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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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Today’s Photo A Day Challenge for November is Colour.

Autumn has always been my favourite season, despite the cold! And let’s face it, it has definitely gotten COLD!

The thing that makes me love Autumn so much is the colour, I love Autumn colours. Reds, Oranges, Yellows, Browns, Greens…………And that’s just the trees!

So I thought I’d share some Autumn colours……………..

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So as a way of getting back into blogging I thought I’d have another go at Fat Mum Slim’s photo a day challenge.

To begin the challenge, today’s photo a day challenge is Something Beginning With ‘C’…………….

J has developed abit of a fascination with castles recently thanks to a certain computer game character that goes by the name of Bowser. So we’ve had a couple of days out recently visiting  a few different castles. We’ve had great fun together walking around some of England’s great history. J has loved climbing to the top of the castle walls and towers and has taken in alot of facts about each castle that we’ve visited.

As well as learning abit of history, visiting the castles have been fun family days out, that I’d recommend to anyone. :)

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It’s been a while yet again since I posted last. We’ve been trying to deal with our “situation” at the minute.

Our “situation” is this…………We are still waiting for Hubby to see a specialist regarding his back, in fact we are still waiting for an appointment. Seriously, I cannot believe just how slow the NHS is. Until he has seen the specialist and gotten some answers we’re stuck in limbo. We need to know if they are going to do anything to fix the problem at all or if there is nothing they will do. Either way once we get some answers we can move on with our lives, make plans etc……..

Our housing situation hasn’t changed and we’ve had no luck finding another house to rent, so again we’re stuck.

However our biggest source of stress has without a doubt been school issues! It’s just been one problem after another and has now gotten so bad that there is almost no communication between us and them. That said at the moment I think no communication between us and them would be better than what we have right now. 2 weeks ago they ambushed us, they tried tricking us into coming to “parents evening” during school time and with the Head attending too……………..I know alarm bells were ringing in our heads too! Turns out we were right to query the “parents evening”, it turned out to be a complete ambush. The Head and J’s Teacher were waiting to question us and at times (it felt like) attack us. We had an ESCO meeting booked for this week, (which has now taken place) and so we weren’t willing at that time to go through all of their issues right then So told them that we would discuss things with our support worker and then everything could be discussed at the ESCO meeting, as it supposed to happen. They wouldn’t accept that and continued with their “discussion” until time ran out for them.

During the ambush we asked if the school would be applying for a statement yet. This was brought up again in the ESCO meeting. We were told that there was no point applying yet because school don’t see his need for support yet, they say he isn’t displaying any of the anxiety or behaviour that we see at home, at school.

We asked if J would have an IEP whilst at the ambush, suddenly at the ESCO meeting they pulled out a piece of paper that they claimed was his IEP. It wasn’t an IEP it was a piece of paper so that they could claim at an official meeting that it had been done. After raising the point that we’d had no input at all with it we were told to arrange a meeting to discuss what they had decided. We had our proper Parent’s Evening last night, please don’t even get me started on that or how rude his teacher is. We were told during parent’s evening that we had to meet after school to discuss the IEP that they had done (seriously not worth the paper it’s written on), and we were to bring J to the meeting too. WTF!! No we’ve asked for a proper IEP meeting ‘cus we’re getting more than a little frustrated with the school’s bullying antics. Anyway after talking with our support worker and discussing things together we’ve decided to tell the school to do whatever the hell they want, there isn’t much point having another meeting to allow them to try to bully us again, when they’re going to do whatever it is they want to do anyway.

J’s current teacher is arrogant, ignorant, rude and makes it very obvious that she just doesn’t like us. Quite frankly I don’t care whether she likes us or not, ‘cus to be honest I can’t stand the woman but how she feels about us should not impact on how J is treated in school. Everything we say, Every concern we bring up, Everytime J opens up and tells us something which we pass on simply gets ignored, brushed under the carpet and forgotten. It’s about time they started dealing with some of the issues.

