Family Fun Linky #10

31 March 2016

Welcome to Family Fun a brand new linky! The linky runs from Thursday to Saturday and all bloggers are welcome to add any type of parenting post.

Join me in a community of bloggers. Link up and share family experiences, successes and failures, laughter and tears and offer support to one another. 

Why not share your Parenting Posts, Craft ideas, recipes, days out, photo stories, weekly roundups etc with friends?

All posts welcome!


How to help sleepwalkers

30 March 2016

Dear Friend,

Our night time visitor has appeared twice now. He walks into the room with a confused look on his face and when I say: Hello, what's wrong? he answers, I need the toilet but then walks towards the utility off the kitchen. I lead him towards the toilet and quickly to avoid accidents. 
I'm not sure if he wakes but we usually have a short cuddle and then I take him up to bed. I have to direct him as he is very sleepy. In the morning he doesn't remember. Apparently Hubby used to be a sleep walker so I thought I better find more information and see if there is anything we can do to try and stop it happening. I am concerned about him injuring himself. 



Sleepwalking is when someone walks or carries out complex activities while not fully awake. 


Sleepwalking is common in children with 20% of children sleepwalking at least once. It usually happens when children are in a deep sleep within the first few hours of them falling asleep. 
That would explain why Little man has appeared at around 10 p.m.

What happens when a child sleepwalks

  • Sitting up in bed and looking around, briefly appearing confused.
  • Getting out of bed and walking about.
  • Getting dressed or eating. 
  • The child may appear agitated. 
  • The eyes are usually open, though the child will look straight through people and not recognise them. 
  • They may respond to you or say things that don't make sense.
  • Most sleepwalking episodes last less than 10 minutes, but can be longer. 
  • The child may wake up or they may return to bed and go to sleep. 
  • They won't normally have any memory of sleepwalking in the morning or have patchy memory. 
  • If woken while sleepwalking, the child may feel confused.


  • Make sure they are safe. 
  • Gently guide them back to bed by reassuring them. 
  • Sometimes, gently waking them after they have fully come out of the episode, will stop them sleep walking again during the same deep sleep cycle.
  • Don't shout or startle them



Why some people sleepwalk


There is no known cause of sleepwalking however, you are more likely to sleepwalk if you have a close family member who also sleep walked.
Sleepwalking triggers in children 
  • not getting enough sleep 
  • infection with a fever (especially in children) 
  • certain types of medication, such as some sedatives 
  • sudden noises or a touch, causing abrupt waking from deep sleep 
  • waking up suddenly from deep sleep because you need to go to the toilet
  • Make sure your child goes to bed at a similar time each night 
  • Make sure the bedroom is dark and quiet when they go to sleep 
  • Limit drinks before bedtime 
  • Make sure your child goes to the toilet before going to sleep 
  • Build in wind down time before bed, share a story 
  • If your child sleepwalks at the same time most nights, try gently waking them for a short time 15-30 minutes before they would normally sleepwalk  this may stop them sleepwalking by altering their normal sleep cycle

When to seek medical advice

Occasional sleepwalking episodes don't usually need medical attention. Sleepwalking is rarely a sign of anything serious and may get better with time.
You should see your GP if the sleepwalking episodes occur frequently.

The little man has had episodes of sleep walking when he has had a late or busy night, when we have not stuck to the usual routine of shower, story, toilet and bed. He appears to wake because he needs the toilet. Hubby and I have decided to stick to our routine, even when late, to try and keep a regular bedtime and to limit his drinking at night. I hope that will help, fingers crossed.

Do you have a sleepwalker? What are your useful tips?

I found my advice on the NHS website.


The diagnosis

29 March 2016

Dear friend,

The battle over diagnosis, is a battle that I think many parents of children with additional needs have. I know that before diagnosis there were so many conflicting thoughts running through my head that I didn't know what to think. The signs were there and concerns would pop up but there was always an answer. 




Why isn't he speaking as much as other children his age?
He is bilingual it will take longer.

Why doesn't he respond when I call his name?
Maybe there's a hearing problem, let's check it out.

Why doesn't he want to cuddle with me?
I wasn't a cuddly baby according to my mum, he's just active.

Why doesn't he cling on when I carry him?
He doesn't like to be carried. 

Why must he always have a toy in his hand?
He just likes cars and trains like loads of boys.


Why must we watch the same program over and over?
Don't all young kids do that, I've heard other parents complaining too.

