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Sunday, 23 June 2013

Pathological Demand Avoidance Mind Map

Just a quick one to share this great diagram on PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance) which I came across. A fab resource for teachers, it gives some great ideas on how to approach Sasha in the classroom (but a lot of this applies at home too....!):

Also take a look at www.pdaresource.com if you're interested in learning more - lots of great links on there!
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Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Bin Weevils Bling Collector Tin Review

We were delighted to receive a Bin Weevils Bling Collector Tin to review recently.

What? You don't know what one of those is? Well let me enlighten you:


If you look further down, you can see what was inside this shiny tin. Eight super special figures, which includes a 'blinged' Tink and Clott and six crystallized Bin Bot characters. Plus 6 clear Bin Bot plinths and a sheet of glitter stickers.

Still none the wiser?! Well Bin Weevils are a great online game, a bit like (she whispers, arch enemies, don't say I mentioned it) Moshi Monsters. But different of course. It's a 3D online virtual world, where children adopt a Bin Weevil which they can then decorate, play games with, build a nest for and so on. It's free up to a certain point - like with Moshi, you can buy monthly membership to enable more features. Tamsin had previously enjoyed playing on the computer game, so she was delighted to receive this tin of 'real' (instead of 'virtual'!) play pieces. For some reason, she particularly liked the fact that the figures seem to go a little bit 'gooey' when dipped in water!

There are other playsets available which would extend play - this tin retails for around £9.99 and would make a great gift for any fan.

We were sent the above toy for the purpose of this review, but have not received payment. All the views expressed here are our own.
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Monday, 17 June 2013

Birthdays, Cakes and Great Ormond Street

May and June are always slow blogging months for me, mainly because I have so much going on in 'real' life that I struggle to find time for the computer! I do miss it though, so I thought on the eve of my 41st Birthday (yes, I am that old, really, I know I don't look a day over 35, thank you....) that I would do a quick update of what's being going on.

In a nutshell, birthdays. Oh and a Holy Communion, work, half term holidays, OT (Occupational Therapy) appointments and a couple of other bits and bobs too. 'Busy, busy, busy, always busy, lots to do', to coin a Sasha catchphrase.

So I thought I'd just drop in a couple of pictures to pass the time.... A snapshot of the proof of a lovely family Holy Communion picture, along with our gorgeous Angel:

My two birthday cakes for the girls this year. Tamsin's 8th birthday cake in May, a One Direction Disco Ball cake, done to her very specific blueprint:
One Direction Disco Ball Cake
One Direction Disco Ball Cake

Followed by a bright yellow Numberjacks 6 cake for Sasha yesterday (which was going to be a chocolate hedgehog until a week ago - luckily she gave me just enough time when she changed the brief!):

Numberjacks 6 Six Cake
And look away if you're squeamish... roughly what the scar on my thumb will look like after not being quite careful enough with the knife whilst sculpting the cake. Do not do this at home:
So I wonder what gorgeous creation I'll get for my birthday tomorrow?! 
Actually, my girls are like me on the cake front - I don't particularly like eating them, I just enjoy decorating them. Shame I do enjoy most other bad foods though, waistline never seems to go down....

Tomorrow we are off to GOSH/Great Ormond Street (yes, birthday treat for me!), to see the team who specialise in High Functioning Autism. I'm a little nervous, despite requesting the appointment ourselves and having to wait 5 months for it, as I'm not quite sure what to expect. It's two and a half hours, and it'll be a lot of talking and questions to answer, for us and for Sasha. Let's hope she likes them and agrees to stay longer than 10 minutes!

Part of me is hoping that they will agree with my thoughts that Sasha has PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance), as to have a professional put that in writing will just help smooth her transitions a little more. On the other hand it won't really change who Sasha is and the fact that people really have to get to know her and not just treat her as any other child, or indeed as they may treat any other child with autism. 

There's that old saying: 'if you've met one child with autism, you've met one child with autism'. Sure, there are some common traits, but I see few between Sasha and other autistic children I know, and few between Sasha and other NT children I know (like our older daughter!). However I do know she has some truly amazing traits and we love her to pieces - never a dull moment around here, that's for sure!
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Friday, 7 June 2013

Paultons Park and Peppa Pig World Fun

How was your half term holiday? We had a lovely week off, although it already seems like a distant memory now we're back in full swing on the school runs. 

I'm going to split our story of a fabulous day out at Paultons Park (Peppa Pig World!) into two posts, and see if you can spot the different angles I'm coming from.

We drove down to Southampton on the Sunday of half term. I'd wanted to combine it with an overnight stay (the girls just love a hotel room!) but Mr C wasn't so keen. Luckily it only took us just over an hour and a half to drive there as we didn't encounter any traffic problems, phew! Sasha is not a happy traveller in the car if it involves a journey longer than 20 minutes. We know we are extremely lucky that she has not yet been physically sick in the car, but the travel does make her very sick - you can see the colour drain from her, and she becomes what I call 'quietly distressed'. I know that sounds like a contradiction but I see how upsetting it is for her - she wants to leave the car, but knows she can't. Fortunately the 'reward' at the end of the drive is often just enough to get her through the travel without trying to open the car door and leave (yes, we still have the child lock on for her; you never can tell when she might change her mind!).

So anyhow we arrived just in time for the park opening at 10am, and were delighted to see there wasn't yet much of a queue. We had bought tickets online in advance - cheaper and the queues to get in with a pre-printed ticket are generally smaller.

We headed straight to the Peppa Pig World section of the park and saw that there were already some fairly long queues for rides. We realised though that they were nothing how they'd look like towards midday, so we took our chance and went on Grandpa Pig's boat ride first of all, followed by a quick trip in Peppa Pig's car. 

After that, it was already getting busy and Sasha had only one thing on her mind - the Muddy Puddles Splash Park! So I toddled off there with her whilst Tamsin and Daddy went to find a few of the 'bigger' rides nearby to have fun on - Tamsin loves the Viking Ship and the Jumping Bean. 

Sasha played happily in the water for a good 40 minutes, until she decided abruptly she had had enough of that. We joined back up with Daddy and Tamsin and went to explore the rest of the park - the big Skyswinger ride is one of the few 'grown-up' rides that Sasha really loves (can you zoom in to spot her big grin?!).

Along the way we played in playgrounds and sandpits - always seems strange on a big day out when they choose to do something which they could otherwise do at home for free, but it certainly makes them happy!
Tamsin loves the bigger thrill rides such as the rollercoasters, and the Edge, so Sasha had a very quick go on a bouncy castle while Tamsin did that. Then we drove some racing cars round a track (Tamsin with Daddy, Sasha with Mummy) and I think both girls agreed that Mummy was the better driver.

Next we spent some time in the main big splash park - well, when I say we, I mean the girls went in and got wet whilst we had the chance to sit down and rest our feet for a short spell. After that we headed back to Peppa Pig World to go on the rides we hadn't been on at the beginning of the day, and we were still there at Park closing time.

Sasha declared that we would have to go back for another visit soon to have a go on the remaining Peppa Pig rides that we didn't quite manage, and we all left happily, despite having been stripped of a few extra pounds in the Peppa shop on the way out (balloons and soft toys, Daddy's favourites...). Leaving the car park was also pain-free, no big queues for that, and we were lucky with the drive home too. So all-in-all a fab family fun day out. Top Marks to Paultons Park for a fab clean park with good facilities and friendly, helpful staff. Am guessing we'll be back soon.....!

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