Sunday Scoop 30th August 2015

Well, I can't tell you how much I have missed taking part in these fabulous linky parties since being away on vacation! We just got back this past Wednesday and I have been trying so hard to get back into reality mode! It took me 2 days to upload all my new TpT products! Phew!

This week i'm linking up with Cassie at Teaching Trio, hop over and check out the blog and her Sunday scoop!

So, here is my Sunday Scoop..

So, I have quite a lot on this week. 


We start back in our Schools Tuesday, I managed to pick up some bits and bobs for back to School time before we went away, but I still have some things to pick up -eek!! I am so last minute! This calls for a quick pop into some shops tomorrow or tuesday I think to pick up those last few bits.

I must also remember to pick up some foodie items for lunch in Work. After my huge holiday binge I definitely need to go back to my salads for a little while! Of course, in preparation for our next holiday!

My to-do list is around 15 a4 pages long. I kid you not. This is the amount of ideas I have for new resources that I just haven't got around to making yet, I have so much beautiful clipart ready to make all these resources so I must get myself motivated! I'm going to force myself to make at least 2 tomorrow!


Me and Nath have some exciting plans happening in the next few years - but it's a secret sorry guys! However, it does mean some serious saving. So we are going down to open a joint savings account and put our so far savings in and add to it each month. TpT is going to be a God send I can feel it! 

Finish sorting house. Oh god, the words are scaring me alone. We are having a HUGE clear out in the house, no word of a lie we filled out big jeep to the tip this week, i have about 10 boxes to go to bootsale, i had over 60 yankee candle items for sale which have now almost gone, that was without old dvds, games etc. It is crazy how much you can accumulate without even realising it! And the attic? Oh god, don't get me started, it took a full day!


Put cash into savings. YAY! While cleaning out the house we have made some ££££ by selling some of our items! Woohoo, good news all around! So all of that will be going into savings for our secret!!

What is your scoop for this week? Let me know!
It's so good to be back blogging!



iPad Apps for Autism

Recently I was asked if I were able to put together a list of apps that are brilliant for children diagnosed with Autism. Of course, I immediately agreed to try and think of the list of my top 5 and get back to them. Of course, I couldn't. Although I did manage to narrow it down to 8!

Do you know how hard that was?! It's unbelievable how many fantastic apps there are out there for our kiddos to be able to learn from, this post I am going to concentrate on the apps that can help our kiddos to continue learning through use of the iPad. You will be amazed how many hours this took to put together, because I just couldn't decide what my top 5 apps were - there's so much choice now! So I hope you enjoy my top 8, oops hehe!. Let me know if you have one that you think is an amazing app for our kiddos that I haven't mentioned!

Please note, that as I am based within the UK I am unsure how many of these are available on the US iTunes store, I'm hoping most will be similar, if not i'm open to any similar suggestions from readers so that I can add these for US families.

1. Proloquo 2 go

Ok, this is a little pricey, but hear me out first!
Hands up if you have or know an autistic child who is non verbal? 
Who struggles to communicate? 

This app is amazing. There are just so many possibilities to use it I just really don't know where to start with it all! There are also lots of manuals available all around the web that are free to download to help you set it up and get the best use out of it too! 

So, one of the best things you can do is categorise the symbols for different things, i.e. you can have a file for home, school, snack, dinner, eating out, choice etc. you get the picture. 

Once you have set up the category you can add all the different symbols, for example let's say breakfast. You want to be careful here if your child gets angry if they request something you don't have there at the time - it's easy to delete and re-add symbols so don't worry you can add new ones when you have something different available and delete one if you don't have it in. The children can push the symbols and the iPad will read it out loud! Giving them a voice!!

Children are also very carefully and will probably spend time exploring it, as they do! They can build sentences, practise spelling, read out letters and numbers. It's great, it really does give the children a voice, you can add as many symbols as you like and it can be used for everything! 

It comes with three different vocabulary options; British, American or Australian! This app is also used within Schools too, it's great to help students stay focused, improve their communication, improve their language, help them transition through the day, promote their independence and give them the opportunity for choice; something a lot of our children may miss out on because they may not be able to respond to choice by word but may if they can see symbols.