Why does he run away from me when we go out?
It's me he doesn't want to be with me.

Why isn't he interacting with the other kids?
At this age they all play alongside each other.

Why doesn't he play? He just lines things up.
OK this one worries me, I know that means autism.

Why does he keep spinning?
He just likes to move.

Why won't he eat different things?
I'm a bad cook I don't eat healthily it's my fault.

Why does he keep bumping into things and falling over?
He's clumsy like his uncle. 

Why doesn't he point at things?
Should he be?

Why doesn't he fall asleep?
Is he ill? Maybe he needs less sleep than other kids.

Why does he want all the labels out of his clothes?
He's sensitive, it's making his skin red, it's one of those prickly labels.

Why is he overreacting because we are not going to toddler group today?
He's just tired.

Why does he put his hands over his ears?
He doesn't like loud noises, he screams at the drill.

Why did he cry when the men took the broken washing machine?
That's kids for you!

Why does he want the same story every day?
He likes routine.

How does he know the name of every Thomas train?
He is gifted!


The answer was provided by myself, family members or friends. 

But at some point the answers started to feel like excuses and the doubt grew and grew until it consumed me with guilt. 

I felt like I wasn't providing what my child needed. He needed something more. 

Hubby and I agreed that we couldn't ignore it anymore, we knew there was something not right. I dared to breath the A word, to put it out there. Could he be autistic?

But I knew, deep down locked away in the furthest, darkest, less used part of my brain, I knew and the truth has a habit of lighting up those darkest reaches with even the tiniest most insignificant flame.
  
I wasn't prepared for the backlash from some.


He can't be autistic he gives eye contact, he's clever, he's loving. 

You don't want to label him too early was the response from others. This is something that I really wrestled with... At the time the response made me angry. I felt like it was an old fashioned reaction and wrapped up in shame. Like the days when autistic children were hidden away in institutions. We don't want to admit that someone in our family has Autism. Let's brush it under the carpet. And don't mention it to...

Perhaps, in hindsight I was wrong and their intention was different... 

In the early days of diagnosis it is easy to grasp onto the label so hard that you are in danger of losing sight of what really matters, what is really important, the child. Your world becomes filled with Autism.

As parents you spend so much time focusing on the problems, laying out the negative behaviours to psychologists, therapist, Drs, teachers that it becomes all you can see. 

The information you are given quite frankly scares you to death. The future, your future, their future has suddenly changed and is now filled with a type of uncertainty that you never knew. 

It can draw you in and fill you with anxiety. All you can see is that bloody badge. 

I didn't want people to look at my son and just see that badge. I didn't want it to limit his life!

But it is simple, without that badge you do not get the support!

For me there was a point when I changed...when I stopped focusing on the autism and looked at my child for who he is and the badge got smaller. It never goes away but it becomes less scary, less significant, less like the enemy...

My son will not be defined by his autism. he will be defined by his love, his passions, his sense of humour, his loyalty and warmth, his amazing memory and his intelligence...




Autiquotes: Quotes about Autism



My aim is to spread a positive message about autism through my writing and to help my son to grow up in a world of understanding, compassion and acceptance.




Parenting from a special perspective with Lisa from mrssavageangel

28 March 2016

Ever wondered what it is really like to parent from a special perspective? Parent to a Special Needs Child? Where do you turn for help? What challenges do you face? What has surprised you? What have you learned? Every month I will be featuring one of my brilliant fellow SEND bloggers and sharing their reflections on raising a child with special needs.


Lisa has been writing over at mrssavageangel for nearly three years. She is a stay at home mama to her 4 year old son Oscar. She lives with Oscar and her husband Ben in leafy Surrey. She writes about parenting, Oscar’s Autism diagnosis and weight loss. 



1. When did you first realise your child had Autism?

I guess on some level I’ve always known Oscar was different. He refused to breastfeed, could roll both ways by 16 weeks and was walking unaided by the age of 10 months old. He played differently to his friends, either turning his toys over to look at the underside or lining up his beloved cars. But our first real worries came about when Oscar’s speech development was not keeping up with that of his peers. By the age of 18 months he would repeat certain words, but would not use them spontaneously. Shortly after 18 months he stopped doing even that. Everyone tried to tell me it was normal, that some children don't start talking until much later, but I just knew in the pit of my stomach that this was not a work-a-day speech delay.

