to buy a brand new one instead. 💸

It’s a complete guessing game and changes all the time. William could wear fluffy coats which was great as I buy his clothes a year in advance (I spend a year buying the next size up so it isn’t such a hit for me when he has a growth spurt) suddenly he starts eating the coats and new ones are required that will keep him warm but that he can not eat. He was always able to wear Pj’s but now he can’t, now he takes off the pants and eats his nappy or smears its contents. I guess what will work and I’m not always right.

Last night his room was finished, flooring has been laid, walls are painted, decals are firmly stuck around the top, new bedding, lighting etc and I’m excited to see his little face when he sees it tonight. When the walls were painted, he was over the moon and his face was beautiful. His bedroom is devoid of most soft toys as he cannot have them due to fluff and been able to pull it out with his teeth, even the ones that were mine and his dads when we were younger 😢 the one thing I have found that he can have and enjoys are squishmallows, but their so bloody expensive. I managed to get a dinosaur one from ALDI which was a bargain (actually, I think it was from big nan) and he loves it. Little miss has her own for when she is here but its smaller, William has claimed this for himself when she isn’t around. I think I may have to add to his collection when I can and hopefully, they don’t become a problem too.

He does have a bed, I promise 🤣

Don’t be ashamed of claiming for DLA if you are entitled, they’re not easy forms to fill in and my first one nearly gave me a breakdown but my second was much easier and Williams renewal is in place ready for March, and it will undoubtedly be used well and on more random things that wouldn’t make sense to anyone else but make Williams life easier and safer.

All our love as always 😘, M.x

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Posted in EHCP Process, Emotions

Underfunded or poor use of funds?

I want to start this post by saying that for the first time in a very long time, I am writing this on my mobile so be prepared for more spelling mistakes than normal. Part of my process is to sit at my laptop and write… I don’t know why. It makes my thoughts feel more official and organised and when I’m on my phone it feels like I’m just ranting to my friends via message but maybe that isn’t a bad thing so here goes nothing.

I spoke to another parent today who’s child seems neutologically very similar to William. This family are having to take the local authority to court to ensure their child’s needs are met and it made me think about how many other parents are going through this right now. Thankfully I didn’t have to go to court but we are still schoolless. How many children of school age are without adequate education? How many children are stuck with inadequate education?

How can the local authority knowing do this? Spend funds that could help our children on fighting parents who just want the best or at least the bare minimum for their children? Or do we pay for that in our taxes? The money spent on fighting parents could get more children into the right schools, the right level of 1 to 1 support. I am a firm believer that the SEND departments are massively under funded and when my solicitor asked if I wanted to persue compensation, I firmly said no. Why would I want to take money from an already underfunded department? But what are they doing with the funds they have? Are they using it in the best way possible? I don’t think so! 💸

I’m worried about whats to come for us as it gets closer and closer to William’s loose start date of April/May. What If they name a school that isn’t suitable for William? I won’t send William to just any school. I have to be sure  it will meet his needs, I have one in mind but would happily accept a suitable substitute but what if they don’t offer one. William will be schoolless and too old to continue to attend nursery and thats a real fear I have. I could attempt to home school him and although I would give it a bloody good go, I don’t have the resources available to me nor any idea where to start. We try educational play with alphabet and numerical flashcards and use many sensory items but it’s not the same as school and I’m not cut out to be a teacher and these are pivotal years of his education. I chase our caseworker every month after the monthly allocation meeting to be met with the same replies. ‘No update yet, we will be in touch when there is’ I’m worried about the transition time and if there will even be any. 🤷🏼‍♀️ Both myself and Williams dad may need to take time off work but we can’t prepare until the local authority let us know more details and as someone who needs a list to organise her lists, the lack of being able to prepare weighs heavy on me and my mental health. Some days the panic takes over and all I can focus on is what I don’t know like how much school uniform is going to cost me, will William be able to scope wearing it? How will he get to school? No one will discuss transport with me until he has a named school but what time would it come? Will Williams dad need to be here whilst I work to hand him over? Do I need to provide a car sear? What if it doesn’t arrive? Will he be on a bus or with a PA? I should be happy because I’m in a much better situation than other parents but I’m not. I won’t be until William is settled in a school that can meet his needs

