Thursday, 16 September 2021

A Day In The Life Of Henry

 

When we're out and about, one of the questions that we're often asked is what does a day for Henry look like? So here goes, a day in the life of Henry - from Henry's point of view!


4.30am to 5.30am! I is awake! I is toilet trained and I can usually last eight hours before I needs to have a toilet break. I is very good at letting my hoomans know, usually my Mummy. Sometimes my nose is too wet and she wakes up real fast when I needs to go to the toilet during the night. Mummy says that I am like clockwork and I always wake between 4.30am and 5.30am to go outside. I don't think my Mummy is awake yet because when I want to play, she tells me that I gots to go back to sleep! After my toilet break outside, I goes into my crate until my hoomans wake up.

6.00am (or there about): My hoomans are awake! Usually it is my Daddy or Mummy that let me out of my crate. My first job of the day, even though the work day hasn't even started, is to find my hooman boy L. My Mummy and Daddy call it hide and seek but I knows that I have to track my boy. He usually still asleep or hiding in bed so I race up the stairs as quick as I can, and I jump onto the bed to wake him up. My Mummy and Daddy is always very happy when I finds my boy, my boy is grumpy because he not want to get up because he know it a school day. If my other hooman child O not awake, I sneak into the bedroom and I wake O up too! But O is usually awake so I get big pats from O. This is good practice for tracking my boy!

Breakfast: My hooman boy L has to get my breakfast ready, he sometimes needs help to open the packet. I get two bricks of wet food every morning. I try to tells my hoomans that I still hungry but they not believe me! They say I is being a Labrador and that I'm not really hungry. Hmph!


Getting ready for school: L doesn't like getting ready for school, he just wants to snuggle on the couch so I gives him lap lays to help him to calm. Sometimes I just knows when L needs a lap lay, but sometimes L asks me to come to him. I really like it when L calls me because he has a treat for me! Mmmm food! When L is feeling happier, I go upstairs with him to help him get ready. 


If I see my Daddy's socks on the floor, I be the bestest boy ever and I carry them downstairs for Daddy. He sometimes not happy because I keep finding the same pair of socks that Mummy keeps washing and Daddy not wears them yet. So far I finds them five times! I a great finder!


When my boy is ready in his school uniform, he gots to get me ready. I know that it is work time when my boy puts my jacket on me so I can't play with my sloth teddy or my chew toys. When I gots my coat and leads on, I gots to be Mr Serious Henry - no more playing so I go and lay on my place, my pillow, and waits for my next command.

My hoomans tell me that when they takes my jacket off, I can just be a puppy. They say that I just a big goofball puppy when I not working!


When my hoomans say "Let's go Henry," I knows that it is time to go. I walk out to the car with my hoomans and jump into the car. I like car rides because I goes to sleep but I not like it when we go around corners so I tell my Mummy by groaning at her!


School drop off - My boy L does not like walking into school, so when we is sitting in the car, I give him more lap lays to help him to calm. I just knows that he needs them. Sometimes he cuddles me too which I loves. When we walk into school we gots to cross the school crossing. I knows to stop at the crossing until the school crossing hooman blows their whistle. Sometimes my boy L forgets to stop, so I put my bottom on the ground and I don't move even when L tries to pull my lead to move. I waits until my Mummy tells me to move because then it is safe! When we gets to L's classroom I give him lap lays and I nuzzle his legs and his body to let him knows it is okay.


When his classroom opens, L gives me big cuddles so I knows that he is going to be okay. His friends say hi to me, I like when people say hi. Sometimes other hooman children ask to pat me but my Mummy gots to say no because I am helping my boy L. When we walk back to the car, my Mummy gives me big pats and tells me I'm a good boy because I helps my boy L.

Sometimes when we goes to school, I gets to go into L's classroom to look around. I even gets to go to the library to show Mrs A my reading log - my hooman boy reads to me every night!

I even gets to go to the sports day. I cheered my hooman boy when he runs really fast on his stompers. One day I going to go to school for the whole day to help my boy L.

 

Mummy's work time! Going to work with my Mummy is good practice for me - I gets to practice my public access skills that I need to remember. Sometimes the hoomans that my Mummy supports, need my help too, so I can practice my other skills. When I at work with my Mummy, peoples want to pat me so I gots to do a trick first to earn the pat! Only my boy L gets pats without me doing a trick because I his boy.


When we go to work, we go to all sorts of places. Sometimes we go to Mummy's work place, sometimes we go to the shopping centre, sometimes we go on the train, sometimes we go to the library and sometimes we even goes to a cafe. I gots to be on my best behaviour because I a working dog.

