Wednesday, September 9, 2009

3 Tier's of Government Supporting The Autism Community

On Monday 31st August 2009, Helen Howson and I attended a meeting with the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Community Services, Bill Shorten. Also present was Bill Shorten’s Media Adviser, our husbands Darren and Shane, Councilor Barbaro, State Member for Florey, Frances Bedford and a FaHSCIA representative.

There were a few topics on the agenda, but the main one was Helen’s petition to the Federal Government. The petition was asking for the soon to be introduced AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL DISABILITY PARKING SCHEME criteria to include 'intellectual and complex developmental disorders'. The other main topic discussed was funding for the Rainbow Land Play Time Playgroup for families living with autism.

The meeting kicked off with a video version of our presentation to the City of Tea Tree Gully Council in June 2009. This was received extremely well. The Parliamentary Secretary liked our presentation so much that he assured us he was going to put the YouTube link of the video on his website. To view the presentation, go to:

Bill Shorten also gave his assurances that he would personally hand a copy of the presentation to the National Working Group, who will be making the decisions on the criteria for new National Disability Parking Scheme. Bill Shorten was very impressed with the overall presentation and commented on how he thought it addressed other important issues such as the inadequate number of disability parking available and how people simply don’t think of autism as a genuine disability.

We then discussed the playgroup and how we have successfully been running and servicing 21 families since March this year with no funding/grants so far. We discussed the many benefits of having a group like Rainbow Land that supports the whole family and not just the child with special needs.

I am very proud to say that the City of Tea Tree Gully (CTTG) featured prominently during each discussion. It was acknowledged and credit given to the City of Tea Tree Gully for taking a National lead in supporting people with intellectual and complex developmental disabilities by not just supporting Helen’s petition, but immediately changing its own criteria to include people with these disabilities when issuing disability parking permits in the CTTG area, which includes people with autism.

We also explained to the Parliamentary Secretary that without the support of the CTTG (in particular members of the Community Services Department, including Maggie L'Estrange, Jackie Hallam, Lynne Ogbeide, Teresa Sandona and Deidre Campbell) our Playgroup would not be possible. Councillor Barbaro also spoke of how the Playgroup has been selected as the charity of choice for the Mayors breakfast fundraiser, of which I still feel incredibly honoured on behalf of the Rainbow Land Play Time family.

The support given to Helen and I by the three tiers of Government, i.e. the City of Tea Tree Gully, Frances Bedford, MP for Florey (State) and Tony Zappia, MP (Federal) has been amazing. It has been wonderful to be a part of something where all levels of Government are working together to help us achieve our desired outcomes. The immediate changes made by the City of Tea Tree Gully in reation to the disability parking permis has already made such a tremendous difference to families living with autism within our immediate community. We hope that other councils around the country will follow CTTG's lead. Families from all over Adelaide are also benefiting from the City of Tea Tree Gully's support as they travel great distances just to attend a Rainbow Land Play Time session. This of course is in addition to the fabulous and very well known Family Connections groups already facilitated by the HACC Team, in particular Teresa Sandano and Deidre Campbell.

In addition, we have already received feedback of gratitude from other families who have been able to obtain a CTTG disability parking permit recently because of Council’s commitment following our presentation in June. We, in turn, wish to publicly thank everyone who has supported this project because the support given to the autism community has been considerable and life enhancing in many ways.

We hope that the support and commitment we have received to date in relation to resolving the issues being faced by the autism community will continue to grow as the prevalence rates for autism grow at a scary rate (latest study out of the UK indicates up to 1 in 64 children have autism). This will ensure families like Helen and mine will have and maintain a happy and socially inclusive lifestyle.

Initiatives like these help to keep families together where the divorce rate can be as high as 80-90%. This is because it helps to relieve some of the enormous pressure families living with autism and other disabilities endure on a daily basis and helps to make them feel like important members of the community and that they are supported.

Forever grateful
Allison xxx

I also wish to publicly acknowledge the wonderful support Frances Bedford, MP and Paul Barbaro in particular has given to Helen and myself and their commitment to long term support as we strive to advocate for not just families living with autism, but all families living with a disability.

It is equally important to acknowledge Franco Parenti’s (Video Alchemy) efforts in providing us with the professional voice over. What is fantastic about Franco's involvement with helping us make a professional presentation is that he is the City of Tea Tree Gully's former Community Services Manager and he demonstrates his passion for community services through his wonderful video production work that he does for not for profit organiza
tions today.

