Posted in Events & Holidays

Its our birthday! 🎈

And just like that, we turn 2 (well yesterday to be precise) 😊

It’s been a crazy 2 years, we’ve been read in 59 countries, we have 3 social media pages (links below), our story has been featured in online magazines, newspapers and other peoples blogs, there have been many ups and downs but sharing it with you all has made things so much easier and I am grateful to each and every one of our readers.

WORLD DOMINATION MAP

Here are the top 10 countries in which we are read in

  • United Kingdom 🇬🇧
  • USA 🇺🇸
  • Australia 🇦🇺
  • China 🇨🇳
  • Malta 🇲🇹
  • Ireland 🇮🇪
  • Spain 🇪🇸
  • Germany 🇩🇪
  • Canada 🇨🇦
  • Cambodia 🇰🇭

I think the best way to end our little celebratory post is to share our most popular posts in the last 2 years.

all our love 😘 M.x

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Posted in Brief updates

Divorce

🎶 And now, the end is near. And so, I face the final curtain…

Divorce is something I never thought would happen to me, it sounds silly, doesn’t it? But when I got married, like most people, I thought it would be forever despite any issues that may have arisen. I accept that It’s a little bit of an old-fashioned notion, but I came from a very happy home with two parents, and I always envisioned I would have the same kind of home for my future children.

I’ve tried to remain private about the split between William’s dad and I, until now… you won’t be getting the gory details so ft that’s what you think this post is about, then I am sorry (but not sorry) to disappoint you as only my mom and future therapist are privy to that bit of information.

William’s dad and I met as we had just reached adulthood, we met at a party just like most people did back then because Facebook had only just become a thing and tinder didn’t exist. Fast forward six years and we were married, three more and we had William, another three and we were separated, a now a year on, here we are divorced. I’m a little sad as I hold the papers in my hand, not because we are not together but because it’s not something I never thought I would do, and I feel it has ruined my thoughts on marriage because let’s face it, we don’t meet someone and think ‘gosh, you would make a great first husband’ I mean if that was going to be my intention, I would have at least married an old rich guy first, here’s looking at you Anna Nicole. 🤣

I was very grateful that at the end of our relationship, William didn’t have full understanding of what was going on, he knew things were changing and it destroyed his routine, but he wasn’t as aware as most kids his age would have been and although I am grateful, I do wonder if that was good for William or not. I spent months trying to keep William in some form of a routine and if it wasn’t for that I don’t think I would have gotten through it, it gave me a purpose, a focus. I mean it failed as it was seven months of hell, constant meltdowns, and shutdowns… he didn’t want me, he wanted his dad and that hurt, William cried, and I cried. Not for the same reasons but the same hurt non-the-less.

As time has gone on, things are much easier and we co-parent really well but as I have said before it hasn’t always been easy and we had to work on it, some days it’s not easy at all, as we are both very different people to the ones we had been when we met, when we got married and even when we separated. We just don’t really know each other anymore and that’s okay.
William has two parents who love and adore him, who would walk over glass to make sure he didn’t have to, and I guess I can’t really ask for any more than that… Do I regret marrying William’s dad? Not for a moment because I wouldn’t have William, or Rusty 🐾 I have never for a moment regretted having William. Do I regret placing so much trust in some one? Maybe. Has it made me more guarded? Yes, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

William’s dad is perfectly happy with his girlfriend, and they have William on set nights at their house, I can only hope that she takes on William as if he were her own, that she will love and care for him when he is with his dad. I guess that’s all we can hope for, isn’t it? That when or if our children’s other parent moves on, that their partner is willing to take on board our child. I wanted to continue hating her but how can I? my son comes back from their house, clean, healthy, and happy, and she has a part in that. So, I am grateful to her. The situation in which she came about doesn’t affect her ability to be a good substitute maternal figure when I’m not there or maybe even one day his stepmom. None of this makes me any less William’s mom, it just means there are more people in this world who love him and that can never really be a bad thing.

I’m not sure how William’s dad feels about my partner spending so much time with his son, but I do hope that he could talk to me about it, if there was an issue because I know it’s not easy to think of someone else stepping into that role when you’re not there, but you have to think of it from a point of positivity and not a jealousy or anger. I am grateful that I have found someone to share my life with, when I didn’t think I would trust anyone enough again, let alone so soon. I am grateful that my someone perfectly complements my personality, that we can just have fun with each other because I’m not going to lie, I had forgotten what fun was. He’s a brilliant dad to Little Miss and its wonderful to witness and to be allowed to be a part of. They have embraced William and I just as much as we have embraced them, and I hope that continues for a very long time.

