Posted in Emotions

Don’t be sorry

When I tell you my son is autistic, please don’t say “I’m sorry.”

“I’m sorry” feels like there’s something wrong with him.

Something that makes him less than.

Something that I too, should be sorry for.

But I’m not.

I’m not sorry he has autism.

I’m not sorry he stims and flaps his hands and makes loud noises.

I’m not sorry he jumps up and down when everyone else in the room is quiet and calm.

I’m not sorry that he prefers to line up toys or play by himself sometimes.

I’m not sorry we have to decline party invites or leave early when he’s overstimulated.

Do I wish things weren’t so hard for him?


No parent likes to see their child struggle.

But what I’ve learned over the years is to and focus on the things he CAN do and everything he has overcome.

We embrace the differences and celebrate all the things that make him unique.

Things that make him happy.

Things that prove his resilience and strength.

Our son is not defined by his diagnosis but it is a very large part of who he is.

His quirky little facial expressions.

His ability to see the beauty in the simplest of things.

His amazing personality and a smile that lights up an entire room.

His way of seeing the world differently and teaching us to enjoy the little things in life.

His way of saying I love you without speaking a single word.

There is so much joy when we stop listening to the expectations of who our children should be or how they should act.

Children of ALL abilities, regardless of a diagnosis, are worthy of our love and acceptance.

They don’t need people to feel sorry for them.

Or for their parents.

And it’s time we start changing that.

Be kind.

Be empathetic.

Be supportive.

Be compassionate.

But please, don’t be sorry.

I don’t know where this bit of writing has originated from, but it’s such a powerful piece. I am lucky enough to belong to a support group for parents in my local area, and one of the other mom’s shared it. X

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Posted in Events & Holidays

Christmas 2022… Pt2 🎄

It’s now that time of year in which we don’t know what day of the week it is, is it a Bank Holiday? Is it Thursday? Is it now 2023? Who knows and who cares. At least that’s my philosophy as I sit here writing this in my new silk pyjamas and fluffy dressing gown whilst slowly making my way through some Ferrero Rocher that may or may not be actually mine. 🍫 I will also take this opportunity to apologise for spelling and grammar in this post as I am refusing to go and get the laptop, so it’s getting written on my tiny mobile. 🤳

Christmas is a magical time of the year, it’s not Christmas like we see in the movies but it’s magical non the less… the reason it’s magical is because it can be anything we want it to be. To some it’s a buffet at home with only their immediate family, to some it’s a huge event involving multiple houses and visits. Some may not want to celebrate and some will spend it doing the same things they do every other day of the year. That’s what the magic is, it’s a kind of magic that can make the day anything you want it to be.

The start of our celebration was Christmas eve, we had both of the children and made the most of it. Nanna and Aunite Helen had both bought them decorate your own biscuits and in true fashion Little Miss loved designing them and William loved eating them… the perfect combination when you think about it. We watched magical movies that never grow tiresome and the kiddies were lucky enough to get letters from santa. We incorporated little miss into our traditions, they incorporated us into theirs and we made some of our own.

Christmas eve x

This was the first year in which I didn’t have William on Christmas eve night, I had done the nice thing and offered it to his dad so that him and his partner could experience the magic. It was hard for me to let go as it always is, but it was the right thing to do. That didn’t mean that our bedtime tradition went out the window as we still had Christmas Pjs and read ‘The Night Before Christmas’ by Clement Clark Moore and even took the annual photo for my little collage. My Christmas eve through the years photos 🥰

The one advantage of William not being here was that it was much easier to just bring his presents downstairs and get everything ready for his return in the morning. We have established that William doesn’t cope well with too many wrapped gifts so as always the ones from us and some of the family were not wrapped and he had a nice selection ro unwrap from everyone else. We have found that this way doesn’t overwhelm him as we let him explore and open at his own leisure. It does mean that we can’t thank people until they’re all done, so if anyone sent William a gift and I haven’t passed on our thanks, I do apologise.

