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Mikey’s Progress: Portage, Speech Therapy & Nursery

When Mikey had his two year check back in October 2016, I mentioned to my health visitor I had some concerns about the fact he wasn’t speaking, making eye contact or responding to his name.

The first avenue we took was a hearing test.

A few people had mentioned he seemed deaf or that he may have hearing problems, we went for a hearing test and he passed with flying colours.

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So the next route we took was removing his dummy and limiting his TV time, which improved his focus and he started to make a few sounds, but we decided together he needs some support.

So we had three options to explore: Speech Therapy, Portage and Nursery

This was October last year and I didn’t quite feel he was ready for nursery so, I went to a Speech Therapy drop in session and my health visitor applied for Portage, which went to a panel along with other applications and it was decided Mikey would qualify for it.

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Fast forward to January 2017 he had his first appointment session of Speech Therapy and is now saying the words: Bubbles, Up, Pop, Daddy, Jack, Bot Bot and Yeah.

He now goes to nursery twice a week and runs off without saying bye, then cries when I pick him up because he wants to stay there (charming).

Plus on Tuesday he had his first Portage session.

I felt nervous and excited about his first session with the Portage worker, I didn’t really know what to expect.

I knew their aims were to improve his eye-contact, socialising and interaction, we’d discussed that in the initial meeting and I felt happy with these goals.

The session went really well, she brought along some toys that meant Mikey had to give her eye contact and she put her thumbs up and said “good looking” every time he looked at her.

I saw a great improvement even after just one session, so I’m excited that he has this weekly.

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The fact is that Mikey is extremely clever, (like scary clever) he knows what he wants and he sees the world in his own way and he lives by it.

Time and time again I keep getting asked what “they” think is “wrong with him” by people, especially because the Autism word keeps getting thrown around.

NOTHING is “wrong” with him, there is so much right with him, he’s so intelligent and if anything overly independent for his age.

Plus it’s not for “them” to decide.

Who are “they” anyway?

Professionals who don’t know him?

I’m his mother and it doesn’t matter to me what label may or may not be given to my son, because to me a label doesn’t change who he is, I love him for exactly who he is right now, his quirks, his meltdowns, the special little moments we get together.

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It isn’t for anyone else to change those things, but of course I take into consideration that he may need support and I would never hold him back from anything that can make his life easier to live, I mean celebrities pay thousands for therapies, it can’t do any harm whatsoever, so my thinking process is…why not?

I’m having these therapies put in place for him, partially because his health visitor suggested it and I completely trust her judgement, he is a very kind person, with a lot of experience and really cares for Mikey. Also my own instincts as mother tell me that although it works for him now being self-serving and not interacting with others, that it may be a struggle for him when he’s older, but there’s a good chance it won’t be.

I’d rather him have gentle therapies now to support him at a young age where he knows no different and prevent any future struggles that may happen, than waiting to see if he has to undo habits once he is in school, when it will be much harder for him because he will have more of a comprehension of the fact it is support he is getting, rather than knowing no different.

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The support he is getting has improved his interaction, eye-contact, socialising and speech in such a short space of time, I’m so proud of him and how well he is doing.

If anyone else is going through a similar journey with their child please comment, I’d love to hear from you about your experience or just to know about your little one.

I will keep you updated on his progress.

Thanks for reading!

michael

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Mikey’s 1st Nursery Session & Vlog #1

So today is a day full of firsts!

Mikey has his first proper session at nursery at the same time as Jack.

Which means three hours alone time with my baby girl, that’s a first!

She has slept most of the time, so this is actual, real alone time! Another first!

Plus tonight I’m going to give Vlogging a go!

I love writing, I’m still going to blog, my love for writing is a need I have to get everything written down, it’s sort of like a counselling session, ha!

But some things I capture of my kids on video are just hilarious and part of why I do this blogging/vlogging business is for my kids to look back on it when they are older, I think they are way more likely to watch videos than read pages and pages of blog posts.

