Posted in Events & Holidays

Peppa Pig Live – 23/07/2022

I despise Peppa Pig, in fact I think in my last post that I referred to her as a talking piece of bacon but lets be serious… she is an absolute brat but… the kids love her 🙄

Let’s put it this way, Peppa Pig Live was not exactly on my bucket list but William’s Aunty Debbie was kind enough to get us all tickets. She’s really good like that, tries to push me out of my comfort zone whilst be ridiculously nice haha. I would never have gone, not just because she needs to be in a sandwich but because I would have been so anxious about how william would react and if it would be too much for him but after our successful beach trip, I was all in.

I love our little blended family and this was the first big event other than Hull Fair that we have been to like this, so that added pressure maybe didn’t help my anxiety but despite this I was actually really excited.

The performance was in Bridlington at the Spa, starting at 10am so it meant we had to be fully on it in the morning to get everything in the car, the kids fed and sorted etc. Since the performance was in Bridlington we took advantage of being at the beach and the fact the weather was going to be nice and decided to make a full day of it so the car was pretty full with beach toys, blankets, picnic, the works.

A stressed but happy family at 8am 🥰

The drive down was easy, both kids were happy sat in their car seats as we sang along (badly) to cheesy music. It honestly felt like we arrived within seconds rather than 45 minutes.

So now onto some bad points… have you ever tried to find disabled parking in Bridlington? There is a place near the Spa but it seems to always be full. there are no sign posts indicating disabled parking anywhere. We parked at the harbour an managed to get a spot that had extra room to be able to get Williams chair out of the car, this wasn’t a disabled bay, just a lucky find.

Let’s talk about toilets, anyone with a child or a person that needs assistance in changing them will know that some disabled toilets are just not suitable. Imagine my surprise to find these… ‘South Cliff Gardens Public Convenience’
For the first time in forever, I remembered to take Williams Radar key and I am so glad I did… I’m not sure if I am overreacting but I feel like I have hit the jackpot for fully accessible toilets.
Handrails, space for moving a chair with a large turning circle, sharps/hazardous waste bins, adjustable electric changing table, in perfect working order and a fully working electrical hoist system. I was honestly amazed and had to take some photos (once I had changed William obviously) All the equipment was clean and worked perfectly. If you do visit bridlington and are in need of an accessible bathroom then I would highly recommend this one! 🏆

We made our way to the Spa with plenty of time to collect our tickets, I had called them in advance (a few times🤣) to ensure they had a wheelchair space available for us. I would hate to have to disappoint the kids if it wasn’t accessible to us once we had arrived. The staff had reserved us the wheelchair space and 3 accompanying seats in advance which meant there was no hustle and bustle once we had arrived. The spaces were in a perfect location meaning that we had full visibility of the performance but were also away from the bulk of attendees which I think helped William acclimatise to the noise. I think if the performance had been full then he may not have coped as well.

The show started and William was a little upset however he soon realised that he wasn’t been tortured (although I was 🤣) and that it was actually something enjoyable for him. He laughed, he clapped and ate all the snacks. He love it, as did Little Miss who was singing, dancing and joining in with interactive songs and I will only ever admit this once but it wasn’t actually that bad. The show focused more on a human rather than Peppa which made it bearable. I would even go as far as to say that I would take the kids again… Why wouldn’t we want to go when they both loved it so much?

We are back onto the conversation about toilets, the show was about an hour and twenty minutes with a mid way interval. They sold Mr Moos ice cream so Liam & Little Miss grabbed us some whilst I took William to the toilets. The disabled facilities where also baby change facilities which meant there was a large queue with it being a children’s performance. I understand when places need to do this but somewhere as large as Bridlington Spa should be able to have separate facilities or incorporate baby changing into the mens and womens toilets (because let’s face it, men change bums too but yet places tend to put the facilities into only the women’s! 😡)

The toilet was tiny, the first picture was taken with my back against the closed door, the second from the same location as the changing table was in sort of a recess.
The changing table was not suitable for William, It was not built to hold his weight… I thought I was passed having to change Williams bum on a dirty toilet floor, sadly I was wrong. If you aren’t going to have fully accessible toilets (handrails do not make you fully accessible!) then at least have a clean fucking floor! 🤢

The kids fleeced us for merchandise, Little Miss got a glittery pink tote bag and Will;ster got the Mr Dinosaur soft toy which was a massive success. I mean they were super expensive but worth every penny. The venue isn’t daft as they place the merch stand in a place that is unavoidable upon entering or leaving the performance and even had a gent who stood at the from of the stage before the show, advertising the toys. It may put some parents in a horrid situation in which they maybe can’t afford to buy their children these items in which they are having waved in front of their faces. Young children don’t understand that money isn’t always readily available.

