HOUSE HUNTING

I’ve always been fascinated by houses. I used to draw up house plans (my Mum kept boxes of them in the attic) and sketch door knobs and windows, anything of interest, when we visited other towns, especially beautiful Bath. Moving to Ireland meant I could indulge my interest every week through the property supplements in the national papers and now I can escape to on-line house hunting heaven at any time of the day or night. And sometimes I do, especially as the idea of moving to somewhere smaller and more manageable really appeals.

It could be a fresh start, a chance to create the perfect home for my daughter and shake off bad memories and disappointments.

But the thought of moving is scary too. Will it be a safe area? Will there be good broadband? Will a developer build houses in the field out front? Then there’s the fear of losing my support network of doctors, babysitters, hairdressers, all those essential people that help us to live our lives in comfort.

Sometimes I look at houses and apartments in the city, but I also dream of moving to the country. Originally Wexford, but that ship has sailed. Now I’m being a bit more sensible and considering bungalows and cottages within easy reach of Dublin, and sometimes I go and look at one in real life, and explore the area, just to enjoy the space, the peace, the birdsong and the big skies above.

And so it was that I found myself one sunny morning heading out in the car to look at a run down bungalow near the coast.

Though this one did have a distant sea view…

More here

 

 

ACCEPTANCE WITHOUT MENTIONING AUTISM

Autism has dominated the ups and downs yet again this week. I’m glad that autism awareness month (April) has finished because I get upset that so many people are so aggressive about autism awareness and acceptance and I can’t listen to them.

So it was wonderful to realise that one of the characters in this book probably has autism, even though the word has not been mentioned so far. He is a clearly a little different, but his brothers and sisters just accept it, work around his differences and help him to exploit his strengths. I’ve not seen a better way to promote autism acceptance than this. In this story, he’s just another kid.

No big deal is made out of it. No-one is angry, no one is preaching about how he should be labelled or not. No-one is prescribing treatments, He is just a part of the family. I’m loving it! Though he hasn’t had any meltdowns yet…

 

Read more here

 

HALF FULL OR HALF EMPTY

Positivity is the thing right now, sometimes exhaustingly so. I’m very happy for those people for whom it works, but sometimes I find it all too much. And I know that I’m not the only one.

Positive people are said to be brave, especially if they are dealing with extreme difficulties in their lives. But sometimes I think that admitting that you see the world as a glass half emptyis ever braver, because apparently many people don’t want to hear that. We’re supposed to be perkily positive at all times, maybe not always for our benefit. Sometimes I wonder if it’s more for the benefit of those around us.

Yet as we suppress our true feelings, we’re being told to validate the emotions of our children. Hmm.

More here

ON FRIENDSHIP AND FACEBOOK

It was a school friend who invited me onto Facebook in early 2008. I was interested, but didn’t really see the possibilities, until I lost my job the following December. Within a few months my son had been diagnosed with aspergers syndrome and I was working with the Child Benefit protest group PACUB, and Facebook became the hub for special needs support and on-line campaigning.

PACUB is now dormant, but the friendships I made are not, and some have now become autism mums too. And it is the autism mums that I turn to on a daily basis because even though I also have a severely disabled daughter, it is autism that dominates my life.

 

Read more here

 

 

THE BEST AUTISM CONFERENCE EVER?

I was as excited as a small child going to her first birthday party. I’d bought the ticket forAsIAm‘s first autism conference back in December with no notion of how I was going to get a whole day away from the kids. But with the help of my wonderful babysitter and my eldest daughter, plus lots and lots of lists, it was done. And all went pretty well, except when I got one panicked phone call after lunch when Smiley got stuck in the hoist.

From the start it was clear that this was going to be a very special day. There was a stellar line up of speakers including the witty and wise Dr Peter Vermeulen, and the inspiring authorYvonne Newbold who has raised three autistic children and is living with incurable cancer, plus well-known psychologist David Carey; founder of AsIAm, Adam Harris, and many more.

 

Read more here.

 

 

THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP YOUR LIFE

I have a confession to make: I haven’t read the book. But with so many people talking about Marie Kondo, I’ve picked up a few tips and I’m thinking that I might be able to reduce the stress in my life by removing daily activities that do not spark joy. Sadly many of them have to stay. But making a few changes by following the principles in the life-changing magic of tidying up has given me several reasons to be cheerful for this week…

Starting with Socks

In this family we like to know our own socks, so everyone has to wear a different style. As a result I’ve accumulated a drawer full of hastily bought socks with dubious patterns on them that do not look very stylish when peeking out from under the hem of a pair of jeans.

So this week I “treated” myself to another set of black socks (with coloured toes and heels) which meant I could get rid of all the old ones that just annoy me. There’s nothing worse than the glimpse of a Santa hat on a sock in July. Well you know what I mean…

Read more here