So I hope you’ll check out my YouTube and watch my videos as well as continue to read my blog! Here’s the trailer to my page, if you could please check it out and subscribe I’d really love it! Also if you’re on YouTube yourself, comment with your page and I’ll sub you back:

Also I’ll let you know how Mikey’s first day went, I’m very nervous!

He didn’t even give me a second glance! Good for him, sad for me!

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Prestige Flowers: A review

What better gift can you send than flowers?

Flowers suit every occasion, they are delicate, beautiful, hand picked and arranged perfectly.

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The next best step would be getting them delivered safely to your door in a beautifully designed box with the option of next day delivery (for those last minute shoppers)…

But surely there isn’t a place that can do all that and send a bouquet that is actually beautifully designed and decorated? There is…

Prestige Flowers

I have been lucky enough to be sent a lovely bouquet by Prestige Flowers, I ordered on next day delivery and the were brought right to my door the next morning in a beautifully designed box.

There were twelve beautiful roses surrounded by Lilies and red berries, held together in a sleek black and grey bouquet placed in a black gift bag with luscious long handles for easy handling. My niece has just had a baby so I gave them to her, what a great gift to give a new mum? They are always getting gifts for the baby but what about them? They are too tired to use any products or do anything other than look after this new little person in their life, why not give them a beautiful surprise delivered straight to their door and a gorgeous bouquet to look at as well as their precious new addition.

With Valentines Day just around the corner why not keep to tradition and send beautiful flowers but give yourself the reassurance of knowing you’ve ordered them and the bouquet will be beautiful and well presented…what are you waiting for, order now:

 

Prestige Flowers Valentine’s Day Bouquet

Look how beautiful they come out after just a few days

Overall, Prestige Flowers is a smooth and easy flower delivery service to use from start to finish.

Their site is quick and simple to use, with many options of bouquets and different flowers. The flowers themselves are fresh, beautiful and gracefully arranged, delivered straight to your door in a stylish box…plus next day delivery, you can order up to 9pm!

What more could you ask for?

Check out their site: Prestige Flowers

Also check out their Facebook page

 

 

 

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Holidaying as a family: Maintaining your health and your sanity.

Holidaying as a family: Maintaining your health and your sanity.

Life with little ones is hectic at the best of times, I should know I’ve had three in three years! Leaving the house is a daily battle, you almost need a military operation to pull it off and coming out the other end can leave you with some post-traumatic stress. It might just seem like a trip to ASDA, but to my kids it’s a defiant battle with three main targets, how to:

A) Give mum a heart attack thinking they are missing/been kidnapped

B) Find the most valuable and breakable item in the store and destroy beyond all recognition, making sure Mummy has to pay for the damage they’ve caused

C) Scream, Swear or just plain whine enough to make an entire store of strangers glare at mum like she’s raising the Antichrist.

That is just a trip to the shops, so how are we going to pull off a holiday? I mean all of us, leaving the house, for longer than a few hours and all coming back alive and unscathed…is that even a possibility?

Let’s be honest, we go on holidays to relax, unwind and escape reality, when you’ve got kids it can be really difficult to achieve that, especially in an unfamiliar place that you are spending your hard-earned money on. The average family go on one holiday a year, so that’s a lot of built up anticipation and expectations, you need to make sure it’s going to be worth it and that you actually unwind, relax and maintain your mental health whilst having your kids with you.

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Here are some tips on how to ensure you stay healthy, well and relaxed on holiday:

#1 Plan

Some prep before hand is essential to have a relaxing time, I don’t mean organised activities from hour to hour, I mean…DO YOUR RESEARCH.

Questions

First things first, your accommodation:

Does it have a travel cot?

Does it have a safe deposit box?

Stair gates?

Washing machine or nearby launderette?

Important factors you need to be aware of. The last thing you need is to arrive and realise there is nowhere for you to keep your expensive belongings or money safe and that your toddler or baby has to starfish in between you and your partner every night, because it’s either that or the floor when the hotel have no travel cots…I don’t know about you but I don’t find a swift kick in the face very relaxing and that is the reality of bed sharing with a toddler.