I will file these papers tonight with all my paperwork and it will be done… and I’m glad, albeit a bit sad but it is time to draw a line under it. It’s nice in a way to know I am no longer someone’s wife, to be able to go to bed tonight, in the arms of my boyfriend and to simply be his girlfriend is something I have been looking forward to since we started dating.

So tonight, I am saying goodbye to Mrs Buckley… but you know what they say ‘a wife is only a wife until the end of the marriage, but an ex-wife is for life’ 🤣

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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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Posted in Emotions

My own journey

8th January 2018

Look at this girl and analyse what you are seeing. A happy young mom holding her sleeping baby posing for her husband to take a photo… but that’s not whats really happening here.

It was my first day back at work after almost a year off. I woke up early, did my hair and make up to plaster over the cracks of how I was truly feeling.

I remember feeling relief as I left the house; like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I could finally be away from William. My job has always been a constant in my life, since I was 17 so I felt like I was going back to do something I was really good at and since that wasn’t how I felt about being a mom, it made me really happy.

Only it wasn’t a relief, things had changed and people had left and I couldn’t focus on any one task. I was now part time and there weren’t enough hours in a day. I was constantly chasing my own tail. I remember coming home and faking excited to see William… I should have missed him. I held him close whilst he nodded off and had a little cry because ‘I missed him’ only I cried because I didnt. I cried for me. Not for him.

‘Take a picture Dave’ I don’t have many pictures of William and I over his first 2 years purely because I was alway the one behind the camera (This made post separation purging a nightmare🤣) I felt it was important to take a picture and prove that I was OK. That I was happy. Its silly isn’t it, that’s what this social media age has done to us. I think that’s why on here I try to be as honest and open as possible.

I’m not ashamed to say I was I was spiralling down a very dark hole and ended up at a stage I couldn’t see the light. I worried about my family dying when there was nothing wrong with them but the thought consumed me and kept me awake at night, I couldn’t cope with the changes is my career and found myself struggling to do the most simple of tasks but faking it with a smile and a cheery attitude. William was missing his milestones and I thought it was my fault, did I do something wrong during pregnancy? Was it because I didn’t love him enough? I began focusing on the fact that he might be taken away from me, social services would somehow get involved and take one look at me and know that it was my fault.

William was 18 months old and I had reached a point in which I felt like things would be better if I wasn’t around anymore by the time I sought help. I spoke to the doctor and just sobbed, I don’t know how he could possibly understand what I was saying but he listened and offered me help and I personally chose to be medicated, Sertraline to help with my depression and Propranolol for anxiety. It was hard, really hard and I came off them early and I wasn’t ready and soon spiraled back down that hole but I knew… I knew I wasn’t ready and went straight back to the doctor and this time when I thought I was ready, we slowly weaned off them and it worked.

For two years I have been off all medication and coping well. I have embraced that darkness I felt and can happily share my story. William is my word and the love I have for him was always there but was hidden by the storm clouds in my head. It didn’t flood in immediately but bit by bit as the clouds cleared, just like the sun does… it creeped through.

I know that Williams delays and medical issues are not my fault, that I did everything right when pregnant and that I loved him unconditionally from the moment I saw him on my scan and that even though I didn’t feel it, he did. He knew I loved him and still knows now.

There are days, even now in which I feel a darkness but speaking to people and being open about it really helps. This blog saved me as did all of you who read it, whether its ever post or just one. Each of you help me overcome every hurdle, every obstacle just by allowing me a platform to rant and cry about how I feel. Sometimes about myself or sometimes about the system that fails us.

Thank you and if anyone needs to talk please get in touch, with me, with a friend, a doctor. Don’t keep it to yourself. Darkness isn’t as lonely if you have someone by your side.🥰

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Posted in Emotions

The Fall Down

Autumn is my favourite seasons. The leaves change, Hull fair snacks are readily available 😋 Halloween 🎃, Bonfire night 🔥 and Christmas🎄 are right around the corner. I can almost smell the fire smoke in the air. It slowly becoming acceptable to put the heating on and to start wearing woolly tights and boots. The clocks will go back and dark cosy nights with candles, blankets and movies are just around the corner.

But then again, I hate this season in equal measures, some days it can’t decide if its summer still and its too hot but its raining and there is no physical way to be dressed appropriately and, in my opinion, it is cold and flu season…. Traditionally this falls between December and March but in my house, it always starts in the September.