Helen Howson can't go without a personal thank you from myself. Helen put a huge amount of time into not just the petition, but the presentation you can view on YouTube today. She utilised her amazing photography skills to put together a touching and realistic video that represents our everyday lives. She is such a fabulous Mum who started a photography business called Everyone's Beautiful so that families would have special and beautiful photos of their children with special needs, which is difficult to get. I wouldn't have all the beautiful photos of my children that I have if it wasn't for Helen. Thank you Helen. You are an inspiration to me and many others and we are blessed to have you and your family in our lives.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Autism Awareness

Wouldn't it be wonderful if families living with autism were treated with the same compassion & empathy as a family whose child has a physical disability or serious condition?
Shane & I have been thinking about and discussing this a lot lately and we are clear in our minds that what we would like from the community is to allow us to keep our dignitiy in tact and to show us compassion, empathy and respect.

If you don't live with autism, you can never know what it is like. The daily challenges you face that drive you to exhaustion. They can never understand the delight you feel when after years of toilet training, your child finally does a wee independantly?

Our children are not mere numbers, they are fantastic individuals with great potential. They are often the funniest and cheekiest people you will ever know.The compassion, empathy and respect that the autism community so desperately needs and deserves can only come with autism awareness.

We are working really hard to make this happen next year and are really excited about the potential changes it could make to community awareness. If you are a family living with autism, hang in there and don't accept anything less than respect from people who you have to work and deal with because of autism (be it treatment, therapy, social outings or education).
Community acceptance and understanding about autism is just around the corner. I just know it!

Keep smiling & happy rainbows.

Allison xxx

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Oh No....I've Turned into a Screaming Mother...DOH!!!

Just wondering.... does anyone know where in the world nannies and cleaners grow from trees??? When you tell me, I'm moving there!!

Does anyone feel the same as me? I just can't stand the constant screaming in my ear. You can't have one single day without screaming.. and lots of it. My boys just scream for the sake of it, scream at each other and scream at me, Shane & Kristie. If only there was a little fairy in the house to keep the kids occupied so they don't scream while you are trying to get things done.

I said to my husband tonight that I can't believe I have turned into a screaming mother. Never, ever, ever thought that would be me because when we only had Krisite, our house was as quiet as a mouse. I know for sure that's not what the neighbors think!!!

I have had Jacob home for a week now and Aaron home since Saturday for various reasons. It is way too long. Can't imagine home schooling them. I would end up in the nut house in 2 weeks - not a second longer LOL!



Friday, August 14, 2009

Food, Glorious Food....

On Facebook, we have through Autism Global Network a group called 'Food/Diet & Environment'. This group was established so that we, as parents & carers can use a positive and proactive approach when dealing with the issue of food/diet and environment for children on the autism spectrum and with other related conditions such as ADHD and food intolerances. The group endeavours to find solutions to improve our children’s health by having meaningful discussions about diet, including gluten, casein & sugar free diets as well as environmental issues. if you are interested in joining, the Facebook link is:

I, just like anyone else, am struggling to implement this dramatic, but necessary change in my home. This is mainly due to the fact the kids just won't eat a lot of the GFCF food. I did, however, have some success that I shared with the group and would like to share with you also. Last night I cooked (with my daughter, Kristie's help) my very first GF lasagne. Wow - it was so yummy and you could hardly even taste the spinach that engrosed each layer. Kristie loved it and was more than happy to have it for lunch today and Shane thought it wasn't bad either. Please note that without the cheese, the lasagne would have been casein free too.
I had run out of our pene GF noodles and so when Aaron asked for noodles for dinner, I had to get out my GF spiral spinach noodles. After a bit of encouragement and making a fun time with the spirals (that go around and round!), he ate them. Great.... now for Jacob. Jacob, who did eat a bit of fruit but hasn't taken to it lately picked up a fresh organic banana and ate all of it. Yippeeeee!!!! I can tell you I went to sleep very proud of the fact everyone in the house had eaten something healthy for dinner, which is a rare event for us.

