Give me strength and a cleaner

Same shit different holiday haha

The Life of Reilly

I despair at the state of my house.  It’s bad enough when the kids are at school but this week has brought it to a whole new level.

Toys that are usually restricted-ish to the conservatory have spread like the flu and are literally everywhere.  There is play doh in my knicker drawer and cars covered in toothpaste with toothbrushes down the toilet . Nothing has a battery in and Reilly tails me all day with a screwdriver to replace them with equally dead batteries  that he’s found in a drawer of things we keep and never use or need.  There should be tea towels in that drawer but seriously who has tea towels when you mop up 20 spills and floods a day, yesterday I moved onto using the beach towels from our holidays for a particularly bad 6 pint semi skimmed milk slick.  I even used a sock yesterday for the cracked egg…

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Autism expert

Michelle Sutton

I saw an advertisement today that was promoting a talk by an autism expert, a man who has an autistic son. A few days ago I saw a link to the website of an autism expert who is a psychologist and researcher. Last week I saw a short video explaining autism made by an autism expert who teaches about autism at a University. The week before I saw series of infographics made by an autism expert who is an author and counsellor to autistic people.

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I must apologise for my lack of blog posts recently I have had to take some time to step back and breathe after the incredible response to my husband’s social media rant.  If you missed it you can catch it here …….

The fallout from his spectacular f-bomb laden rant has been tremendously positive. Heartbreaking to hear so many stories of exclusion from all over the world, promising to hear people admit they acknowledge a lack of empathy and their need to change.

That post was not meant to go viral.

When it did,  although I embraced it and ran with turning it into a positive from a negative,  in reality it actually terrified me. I am and have been for the last 15 years a sufferer of depression, anxiety and OCD and to be thrust under the spotlight like we were was extremely daunting.  Parenting criticised, by idiots granted but still hurtful nonetheless.  Trolled, not as much as I imagined but they still came out from under their trip trap bridges to throw the odd insult.  This behaviour is difficult to manage by most.  I however am not most.  It has given me many more sleepless nights if that is even possible.  I have analysed every post and comment, dissected it and gone back to look at it a bit more.  Thats what anxiety does.  It’s relentless. I stopped reading at your son is a window licker.  The positive posts were amazing and we’ve been thanked a million times over for having the voice to say things that others haven’t been able to say.

When I was asked recently if I would like to appear on the radio show Mentally Sound on Spice FM I jumped at it. Another F”#k you to my anxiety that I will not be kept down, I can do these things.  I love talking about mental health and it really frustrates me that people still feel uncomfortable talking about it.  I understand why – stigma, stereotypes, etc have a lot to answer for.  After all it’s not often you see mental health painted with a lovely picture it’s often accompanied by a horror story in the media.  I have to speak for Reilly while he has no voice or finds new ways to project it and I will do the best that I can to advocate for him.  I see posts on social media all the time about parents worrying for their kids, thats what we do as parents, worry but multiply that by a million and you may be getting close to my struggle.

The lads Ricky & Steve made me extremely welcome and it’s great to sit and talk to others who are unafraid to bare their souls on the subject.  It affects all of us in one way or another.

Link to Mentally Sound Podcast I’m first guest on about 15 mins in.

Speaking of mental health recently there was a debate in the Houses of Commons about autism and suicide attended by approximately 10 MP’s.  Now a recent study shows that autistic people are 9 times more likely to kill themselves than NT’s and will die on average 16 years earlier.  A handful of MP’s to debate this isn’t good enough.  I’ve been on to my MP to find out why she wasn’t there.  You should do the same. You can find your MP and how to contact them here.   Mental health services are an absolute shambles, people who want to help can’t and people who can help are stretched to the limit.  Waiting lists are too long and people are suffering horrifically.  It has to change.

Top points from talking at Mentally Sound were:

Let “talk more, judge less” be your mantra and we can’t go far wrong. Talking helps.

Use the #askingautistics hashtag on twitter.  As I said in the interview I am an expert at being Reilly’s mam thats where my expertise ends.  Get solid advice from actually autistic people. There is no better guidance whether you are a parent, a fellow autistic person, an employer, a friend.  I talked for 2 hours with an autistic adult last week and he blew my mind with his concept of how Reilly’s thought process works.

ps want to help us tell it how it really is?  Then please donate to our crowdfunder if you can for The Life of Reilly pilot with offline donations we are headed for 3k.  This is our chance to educate a wider audience.  The play has done exceptionally well and returns to the Northern Stage on March 16th.   Tickets for The Life of Reilly available, it will sell out.


I am jealous. There I said it. 

How things change ….

The Life of Reilly

This post did the rounds a lot last year about how jealous I was of everyday things.  Ive just read through them again and felt I needed to update them (in brackets and bold).  Amazing how your outlook can change, i’m always learning.  I love this boy to bits.

I’m jealous. There I said it.

I’m jealous of other families that don’t struggle like we do – I am jealous, I’m not proud of it. I am a green eyed monster. There are lots of things that make me jealous things that you probably haven’t given a thought to.

  • I’m jealous that you can go food shopping with your child and not have to dump your trolley and get them out because muller have changed their packaging or an unexpected tannoy announcement causes a meltdown. (I hate shopping anyway, online is the way to go).
  • I’m jealous that your child…

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Walking on egg shells (The kinder variety) 

The Life of Reilly

Reilly is super sensitive at the minute.  He hates lots of things.  His latest is he doesn’t like cups of tea.  Doesn’t matter what colour the cup or what type of tea but he won’t tolerate it in the same room.  We have a one cup boiler and if he hears it he storms the kitchen trying to get on the bench by any means necessary and smash the offending cup.  This is really unfortunate for me as I love tea, I embarrass my friends by ordering tea pots in bars on a regular basis.   I’ve lost 4 cups this week alone. If it doesn’t smash the first time he’ll have it on the second.

I feel like I’m walking on eggshells in my own home.  If I need to cough I run to the garage or back garden so he doesn’t hear.  He doesn’t like anyone eating different…

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The photo that made me cry

The Life of Reilly

Interacting with Reilly is pretty difficult.  He doesn’t like round and round the garden or this little piggy. He doesn’t care what the cow or the pig says.  He doesn’t dance. He doesn’t talk but this doesn’t stop us from trying everyday to get a bit of interaction going.

I’m not the crying type occasionally watching extreme makeover home edition some rogue tears will sneak out.  Hodor’s demise this week caused a flood as did Claire and Jamie’s baby in Outlander (Escapism at its finest you should try it) but that’s about it. This photo however makes me cry happy tears just looking at it.

Reilly is nearly 5 and probably off and on every other day since about the age of 3 I’ve said lets see your funny face.  He looks at me as if I’m stupid then cracks on with building, tracks, jumping on the bed or flooding…

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I captured a word on video! 

The Life of Reilly

Lovely day today with Reilly, we went to Pet’s Corner in Jesmond. Sun was shining and there was a Thomas Train there which made Reilly super happy.

Reilly loves Jesmond Dene because it has everything he likes in one place and that’s park, cafe, ice cream, woods and chickens. What’s not to love?

I was over the moon when I took some video of him on the train today and managed to catch Reilly saying taraaaa to the people we left at the stop!  He’s said it only a few times before and I’ve not heard it in months.  I love it, small to some – the world to me.

Another massive achievement for Reilly today was he insisted on fastening his own shirt buttons, they are really small and fiddly but he would not be helped. Took a little while good job I wasn’t in a hurry but he…

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