I asked the HV to come and see him at 2 years old. She tried to fob us off,with the same ‘some children talk later’ guff but when nothing had changed a couple of months down the line I called her back and she referred him to a paediatrician.

Silent Sunday

27 March 2016


Photography: Silent Sunday. 1 photo no words...

Weekly Roundup #12

25 March 2016

Dear all,

It has been a week of celebrations for us. First we celebrated Oma's birthday then I celebrated being nominated for Blog of the Year in the MADs (seamless plug). The boys have worked really hard and made excellent progress at school (parents evening) and finally I celebrated my birthday.

We have been out and about on our travels, enjoying time at the beach in Katwijk and Noordwijk and exploring Leiden. We have spent some time Easter crafting and made some fabulous sock bunnies and minions eggs for the boys to eat at the Easter Breakfast at school.


My birthday was extra special this year as it was Spring breakfast and all the children in group 3 and 6 sang to me and I had to wear a special crown. On the afternoon we had a walk along the beach in Noordwijk and the boys enjoyed themselves playing on the swings then we went for dinner in one of our favourite beach cafes Zee and Zon (sea and sun). The baked muscles were gorgeous and I was so full I had to turn down desert!


Our week at a glance





My favourite moments this week were:

  • Family fun at the beach - messing around on the swings
  • Lunch in Leiden at the Koetshuis cafe. The boys were so well behaved.
  • Making Minion eggs for the boys to take to Easter Breakfast.
  • Beautiful bright pink roses from hubby.
  • The boys waking me up singing happy birthday.
  • Little man holding hands with me in the car.
  • Both boys getting great reports from school.
  • Chatting with my brother on Skype.
  • Opening birthday surprises with the boys watching excitedly.
  • Being nominated for Best Blog of the Year in the MADs.
  • People linking up to #FamilyFun. I love reading all the posts, such a great variety and brilliant bloggers.

Monthly Roundup: March




Like this post? Check out more of my Weekly Roundups here

Family Fun Linky #9

24 March 2016

Welcome to Family Fun a brand new linky! The linky runs from Thursday to Saturday and all bloggers are welcome to add any type of parenting post.

Join me in a community of bloggers. Link up and share family experiences, successes and failures, laughter and tears and offer support to one another. 

Why not share your Parenting Posts, Craft ideas, recipes, days out, photo stories, weekly roundups etc with friends?

All posts welcome!



Family Safety: Why you should check your car tyres

23 March 2016



Dear friend,

In a couple of weeks we are taking a little road trip. I always remember my dad checking the car before we went away and I encourage hubby to do the same. I would like to say I am very hands on when it comes to car maintenance but I'd be lying! We have followed the traditional roles and the car is definitely hubby's domain. Something I regretted the last time I had a flat tyre!



My parents were visiting and we decided to have a special day out together and planned a trip to the zoo. You know what it's like trying to get a family ready, well add in two extra adults to share the bathroom and it seemed to take us all ages. Anyway breakfast finished we all squeezed into the car; I don't know who was more excited to see the tigers, grandad or the boys. However, no sooner had I set off than I could feel the wheel pulling in one direction and stopped quickly. We had all failed to notice the flat tyre as we piled excitedly into the car.

Rather embarrassingly I had no idea where the spare was or what type of tyre I would need to buy to replace the punctured one. Fortunately for me we live around the corner from a garage and we got the spare put on quite quickly and then went to get a replacement from a nearby tyre specialist. If you are totally clueless, like me, you can always check out the website from Point S, they have this brilliant tool that allows you to put in your registration and number and they tell you the type and size of tyre that you will need. I didn't realise that you should stick to the same size and type - and ideally the same brand and tread pattern - when renewing tyres.

According to a recent survey almost nine out of ten drivers do not check the overall condition of their tyres as often as they should. The statistics found that 78% of men said they were completely confident they knew how to check the overall condition of the tyres on their vehicle by themselves. Women were less confident at 43%.

Why you should check your car tyres


A faulty tyre can pose a serious safety risk. If your tyres are worn, your stopping distance is increased and you are more likely to get a puncture. As well as being dangerous, driving with worn tyres can also be costly with the fine for one tyre being up to 2500 pound, rising to a possible 10,000 for four. But who can put a cost on the lives of their family? Thank goodness we did not get our puncture whilst driving at speed on the motorway, I hate to think what could have happened.


