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Archive for the ‘moving house’ Category

Some of you may have noticed that I’ve not posted anything for a while now. I’ve decided to take a little break from blogging.

I’m not sure how long my break will be but I promise I will be back at some point.

We have alot of different “stuff’ happening in the MumtoJ house at the moment. We are still struggling to sort out and deal with Hubby’s back injury, sorry but NHS you are very slow. For the government that wants to get people into work and off of benefits, here you have a man who has been unable to work for 2 years now due to his back injury but is desperate to get his back fixed (as best as it’s can be) and get back to work…………….(and a wife who desperately wants to get him back to work and oput from under her feet, I love him but his boredom is driving me mad). Despite doing everything we can, he is still waiting to be seen by a specialist and (hopefully) fixed. His back injury has also has other effects on family life because obviously he can’t play with our son in the same way that he used to 2 years ago.  J is a very active child and has struggled to understand that Dad can’t play on the trampoline and he can’t climb on Dad etc etc and so that has meant I have had to try to take his place and J has had to adjust his play. J has ASD, adjusting his play has not been easy for him.

We have also moved house and have issues with heating etc, which hasn’t been much fun over the cold period that we’ve been having. As well as moving house J has moved school. He’s now going to a small village school AND he LIKES it…………………HE ACTUALLY LIKES IT!!!! Obviously he’s had some changes to cope with and he’s surprised us by coping remarkably well, so much better than we ever thought he would. We’ve seen a huge change in J since starting his new school, he’s much calmer before and after school, he’s talking about what he’s done at school, he’s telling us how he’s played with C or S or J at playtime, he’s eating his lunch and getting him dressed and ready for school isn’t such a big battle. All of which backs up our claim that school was causing his anxiety driven behaviour. So changing school has so far been a brilliant change and is working well for all of us.

We’ve also had Christmas to deal with, ok I know everyone had Christmas to deal with but ASD parents will understand when I say URGH!

I’ve also had some health issues myself to deal with, some of which are still ongoing but I’m not going to get into right now.

And then there’s been the whole issue of the future. Do we return to Australia? We want to but if Hubby’s back doesn’t get fixed is returning to Australia still an option that we should pursue. J has told some of the children in his class that he IS going back to Australia and we are very aware that there is lots that he misses. The education and Healthcare system works much better for J in Australia, so far it has been pretty crap here in the UK. We are still struggling to get a UK diagnosis, so far tests have shown he has difficulties but he scored one point less than needed on one test for an Autistic Spectrum Disorder diagnosis……….Guess Australia supported his needs too well or maybe he lost a little ASD on the flight to the UK. Anyway without that all important UK diagnosis he gets no help or support. So Australia would be and is so much better for J. There’s also the added bonus of an outdoor lifestyle, the weather makes that so much more possible. With the cold weather we are both constantly ill and stuck indoors. That said if Hubby can’t get his back fixed he won’t be able to return to the job that he has done all of his working life and so the question How do we support ourselves financially arises. I’d be happy to return to work but what does Hubby do?

We’ve got lots of other minor “stuff” going on in the background too. So as I said at the start of the post I’m taking a break from blogging so that we can try to deal with some of the things going on in our lives at the minute.

See you soon

Thanks for sticking with me, I’ll hopefully be back soon.

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Part of me has found it nice being back in England. It’s been nice catching up with some family and friends, I’ve enjoyed shopping a little more over here and Hubby has been seen by a spinal specialist already. However we seem to of had one bad thing after another happen during the last 3 months.

We didn’t have a great moving day and we’re still dealing with an issue from that day. Our container was also “delayed” in leaving and so missed the first ship it was supposed to be on, This has meant that not only has it arrived a month later than originally told but we have had to re-complete all of our customs forms too. Today we discovered due to the incompetence of our removal company in Australia and incorrectly labelled packages, Customs have opened some of our boxes/packages and have confiscated some of our belongings, despite the very same items being owned by us for over 7 years and so have travelled out of and into the UK on more than one occasion. Oh and we won’t know which items have been removed until our shipment is delivered to us on Friday!

