Thursday, 4 April 2013

In at the Deep End.

My daughter spent the evening scuba diving. Albeit at the local baths but she is practising for a 'real' dive later in the year. She was really excited and announced that given another chance she would jump at the opportunity to do it again.
I don't know where she gets her nerve from, certainly not me . I was always the child who tiptoed round the ice rink so as not to fall over whilst my daughter will launch herself straight into the middle. It's probably why she ended up in Scouts amongst the boys rather than guides where she found the activities too tame.

Her big brother spent the day at school.It's the middle of the school holidays but he's preparing for his GCSE's and wanted to finish his D.T project as they haven't had enough time at school.Fortunately, as a home educating family we have often discussed the importance of self motivation and my son was up and ready to go at 8.00am. He'd worked out that if he started early he would finish early and he was right. He was able to spend the afternoon socialising with his friends .

Living in a remote rural area public transport isn't great but we have discovered a students' pass which allows the children to travel anywhere round Cumbria for £1. Their passes are well used and have enabled my neuro-typical children to travel to home from school after after school clubs without relying heavily on me- a god send particularly when their Autistic brother felt unable to leave the house making it virtually impossible to collect them.Having an autistic member in the family certainly encourages independence!

The brighter weather has definitely made a difference to my son who took the dogs for a short walk with his brother yesterday. At twelve he likes to be supported when he goes out and I've noticed he is much more likely to try new activities if his brother and sister are there but never the less there has been an improvement. About a year ago he wouldn't set foot out the house- he was too frightened in case a jet flew over our house (low flying jets occasionally fly over the estuary and can be very noisy when they come). He wouldn't even let me go out and leave him whilst I walked the dogs. He has moved on however and whilst he doesn't often choose to come out with me,he will now happily stay at home for a couple of hours with a mobile phone on which I can contact him ( he doesn't answer the house phone when I'm out - actually come to think of it- never, unless I ask him to.) I've learned something else too from another parent whose son is further down the line from me- what I thought was agoraphobia ISN'T. If my son wants to go somewhere such as K.F.C or to pay money into the bank in order to buy a pc game on-line then he will willingly put on his shoes and coat and climb into the car without so much as a moan. If on the other hand we need to go to the dentist or on a day trip (which in my son's mind has no purpose) Then no amount of cajoling by me will persuade him to go out the house. I have learned not to feel a failure that his dad can successfully get him to do these things whilst I can't- it's a common feature amongst oppositional pre- teens.Instead I use his father's ability to get my son to go to the denstist, have a bath, do his teeth- in fact all the things that most people would regard as everyday normal routines but that parents of Autistic children know only too well can be a nightmare!


  1. So glad to have stumbled across your blog, I will be a regular reader from now on :)

    I blog about our home-education adventures over at , you may be interested in having a read when (if!) you get a spare minnie-mo.

    I will add myself as a follower here.

  2. Julia I have been following your blog for a while now! I really felt your excitement when you moved to your new home in the country as it's a move we made nearly 9 years ago now! The excitement doesn't wane, instead you just feel privileged to live in such a beautiful environment where the children can grow up in tune with nature. I firmly believe you make your own luck by grabbing opportunities when they arise. It sounds as if you have fully embraced your new lifestyle and I look forward to hearing how you get on with your chicks. It's a step we haven't taken yet although it has been talked about!