As I’ve said before we have some concerns that J is being bullied. The latest injury that he came home from school with was marks and bruises up his back because (as he told us) someone punched him lots of times. The school’s response was “it’s normal for 6 yr olds”…………. This week he gave us a name which we passed on during the ESCO meeting, school’s response wasn’t we’ll keep an eye on it, oh no, we were told “if you knew **** you would know he wasn’t capable of hurting anyone”……….Really well guess what, J doesn’t lie and him giving us a name was a big deal so maybe they should keep that in mind and actually keep an eye on the situation to see if the child in question is bullying him before J decides he will take no more and hits back!

We’ve got so many issues going on with school at the moment, it’s crazy and our frustration levels are at an all time high. So right now no communication would probably be better than what we have now because I’m not sure how much more we can put up with until we have a complete breakdown with them.

Right now we need some answers from the specialists regarding hubby’s back. Once we get those answers we’ve got a plan, we know what we’re going to do. Until we get those answers we’re stuck no knowing what to do for the best, we’re stuck living in a place where we don’t want to be, we’re stuck with the red tape that this country uses for everything, we’re stuck with the frustration and our poor boy is stuck in an education system that refuses to recognise his needs and support him.

Ok I’m going to sign off now, I’ve got so much to write about but I’m feeling so frustrated right now so I’d best stop now. Sorry for “going on”, if you’ve got to the end of this post, thanks for sticking with it. I’ll try to be abit more upbeat in my next post.

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It’s been a while since I posted. It’s been a long summer of highs and lows and we’ve been very busy.

At the start of the Summer holidays I had surgery on my right hand, nothing serious, I have Carpal Tunnel in both hands and so had surgery to relieve it. This meant I was unable to use my right hand for 3 weeks and then had to slowly regain use of it, It’s still quite painful around the area now but the scar is only just visible.  It’s been hard work just doing some basic things (such as washing and dressing), and I’ve been really surprised at how much I rely on the use of my hands.

We renewed our Australian visas during the Summer. We discovered that they had just expired and so spoke to a very helpful person at Australia House who informed us that we could apply for a Resident Return Visa, which ofcourse we did. Our visas are valid for another 5 years, we were gutted to leave Australia in January and so by renewing our visas we might be able to return at some point over the next 5 years.

We opted for several days out over the Summer rather than a short holiday. J and I had a couple of days out with my wonderful friend Supersingle mum and her girls (one of which is J’s best (and only) friend here in England). We went to Wickstead Park, which is a small family fun/theme park and also went to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. J enjoyed both days although was a little disappointed with the wildlife park. In his opinion there wasn’t enough animal interaction, I guess Australia Zoo is difficult to live up to.

 

   

We also had a few family days out, just my Hubby, J and I. We took J to Duxford Imperial War Museum, Cadbury World and ofcourse to the Seaside. He had great fun, in fact he had so much fun all trips were meltdown free!!! He loved looking at everything at Duxford and going to the Sealife centre whilst at the seaside but he was especially impressed with the cups of melted chocolate that he got to sample at Cadbury World. :) And ofcourse we’ve had numerous trips to feed the ducks!

Our housing situation hasn’t gotten any better over the Summer either. We applied to our local council for housing, ticking all the boxes for Housing Associations etc  (as most homes are now with Housing Associations) and so far we have been offered 2 retirement bungalows. Neither were suitable for a family let alone a family with a child that has J’s needs and were both just about big enough for a retired couple, however due to us refusing them our local council have put our housing application on hold for 6 months. Therefore we are stuck living in a house that we don’t really want to be in but it was the only house available to rent when we first arrived back in England. (It’s very hard to rent a house here when you’re previous landlord and references are in a different country!)

