I can’t leave my children alone

I do not wish to bore you, my readers, with stories of my own childhood. However I just want to tell you this story and encourage you to read my latest blog. 

When I was 14 I had my own rather large group of friends. In my school year I spoke to almost everyone, mostly all of my classmates. When I was 14 I had responsibilities, not just in my home but school and towards my classmates. My mum and dad could have a lie in at the weekend, they could depend on me to get ready for school, put a washing, iron my own clothes and keep my bedroom “tidy”. I was permitted to go out with friends and even have sleepovers.
Now I’m a mum of children with disabilities, it is a completely different World…..
Jack is fourteen. He has been diagnosed with Autism, ADHD, GDD and severe behavioural issues and although he has the body of a young man, mentally he is nowhere near 14 years old. Yes that makes me sad to no end. Daryl is eleven years old. He has Epilepsy, GDD and also severe behavioural issues.

I cannot leave them unsupervised. I would love for them to have the same responsibilities as I did but it’s just not appropriate or feasible in any circumstances. When given the opportunity my two oldest boys will destroy anything they are given unsupervised access too. I spend a fortune on bathroom products because my boys ruin everything due to their sensory needs. In the past three years Jack and Daryl have broken two front windows, a glass panel in my front door, six televisions, six tablets, PlayStation Computers, sky boxes and also furniture…

Since last August Daryl has completely changed and I am struggling. In fact myself and my family are. Lately it has been truly difficult and testing times. Other than breaking things in the house, he is also targeting his toddler wee brother. Kyle is only two years old and just wants to be Daryl’s friend. Kyle adores him and follows him around. 

I have begun to take Kyle with me if I have to leave them together. If I don’t there is a massive probability that Kyle will be hurt. It is truly awful. I follow them everywhere just to make sure they aren’t eating anything they shouldn’t or breaking household products or ruining things. 

It is a truly stressful living situation and my boys need supervision at all times. Hopefully in a few weeks it will ease slightly as we will hopefully be moving house and all of my children will have their own space.

Xxx

Dear Andy, it’s Father’s Day soon….

It has been a shitty time recently I know. For the past year or so it has been truly testing times for us. We have been married for almost two years now and you are my rock. You are the one I love, my best friend, my partner in crime and the one person I depend on most in my life. It has not been been an easy journey. You were only 22 when we had our first date. I was a single mum when we met. Not just any single mum. I was a mum with two young children who had special needs. From the moment we met, I was completely honest about my children. We became amazingly close and you knew everything about them already. You were my bestie. We spoke on Facebook, text and phoned each other almost every single day.

You were very young when you became an important figure in my children’s lives and you have never let us down.

We met on Facebook. Now I know you hate the page that we met on but I can truly say if it wasn’t for that famous DJ and his debateable page we would never have met. I know people will be rolling their eyes at this but I will be forever grateful for “internet dating” 

When  we met it was usually a comment this DJ had offhandly made to get huge clicks and likes, a debate going to interact with his followers. Massive clickbait. But it worked every single time….He was an amazing “fisherman” and well, to be honest we all got reeled in. The people on that page that I got friendly with had arguments about the teams we supported, why we supported them and why we defended them. I met a few amazing people on that page and I’m pleased that I’m still friends with them now.

Andy you asked me out on a date and I said yes and I then I horribly and ashamedly let you down because I thought you were too young for me and we wouldn’t have anything in common. How wrong was I? We finally went on our first date in the 27th April 2012. You met my boys soon after. We were so close already and it didn’t scare you taking on my children from a previous relationship. You stepped up. You embraced my boys. You took the time to get to know them, play the daft games, play outside, set up their tablets or computers. You even organised their birthday presents. 

I truly think that you are completely amazing. You are almost six years younger than me yet you act more and more mature than me. When I tell people of our age gap. I always get the same same reaction. We look and behave the same age, sometimes. You took on me, all of us, I was a single mum and had her two kids. My two children with additional needs like Autism, ADHD, GDD, severe behaviour issues and Speech and language delays. Well you fell in love with us all. I’m sure folk ask how can you take on all that baggage? The truth is that you didn’t need to….. Andy you wanted me and my kids and now we have Kyle…. Our family is truly complete and I love you always xxxx

What’s Autism Got To Do With Elections????

