Friday, 20 May 2016

Riley's bug hunting tips

Bug hunting is one of Riley's most favourite things to do, he's such a typical boy!
It's so easy to do, it's as simple as going outside and looking for bugs! 
Riley in his bug hunting attire

Here are our top tips to help make sure you find some interesting little bugs to keep your little bug hunters entertained for hours at a time, again and again!
A basic kit list that you need would consist of:
  • A clear container ideally a plastic tub or jar with air holes so your little discoveries can be fully examined before being released back into the wild. 
  • A spoon for picking up your creepy crawlies.
  • Camera or notebook and pencil for noting down your findings, you can then research more once you get home and see what kinds of bugs you have discovered.
  • Magnifying glass

We thoroughly recommend this kit from The National Trust website

Before you start it's good to remember....

Be careful to avoid any nasty stings from either bugs or surroundings such as nettles.

Be gentle not to squash any bugs.

Search carefully and quietly, handling the bugs as little as possible to cause the least amount of disturbance as possible.

Any stones or logs should be replaced back to where they were afterwards.

Where to look......
  • Window frames and sills
  • In walls of buildings 
  • climbing plants 
  • cracks in paving slabs and rocks
  • In and under plant pots
  • guttering 
  • flower heads 
  • In grass
  • Under stones, pebbles and logs

Recording your findings: 
  • What colour is it? 
  • How many legs does it have? 
  • How big is it? 
  • Does it have wings? 
  • Where did you find it? 
  • How does it move?
  • Is it eating anything? 
We hope you have lots of fun and find loads of interesting bugs! 

Our favourite Father's Day craft ideas

I think homemade stuff is so much more personal and I know that as a mum I love  the kids making my cards so we have decided to make daddy some stuff ourselves. I had a look around and decided to show you some of our favourite ideas we found. I'm so looking forward to doing some of these with the kids.....

Hand/Footprint picture or card....

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Our journey begins....

Today I signed the form for school to refer Riley to PCAMHS (Primary Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) for further assessment. 

It feels like a mixture of emotions to see someone else write .....'shows significant signs of ASD' (autism spectrum disorder) about your child if I'm totally honest. I think even though I know what's in front of me I still have had that little bit of denial in me and I think I will until someone actually confirms autism with a proper written diagnosis. 

Richard Brooks who attended the last meeting at school is pretty experienced in autism and he said ....' It's fairly obvious Riley has autism' and that felt weird to hear. I still feel like I'm imagining it or making it out worse than it is and I think this is partly because a lot of people have reassured me about Riley's traits and features in the past, which I know they were doing to support and help and reassure me but I'm sure this has made me lack my own parenting instincts if I'm totally honest. 

Even though we have been 'in the system' and supported by various professionals, from play workers to speech therapists, since Riley was first referred to a paediatrician aged 2, I feel today marks the start of our diagnosis journey which I'm expecting to be a fairly long one, months if not years but we are finally on the road to getting Riley the support he needs and deserves to grow and develop to his full potential.

Apparently the wait for the first (of many) appointment is up to 18 weeks though they do tend to acknowledge the referral fairly quickly.

So today has been pretty significant and a bit of a reality check for me so trying to get my head around it all, need to get the kids in bed and open some wine and relax in the bath I think :) 

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Hello May!

Is it really May already?!! So what does this month have in store for us... 

Keira has her SATS in a few weeks, she is so laid back about it and is actually looking forward to doing them I think. She has been revising lots, she's surprised me how calm and unfazed she is! I dont remember the school being quite as focused on them when Ellie did them like they are this time round. We have had letters home giving advice on reducing the pressure on the students and what we can do to encourage them and help! Early nights, good breakfast in the morning, stuff like that. We should get the results in July sometime.

We have our first ASD support group next week which is on once a month at the local play centre, I'm really looking forward to talking to others who can relate and advise me as they are going through the same stuff themselves. I have lots of support from friends and family you can't beat first hand experience can you?!

The kids all have their routine check ups at the dentist so fingers crossed that goes ok. Riley has a tooth growing behind another so I will mention that (not that the dentist will be able to miss it!), I'm sure the girls had the same and once the teeth fell out the ones behind straightened up on their own so I'm not overly worried. Riley still hasn't lost any teeth yet but we have a few wobbly ones so shouldn't be long.

I have a meeting at school about Riley next week too which is pretty significant, it's to discuss the report that school are sending to PCAMHS for further assessment and is with a man who is amazingly experienced in Autism and knows his stuff when it comes to ASD and has already helped us loads. I'm dreading reading the report and seeing my son described in black and white by someone else, on the other hand I'm hoping it will give me the confirmation that I'm not imagining things and it's not all in my head. I'm fighting for this diagnosis for Riley to get the support he needs and at times i worry it comes across like I'm a bad parent who needs an excuse for her sons bad behaviour. I just want to be told it's not my parenting at fault and Riley isn't misbehaving, he can't help the way he is! I know it's not but you know what I mean. Ok rambling now so I'll leave it there!

We have a few family birthdays this month, my uncle and my granddad who don't live local so we tend to just send a card in the post or via Funky Pigeon, I love their cards!  Its also our anniversary at the end of the month, we will have been together 9 years, (It's feels like longer though haha!) Im not sure what we will do as it depends on hubby's workload, getting a sitter etc. 10 years next year so we'll definitely do something, I would love to go to New York but that doesn't appeal to hubby, not his kind of place. Got to do something though to mark a decade, maybe renew our vows (even though we have only been married 3 years!) any excuse for a good old party eh!

Hoping the spring weather kicks in soon as I think in the past week we've had all 4 seasons in each day! Come on sun, let's be having you!!😎