You can even take your own pictures to add to the symbols if you want it to be something specific! 

Find more information here.

2. Tiny Tap

You'll be glad to hear this is a free app, and although there's the opportunity to purchase activities inside it, there are also lots of free options!

We stumbled across this in our classroom this year, it's a big hit with the kids and so many learning opportunities! Basically teachers/educators around the world create educational games/interactive books it's fabulous! One of our kids favourites is called Monster Love. It's free and the kids love it! The story is read aloud by the game and there's lots of rhyming! It's a fun, quirky and cute little book that the kids just love! There's different activities for different age groups and all different subjects math, geography etc. 

Find more information here or here.

3. Book Creator

This is a £3.99 app but there is also a free version for you to be able to try out before you purchase the full version. We love using this app! Basically it's all about being able to create books!

We use it for evidence or reflection activities. It is quite easy to work too and many of our children are happy to sit and make books on their own all day long!

You can use photos from the web, from your camera etc. It's great. You can add text, record your voice so that it talks back to you, add videos, stickers, change backgrounds, you name it and you can pretty much do it on this app!

Once finished you can also export it to a PDF! Send it to your computer and get it printed out! A great keepsake! It will also encourage reflection, children can flick through the books and try to recall what happened, they can look at pictures and try to make a story about them, trying to remember what they did, what the picture is about, what they can see etc.

For more information click here.

4. Choiceworks

So, this one I am still getting to grips with, it's a recent one that I've started using, but so far it's fabulous and great for at home, school, wherever! It's a bargain at just £4.99!

You can create a schedule for your children to be able to follow, it will help them transition, improve independence and they will be prepared for what is coming next - no nasty surprises! Once they finish a part of their schedule they can check it off to the completed section too!

There is also the waiting/timer option where they can have a visual for the countdown and when they will be finished waiting - great for those times when you know there's going to be a 10 minute wait for something or even if you need a quick 2 minutes to do something! It also offers the choices at the bottom for what they can do while they wait!

There is also a feelings option, I haven't quite got around to mastering this yet but from what I can make out of it, it basically offers children choices of what they can do when they feel a certain way, it also offers incentives of choice activities at the bottom if they are able to calm they can get those!

All in all, a great app! Especially when out and about or on the move!

Find out more information here.

5. Social Stories Creator

Here's another free app that I recently come across. This is great for social stories - as the name would suggest! They even have the option available for you to be able to print out the stories! 

But - if you don't have the time to make stories, they do have some ready made stories available for you! There is also an option available here to be able to make visual schedules - I have yet to use this feature but have been told it's great!

Find out more information here.

6. PocketPhonics

This is another really popular app with our kiddos, they love being able to trace all the different letters! The app also sounds out different letters, children can be encouraged to copy these if they are verbal, we have also had some non verbal children who can sound out some of the letters - this has been rare, but has happened. It also teaches spelling, it sounds out the letters, the word at the end, shows a picture, encourages students to spell the word, find out the missing letter - which the app sounds out for them, you can even set up so that they earn achievements/rewards to keep track of progress  It's great for letter recognition, tracing, fine motor skills, listening, letter sounds, building words etc.

The list of opportunities that this app is endless, it does cost £4.99 but I think we can all agree it's one of those that is most definitely worth the money!

You can find out more information here.

7. Preschool All In One

This app I have only so far downloaded the free version, there is also a paid version, but for now I am quite happy to keep going with the free option. 

This is everything you could hope for, especially for all around learning. It's bright, fun, interactive, inviting, and child friendly. There is no time limit to pressure children into completing quickly, however once they complete activities there is the option for them to receive stickers as rewards!

It's very interactive so kiddos love it - as you can imagine! There are lots of different activities which are led by a little monkey in a train. 

This can be; completing patterns, matching toys to shadows, counting blocks and matching the correct number (matching), touching toys that start with certain letter. 

Although you can complete the free version fairly quickly, it's still great to have as a time filler and to encourage quick learning time! Children can also make the children that their monkey drives around it, making that bit more personal. It's great to be able to check your child likes it before purchasing the full version.

You can find more information here.

