Friday, 18 May 2012

ASD Funding thresholds changed @ NSW schools

Interesting that the stop work meetings for teachers tomorrow is the opposition of the union to give Principals more power & control within their school over their funds! Funds have been pulled & redirected over the past several weeks already.

So ( deep breathes) where do I start! This is something myself & my family and friends with kids on the spectrum are very passionate and compassionate about. As we know the link between social confidence & learning is key. Children on the spectrum openly seek out sensory experiences.It helps to regulate their senses so that they can engage, participate & learn. So the most effective ways in which to achieve this is to have support within the school environment. This is imperative especially in the playground for social play where guidance is crucial.This is an integral part of Early Intervention strategies which we all know have amazing results the earlier we can start. Mainly to help others understand they have an unique perception, this needs to be  preserved and let to grow. To cultivate anyone's special interests empowers them and could ultimately lead to a source of employment for them regarding their passions/obsessions, to give them the WOW factor to others (NT). Their challenging behaviours are a survival mechanism and the last thing we need is this to be misinterpreted in any way.

There have been studies done that have determined that a large number of prisons comprise of ASD offenders as they were never given guidance, Early intervention/ were from dysfunctional environments.
So it takes no psychologist to see  that then there is a spiral downwards because of negative influences, drugs & alcohol.

This all seems dramatic but there are simple guidelines that can be followed in order to make carers lives, families and teachers so much more manageable and give a light @ the end of the tunnel for the greater picture. Only 20% of marriages survive an ASD diagnosis , often with the father leaving.

Asperger children are very sensitive to their emotional atmosphere and they are the kindest people I know too. Mild autism is a term that grates at me personally & many other professionals, as living with it from their perspective is very real & suggests that they will be fine & do NOT need any help, assistance/funding. They have problems reading subtle signals which we take for granted. So my theory is that all ASD should be commended and applauded for the enormous difficulties they experience everyday instead of criticising them.  As we all know the social skills that we all take for granted are something that needs to be nurtured even more than any ordinary child. Our kids are extraordinary to say the least. Working myself in the state school system caring & guiding them it is paramount for them to be happy, well adjusted being to fulfil their full potential. Many are dyslexic as well but you know if only life with a ASD was so simple...there is no Black & White about it. They have such a magic about them which is unique to just them.

          The saying goes that when you have met a person with Aspergers you have only met one!

So my point in a round about way! told you I was passionate & compassionate about this subject....Is it is a complex issue that needs much more clarity & investigation for the so called powers that be in the  Education system. If you care about people, have empathy for the world and cherish our greater communities, this is the time time to stand & be counted..if only to educate your own  families  of the importance of tolerance. So write to your local member, talk to people about this issue & be kind to someone who is different ultimately.
To avoid all the negative effects within communities they need the support to say the least, caring and guidance which comes with having the appropriate & necessary funding to achieve their full potential as they have so much to give & share with the world.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Life!! Got to love it....Grateful as can be!

     Things seem to coming to the sharp points of the year......still learning everyday to lean in & face life head on myself, things are never really as scary as our minds like to concoct! To surrender & trust in the process is vital, keep positive & focus on the moment. Always the temptation to Multitask too much....resist, resist as much as is humanly possible. Life lessons are in full swing @ these times for all.

Follow One Course Until Successful.
       With  looking around my environment everyone seems to be tired! All the usual life tests are present & the silly season to contend to as well! These are truly the times that we can be grateful for, to Thank the people in our lives that push, challenge & the ones that present life lessons, in order to better ourselves. There's all the Presentation days, Carols, Formals, Orientation Days, school Fetes, school camps, many family Birthdays still, gearing up for hosting extended family Xmas dinner, constant forking out of monies for you name it,  posting OS relatives gifts NOW, and of course the many handcrafted fairs to attend which I adore immensely! Blah Blah Blah... My diary is my savour!! write it all down so its not swimming around in the mind constantly, freaking you out ...just remember to be proactive with it.
     Happily now making the most of the lists I have made throughout the year as I hear someone I love mention a little something that is needed that will enrich their life in a positive way. Just to chase ALL the outstanding accounts for our business so as to pay for all this.
  The kids are very inspiring to me, their enthusiasm is priceless & very contagious, it does keep me grounded, high emotions are what fuels our passions and they certainly can have alot of that, wouldn't be anywhere else for quids though.
    Ssooooo ready for all the regular routines to just stop....and to let go of school & work & the dogma of these times , just for a bit ppllleeeease. To just be with my family is what I am grateful for, time with loved ones, beach visits, spontaneous outings, catching up with the special ones and the blessing of the soon to be arrival of our new family member for this world that only a couple of years ago seemed out of reach...very precious indeed!
  Today my Main man is building the much anticipated timber play gym which is the major family share pressie, very graciously I must say, stepping out of HIS comfort zone. The fabulous idea of helping the kids spend more time outside together & to be more self sufficient with their problem solving, also to be more forgiving of each others differences & celebrate them. Tolerance!