Once the performance was over we headed off for lunch and went to the Stirling Castle. Little Miss had a cheeseburger kids meal and William had a sunday dinner, both of them did really well with their food and they were perfect portions for children. The pub itself was very accomodating, lots of space to navigate the chair, no overcrowding and patient staff who didn’t scoff when William started throwing his chicken on the floor, I do pick it up though. I didn’t check out the toilets but I would still highly recommend them for a quick lunch. Pricewise I think it was good too, about £35 for 2 adult meals, 2 kids meals and 4 drinks.

Then time to get sand between our toes, we grabbed our picnic stuff, beach wear and found a good spot on the beach. William immediately tried to run off into the sea. I think I upset him a little since I stopped him in order to change his clothes but once he was sorted he was off. Little Miss was a bit more patient and was happy playing in the sand rather than wanting to swim out to sea. Liam took William as far out as he could, William was laughing and splashing the entire time, then Little Miss was ready to go for dip. William had a bit of a shutdown at this point, I’m not sure if it because he was cold, the sensory aspect of wet sand, clothes etc or maybe he just wanted to be back in the water but he picked his usual position…

He reached out for my hand and stayed there for quite a while just blocking out the world (I think we all wish we had that ability and I would class it as a superpower.🦸‍♂️), once Little Miss was out of the sea, she decided to comfort him and stroke his back. I have the most adorable video but I am unable to share it as my video editing skills aren’t very good and wasn’t able to hide her face. She did something similar not too long ago and I shared a small post and photo to our facebook page. Check it out by clicking here. Kids are so amazing in the way they just assess emotions and react.

Our final little bit of excitement before heading home was on a search for seafood, ice cream and donuts. William got his sugared donuts that he usually has at Hull Fair but I think the excitement was too much for him by this point and he maybe only had one small bite at a push. Liam searched for a dinosaur shaped ice cream (George had one in Peppa Pig 🙄) as that was all Little Miss wanted but nowhere sold anything like that so he fobbed her off with mint chocolate chip claiming it was ice cream that dinosaurs eat, he’s lucky it worked to be honest although he did end up wearing most of it as she was sat on his shoulders eating it and it was everywhere 🤣🍦 I am definitely my dads daughter and got myself some welks and a lobster tail which I imagine would have been really nice but a seagull decided it would be nice too, so hit me in the head and took the lot 😫🦅 I manned it out though, waited until I was out of the crowd before whinging about it and asking Liam if it had pooped in my hair. I know I have a big forehead but its not big enought to be a landing strip for birds!

The journey home wasn’t as fun as the journey there, Little Miss was fast asleep within seconds of her being in the car and William decided it was the perfect time try and eat as much of his nappy as humanly possible. We had to do an emergency pull over on someone’s drive to sort him out… It was the most stressful 15 minutes of the day, having nowhere to pull over and knowing I couldn’t do anything to stop him but it was all new for us so we will remember this next time and make sure he is more restricted in his clothes because there will be a next time… We must be gluttons for punishment. Paw Patrol Live here we come! Plus another day out at the beach with the full Hobman clan! 😲😜

ItemScore
Parking5/10
(It is available but there isn’t much of it and it’s not well signposted)
Bridlington Spa5/10
(Customer care & seats would make it a 10/10 but the toilet situation would be a 0/10)
Peppa Pig Live10/10
(Highly recommend for young kids or those with special needs.)
The Beach8/10
(Very clean but not too accessible, had to walk quite far for a ramp to go down with the chair)
Stirling Castle7/10
(Food good but not great, price reasonable and pub clean.)
Company 10/10
(Is there anything better than spending a day with your family?)
Seagulls0/10
(They owe me a fiver for the seafood! Flying B*****ds!)

I would take a 100 seagulls to the head to have more amazing days as a family, we might not all be blood but history has shown it doesn’t really matter. Much Love, M.x

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Posted in school

Self doubt

I had a moment last Wednesday night… and when I say a moment I mean that I didn’t sleep through worry (or maybe it’s this cold 🤧)

I worry alot so this may not seem unusual but this was different, this wasn’t necessarily my usual kind of worry. This was more self doubt. I had fought to get William the right education for what feels like eternity, we got the school we chose but I started to panic that I was wrong. What If it wasn’t the right decision. What If I had fought so hard for the wrong thing.

This hadn’t come our of no where, it was because Williams dad and I were taking to his new school the following day and I had become immersed in this overwhelming fear that I was wrong. I can only compare it to one other feeling I had had previously and that was when I was pregnant, I was terrified that when I went for my first scan, there would be nothing there. It was that same kind of feeling! I spoke to other people about the scan feeling and I’m most definitely not the only one and I imagine my doubt about the school wasn’t just something I experienced but last Wednesday night I felt alone in my fear.