OTHER NEWS.... I have finally received my ordered book 'Special Diets for Special Kids'. At a glance, it looks to have a wealth of information in addition to the recipes and I am very much looking forward to reading it from cover to cover. What I love the most about the Lisa Lewis pubications is that her diet books are presented in a folder, which makes it much easier to lay out on the bench when following a recipe.I would like to put together a list of the main ingredients to keep stocked in the house for her GFCF recipes and will share it with you when it is done.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Me, Shane and the Prime Minister (Kevin Rudd)

The 28th July 2009 was a very big day for me. It isn't every day you get to meet the person who is responsible for running your country. I was feeling nervous, excited, tired, depleted of energy and huge anticipation. But first.... I still had my presentation documentation to complete, a last minute meeting with my beautiful friend and fellow ASD Mom Helen Howson, the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children's Services, Bill Shorten, the State MP for Florey, Frances Bedford, and our wonderful support and Disability Advocate from MALSSA Inc., Paul Barbaro to discuss the review to implement a National Disability Parking Permit Scheme to replace the existing 100 different schemes across the country. And of course there was still a family and kids to organise! Thankfully Shane was able to take the kids to school for me so that I could keep working on my written presentation. I had finished drafting the letter the day before, but of course I had to check it over and include some additional information. I felt a huge amount of pressure to get it just right because I knew a lot was riding on how well I did my presentation to the PM. Thank goodness for my good friend Helen Howson who specializes in taking photos of children with special needs (Everyone's Beautiful Photography) because she provided all the graphics for my work, giving it a professional look and adding a human element to our cause. I just got all the paper work I could get done with literally not time to spare (I'm not kidding!) so that I could make our 12:30 meeting on time. I rushed out to the car only to find it wouldn't start because the battery had gone flat. We have an awful problem with flat batteries because the boys often play with the interior lights without us knowing. In a flap, I quickly rang Helen to see if she could pick me up. While waiting for Helen, I quickly made her a sandwich so she could have some lunch, which she really needed because she was sick.

We rushed to Frances Bedford's office where we found Frances, Paul Barbaro, his manager and Government staffers waiting. Unfortunately, Bill didn't make it in the end because his day was completely full and he was running behind, but we still got to meet with everyone else. The meeting with Bill Shorten was rescheduled for later in August. Frances' lovely staff helped me out by printing copies of my presentation for the PM and then Helen dropped me off at Tony Zappia's office (Federal Member for Makin) before she ran off for a meeting with her son's teacher. I was able to bind all of the presentation copies at Tony Zappia's office, make my way over to the bank and then have Shane pick me up. Next stop... drop Shane off at home....pick up the kids from school (1 hr round trip).... rush home..... organize dinner for the kids..... make sure our sitter, the lovely Deanna Bellini, had everything she needed and then ..... time to go. We hopped into the car only to find that once again the car's battery was flat, but it was the other car. We jump started it and prayed we would get home okay. The Public Forum / Ministerial Meeting was amazing. I really enjoyed being there because it was so positive and not at all what I expected. I was taken back at how polite the crowd and the Ministers were towards each other. The Ministers were all responsive to the issues that were raised and promised to follow each of them up after the meeting. I have to say I was pretty impressed. :-)
Then it was time for our one-on-one meeting with the Prime Minister. I have to say I felt special to have been chosen to meet with the PM because only a handful of people were given the opportunity. I can't lie; I was starting to get real nervous while we waited in the meeting area. I still couldn't believe I was actually there. I had a list of issues I wanted to discuss, but decided to go in unscripted because I always do a better job when I speak from the heart. I had the documentation there, so I thought I would just speak to the PM as a Mother of three children on the autism spectrum and as someone who is passionate about advocating for others. Everyone was only allocated 10 minutes for their meetings and so there was very little time to get across what I wanted to say. That being said, my first duty as a mother was to say hello to the PM for Kristie. He wanted to know all about her and listened as I told him about how proud we were of her when she sang at the Autism SA awards ceremony this year. The PM then wrote her a special little note.... HOW COOL!!! Then on to business.... To be honest, I can't remember a lot of the discussion because the whole experience was pretty overwhelming. After briefly telling the PM about our personal situation at his request, and thanking him for putting autism on the political agenda, we discussed the Helping Children with Autism Package. I told the PM that I will just put it out on the table and said that the Early Intervention Funding would work better if it went through Medicare. I told the PM that I was concerned about over charging and the fact the kids weren’t getting access to the funding because of huge waiting lists. I explained that our sons collectively now have $23,600 available to them and I have not been able to use it. The $400 that has been used was for an assessment with a therapist we decided not to use because they were not suitable. I also told him that we would not compromise the boy’s successful outcomes by switching therapists just so we could spend the funding money.

After I told the PM that I was unable to meet with Bill Shorten that day, he called him in straight away and asked him what is being done to improve the situation. Bill explained what was going to happen to make the system more flexible for better access.

