Friday 30 September 2022

The Perfect School Holiday Activity!

What is the the perfect school holiday activity according to L?

Strawberry picking!

This child loooves strawberries and will eat punnets at a time of them if we let him. He ate the equivalent of a punnet on the short drive home 🍓🍓 I said that he'd better stop eating as he'd eaten about eight, L's response "no, I've eaten 13!"

Now he has a box to get through!! A few containers of 🍓🍓 in the fridge and lots of bags in the freezer. Strawberries are one food that L never tires of.

Saturday 17 September 2022

Henry the Hero


After Henry was placed with our family in May 2021, I began to form an idea for a book.

We're often approached when we're out and about as a family about the role that Henry plays in assisting L, as well as the etiquette in approaching Assistance Dogs. The book that I began to imagine, was about Henry, his role and what people should do if they see an Assistance Dog while it is working.

Well, I'm very pleased to announce that my book is almost ready for publication. I'm stepping way out of my comfort zone, but I am looking forward to seeing my idea I print.

So stay tuned on this exciting development!!!

Thursday 8 September 2022

I am Me


Hi, my name is Jenni and I am Autistic. I also have PTSD and have sensory processing difficulties. My anxiety, while manageable, is always lurking in the background.

To say this out loud, to write it, is empowering. As a late diagnosed Autistic, I can now say that my life makes sense.

For too long, as a child and teenager and even as an adult, I have been told that I was weird, an outsider, the black sheep, an outcast, that I was crazy, quirky, abnormal, odd and all manner of other terms. But not in a nice way.

I was bullied for being who I am. I tried to fit in but didn't know how to. I tried to change who I was, but then hated that person so went back to being me, but then the circle began again.

When you're told often that you are all these things, you begin to believe what you're being told. Your brain believes it, then your self worth disappears.

I now know that I am these things because I am Autistic. What other people perceive as normal, is not who I am, and will never be who I am.

I now know who I am. I am me and being Autistic is a huge part of me.

Thursday 1 September 2022

Team Henry: Expectations versus reality


Our expectations

The Smart Pup would be trained to snuggle and comfort L when he becomes upset or distressed, which would help prevent L's emotional reaction from escalating into a meltdown.

The reality

Since May 2021, we haven’t had a full blown meltdown last longer than half an hour, Henry steps in and begins going through his paces as soon as he senses L's emotions  escalating.

There’s only been one occasion that Henry hasn’t known what to do, and that was when L was throwing a tantrum over not going what he wanted. Henry literally sat on the floor, looking at L as if to say “what the hecks is you doing??” But as soon as L escalated from tantrum to meltdown, Henry stepped in.

Within a month of being placed with us, Henry began to pick up on O’s anxiety. If Henry sensed that L was okay and O wasn’t, Henry would go to O and nuzzle her leg or do a lap lay or over.

The first few times this occurred, Henry would look to us for reassurance that it was okay to help O. Now he steps in and goes through his paces.