I re-read my post from February last year, school allocations. It broke my heart all over again… almost as if I was sat in the bath receiving that phone call from Elaine to tell me William wasn’t even on the list of allocations all over again. This was the day I genuinely didn’t think I could keep fighting. Couldn’t keep getting knocked down. The 15th February 2021 and I just wanted to stay down. I shouted and cried and broke things! Why wasn’t my kid important? Why didn’t we matter? It took me a while but I got up and I fought, with alot of help and advice 🥰 and we actually got somewhere. Not where we we want to be but almost there.

I almost let them bully me into sending William to a school I knew couldn’t meet his needs. I even met head teachers who were non committal about whether they could or couldb’t support him. They expected me to name them on his EHCP without a commitment and thankfully I just couldn’t do it. The local authority expected me to and pushed me to, making me believe it was the only option for us. That’s not right, that’s not ethical and it was most definitely not what was right for William but it was what the local authority deemed right for them. They should have been putting William first from the moment he was on their radar but they didn’t.

I received a SAR in regard to Williams education and when I looked through it, it broke my heart. Not once did it refer to Williams best interests and meeting his needs, only after the point I gained legal representation did they seem to change their agenda and that’s wrong! Some parents can’t afford legal help or aren’t entitled to legal aid, it shouldn’t come down to money in order to get our children the educational they deserve! The education they need and are entitled to!

I recently read the ofsted report on the Hull services from December 2019 and its a damning read. Here are a few highlights or more accurately lowlights…

There was too little involvement of families in decision making about the services and support they need and insufficient awareness of the resources and support available to them in the local area.

There was poor self-evaluation of service quality and insufficiently focused improvement planning to facilitate better provision and outcomes for children and young people with SEND.

There was a lack of an effective strategy for jointly commissioning services across education, health and social care.

Here’s the full report if you wish to read it.

As always I will keep you all updated with our journey to education but if any of you have your own stories you wish to share please reach out either via our social media pages or our reach out page.

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Posted in Emotions

Inclusion

Let’s talk about inclusion… as an adult, I can honestly say that I genuinely like my own company. It’s much harder to end up in an argument although not impossible. 🤣

We worry about our kids been included in the playground, getting invites for parties and things of the like but as a parent of a child with special needs inclusion is something we worry about for everything. Will I be able to navigate his adaptive stroller around that shop, do the disabled toilets have a suitable changing facility? Will that cafe or restaurant understand that he may be noisy and throw his food?

I feel uncomfortable in situations in which it is obvious that William is uncomfortable, it’s mainly because I still worry about what other people think and I’m not sure that will get go away but I hope it does.

I recently attended an event, or a gathering of sorts and I had the strangest experience, something that I have never experienced before; total all-encompassing inclusion and understanding. It sounds really strange to say this, but I have taken William to places that should have been safe for us, but they weren’t. I was terrified of doing a first new place/event, as I usually am because let’s face it, I can be the queen of anxiety and overthinking and believe me I had been doing a lot of it in the run up.  What if I William had a meltdown? What if people didn’t understand?

I panic about going to my parents or big nanna’s and they’re regular occurrences so its natural that I would panic about somewhere else, I often have my mom or my friend on a standby in case William doesn’t cope with new places or people and it’s a silly thing to think I have to do but it is just one of those things.

I guess what I am trying to say is sometimes you have to take that leap of faith, whether that is faith in a person, an event or yourself. If you’re not willing to try then how will you ever experience new things, how can you write people off as not understanding your child if you’re not giving them the opportunity to do so. In a world of people that can be judgmental and cruel, there are still people who are kind and accepting, people who include our children without trying.