  

When I at work with Mummy, sometimes people stop and ask if I am okay because I am laying down. I is okay, I is being a good boy. When I don't need to do anything, I gots to lay down on my place and I goes to sleep. Mummy and Daddy says that I would do that all day until they gives me my next command. They is rights!


3.00pm School pick up time! I loves school pick up time because I gets to see my hooman boy again. L gives me big pats and cuddles and sometimes I needs to give him lap lays because he uses all his energy at school to be a good boy.

After school we gets to do fun things. Sometimes we gets to go to see the horses at equine therapy. When I first see the horses, I think what the hecks are they?? They big dogs! Sometimes we gets to go to Holt Bolt and I watch my little hoomans do their exercises.

  

When my hoomans go out, I goes out. My Mummy and Daddy says that every outing we go on, is an opportunity for me to practice my skills.


At home, my hooman boy looks after me (my other hoomans help too!) My hooman boy gives me good brushes and I sits super still for him. I gets a warm bath every two weeks so I not a smelly dog! My hooman boy likes to help give me a bath but I not like the big dryer noise, the hecks it loud! So my hoomans got to use towels to dry me. My hooman boy even gots to pick up my poops, lucky they not smells bad!


  

My Mummy and Daddy makes sure that I gets time at home just to be a puppy so when we goes on walks, I love walks, my hooman boy and me plays ball. L gots super fast stompers just like me but I always catch him. I gets to smell all the grass and the trees and have fun. My hooman boy likes to look at the little creek when we goes on walks, so I sit behind him to make sure he not fall in. Even when I not wearing my work coat, I is still working because if my hooman boy needs my help, I is there. Sometimes we practice hide and seek in the park but I always finds my boy. I uses my eyes and my ears and my nose to finds my boy.

When we finish our walks, it my dinner time - I get two more bricks of food for my dinner. When my hoomans eating, I knows that I not allowed to beg for food because I not supposed to have hooman food. Sometimes I allowed to have a few hot chips if my hoomans are having hot chips with their dinner. I love hot chips!


When we at home, my hooman children practice my lap lays. I just knows when they need me to do lap lays for real. If my hooman boy is okay, but my other hooman child not okay, I look at my Mummy and Daddy to check and then I go helps O. My lap lays help them to calm because I is super heavy. I like lap lays because I gets extra cuddles from my little hoomans.

 


After dinner, it bed times. I go upstairs with my hooman children and make sure that they do everything that they gots to do before bed and then I lays down in L's bed and he reads me a story. Sometimes he read me more than one story. Then when he finish reading, we goes to sleep in L's bed. L is trying very hard to stay in his bed, I is proud of him, but sometimes he still wakes up in the middle of the night and he goes into his Mummy and Daddy's bed, so then I gets to have the whole bed to myself! Sometimes I follow him to make sure he is okays and then I sleeps on my bed in Mummy and Daddy's room.


When my hooman boy is asleep, sometimes I wakes up and goes downstairs to my Mummy and Daddy. I always hoping that they going to give me more food, but I usually go to sleep on my place. Mummy and Daddy tell me that I would be a great couch potato because when I not working, I love to sleep.

It hard work being a working dog! When my Mummy and Daddy goes to bed, they take me outside to go to the toilet before I goes back to sleep upstairs.

 

 

On the weekends, sometimes I gots to work, like when we go to Australia Zoo. That was lots of fun but I not like the bush turkeys. What the hecks? What are they man?!?!?! When we goes to the beach, I gets to take off my coat and be a puppy. Once we finds a funny sausage thing - I wants to eat it but my Mummy says it a sea cucumber - what the hecks is that? It look like a fat sausage!


I likes being a working dog because I gets to help me hooman boy. I be his bestest friend and companion.

Saturday, 11 September 2021

Autistic Characters


We've always been very open with both little superheroes about their Autism, ADHD, anxiety and everything in between. We want them to view their neurodivergent traits as a positive aspect of who they are.

Quite often when we are watching movie or television shows, the little superheroes will make the comment that they think one (or more) of the characters are Autistic and then they will list off the reasons why. Often the little superheroes relate to how the character views their world or the little superheroes will see traits in the characters that they see in themselves.

So from the thoughts of the little superheroes, these are just a few of the characters that they believe are neurodivergent!

[Normal is for Normal People.
Timmy Failure]

Timmy Failure is a character that both little superheroes believe is Autistic. Timmy Failure is the main character in a book series that was made into a movie and released in 2020. The movie has since become a favourite of L's! Timmy is a very unique individual with an amazing imagination. Timmy Failure also happens to be a great detective, even when there's no actual mystery to solve! O believes that Timmy is Autistic because of how focused he can become on topics that interest him!


