Showing posts from April, 2008

Community Spirits

As you might know my little fella has recently started at a new school, at the age of 10.
Part of his initial curriculum is to recognise his classmates and to greet all of the people in the new environment. I love this. In his previous placement I worked for years to get him to acknowledge his classmates; most of whom were in the same class as him for 5 years. I would draw circles around their heads in the daily photo's to prompt his recognition, I made PECS cards to point at when asking him "who is in your class". No dice. Every girl he ever met was Laura, and every boy; Conor. He was like one of those middle managers that deliberately get your name wrong to put you off guard.
Adults were less of a problem. As long as they could do something for him; he would focus on their features to recall if needed. I imagine him seeing a blurred outline of a face with a hand coming into focus holding a black marker; then sharpening focus to see the person who does the drawi…

It's different for Dads

This week I am pleased to introduce another guest contributor, this time a Dad!
It is not Mr Hammie, who prefers the sword to the pen (he he) but a Dad who writes his own blog; a diary of his experience of having a baby boy with Downs Syndrome.
He has very kindly written this piece especially for us.

It's different for Dads - Part 1:

Evicting the control freak.

One November evening a few short years ago our house got flooded. Not someone-left-the-bath-running flooded. No, this was three-feet-high-and-rising, can-anyone-see-the-bath-tub-anymore? flooded. Next morning we could see that we had lost the entire downstairs of our lives. I smile now when I think back to our pathetic attempts to keep the floodwaters out, using a kitchen brush and increasingly damp optimism. Might as well have asked Brenda and Audrey to soak it up with a Bounty wipe each.

I did learn one important thing though: that we cannot control anything. Not a sodding thing. We may have the illusion of it, or partial domi…

Vale Nana

My Nana died the weekend before last.

My Nana had a heart attack 20 years ago, and serious cancer 10 years later. She survived both.
3 years ago she developed dementia and went to live in a nursing home.

She died as she had lived, with great spirit and style and I am going to put up a piece from her Eulogy that my Auntie Hammie wrote for her and read at the service last week. My Auntie is also a cancer survivor and when I saw her last looked just as glamorous and beautifully turned out as I had always known her.

"Mum was fiercely proud of her Scottish heritage, was spirited and enjoyed her friends. She loved to laugh and to sing.

Prior to marrying, Mum was a dressmaker and later on her girls were always beautifully dressed in the very latest Shirley Temple outfits – matching of course............

There were a number of parties and celebrations over the years and anything was an excuse to have a party, New Years Eve, VE Day and then VJ Day (they were rippers!) Bagpipes, dancing and a l…

News; from the House of Hammie

We are all bunged up with colds and a very serious flu in the house. Bratty is in bits with flu and not herself at all. As many parents of high energy kids will know; that is sometimes "no bad thing" but it has been eerily quiet at times with no Bratty screaming at the computer or T.V.

The Boo man started his new school this week. LOVED IT!
I am amazed. As much as I longed for and wished for this, I was quite prepared for life to be hell for 3 months as he adjusted to having to work all the time, having people make him smarten up his act and for the fact that it was a drastic change.

But like a lot of things that we fret about in theory; the practice was fine. We did actually do a practice drive over there the day before, but without fuss. And I let Mr Hammie handle the little chats about "new school". Sometimes the low key approach is best and I did not do a big social story or any kind of transitioning preparation.
Dads really do have a purpose folks and Mr Hammie…

How Fragile We Are

Lately I have been reading about "change makers". People who have genuinely achieved something to alleviate a deficit in our world, whether it be access to education, medical care, safe and affordable living conditions or the chance to make it on your own in life. The changemakers have achieved these goals somewhere in the world and it is a very positive and inspiring read.

I have found myself quite shocked by the conditions that preceded these "changes" as of course they were bad enough to motivate the people who set about making a difference. And I have been shocked by my own complacence in accepting that such hard won achievements in establishing equality; can be taken for granted. When I can see that around the world, there are many people to whom the right to be treated as an equal in any circumstance, is a novelty if not a dream.

Of course the people I have most identified with in the story are those that are dealing with disability. Either their own, or their …

R is for RESPECT

Respect. R.E.S.P.E.C.T

Okay, it has been over a week since I blogged and I have been too busy getting Boo ready for his NEW School!!!; to write anything good lately.
But I have been thinking a lot about this theme of RESPECT.

So I am going to do what I did when answering that last exam question and time was running out; Get some main points down and hope to get some kind of a response.


As a theme in special needs it covers many Facets.

Respect for parents who can see that something is wrong, and who need to be listened to.
Respect for the child with the needs. Respect that they need to be who they are, but also respect for giving them the best chance possible. Respect for their strengths and interests; Respect for their challenges.

Respect for Potential. Understanding that nobody, no matter how profoundly disabled can be considered a "write off" or "beyond help".
Failure to respect this makes it possible to withdraw resources, to justify redirecting those resourc…

Keeping Going; F is for friends

Hi There tiddley peeps!
Sorry, just slipped into children's television mode there. Have been at home with my tiddley peeps for more than two weeks for Spring break and my brain has slowed down a little. Hence no sensible blogging.
Don't get me wrong, I love my kids, and I enjoy full time parenting. But you need get out to meet the real world every now and then.

It was my choice, I get a home help allowance for babysitting my kids but I choose to use it on weekends when I can take one child out and enjoy giving 100% attention , while the other child gets the full attention of my helperangel. We have a better quality of life that way.

And So, during the holidays, I am at home every day with my 2 kids who it has to be said; are not the worlds greatest conversationalists. Mr Hammie comes home and is not much better after a day at work, and so it all gets a bit lonely!
Sure, I can log on and cyber chat with my mates but there isnt the same depth of sharing and conversation that you get …