Basic legal requirements (AA)

  • Tyres must be compatible with others on the car and generally in good physical condition
  • Tyres must be correctly inflated to the vehicle manufacturer's recommended pressure
  • Tread depth must be above the legal minimum which for passenger cars is 1.6mm throughout a continuous band in the centre 3/4 of the tread and around the entire circumference
  • You don't have to carry a spare and it doesn't have to meet the legal requirements while it's stowed away. It may however affect breakdown cover if you don't carry a serviceable spare

How long is it since you last checked your tyres? The advice is to check monthly.  Point S, have over 201 UK tyre centres (click here to check they have a location near you) and further information is available on their website to show how to check your tyre pressure and tread and how to change your tyres. Go check it out. As we head into Spring and start having more family days out, involving longer journeys it becomes more important to check your tyres, especially after driving through all those winter pot holes. Put your family's safety first. 

I am not going to wait for hubby to check the tyres this time. I'm off to do it myself! Come on ladies why don't you join me. Let's beat that 43% statistic next time.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.


Book Corner: Monstersaurus

22 March 2016

My book corner choice this month is: Monstersaurus by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort.

You may have read other books from this popular pairing as they are responsible for Aliens love underpants and Dinosaurs love underpants, both of which are favourites in our house. When I spotted Monstersaurus on offer in the supermarket I couldn't resist. The RRP is £5.99 but we picked it up as part of a special offer.

Autiquotes: Quotes about Autism



My aim is to spread a positive message about autism through my writing and to help my son to grow up in a world of understanding, compassion and acceptance.





The MADs factor

21 March 2016

Dear friend,

I used to love the X Factor. It dominated my Saturday nights for years. The glitz, the glamour, the clothes, hair and makeup and of course the singing. I loved finding out about the contestants the most and as the weeks progressed it was the main topic of conversation with colleagues and friends. We all had our favourites but certain people stood out; the characters, the exceptional talents, the ones with a story to share, who pulled at your emotions.

Now I find myself in my own reality show (well kind of). It is awards season in the blogging World and I have become wrapped up in the excitement and buzz created by the MADs and BiBs.

So which contestant am I and why would anyone want to give me their vote?







As I find it toe curlingly embarrassing to big myself up in any way at all. I'm going to hand you over to my fresh voiced, lovely and brutally honest blogging pal, Katie aka Mummy in a Tutu.

An Imperfect Mum... what kind of contestant would she be? Well let’s look at her info shall we? Catie quietly slinked into the blogging world in a very subtle way, whilst writing such poignant posts as ‘Is My Child Invisible?’ that when reading completely pulled at your heart strings and whilst emotional left you craving more of her writing right from the start. Catie started by writing about her feelings, thoughts and emotions and has gone on to writing posts such as ‘Advice for Parents of Children Newly Diagnosed with Autism’  and has gone out of her way to share all her highs and lows in a bid to help every other parent with a child who has autism. 
Catie came into my blogging life quite randomly, through one of the lovely comments she leaves on every blog she reads and I now could not imagine my virtual world without her. What has made me return to her blog again and again is her optimism and the way that she draws you straight in to what feels like a giant hug right from her ‘Dear Friend’ at the beginning of each post. The Diary of An Imperfect Mum inspires me... it inspires me to be brave and honest in my own writing and to face whatever I need to. 
You should also take a look at her Photography as she has a way of capturing thousands of words in one simple photo of both her family and wherever she may be. Catie also created her own link up called #FamilyFun which is fast on the rise and provides a wonderful place for anyone to share their own highs and lows and what makes it even better is that she really goes out of her way to leave such wonderful messages on the posts that are shared with her.
If you are looking to be inspired or for friendship, honesty or a virtual world hug then there is no other blog I’d rather go to.
So what kind of ‘X Factor’ contestant would Catie be? She’d be that quiet talent that you love right from the first audition who will probably surprise us all in the end!

(Thank you so much Katie for writing this. I actually cried when I read it!)

I'll leave you with a small speech too in typical X Factor style:

This means everything to me, it's all I've ever dreamed of. 
If you vote for me, I'll work so hard. 
Just give me a chance, please! 

But seriously, my blogging journey (Did you see what I did there?) has been pretty epic. 

I started the Diary of an imperfect mum with a few short posts; feelings, thoughts and ideas that I had been bottling up for a long time, that I had scribbled on paper, typed in notes on my phone or kept locked away deep inside. I have said it before but blogging for me is; like breathing out... 