I have barely slept for the past few weeks since Theresa May announced the General Election on the 8th of June 2017. Now I’m positive you’ll be asking why you worried? It doesn’t affect me. What has the Election got to do with me? Please, please bear with me as I explain. Voting for the SNP councillors in the local Government council elections have nothing to do with supporting Independence. Seriously I know you’ll be shaking your head aye right. They honestly don’t. These elections are preventing a free for all for the Tory Government to do whatever they please when it comes to the upcoming Brexit negotiations….

Scotlands First Minister has been very clever in putting Indy Ref Two on the table before Brexit Negotiations. How can Scotlands imports and exports be negotiated if the EU don’t even know if Scotland will be part of the UK if Independence is voted for. .

Please get out there and vote!!!

I spoke to a very very close family member recently. The local SNP MP and SNP councillors were canvassing in the area and knocked on their door. I know the MP. I sent an email to his office not expecting a reply at all. I explained to him in an email my families dire living conditions a few short weeks ago. He stood up for my family and I got an outcome I was completely happy with.

So….. what’s Autism got to do with it? The Tory government have cut disability benefits and then imposed sanctions on those who need support with living. Thousands of benefit claimants were then interviewed by a private sector company who claimed these people were fit for work. Thousands of people have died due to these sanctions and it was a fight to get the figures published. The Tories have removed thousands of lifelines in the form of mobility cars. People are losing the right to living their lives freely. If I hear the PM use the line Stong and Stable leadership once more, I will Scream. She is a well trained robot. The Conservative Government have also imposed a two children tax credits limit and also imposed the ” rape clause” The sad thing is women who have been raped will not want to prove this. It makes me so sad that individuals are punished to benefit the rich corporations avoiding their Tax obligations in this country.

It is well documented that the Tory government will protect those who are rich and take away from the working class and disabled people. Jack and Daryl will need support for the rest of their lives. Let’s face it, I am not immortal. I wish for an independent Scottish Country because I truly believe when I am not here, my children will be protected….

Please do not waste your vote voting for the Conservatives because you dislike Nicola Sturgeon or the SNP. I am personally asking you to please use your vote and protect the most vulnerable in our society. I am asking you to protect Jack and Daryl… I am asking to you vote SNP Councillors.

Don’t you dare feel sorry for us!!

I have had many, many conversations with people about my boys and their disabilities. Jack is 13, he has Autism, ADHD and GDD. He can be extremely aggressive. Daryl has special needs too. Daryl is 10, he has Epilepsy, GDD, speech and language difficulties and he too is aggressive. 

The conversations I have had have been both formal and informal. Friends and family are curious, Professionals have forms to fill out and teachers are with my children Monday to Friday except holidays.This has happened continuously and the look that they have given me is always the same. Head cocked over to the left or right side and wide eyed. “Awe I’m so sorry” or “I don’t know how you do it”. Sometimes they don’t say anything, quickly change the subject but I know what they are thinking. 

I don’t want you to feel sorry for us. My children are happy and healthy and that’s all that matters to me. They aren’t having an unhappy childhood. They are having a different one… Nothing less. 

Please don’t feel sorry for us or my children. In his own way Jack is  extremely happy in his own little world. This includes playing offices and watching wrestling. He loves his tablet. He’ll watch the same video over and over.. That makes him happy. Jack is an excellent big brother to Kyle. He’ll play with the toys with him for a wee while and he always knows how to make him laugh and that is special.

Ive finally taught him to keep the volume down low so the wrestling audience isn’t the only sound in the room. I can tell when he’s fed up and wants peace and quiet from the craziness of our family because he gets up and briskly goes to his room. It’s then I know he’s just had enough of me, Andy and his brothers. This is fine, everybody needs alone time. 

Daryl has his own interests and activities such as his tablet,wrestling, building blocks, cars and his top activity is music and dancing. He’ll get onto any dancefloor at a party and does his best to breakdance, dance and jump around like the other children. He enjoys interaction with anyone and would sit for hours showing me or the closest person what is on his tablet.
“How do I do it? My children are extremely hard work and home situation can be stressful. I am lucky enough to have an amazing husband who has taken on two step children and he loves them and treats them the same as he does Kyle. Andy works full time so I am always here for my children.

I do it because I’m their mum, I do it because they need me. I would do anything to support my boys. Most importantly, if I didn’t do it, who would? 

I will never stop fighting for my babies.

I have had constant ideas over the past few days of my next perfect blog and I have written and rewritten many things. I ended up deleting them all.