If you’re in a villa then is the pool gated?

If you’re in a hotel is there a crèche? Is it safe and governed? Or is there a creche nearby if you want to stay in a villa? 

Are there real reviews?

Check it all out, the key to a successfully relaxing holiday is peace of mind.

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Activities

OK so I know I said no activities, you don’t want to be rushing from place to place to get somewhere for a certain time, but it is handy to know what is going on in and around where you are staying.

If you know there is a certain show or activity you were interested on from say 1pm it might be nice for you to make your way over there in plenty of time, but if it gets a couple of days in and your on Google searching for where to go and what to do because the kids are getting restless, it just means more time wasted on that, that could be spent relaxing.

Have a little look on trip advisor before your holiday, find out where has the best reviews and save your self the disappointment of getting food poisoning from the 0 star restaurant you could have avoided.

2# Indulge and Hydrate

Drink, drink and drink some more…water!

If we’re talking about a summer holiday, especially abroad, staying hydrated is a no-brainer. I mean it’s a great idea to stay hydrated every day of your life, but when you are in an environment where you will become dehydrated rapidly, it’s important not only for your health but for your enjoyment to make sure you drink plenty.

You don’t want to risk causing yourself damage and ruining your holiday just because you forgot to drink, I mean you’ll get thirsty so you’ll more than likely drink, but it’s important to drink bottled water and be healthy. Even if you aren’t usually a “healthy” person, you are out of your usual environment so therefore are more at risk if you do dehydrate.

Little ones will have no idea they have to keep themselves topped up with water, they might tell you they are thirsty but don’t wait for that, make sure you remind them to drink plenty. It’s only a small detail that won’t even seem like a big deal, carrying water around with you, but it could be the difference between your holiday being relaxing and healthy or ruined by being unwell due to dehydration.

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Eat safe

Also make sure you eat plenty, if you’re planning on a busy holiday with lots to do, then don’t forget to eat and eat well! You are in an unfamiliar place so look at your surroundings, look at how hygienic the area is that you are eating in, if you don’t feel something is quite right then don’t eat it, but don’t stop your self indulging, you’re on holiday after all! It’s important to stay healthy but holidaying is a time of enjoyment so scoff the cake and for that week or two don’t worry too much about your waistline, a bit of indulging never killed anybody.

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3# Book Smart

Be realistic

When booking your holiday, you flick through the brochures and watch the adverts of the couple clinking their wine glasses together, snuggled in a shawl, watching the sunset. That’s great there’s no reason that can’t happen, but be realistic! If you are taking little ones with you, then book into a family friendly place, DO NOT book into a couples paradise.

Pandora’s Box

It’s all well and good thinking your kids are well-behaved, but when all the couples are cooing at each other over a candlelit dinner and you’re trying to contain Pandora’s box (a.k.a your kids) it isn’t that relaxing.

If junior decided to catapult meatballs across the room at a family friendly restaurant, then the waiter will no doubt duck without batting an eyelid because he will have become a master of dodging little people food fights and Freddie his new best friend with will be in fits of giggles at the other side of the room.

Whereas if Junior pie faces the guy who is about to change his girlfriend’s life by getting down on one knee, you won’t get the smirking glance from a fellow mum who knows what you are going through, you’ll get the laser stare of the ice queen who spent three hours doing her hair that your child has just streaked with spaghetti.

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Family Friendly

Trust me…just visit family friendly areas and restaurants! For your peace and tranquillity, even if there are kids running around, you can relax, because everyone’s in the same boat, your kids are running around too, there’ll probably be a crèche or some activities where you can leave the kids so you can get some one on one time. You don’t want to spend the entire trip red-faced or trying to contain a pack of wild beasts, set them free in the right environment, sit back and chill whilst watching the carnage unfold.