In this new world in which we live, you can imagine the first thing that comes to mind when you start coughing and sneezing all over the place and genuinely looking like the walking dead 💀 I can handle being poorly, I don’t handle it well, but I handle it 😂 William being poorly is a whole different ball game. He can’t tell me what’s wrong, so it is a guessing game from the moment his behaviour changes until he develops full symptoms… is it tonsilitis? Stomach problems? The flu? The thought process gets pretty dark… what if its measles? Did I see spots? What if its Corona? Or Ebola? Or the plague? Or maybe, just maybe, it’s just a common cold.

I know my reasoning is pretty extreme, but my point is that it’s just never possible to tell what is causing the issue until the issue itself become apparent. William reacts to many situations by shutting down, this means he will withdraw from almost everything, he will barely eat and will try to sleep for avoidance. This could be because he doesn’t want to do something like leave the house or partake in a certain activity but could also be because I had to trim his nails, stopped him eating carpet fibres or didn’t let him smear the contents of his nappy. In some instance it’s because he doesn’t feel well. How do we know the difference? There is one simple answer… we don’t!

Its purely a guessing game… I have to evaluate everything that has happened prior to his shutdown and try to figure out. This means I have to be ultra-conscious of what happens on a day to basis and must be switched on at all times. This still means I have to try isolate what could be the problem and act appropriately, if in fact any action is necessary. On some occasions, no matter how much I analyse what has happened, I get it wrong and its simply because he is coming down with something but with no prevalent symptoms, it is impossible to know until it fully hits him.

I’m not going lie, sometimes it’s exhausting and sometimes when he cries, I cry but that’s ok because it doesn’t mean I’m a bad mom or a failure. It means I am trying my best and that’s all we as parents can hope for.

Despite this I do love Fall just not the downs that come with it 🍂 xx

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Posted in Brief updates, Dads Journey

Co-Parenting

Today’s topic of conversation is co-parenting. I wanted to do some research into the types of co-parenting, purely to make sure William’s dad and I are doing it right and hopefully improve upon it if necessary or make sure we are at least heading in the right direction.

There are 3 types of coparenting.

High conflict co-parenting

High conflict parenting is exactly as it sounds, it’s difficult for some to put personal reasons aside and focus on what’s best for the child. This is often the style used in the aftermath of a separation. This style of parenting can be detrimental to the child and makes it almost impossible for both parents to have equal say in the way in which a child is raised. Usually in high conflict parenting relationships one parents tries to maintain control of the child and their Ex, often being unable to make a courteous, decent, or even ethical choice for their child.
I read an article recently about the signs of High conflict parents and it is usually because one or both parents are narcissists, but this article was very informative on spotting the traits of the high conflict parent.

  • The blame is always on the other person, they themselves can do no wrong and often portray themselves as the victim.
  • They lie, they often don’t think of any repercussions or simply don’t care.
  • They seem to enjoy the conflict, relishing in the attention it brings them. Their behaviour can be classed as gaslighting, using your natural emotions against you to cause a reaction. It often means its their way or no way.
  • They use your child against you, refusing or restricting access. This may also include speaking poorly of the other parent in front of the child.

Parallel co-parenting

The most common type of coparenting is Parallel Co-parenting, this is usually when two parents are unable to communicate with each other but have learned to tolerate one and other but lead two separate parenting strategies with little to no discussion. It is possible to transition from high conflict to parallel co-parenting but can take lots of work from both parties and may result in legal mediation or court ordered access rules restricting the need for the parents to communicate.

Cooperative and collaborative co-parenting

Finally, we have the category that William’s dad and I seem to fall into. Learning how to co-parent is difficult but I don’t think we really had a choice, because of Williams additional needs, we had to make sure we were on the ball with it and singing from the same hymn sheet so to speak. This is the pinnacle of co-parenting and what all parents that are separated such be aiming towards. It’s kind of weird how when we were married, we couldn’t communicate but now we do it easily and without thinking. I would even say we have a sort of friendship (we won’t be having movie nights and braiding each others hair though 🤣) Our conversations are mainly about William but we can also ask how one and other are. He even went out of the way to have William so that I could recover from my shoulder injury and the flu. Don’t get me wrong both David and I would probably agree that it wasn’t easy to begin with but just short of a year on we have it running like clockwork. 🕒

I think with the way our marriage crashed and burned that it would have been easier to slip into high conflict and then just coast through parallel co-parenting, but we persevered, and it’s paid off because it was the right thing to do.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that despite the past and any hurt, that we both consistently put William first, as any parent should, and I am grateful that we are able to do that. I remember my post announcing our split and how I wrote that we would be co-parenting, and that Williams dad would be involved in all decisions etc, but I don’t think I believed it at the time. Maybe writing it was a self-fulfilling prophecy?
Needless to say, I believe and always have done that both parents should have an equal say, rights and access to a child they helped produce and I am very proud of both myself and David for putting everything aside and working together to ensure Williams best interests are upheld and I hope we can continue to do so no matter what the future holds.