Sadly, I was poorly over Christmas with migraines that were so severe that I was sick… Merry Christmas to Liam who was cleaning up my vomit late on Christmas eve 🤢 this made the very short walk to my mom’s on Christmas morning excruciating but I made it however you will notice there are no pictures of me in this post because I was truly an awful grey colour and looked like I was an extra from the walking dead. 🧟‍♀️

Christmas at my parents is the same every year and has been since I was little. We open gifts one at a time in a circle, dad winds up my mom about everything, the Cadbury Roses are passed around, and then we move on to the starter, which is always a prawn cocktail. In between that, there is chatting and laughing at the same jokes my dad has made for years. Big Nannas gifts ‘look slippery’, nannas turkey is dry, the rubbish won’t fit in the bin etc etc. We all laugh… except my mom, who threatens to murder my dad instead, but it wouldn’t be a Hobman Christmas without moderate to severe threats on his life.

William was so at peace. He just sat with all our family, and it was lovely. He chose to wedge himself between me and Big nanna. I would like to think it was because of me but we all know it was so he could be close to her. I had a little sleep on the sofa and when I woke up, it was time for the turkey. My parents had put down a sheet on the carpet so that we could bring the stroller to the table and all sit together. We haven’t spent Christmas with the full family in 2 years due to Covid-19, and I was worried about if William would even eat his dinner as he had never eaten it previously, but he absolutely smashed it. He ate almost everything on his plate, which wasn’t a small portion as it was the same as mine. He then ate some of my veg and grandads stuffing. He did so well and even managed to eat a big piece of lemon cheesecake. 🍰

We came home earlier than we usually would due to how poorly I felt and William was pretty much ready for bed, Liam and I then got to celebrate together as he had spent the day with his family and Little Miss.

William has struggled since Christmas day with his food intake and has been very reserved, but it’s such a change to his routine. He has slowly started to perk up, and his dad reported that he has eaten him out of house and home today, so he’s definitely perked up and is feeling more grounded so we can’t wait for him to come home this evening. I am jealous of their matching PJs though but let’s face it, they’re not lying with the copy and paste 🤣

We celebrate New Years Day as a family, and we are all super excited for both Liam and Little Miss to be with us this year. I don’t know who’s team she is going to be on for the annual quiz though 🤣

Merry Christmas to everyone! I hope you all celebrate the New Year in your own ways, much love from us all and we will be back in 2023 🥰

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Posted in Appointments

Diagnosis Pt.1

By no means is this post about a diagnosis that I have received but I would like to start this post with an update about my mental health… I have thought about the way to write this numerous times, but the words don’t come out right so forgive me if what I am writing today isn’t as eloquent as it usually is, but I guess what I want to say is that I’m still not doing great but that I am doing better and I think that is really all that matters. Mental health recovery doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a slow process but I’m getting there.
I went to a really dark place and sadly it is one I am familiar with, I couldn’t focus on anything other than the negative things in my life so I needed some time to process this and I have slowly been addressing things in my life that cause me anxiety and trying to either overcome it or remove it and it is working. There are so many positive aspects in my life that outweigh the bad but it has taken me a while to realise that again.
We are all susceptible to suffer from anxiety or depression, no one is immune.

Any way let’s get on to the actual subject of our post. We have spoken about diagnosis so many times as there are so many opinions about what diagnosis means, whether it is beneficial to our children, why the wait is so long etc etc. We all know that I am a huge advocate for diagnosis, not to put a label on ourselves or our children but so that support can be given or reasonable adjustments when needed. I could never get my head around why someone wouldn’t want that but then recently I have been thinking about what it means for me, its selfish but I have been thinking hard about what Williams diagnosis means for me instead of the positives it may bring him.

You may notice our ‘waiting’ widget is no longer displayed on our site and that is because we have had our assessment appointments…

We have been assigned to OWLs, which is one a few companies who my local area have outsourced their autism assessments’ to, purely because they can not keep up with the sheer demand of children requiring assessments. It took us over a year to finally have some submit William on to the autism pathway and from the date that happened we had then waited a further 2.6 years. Three and a half years waiting for a diagnosis is absolutely disgusting! I would like to say Covid had a huge impact on this but sadly the wait was already huge. When we were referred they told us the wait was 18 months but we knew from other parents that it was at that time between two and two and a half years. Our widget was originally a countdown but once it reached zero I thought it was best to keep on counting so that we knew exactly how long the ‘official’ wait was not just so I could moan about it on here but so I could other parents on the list how long they have to potentially wait.