I then went on to tell the PM about the playgroup we have been running for families living with autism since March this year. I explained how we believe not enough is being done to support the whole family and that parents are going through some really tough times because there is no-one to personally support them. I said that at the time our 3 children were all diagnosed as being on the spectrum, we were in crisis. I even told him that I had developed pretty bad depression because it was all too much for me and that I had to give up my career and go on the pension to care for the kids’ needs.

Following this we discussed the Rainbow Land Play Time Playgroup and how we (playgroup family) have successfully run it without any funding or grants since March this year. I said to him that if we can manage this with no money, imagine what we could do with a little bit? I acknowledged, however, that we really appreciate the support given to us by the City of Tea Tree Gully in providing us with wonderful facilities in which to hold the playgroup. I explained that the reason we couldn’t get any funding was because our fundamental value is inclusion and therefore we include the whole family don’t have age restrictions . This means we don’t meet the strict criteria for funding and are therefore not eligible. The PM asked Bill Shorten to look at this for us. We were thrilled about this because the kids desperately need better resources to get the most out of the playgroup session. We also expressed our desire to expand Rainbow Land Play Time to include a social skills group for the older kids.

I believe the PM was genuinely concerned for our situation and told us how difficult he felt it must be for us. I know many people would feel cynical when reading this, but I sincerely believe he was genuine because he asked us a lot of questions about our personal situation and was very attentive even though he had had a very long day.

We then had our photo taken with the PM before an unexpected 10 minute meeting with Bill Shorten. It was great to get to meet Bill that day after all and I very much look forward to meeting with him again at the end of August. My good friend Helen Howson and I plan to show him our Disability Parking Permit presentation and to discuss potential funding for the Rainbow Land Play Time family playgroup.

I was in a state of being completely amazed, overwhelmed and excited about our surreal experience as we walked back to the car. Then we remembered the car might not start ….. sure enough…. it didn’t!!! We got it started by some miracle and made our way home.

Kristie was excited to get a personal note from the PM and Deanna was over the moon for us when we told her all about our meeting. It was very difficult getting Kristie to sleep after that and as usual she didn’t get to sleep until very late. I couldn’t help but think about how we just had this once in a lifetime experience and how great things were looking for Rainbow Land Play Time and then it is straight back to the reality of raising 3 children on the autism spectrum. I can never lose sight of the fact I was there with the PM because of my children and that is why it was such a great meeting. You can’t get much better than a 10 minute meeting with the PM that ends up being 20 minutes with an extra 10 minute meeting with the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services!!

I was so proud to be there representing my children and our family’s needs as well as the autism community. I very much look forward to undertaking more work with the Federal Government so we can do as much as we can to improve the lives of families living with autism.

Allison xxx

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Yummy Rainbow Mommies

Every Mom who cares for a child with special needs in my opinion is a YUMMY RAINBOW MOMMY.

You are all fabulous women and my heart goes out to you.

All my love
Allison xxx

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Cruel Reality of Caring for a Child With Autism

I know that most of the time I say positive things about having autism in my life, because I do truly love my children the way they are, but I feel it is necessary to share with you my struggles because I am human just like anyone else. Those who know me often tell me how wonderful I am because I always keep a smile on my face and work so hard to help others. I always say thank you with a smile and say it's nothing, but there is sooooo another side to the story. I am not going to mix with words a Mom of 3 ASD kids, I have been through hell. Even though I might disguise this well because I put on a good front, deep down I am hurting. I hurt badly. People don't see the tears in my eyes just before I get out of the car with a smile on my face..If I didn't try to find the beauty in each day, how on earth would I keep going? I have been fortunate enough to have had a 14 year career in human resource management, which has equipped me with the skills to do what I am now doing. This makes my life worth something and so I do what I do, not for the recognition, but for my own self-worth.

Caring for any child with a disability is difficult, but a new study suggests that carers of children who had autism had higher levels of parenting stress.

An extract from a New York Times article quoted "The parents in the autism group had higher levels of parenting stress and psychological distress compared to moms of children with disabilities without autism." (Link to the article is provided at the end of this post.)

I recently raised the issue of sleep deprivation with my FaceBook group 'Survival Guide 4 Rainbow Moms & Carers (special needs kids). Not surprisingly, but with much frustration and personal sadness, was the number of Moms who personally wrote to me or posted to the group how they rely on sleeping tablets and other drugs to survive. This was no surprise to me because I have been addicted to sleeping tablets and analgesics (the strong ones!) in a desperate attempt to just get ONE DECENT NIGHT'S SLEEP! I messaged everyone this week about my high levels of anxiety that I attribute to sleep deprivation because I have had enough and thought it might be useful to others as well as myself if I shared my own personal struggles.