L came to the conclusion that Goldilocks must be Autistic while we were reading the story for one of his school lessons last year during lockdown. He decided that Goldilocks must be Autistic because she only liked her porridge cooked a particular way and she's sensitive to how the bed sheets felt. He could relate to her sensory processing difficulties because he has similar sensory aversions.

[Rocket - His people are totally literal, metaphors go right over his head.
Drax - Nothing goes over my head, my reflexes are too fast, I would catch it.]

Drax is a very obvious choice for this list. Both little superheroes love all things, well superheroes, and they love watching Guardians of the Galaxy. It was while they were watching the first movie, before they had even heard these lines, that they both commented that they thought Drax was Autistic based purely on how literally he takes everything! Both little superheroes are also extremely literal in their thinking and how they understand things.


[Hee-hee! Isn't this exciting? We'll do everything by the book 
and that will make my slumber party officially fun! 
Twilight Sparkle, My Little Pony]

Twilight Sparkle is a character that O decided just had to be Autistic. O was, and still is although O won't admit it, a HUGE My Little Pony fan. It was while O was watching of the episodes, O exclaimed "Mummy! I know why I love Twilight Sparkle much. I think she has Autism too. She has meltdowns all the time. She loves magic but it's a huge intense interest for her because she doesn't just like magic, magic is her thing. She struggles to understand her friends sometimes. She reads books to work things out like when she was going to have a sleepover. And she prefers to be researching things to anything else. She has to be Autistic!"

O was able to recognise traits in Twilight Sparkle that O saw in herself.


[Being different isn't a bad thing. It means you're brave enough to be yourself.
Luna Lovegood, Harry Potter series.]

Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series is another very obvious character for this list. Luna is also another of O's most favourite fictional characters. One of the things that both O and I love about Luna is that she owns her differences. Luna knows that she is different from those around her, that other people don't particularly like her because of those differences, yet she loves who she is. Luna is one of the most under rated characters in the Harry Potter series and yet she provides the most life lessons - own your own style, being different is great, always be brave, keep your sense of humour close and always be there for your friends. O also decided that Luna doesn't realise that there is a box that some people like to stay inside, as Luna thinks way outside of any box.


[I got super fast brain like 80-HD!
L, 9 years.]

80-HD is a character from one of L's all time favourite books series - Dogman. The Dogman series is written by Dave Pilkey, who as a child was diagnosed with ADHD. The Dogman series are the books that really got L into attempting to read and he cannot wait for the next instalment to be released! 80-HD, which is clearly a play on the term ADHD, is very much, well, ADHD. L loves that there is a character with a super fast brain just like his own brain!

All of the characters that the little superheroes have decided are Autistic, show their traits in a positive light. This is a great thing for not only my little superheroes but also for other children who are Autistic or have other neurodivergent traits. More often than not, neurodivergent traits are portrayed in a negative light, so to have characters that are portrayed in a positive manner are fantastic.

Monday, 6 September 2021

Welcome to Jumamji, version 2.8

So here we go again.

We've been reasonably fortunate since our initial lockdown in 2020, we've had a few three day lockdowns but that's been it.

Until six days ago.

4pm Saturday the 31st of July, the Delta strain hit Queensland and we were thrown into an initial three day lockdown which was then extended to a week. As I write this, we are six days into the lockdown and hoping that it will end this coming Sunday.

Then online schooling began. At least this time we were prepared for it - teachers began sending information out on how to access online schooling on Sunday afternoon - they were prepared for it this time. O's usual schooling learning is all online so for O, not much changed other then having a few zoom class session during the week. For L, however, everything went online.

Everyone's online/home learning during a pandemic is going to look different. For some families, parents or carers may be considered essential workers and as such they are not able to be at home. Other families may not have reliable access to the internet or an electronic device to access the online resources. Some parents or carers may not feel confident in assisting their children with online learning.

We like to think of of home learning as unschooling. We've been doing the school work online, when I've downloaded the correct work that is! But we've also been doing other learning that isn't necessarily school work but it does have elements of what both little superheroes are learning at school. L likes to call our home learning as unschooling because he's learning at home and not at school, so therefore learning at home is the opposite of schooling, hence unschooling!!


Cooking is a great activity for children to do at any time, not just during a pandemic! L's current maths unit at school is all about measurements - so he was able to put into practice what he had been learning prior to the lockdown. Cooking also incorporates a little bit of science - what is the heat source for the cooking method and what powers the heat source. This cooking session for both little superheroes, ticked off two of L's learning outcomes for the day and it acted as another reading experience for L. And they created a yummy treat for the day.


Exercise is important at any time. During lockdown, it is even more so. We are fortunate in that one of the reasons that we can leave the house is for exercise, as long as it is within a ten kilometre radius of our usual place of residence. During our extended lockdown last year, we started every day with a daily walk. We did attempt on a few occasions to start school work before we went for a walk and the school work didn't end well. A short break from the house was great to clear the mind, get a little fresh air and acted as a movement break for both little superheroes. So this lockdown we've been doing this routine again. A walk around our block also means that Henry is getting some exercise.