We’ve struggled to get J’s diagnosis recognized in the UK. This has meant the school that we chose for him has had to source outside funding in order to provide him with support for the last term, however that funding has run dry and so this term it is expected that he will attend full time with no support. We also had to see the same Peadiatrician that refused to diagnose J before we left for Australia 2 years ago, it wasn’t a good meeting and we’re now waiting to see another Peadiatrician, 25 miles away! In Australia J had support however limited it was in school and he had support from an OT, Speech Therapist, Psychologist and Disability Services………….In the UK so far J will receive zero support.

Relationships with some family and friends have also not been as they were when we left 2 years ago. Time changes people and I guess being thousands of miles apart can also change a relationship too. I know it’s partly my fault too, I know I’ve changed alot. Another thing that’s forced a change in some of these relationships is reactions to J…………and my reactions to those reactions. What people have to remember is J doesn’t remember the majority of these people and so they are strangers to him…………He doesn’t react well to strangers unless he feels a connection with them, (like his best friend H). Then there’s been the people who haven’t been sure how to react to his behaviour and so once he has reacted negatively to them they haven’t returned for a second visit or haven’t been able to relax and be themselves around him on the next visit. And of course there have been the ones who still think our parenting needs work. Not everyone but some have and to be quite honest I just can’t be bothered to worry about what they may or may not think about my son’s behaviour or our parenting ‘cus we’re all doing the best we can and to me that’s all that matters.

Ofcourse the weather’s been up and down but we’ve felt the cold and we’ve all missed the sunshine that Australia gave us! And the icing on the cake………………… feeling cold is going to be even worse tonight, we had our boiler services today and was told it was leaking Carbon Monoxide and so had to be shut off for health and safety reasons, with the hope that it may get repaired tomorrow!

Then there’s Hubby’s back…………..the reason that we returned to the UK. We left Australia after being told there was nothing more Workcover would do and was told to claim financial support from the Australian Government, something that as non-citizens we couldn’t do. Since arriving back Hubby has been seen by a spinal specialist quite quickly but has now been referred to a pain clinic. They now think he has had a trapped nerve that is no longer trapped but is sending pain signals to his brain and body…………………………….Seriously, we came all the way back to the UK for them to tell us that!!!

If you add all of the above to how we miss our nice big house in Australia, (you forget how much smaller houses in England are), our friends that we left in Australia, the beach and the life that we had over there, we’re left questioning our decision. Did we do the right thing coming back? And where do we go from here?

 

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After a comedy of errors and rather alot of stress our container containing almost everything we own is almost with us.

The day of removal/packing didn’t go brilliantly and we still have an unresolved issue with our removal company, something that I can’t go into at the moment, but needless to say it’s an issue that’s been (and still is) causing us a fair bit of stress. Our shipment/container was supposed to be on it’s way to us almost immediately after being packed and should have arrived in England around the 4th March. Obviously it’s April now, so you may have already worked out that, that didn’t happen! Nope in fact we’ve had to fill out all of our customs forms again because it’s come over on a different ship etc……. And to top things off the removal company in Australia didn’t label some of our “packages” correctly and so this has also provided more problems now that it has all arrived in England!

We’ve been back in England for 3 months now and although it’s gone really quickly and we’ve been extremely busy, we’ve started to miss little things. I’ve started to wonder if we packed the right things in our suitcases. We packed 4 cases, had 3 rucksacks crammed full as hand luggage and I had the biggest handbag I could find, as well as coats………….can you imagine the 3 of us (well 2 really, ‘cus J didn’t actually carry anything) trying to navigate check in at the airport and arrival in England with all of that luggage?!?! LOL