Here is a quick introduction. I’m Sam and I am a mummy of three amazing boys. Jack is my oldest and he is 13, he has been diagnosed with Autism, ADHD and global development delay. He has severe aggression and can be extremely violent. He also has limited speech. Daryl is 10, he possibly could have Autism. He has Epilepsy, Global development delay. Severe speech and language problems and he too can be aggressive. Kyle is 2 years old. He’s the baby of our family. He is showing no autistic traits yet.I am married to Andy who is an amazing daddy to Kyle and step dad to Jack and Daryl.

I have had numerous meetings over the past week for my boys. A meeting at Kyle’s nursery, a meeting with social work and respite provider. Finally a multi agency meeting for Daryl which ended up having the most positive outcome.

Over the years I have had many battles with professionals to get the help my boys so desperately need. I fought for a house when my relationship ended with Jack and Daryls dad and had to live with my parents with my two young boys. I fought for a social worker who has been a shining star at times. We fought together to get respite for the boys which has allowed them to have weekends and weekly activities away which allow their personalities and abilities to shine through. I fought to get a psychologist and secondly a psychiatrist when the last option to help Jack who suffers huge anxiety due to his Autism and ADHD to go on medication. It has been a long journey and an emotional rollercoaster.

12 years it took me to finally get a diagnosis for Jack. He was diagnosed with Autism on the 27th March 2015. I had been fobbed off with he has Autistic traits too many times and I’d  had enough. 12 years of referrals to different professionals, tears, anger,sheer frustration, fighting and finally someone listened. Things were eventually put in place and the Autism assessment was done in a morning meeting with myself and after observations in school and home environment. I will never ever get over the feeling that day when Jack finally had a diagnosis. It was a massive weight lifted from my shoulders but also the heart wrenching realisation that my baby had now been formally diagnosed with a lifelong disability. Children who are diagnosed with autism grow up to be adults with autism. Nothing could have prepared myself for that moment.

I am now in the process of a new battle. Getting appropriate council housing for our family. 

It has been  consistent fights, tears and tantrums since the boys were born as I got the boys everything they deserved and I’m positive I will fight a few more. I promise Jack, Daryl and Kyle I will always be your voice. I will never stop fighting. You are my World.

My Jack xxx

The moment a child is born, you immediately become their world. You are now in charge of this amazing tiny human whose head fits into the palm of your hand. It is now your responsibility to nurture, teach and make sure that you prepare your child for the future. Parenting is hard. I was 19 when my oldest son Jack was born. I was 19! A 19 year old has completed school, made plans for the future and most likely at college or university or has a job, learning and making a living in this world. When I was a young teenager I desperately wanted to be lawyer. I was very good at seeing things from both sides, that could be argued against in a court of law.

I applied to some top Universities and got accepted. As long as I got the grades, I’d be moving to student accommodation in Edinburgh. It was the most exciting future.

Due to not studying the way I really could have I failed those exams. It was the most disappointing time of my life. I cried, a lot and I felt like I let everyone down. Looking back I truly let myself down. I left high school that summer and I found out I was pregnant. It was a very new, scary and exciting period of my life. I loved being pregnant. All the appointments, scans and feeling my baby grow, move and kick inside of me.

He was two weeks overdue and I desperately wanted to meet him. He was  was born on the fourth of May by emergency c section. He had kept me in labour for around 19 hours before he made his appearance into this world. He cried. I got him into my arms for cuddles and I knew then everything was going ro be ok. He was the most important person in my life. I made a promise to him there and then that I would never let him down. I think I have kept that promise. 

He was about 2 years old  when I began to fight for what he deserved and what he needed to progress in this world. Nothing is easy. I have fought for him for all of his life.

Living with autism is not easy. He has required support in most ways since he was a baby. He didn’t walk until he was two years old. He had physiotherapy to support him to learn to walk. In mainstream nursery they couldn’t support his needs and he was very behind his peers.  He was soon transferred to a special needs nursery and then onto primary school where he continued all the way through until he began high school last year.

Autism wasn’t a word I was familiar with until my son started primary school. Unfortunately it took 7 years after that to get him diagnosed with Autism and Adhd. Jack amazes me every day. I am so proud to be his mum. He is funny, sweet, loves playing offices. He also knows most WWE  wrestlers and can hear me if I whisper from upstairs. He will need support all of his life and I’m here to make sure he gets what he deserves.