Helpful holidays

Today’s musings. I’m so nosey when I’m on holiday. I’m always watching other families and how they interact, I’ve also spoken to quite a few other parents of autistic kids. We all have the same struggles. Why not just get a villa? I have a ten year old who loves making friends, getting ready for the ‘night time’, playing footy. And I’m a people person. I like talking to complete strangers and walk away content that I know where they are from and what they’ve had for their tea. I also want Reilly to be around others, it’s life. People won’t disappear as he gets older there’ll be more need for interaction. And most importantly I am not cooking on holiday. There are many millionaires in this world, billionaires in fact. I would really like it if one of them or even a double dragon would create a disability friendly resort.

Not just autism, any disability. Accessible toilets, parks, water parks. Rooms designed with people of a disability or different ability in mind. Here’s what would work for me if anyone would like to give Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden a nudge.

1 month prior to departing hotel to send pictures of the resort, not the ones an estate agent would use, the nitty gritty. How big the dining room is, what the air conditioner looks like, what type of toilet flush and shower head. What the beds looks like. You get the idea.

On arrival at said airport. Resort needs to be near airport no more than 30 mins drive. Accessible bus. No collapsing buggies or not being able to board with a wheelchair.

The rooms should have balconies that tall you couldn’t climb over but can still see out. They should have a means to lock the door or gate it from the inside. Everyone fears the child waking in the night and doing a runner. Rooms should be soundproofed too. Bathrooms again fully accessible. TVs should always have Disney kids channels available 24/7. Autism doesn’t sleep, neither do we. Hearing loops, signed welcome meetings, Braille hotel guides. You get the picture.

Specialised medical equipment that is bulky and essential should be available for hire without a charge and sterilising facilities available. Nappy store in every size and variety.

Dining room should be loaded with Nutella and sliced bread 24/7 ūüėā this is possibly one of the most important factors for us. Times should not be strict around dining. There should always be chips, chicken nuggets and drinks available at ALL times. Plastic plates to stop the clattering. Food could be packed into takeaway cartons and taken to the rooms. PECS visuals.

Entertainment should not be as loud and god forbid I even say it but children should be able to dance on the stage!! A playroom available at all times again 24/7 not just 1-3 and 5-7 for the kids who don’t like gangnam style.

DVD players in all rooms and a selection on DVDs available from reception.

The hotel should have direct access to the beach with walkways provided for wheelchairs, buggies etc. All parents should have walker talkies to summon bar service so you don’t have to disrupt said child.

I could go on. Maybe a petting zoo and a couple of accessible rides. Staff trained in special and medical needs would help enormously.

I’m waiting …….. until I win the lottery we’re relying on you Peter Jones. If you build it they will come ūüė¨

Theatre of Education

There is a status currently doing the rounds on Facebook about teaching your children to be more understanding of those who are different.  This is the post:

I would just like to put this out there! If your kids are not around special needs kids at school and have never been taught that not everyone is the same then maybe you could take 10 min tonight to explain this to them because even though they may not be around these kids at school they will encounter them in their lives, as it should be.

In the light of recent events on the exclusion of a child who has autism from participating in a school trip and a child with Downs Syndrome being kicked out of dance class because she couldn’t keep up, I feel the need to share this. There are boys and girls that nobody invites to birthday parties. There are special kids who want to belong to a team but don’t get selected because it is more important to win than include these children. Children with special needs are not rare or strange, they only want what everyone else wants: to be accepted !!
For all the wonderful children out there.
Can I ask a question? Is there anyone willing to copy and paste this post to their wall without sharing it, like I did for those special children out there

Now I’m not one for copying and pasting statuses usually but this just encapsulates everything that we are trying to achieve with the Theatre of Education via Alphabetically Autistic. So go that one step further help us make it happen. ¬†I see numerous times everyday how heartbroken people are at videos and stories of children with special needs being bullied. ¬†Imagine being the parent of one of those children, we know the stats are way higher for it happening to our children and it makes me incredibly sad and fiercely protective.

Education as with everything in life is the key.

Putting Really Reilly on in schools or in theatre’s for public showing will really help children understand. ¬†I cannot stand to see these children being mocked and believe me I have witnessed it on too many occasions.

Please help get¬†Really Reilly to your child’s school and help us promote inclusion and acceptance for these kids, they deserve it. ¬†Email alphaautistic@gmail.com for more information and booking.

Use your voice to make us heard.  Share this brilliant initiative.

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Tim Lamb Centre РWe fit in! 


This morning we decided we would go and visit the Tim Lamb Centre¬†at the Rising Sun Country Park in Benton, Newcastle. ¬†Reilly has been there many times with school and always seems to enjoy it so on a rare Saturday off for Shane we decided to check it out. ¬†As always we showed Reilly photographs of the centre and he happily got into the car, this usually only happens on being shown photos of Toys R Us, Smyth’s or kinder eggs. ¬†Result.

Only around 10 minutes by car from my house The Tim Lamb Centre was like a little hidden gem that I should have found way earlier.  We were shown around by a lovely young lady and I was really impressed by the facilities.

  1. Baby & toddler room packed with toys, play kitchens etc
  2. Art & crafts room
  3. Teen room with gaming consoles etc
  4. Trampoline room with 3 trampolines and enough Lego to build another centre
  5. Music room
  6. Sensory room fully equipped with sensory lights, wires etc
  7. IT Suite
  8. Soft play area
  9. Cafe
  10. Special toilets & changing bed
  11. Enormous outdoor play area – swings, slides, ride ons, climbing frames
  12. Chickens, guinea pigs, goats & rabbits!

But best of all was what there wasn’t. ¬†No judgey glares – the pressure was off. ¬†I am always in fear of the next meltdown and where it will be but not here. ¬†Everyone gets it.

The centre is for children with additional needs and their siblings. We signed up for a year immediately  (£15 plus £2 per session).  This also enables you to apply for a stay (for a fee) at one of their lovely caravans at Haggerston Castle or Appleby too.

 
I need somewhere like this where I can actually relax with Reilly, no tuts, no parenting advice from old codgers on how a smack would sort him out and a cup of tea in peace while he plays where he feels comfortable and is accepted. Priceless.


Pathways 4 all are a charity and a great one at that I know we will be returning frequently.

I also must say the name Tim Lamb was really familiar to me and it came to me that this was the gentleman that was spoken of very highly when we started the charity¬†North East Hearts with Goals¬†I believe he was a keen advocate of the placement of defibrillators as Metrocentre Manager. ¬†So a shared passion of making lives easier for those with different abilities and for saving lives. A great combination I’m sure we all agree. ¬†Strange how things link up.

Check it out, you might see me – I’ll be the one yawning and frazzled trying to stop Reilly having a wobbler ……. oh hang on that’s right that’s ¬†not just me anymore ūüėĄ.

A great day apart from he didn’t want to come home and attempted an escape from his car seat for the entire journey complete with screaming of banshee proportions. ¬†I’m pretty certain passing drivers would have noted the reg. ¬†Most of the night spent sat in the car which is his new favourite place.

Today’s nickname Luke Cloud Walker.