In the suitcases we packed the obvious – clothes and a few special toys, but we also had to pack J’s car seat, he refused to get a new one or sit on a borrowed one so we had to pack his. This took up most of the space in one case. We also had to pack J’s pillow, just packing his pillow case wasn’t an option. We tried changing his pillow before we left and he refused to sleep on it ‘cus he knew it wasn’t his pillow and so decided although we were going to have our sleep issues there was no point in making it worse, we packed the pillow………………….this case I had to sit on in order to close it! And ofcourse we had to pack J’s Ready Bed, we also packed sleeping bags for ourselves, (they took up less room and weighed less than blankets or quilts). We also packed a few of J’s “therapy” items such as his bodysock and his therabrushes. As for toys, somehow, (I’m not sure how), we managed to convince J to only pack the essentials………….his Mario figures and castle (obviously!) and a few special toys and books. And clothes………..we knew it was probably going to be cold, much colder than we had been used to for the past 2 years so we packed several jumpers……………..Do you know how much room jumpers take up in a case?!?!  Hand luggage was taken up with J’s laptop and Ipad and all of Hubby’s medical notes and J’s medical and school notes.

When everything was packed we were just over our baggage allowance so couldn’t possibly pack anything else but over the past couple of weeks I’ve started questioning whether we packed the right things. All of J’s medical notes and school notes haven’t made a blind bit of difference and we’ve been told his Aussie diagnosis and everything we’ve done with him over the past two years is worthless and not valid in the UK, (Ridiculous right?!), so was it worth packing? We started missing alot of things too……….. J is obviously missing all of his toys and books and ofcourse the Wii, (he’s really missing the Wii!), but we’re also missing our beds, airbeds are ok for a while but Hubby’s really struggled to sleep on one and is now “sleeping” on the floor because it doesn’t hurt his back so much and J misses his bed…………….me I’m happy just to get some sleep, I don’t care where I have to sleep, just so long as I get a couple of hours rest! I miss my computer and I really miss my big fridge freezer, I miss being able to do a proper weekly grocery shop and it’s costing a fortune having to go to the shop every other day, (we’ve bought a small fridge since arriving back just to keep milk in etc). I miss my wardrobe, wearing the same clothes every week is starting to bore me. And I miss my photographs! Some of them contain precious memories and it’s a horrible feeling knowing that they’re somewhere out there floating on the ocean, you just have to hope that everything will get to you in one piece.

Our container has been in the UK for almost 2 weeks now and we’re hoping Customs won’t hold it up for too much longer………….it’s going to feel like Christmas when everything arrives!……………..Then we have to have a clearout, we’d forgotten how much smaller houses in UK are!!

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AARRRRGGGHHHHHHHH!

I’m so cross today! We took J to his Peadiatrician appointment today. Our letter told us that although we were going to the same clinic that we had been to previously and had seen a Peadiatrician who had refused to diagnose ASD (and in fact told us that was nothing unusual about his behaviour asking if I had considered that I may be depressed!!), we would be seeing a different peadiatrician…………….So image how our hearts sunk when that very same peadiatrician called his name!! As soon as I saw Dr W I knew that today’s appointment would be a complete waste of time!

I could feel my heart pounding, my hands shaking and my eyes starting to well up as soon as we entered the consultation room.  I just knew that the uphill battle we were already facing had gotten even steeper!

Basically we were told again that just because he was diagnosed with ASD in Australia, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he is on the spectrum! That the paperwork we had brought with us didn’t really mean much! And that we have to start from the beginning all over again…………….Yep we have to go through the whole assessment and diagnosis process all over again!!!

I don’t think I can put into words how cross we felt when we left the clinic. She might as well of told us that everything we had done over the past 2 years had been a complete waste of everyone’s time and energy! That we had wasted the last 2 years of our son’s life! And that we were just rubbish parents who couldn’t cope with a difficult child!

In all fairness the school that we chose for J have been fairly supportive and say they will do what they can to support us in getting J some support at school. J’s teacher and aide are also attending a course about how to support a child with Autism……………but a UK diagnosis was going to help them in their quest to get him support so much. We’ve also been told that we needed a UK diagnosis in order for the school to access advice and support from the Autism Outreach Team. So their hands are tied, there isn’t much more they can do without a UK diagnosis.

So where do we go from here?…………….I guess we have no choice but to start from the beginning again! :(

 

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Over the past few months we’ve learnt just how valuable some friends can be.

