The Dads’ Fire Circle – Supporting Dad’s Of Children With Additional Needs
The Dads' Fire Circle Blog
by The Additional Needs Blogfather
6d ago
Many of us have something that we started during lockdown four years ago… mine was to start ‘The Dads’ Fire Circle’, a place for Dad’s (or Dad figures) of children of any age who have additional needs, to gather. Some Dad’s have small children, some have children in their 30’s, but all are on a similar journey. Over the last four years, we’ve met online every month; sometimes just a handful of us, sometimes a few more, to chat, share, mutually support, and journey with, other Dad’s on a similar journey to our own. The Dad’s that come along are from all over the UK and even further afield in s ..read more
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The Domino Effect: Understanding Routines
The Dads' Fire Circle Blog
by The Additional Needs Blogfather
1w ago
James has routines, lots of routines, routines for many of the key moments of the day; there is the ‘getting up’ routine, the ‘breakfast’ routine, routines for ‘going to the toilet’, ‘having our lunch’, ‘having dinner’ and ‘going to bed’. The bedtime routine is quite complex as it involves physical items, songs, and prayers, there are lots of things to remember. This reliance on routines is not unusual for children, young people, or young adults (like James) who journey with a range of additional needs and differences. James is Autistic, has Learning Difficulties, Epilepsy, and Anxiety; and t ..read more
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Rob Burrow: An Inspirational Life And Legacy
The Dads' Fire Circle Blog
by The Additional Needs Blogfather
2w ago
On Sunday 2nd June we heard the sad news that Rob Burrow CBE, former rugby league player for Leeds Rhinos, England, and Great Britain, and high profile campaigner for Motor Neurone Disease (MND), a condition that he was diagnosed with in 2019, had died aged 41. His family, announcing this news, commented that “Rob has always been a true inspiration throughout his life, whether that was on the rugby league field or during his battle with MND. He never allowed others to define what he could achieve and believed in his ability to do more.” As far as we know, Rob Burrow never expressed a fait ..read more
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Counting Each And Every Blessing
The Dads' Fire Circle Blog
by The Additional Needs Blogfather
1M ago
As a parent of a child with additional needs, and especially as a dad, I so often need to be reminded of the importance of counting our blessings each and every day. Each day is rich with blessings, but we can often miss them, or dismiss them, without realising how important they are. I’ve journaled my blessings before, writing down three or four blessings that I can remember at the end of each day. It might be something as seemingly trivial as James happily going up to bed, or that we’ve had meals to share during the day. It might be something like a meeting about James’ care that went well ..read more
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When Our Child Becomes Nocturnal
The Dads' Fire Circle Blog
by The Additional Needs Blogfather
2M ago
Over the last few weeks, James’ sleeping pattern has significantly altered. Previously, he would be helped to settle in bed at around 10pm to 10:30pm, might be awake for a little longer, but then would sleep through the night until the next morning, typically waking up around 8am. More recently, he has developed a pattern of still going up to his bed at the same time, but perhaps an hour or so later (can be shorter, can be longer) he returns back downstairs to his den, wide awake and wanting to do things. All the lights go on and we’re all awake. On a good night, this foray downstairs might la ..read more
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So Here It Is, ‘Merry Christmas’ Everybody’s Having Fun?
The Dads' Fire Circle Blog
by The Additional Needs Blogfather
6M ago
This time of year, it’s hard to escape from the deluge of Christmas tunes; whether it’s on the radio, in shops, in TV adverts, the same old songs are everywhere. Probably the most recognisable is that 1970’s classic from Slade, ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’… Hearing it again for the millionth time today, the chorus of the song broke through to me and I heard the familiar words in a different way; I heard them as a parent of a child with special needs. “So here it is merry Christmas Everybody’s having fun Look to the future now It’s only just begun” I shuddered. It evoked a physical reaction in me ..read more
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Just Keep Swimming…
The Dads' Fire Circle Blog
by The Additional Needs Blogfather
1y ago
Can you swim? When did you learn? Were you inspired by watching one of the Olympic greats winning a clutch of medals at an Olympic Games, maybe smashing a World Record or two on the way? Adam Peaty celebrating a win When you started to swim, taking those first, tentative steps into the water, could you immediately swim like Adam Peaty? Of course not, it took them many years and loads of practice to get that good. But did you, after your first few swimming lessons, realising that you weren’t going to be picked for the Team GB Olympic swimming team just yet, give up? Did you let the fact that yo ..read more
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The Neurodiverse Coke Can
The Dads' Fire Circle Blog
by The Additional Needs Blogfather
1y ago
There is a great analogy that helps to explain why neurodiverse children (e.g. who are Autistic, or have ADHD) are perceived to be able to ‘cope’ and be ‘fine’ at school, but can become overwhelmed by the time they get home. There are so many stories about children who appear to be totally different in these two settings; the coke can analogy helps us understand why… Here’s Jack’s story: Tired Jack was up late last night, he wanted to play Fortnite with his friends and it inevitably ran on past bedtime. All that screen time made it hard for him to get to sleep, so when he was woken up to get ..read more
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Fathers’ Day – The Dads Collection!
The Dads' Fire Circle Blog
by The Additional Needs Blogfather
2y ago
On Sunday 19th June it is Fathers’ Day. A day which will be celebrated by some, mourned by others, a day of mixed emotions for more. Writing as ‘The Additional Needs Blogfather’, and as Founder of ‘The Dads’ Fire Circle’, Dads of children and young people with additional needs and disabilities have always been close to my heart, whether they are in the family home, apart but connected, or distanced. I’m one myself, as Dad to James who is Autistic, and also has a range of additional needs. Over the years I’ve created content that, while hopefully helpful and interesting to anyone who is involv ..read more
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Busting Ten Autism Myths
The Dads' Fire Circle Blog
by The Additional Needs Blogfather
2y ago
Busting Ten Autism Myths There are an awful lots of Autism myths out there; most are ridiculous, some would actually be quite funny if they weren’t so harmful, but they do seem to somehow persist in the national consciousness. So, here’s my guide to the top ten Autism myths and how we can bust them: “We’re all ‘on the spectrum’ somewhere.” Autism is a neurodiversity, a different way of the brain being wired. You are either Autistic, or not; so no, you can’t be “A little bit Autistic.” “Children can grow out of it.” Autism is a difference hard wired into the brain. It is an integral part of wh ..read more
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