As the mum of a special needs child it has given me the opportunity to open up and speak honestly, passionately and positively about the 'normality' of our life and provided a vehicle to raise awareness and acceptance of difference. 

Over the past year I have started my Autiquotes series: Quotes about Autism, reflections that I have made in my posts on Diary of an imperfect mum only in a more accessible form. I also shared my Hysterectomy journey by journaling my experience and completed the series with one of my most popular posts: What has having a Hysterectomy taught me. What I enjoy most about blogging is that it enables me to look back and see how far my son has come, to focus on the positives, like in these posts Life lessons my autistic son has taught me and Autism is...

I am very proud of what I have achieved so far but I don't just mean the statistics. I am most proud of the wonderful comments from people. People who have laughed, cried or perhaps learned something and felt compelled to tell me and to share my posts. Thank you to all of you who have supported me! 

SO which X factor contestant am I? I am the one who never in a million years would have done this if it hadn't been for her son showing her that anything is possible! 

Silent Sunday

20 March 2016



Photography: Silent Sunday. 1 photo no words...


Liked this photograph? Come and see some more.

How to make a badge for your blog

19 March 2016

Dear friends,

Want to make a badge for your site but not quite sure how?

I remember that feeling. I spent ages on google searching for the answer last year when I wanted to make a badge for Diary of an Imperfect Mum. I'd seen them on other blogs and thought, that's a great idea. I need one of those.

I searched and found a site (can't remember which but there were lots) that gave me a long list of code that scared me silly. I have no idea about coding. But then I came across a website that generates the code for me. How fabulous is that?



How to make a badge for your blog 

1. Design your badge 


Choose an image: Now as these badges are generally small, don't go for anything too fancy.
Use a clear font: You don't want too much on the badge and it needs to be readable.

  


There are many image editing apps and programs available.
PicMonkey is very popular and I have used it a lot. I also use the FontCandy app; I love this and make a lot of my titles using it as I have it on my iPad and it is super quick and easy to use, with a lot of searchable images. I also use Fotor this gives me really high quality images.

2. Resize your badge. 


Most people make their badges around 200-250 pixels wide.
It is important that it is a suitable size for people to place in their side bars, anything bigger may not fit properly.

3. Place your badge on an image hosting site. 


I use photo bucket but there are many popular ones.

Why do you need an image hosting site? 
You need to have a url for your image to make the badge.

Upload an image to the site.
Copy the url for the image.
(In photobucket you need the direct http: code shown on the right of the selected image.)

4. Generate the code for your badge.


This is the clever bit. I use Grab my button Code Generator.



You only need to add 3 pieces of information:
  • Your website title
  • The url you want the badge to link to
  • The url for your image (see number 4)
It is super easy to use!

When you have added the above information. Click preview.
If it looks ok then select to generate the code.
You can mess around with the look of the box, colours etc if you are more confident.

5. Copy the code and paste it into your site.


In blogger: go to Layout and add a gadget. 
Select add html code and paste the code in. 
You can then put the badge wherever you want it.

6. Final Tip: Save the code.


I like to paste the code into a post and save it in my drafts for future reference.

Happy badge making everyone!


I wrote this post to help any new bloggers after making the #TribalChat badge for the lovely Katie over at MummyinaTutu.

Weekly Roundup #11

18 March 2016

Dear all,

This week has been all about growth. I have been reflecting a lot on how much the boys have grown, physically and emotionally this school year. Maybe it is because we have parents evenings coming up and I always like to be prepared (you may have seen my post last week) or maybe it is because spring is on it's way.

I love changing the accessories in my house to suit the seasons and one of my favourite Dutch traditions that I have adopted are the Easter branches (Pasen takken). Whilst I got busy inside Hubby got to work power hosing the garden tiles and cleaning the furniture. As soon as the temperature rises a bit I'll be off to get the pots replanted and will be making our garden feel gezellig again.


Our week at a glance




My favourite moments this week were:

  • Watching little man play football. Second 'proper' game and they won 3-1. 
  • Sun and light flooding into our house.
  • Our favourite ice-cream shop has opened for the tourist season. We couldn't resist!
  • Decorating the house for Easter.
  • Little man's excitement when his grass head started to grow. It looks fabulous.
  • Beautiful snow white roses. 
  • Organising a surprise for the boys, shhhhh.
  • Pas takken decorated with brightly coloured eggs.
  • A brilliant lesson with one of my pupils where we laughed and laughed until our sides hurt.
  • Watching the sunset at the beach in Katwijk.