It is vital that when educating our children's brains that we do not neglect to educate their hearts. Dalai Lama

   We are always thrown curve balls in life but its truly how we react to these moments & what we learn from them which is key. Teaching kindness of heart is the greatest gift we can share with our children, they probably will go off the rails but to have that initial grounding to return to will serve them well. All we can do is keep the humour there & the path of communications open....everyday there are lessons everywhere. Things ARE ultimately out of our control, a path will open up just to change immediately in the opposite direction. I was recently promised 4 weeks full-time work, 4 days into it the teacher I was filling in for had his scheduled operation postponed due to unforeseen circumstances, so of course he understandably wanted to have his position back ce' la ve' ...the best thing was though that all the activities my kids are involved in the festive season/wrapping up school I CAN be present at & there for them , YaY!         Always plenty of work out there anyway, have now been working more hours just in 2/3 days than would have in 5 days. So that is my thoughts & so much to be grateful for if you know where to look & how to find it. What we do have is so much more precious than worrying about what we don't. Now I am happy for being presented with these opportunities and I will enjoy having all these precious moments imprinted that I will cherish forever!
LUCKY ME....loving kindness to all x

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Love our kids enough to teach Resilience & Coping Skills

       Tomorrow IS Another Day, Grateful for A NEW Day to          come..... the Weather is Blue and So are the Moods....

        Randomly Rapid, Rampart Tantrum has erupted!
      ( no not me , even though fighting the urge )       
     Which is completely compounded by the fact that the almost six year old has been suffering with being quite ill this past week, but ultimately pure & innocently ignited from a single spark ( a butterfly beats its wings in a forest you know this one) over a misinterpreted, misunderstood thought, it leads straight to stuck in the moment feelings of severely bugged & personally insulted beyond belief.         Fearfully saying to siblings" Stop Staring at me that's being mean"! for maybe stubbing his toe/similar, it becomes a major distressing episode, ( still developing to distinguish empathy from apathy in an instant) something we take for granted , we think its  a natural instinct?......getting completely & utterly absorbed within, nothing else exists in that moment, must be like self torture at times.
    All seasons in one day, just like the changing moods around here. To merely say 'that's just life get over it'! For with a certain general literal interpretation of human feelings is to say this is how you will always feel, this prospect must be both scary & confusing to say the least. Life is so much broader than this & that makes it so unique.
    Analogies work a treat I find with  current chosen obsession/ philanthropist tendency!? Reading the appropriate 'Feelings Books' from the series by  clever Author Trace Moroney helps as well, she advocates that children feeling valuable even by us simply listening to them, success follows people who genuinely like who they are. I love this point in particular. On the same point though Happiness is much more than just being successful. Helping them gain self-trust & positive self esteem which they need to handle failure, loss, shame, difficulty and defeat are equally important as well as painful feelings- anger fear and sadness - they gain inner security that allows them to embrace the world in which we live.

When life's strong winds come blowing, bend with them, & let go. By bending you will become stronger in new places. 
By letting go, you will be making room for the new & better.
Words by best selling Author Karen Salmansohn 
more inspiration @

