A slap up grill for two…

Big day today! Owen is staying at school until 2:30pm rather than 11:45am.

 

I’m currently sat watching ‘This Morning’ with my feet up; a very rare activity but I am most pleased with the appearance of Dr.Ranj on this program and I feel I may become a regular viewer..

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Owen is staying at school for lunch today. He is having a ‘hot dinner’ with the other children. I have no idea at all what is on the menu.

Food can be a very difficult topic when it comes to children with special needs. There tends to be a whole host of dietary problems (Owen is dairy and soya intolerant) and I can only imagine the range of different requirements (from allergies to plate colours and food colours) that the lunch staff are having to sort through at Owen’s school.

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One assumption that is often made about children with Autism is that they only eat food that is beige and that they have to have it set out on the plate in a certain way, with nothing touching.

 

Owen is the complete opposite. He has to have his food all mixed together in a bowl and loves Chillis, stews, roast dinner, fish etc.

 

I really really hope he eats something. If he doesn’t, he’ll get hangry.

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You wouldn’t like him when he’s hangry.

 

I have a ‘fournager’

One and a half weeks. Seven days of school and suddenly my dear little blue-eyed baby who resembles Boris Johnson when his hair is too long has grown up. No longer does he want to cuddle up with his Mummy…now if he creeps into bed with me during the night, he has his own side and does not share pillows. He wipes my kisses off with a look of disgust. Kisses from Mum are, apparently, for babies.

 

Along with this heartbreaking tragedy (I think Shakespeare would even struggle to better it), comes fantastic change. Every cloud has a silver lining….separation = every other weekend to myself,  weight gain = wrinkles look less obvious etc.

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In just ten days, Owen’s speech has improved beyond anything I was hoping for. Before, if he wanted to go on the iPad, he would say:

Do you want iPad?

Now, he says:

Mummy…can I have the iPad please?

He’s even got the slightly ‘oh my god how many more times am I going to hear ‘Mummy’ today’ tone down to a fine art. Naturally, because I am so bowled over by this speech that is coming from him, he is pretty much getting anything he asks for at the moment. Terrible terrible parenting. I’m going to end up with some sort of Kevin Patterson on my hands if I don’t nip that one in the bud.

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Although as longs as he still chooses flowers for me in the supermarket and says ‘Mummy princess’, he can do whatever he likes.

Oh Neil! Neil! Orange Peel!

Owen has recently become something of a ‘People’s Poet’. He must have been really bored over the summer holidays. Thank goodness he’s at school now!

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He absolutely loves rhyming. I’ll say something to him along the lines of:

Owen. We are twenty minutes late. We need to go!

In response I’ll get:

Go! Show! Snow!

If he can’t think of an actual word to rhyme, he’ll make one up! (Bit risky if he’s trying to rhyme ‘duck’ or ‘punt’).

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LUCK! Sounds almost exactly like…

I spent an evening this weekend at a Batmam themed ball, dressed as Harley Quinn. The souvenirs made by the champagne sponsors of the ball (naturally I only attend parties which have official champagne sponsors) were tiny little torches that shine the Batman logo and Owen has been playing with the one I brought home for him.

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Of course, what does one sing when shining a Batman torch? Na na na na na na Batman! Except Owen has been running around singing:

 

Na na na na BATMAN! Na na na na NISSAN! Na na na na PAN! 

 

I’ve had a Google-up to see if I can throw any light on this rhyming thing (and found some really odd websites about Autism ‘cures’ but that’s a rant for another day) but nothing much has come up.

 

Perhaps it’s a sensory thing? There’s an amazing American professor called Temple Grandin who has Autism. I remember her saying that she used to ask her mother the same question over and over again because she loved the way it sounded.

 

This makes sense – I know lots of ‘normal’ people who enjoy using particular words because of the way they sound. I recently told a friend of mine that she has the best surname I’ve ever come across because of the way it sounds and (thankfully) she told me that I’m not the first person to say that.

 

So it would appear to be a combination of two things: sensory, enjoying the way the words rhyme and go together and his fantastic memory. I think he has a little bank of ‘words that rhyme’ in one of the filing cabinets in his brain.

 

So, we’ll enjoy it for what it is and I’ll only worry when his Christmas list reads:

Bongos

Black turtle-neck

Sunglasses

 

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The sun’ll come out tomorrow…

Tomorrow is the BIG day! The end of the longest summer holiday in the history of summer holidays is in sight. Owen has his first morning at his new school! It has taken me an entire rainforest’s worth of paperwork to get him a place at his school but I’m sure it’ll be absolutely worth it. There will be the obligitory ‘in front of the door’ first day photograph on my Facebook page in the morning. (I’ve heard rumours of death penalties if this is not done and I don’t fancy taking any chances.)

 

Everything is labelled, ironed…(any excuse for a picture of Rik Mayall)

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and ready for this morning. Well almost everything….guess which Mum forgot to buy a book bag, water bottle and PE t-shirt?

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Yep, that’s right. Me. The one who is actually a teacher. Slow clap, well done.

 

Five years ago I never imagined I would be here. Five years ago I was married, very pregnant and attempting to teach children whilst trying not to give birth at work. I had plans. Big plans. My baby was going to go to Aldingbourne school…the same school I had been to and I was going back to teaching ASAP!

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I missed out on the ‘blooming’ stage of pregnancy and went straight for the ‘beached whale’ part.

 

Except…Owen threw us all a bit of a curve ball by having Autism (sneaky little bugger).

I didn’t think I’d spend the next five years doing therapy after therapy, learning Makaton and filling out endless questionaires. It’s been hard work but I’m hoping it’ll be entirely worth it. I have a feeling he will flourish in his new environment.

Five years ago I never could have imagined that I would be going out on Friday night and then attending a ball on Saturday, dressed as a Batman character.

I didn’t think I would be sat here, writing a blog about having a child with Autism, whilst he spends some time at his Daddy’s house, the night before he starts at his ‘special’ school.

 

But you know what?

I didn’t think we’d be so happy either.

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