8. ToDo Math

This is also a free app with the opportunity to purchase the full version. I still have the free version so will discuss that. 
Each day there is a mission with different learning activities included, you can also enter what type of learning you want; kindergarten prep, kindergarten practice, 1st grade prep or 1st grade practice. 

Kiddos will love the daily challenges and collecting the monster at the end of it! It's lots of fun, bright and interesting so will be sure to grasp their attention!

There is so much to do in this app, it's great !! 

Check out more information on it here.


I'm Back!

Well everyone, I have been super quiet lately because I've been away on vacation! You may notice though that blog posts have still been posted - I had them scheduled so that y'all would still have stuff to read through while I was away! I decided to really switch off this vacation you see, and I tried to avoid as much of my 'work' life as possible - it was impossible, I caught up with a couple of emails in the night while relaxing but that was all! Which is good for me!

However, the LONG plane journey meant that I could get lots of new exciting resources made for the new School year! Be sure to head on over to my store and follow me for updates on LOTS of new fabulous fun resources! Here.

So, I can hear you ask, where have I been? What have I been doing? Well, read on to find out more about our first part of our vacation. Part 2 will be announced in a few days!

Our vacation started at Orlando, Florida. We decided to rent a car and I would drive. We went with Enterprise in Orlando International Airport and they were great, we had a sat nav and off we went. Only problem was - the sat nav couldn't find signals until we were out of the parking lot and for a few minutes after! You can imagine my face trying to manoeuvre around a country i've never been to before! Alas, we managed to pull in somewhere, re-set up the sat nav and off we went again - woohoo!! Until the thunderstorm hit - OMG! I have never seen a thunderstorm like that - and all I had was t-shirts - oops! Never mind, it was still boiling. Also, I highly recommend hiring a car if you're going here, it works out so much cheaper, you can get so much more done - on your terms! And you can just drive around to wherever you want to go - whenever! We were worried about how expensive fuel (or gas) would be - we got 3/4 of a tank for $22! I nearly passed out! So we will definitely be driving again for our visit in March.

Our villa had been booked through a company called Head for Orlando. They were absolutely fabulous from start to finish, we had a panic as our flights ended up getting changed dates and we weren't sure if we had done the right dates in the villa, they got back to us so quick, putting us at ease, they were fabulous - Melodie in particular is amazing to deal with! Be sure to check them out, their prices are amazing, they have a HUGE amount of villas to choose from to suit everyone. We are already going to book with them for our next trip in March/April this year - and we can't wait!

Oh and to top it all off, they even have connections to the parks through a website - you can find all their details on their website when you book with them to get discounted tickets for the parks!!! WIN WIN!

So, what did our villa look like? We thought the price was absolutely amazing for what we paid so we were unsure, we pulled up and were immediately chuffed! We knew it was going to be just fabulous.

The inside was just as beautiful..

And then of course, you had the private pool. The weather was so nice and warm we definitely got our use out of it!

The villa had lots of info in a book about attractions close to us, the first day we went over to Walmart to fill up on some snacks for the week and then had an early night. The next day we headed to Gatorland!

This is definitely worth a visit and is a bargain price for all the fun you can have here! There is so much to do and it really is a lovely place to visit. You can purchase food on the way around to feed the alligators, fish and birds! There are 2 different shows on at different times throughout the day which are loads of fun, you can even walk through a real life swamp! We had a ball here and would definitely go back again, for sure! For everyone who knows me, snakes and spiders are my biggest no no. In the park I sat down and had a snake around my neck while holding a baby alligator for a photo. I don't know what my smile is trying to say because I was freaking out over the snake! But, I did it! Something I never thought I'd be able to do - but I did it! The alligator was the least of my worries!

Of course, from there, the rest of the week is a bit of a crazy blur, there is SO much that you can do in Florida that there is no way you can ever do it all, even if you live there I think! We decided to pass on Disney this year and do it next year when we returned - so we opted for two days at Universal! Of course, I booked it all in advance to be organised, and then dopey me left the tickets in the villa - reception are great there and just took my details down, asked for my ID and then re-issued us our tickets - phew!