And after having a fairly good and relaxed Summer, (other than the housing situation and the surgery), J went back to school 2 weeks ago. He’s already had a week off sick and although he didn’t like feeling so full of cold and coughing, he didn’t mind being off school and was gutted to go back yesterday. Things have already gone from bad to worse since going back and J declared as soon as he exited the school grounds that he’s “had a horrid day!” However then shutdown and couldn’t tell us why! To be honest I have given up almost all hope of communication between the school and ourselves ever working and it feels like they simply don’t want to help/support and that maybe it’s just too much trouble for them. Our ESCO support worker is currently on holiday and we don’t have our next meeting with her, the school and other professionals until next month. We also don’t have our next appointment with the community Paediatrician until next month either and so until then we all just have to bide our time and just try our best to make it through each day. To be honest the nights are becoming harder than the days at the minute, as well as the usual fun and games at bedtimes, J has started to have Night Terrors. He’s been waking up between 3 and 7 times a night, screaming, shouting, panicking, violently shaking, rambling and (it looks like) trying to get something off him. Ofcourse by morning despite us all being a little more tired than usual he has no knowledge of any of his “awakenings”. Not sure what’s suddenly caused them or how to deal with them either but I’m sure we’ll work something out soon.

So that’s it, obviously there’s been lots of other “stuff” but this has been our Summer of highs and lows. As we make our way through Autumn we’re looking forward to trying to work our way through “stuff”, work our way towards Christmas (not too long now!!) and getting out of our rut.

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Yesterday I was filled with hope……………… Hope that things couldn’t get any worse right? I mean, we’ve had a pretty tough 18 months but the last 6 months things have gone from bad to worse.

We were forced to come back to the UK, there was nothing else we could do (although looking back now I kinda wish we’d pitched a tent in a friend’s backyard and stuck it out n Oz!). Relationships have changed with family and friends, not just because we’d been away for almost 2 years but also because some don’t know and can’t “deal” with J’s behaviour and I just can’t be bothered to deal with them. That might sound harsh but I’m being honest, we’ve got alot going on at the moment which has and is causing alot of stress and I don’t have the energy to deal with those people. We have housing issues which I won’t get into right now but they are causing us alot of stress right now. We’ve had various tests done regarding our recurrent miscarriages and have been told that we may be referred to a specialist in London. Hubby is still seeing specialists regarding his back and I don’t think I could explain how desperate he is to get it fixed and to get back to work. I’m seeing a surgeon this month due to my Carpal Tunnel. We’re still waiting to see the Peadiatrician in order to get J’s all important UK diagnosis, cause obviously all the specialists he saw in Oz didn’t know what they were talking about and we’ve just wasted.

However the biggest cause of stress this year has been school! Ok so J has always had school issues and I’m pretty sure he’ll always have issues with school but this year (and he’s only been there for 4 months!) has made last years school related issues look not so bad! He’s not wanted to go, (I know nothing new there right?), he’s become so anxious about school that he worried himself sick and so had to have the last day of last term off because he simply couldn’t cope! He’s both expressed his anxieties with negative (and sometimes violent) behaviour and has completely shutdown. It takes almost 2 hrs each and every school night to convince him to get into bed due to his anxieties about school the next morning. The school really doesn’t understand Autism and in all fairness we knew this when we chose it but they did seem like they wanted to help and said all the right things etc……… ofcourse not much of those things have happened *sigh*  His current teacher really doesn’t understand Autism or J, she and a TA have attended a course about Autism but neither seem to have gotten much out of it, they say they never see any ASD or anxiety behaviours at school, so obviously they don’t see him flapping, constantly bouncing,  the literal thinking, the chewing of gaping holes in his mouth, the dirty issues he has or the lost look in his eyes. And his TA has even said to me “To be honest I don’t treat him any different, I don’t make any allowances, I don’t see the point!”……… yep those were her actual words!!!

But yesterday we met what will be J’s teacher from September. It was awful, she left us feeling that not only does she not believe in ASD but she also doesn’t want to! Some of her comments included “All parents find it hard the first time round” (she actually said this one twice) and ofcourse the comment that all parents hate “All children do that, it’s normal for children his age!” She actually made his current teacher look like she understood and was supportive!! It was so bad that I wanted to scream when we left and very nearly cried. So now we’re stuck, we can’t simply change school due to our housing situation (long story) but we have serious concerns about sending him back to his current school in September with that teacher! :(

Just gotta hope we can sort things out over the Summer holidays I guess………..and if we can’t, who knows what we’re going to do :(

 

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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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