The Thursday morning was just as bad, whether is was the cold, my bad shoulder, the lack of sleep or the worry… maybe even a combination of all three but I didn’t stay still, I couldn’t eat or focus on anything other than watching the clock waiting for the time I needed to meet William and his dad. Let’s just put it this way… the saying is right. A watched clock does go slower. ⏰️

I had spoken to Williams teachers via email a few times over the last few weeks but it’s not the same as meeting face to face. The moment we arrived at the school, they put me at ease. They didn’t just fall in to SEN teaching, they are there because they are passionate about it, because its not just a job to them but a vocation. They know every child from noises they makr in the other room, from tiny footsteps or a stray sock on the floor. Other parents had given me glowing reports about the teachers too which all made sense once i met them. William immediately connected with them and just left us to go and spend time with his new classmates. I knew as soon as he did that, that all the worry was for nothing. It was 100% the right decision for William and I was right to fight so hard for it.

The school itself is perfection. Everything is laid out perfectly, there is structure to everything and more visuals than you can possibly imagine. It’s so accommodating for children like William. I would love to say I held it together but we all know that would be a lie. I sobbed at how perfect it was for Williams education, the fact that he will travel through the school and be safe and in the right environment until he turns 19 just gave me this overwhelming sense of relief and in a big headed way a sense of accomplishment. I did that. I fought and I acheived it. All the worry was gone and I felt proud of myself.

27 days. That’s all he has left until he joins his classmates and I can not wait. I’m so excited for him to be in an environment that will be so beneficial to his development.

Uniform all ready 🥰

It’s been a long time coming but it will be here in the blink of an eye and as confident as I feel about it, I know that come that date in April I will be an absolute mess.

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Posted in Appointments

Precautionary

Poorly kids are the worst! 😭 Actually, I take that back… a 7 and a half hour wait in our local children’s A&E is the worst.

William hasn’t been feeling well since the end of February when he got his first (of many) cases for tonsillitis. Antibiotics didn’t clear it after the first dose finished so 5 days later we were back at doctors for a second dose. 3 days after the second dose ended he was still poorly so on Monday his dad and I took him back to the doctors (I feel like we’ve seen them that much recently that they’re going to invite us round for dinner at Christmas 😳) the doctor said he was fine but tonsils still a bit sore but no longer infected, the give him pain relief and he would be fine.

Fast forward to Friday and I have to take him to chemist as he has conjunctivitis because let’s be honest, it never rains, its pours 🌧 Drops received and starting to be administered, let bare in mind that my shoulder has gone again so I’m fine this one handed… its not easy even with two hands. Friday evening William was lethargic, hot to touch and clingy and he had barely eaten or drank all day…Not to mention the waterfall of slimy vomit that came out of his mouth and all over me. Honestly it’s like my kid aims for me when he’s sick 😫

Like any parent I was worried and ring my own mom for advice and then rang 111 who told me to take him into A&E as soon as possible as a precaution. Luckily I have some amazing friends who are used to being on standby when it comes to getting William places in a hurry.

We arrived at A&E at 8.15pm. It was busy, super busy. Kids were screaming, adults were moaning really loudly about how long they had been waiting etc. One parent told me it was going to be a 5 hours wait… she was wrong 😭

I want to talk about the waiting room, firstly the chairs are not built for 7 and a half hour waits with a gimpy arm. But that’s not my gripe… my issue is how unfriendly the waiting room is for a child like William. The lights are super bright and loud, some of them were flickering.the waiting room is busy with colour. Lots of different colours and sparkly fish hanging from the ceiling and the air con is loud. For an autistic child with sensory processing disorder that is a lot to take in for a lengthy period of time. It’s a difficult wait for most children but I’m sure other towns have sensory rooms for children like William. I’m almost sure the eye hospital next door has one or were at least trying to raise funds for one. It was also a nightmare that only one person could accompany each child, I understand that there is a limit on space but William needs to be restrained to be examined and unfortunately its not ideal with two arms let alone one.

Anyway that’s my moan over… the nurses who triaged us were brilliant. So patient with William and understanding. The doctor we saw was also amazing. Thankfully William just has a viral infection which will pass with calpol and time and even though the wait was long and painful I’m glad we went. I’m glad I made the 111 call and followed their advice because really you just never know with any child what is wrong but when they can’t tell you, it’s so much worse.

Hopefully he will be better soon and can enjoy his last 2 days of nursery next week. 🤞

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Posted in Appointments, Brief updates

Wheelchair services

It’s been almost 2 years in the making but today, Williams new adaptive stroller finally arrived.

If I start from the beginning, we asked for a referral via our health visitor who put the request through our doctors. Who lost it after a year despite me chasing it repeatedly 🙄

A second referral was put through after weeks of chasing our doctor… apparently there is only 1 doctor for everyone in Hull or at least that’s how CHCP make me feel.