Now, parking is a little bit expensive at Universal $17 per day, but it's worth it, it's kept in a covered car park so when you go back to the car at the end of the day it's nowhere near as hot as it would be if you left it out in the open! Now, as you all know, I have serious issues for anything Minion. I was so excited to go to this one (I went to the LA one when it was first opened, I was one of the first people to go on the Minion ride when it opened for testing and LOVED IT!) so you can imagine my disappointment when all day I kept eyes peeled for the minion characters - and I saw none of them! There were hardly any around the park which I was a little gutted about, I did have a picture with the grinch and his friend though! (I have no idea who his friend is!) Simpsons land (or Springfield) is great. My partner loves the simpsons, he had a whale of a time going around, into the shops, buying the humungous donut, having a krusty burger, duff beer etc. All of which you can't really get in the LA one. It really is worth a visit! Then of course, you have the new Harry Potter land - definitely worth a visit, it was absolutely fabulous, so much going on and the scenes are just perfect - the castle looks so amazing and realistic! 

It does get really busy at Universal, if you don't want to pay out for fast passes ( they can mount up so quickly with the price! ) then I really do suggest getting to the park really early, and start from the back of the park to the front. Be sure to check out all the fab little shops there too - especially the Christmas ones! And there is a little arcade that's great for a cool off or to hide from the rain.

Food wasn't too expensive here, we both ate in Krusty with a meal each for just under $20 - not too bad considering the prices in some parks elsewhere, there were also options to have discounts/dining plans etc. but as there are only two of us - we didn't really feel the need!

Not far from our villa was Bonanza Golf and Gifts. Nathan LOVES anything golf wise so we thought we'd have a go at mini golf - be wary, it gets super hot, so be sure to take some drinks with you, we bought them fairly cheap in the shop there and carried them round with us. Naturally, I won! (Address; 7661 W Irlo bronson Memorial Hwy, FL 34747)

The next day we headed over to I Drive 360. The weather turned a little rainy as we got there late afternoon we headed into the 'Arcade City' - it was SO much fun!! We spent over an hour in there having a great time and won some fab prizes. I had pouted with Nathan for the week because all I wanted was a King Bob minion! He had tried and won me so many different minions - but no King Bob yet!

In the arcade I went in and there was King Bob, I said I'd have just one go and that was it. On my first go I won! You can imagine my surprise! The workers there are so lovely, offering to take a photo with me and Bob to go on their Facebook page - I politely declined! We went on to win 2 more minions. Our left over tickets we passed on to a lady with 2 children - she was over the moon and so grateful! This is what Florida is all about people!

Here were my winnings from the Arcade there..

The last few days consisted of going around different restaurants that we love - Buffalo Bill Wild Wings, FOR SURE! Nathan always has the Build a Burger - he loves it! I decided to spice it up a little bit this time though and tried the flatbread.

DO IT! If you ever go there, try the flatbread, it is AMAZING, the nicest I have ever tried anywhere, we could have happily returned every single night for it. Staff are absolutely lovely - in every single one of these restaurants! It is a sports bar too, so there's lots of sports going on around the bar through their TV's from around the World, if you go when there is no 'major' event on, it's nice, quiet, peaceful and a great atmosphere!

And of course, here was my minion collection! Trust me, you are never too old for minions, ok?! I also had 2 more little ones that I forgot to put in this picture and a blanket! CRAY-ZY I know!

We always love to visit a Gift Shop before we leave a place too, we like to pick up little things from each of our vacations and also fetch back for our family. We came upon the Magic Castle Gift Shop - you can't really miss it, it has a huge wizard on it! While we were driving one day, it is huge inside and they have SO much on offer. The workers there are really lovely and will chat away to you for a little while - the prices are also fantastic! And the quality of stuff is brilliant, we spent a fortune in here though picking up loads of fabulous different things, we had a MASSIVE carrier bag full of so many different things - they even do disney, minions, harry potter etc. it's great! If you're passing by, be sure to stop there. You can also google it for address, more info etc. At the front of the shop there is also a guy with a booth who sells tickets for the local parks, we didn't buy from him here but he was real busy! However, he did say his Disney tickets are not discounted because they don't get discounted anywhere - so don't get your hopes up for those! (Address; 7647 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, FL 34747) 

Right by our villa (well just down the road from the gated community like a 2 minute drive) was a Dunkin' Donuts. YOU HAVE TO TRY THEM! The hot chocolate there is absolutely amazing, we would go here after a long day out (when the rain was just starting) pick up a hot chocolate and take it back to the villa just to sit and chill, it was lovely! You can even buy packs of stuff to fetch home and they do every donut that you can pretty much imagine!