Like this post? Check out more of my Weekly Roundups here

Family Fun Linky #8

17 March 2016

Welcome to Family Fun a brand new linky! The linky runs from Thursday to Saturday and all bloggers are welcome to add any type of parenting post.

Join me in a community of bloggers. Link up and share family experiences, successes and failures, laughter and tears and offer support to one another. 

Why not share your Parenting Posts, Craft ideas, recipes, days out, photo stories, weekly roundups etc with friends?

All posts welcome!


Family fun at the Goat Farm

16 March 2016



Dear friend,

I am very happy to say that I can see definite signs of Spring appearing. The mornings are getting lighter, there are touches of green everywhere and flowers appearing at the side of the road, then hubby came home and said; Shall we go to the farm?

A spring trip to the farm is a bit of a family tradition, we have been going since the boys were tiny. My immediate reaction was; Do you think it's too early? But hubby assured me that he had noticed many lambs in the fields on the way home so off we went.

I love our annual trip to the farm as for me it signifies the start of Spring/Summer. This is a time of year that I absolutely adore; sitting in the garden until late, family BBQ's, trips to the beach, long walks with the dog after dinner, kids playing out, suntanned and happy, bike rides and sunshine!

Family fun at the Goat Farm


The farm is set in beautiful surroundings and the boys rushed ahead eager to get there. We had tricked them as we said we were going shopping for new clothes! The old farm buildings are beautiful, they have a shop and restaurant too selling their self produced biological products. Entrance is free but they ask you not to bring your own food and drink and you pay for the milk and food for the goats and for pony rides. 

The boys wanted to dash straight off to their firm favourites, the pigs and were delighted to see that a new litter had just been born. I loved the little one giving itself a good scratch on the wall. Next we headed off to the shop to buy milk to feed the kids.

Most of the kids were a bit sleepy and not so interested in feeding but we managed to find some that hadn't been filled up by enthusiastic children. The kids also enjoyed eating the boys laces and a little girls pony tail, which my little man found hilarious.
Little man ended up surrounded by hungry goats at the play ground and was shouting; I'm king of the goats. The boys also enjoyed climbing through the goat door and playing on the slide, swings and seesaw. 

If you want some peace and to escape the business of the farm for a while, you can hire a boat and have a row along the river.
Other animals at the farm include, cows and calfs, chickens, ponies and rabbits. 

Before leaving we couldn't resist another sneaky peak at the piglets, especially as little man had bought himself a cuddly one. And my little farmers had a ride on the tractor too.

I can't wait for more family adventures this spring.


For any Netherlands readers the farm we visited is Boerderij het Geertje near Zoeterwoude. I would highly recommend a visit!


Liked this post then check out more of my EXPAT series here.





Autiquotes: Quotes about Autism

15 March 2016


My aim is to spread a positive message about autism through my writing and to help my son to grow up in a world of understanding, compassion and acceptance.



Silent Sunday

13 March 2016


Photography: Silent Sunday. 1 photo no words...

Weekly Roundup #10

11 March 2016

Dear all,

This week is all about awakenings. I know it isn't spring yet but the signs of spring are everywhere. Driving to work I noticed that the mornings are a lot lighter and there are crocus growing on the sides of the roads. Then hubby came home and said shall we go to the farm. Seeing the new born animals is a real sign that those long, lazy days are on the way, when we can once again live outside; enjoying warm evenings in the garden, eating BBQ food in the fresh air and making the most of our beautiful surroundings with long walks and bike rides.

Happy days are here again, almost...


Our week at a glance



My favourite moments this week were:
  • Seeing signs that Spring is on the way!
  • The little man having a fabulous time at his birthday party. 
  • Lunch time out at our favourite fish restaurant.
  • How the little man is becoming such a poser!
  • Beautiful flowers from my hubby. I am really enjoying practicing my macro shots with the flowers hubby brings each week. (You can see my experimenting on Instagram.)
  • The big lad did his presentation about Autism with confidence and got a 8.5/10.  
  • #TribalChat launched on twitter and the hour flew by. Thanks for organising MummyinaTuTu. What a great bunch of women.
  • Lots of new faces joined in #FamilyFun and thank you to all of my returning friends. I am really enjoying hosting my own Linky, I love joining in them.
  • The piglets at the farm were super cute, my favourite was the little one scratching itself on the wall. 
  • Hubby and I had a lovely beach walk on our own, it was a beautiful sunny afternoon. Quality time together, bliss!



