Showing posts from March, 2008

what I like


films about us

Mr Hammie watched his favourite film the other night; "As Good As it Gets" with Jack Nicholson. I love that he loves it so much because he is so much like the lead character! Ostensibly about Obsessive Compulsive Disorders; the character Melvin is firmly in the spectrum with raging Aspergers tendencies. His inability to stop himself from calling it like it is obviously alienates him from his community but does not hide his brilliance.
My favourite is when he visits his psychiatrist after a long break. The room is different he remarks; "Yes and I have grown a beard and my wife is ill Melvin but you never bother to ask about me!"
My own lovely Boo was watching me surf the Internet recently and I pointed out his photo which still appears on many of the menus. My Boo attended 12 months of classes with a 5th year student who was volunteering to help us out; because she was interested in speech therapy as a career.
She gave up a year of Saturdays to take Boo to t…

Mum's the Word (Hammie gets outed)

Irish Times Magazine, Saturday March 1st 2008.
By Catherine Cleary.
A feature on 5 Mums (one of which was me).To read the whole article, click hereShe writes "I have been among the mammies of Dublin, walking around in the winter gales. Our faces are set against the wind, sensible hats shoved down on our heads. Men in suits walk by under their oversized golf umbrellas. It is not possible to carry a golf umbrella and push a buggy."She used to be "another Catherine Cleary" as a photographer said. A serious journalist and published author, writing about Victims of Murder and the darker side of Irish Life Now she is the new improved version. Still writing about important issues, but snatching the time to do so when her sons are asleep. Juggling and stretching and trying to do it all, like the rest of us.Thanks Catherine. xx

Don't get depressed or anything....

Depression. Not to be taken lightly, so I won't call this D is for Depression.
As I have said I am not a professional so I am not going to comment on what can be a serious psychological condition which should be identified and treated.

I won't even presume to advise on the condition known as "re-active depression" which can assault a parent on diagnosis. It is supposed to be acceptable because it is in reaction to a concrete cause. But does that mean you can or should treat it chemically?
Who knows? and who am I to judge as I have another sip of Beaujolais.... mmmahhhhhh...

All I can do is offer up the ways I try to keep away the "Black Dog" of the dark days. The days when you do not want to get up and at em. When you just want to curl up in a ball and say "I hate my life!"

Because we all have those days. We all have a lot of them in the beginning, when we are learning that the little life plan we mapped out for ourselves and our offspring is not going…

Excuse me, I think you dropped something.....

I want to talk about the cult of special needs parenting and motherhood particularly, because I have recently come to understand the danger of doing everything yourself and being therefore "immune" to criticism.

You see the problem with a universal lack of adequate services is that parents and particularly mothers, end up doing way more than they should. They find themselves working 7 days a week, up to 18 hours per day (even longer), no sick days or holidays. They find themselves compensating for the absence of therapeutic support. They have to self educate in the condition and attend courses in areas in which they had no previous interest or expertise. They have to learn to negotiate with professionals who have limited time or training in the field in which the parent needs them, and administrators whose role it is to block, divert or otherwise confuse and discourage the parent from pursuing the service in the first place.

They might be isolated from family who do not want t…

A different shade of normal; a post script.

To finish off this topic, to which I had a pretty huge reaction I will add the thoughts I had this morning while reading the Travel Supplements.

Holidays are a great litmus test of normal.
Simply taking the decision to have kids changes your values system when it comes to planning holidays, and I am sorry but I have little time for people who insist on climbing mountains, or driving across deserts, or visiting third world supercities, with their children in tow. (Why did you have kids if you are going to actively risk their lives just to prove that your life hasn't changed?)

So going forth with children means planning a different kind of holiday which hopefully takes into account all of you and your children's needs, without compromising any ones comfort or sanity. Going forth with one or more children with special needs means planning a very different holiday indeed.

Because the higher your expectations of normal are, the more difficult your life is going to be.
And that is why in…

Aba reaches the parts, and makes it better for everyone else too.

Aba reaches the parts, that other therapies cannot reach.

An update for the week that is in it. Because in Ireland this week the Government party backbenchers are meeting to ask the Minister for Education to reconsider her "blockage" and ongoing animosity towards pure science and evidence based, full time ABA for children with a psychological assessment that recommends it.

But this week I want to draw your attention to a group of parents that have been forgotten in the debate for comprehensive ABA. The parents whose children don't need it.
They might also have a child that is perfectly capable of learning in a small group. A child that is motivated by praise and a willingness to fit in and a child that understands the national curriculum as it is taught by State recognised teachers.
They will be toilet trained, will be able to eat different foods with a spoon at least, maybe even a fork, will brush their teeth willingly after meals and dress themselves without fuss.
They can…