If you are looking for some discounts/vouchers during your stay check out the Enjoy Florida Magazine you can look at it online or pick up a magazine, you can usually find these in gift shops, theme parks etc. There are loads of different discounts available and it updates regularly so keep your eyes peeled! It's also great for finding out what is going on around you too! 

If you're driving, there is a great premium outlet not too far away! It includes loads of different shops and the clothes are at AMAZING prices! There was a food court there too, along with a Disney store - let's face it, who goes to Orlando and comes back without something Disney?! The prices were great here, they even had Christmas jumpers reduced to crazy prices like $15?!

Nathan LOVES adidas tracksuits to travel around in - in the Adidas store they were on offer - buy 1 item get 1 half price! And that was even after they were discounted ! BARGAIN!

Then we headed on over to UGG - it's a huge place and is split into two sections, be sure to cross over to the other shops, I bought a pair of UGGs for around £50 cheaper than over here! Don't forget to include the tax when you are budgeting! (Address; 4951 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819)

Then, it was time to say goodbye to Florida and head on to our next part of the journey... be sure to keep an eye out on my blog for step 2 coming next week! 

Please note, I do not work for, represent or get paid to leave reviews on any of the places above that I have mentioned. When I travel, I love to be able to read reviews before I go to find out what is the best to visit, when I'm unable to find reviews I get wary, but by reading them I have also found so many fabulous new places. Where's your favourite place in Florida?



Full Moon; Autism

This is a little bit of a post just from my experiences. I am not an expert, I am not a doctor, I am not a Scientist, no this hasn't proved to be real, but I'm just going from experience - what all of us in the Autism World do - right? We learn, day by day, and from each other!

So, the full moon. What is it about the full moon?! 

Every since I started working with Autism, around the Full Moon there has always been some crazy goings on. The children always seem to go that extra bit crazy, they're more sensitive to things and just a whole lot more unpredictable and sensitive! Everyone says it! Staff that we work with, professionals who come in and even the families of the children themselves - always joke about the full moon effect!

During the full moon we see a lot more behaviours for sure, the children seem to be much more sensitive and their triggers happen much more regularly and quickly. 

We also get a lot of reports from families how the child(ren) have had worse nights sleep during a full moon. Their appetite can completely go missing and not eat all day/night! 

We keep constant daily behavioural charts on each of our students and if you look back, around the full moon there is definitely consistent changes in the students behaviours! Crazy, right?

I always try to keep up to date and look to see if anything has ever come from it research wise, but alas, nothing really. I'd love to hear from others working with or living with autism! How do you find the full moon effects the people you know?!


Technology Tuesday; Change Page Size on Keynote

Welcome to the fifth week of Technology Tuesday!

It's been so much fun and rewarding knowing how many people I have been helping each week! The support is fab to receive. Don't forget if there's anything you'd like to see, send me an email on and I will add it to my list! 

This week is all about changing the page size on keynote. When I first changed from Windows to Macbook, Keynote was so confusing! I can remember spending ages trying to figure out how to change the paper size! Please bear in mind that the page size I am going to put in is for A4 as here in the UK that is the main paper size we use. The paper size on keynote is in pts if you're unsure the size you need google 'a4 paper in pts' or whatever paper size you need in 'pts.'

Thanks for reading my newest Technology Tips. Check back next Tuesday (1st September) for tips on how to make sure you export your Keynote pages accurately to PDF.



Autism and Eating

Let's face it this is one of the hardest things to tackle with Autism!
It's easy for a lot of people to say; he'll eat when he's hungry, but as a parent I suppose this just isn't what you want to hear! You're a parent, of course you're going to start to worry if your child isn't eating. It's instinct.

So today, a few different ideas that I have seen to help with this issue and for you to try out! They may not work but it's worth a go, right!?

Does your child have issues with food touching? How about using a cupcake/muffin baking tray to separate different foods. This can be so quick to put together and you can rotate it, add different foods to it. Also great for snack times etc. It stops the foods touching each other - which we all know can be an issue for some of our kids!

