Monday, January 24, 2011

The Fab Four!

Right folks, I have given you some background details of my boy and some idea of our life with him - as you can see he is extremely challenged, however, only mildly challenging!!!! (even if I say so myself, Nick is such a sweetie!).  As a family we cope quite well with the day to day stuff (my 'time out' is when Nick is at school, which incidentally finishes at 12.30pm).  Autism mucks up our weekends and social life quite a lot and when possible we make alternative plans to have a bit of 'autism free' time.  I used to feel terribly guilty about taking time away from Nicholas, however, to create a balance it was necessary to take this leap!

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My plan for this post was to talk about creating a balance, however, I got a little sidetracked and instead ended up talking about four amazing women who have made an impact on my life........


INTRODUCING.......................... MICHELLE!

Four and a half years ago we were extremely fortunate to find a great Scottish lassie who was willing to get involved with Nick.  We were rather stressed parents back then and our quality of life wasn't great  We made the decision to employ Michelle to help us out in the weekends (two sometimes three weekends a month).  Michelle comes to our house from 10am to 3pm and this gives us the opportunity to spend time with Thomas, go out for lunch, do whatever we wish - even waste time on the laptop blogging!!  I think she likes us because she is still with us after all this time!!!   As you can see from the photo below, Michelle is a bit of a biker chick....... and she is so going to want this photo!  Michelle, we think you are fabulous and Nick has so much fun with you :D  xx



INTRODUCING........................... JENNA!

Jenna is Nick's facilitator at school.  She is a qualified teacher and has been working with Nick at Kids First for 18 months (I am waiting for the day when she tells me that she has found her dream teaching position!!).  Jenna and Nick have a lovely relationship thing going on and thankfully Jenna takes the rough with the smooth :)  She plays with Nick, works with him, guides him, encourages him, gives him opportunities to 'think for himself' and they have a lot of laughs.  Hey Jenna, you also win our 'fab' vote - we are so very lucky to have you in our lives! xx


The following clip shows Jenna and Nick having a bit of fun during an Occupational Therapy exercise!



INTRODUCING............................ JUDY!

Judy is our 'Super Teach' at Kids First.  She runs the program and guides the facilitators, who in turn guide the kids!  She also sends me off to the shops with a list of goodies to buy!  I am given photocopying to do, papers to print, pictures to make - think I need to change my title from 'Founder' to 'Personal Assistant'!! :-)
Judy also takes on the role as 2nd mother to Nick whenever I go away.  Judy, Clive and their two boys (picture of boys below) move into our house and Nick becomes part of their family :)  Nick is very keen on watching TV with Clive (oh what a surprise!!!) and wonder of wonders he also loves to get involved with their boys!  Way to go Judy, we Maitland's think you are the bees knees ;-)
P.S.  It's a borrowed baby and the bunny ears were worn for the Spar Ladies 10km!



INTRODUCING........................... KARYN!

Karyn came into our lives at the end of 2007.  I had advertised in the paper for a school facilitator for Nick and I always smile when I think of her job interview with me. Karyn  rocked up to my house with her mum in tow (to be fair, her mum was going to stay in the car and I had to drag her out!).  Karyn immediately honed in on Nick and I had a nice chat with her mum!!  Well, anyone who shows such a keen interest in my boy has to be extra special SO she got the job!  We had a wonderful 2008 with Karyn and then sadly she went off to London in search of a better paying job to pay off her horrible student loan.  Her plan is to study further and become a SLT................. and I just know she would also love to train to become an RDI Consultant!  Karyn will always remain special to us and Nick often asks for K,K :-)  The photos below were taken when Karyn came to visit us a few weeks ago!




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