Inclusion is something we all crave, whether we like to admit it or not, it can be in conversation at the dinner table, inclusion in a game of football on the park or in our case it’s the inclusion into society or inclusion into people’s lives. Its something we can take for granted when we are neurotypical, I know before having William it wasn’t something I even thought about but now the thoughts can be all consuming.

Today’s post it to simply say, think about what you are doing, think about the child that you may class as a little odd, think about birthday parties and events, think about how you would feel to be excluded, then think about how it would feel if the sole reason behind it, was because of who you were; something you have no control over.

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Posted in Emotions

Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies

Today’s topic of conversation inner turmoil is trust. I’m not sure why but its something thats been occupying my mind a lot recently and I thought that by writing about it, it may stop running around in my head rent free.

I think we have spoken about this before in many other posts but here we go again… Trust is a huge thing for me and many of you will know why, or at least have suspicions. I value truth above all else and it is something I live by, in many cases I can be too honest and it makes me a human version of marmite; people with either find it refreshing or irritating, love it or hate it, it’s just part of who I am unless it comes to William, I sometimes find it hard being honest when I need help and will just keep going, pretending all is fine and then will write on here about how hard it can be and people will reach out, why didn’t I ask for help? Sometimes it’s a pride thing, sometimes I think that if another mom can do it why can’t I, even though our children are very different. Any way I think I’m digressing from the subject at hand here…

In any relationship trust is one of the most important thigs whether it’s the trust between partners, the trust you have in the professionals and babysitters who look after your children, the trust between an employee and their employer and the trust your child has in you. Trust is something we have in many different variations, I have a trust in the battery on my laptop, that it won’t die on me whilst I am writing this. (Currently on 26% 🔋) My main thoughts today are what we do when that trust is broken, how we can overcome it? If we can overcome it? If my battery dies, I wont trust it to last next time its low and would bring my charger downstairs but what if it’s a person that breaks that trust?

A wise person told me that once trust is broken, any form of relationship will never be the same again. That’s not to say that things can’t be good again but just not the same and we can either accept that and try to move passed it or we can write off that person and make sure we are more guarded with the next.

Protecting yourself and your children from the pain that comes with deceit is important but is it possible to shield yourself too much? We have been let down by so many medical services, local authority departments and people that I wonder if we should ever trust someone in what they say again.

Trust isn’t just about lies but about the breaking of promises or failing do something you should do.

  • ‘The referral has gone through, Mrs Buckley’
  • ‘I know what I’m doing’
  • ‘I love you’
  • ‘He on the list of allocations Marie, I made sure of it’
  • ‘Your arse doesn’t look fat in those leggings’
  • ‘I’m not having an affair’
  • ‘It’s just a little needle, it doesn’t hurt’
  • ‘William will grow out of it’
  • ‘I’m ok’
  • ‘It’s fine’
  • ‘I’ve chased the referral’
  • ‘I understand how hard things are for you and I will help’
  • ‘I’ve just been for a drive’
  • ‘I can do it on my own’

And my favourite silent lie… a smile 🙂.

The list is pretty much endless, but how many lies is too many? When do you just walk away? When do you change doctors? Or professionals or cut people out that you can’t trust?

There are a few people in my life that I have implicitly trusted, even fewer in William’s life and it seems that I don’t really learn my lesson. I have misplaced faith in people that talk the talk but never back it up with anything of substance. People that tell me they are doing one thing but are really doing another and just try to placate me to stop an argument (that the truth would have prevented), to stop me legal action, or to mislead me into forgetting about my rights or prevent official complaints. I think the last few years has taught me to question everything and everyone, and I’m not sure if that’s the right thing to do.
Give people the opportunity to lie to you and if they don’t, it tells you something about their character or even their professional ethics but if they do… you have to make a decision. Was it a lie? Was it broken promise or a failure of duty? What ramifications did it have? Can you trust that person to continue in their usual capacity in your lives?

Can you forget about it? Can trust ever be fully rebuilt?

I guess that’s the big questions isn’t it?

P.s, My battery is at 9%

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