4# Open invite

I’m not saying invite the world on your holiday (1. Impossible and 2. Unrealistic) but it’s becoming an increasing trend to holiday with other families or even with a large number of your own relatives. If you don’t have friends (or you can’t stand the ones you have) and your extended family are the reason you need a holiday than this option may not be for you.

Multi-generational

But if Nana and Grandad need a holiday and love watching the little ones, it means you get lifetime memories with a larger portion of your family and let’s face it you’ve got ready-made, trustworthy babysitters whilst you clink the champagne glasses, cuddle up and watch the sunset (see, I told you it is possible).

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Bring your bestie

If your best mate has a family of their own, why not go together? Share a villa (half the cost for each other) you’ve got ready-made playmates for your little ones and you can take it in turns watching the brood of kids from both families while you clink, cuddle and watch the sunset (becoming more realistic now, isn’t it).

Basically, you are making your holiday cheaper (in theory), more relaxing (trusted babysitters & playmates) and more enjoyable (spending time with people you like). There’s every reason to expand the number of people coming on your holiday, for your enjoyment and also for your peace both physically and mentally.

#5 Where to go

Thinking of where to go? Think relaxing, beautiful sunsets, stunning scenery and an air of elegance…Tuscany is a region in central Italy, it is full of character and the perfect place for a relaxing family holiday.

If you’re like me and have a brood of kids, that make the thought of staying in hotel fill you with dread, then a villa is the place to go. No worries about disturbing guests or irritating staff with your kid’s wacky ways.

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Here’s the best place to rent a villa https://www.to-tuscany.com/

They have over 350 positive reviews on Feefo reviews and are a trusted merchant on there too: Feefo

They are also highly commended on thegoodwebguide.co.uk

Check out the To-Tuscany pages:

Facebook Twitter G+ Pinterest To Tuscany Blog Flickr Youtube Instagram Flipboard  To-Tuscany Newsletter

#6 Remember why you’re going

You want to enjoy your holiday, relax and rejuvenate. Make sure you don’t over do activities, booze or just not taking care of yourself. You don’t want to come home feeling like you need a holiday to get over your holiday.

Keep reminding yourself why you’re there and if something is stressing you out or making you unwell then don’t do it. Just remember these three key facts which sum up all the yammering I’ve done above:

  1. Stay healthy (Eat right & drink plenty)
  2. Make it easy (Do whatever gives you mental peace)
  3. Enjoy (Lay down, walk, dance, sleep..if it makes you happy then do it)

    BE HAPPY

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Proud Mummy Moment

The Proud Mummy Moments

Premature baby

When you have a premature baby the idea of the distant future doesn’t seem as important as it did before, all that matters is the next day, the next hour, the next five minutes. While they are NICU the outside world doesn’t exist to you anymore, all that matters is this moment and getting your baby through it.

Memories

When those days become a memory and you look back on what your little miracle has been through, it makes you so grateful for all they can achieve now they are out of the woods.

Luckily for us, Jack came home with no complications, he surpassed all his milestones for his birth date never mind his due date and was discharged from the paediatrician. He turned three in November and is about to go from two to three sessions a week.

Nursery

I popped in to pick him up last Tuesday and his key worker brought out his monthly review that she was filling in and said he’s surpassing everything, but they always look for an area of improvement so they are going to focus on his maths, he can count but they are going to develop his skills further. Great! I thought to my self, quite advanced if you ask me but he seems to be enjoying himself and learning more and more so who am I to argue.

This was when I mentioned increasing his sessions by one more, asking her to see when they had another morning session available. I explained to her, he started April 2016 with one three hour session, then in September 2016 I increased it again and it’s now January and we’ve increased to a third session. I’d like him to be doing 15 hours before he starts school, so I have an idea in my head of increasing to four sessions in April (12 hours) and five sessions by September (15 hours) then he will be doing 15 hours for a year before he starts school in September 2018.

