5 Things Siblings of Children with Autism Wants Their Parents to Know

Siblings play a huge part in the upbringing of their sibling(s) with autism. However, sometimes our thoughts may not always be shared. We feel that keeping quiet is safer than sharing what’s on our minds, this includes our own problems and experiences. This blog post aims to share some of those thoughts that often don’t get said because we don’t know how to.

1. Parents can feel they don’t give their other children enough attention as they become full time careers to their children with autism, but we want you to know we see how hard you work and you’re doing a brilliant job. You still let us go to the movies, go see our friends and buy us those new runners we’ve been eyeing up for ages. You cook us dinner, have food in for our lunches, bring us to school and ask us how our day was. You don’t deprive us or forget us. You care for us the best way you can, and you shouldn’t feel bad for that.

2. From a sibling’s point of view, I feel you should know that if there’s one thing you could chan…

Halloween Isn't For Everyone - And That's Okay

Halloween is different for every family. Some go trick or treating, some go to family parties and some don't celebrate it at all. Everyone is different and it is important to remember that.

Dian struggles to understand the concept of Halloween. He likes dressing up as his favourite superhero and eating all his favourite sweets but trick or treating is confusing for him. Going up to someone's house, getting some sweets and leaving again isn't the norm so you can understand where he's coming from. Visiting people involves going into their home so why is Halloween night different? This kind of thinking makes sense so if trick or treating ends in a meltdown, it's completely understandable.

People with autism tend to like routines so when Halloween comes around and there's a change in the way things are done, it can be very stressful for them. It's important to not force Halloween onto anyone, it can do more bad than good. Don't make a big deal out of them n…

The Importance of Chewable Jewelry for Kids with Autism

Chewable Jewelry is used to help children with autism to stop chewing on their clothes, straps, and pencils. To help those with anxiety or to build up jaw strength. They also help to develop muscles, tongue coordination, and improve motor skills. They may help children with autism focus, calm down in stressful situations, or relax.

The goal of sensory toys is to decrease a child’s fear and discomfort around his/her senses. This can help improve communication and lower levels of anxiety or frustration. Some children with autism may struggle with certain senses more than others. Tactile may be challenging for one child, while visual may be harder for another. Some children struggle with all five senses. One tool that is recommended by occupational therapists is sensory toys.

Dian has always use Chewable Jewelry. It helps him when he’s stressed, anxious, frustrated, excited and happy. It’s a way for him to release what he’s feeling in a safe way. Before he had his chewy he would bite his h…

A Parent's Point of View

I asked my mum Paula a few questions about how it feels to be a parent to someone with autism. Here's how it went:
How do you feel now compared to when Dian first got his diagnosis? I always knew there was something wrong even when I was pregnant so I knew myself that he had autism before he was diagnosed, it was no great shock. I feel after 5 years on the autism road that you have to fight for everything and just because you have a bad day today doesn't mean it will be a bad day tomorrow. 
How do you feel when Dian has bad days? I feel very sad because I feel I'm failing him. Even though I know I'm doing all I can I can't help but feel I could do more. It can be very hard when one bad day turns into 20 bad days in a row and you just can't see an end to it. 
How do you feel when Dian achieves something huge forhimself? I want to shout it from the rooftops. I want the world to know how proud I am of Dian. Even if it's just the smallest thing like writing his name …

"I Received My Autism Diagnosis When I Was 20 Years Old"

1). Tell us a little about yourself and your connection to autism. My name is Amy, I’m 23 and I’m from Dublin. I’m studying my last year in a level 7 in Business at the National College of Ireland and I’m going to apply for a degree in Social Science this year. I do voluntary work for an Organisation called Let’s Get Talking and I set up the company’s social media platforms and work in the reception. I have volunteered for Cystic Fibrosis in Rathmines. I am interested in Job Specialisation for people who are struggling finding and keeping a job. My special interests vary and at times but this is something I have been interested in doing for a while.  I am connected to autism because I have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome and Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder (ADHD) and Dyslexia. I have a family member also on the Autism Spectrum.
2). How did you feel when you were diagnosed with autism at the age of 20?  I felt as if I should have been diagnosed earlier on in l…

Useful Links and Information

I decided I would do a blog post on websites I felt that are of great use to autism families. Many of these websites have given me great ideas and has activities Dian would've done or still does today.
A website called Seomra Ranga is aimed at helping all children of different abilities. A national school teacher who is founder of this website has a few articles that I felt could help Dian and help other children with autism. Here are 2 articles I am very interested in: - This helps with knowing the difference between hard and soft. something child with autism may find hard. This teaches children how to remember phone numbers, it may be suitable for older children with autism.
Another Website I really like is Little Puddins. Amanda, a mum of two boys with autism runs this wonderful website. She has helped me greatly in the past and the work she does is brilliant. http://l…

What Could Help a Child with Sensory Needs?

As I was putting together a sensory goodie bag for Dian, I realised that maybe some people might struggle with what could be good for a child if they had sensory needs. I base purchases for Dian off things he uses in school or things he enjoys playing with while still having a sensory benefit.

Here's what I got: • Pipe cleaners - Something soft they can move around in their hands  • Squishy bouncy ball - Gets the muscles in their hands moving and helps them to play with others • Bubbles - For their fine motor skills • Squishy rubbery toys - Strengthens the muscles in their hands  I got all these for under €8 and they can easily be found in discount shops. 

I hope you found these tips useful and if you have any questions please feel free to email me  Freya xx