Understanding and Reacting to “Non-Compliance:” A Letter to Teachers.

We are struggling to be respected, heard and dealt with fairly at our local public school. Our seven year old boy with autism is the pawn in a struggle between what we want for him ( calm , safe , familiar environment with known people) and the school’s desire to use his funding in any way they feel like and push us out if we ask to help ( as we have done for years, both as teachers and volunteers).
This article rang very true to us – when teachers don’t recognise the struggle and the courage of these beautiful children trying to fit into life and give them extra time or a helping hand, behaviour that is fully explainable can be misconstrued.

Autism & Oughtisms

The following is a letter I have just written that I shall be giving to my son’s teaching team next week. He has attended a mainstream school since the start of this year, prior to that he spent two years at a Special School. I think it is worth sharing on my blog, because it touches on issues relevant to all autistic children, and on the problematic issue of dealing with seemingly”non-compliant” behaviours. The only change I have made to the letter, is my son’s name; to protect his identity and privacy I have changed his name to “Joe.”

Joe can appear to be a non-compliant or stubborn child, but in my experience the non-compliance is almost always a reaction to something he can’t or hasn’t verbalised.

His autism means he struggles with communication, anxiety, social interactions, and understanding instructions (for example, because of his literalness). He also continues to…

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Canning Pumpkin: Easy how-to plus some yummy recipes!

I love all the pumpkin recipes from America this time of year!

For Dragonflies And Me

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Canning season for some is over, but not for this farm girl. I still have a few things on my list… namely sauerkraut, a bit more apple pie filling, one more batch of salsa, my smoky barbecue sauce and my pumpkin.

Today I completed my pumpkin and barbecue sauce… so exciting when you get to cross that stuff off your canning list!

So what do you do with canned pumpkin other than make pie at Thanksgiving and Christmas? Well there’s a lot you can do with it, but first here’s a simple step by step how-to can pumpkin along with some yummy recipes to use it in!  Please note, that in a recipe that calls for mashed or cooked pumpkin, this is where you’d use your canned pumpkin.

Enjoy friends!

Canning Pumpkin step by step how-to:

**TIP: You can figure that 1 average size pie pumpkin will give you 2 cups/ pint jar of cooked pumpkin. So…

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Sleepovers

Yes, it is that time of the year again!

Birthday season in our family!

We have two daughters born 1 year and 9 days apart. Coincidentally the second girl was born on her father’s birthday. Quite a pile up! (I want it noted that I still managed to present my husband with a great gift between contractions about an hour before the baby arrived. I didn’t want him to MISS out!!!!)

Anyway, we are now entering the danger zone and that is wall to wall, copious, constant sleepovers. Birthday sleepovers for both daughters. Payback sleepovers for other birthday sleepovers. Sleepovers with neighbours and family friends, Sleepovers with new more mature and worldly school friends. Oh My God.

So, we have been gradually creating a new lounge area in a closed in garage at one end of our house. We have painted it and put in a new ceiling. We have put in a new glass sliding door. We have (at great expense to the management) put gorgeous vinyl planking in for the floor covering with fake planks of “Maple”. I dragged in our old IKEA wall unit from the shed and put it up single handedly so the kids had places to display their trophies and photos. I set up an one of their baby cots with cushions that my second daughter sews with her grandma for me! My mum made curtains for every window in our house including  the sliding door. This week we finally got three huge bookcases we had ordered and we put one out there for books and storage. It is lovely out there!

My husband brought home three mattresses from his work flat. We both shopped for snacks and party food. We set up a television, dvd, Playstation etc etc.

First ever sleepover in our new room – here we come!

We picked up the two girls and took them to the pool and bought them afternoon tea. It was quite a moment because my big girl had left these girls behind at her old school where she had been bullied. They are lovely girls but were unable to support her in the horrific climate of unprofessional and lazy teaching that was going on at our local public school.

She has gained confidence and friends at her new school but a year down the track decided she was okay about reconnecting with her old friends.

They watched movies, played with ipods, Playstation, snacked, danced, laughed and my daughter was so happy!

She woke this morning in an absolute panic because one of her friends had completely disappeared. She woke me and we ran to investigate. Her other friend sleepily said she saw her friend going but no idea when. This was 5 am.

There was no message to me, no phone call, no note. Just a missing girl. Then we found a message on the remaining girl’s ipod saying “Sorry I didn’t stay for the hole sleepover but I hope you two have a good day tomorrow”. 

This girl had phoned her mother about 8 minutes after I checked everyone was okay. About my tenth trip to the sleepover zone with food, drinks, movies, chocolates. What more did she want?

I am gobsmacked (the girls are eleven- not too young) that she would phone from our home and be taken without our knowledge as she was “homesick”. Have manners changed this much since I was young?

The girls got over the initial shock and we are keeping the other friend for the rest of the day. We are off to the pool soon! We managed to salvage the sleepover. But I am still shocked.

And just think, I’m having a sleepover with three extra 10 year olds next week. Wish me luck!

Thoughts

This is a lovely thoughtful post on life, love and everything. Well done, Lucy..

Excerpts Only

– Today is a pea soup, under the blankets kind of day. I like these days. Everything is more still; time moves more slowly.

– Honest to goodness, there is absolutely nothing more important in life than the people who you love and who love you back. I think about this often and believe it’s so important to keep in mind. There are so many obstacles, decisions, ups and downs in our day-to-day lives, and we can become so distracted. But what truly matters in the end are these people and having them by your side. Consider them. Cherish them.

– I know that I’m motivated but I feel less so this weekend. To be honest, I was in a bad mood for the majority of the weekend. Irritable. Stressed. Blue. I’m still a little bit of all of the above and for no reason in particular—it was just…

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