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Posted in Open Letters

A letter to my son

William,

1578 days, that is how long I have loved you, and that isn’t including the time I grew you inside of me, but I assure you; I loved you just as much then as I do now.
I have spent a total of 8 nights away from you, that’s only 0.5% of your life but from Saturday and until you start school, we will spend 28.5% of the week apart.

I would never have said a year ago, that I would be awake all night trying to comprehend these figures and telling myself that its going to be ok, that you will ok without me, that I will be ok without you.

I’ve spent almost 10 months thinking about how badly I need some time, ‘a break’ so to speak but I just wanted your dad to do his share because for the first four months through no fault of my own, you hated me. I could feel it and believe me, I didn’t like myself very much either at that point, but we got through it. The change in your routine blew everything apart, you struggled to eat, you lashed out and broke things, you cried, and I was beginning to think you didn’t know what sleep was but after 122 days; you slept. You slept in my arms after hitting me and yourself, but you slept, and it was a breakthrough or maybe a breakdown but you slowly got on board with your new routine and life got easier for both of us.

And here we are now, we have a good routine in place which is about to change once again and I don’t think either of us are ready for it but it has to happen.
I never wanted you to have two ‘part-time’ parents, two houses or any of the other things that comes with separation. I wanted stability for you, I know how much you need that but somethings are beyond our control, but I tried and I want you to know that, I tried… for you.

What if you need me and I’m not there? What if you seek me for comfort in a strange new environment and I’m not there? I cant always be there but I wish I could and I needed you to know this. You maybe don’t understand this now but when you are older and can maybe read this you will.

You are without a doubt, the best thing that’s ever happened to me, my greatest achievement and the love of my life. I wouldn’t be the person I am today had I not had you and I am forever grateful for you and everything you are.

I love you in the morning and in the afternoon, I love you in the evening and underneath the moon 🌙

Posted in EHCP Process

Announcement

I have been sat on something for quite some time now but have been cautious about making it public knowledge until the right time, but I think now is that time, time to let the proverbial cat out of the bag 🐈

I have been a little Jekyll and Hyde in posts about mainstream schools, those that have been around since the beginning; since before ‘Our journey onto the Spectrum’ was a thing and it was just simply our life, will remember how adamant I was that William was would get the education he needed, the education he deserves. Somewhere over the last year, what was right for William got turned around and it because what was right for the Local Authority.

Pressure was put upon me to name mainstream schools, with phrases such as
‘by law you have to name mainstream schools for allocations…’
I can categorically state this is absolute bullshit! But when the forms came through, I felt forced to do so, I felt manipulated and bullied into making a decision that I new deep down was not correct for my child.

The crushing disappointment that came on February 15th when William was left of the consideration list for special school places almost tipped me over the edge mentally and knocked the little bit of fight out of me that I had left. I remember saying to Debs that I just couldn’t fight anymore, and she told me I was only just starting… she is usually right always right but I just felt so deflated that I wasn’t ready to admit that to myself. If we think back to that time; I kind of had a lot of other things going on in my personal life. Breakdown of marriage, adjusting to being on my own, juggling my finances and not being able to see my family due to covid. I think I was at a stage in which if the Local Authority told me to have William educated in the local dump, that I would have agreed.

Williams EHCP draft was completed on 29th April, but I didn’t get it until 6th May, I filled out my parental response form naming the mainstream school I had chosen and in which myself, the nursery and the Local Authority Senco had all liaised with shortly before.
The head teacher couldn’t confirm they could meet Williams needs without the EHCP but I was expected to name them for the final copy without this confirmation… I felt I had no choice, so I named them and was ready to post it and I am so grateful I didn’t do it straight away.

On the 7th May, I got my fight back with help from the most amazing woman, a woman who has never stopped fighting for what is right for her child. A woman who helped me kick myself up the arse and point me in the right directions about my rights. K❤ If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have sought legal advice, which I have been given free of charge thanks to the specialists she pointed my in the direction to… I have since been awarded legal aid and its not even something I would have looked into if not for her.
I tip-exed out my school of choice and wrote that I specifically wanted a specialist school and named one in which I feel and have always felt would be appropriate for the education of my child, one in which can without a doubt give my child the education he needs and deserves. I sealed it and sent it straight away. ✉ Had it have been 24 hours later I would have made the biggest mistake of my life (and believe me, I have made a few… divorce impeding remember 🙄

I think friendship and support comes from the most random and unlikely places but when your children have special needs, you just see each other and think ‘I’ve got you’
There are so many people in my life that have supported us in this journey purely because they understand and  have been there themselves.