Just before leaving Australia a couple of close friends that we made over there  helped us in simple ways. Supporting us by coming around regularly to see us,chatting,  helping us with our car, (because of Hubby’s hurt back he’s not be able to do any work on our car), trying to find some way that we could have stayed in Australia and simply by bringing us a smile and cheering us up. Although it has been nice to see a couple of close friends that we left behind in England, I do miss my Aussie friends and I know that J is missing his best friend, M, he’s even asked “when is M coming to my school?”

Since arriving back in the UK we’ve really struggled to find a rental property, the local council told us we weren’t a priority and we would have to go to the bottom of a very long waiting list to be housed and all but one private letting agency wouldn’t help at all because of our lack of UK references. We finally moved into a rental property last week but have spent the past few weeks staying with my Hubby’s best friend. Not only are we incredibly grateful that he put us up in his spare room but he has put up with J’s meltdowns, nightmare bedtimes, sharing his fridge, (which I kinda took over hehe), and his dog, (a big white staffy), being constantly bothered and even sucker punched, which really shocked us, J insisted he had done it because the dog liked it and was playing with him! We’re just grateful that the dog didn’t “play” back.  I can honestly say that I don’t know many people who would be willing to put up with everything that he has over the past few weeks and for that we will be forever grateful.

We’ve had advice and the odd message here and there online from some wonderful friends who have lifted our spirits. We’ve had catchups with some old friends that we left behind in the UK, which again has lifted our spirits.

Our friends have really got us through some tough times over the past few months and if any of them are reading this, (which I’m pretty sure a couple of them will), I just want to say…………….

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We arrived home yesterday from our little roadtrip, all a little tired and sad to be home.

MumtoJ

The journey to our destination was a long one, J was in a terrible mood which continued on throughout the day even after we had arrived and unpacked. Last week was the first time he had attended 3 full days in a row at school and I think it just wore him out, which resulted in a tired and VERY grouchy boy pretty much all day Thursday.

However he woke up Friday feeling and looking much happier, a huge relief for us because we had another day of driving around and it would have been a nightmare if little man had been in his bad mood again! We drove around various little towns/suburbs, checked out the local schools, visited the local tourist offices to get information about the area and just generally checked out the whole area.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday we spent the morning doing pretty much the same thing and decided (despite the threat of showers) that we’d get some chips and let J spend some time on the beach. He’d been so good we thought it would be fair to let him have some fun :)

 

We were very sad to leave on yesterday but returned home with the knowledge that this was definitely somewhere that we’d like to consider moving to. :)

As for today………… well it was back to the same old, same old………………. J insisting that he was sick and couldn’t go to school, appointments with doctors, surgeons and therapists………… and back to my little addiction to coffee ;)

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Well it’s been around 9 months since we moved back to Australia and in that time very few family and friends have stayed in touch.

Of course we expected this to a certain degree but some have left us feeling a little disappointed in them. Some who we had thought would definitely stay in touch, haven’t made any contact with us at all and some have been just plain rude! 99% of our UK friends and family are either on Facebook or have email but few ever make contact.

We’ve tried to do what we can to make it easy for people to stay in touch. We have a home phone for cheaper international calls, we have mobiles so people can text, we have email and Facebook. We wrote to important people once we had settled to give them our address. Once our computer arrived I set up Skype so we could chat with others regularly without raking up huge bills, but we only ever seem to chat with 2 old friends on there…………………And ofcourse I blog!

So I have to ask is it something we’ve said or done? Did we mean so little to some that we have been forgotten already?  With so many different ways of staying in touch the world isn’t such a huge place so why is it so many haven’t stayed in touch?

I guess moving to Australia has really shown us who the people are that really care, the people who really matter. To those of you who have stayed in touch, Thankyou, it means alot and we’re very grateful. To those of you that haven’t, (and yes I know you’re probably not going to read this), I know we all lead busy lives these days but surely you could have spared 10 minutes just to send a quick “Hi”.

To those of you that have family and friends living far away, whether it be overseas or a few hours drive away, do something good, put a smile on their faces.  Go on pick up the phone, give them a call, text them, email, Skype, send a message on Facebook, whatever……………..maybe even write them a letter.

Spare 10 minutes for a relationship that could last a lifetime :)

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