2 January 2017

A collaboration of SEND bloggers Children's Christmas successes

Hello! and welcome to my regular series, Marvellous Mondays. Here I will be publishing positive stories from other people, including my fellow Bloggers. These posts will be positive posts to remind us all on those hard and tiring days that it CAN be better. To give a little insight into other families and what they've achieved, any milestones they have reached with their children or anything that has made them happy that day. 
Marvellous Mondays was born when i had a really, really bad weekend with my daughter. It was a Monday morning and I started to write a new blog post about how i was feeling and what had happened. I found that I was making myself feel even worse and so i stopped and turned it into a positive post. It made me feel so much better writing about the The Many Things I Love About My Child
Anyone can join in with Marvellous Mondays, If you have a post that you wish to send me then please Email me at lotsofloveandaffection@outlook.com with a subject title of Marvellous Monday's and include a small description of who you are and a blog link if you have one. 
I'm really looking forward to sharing everyone's stories with you, and I hope you like them too.
I have taken a bit of a blogging break over the Christmas period. Spending time with family and friends and the usual chaotic life of having children with disabilities meant i had to put it on a bit of a back burner. On Marvellous Monday's today i am starting the new year with a massive celebration, of fantastic achievements that our children with disabilities have accomplished this year with contributions from my fellow SEND Bloggers.

Firstly i want to wish you a belated Merry Christmas and a massive Happy new year. I hope that all your dreams come true this year, I hope you have health, and happiness and hope by your side and I hope that you manage to achieve everything that you set your mind to.
Any achievement, no matter how small it may seem to the "ordinary" family is actually a massive celebration for families like mine and the other families who are featured in this post. I want to celebrate those successes, because sometimes those little ones can be easily forgotten or left behind when it all becomes too much for our little ones and the hectic lifestyle of becoming overwhelmed and enduring those cycles of meltdowns can easily overpower those successes and celebrations into oblivion.

On Christmas eve, I had to leave a note for Santa to explain to him that he needed to leave my daughters stocking presents in the living room, because in her words "I'm not used to Santa am I mummy" It reduces her anxiety every year if we do this, as well as with the tooth fairy too. Having someone enter her room at night is very scary for her. 

I want to tell you a little success story of my own which has got to be the most endearing thing that has happened in my family and i am so proud of my daughter for this. The kindness that my youngest daughter who is 4 years old (and on the waiting list for an ASD assessment) showed to my 7 year old autistic daughter is something that i am immensely proud of.

We started off Christmas day very positively, and all of the children opened their presents and were very happy indeed. Lola whom this blog is primarily about is very predictable at Christmas and birthdays and loves opening the presents but isn't always particularly excited about whats in them. She will eventually show interest, sometimes after a day or two, sometimes it can take 6 months. Its even been known for something to sit in her room or drawer for up to a year before she wears it or plays with it. She has special interests, which we indulge her in like, cards of any kind, Christmas cards, or match attack cards, pairs cards, or phonics ones. Not particularly to play with them in a conventional way, but because she likes to line them up, or count them (Counting is another special interest of hers) It just depends on what takes her fancy from one day, week or month to the next. Nothing is predictable. It changes constantly and when we least expect it. 

So when my youngest daughter opened her Little Live Puppy dog, which was on her Christmas list - and that she had been asking for for months - and Lolly showed a very special interest in it, things became very tense indeed. She did not leave her sister alone and it quickly evolved into an obsession to play with this toy and not share it. My little one was getting a bit upset because she wanted to play with this long awaited for toy and all she was getting was hassle. 

You see when Lolly becomes obsessed with something there is really very little we can do about it and doing what was right for all of them becomes a massive problem, because in a situation like this its very difficult to keep everyone happy. Lolly isn't very well adept at sharing, and doesn't quite know an effective way to play together that will enable them to each take turns with the dog. 

As a parent of a child that needs to have complete control over everything in her life it can be very difficult to make the right decision on what would be the best outcome for everyone. My heart ruled in the beginning and i was firm with her and told her 

"I'm sorry, its your sisters and you cannot take it away from her" 

While trying to distract her with her brand new baby Annabel crib and changing station just wasn't cutting it and the sensory construction bubbles and bricks just wasn't going to distract her at all. So in the end i listened to my head with a breaking heart and planted the seed in my youngest daughters head that it would be nice if Lolly could have the toy puppy and that i would take her shopping tomorrow for a brand new one that was exactly the same. You can imagine my predicament here. My heart was breaking for both of my children. I just couldn't risk putting my children through hours of violence and screaming that not making this decision would have caused. 

My darling daughter didn't even hesitate, she nodded her tiny little head and walked down the stairs and made the announcement that brought everyone to tears. She understood. She sacrificed her beloved puppy for the sake of her sisters breakdown. She loves her sister unconditionally. She is four years old. Three years younger and takes care of her like she is older. It literally takes my breath away.