The Local Authority doesn’t tell you what you need or are entitled to, the don’t point you in the right direction for your children, they point you in the direction which is the best for them. It’s the other parents that do that, the parents that fought a little harder than we did, the parents who scraped and struggled for help and answers. They then pass that down to us.

The NHS isn’t much better, purely because the communication between departments is virtually non-existent when it come to special needs kids so not only are you fighting one entity such as the local authority but also the NHS and its procedures and policies. I am a huge fan of the NHS and the Queen has rightly awarded them with the George Cross, which is the highest award bestowed by the British government “for acts of the greatest heroism or for most conspicuous courage in circumstance of extreme danger” and the NHS truly deserve it due to all they have done to save lives not only during the Covid-19 pandemic but for the last 73 years.

I saw this a while ago and thought it summed everything up perfectly…

Other parents came into my hole to help me, and I will happily climb into the next person’s hole because that is how this works.

Anyway, I digressed a little from the point, should the Local Authority fail to provide William with an acceptable school setting which will meet all his needs, baring in mind this has to be done by the time the send me the final copy of the EHCP, then I am fully ready to take them to a tribunal. It looks like it may be a big fight 🥊 but I’m ready this time.

Let’s end this post on something amazing.
This is something I never thought I would be able to tell people, William spoke… and in true William fashion; just like all his other firsts, it was at Big Nannas 🥰

He said ‘Nanna’ in context, six times!!! Six whole times!!! and the following day did it again when going passed her street. These may be complete flukes and I don’t want to build massive hopes upon it, but it is so much more than I ever expected. I mean Mama would have been even better but beggars can’t be choosers 🤣

All my love, M xx

Posted in Reference

BBC – The A word – Season three review

I have been putting off watching season three for quite some time now as one of the main themes for this season is Alison and Paul’s separation and subsequent divorce. As you can imagine this was hitting a little too close to home, so I had to turn it off until I was emotionally ready, but I think that time is now. So, I dug it out of my Sky planner and started again since things are no longer as raw for me although I am fully aware my review may villainise Paul, but I will do my best not to call him a c**t throughout.
I remember writing during my season two review that William’s dad and I needed to make a conscious effort to spend more time together so we didn’t end up like Paul and Alison, which is laughable now I read it back as he was already spending his time with someone else 🤣


Episode one… Oh dear god, I forgot just how much I love Christopher Eccleston as Maurice! I am sure I have said this before and will say it again many times, but when did he become the Grandad and not the leading man? Because I totally would 😍

Why is Alison blonde? It’s very off-putting… maybe it’s just that thing all of us girls do when we go through a breakup and try to have a glow-up. I’m mean I’m now a bloody red head 😂

The season kicks off in true A word tradition with Joe having a meltdown, he is seeing his dads new house for the first time, this isn’t the safe place Joe once called home. We like to think that wherever we are, is our safe place for our children but in some cases bricks and mortar mean just as much. This is hitting a little close to home. I hope I am ready to watch this 🤔 Especially as I have all this to come when William’s dad finds his own place. We do have a plan to slowly introduce William to the new environment and make it as familiar as possible which is why my spare bedroom has a mass amount of duplicated toys and furniture etc.
Joe has ran away from the new house to seek comfort in the old house, he has no boundaries or sense of ownership and doesn’t grasp the concept that it now belongs to someone else.
I chose to stay in my house after William’s dad left, some of the memories and lies that went on here hurt but this is my home, William’s home. This is his safe place. my safe place. our safe place.

Paul is angry at Maurice about the fact Joe has started to reject his headphones and music in which he usually takes comfort in, he’s saying Maurice taking Joe to the new house has caused this… obviously it’s not Paul’s fault for not being able to keep his dick in his pants 🙄
I’m grateful in a strange way that William is still very young and may not remember us as a family unit, hopefully he will just remember the way it is now. If he doesn’t remember, then he can’t be upset by it.

I think I have said this for each season’s review but I fucking love Maurice and Ralphs relationship.