Exercise doesn't necessarily need to be a walk. Just due to both little superheroes sensory needs, we have yoga choice and exercise choice balls that we found in our local Kmart - these are also great for movement or exercise breaks. As long as you have an area within your house or your backyard, these can be done anywhere. There are also plenty of free online resources, type in "free online yoga poses for children" into your preferred online search engine, and see what pops up! 


Last year, both little superheroes had our trampoline to use for movement breaks but unfortunately, a few months ago it finally gave way after constant daily (and some night time) use from the little superheroes for the last few years. L's replacement sensory equipment arrived in a timely manner a few days before this current lockdown began. And it has been used on a very regular basis over the last few days. Although we have had to remind L that we are in lockdown at the moment, so we'd appreciate not having any hospital trips. L is our little dare devil after all.


One of the walks that we do goes over a small creek. Both little superheroes love sitting by this creek, looking for aquatic life, testing the depth and just chilling out there. In one of O's subjects at school, they are focusing on aquatic ecosystems and the impact that humans can have on these ecosystems. One on of the walks, we spent some time talking about how healthy the creeks ecosystem was based on what we could see. O spotted some rubbish in the water and asked if we could come back with a rubbish bag to clean the creek, so we did.

During our extended lockdown last year, I downloaded lots, and I mean lots, of free STEM activities - again type "free STEM activities for children" into your preferred online search engine! Both little superheroes love science and the majority of the STEM activities that I found use items that you would have laying around your house. On the first day of this lockdown, there wasn't a lot of work for L to do online so part of his unschooling for the day was a STEM stick raft - he had to design, make and test a stick raft. L decided that the raft needed to be tested in our local creek and that Batman was going to ride on the raft. To L's delight, his raft floated (we did have a long length of twine tied to both the raft and Batman in the unfortunate scenario that the raft didn't float! Batman ending up at the bottom of the creek would not have gone well!) and he's currently planning how he can improve his raft design. While L was planning and building his raft, we incorporated some of his current maths lessons on measurements into the activity.


It's important during any lockdown, no matter how short or long the lockdown is for, that we all look after our mental health. Sometimes we just need to take a break from school work, or own work, and have some chill time. Chill time could look like going for a walk, having a nap, sitting on the couch and watching television. If we look after our own mental health, we'll be in a better place to support our loved ones.

We were extremely fortunate in that this lockdown only lasted a week and a half, but I am certain that at some stage in the future, we will be put back into lockdown. If you are currents in lockdown, please look after yourselves.

Sunday, 5 September 2021

Anime Memes


Both little superheroes LOVE watching anime, it is definitely a new intense interest for them both. The anime series that they watch are varied but one of the things that I love about all of the anime that they watch, are the quotes about life and staying positive no matter what life throws at you.

So here are a few of our favourite Anime quotes!


[A road is something that you make yourself.
Jotaro Kujo, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure.]


[Whatever you do, enjoy it to the fullest. That is the secret of life.
Rider, Fate Zero.]


[I don't care is no one likes me. I wasn't created in this world to entertain everyone.
Oreki Houtarou, Hyouka.]


[If something is possible, carry on as planned. Even if it isn't possible, do it anyway.
Karasuma Tadaomi, Assassination Classroom.]


[Smile. Not for anyone else, but for yourself. Show yourself your own smile. You'll feel better then.
Rintaro Tatewaki, Magic-Kyun! Renaissance.]
 


[There are some flowers you only see when you take detours.
Tanaka Saeko, Haikyuu.]


[Whether you win or lose, looking back and learning from your experience is part of life.
All Might, My Hero Academia.]


[I don't care what normal people do any more. I'm gonna live my life the way I want to.
Iori Nagase, Kokoro Connect.]


[You should enjoy the little detours to the fullest. Because that's where you'll find the things more important than what you want.
Ging Freecss, Hunter X Hunter.]


[Life isn't about doing everything right. It's about doing what you wanna do, being who you wanna be.
Iori Nagase, Kokoro Connect.]


I tried being normal once, but it was boring.
A-Kun.]


[Normal? What's normal? To only do what the masses do? And what is the benefit of that? Where is the problem is adopting a custom that is 'abnormal' if it has no negative effect on the world at large?
Ichihara Yuuko, xxxxHOLiC ]


[You have to figure it out. Stand up and walk. Keep moving forward. You've got two good legs. So get up and use them. You're strong enough to make your own path.
Edward Elric, Fullmetal Alchemist.]

I'd love to hear any of your favourite anime quotes.