Monday, 23 March 2015

The confidence of being on stage

It’s been an action packed week for our daughter.  She performed in a school concert last Wednesday singing with the choir and playing her pbone, otherwise known as a plastic trombone and took part in rehearsals at school for their summer show – We Will Rock You.  Then last night she took to the West End stage for the fourth year running with her drama group, Vision Theatre Arts.  This year they were at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, home of the musical, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  Olivia came home excited that she had spent the day backstage in the dressing room of the ‘oompa loompas’!!

It was a long day as they caught the train at 9.20am yesterday and we didn’t return home until 12.30am this morning!!  Getting up for school was more of a battle than normal, but she got there on time and with any luck will be tired tonight and want an early night.  I can live in hope!!  

Her drama group performed songs from Les Miserables and were magnificent.  Olivia takes on a different persona when on stage and like many children with ASD, she flourishes from being able to hide behind a character.  It is amazing for us, as parents to see the transformation that she takes on and to see her ooze with confidence, especially for someone who struggles on a daily basis with social and communication issues.  Having a script or a song to sing makes all the difference, as she knows what she has to do.  It’s there in black and white for her.

Belonging to a drama group has done wonders for Olivia’s self esteem and confidence and she has found an interest that she is passionate about.  Whilst she is performing, whether it be at school or in the West End she is living her dream.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Special Needs Dog

This was how our 7 month old Irish Terrier puppy, Ludo, was described at the vets today.  This was one of many trips I have made in the past month, as we have discovered Ludo has digestive and allergy problems. 

A new hypoallergenic diet of duck and potato seems to be helping with his digestive system.   His allergies are a different matter and it’s anyone’s guess as to what he is allergic to, but grass and wheat appear to be likely factors.   We need to walk him on roads, rather than grassy areas, as he comes back scratching for the rest of the day and chewing his paws when we’ve walked him on our local common or fields.  It’s unlikely Ludo will be allowed off a lead in the near future as if he eats anything other than his new food, he becomes ill.  He is an inquisitive puppy and would eat everything if we let him.  Yesterday he managed to chew through our telephone wire within the space of a few seconds of me turning on my laptop!!

I’ve been told today that he can have a child’s dose of piriton to help combat his hayfever, as well as use our sons’ eczema cream to help with his skin allergies.  I’m now looking for coconut oil for dogs as this is meant to have amazing benefits for skin/allergy problems and he has a steroid spray to help the itching on his ears which is causing his fur to disappear. 

After spending the past couple of weeks going to meetings to work on drafts of SEN Support Plans for our two ASD children, I think I may need to develop a special needs plan for Ludo!!

If only I could write him a visual schedule for his crate that he would take notice of so that he refrained from barking at 5.30 am each day to go out for a walk.  He is definitely a creature of habit and routine.  Clearly living in such a structured home has rubbed off on him!!

Monday, 2 March 2015

Changing the Windows

This week our upstairs windows are being replaced which to most families is a slight inconvenience with the disruption it causes, but everyone can cope.  We have had to put a lot of preparation in place to ensure our two ASD children know what to expect and will not be alarmed when they come home from school today and find a mess in the house.  

As the style of window is changing slightly, I have prepared them with a picture of how it will look, so that they don’t get upset as it will look different.  We have had a similar problem before when we had our curtains replaced with blinds.  By the end of the first day of blinds being up, our youngest son had pulled down half of the vertical panels as it didn’t look the same as it had that morning.

Both of their bedroom windows are being replaced first so that after today, no one else needs to go in their bedrooms and we can get everything back to normal again in their rooms tonight.  I carefully moved all of our youngest son’s soft toys this morning from his room under his watchful eye as he didn’t want any of them to get dirty.  Our daughter spent most of yesterday tidying her bedroom so that there is a clear walkway from the door to the window and with any luck she will now decide to keep it that way.  Although this could be wishful thinking on my part!!

Thankfully, most of the drilling and banging should be finished before they get home from school, as from a sensory point of view, they would have both struggled with the level of noise and would not have enjoyed being confined indoors for the day.