Holy shitballs! Ralph has just announced he is getting married and moving out, Maurice looks like he’s about to keel over and after his collapse in a previous season, his high cholesterol and high blood pressure, this may finish him off. I do hope they don’t kill Maurice off as it would lead to such major heartbreak for Joe. Death is inevitable for all of us but the hole someone leaves when they die has a much greater impact for someone with autism.
Rusty is now 7 and I am already freaking out about if something happens to him or he passes away. How would William cope without him? He sleeps on the landing outside William’s bedroom and in a morning, William lays on his side of the baby gate next to him just stroking his fur. How do you replace that kind of love, that comfort? You can’t!

“when you’ve got a kid that’s like Joe, you get used to feeling like you’re failing’

Alison Hughes – The A Word

Amen to that 🙌🏻 Amen to those tiny moments in which you don’t feel like a failure because I can tell you this in all truthfulness; they are so rare. It makes me happy that this has been vocalised. Honestly sometimes I feel like I have a VIP membership to the shit moms club and take responsibility for loads of bad things that are outside of my control.
Some days, it’s my fault, it’s all my fault, it’s always all been my fault… but I know that’s it’s not but it doesn’t stop that guilty feeling which is why I often seek validation in my parenting from the professionals I deal with. Jane from the incontinence service telling me I was doing amazing boosted me more than she could ever have known.

“I am so ready to fight people all the time”

Alison Hughes – The A Word

I can wholeheartedly get onboard with this feeling, as a parent of a child with special needs you become so conditioned in have to fight due to flaws in the massively fucked up system, fighting for support, education, facilities, services, we have to fight for everything, and it ever gets any easier and it is hard to get out of that fighter mindset.

  • Stare at my kid – I’ll fight you!
  • Comment on why my child is in a stroller – I’ll fight you!
  • Let my child down – I’ll fight you!
  • Mess up his routine – I’ll fight you!

The list goes on and on and in soe instances a fight isn’t necessary and in some you have to fight harder than ever before. How do you learn to differentiate between the those that require a fight and those that do not?


Episode two and Rebecca is having a baby! It will be interesting to see how Joe reacts to someone taking his sisters attention from him, he is asking a lot of questions about where the baby is now? Where will it sit? Will it cry? Its almost as if he is preparing himself.

There is a beautiful montage showing Joe going to school and his relationship with his teacher, Heather. I don’t think I will ever see Julie Hesmondhalgh as anyone other than Hayley from Corrie, I half expected her to be wearing that red anorak.

I have just nicely received Williams draft EHCP (but we will discuss that in more detail soon) and it talks about describing transitions to William and its great to see it in action between Joe and Heather.

Mark had decided he isn’t autistic anymore because he has stopped banging his head and smashing up his mom’s furniture. Paul rightly explains that, that isn’t all autism is.

‘I know what autism is and it isn’t me’

Mark Berwick – The A Word


I am not ashamed to say I was crying at this point. Messy crying. Loud messy crying, well it started out silent but didn’t end that way.

They are using social stories as a communication method which again is something mentioned in Williams EHCP, so I enjoyed seeing it in practise. The story used to explain Rebecca’s pregnancy and what the baby means to Joe is really well suited to the situation, I’m guess that’s the point, but it makes me eager to start looking into these for when William reaches that level of understanding.

❤Ralph & Katie❤
Aren’t they just couple goals?

Joes’ attachment to Heather is apparently a problem, I don’t quite understand this, so I hope they elaborate more. I know first-hand about the disappointment that comes with attachments to professionals. We have seen it so many times when William forms attachments and then someone leaves or moves on in their careers that it can be catastrophic, also known as blowing William’s routine apart… Linda, Val, Sarah and even his dad. These people coming and going from his life have had massive impacts upon William routine and often cause a regression in his behaviours.


Episode three and there is a Ben? Who is Ben? Is it wise to introduce a new person to Joe? Is he new? I mean he will have seen him in the playground. I have spoken about introducing new foods but if your child doesn’t like a different brand of chicken nugget how can you knowing introduce new people? Especially if you don’t know they will stick around because after all people do always leave in one way or another.
How can we as parents know if someone has the best intentions towards us? William can’t tell me if someone is mean to him or has hurt him. How would I know? How could I trust someone? Not only with William but with myself? After everything how do you even consider letting someone into your life again? It’s a hard thought to process so I think I will put that aside for now and revisit at a much later date.

Paul is upset that Joe has done things with Ben… He needs to go and fuck himself! Their separation was his doing! He had an affair! He can’t expect Joe not to have life experiences when he isn’t there, he made his choice and he need to accept the consequences of that choice.

This episode isn’t very Joe focused, its more about how the family is handling their other relationships. You kind of forget that these needs maintaining too. Joe wants his dad late at night and Alison simply drives all those miles to take him, I don’t have that option nor that kind of relationship with William’s dad but maybe one day things will be easier.