Like this post? Check out more of my Weekly Roundups here

Family Fun Linky #7

10 March 2016

Welcome to Family Fun a brand new linky! The linky runs from Thursday to Saturday and all bloggers are welcome to add any type of parenting post.

Join me in a community of bloggers. Linkup and share family experiences, successes and failures, laughter and tears and offer support to one another. 

Why not share your Parenting Posts, Craft ideas, recipes, days out, photo stories, weekly roundups etc with friends?

All posts welcome!



Parenting from a special perspective: Diary of an Imperfect Mum

8 March 2016

Ever wondered what it is really like to parent from a special perspective? Parent to a Special Needs Child? Where do you turn for help? What challenges do you face? What has surprised you? What have you learned? Every month I will be featuring one of my brilliant fellow SEND bloggers and sharing their reflections on raising a child with special needs.

I was contacted by Family Point Cymru and asked to complete an interview for their website to raise awareness of autism and hopefully help fellow SEND parents. Meg asked such great questions and I really enjoyed answering them. She inspired me to start the parenting from a special perspective series. Here are the questions and my answers. What Parenting from a Special Perspective means to me...

When did you first realise your son had autism and how did you find out?

A rather abrupt nursery teacher told us our son was; ...like a special needs child... at age 2 ½. But we had also noticed things at home. He never really pointed at things, he was quite floppy, his play was very different, he lined things up. He hated having his hair cut and would wander away from us when we went out.



How did you feel when you found out that your son had autism?
A real mixture of emotions. First relief to know we weren't going mad there was something, hope because he was diagnosed early and I had heard that early intervention was key and also scared as I had no idea what the future would bring. 


Where did you first turn for help?
The centre where my big lad was diagnosed told us he was too young for therapy from a psychologist so we had no idea what to do. I asked my GP and the health visitors. We were referred for speech therapy and physio therapy. 

What advice would you give a parent who suspects or has just found out that their child has autism?
Don't panic! Always focus on your child and not the diagnosis.
I have written about this in detail at: Advice for parents of children newly diagnosed with Autism.




What exactly is autism? Did you know what it is when it was first diagnosed?
I am a primary school teacher and had worked with children with Asperger's syndrome so I had some understanding of Autism through my work and training. 
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability which affects how people communicate and understand the world around them.


What are the biggest challenges facing you, your son and your family with regards to your son’s autism?
The biggest challenge for me is the lack of support. I think parents are put under a lot of pressure to coordinate their child’s care, be their advocate and to essentially become the expert. My biggest worry is that we are making the right choices for him and what his future will be.

What has been the greatest help for you, your son and your family in overcoming these challenges/in living with your son’s autism?
School: we found a really good school and have had amazing support from them. We had parental support from a psychologist to talk about our worries and concerns this was fantastic! Starting my blog. Writing about our journey has been really cathartic for me and it is great to link up with other SEND parents and follow their stories. 

What has surprised you the most about raising a child with autism?
The stereotypes: That autistic people are loners who don't want friends, that they don't show empathy or love that they are either non-verbal, low intelligence or rain man with nothing in between or that autism can be miraculously cured. 
As the saying goes: So you’ve met one person with autism then you have met one person with autism. Everyone is unique! 

What’s the main bit of/the best advice you’d give any parent who has a child with autism?
You are the expert, as you are the one that really knows your child. Don't let people tell you what your child is capable of be ambitious! Push them to achieve, they will surprise you. 



Generally, what have you learnt about parenting, life, people or children from your experiences as a parent of an autistic child?



Being a parent is challenging but we need to trust that in the end we will all arrive at the place we need to be. Our experiences are unique and it is how we choose to respond to them that will define us.


Next month we will hear from the brilliant mrssavageangel.

If you would like to join in the series please DM me.

Thank you to Meg at family point Cymru for her questions. 

Autiquotes: Quotes about Autism


My aim is to spread a positive message about autism through my writing and to help my son to grow up in a world of understanding, compassion and acceptance.




Silent Sunday

6 March 2016


Photography: Silent Sunday. 1 photo no words...


Latest Instagrams

©spectrum mum ~ www.spectrummum.com (diaryofanimperfectmum.com) 2014 - present day. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to spectrum mum with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
© Spectrum Mum. Design by FCD.