The wrong group

I explained this to his key worker and she looked at me confused, saying he starts school in September this year. Nooo, I told her he was born November 2013, yes he will be one of the older kids, but he doesn’t start until 2018. She had thought he was more advanced therefore older and it turns out he’s been in the pre-school group all this time! Not only that but he was doing amazing in every aspect!

Advanced

I’m proud of my kids for hitting any milestones and for all of their achievements, but for Jack it is just that bit more amazing, he was born almost three months early weighing only 3lbs, he couldn’t breathe on his own and was only allowed 0.5mls of milk every 6 hours, how does he go from that to being the top of a class that is supposed to be too advanced for him?!

Proud mummy

He really is our little miracle, he overcame all the odds and now he’s surpassing everyone’s expectations, he makes me such a proud mummy, to have such a clever, special boy.

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Mikey’s Progress: Speech Therapy & Portage

If you follow my blog, you’ll know my son Mikey has just turned two and has recently been referred to SALT (Speech and Language Therapist) and Portage for some of his behaviours and the fact he isn’t speaking yet.

He’s only just turned two

So speaking to the everyday parent, everyone I’ve spoken to has had the same reaction “What?! All that intervention already? He’s only just turned two!”. 

Look, they aren’t wrong, but the fact is he is struggling in certain aspects of his life, it’s only a flicker at the moment, but his social skills, interaction and communication are just not developing at the “average” rate, and before you say it…I know! Every kid is different and Mikey is my extra special unique little boy, he looks at the world differently to the rest of us, he doesn’t tell me that, but I just know.

Therapy

So what’s wrong with a bit of therapy? That’s all it is! Some gentle support along the way, so if there is the chance of him struggling when he’s older, we don’t “wait and see”, we give him the support he needs now, there won’t be a huge barrier he hits in a few years. Think about it, celebs pay thousands for therapy, Mikey’s getting it free, why not?!

For those who don’t know Speech and Language Therapists provide support for a whole host of people with different support needs, one of which being children  who struggle to speak. 

If you ask Google what Portage is, it’s “The carrying of a boat or it’s cargo between two navigable waters” but for our little Mikey it means “a home-visiting educational service for pre-school children with additional support needs and their families”.

Bubbles

This week he had his first proper session of Speech Therapy, I say “proper” because the first one we went to was a drop in session where she assessed if he needed further support, which she did, so on Monday we went along and said “Bubbles, Up, Pop, More and Yeah”w we had been given “homework” which was a sheet of paper with tips on to improve his speech, so over Christmas we’d perfected “Bubbles”, he’d said the odd other word, but it was like he’s saved it all up for his speech therapist and since that first session he’s non-stopped babbled, it’s amazing to hear his little voice, I’m excited by how much he’s progressed, he seems so much happier already.

We had his initial visit from Portage and they just wanted to know all about him, us and our life. They were telling me about Portage and how they interact with him through play and that it will improve his interactive skills, I’m so happy they have this support available and that my little boy gets to take advantage of it, we start his first session at the end of the month, so I’ll update on his progress.

The world would be a better place

I know a lot of parents are in a similar position to me, there is an Autistic question mark floating around and it’s hard to know what is the right thing to do when it comes to letting intervention take place and introducing therapies. I’m only at the start of this journey, I don’t know if Mikey is Autistic, there is no way of knowing, but it doesn’t matter, he’s MY baby, no label is going to change how special he is to me or anything  about him, if he needs different support to other children, then so what? He’s unique and sees the world in his own special way and do you know what? I think if we were all a little more like Mikey the world would be a better place.

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Day 14: 365 Day Activity Challenge

Saturday 14th January 2017

So today was supposed to be Sensory Saturday but the boys have just wanted to be outside today and how can I deny them the enjoyment of playing outdoors?

So today we played bouncing…on a trampoline!

Ok, it’s a pretty simple activity, but there’s nothing kids love more than to jump around and since this is a safe piece of equipment they can use rather than jumping on my bed (which they do and it scares the life out of me).

So here they are at Nanny’s house playing on the trampoline.