The impact of a shortage of ADHD meds
Rainbows Are Too Beautiful
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1M ago
When Anthony was seven years old we asked for him to assessed for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) because despite all the help he was getting he could not settle or concentrate in class. Six months later he started a controlled stimulant drug to help him concentrate at school.   For the next five years Anthony had them everyday, not just when he was at school because without them he would fall apart.  ADHD meds have been in short supply recently and are not always thought of as being important, but to Anthony they were about his survival.  Anthony has an ..read more
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Helping my autistic son to have more responsibility
Rainbows Are Too Beautiful
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5M ago
There's been a lot of focus on schools and qualifications for teenagers over the last few years - and rightly so.  But being a teenager can mean learning a lot more than just academics.  For many kids this is the time they need to learn about  being responsible for themselves, learning the life skills they will need to become as independent as possible.  For some it will be learning about budgeting and time keeping for others this might be being able to make a meal or get dressed independently.   I've got three very different kids.  My eldest son is an auti ..read more
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Getting the kids ready for going back to school
Rainbows Are Too Beautiful
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6M ago
The school summer holidays is always the longest break in routine for our kids. Whilst our kids with autism struggle with these changes, many kids find the transition into and out of school holidays challenging.  Remind them of their skills  Whatever level your child is working at giving them a few reminders of their skills - of what they can do before returning to the classroom can help.  David can match some pictures with words and Jane can spend some time reading.   Jane has also written a small play on the laptop and this is great for thinking about spelling a ..read more
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Taking my kids to the Falconry display and crafting a barn owl family
Rainbows Are Too Beautiful
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7M ago
We're spending a lot of time at home this summer.  A combination of budgets, timings and other activities going on in our lives.  We are fortunate to live not far from Hampton Court and they have some events on.  This year we have been to the jousting which all the kids enjoyed and we also saw a falconry display there too.  It went well and we have a craft to make as well.  To prepare our autistic kids for the visit the first thing is my own preparation.  The displays are over a few days and at set times each day.  I chose a day and time of day that I thou ..read more
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How will our autistic son cope when he starts work?
Rainbows Are Too Beautiful
by
9M ago
My 15 year old son did a practice job interview at school today. He took in a suit to wear and practiced questions with us last night. For Anthony, this type of thing is really important. He was diagnosed with autism at four years old, and ADHD when he was around seven. We've been looking at colleges and my mind already races forward to the day ... a day he's looking forward to actually... when he gets a job. And I wonder about him in a workplace. There's been a big increase in awareness in the last ten years, since he was diagnosed, about neurodiveristy. In addition to school, Anthony has ..read more
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Mental health and our autistic son
Rainbows Are Too Beautiful
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10M ago
Earlier this year our eldest son really struggled with his mental health. He was missing lessons at school, struggling to cope outside the home and crying and worrying about his future a lot.  I read some recent research from Wysa that showed more than 8 in 10 teenagers are experiencing mental health worries, with 1 in 3 needing professional support. According to the research, half of young people can't access the support they need, with many feeling too ashamed or uncomfortable to talk to teachers or mental health teams at school.  New figures from leading mental health app Wysa ..read more
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Trying to tell if my pre-verbal autistic son is in pain?
Rainbows Are Too Beautiful
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11M ago
David is not like most other twelve year old boys. He's not got a favourite football team, he doesn't eat pizza and he's never played a game of Fortnite. But that's not surprising.  David is autistic and part of this means he's also never tied his own shoes, independently brushed his own teeth or used spoken words to tell us anything other than his basic wants.  And this means that one of my greatest concerns is that David will need to tell me something and he can't. And one of the things I worry about him not being able to tell me... is if he is in pain.  I've read some man ..read more
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Helping my autistic kids feel a bit better when they are under the weather
Rainbows Are Too Beautiful
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11M ago
Nobody likes feeling sick. Even minor ailments can get in the way of you going about your day. Add in not understanding why you are feeling unwell or how to make yourself better and it gets even more complicated. One of my kids not only doesn't understand what being ill or having a cold is or why it happens, he struggles so much with communication that he can't even tell us about it. We just have to guess that he's even more fussy than normal, or he is struggling even more with transitions today and looks really tired... maybe he's a bit ill? So how can we help him quickly? Here's a few thi ..read more
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Ways to teach our autistic kids about the natural world
Rainbows Are Too Beautiful
by
1y ago
Teaching anything to my autistic kids can be a challenge.  Even when it's an area that they are interested in it can be challenging to support them to learn when they have such significant difficulties with communication.  David is in Yr 7 according to his age but in many ways he's operating like a child who is in Yr1.  He speaks in only a few words and needs to be shown most things to learnt them as he only understands some of what is said.  He can copy a complex series of actions, but following instructions or understanding language is a whole other ball game.  So ..read more
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Will increased free childcare, in the budget, discriminate against autistic, SEN kids like mine?
Rainbows Are Too Beautiful
by
1y ago
The government has announced an extension to free childcare but a quick calculation shows me that if my son, David, was in childcare now... he would only get ... three... just three hours childcare a week, a tenth of that of his fellow peers. And all because he has autism.   If free childcare is going to be offered it needs to be offered without discrimination.  Anthony and David were both officially diagnosed with autism when they were three.  When it became obvious that Anthony needed more support to go to nursery and pre-school, the nursery applied to our council for ..read more
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