Saturday, 17 April 2010

To Show You How My Heart Beats

I've been dipping into Talkability recently, a speech & behaviour therapy book that helps you to communicate better with your child and teach them social skills.

One of the chapter's I've been concentrating on is responding to your child's cues to start a conversation. Apparently they're more likely to respond if the topic is one of their choice.

I find it hard to talk with Lyla.

Firstly because she often ignores me, gives one word answers or if she does respond says something so confusing and way-out that it stumps me. And then she runs off.

So, when she came in this morning and put this empty red sweet wrapper in my lap, my first instinct was to put it in the bin.

But, having swallowed a whole chapter of Talkability last night, I used her action to try and engage her.

So, I said her name, then asked her what it was for, then paused - apparently this silence is a very important cue for an autistic child.

After a few seconds wait, she turned around, looked me right in the eye and said 'To show you how my heart beats mummy- it means I love you'.


I'm still beaming, it's such a privilege for me to be 'let in' to her world.

Let's hope there's lots more to come....

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Strange & Beautiful Nominated for Blogger of the Year in the MADS 2010!

Well, knock me down with a feather, some very kind readers of this blog have nominated me in the Mum and Dad Blogger of the Year Awards. Not only that, but you've also nominated me for most Inspirational Blogger of the Year too.

Whoever you are, please make yourselves known to me, so I can buy you a virtual glass of fizz!

And I'd like to extend this bribe, I mean offer, to any of my other lovely readers who care to vote for me!'ll be virtual fizz all round if I win anything...

I haven't been writing this blog long and I know autism is quite a niche subject and not everyone's cup of tea, so thankyou, I really appreciate all you readers who support the blog.

If you would like to vote for me, the procedure is very simple. Click on the MADS link in the sidebar, then click on Nominate Now on the MADS site. All they ask for is your name and an email address and the url address of this blog (which is )

And if you're feeling extra-generous, you could put me down for the most Inspirational Blog category too!

Thankyou :)

Monday, 12 April 2010

Young, Autistic & Stagestruck

After dealing with autism all day, watching it as my evening's entertainment is often the last thing I want to do.

However, I'm so glad I was cajoled into watching Young, Autistic and Stagestruck (Channel 4, Mondays 8pm).

The series follows nine autistic youngsters through their attempt to stage a variety show at a prestigious London theatre.

Funny and heart-breaking in equal measure, it was compulsive viewing, particularly for us as ASD parents.

What was so uplifting was seeing so many scenarios that are commonplace to our lives, but usually happen behind closed doors and are never aired on TV: the tantrumming, the sulks, the shouting, the hyperactivity, the swearing, the smearing poo, the rudeness and the odd behaviour, ....the sheer strangeness that is normality for a family living with autism.

Flicking through reviews of the programme, the word voyeuristic kept cropping up: this seems more a reflection of people's discomfort with autistic people and how they behave rather than a true representation of the programme, which was pretty sensitively handled.

What was particularly heartwarming was seeing the group grow in cohesion, the performers grow in confidence and the brave (!) directors' confidence grow in this unique bunch of kids and the quirky humour which ensued.

Can't wait for next week's episode!

Friday, 2 April 2010

World Autism Awareness Day

I just wanted to post quickly in honour of World Autism Awareness Day today.

April is International Autism Awareness Month. And last night, the Empire State Building and other US landmarks were lit up blue to raise awareness of autism.

I've been really busy recently on an art project to raise awareness of autism. I'll be posting about it shortly, but if you'd like a sneak preview, please visit my new site Living With Autism
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