Episode four, Paul and Bill’s worried mom Sarah just makes me feel a little queasy. Their relationship is soo forced and the lack of chemistry is laughable.

Rebecca is in an antenatal class and her sheer discomfort takes me back to when I was pregnant with William, she looks utterly lost and frightened. I remember it very well, that feeling of wondering if you are ready, will you ever be ready and then the realisation that its too late to prepare and 9 months definitely isn’t long enough. 😂

Oh no Maurice isn’t Ralphs best man! How could he pick someone else? Who is this, Josh?
Ralph has just told Maurice off for being pushy ‘You’re not my dad’ I like to say I’m good at foreshadowing so I’m presuming that his dad may make an appearance or there will be a revelation of some sort 🤷🏻‍♂️

‘It’s guilt you know; I never know where his autism ends, and my bad parenting begins.’

Alison Hughes – The A word


I feel you Alison, I really feel you. You plan everything like I do and for the same reasons. This season my heart is truly with you and I don’t think it was before, it was easy to hate you as I saw a lot of myself in you and it was a projection on how I felt as a mother and sometimes still do.

Joe is overwhelmed at the prospect of the walk his mom has organised, he’s withdrawn and trashed his room… It’s a familiar scenario for me.

Ooh I don’t like the fact Ben has jumped in to back up Alison in a disagreement with Paul about how to handle Joe. Its not really any of his business and how can he presume he knows Joe well enough to comment! Strike one Ben, Strike one! ❌

‘Why do you have to be different? Why do you always have to be different?’

Joe Hughes – The A Word

More tears… not ashamed in the slightest! How can that not make you sad? My heart breaks for Joe 💔
Rebecca has convinced him to go on the walk, he turns up in true style with a hat, his headphones and a bubble gun 🔫 he seems happy even though he was struggling with the thought of the walk, he seems truly happy and its beautiful. There are even more tears #sorrynotsorry

Rebecca is scared that her baby may be like Joe, she feels bad for it as if it means she doesn’t want Joe. I think despite the fact there are many reasons I never wanted more children, the main focus is because I am scared, what if I had another child like William? I think it solidified it for me.  What if William couldn’t cope with a sibling? I think I struggle with William sometimes so how could I handle two children let alone the possibility of two children with additional needs. I know people that do it and make it look so easy and I’m envious of them, but I guess I’m also scared for me, can I do that to my mental health? What if I have another breakdown? It was so hard coming back from that dark place; I don’t think I could make it out again? But then there is a new reasoning to my decision… do I really want two kids to two different dads? What if it didn’t work out? I never imagined my marriage would breakdown… forever doesn’t always mean forever, apparently forever means until someone else turns my head, the grass looks greener or life would be easier 🤷🏻‍♀️
Maybe I should become a spinster and then I can stop worrying about this stuff, I could collect Cats stuffed animals and refer to them as my babies, wouldn’t have to worry about introducing new people into Williams life then… a stuffed bunny never hurt anyone 🐇

I sense tension between Ben and Alison already… He wasn’t happy with the fact she said she would be coming up to bed in a minute and not straight away. Strike two Ben, Strike F***ing two!


Episode five…

‘Now I walk’ – Joe Hughes.
They just let him walk? Is this normal? Should I let William do as he pleases, when he pleases?

I called it! Ralph’s dad has just arrived and its Owen from Corrie! Poor Ralph didn’t know he was coming, and he looks confused and unimpressed. It’s been 10 years, what did Owen Doug expect?

I love Louise, she is a warrior, the true embodiment of the phrase ‘tiger mom’. If I am half as good of a mom as she is, then I am happy 🥰

🤮 Sarah and Paul… I just can’t handle it, she is so awkward and his is a c**t so slimy.

Mark has offered to take Joe to the Zoo Park? I’m guessing this is like a petting zoo. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Paul has agreed to let him, but he is freaking out, I’m not sure if he is freaking out because Mark is autistic or because he hasn’t looked after Joe before. He’s responsible enough to have a job in Pauls pub but I do understand the worry, as I’m not sure how I would feel about it if it was William he was taking out but then again I don’t really trust anyone with him. I can count on one hand the people who have looked after him away from me, not including his dad…
* Mom & Dad
* Helen
* Julie & Dave
* Leanne and family
* Danielle & Shannon

It’s a small list for a four-year-old but it took me a long time to trust anyone with him and that has nothing to do him having additional needs but more about how I felt as a mom.