You can also get them in lunchbox style. Although the baking tray will work just as well - this might be good when sending in packed lunch.

You may have noticed in the previous pictures how parents have tried to 'fun-ify' the food. This can make the food more attractive to the kids, if it doesn't look very nice - they probably won't try it!

Whatever they like see if you can get cutters, moulds etc. to match it. I once knew of a child who would only eat food if it was in the shape of a train! His mother was absolutely amazing and so creative with different foods made into the shape of trains! Here are a few different examples.

Great! Right?! Sure it will take a little bit longer to prepare each day - but it is going to totally be worth it!

Another one we often come across is children that will only eat a certain colour food. Yep, it's official, I've known a few who will only eat food that is brown. BROWN. Do you know how crazy hard that colour food is to come across!? But of course nowadays there's such a thing as food colouring. Truly great!

Blue rice!! Who would have thought it!? 

Sometimes it's easier to get the kids to try a new food by sneaking a little bit of it into their normal food without them noticing. I don't know how many times i've managed to sneak a few beans, peas or gravy into a bit of mash! Although this takes ninja skills, trust me, those kids ain't dull! They gonna be watching you like a Hawk!  But it's great for this - they may not even realise they're trying it!

Why not start baking with your child? it doesn't have to be anything amazing, out of this world, master chef style, just something fun and to get your child touching new foods, different textures etc. We had a child who would not eat anything except cheese and onion crisps, i'm not even lying. And you could not get him to eat anything - genuine. But one day while cooking away, he started to pick at a rice krispie - just one but WHO CARES IT'S A RICE KRISPIE! You can imagine the happy dances going on. Then when making swamp cups (don't ask) he started to pick at fizzy sweets and laces! (Granted not the healthiest - but 
he 's trying new things.) Cooking is a great way to encourage new textures and it is so much fun!!! Don't forget to lick that spoon!! 

What tips have you got to helping your child eat? It's so much fun to share ideas and can really help each other out!! Let's face it, we've all found sneaky little ways that we never thought would work - but do! 



But, he doesn't look autistic?

Let's face it, our worst nightmare, right?
As if having to go through this overtime someone wants to now why your child does XYZ, you explain about autism and all your child's traits, what it means, you really open yourself and your child up, you make yourselves vulnerable.

For someone to turn around and say 'but, he/she doesn't look autistic?'

ARGHH. Ok breath. Let's face it, from a personal point of view, I think autism is more well known than it used to be, but we have a long way to go, there are still people out there who have no idea what autism is - or even that it exists! It takes time, and us to continue what we do to promote autism. 

So, what does autism look like?

What does you non-autistic child look like? Yep, an autistic child can look just like that! They don't have 'autism' tattooed on their forehead, they may not physically look 'different' from a mainstream child, they may not be in wheelchairs etc. Let's face it, our children are not just 'autistic', they are children too. Autism is just part of who they are.

However, you will soon find, that through years of living with or working with autism, you will start to pick up tell tale signs and recognise others around you who may be autistic.

However, don't ever think you're the autism expert. Every day presents a new trait of autism, every child differs from the next. There is no one 'type' of autism, there is no one definite 'trait' that makes a child autistic.

You see, when you have the flu, it's easy, right? You know the signs, they're pretty much the same for everyone, diagnose it straight away, easy. Autism isn't. The spectrum is so wide, ever changing and so many different ways/traits to factor in that I would be here until next year just listing the ones i'm aware of, that's without others around the World adding little traits that their loved ones with autism do! 

It is only when people are fully educated on and aware of autism that society will be fully accepting and understanding.


Technology Tuesday; Schedule Blogger Posts

Woohoo, week number 4 of Technology Tuesday! This has been so much fun and I'm loving the feedback I'm having on how helpful they have been so far. Don't forget if there's something you would love to see on here just email me and I'll be more than happy to add it to my growing list!

So Technology Tuesday consists of me sharing tips/walkthroughs on how to do different things! This week is all about how to schedule blogger posts! This is an amazing feature and so many people don't actually know that they can do this! It's a life saver, especially when you want to write a few different posts at once but want to spread them out over a few weeks - even when you're away, then you forget! Argh there is nothing worse! So just use the schedule bit provided and never miss out! Follow my instructions below on how to do this!

