On a mission!

I am on a mission to get my boy healthy. Nick's diet is absolutely horrendous and it has given me many a grey hair over the years. His issues are a combination of sensory sensitivities, his lack of confidence at trying new things and the regular food patterns that he has created and refuses to deviate from.

For sure, he is reasonably healthy, although I don't like the look of the dark circles under his eyes and the dullness of his skin. I won't bore you with the other problems that crop up!

In order to move forward, I realise that I need to guide Nick very slowly, one tiny step at a time. I cannot introduce a new food and expect him to eat it without any hassle. I have tried ~ it didn't work. I have given up on the idea of *hiding* the good stuff in his regular food. I tried ~ it didn't work. As for bribery ~ don't even go there!

For the last few months I have been offering Nick a *smell* of different foods. At first he was resistant, however, over time he has become a lot more comfortable with putting his nose close to food. I will continue to do this and also start inviting him to place various pieces of food on his lip.

Not so long ago, the ladies at school mentioned to me that one of the other children didn't want their juice, so it was offered to Nick, without any pressure for him to try it. Everyone was blown away when he actually drank the juice! He has also rediscovered a taste for milkshakes!

This became my starting point. If Nick was becoming flexible with trying different drinks, then I could do something about it at home AND keep it healthy. I also felt that Nick needed to be involved in the whole process and I wanted him to be aware of exactly what was happening, what he was doing and what was going in his mouth.

Oranges, carrot and blueberries

The easiest way for me to approach the whole juice *thing* was to look at it from an RDI angle. I have the words 'edge plus one' imprinted in my brain and I continuously remind myself to look at Nick's edge of competence (regardless of what we are doing) and ask myself, what is his 'plus one'. This is how we continue to progress.

Over the last few weeks I have planned many activities revolving around the making of juice. As always, I decide on our roles and then start each activity with something that Nick feels comfortable with before adding in the challenge (plus one). We have a really solid guiding relationship in place; therefore Nick trusts me and is happy to be guided. I in turn continue to be mindful about giving him opportunities to *think* for himself. I don't want to do everything for him. I want him to make his own discoveries (with scaffolding if necessary!).

Our planned activities included;

Shopping for the oranges
Unpacking the oranges into the fridge
Introduction to an orange squeezer
Collecting items needed to make freshly squeezed orange juice
Using the orange squeezer
Pouring the juice
Drinking the juice (initially we each had our own glass)
Cleaning up after juicing (items in the sink, rubbish in the bin, wiping the bench)
Introduction of a carrot and a big ol' mean juicer machine
Placing small pieces of carrot into the juicer
(Nick hates the noise so he heads off to the sofa and tells me when to "Go")
Introduction of blueberries and taking turns to place them into the big 'ol mean juicer
Introduction of pear ~ yuk, Nick didn't like this one!
Nick being brave and turning on the mean ol' juicer ~ we will give that one a miss for a while! :)
Introduction of apple, taking turns to cut and place in the juicer

An RDI planned engagement


Reasons to be cheerful ~ friends

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

Now and then I broadcast the downside of parenting a teen with special needs. Why do I do this? Well, life is not all sweetness and light and I feel that it is important to give a true reflection of my experiences. It is hard work parenting my teen. It can also be a lot of fun and immensely rewarding. 

Anyway.... in order to move on and get over my angst, my reasons to be cheerful are as follows!

This week I am so thankful for my friends who don't have kids with special needs. They keep me grounded and remind me that there is a world beyond my doorstep. 

I am very grateful that I was able to grab some *me time* today. Best of all, I got to spend that time over a relaxed lunch with two wonderful friends who also parent children with special needs!

I am thankful for all the followers on my Bright Side of Life facebook page. It is wonderful to have a connection with people from all over the world. This wouldn't have happened without autism in my life! 

Have a great weekend. xx

Reasons to be cheerful 18.7.13

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

There are a number of things bothering me at the moment. Our neighbors are doing extensive alterations and every day, from sun up to sun down we are being bombarded with noise.  I am also feeling a complete lack of motivation to be proactive around the house. My weight is increasing with age (and chocolate) and I really need to do something about it. I am feeling guilty that I don't do enough with my kids, especially Nick... he really needs a lot of input in order to progress. Yes, I have also been feeling a bit miserable for my Nick, as he is missing out on all the wonderful things that life has to offer. 

In order to shake off my negative mood I thought it best to focus on the positive aspects of what is going on around me. There is nothing like linking up with Mummy from the Heart to change my mindset.

Although my son Nick is autistic, he is in fact a really happy teen. I am very grateful that he is a gentle young man, who with time has overcome his need for extremely rigid patterns and schedules. Due to his increased confidence and exposure to real life (as in, going out into the community), life has become a lot easier for him. This in turn has also opened up my world. 

I am thankful that a year ago I made the rash decision to buy a puppy; and subsequently adopt his brother. Our crazy dogs give us a lot of joy. Although, let's be real here ~ they can also be right pains! Dogs need regular exercise so they are forcing me to get off my fat backside and down to the local park. Hooray, I am also getting to burn off some calories. Sort of!

I am always grateful for Nick's school. We have a really great gang of girls working there and it goes without saying that our kids are just the bees' knees. My boy is so happy there ~ which makes me happy! 

Last but not least. It's a beautiful hot winter's day. The jackhammers will stop at 4pm. We are spending the afternoon at home just chilling. I have a couple of plans up my sleeve for Nick. Oh, I have also managed to *persuade* my first born to cook supper. Win win!

Am feeling better all ready! :-)

I won a blog makeover!

Now, in order for you to get the full story, I need to give you a little bit of background information......

First up is a photo of two lovely bloggy friends who I had the good fortune to meet up with in April this year. In case you didn't know, there was a large autism conference that was being held in Dublin, Ireland. I convinced the Hub's that it was extremely important for me to attend the two day affair, cough, splutter! Anyhow, nice man that he is, saw right through me but had the good grace to say that he would look after the kids ~ if I organised every minute of each day that I was away!
Candi, Di and Val
Ignore the teapots!

 Moving right along...

A while back (I think around a year ago), Candi sent me the link for a blog that she thought I would find interesting. AND, it wasn't an autism blog! I had never thought of looking at any other blogs besides those that focused on autism ~ very short sighted of me. Thank you, Candi, for thinking of me. xx

Ta Da........... introducing you to VegemiteVix. I love traveling and Kiwis, therefore this blog is right up my street.

Don't ask me how I managed to transfer the following information onto this page... it was a sheer fluke and I can't remember how to do it. :)
Vix story

One day, not so long ago, Vix posted a link for a competition that was being run by another wonderful Kiwi. You can read about Simone right HERE and also learn more about her blog by clicking on the button below. (Yes, I am seriously chuffed that I managed to add the code in order for her blog button to be on this page!). Thank you, Vix, for sharing the information for the competition. xx

Simone was celebrating the fact that she had written 1000 posts and had decided to give away some of her time and expertise. I entered her competition and then, much to my surprise and delight, I won the makeover. I can't tell you enough how thrilled I am with my new look. It's crisp and clean. Simple yet modern. I really like that Simone kept the sea theme, although recreated it to make it more up-to-date and edgy. 
Thank you, Simone for choosing my blog for a Midi-Makeover. You made my day, week and month! 

Silent Sunday

Hopeful Parents ~ Stop right now!

I was going to write a light fluffy piece for this month's contribution to Hopeful Parents, however, I changed my mind! You can find my latest post HERE!