Let’s just point out that in this time he had fully outgrown a standard stroller and I had purchased a second hand adaptive Maclaren Major Elite stroller specifically designed for children from 6 months to approximately 8 years. It was expensive but worth it and William was comfortable and safe. It wasn’t going to last us forever but would do until we got sorted because let’s remember, covid fucked us in regard to appointments and referrals for the last 2 years.

The actual appointment with wheelchair service came much later, in fact it was October last year. Williams dad took him and he was assessed by a clinician, a clinician who decided that a Maclaren chair wasn’t suitable and he wouldn’t issue one for us but would look at a PWB which is a personal wheelchair budget and we could potentially gets a different stroller as long as its deemed suitable. Brilliant!

Fast forward 2 weeks and there is a fucking wheelchair sat in my hallway!

The delivery guy came and I turned him away. This wasn’t right for my son. We had discussed the issues with a wheelchair like this, in ridiculous depth with the PWB worker but she sent the chair back and I was forced to accept it. It just took up space in my already crowded office.

They all agreed it wasn’t suitable for Williams need so why was it sent? Why would they not collect it claiming it would leave William without suitable provision. That whole scenario was just mind numbing. How could a self propelled wheelchair be suitable for William? There was exposed velcro which would cause him sensory problems. Plus many many more issues including hygiene and safety with William being able to access the wheels.

The woman who dealt with us said she was referring it back to a clinician to get us a Tendercare Snazzi stroller but then she left NRS and it was handed over to someone different. The gent who took over ignored all calls and emails and only came back to me after I went on social media and Trustpilot publicly shaming them for failing to assist my son. Then he was suddenly able to reply to my multitude of emails.

Suddenly a Maclaren was suitable but they couldn’t provide one due to stocking issues but they can offer me the Tendercare Snazzi. I immediately accepted it and queried when delivery would take place and collection of the chair. I felt the Snazzi was suitable for his needs and that’s all that mattered.

But wait…

The Snazzi is out of stock 🤔 but they can offer me an off brand Maclaren knockoff or a Tendercare Snappi. The PWB guy told me to take the knockoff as similar to what we asked for… you know the one they were telling me wasn’t suitable for my 4 year old but designed for much younger 🙄 Needless to say I declined this option and went for the Snappi.

And based on his face… I made the right decision.

It’s been a long wait and it’s been worth it in the end but there shouldn’t have been a such a wait at all. There are so many failings in the NHS in regard to referrals themselves and again with services such as NRS. I hope they take my trustpilot review on board and look into what went wrong so that no one else goes through the heartache of chasing a service or even just replies that aren’t coming.

Apologies for spelling and grammar etc but I’ve wrote this one on my mobile 🤣

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Posted in Events & Holidays

Inclusion pt.2

I wrote a post a few weeks ago about inclusion, today I want to do a little follow up… specifically about pretending to be inclusive.

SEN sessions seem to be available for most places, trampoline parks, splash zones, swimming pools, ice skating etc, it’s a wonderful thing but let’s talk about the ‘inclusivity’ of it, theses are great ways to include our community for certain functions, but they aren’t inclusive at all.

These sessions are usually available at times in which it is not possible for most to attend due to school, unless I am mistaken SEN stands for special educational needs… education been a priority meaning these sessions during term time (in some places they are term time only) in a morning is just not practical, it’s a great promotion I suppose. ‘Look at what we are doing for our SEN kids!’ when not actually making it inclusive at all. When questioned the responses are… ‘well if it proves popular we will look at opening more sessions and time’ it’s a bit backwards isn’t it? A bit of a cop out.

Some places do it a bit better and offer more inclusive times, but most do not. Hull city council, I’m talking to you now specifically. You go from one end of the scale to the other, during school hours or encroaching on bedtime, I know I make it sound like you can’t win but why not open up a peak slot? Take a risk and be inclusive!

SEN swimming at Woodford leisure centre – 6.30pm – 8.30pm

SEN skating at the ice arena – 9.30am – 10.30am

Companies do not have to do anything tailored to SEN or disabled kids and the fact they do is admirable but they fall into thee same traps the HCC do, school times or bedtimes and its not far, I understand you can’t please everyone and at the moment these times suit William with him still been without a school place but what about all the kids fortunate enough to be in school… why should they miss out?

During the summer half term, sessions were opened for SEN swimming, and it proved to be so popular that it sold out completely. Surely this is an indication if not a massive fucking sign that these kinds of events can be profitable for businesses and the council but yet they are so few and far between that’s its insulting.

And don’t even get me started on trying to find an autism friendly showing at the cinema, I have spent ages this morning looking at all 4 (Odeon, Vue, Cineworld & Reel) of my local cinemas and haven’t been able to find a single one and when I say that, I don’t mean that I couldn’t find one suitable for William, I mean that I can’t find one at all! Maybe I’m not looking for the right terms but it shouldn’t be this difficult, should it?

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