It started with an email from OWLs, the email was to simply confirm that I had received it. A phone call followed almost immediately afterwards to ask a few simple questions.

Do we still want an assessment? (Hell yes!)
Is William in education, if so which school?
Will he cooperate with a video call assessment?

An hour later I received an email, asking me to fill out a developmental history questionnaire and to send a different questionnaire to his school for them to fill out. I presumed the questionnaire was the same questions we had been asked at almost every appointment since the beginning, when did he do this? how was pregnancy? how was labour? blah blah blah but this was different and it hit me much harder, one of the few times I readily admitted that I needed a cuddle. There were questions like when did you feel a bond with your baby… It’s hard to write it down on an official document without sounding cold and emotionless despite the fact your tears are falling onto the keyboard as your write. You have to be honest but sometimes its hard to be fully honest with professionals and you have to really push yourself. When did your baby first smile at you? I had to ask his dad because I genuinely had no idea because I was on autopilot back then and spiralling so far into the abyss that I don’t even think I realised when it happened.
Writing down how your child sees you no differently to the way he sees a stranger is really hard, obviously writing it now is not because it is my choice to share, it’s my catharsis and it’s not the same when telling people who are asking for medical reasons. I genuinely believe that William doesn’t love me (despite what he has said previously), to him I am a familiar, comfortable thing that can give him what he needs. The same way his dad can, his nanna, a teacher, a P.A on the bus or even a stranger on the street with a pack of biscuits. We are simply people who he can get to do what he wants… actually I don’t think that’s right, or at least I dont think I have explained it correctly or very well. William does love me in his own way and it’s not the conventional way or the way in which I love someone. William does love me but it is no different to the way he loves someone else who provides him with his wants and needs, he doesn’t show different love to different people. He just loves everyone. I am happy to take the bits of love he can give and understand because the concept of love is sooo huge that most adults don’t fully understand it so how could we expect a child who is five years old and has learning disabilities to understand. What matters is that I love him. I have never felt a love like it. I would do anything to ensure he was happy and safe, I will continue to put his needs above my own, I would die for him and I live for him even on days that i dont feel like I can. I don’t think I am the only parent that feels that way but I’m probably a little too honest about it.

The next step was a telephone appointment and this was in fact a case of answering the questions in which I have answered a million times before and then THE appointment, the big one, the one for William, the one to get his diagnosis. It was at Walker street and it was difficult for me not to flashback to our last visit in which Williams dad and I ended up arguing on the main road. That appointment I believe was for a paediatrician who told Dave off for fidgeting and refused to refer us for an autism assessment because ‘she didn’t do that’, Oh I remember the feeling of despair, that falling feeling… everyone had told us it would be she who would make that referral. We had been passed from pillar to post and we thought it was the appointment to truly start us on our journey and it wasn’t. It was truly heartbreaking.
This appointment was such a stark contrast, we had jumped through hoops, danced with the fire and done everything they had asked of us and we were finally there.

The lady collected us from the waiting room and explained that there were multiple toys around the room for William to play with and that they had removed anything that may trigger his Pica. We were to remain quiet and allow William to do his thing… Well Williams thing was to ignore both of the professionals completely and bring the same toy over and over again to me or his dad. This appointment that we had waited over three years for, that we had fought so hard for was in fact less than twenty minutes long. I feel so underwhelmed, It was exactly what I expected but yet I don’t feel satisfied by it. It strange isn’t it, I expected joy and elation but instead I am flat. Was that it? Why have we waited so long for that? I can’t think of a single better way to describe it other than underwhelming.

We now wait, we are very good at that since we have had more than enough practice. Wait for the final appointment to confirm his diagnosis. I have mixed feelings about this upcoming appointment which I will undoubtedly share with you when the time is right but for now I will close this off, not with words of wisdom as I have non but with simply a message…

Its ok not to be ok.

Much love, M. xx

Posted in Events & Holidays, Reviews

Paw Patrol Live – 07/08/2022

After the success of Peppa Pig, we were super excited to see Paw Patrol Live… Expanding Williams experiences and opening him up to new things can be so exciting but nerve wracking too. I made myself a promise that I wouldn’t let my worry or anxiety stop me from taking William to new places or events and I am trying my best to stick to it.