Hope this helps - it certainly saves a lot of time and is great to be able to schedule posts to be done to your blog when you are prepared in advance/away etc.

Check back next week for tips on how to change page size on Keynote!



10 Things about Autism

I love to liaise with others and just recently I have been liaising with someone who has been wanting to go into the Autism World to teach. She asked me "What are the top 10 things I should know?"

This was a tough one. It's different for us all. What I think someone should know, someone else may make a completely different list, but here are my 10 things I think someone should know about autism;

1) Not all autism is the same
There was once a quote I came across "When you meet one child with Autism, you have met one child with Autism" it truly couldn't be more true. 
Every child is different.

2) I don't look 'different'
You'll be amazed at how 'mainstream' some of our autistic children can look. I once heard it described as a 'hidden disability' although the wording may now change around 'disability, additional needs, special needs etc' I still think it's true - it is totally hidden! Our children can look so mainstream which makes it hard when others can't understand why they are behaving a certain way!

3) I am not 'naughty'
AGGHHHRHRGHHGGH! (Temper tantrum here). I can remember one day being out in the community with a student. She was a little angry over waiting in the queue - in fairness we had queued now for 15 minutes, and a few months back this child would never have lasted this long so this was a big achievement. I can remember an old man turning to me and saying "Bit naughty isn't she?" Phwoar, if he did. He soon had a quick lesson about Autism. Granted, he became very embarrassed and apologised. But, what if I was someone who wasn't able to react so quick with a speech about Autism? What if I was someone who couldn't stand up for myself? What if I was too shy? The child is not naughty he/she just has differing needs that not everyone understands.

4) Don't be scared of me.
The amount of people we have come in usually 'subs' read the pen pictures and give a HUGE wide berth to the children throughout the day. Don't be scared of them. They can have such amazing, funny personalities and you can build such strong relationships with them - there is no need to be scared of them, sure be aware of what may upset them and abide by that!

5) I am not a test subject.
Don't treat them like a test subject. Don't try out new things, see if you can cure their differences. There is nothing worse than someone who comes strutting in and claiming they know everything and can stop the child doing this, that and the other. Flapping may annoy you, but tough - that's part of who the child is. Why should we cure them? The rest of the World needs to learn to accept differences, not cure them.

6) Just because I'm non-verbal doesn't make me dull.
Nothing worse than someone assuming because a child can't talk then they aren't very clear - it's quite the contrary, I've known some children who are so clever yet are non-verbal. You just have to put some extra time in to making different activities and resources to suit their individual needs - you'll soon see themselves come out of their shell!

7) Don't hide me away.
Why should we hide our children away? We are out in the community at least twice a week. The community need to see us out to accept us. We help the children get used to being out in the community to help their families. They need to learn about the community, life skills etc. that may come so naturally to others, they just need a little more time to get used to!

8) Don't gape at me.
Our children may do things different - they may make non-verbal noises that may sound 'funny' to you, they may flap and rock. This does not give you permission to stand there, gape for so long you might as well take a picture. This is the child. This is their life. This is what they do. 

9) Please be patient with me.
Please be patient. If something is new it may take me a little longer to get used to it. I have to consider so many new things; noises, lights, textures, crowds. There are so many things going around my mind in a new setting, it can upset me, please be patient, I will get there one day.

10) Love me, accept me. Don't take it personal.
Build relationships. You may ask "How? The child doesn't want anyone near him!" "The child likes to be alone". Trust me there's always a way to connect with each other. It may be over playing games with each other, next to each other, sensory time, singing, music sessions, work activities, when out and about. As soon as you have that relationship, you have their trust, they are going to feel safe with you, you're going to be their first port of call. This can be bad and good. I don't know how many times I've been walloped because of a noise someone else made - but it's just the child's way of telling me they really don't like this situation and they don't know what to do! The child hasn't sat there for the past 3 hours wondering how they are going to hurt me! Don't take it personal. Once you have that relationship, you're going to love them to bits because their personality is really going to shine through. It is so worth it.

What would be on your list? 


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