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Showing posts from November, 2007

C is for Clothes

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No, I am not going to talk about your child's sense of style, although my personal belief is that they should dress as well as possible and have a good haircut*
Just because they have special educational needs, does not mean that they should not look fabulous. And hey, if they look good, people are going to make allowances for behaviour!

But, I am going to try and explain why your child's sensory challenges coupled with the natural rigidity and intolerance of change can cause wardrobe problems for parents.



First I want you to imagine that you have just got out of the shower, dried off and have put on your clothes for the day. In the first few minutes after we get dressed in the morning we can feel our clothes. Not in an irritating or scratchy way, but just a sensation of contact.



Now imagine that that sensation of contact lasts all day. For many of our kids in the early stages it is so unpleasant that the first thing they do when they get in the door is take all their clothes off.…

Toilet Training and Communication

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Many parents of children with special educational needs run into some difficulty when it comes to toilet training. In fact it can be part of the diagnostic discussion with the public health nurse and a source of some shame and embarrassment when you are comparing your child to others.
The first thing to say is that the professionals ask about it as an indicator of developmental delay, not to judge and pressure you.



Remember, a lot of parents LIE about toilet training so do not beat up on yourself when comparing your child to “normal” kids..

Sure your kid might still be in pull-ups during the day, but their kids might still be wetting the bed or wearing a nappy at night (hell, they might still be wetting the bed themselves) Ignore them and choose your starting age for training according to your needs. You can spend 18 months trying to potty train for NO 1s and 2s or you could wait a year and get it done in 3 months when you are both ready.

You will know that your child is ready, when they …

D is for Diet!

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For comprehensive advice on specific elimination diets you are going to have to look elsewhere.

This is just an overview of how the food issue comes up in the wonderful world of Autistic Spectrum Disorders and the word that I would apply to diet is LIMITED.

As I have mentioned elsewhere, autism can mean you are subjected to a range of sensory overloads and therefore seeking a consistency in your environment.

By being selective about eating a child can exercise a measure of control over the sensory bombardment that they are experiencing.

And just as important as taste and smell, is the feel and look of a food.

Many children decide they do not like foods of a certain colour with a determination which you can identify with; if you try to imagine eating blue soup. It’s just wrong!

Don’t expect them to find white or yellow or brown food any less wrong.

People with Autism often have an incredible palate as evidenced by the number of Auties I used to meet in the wine industry. (The wine industry of…

A word from Polly:

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A is for Autism but also for anxiety, anger and acceptance – some of the emotions I’ve experienced over the last couple of years since we got the diagnosis of Autism for our son.

I’m at the acceptance stage for a while now Thank God, but I think the anger and anxiety are just something that has to be gone through.
(Not anger at my son obviously but anger that the world may set challenges for him that he’s not able for).
The acceptance for me is accepting that I have a child with special needs but I don’t put limitations on his abilities – how could I when he keeps surprising me all the time with how well he’s doing and more importantly how happy he is?
I suppose for us it might have been easier than for some parents as the diagnosis didn’t come as a very big shock – my boy was “in the system” since he was very small – speech delay, learning difficulty, global developmental delay (which is doctor speak for “there’s-something-wrong-with-your-kid-but-we-dunno-what-it-is” , I think)
We kne…