Autism

Shopping & Autism

08:00

I've found shopping with an autistic child challenging to say the least. Many people who are autistic find shopping to be a struggle. When you think about it somone who is autistic tends to really struggle with sensory processing. Shops tend to be an overwhelming environment for thouse with autisim because of being overloaded with noise, sounds and smells which can be too much for them. Shops are unpredictable places especially with aisles changing often because autistic people don't like change they find it hard. 

Blake's way to cope is to cry and scream when it gets too much. This often means that we can mistake his behaviour as being naughty rather than it being  his way of coping.  It's tricky as most children play up when out shopping which can usually be because of not getting there own way. 


There are a few things we have started to do recently that we've found helpful with Blake. 

- Prewarning 
We've found that he seems to react better when he knows in advance that we are going to the shop's.  

- Getting down to his level
We give him cuddles and reassurance if he gets upset and getting down to his level and speaking in a lower tone seems to be working

- Getting him involved
We've also found getting him to help when in shops has made meltdowns less often. 

Of course this may not help for others but it seems to be what is currently working for us.





Some shops are now also starting to find ways at supporting autistic customers. Many supermarkets are now implementing quiet hours which is obviously  good thing. Autism is one of many hidden disabilities with more than 1% of people in UK being on the spectrum. 

We've actually yet to visit a supermarket during quiet hour however know that our local Morrison's does quiet hour every Saturday morning 9-10 am which is very handy. During quiet hour stores will do the following steps:

  • Dim the lights
  • Turn music and radio off
  • Avoid making tannoy announcements
  • Reduce movement of trolleys and baskets
  • Turn checkout beeps and other electrical noises down
  • Place a poster outside to tell customers it’s Quieter Hour

There are other ways we are planning to support Blake when it comes to shopping trips:

- Books on shopping 
- Visual images
- Sticking to a routine for e.g. going the same route 

I'm hoping that over time we will find shopping a more easier experience and find more things that work for us. 

ourhome

Plans for our first home

14:38

If you are a regular reader you will probably know that after 10 years of renting Stuart and I finally bought our own house back in February.  We've now been living here for 3 months and have slowly been doing updates on our home. 

We have quite a lot to do and are currently saving up to get bits and bobs done. It's definitely going to take us time to get everything how we want it and I wanted to share with you our ideas.


Living/Dining room

As you walk into the house you walk straight into our living/dining room with the stairs straight ahead. The living/dining room is the room we want to really get done asap but will cost us a fair bit. Currently the walls are painted purple and grey with purple tones. There is also a feature wall which has purple rose patterned wallpaper. We want to paint the walls all one shade of grey and for the feature wall we have found a stunning silver/grey wallpaper we love.  Before we can do that though we want to sort out the fireplace as it is currently covered with tiles. Our plan is to take them off and sort out getting a wood burning fireplace put in if possible. We also plan on replacing the skirting boards along with ones in other rooms around the house. 



Kitchen

In regards to the kitchen it's more about updating the painting to make it look more fresh and new looking. The kitchen was replaced by the previous owners not too long ago and we are actually happy with the units and flooring.  I'm not a huge fan of the current black and cream tiles though so we may end up eventually replacing them. I'd like to bring a bit of colour into the room and am thinking blinds would be a good way to do so I've also been looking at Lionshome to give me some inspiration. 




Blake's Room

When you head upstairs Blake's room is the first room right at the top. We aren't a huge fan of the green theme going on in there and Blake doesn't seem a fan either. I've been using Pinterest for ideas and am thinking of painting the walls a neutral colour and just use accessories to brighten up the room. As children tend to grow out of things easily i thought this would be the best way to go. Currently Blake's into pj masks and has bedding, a rug and cushion in his room and these can easily be changed when the time comes that he moves onto something else.


Hallway

The hallway is small and narrow. I think we will be sticking with the grey and just add photos on the walls. At the end of the hall I'd like to get a full length mirror eventually. 

Bathroom 

The bathroom doesn't really need anything doing. We are happy with the design and I love our LED lights on the beams. We may replace the shower door eventually but that's it.

Our Bedroom 

The room is currently painted all grey and has a good size built in wardrobe. We are still trying to decide how we want our room, however we have blush curtains so I'm currently thinking of neutral walls with one wall wallpapered. As for the built in wardrobe we want to give it a proper revamp inside including the flooring and change the doors to sliding ones. 



Attic

Last of all is the attic which will be the last room we do as it needs a lot of work. Currently we are using it for storage and I can't get good enough photos to share. We are thinking of blue walls and painting the brown beams white to bring more light into the room. We need to get the floor fixed properly and are considering laminate like the majority of the house is. There is also a little area that looks like the previous owners were trying to turn into a small toilet that we are unsure what to do with. With that said once the room is done up we can use it as a spare room for family visiting.  I've found some desks I really like the look of from Lionshome too so could even use the room as an area for blogging. 

*In collaboration with Lionshome 

Finding the right childcare solutions with Childcare.co.uk | AD

11:51

*This is a paid post in collaboration with Childcare.co.uk

Having relocated back in February we no longer live close to family and friends. This means that if Stuart and I fancy going out one evening, we would have to find a childcare option that is suitable for us as a family.  We recently came across childcare.co.uk to help to take the stress out of finding someone. 

Childcare.co.uk is a free platform where you can register and search your local area. All you have to do is register and then create a profile by filling in your requirements. This is all very simple to do as the website is super easy to navigate.  For us we would want someone who has experience with a child who has  additional needs as well as having some kind of childcare qualification along with an up to date CRB check.  

Childcare providers are able to look at your profile and message you if they think they would be suitable and you can then discuss your options further with them before deciding to meet up.




As i mentioned ankve the website is easy to navigate and you can search for a specific childcare provider or all types within however many miles of your chosen location. This way you can find someome close to home or work. You can do this easily by searching by postcode, town or county. Postcode is the option for us as we would want someone close by for ease and this gives the most defined results.

Once you have done the search the results are easy to read. Each babysitter shows a summery of themselves which includes their qualifications, experience, availability and fees. You can also read reviews from other people as well as leave your own too. This is a great way for you to see who has been recommended to put you at ease.


When using childcare.co.uk we had 7 results within our area that fit our requirements. I feel that's a good amount considering in my search I specified for babysitters with special needs experience.  Luckily we would only need someone occasionally for example once a month for a few hours so Stuart and I can have time to ourselves. We found that quite a few babysitters are flexible too, so if something was to come up such as an important appointment I know where to go to look for somome who's available.

childcare.co.uk is great in that it is free to use  and a stress free way of finding childcare from the comfort of your own home.