Ralph’s dad is opening up to Maurice about how he felt so disconnected from his family due to Louise’s closeness with Ralph, I sort of understand this as I don’t make it easy for people to understand William the way I do. Although that being said it doesn’t justify the fact he abandoned Ralph!
It does upset me that Ralph feels like he should apologise for liking his dad. Her obviously senses the tension his dad’s presence causes and it’s really painful that he feels that it means he shouldn’t like him. I do hope Louise hasn’t badmouthed him in front of him as parents should never do that to their kids no matter how much they are hurting or the circumstances.

It’s the wedding day! Louise and Katie both look stunning 😍
Maurice has gone to collect Doug for Ralph, that’s love. That’s pure and selfless. I really do hope he gets a last minute promotion to best man #MauriceForBestMan

Ralph is so happy his dad is there; I have genuine tears in my eyes. He truly deserves happiness after everything he has been through.
Ralphs entire face lit up as he sees Katie walking down the aisle. Their vows are amazing, so lovely and very them 😊
Josh’s speech is good but I stand by my hashtag!

Paul keeps getting cockblocked by Bill which is the highlight of their relationship for me although if I have to watch Paul roll his eyes one more time, I swear to god I will jump into the TV and punch him in his throat 🤬

‘You’re not my dad. You’re better.’

Ralph Wilson – The A Word

More tears, happy tears… Team Maurice!


Episode Six is the last in this series and there are no more to watch, no more have been made but season four is expected to be released in 2022 however this is yet to be officially confirmed by the BBC.

The episode starts off with Rebecca walking instead of Joe… Is the baby about to make an appearance?
I love Maurice! He’s following her with a wheelbarrow haha 🤣 he has my dad sense of humour so if I was Louise (or even my mom for that matter) I would have murdered them.

Oh dear god, I hate Paul so much!!!
and Ben, I hate Ben too!!!

Its Ralph and Katie’s moving day, their little house is lovely. Maurice sitting down with a drink and the TV remote after all the heavy lifting is basically channelling everyone’s dad ever! And yes Mr H, that is you too 🤣

And…… he’s out of here! Strike three for Ben! ⚾ Bye-bye dick head! He’s just railroaded Alison into a corner and forced her to end thing because she isn’t in love with him yet. He been on the scene like 2 minutes!

Louise silently breaking down in Ralphs old room is devastating, it feels so real and raw that it breaks my heart 💔 she is a superb actress.

Shitting hell Ben is back, well he’s not back but he’s still in the café with Alison. He’s pushing Alison and she has been hurt too much to open herself up like that and he should have been patient with her but its too late now. He redeems himself a little bit by doing Joe’s signature goodbye… ‘Hug or Handshake’ and Alison chose handshake, good lass!

Sarah and Paul 🤢 the slow cooker analogy is quite cute but that’s probably because it was Sarah’s way of ending things. Serves you right Paul, you c**t!

‘Change can be good’

Mark Berwick – The A Word


Can it be good? And I don’t just mean for our autistic kids but for us as their parents? Change never initially proves to be good for William but he does slowly adapt, I think if I had my way, I would make sure nothing changes in our lives, but I know that’s a naïve was to expect life to be. There are changes you cannot predict that you just have to react to and hope you are doing the right thing. There are changes we bring about ourselves that can be planned and brought about with a strategy. My inner control freak needs at least three months’ notice for changes 🤣

Rebecca has gone into labour and she is on her own in the car with Joe, he isn’t handling it well and just put his headphones on and walked off! I would love to know what that kids step count is.

‘Its private, I don’t want to see her vagina’ – Joe Hughes

Not the best way to tell strangers that your sister is about to pop out a sprog 🤣

Its very unrealistic to see the full bloody family in the waiting room, I know this isn’t set during the pandemic since I put it off for so long but it just feels even more unbelievable because of the current situation.
Rebecca also has a ward to herself which is utter bullshit! 💩 I had a twin room and must have had at least 4 different cellmates roommates by the time I was discharged.

Aww Louise has finally told Maurice she loves him, even though we all knew it already. They are soo brilliant together 💑 They are engaged by the end of the episode which makes me very happy, its like watching your mom and dad get a happily ever after.


OK, so I am not sure how I feel about series three, the ending seems so final as everyone has their happiness, I do hope we get a series four. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed it as much as I did the previous two series, I am not sure if its because the primary focus was the aftermath of the divorce or because I didn’t learn as much as I had whilst watching its predecessors. Who knows? 🤷🏻‍♀️
I am looking forward to another series but it’s a long way off if ever.

If you have any recommendations of what I can review next let me know in the comments or drop me a message on the let’s talk page, I’m thinking Atypical but open to ideas 😊

Much love M xx

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