So anyway, that was my Marvellous Christmas story and now i would like tell you of some other Special Christmas successes that these families will cherish the memory of forever. 

Jo Cooksey from -  First Time Valley Mum - Was ecstatic on Christmas day when her son opened one gift all by himself, She said “he done it all on his own and he had such a huge grin on his face whilst he was doing it!” This is a massive achievement for Jo and her son whom she prepared for the Christmas present opening by helping him open a present on Christmas eve and the day before to help with his anxieties as the big day approached. Mentally he is just not interested so to see him open a present on the day and show genuine enjoyment in the occasion was very much a highlight of their year. I think it shows very open and determined parenting to acknowledge this sort of difficulty in a child and to address the situation by preparing him with opening presents before the day really does make a special mum. Well done Jo, and son I hope that from now on he can enjoy the opening of presents on other special occasions like birthdays and hopefully by next Christmas he can manage two all by himself.

Becci Angell  from To Aufinity and Beyond was very surprised and elated on Christmas day when her son was quite sociable with the family which never usually happens. She said that “Various family members were chuffed with a cuddle and a sentence or two on his terms” For those of you that have autistic children yourselves you will understand how this feels when they are comfortable enough in the presence of other people to participate in conversations. I know for me that when Lola is engaged and finds something interesting she will have a very amicable conversation and I absolutely love listening to her show enjoyment in other people thoughts and opinions. So I’m right there with you Becci, A massive well done to your Son, and congratulations to you and your family who must have made him feel so much more comfortable to be able to show this level of unusual sociability. What an awesome achievement.

Afra Willmore who blogs at Mad Mum Of 7 said that her special Christmas moment was when her 17 year old pushed his 8 year old brother who is diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder, round and round in an old buggy so they could enjoy the crib service. Such thoughtful behavior, sacrificing his enjoyment for his families and helping to keep a young child calm throughout a service that was important to the whole family. Then on Christmas Day her eldest son and his girlfriend made huge allowances for him, they were happy for him to hide in a cushion fort and even cooked dough balls so that he could enjoy his day too without the added pressure of being served something he may  not of been comfortable eating.  The day after boxing day their very thoughtful neighbour had invited him round to play so that Afra could take the other children to cinema and lunch which he really didn't want to do. Its so important to have that time spare for other siblings in the house when children with Autistic spectrum disorder need so much extra care and attention others are often pushed aside, through no fault of own and to be able to spend quality time with them appreciating their needs to is invaluable, what a totally awesome neighbor she has. Afra said, “This is our first Christmas with a diagnosis and people have been amazing!!!” Merry Christmas Afra and family and a very happy and healthy new year, here is to many more occasions of inclusion and acceptance throughout the next.

Ann Hickman who you can find over at Rainbows are too beautiful had a very similar experience to ours as her beautiful son allowed his brother to play with all of his new toys for a whole hour before he got to play with them and proclaimed he didn’t mind and that he understood, how absolutely sweet and selfless is that?  

Whilst Laura Moore from Mum on a Mission was appreciating the very rare luxury of having a lay in until 8 AM. When you are a parent of children with special needs it really is the tiniest thing that can make us happy.

Even Mandi Morrison was appreciating the small things as her usually naked 5yr old fell in love with his Christmas eve fluffy Pajamas and wore them from Christmas eve all throughout Christmas day, and whilst she doesn’t have any problems with her boy running around naked she admits it made it slightly more comfortable when everyone else visited that day.

Lauren Square Peg Baker agrees with Mandi and had exactly the same experience with her 5 year old, and thinks that the fear of Santa Clause seeing him naked was the reason he chose clothes this year. Its so endearing the way children’s minds work. If only we could get a proper glimpse, Lauren was also just as happy to see her children eating their own Christmas traditional dinner of Chicken Nuggets and chips for Bella, and Quorn for Logan with no one else minding at all that they were straying from the more traditional styles of a Christmas dinner with turkey. It’s the little things hey. And look at how happy she looks.

Just like Laura Rutherford from Brody, me and GDD states that doing things their own way as a family, "stuff tradition" she says, "Making it our own, meant no drama or unnecessary stress and it was lovely" Well Laura, i must say it sounds absolutely perfect!!

Merry Christmas & A massive Happy new year everyone, Thank you so much for taking part in my Marvellous Monday's series, it has been so nice reading all of this and putting it together really has made me realise how special those little things are and how just a  support from others can go a VERY long way. 

I Hope that 2017 brings you all the success and happiness needed for a stress free year.

Lots Of Love,
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  1. A lovely heart warming post which starts the year off in a wonderful positive way. Thanks x

  2. Lovely, very happy for you all! We had similar success with some fluffy MLP pyjamas 🙂