Obviously Little Miss came with us too, It’s great to be able to do these things as a family and brings us all so much joy to continue to blend our family into one. 👨‍👨‍👧‍👦

Paw Patrol ready x

So this photo is a bit misleading, let me explain from the beginning…
Trying to obtain access for Williams chair was a bit of a nightmare, I was diverted to ticketmaster who told me they could only deal with sales, despite their email being the one to contact in relation to accessibility. Then I was sent to the ticket provider which was Sky who said they couldn’t help me and I would need to contact the venue direct which I would have done had I not been told to go to all these other places… Sky gave me a contact email for Bonus and no one replied for over a week until I chased them and forwarded my original email. They were apologetic and swiftly organised the access for us but it should be much clearer on how to do this when obtaining tickets from a third party. I want to also add that there was an out of order sign on the lift meaning if access was required to the higher levels, it would not have been possible.

Disabled parking was brilliant, there are multiple free spaces on the road around the arena and we easily found an open spot despite the show being quite full. There are pay and display car parks very close by too however I can’t comment on the disabled spaces as we didn’t need to use these but parking in general seemed plentiful so if you are planning on going to the Bonus Arena, you don’t need to worry about that aspect.

The lobby was busy and loud, once again merchandise is shoved in your face, just like it was at Peppa Pig, we had already agreed that the kids wouldn’t be getting anything this time as they can’t expect a toy on top of a day out every time. I am glad we had made this decision in advance because they were selling holographic photo cards in which one of the Paw Patrol pups changes into your kids face… for £25!!! £25 whole pounds for a piece of card! Merchandise stands were place in the center of the lobby meaning you had to walk past it to enter the arena, because we had access tickets we entered via a different door but still had to pass this area should we need the bathroom. I don’t agree with this, I have said it before but it puts parents who can’t afford merchandise in awkward positions when their children want these items, we are in the middle of a cost of living crisis after all.

I can not comment on the disabled toilets as William didn’t need changing and when I needed to go, I used the women’s… I had a little look at the door when I went passed and from what I could see, you didn’t need a radar key but I wouldn’t quote me on this as I was desperate for a wee.

Back to the performance… William became upset as we entered the arena. You have to remember that its a large room with high ceilings so noise does carry. Our seats were in a good location but not as good as the chair spaces are Bridlington Spa, we were next to the entrance on the right hand side when looking at the stage meaning a lot of footfall passed us and a side view of the stage. Whereas at the Spa we had an elevated view of the stage which had a better view and no footfall. Both sets of seats were really good but when comparing them, Brid Spa wins hands down. The seats at The Bonus Arena are removable so I think there is maybe a better location for them to seat wheelchair users, even if its just to be away from the footfall as a few kids nearly walked into Williams front wheels.

Comparisons for disabled seating.

William continued to cry and be distressed up until about 20 minutes into the performance. The lights were super bright, the noise very loud and I was about to leave with him when he suddenly started laughing and clapping, I literally felt this wave of relief and laughed with him. I’m so glad I persevered and let him adjust to the noise, lights and surroundings but I did feel like the worst mom in the world for a while. That much so that I bought £15 worth of guilt popcorn, It’s like normal popcorn but at cinema prices 🙄

The popcorn was a huge hit as you can see, with Willster eating both buckets 🤣 but £15 is a bit steep and it wasn’t even at butterkist standards. More like a cheap packet from home bargains which goes to show what the profit margins are for these vendors at shows like this.

He enjoyed the show whilst he was scoffing his popcorn, we left just as the show was ending which was lucky because as we entered the lobby we heard what I thought was a confetti cannon or a minor explosion, unsure which 🤷‍♀️

I don’t think we would go to a show at the Bonus arena again due to how loud it is but it hasn’t put us off as we will definitely be going to more shows but at different locations. I’m grateful we had been to Bridlington Spa first otherwise my opinion may be different, We won’t be paying pantomime prices so if anyone has anyone has any recommendations on shows in which we won’t need to sell a kidney to pay for, please let me know 🙂

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


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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