       I can still be taken by surprise by the inability; after coming so far too; to anticipate onset & then the much recalled adrenaline surge which helps to unleash my highly trained 'catch-up on vibe fast ' skill. This thankfully distracts me from the familiar old feeling of just wanting to creep away to my quiet time out place for maybe half a day.....but you know whats needed in this moment for the betterment of all is to stand firm going with the happenings. So I do!
      Now is the time the safety zone has been set up in his mind, for his personality to now process the pent up emotion from the highly charged events of the day, its a constant learning curb we are thrown daily as the parenting ones. Its what we do with that well intended passion & energy is simply the key.
     So suffice to say it can all be set up to implode well before, making for a very spontaneous home atmosphere over past several years I assure you, never never never a dull moment....the unpredictability of life, hang on & learn to ride the waves of life!
      A typical unhealthy relationship has developed which is not a positive influence for both parties & frankly the opposite social/good friend mentoring we are practising @ home.
       But I DO want us to teach intolerance when it comes to these overpowering, aggressive, bullying personalities often through no fault of their own really. Often we think that when they leave that class / new school to the extreme, but Bullying types will always be around & throughout general life whatever your age.
      So our new family policy is to instil good coping skills & self preservation too. I now trying to instill a sense of comedy as well all the time standing tall & firm for the truth. Simple!?  blah blah yuk.
       All this time keeping their own temper & emotions controlled........Self soothing can come into play really effectively...........Many deep breathes first .............then try to practise separating self from given situation, but when you then hear "he follows me, he follows me, I can't get away from him  mummy"! then.. after personally recomposing from a hit for yet another six.......I reaffirm again ' try then using strong loud words' in order to express your unhappiness & Remember inform an adult straight away if continues. It could all pay off for them after several years in training & lots of situations to practise on.
     Becoming less of a target can be key to coping as well. My thoughts still come, this tends to become coping by detaching from the emotion of the still full tilt meld down happenings. My sense of wanting things to be better come from knowing it does change for the better after the hard yards are put in.
    So now I chant in the privacy of my own mind...Loving Kindness... Loving Kindness......Loving Kindness because knowing that this moment will pass with the promise of serenity again, now would be fine please! Well we all know that chanting all sorts of positive affirmations does soothe.
     Feeling somewhat content after making new apt with one of the much trusted & respected arm chair past professionals for a review in order to reinforce & support some new/ever evolving coping skills needed. Unbeknown to me whilst all these other moods are transpiring now we revisit the devastation felt when the favourite cartoon was missed & "it isn't on tomorrow Mum"! So here we go .... more Deep Breaths once & out, out & in....I too feel the need to join in this time......trying the gently smile trick! ;)
           Maybe just another western Buddhism student learning the impermanence of all things! With the practice of doing the tough parenting & for children to see the art of falling down, dusting ones self off & jumping straight back onto the horse! COPING skills, to be resilient, good, strong mentors around them who they have invested so much trust CAN be done.  Not letting the rose coloured cloud form too thick & low.........keeping yourself plugged into reality.
      Finally the ritual of brewing a cuppa has brought me back to a happy place, a good self medicated dose of 'Tension Tamer Tea' & then...I feel the need for Cacao (Oh my endorphins,  I can almost hear them singing!) worked a treat with me & also, just the tea, to my cuddly client,
       Special Note To Self : up the fish oil dose & also wouldn't hurt for all of us as well, just a feeling!  He now soundly Sleeps, therefore I sleep, night night all.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Silly Singing Sunday Morning

   Musical theme today in our household...Hubbie & I are keeping the silly twists going with making all our parenting comments into our very own Opera.....Aahh when will they learn?, aahh when will they learn?....its very important!, its very important!....we say that our children do hear us..... but we often wonder where are we going with this....we need to just trust & let it go.
    So even as our eldest is horrified (because thats what her mood tells her she should do) she cannot help but smile, although still hiding her head so as not to seem to be secretly enjoying it, #2 daughter does like to make drama into a sport so she can tend to hold firm longer, even though the sparkle in her eye is certainly there. All the while youngest just says "Mum Mum "with a huge beaming grin & is thoroughly entertained by all the love around & the joy this generates around the home but you know ultimately anything Lego with constructing inventions, does always take preference lets face it!!
   On goes the TV! huh.. there is That's Entertainment II on with the appropriate best snippets from Musicals, comedians of great & show tunes.....just love it when our lives imitate art, so I guess after such a serious week for this professional team..we obviously needed a well deserved release.

So Good Morning Good Morning, to you & you & you....Wishing you are enjoying your own quirkiness today. Who could ask for anything more....

Friday, 18 November 2011

what a relief not to hear the regular chant I DO NOT WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL tomorrow!

It feels so marvellous to be snuggling with kids & be released from the regular chants from youngest SCHOOL IS BORING & EVERYONE IS MEAN TO ME every morning....his heightened perception of specific fleeting events with male peers @ 5 years( kinder)bringing out certain traits which have been behind us for over a year now, very expected with all that is in the curriculum for first time learners of readers, writers & social prompting skills( playground antics). Small steps forward becoming aware & conscious NOT to become cave woman protector Bear cub woman!! Trusting in several years of early intervention, touching base with professionals to keep me sane & keep the little bloke on track with his coping skills constantly......forever evolving as he gets older & wiser! It is amazing to see my girls growing up as older sisters with these unique family dynamics, they seem to be wise & see life with openness & maturity way beyond their years! Its all a normal sibling rivalry household believe me but the issues seem to be tackled head on & come to a head more quickly these days....humour is the key because if life is taken too seriously it can simply do your head in !!!! Working full-time as a School Learning Support Officer for special needs @ local main stream schools Kinder to Year6 now ironically going back to a career that I briefly visited BC ( beforekids) & before running our family business . My knowledge @ home in the frontline has been invaluable in working with these precious individuals again who have such a unique quirky way of looking @ the world & we can all learn from the diveristy which is Autism....gently smile @ the world it does help!! <3