Friday 12 November 2021

Teach your children to be kind


Teach your children to be kind.

Teach them that differences are what make our world, our communities, society a better place.

Teach them that if they don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything.

Teach them that words hurt. Words stick like cement and they are incredibly hard to remove.

Teach them that just because they are NOT lucky enough to be Autistic, or ADHD, this doesn't make them better, smarter, faster or more intelligent than those who are Autistic or ADHD.

Educate them that without these amazing ADHD and Autistic minds, those Pokemon that they love, may never have been thought up. Those Dogman books that they love reading, may never have been written. That rap artist they listen to, may never have penned those songs. That gymnast who they idolise - ADHD. The list is endless of amazing, talented neurodiverse minds. All of which have made a positive impact on our world.


Because tonight, this little superhero is asking why him? Why am I Autistic? Why can't I be the same as everyone else? Why do I struggle with things that other kids don't struggle with?

Because if you were the same as everyone else, you wouldn't be you. Because the world needs minds like yours that think way outside of the box on the precipice. Because you were born to be you.

This journey is hard. We take 5 steps forward and then about fifty back. Tomorrow we'll start the journey forward again because we don't give up without a fight.

Sunday 7 November 2021

A story about a boy named L

 This is a story about a boy named L. Yes, our L.

A boy who at the age of three and a half received an Autism diagnosis, which began a series of changes for him.

Prior to receiving L's Autism diagnosis, life was difficult for L. Whenever we attempted to raise concerns about L and how we thought that he was different from other children his age, our concerns were brushed off by early childhood educators and various medical professionals. We were told that L was just being a boy, that he was just a naughty child, that it was our parenting skills to blame for L's differences and everything in between.

L struggled to maintain friendships with children his age. We regularly heard other parents tell their own children, in ear shot of us, don't play with L because he is a naughty boy.

Then we received L's Autism diagnosis and everything made sense. He made a wonderful friend in Master H. L began early intervention therapy. L started school and he began to hit milestones and overcome obstacles.

When we moved back to Queensland, we made the decision to keep L back in Prep - in effect he would do two years of Prep (the first year of primary school,) as he had already completed the prep equivalent in Western Australia. We've made a few brilliant decisions for L thus far, and going back into Prep was definitely one of them.

He had another year of the foundation skills needed in primary school and has not looked back.

L has overcome many obstacles to get where he is today.

Late Thursday afternoon, one of the Special Education Teachers at school rang me to say that the school had nominated L for a Courage award and were we able to attend the award ceremony on Sunday morning.

The Lions Club gives out Children of Courage awards to children who have shown courage in overcoming challenges that they encounter, achieving goals and so on. The awards were established in 1983 in WA and were introduced to the Bribie District in 2002.

We're so very proud of everything that L has achieved so far and we know that his future is extremely bright.

The Lions Club also gave Henry a Courage award for assisting L on a daily basis ❤❤

By the time the awards were being presented, L had entered into shutdown due to the noise echoing in the hall and the fact that there was a lot of focus on L and the six other children receiving the awards, hence O being in the photos as she was being the amazing big sister that she is in supporting L.

Mrs S just had to have a photo with Henry.

The Lions Club president, Michael, and Mrs Brooke Savage, our local councillor.

Every step so far, L has had us behind him, encouraging him. And we couldn't have done this without the amazing support team around him and us. His therapy team (Tara, Katie, Kira) in Western Australia, the amazing teachers (Mrs S, Mrs A and Mrs S) and support staff (Mrs DS and Mrs S) at the school that he attended in Western Australia. The parents of the children that he formed strong friendships with in Western Australia - you know who you are. The early childhood educators and OSHC staff who not only believed in L's capabilities but also encouraged him to step outside of his comfort zone - Stevie, Sharon, Jess, Katie, Dannii, Alisha, Beth, Kayla, Dan, Emily. Zaim - L's support worker who was just amazing. The teaching staff (Miss L, Miss E, Miss P and Mrs S) and the support staff (Miss K, Miss J, Miss A, Miss B and Mrs H) at his current school as well as all of the staff behind the scenes at school. Thank for believing in L and for encouraging him to reach for the stars.

Saturday 6 November 2021

O's turn to shine


Both of the little superheroes make us proud every single day, but last month it was O's turn to shine.

This year marked O's first year of high school. We were all a little nervous about high school, O included, but she hit the ground running an has not looked back. In the first few days of the new school year, O came home raving about the new group of friends that she had made - they all shared a love of Anime. There were no nerves at all from O.

Last year, O applied (with the encouragement from us and the teachers at the Primary School) for both of the academies that the high school run alongside their regular classes. One is focused on STEM units and the other is the Academic Academy. O was offered a spot in the STEM academy. And it is exactly where O needs to be.

Every other student in the STEM Academy is like minded, they all love STEM and they want to be at school. O is loving every minute of it.

O's anxiety has tried to get the better of her throughout this year, but O has been determined to not to let her anxiety take over.

Towards the end of last month, we received the news from the school that O was to receive an Academic Excellence Award for her efforts in class. We've always told both little superheroes that grades really don't matter to us, we just want them to put in the most effort that they can into school. And O has done just that.

O, you have put in the effort at school all year and very mush deserve this award. The world is your oyster, we are so very proud of you and can't wait to see what your future holds ❤❤

Monday 1 November 2021

Assistance Dogs 101: School drop off time


School drop off's have always been difficult for L. The transition from the car to his classroom can be very rough for him. Henry makes it just that little bit easier for L. 

Twice in the last week and a half, L has had very rough mornings that we could see were building to a meltdown about going into school. Twice Henry has gone through his paces in helping L to calm. Twice Henry has worked his Assistance Dog magic.

Loads of Henry cuddles, lap lays and overs, quite a few nuzzles to disrupt L's self harming behaviours and just being close by so that L knows Henry is there when L was ready. Henry is the calming influence that L needs.

It was also wonderful watching the other school students reactions to seeing Henry in action. Henry is a wee bit popular at school, every one loves saying hello to Henry in the morning. But as soon as they see that Henry is helping his boy, they hold back from saying hi. 

They were so very respectful and gave us the space that L needed. And afterwards, when the students that saw myself and Henry leaving school, they told Henry what a good boy he was for helping L.

This is an Assistance Dog at work, not only helping his boy but also raising awareness and acceptance of Autism and Assistance Dogs.