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PND | First Counselling Session | An Update

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about how my doctor had diagnosed me with Postnatal Depression.

I was referred for counselling and said I’d update you guys on my progress…so here it is:

I was given a call back and a telephone assessment, basically going over why I felt depressed. He also agreed I had “Perinatal Depression”, which actually covers more than just Postnatal Depression which means after birth, which is more accurate for me since my Depression first started when we lost our first baby.

We discussed my options and he thought 8 sessions of counselling would be a great starting point, at this stage the waiting list for counselling was 17 weeks! But because I fall into the “perinatal” category, I got moved up the waiting list so I was only 6 weeks away, but I actually had an appointment within 3 weeks, which was great.

I felt positive and happy to have taken the first step to help myself, which helped my mood to be lifted.

My first session nearly didn’t happen, the room was in a huge complex, hidden right in the middle around the other side of the building, so at first I went to the wrong reception. In my head this was a sign I shouldn’t go, I almost stormed off to go home, but I knew if I missed this session I’d be knocked off the list, so i fought my own mind’s negativity and although I was 5 minutes late, I found the room.

The counsellor was a lovely welcoming lady, I basically word vomited my whole life to her with all my anxieties and fears thrown in too, but she was great and didn’t make me feel silly for blurting it all out. She didn’t even need to say much, she just supported me in the decisions I was unsure about and basically told me that the way I am raising my children and living my life is OK and that I need to let go of the negative comments people make and just let them go over my head, she also thinks I’ve had a lot of trauma over the past five years of my life with losing two babies, Jack being really premature, my Dad passing away and a lot of other personal stresses that have caused me a lot of anxiety.

She thinks CBT will help me, once I’ve finished counselling. So I’m optimistic about that.

So my first counselling session went really well, I’m excited about my next one.

For those struggling with Depression who are thinking about starting counselling, I would say even after one session I feel more positive, it’s amazing the feeling that just making a forward step with supporting your own mental health can do.

There are so many options to help and support you if you feel depressed, you just need to take that step forward and the support is there, it isn’t a one size fits all and everyone’s story is different, but one thing that is true for everyone is that you should NEVER keep your feelings to yourself if you are feeling Depressed.

I’m keeping you guys updated to show how getting support for PND does work!

Here are some support links:

Samaritans

MIND

PANDAS

If you are in Lancashire like me this is who I get my counselling through:

Minds Matter

I will continue to keep you guys updated on my progress and if anyone wants to get in touch, share their success story or just to talk please comment or get in touch.

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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 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”.

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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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Bubbles

If you follow my blog, you’ll know my son Mikey is about to start speech therapy. He’s just turned two and still doesn’t speak, he makes the odd sound but no words yet, not any that he will say more than once anyway.

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There is a question of Autism that keeps getting brought up every now and again, but I’m all for the gentle approach, so we’re starting with some therapies to see how he gets on.

He is very close in age to his older brother Jack and people say the older sibling sometimes “talk for” the younger one, so that’s a theory I’m willing to accept, but I’m open to the option there is the possibility of other reasons for his speech delay. It’s a case of time will tell.

So he has an appointment for his first speech therapy session in January, but until then we’ve been given a little homework to help him. One was rolling a ball to each other to increase his eye contact, which does help, but we’re still getting the hang of sitting him still to do that and the other was blowing bubbles.

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It’s surprising how easy the word bubbles is to say and how blowing bubbles to your child can improve their eye contact. We’ve only tried it for a few days and Mikey is already saying the word bubbles, not every time, but it’s definitely improving.

Plus it’s something that all the kids enjoy and it’s not a strenuous task, there is never an bad time to blow bubbles for kids.

I’m looking forward to his speech therapy starting and to see how he progresses, I’ll keep you updated.

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Learning Success: A Review

Learning Success

All people are different…right? No two people are the same, we all know that. So why would our learning needs be the same? That’s because we all have different learning needs.

I know this very well I have two boys and girl and the boys couldn’t be any more different to each other in personality and in their learning.

But how do we teach our kids and cater to their diverse learning needs? Learning Success has the answer.

Learning Success was created by a great team of people including Liz and Phil Weaver, both with numerous years in Kung Fu under their belts, therefore they both have great experience in what works and what doesn’t with learning new skills and how to overcome issues.

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They’ve created this great online system, with daily lessons that spell out ways of thinking that are so simple, once you’ve read it, you wonder why we haven’t been learning this way all along.

My son Mikey learns differently, he is going through Speech Therapy and Portage at the moment, but I was struggling with how to interact with him and support his learning at home. With Learning Success I realised I was trying to cram too much into one day and we were bound to fail doing it that way. This way we do 15 minutes a day! That’s such a small amount right? But it’s the right amount, to keep Mikey interested and make sure his learning is about quality and not quantity.

It’s a great tool for parents as well as children, it changes your way of thinking and if you follow it and stick to it you are bound to succeed.

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The daily activities come straight to your email and are quick and easy to do, but make a lot of difference. After only using Learning Success I have noticed a difference in Mikey’s interaction. Suddenly he’s making eye contact and starting to say words instead of getting frustrated, this is something I’ve been waiting for, we tried everything and it all seemed to fail. Using Learning Success was a gentle approach to learning and it worked for us.

My eldest son has a quick approach to learning, he picks skills up really quickly and he even loves Learning Success too, I was focusing more on Mikey for the lessons because he needed more support but Jack enjoying joining in and taking part in the lessons as well so it can be used by the entire family.

The online system has a vast array of information and there is more, I’ve focused more on how it works with your child because that’s what I used Learning Success for and if I’m honest what I thought it was for, but it is for Adults too! Let’s face it, it isn’t only children who need learning support, at any age support can help with education, career or even just every day life and now Learning Success is here to help us.

Whether its reading, writing, math, spelling or something else, Learning Success is really what it says on the tin…successful learning. There isn’t many programs out there like this, it isn’t just a company trying to get you to sign up, this is really passionate people who actually want to help you. The videos and learning programs include the creators of this great site and it really shows they have put their heart and soul into making this programme so it works.

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My children aren’t of school age yet, but I know of so many parents whose child has been diagnosed with a learning disability such as Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, ADD/ADHD, or Dysgraphia, but are given no support on how to deal with it, well now learning success can provide you with the support to learn in an appropriate way that suits you and your needs. You don’t have to suffer with these problems, the help is there waiting for you with Learning Success, you just need to take it.

If you are waiting for the catch….there isn’t one. The only thing Learning Success requires is that you commit, you commit at your own pace in your own time. If you don’t do the lessons it isn’t going to work because you need to do it for it to work, it’s simple, easy and manageable, there is every reason you should get started today.

Here’s the link to their site:

Learning Success

Plus their social media pages:

Learning Success Facebook

Learning Success Twitter

Learning Success Linked In

https://plus.google.com/+Learningsuccessblogcom

Learning Success Pinterest

Learning Success Youtube