With three children on the autism spectrum, our house usually works like this: After putting Jacob and Aaron to sleep, Kristie struggles to get sleep and can be up until 12am. We can't get anything done around the house until she has gone to sleep because we feel stressed about her stressing at not being able to get to sleep. (This usually makes me feel really anxious and I start worrying about the next day!) Then Shane & I go to bed with a 1/2 clean home and make our way to bed around 1:30am. Low and behold, just as we are climbing into bed or not long after, one of our little boys makes an appearance. Whoever it is usually orders me to get them a bottle and go collect their dummy and ruggie from their room. Then 15-20 minutes later pesters me to take them to the toilet. Nappy then needs changing and sometimes even PJ's & bed sheets that are now wet through. Child eventually settles and we reluctantly lay our heads down for some sleep. BUT wouldn't you know it, a short time later the other son wakes up only to repeat the same routine (I guess they are identical twins after all). Sometimes this can be around 3 or 4am….. sometimes it is 6am.

Are you feeling tired just reading this, or are you shaking your head because this resembles your life?? Don't stop reading, there's more.....

Alarm goes off at 7am. Frankly.... who cares about that stupid alarm. I just want sleep! Alarm goes off for an hour when eventually the kids make us get up or we decide to make ourselves get up. Made panic takes over the house because we are going to get Kristie to school late again! School will be unhappy... more lectures about how important it is to get the kids to school on time.... Shane & I fight over whose fault it is we didn't get up early enough. Feeling depressed because of the late start to the day AND the house looks and feels like crap. I feel total despair. Shane comes down with a migraine and we can't stop fighting. More therapy forms needing to be filled in arrive in the mail along with ever increasing therapy bills. No one to call for help, nowhere to go, no in-home help to rectify the probems....simply because no services actually give you the in-home support you need to make things better….. What to do?

There’s still more, but I will stop now because I am starting to depress myself!

This week I had a particularly bad week. There have been a lot of factors here. 1. school holidays 2. change in routine 3. full moon 4. wet and windy weather 5. Constant screaming/demanding children 6. no sleep 7. no escape or a minutes respite away from the house (we do have in-home respite, but mostly too tired to go anywhere or we simply don't have the money to go out). 8. chaos in the home (I hate chaos) 9. messy & disorganized house.

That leads me to # 10. a desperate need to reach for the analgesic tablets in the hope they knock me out so I can't hear anything and sleep right through! I have only taken very few analgesics in recent times and only take them when my right leg sciatic pain gets too much for me. I had made a promise to myself since starting on a biomedical regime that I would no longer abuse my body by taking these types of drugs. I wish I had kept that promise to myself because although I had a good sleep that night, largely because Shane got up to the kids for me (poor thing only got 2 hrs sleep), it made me very sluggish. I couldn't wake myself up the next morning and spent the entire day in zombie mode. Then, I found myself getting more and more irritable, aggressive and angry. No one could do anything right and I ended up having a bad case of depression. I hadn't previously realized that this is the affect over the counter medication was having on me. I reflected on all the struggles I have had because of this feeling inside of me and felt somber when I realized I had done this to myself through self medicating. I have vowed to myself today to NEVER EVER take another one of those terrible and debilitating tablets again. I only hope I can keep my promise.

About 9 months ago I completed an extensive survey being conducted by the Women's and Children's Hospital in Adelaide, South Australia. This study was to look at the effects caring for a child with autism has on a Mom and their mental health. The study isn't completed yet, so it will be interesting to see what the outcomes are because I gave an honest and candid account of my everyday life! I was really excited to see, however, the following article from the New York Times entitled "The Stress of Autism", by Tara Parker-Pope, dated 14 July 2009. ( So much more research needs to be done on how caring for an autistic child, two or three, sometimes 4 or 5 even, has on the physical and mental health of us carers. We go through so much and our communities don't even know what it is we do go through, so how can they help? How can we expect empathy from our therapists, educators and neighbors when they get the impression we exaggerate everything? You can always tell when something thinks you are simply dribbling on about how difficult things can be. My personal pet hate is when you are trying to explain an autistic trait your child has and the person responds by saying “All children do that”. It seems that the only people who get it are our fellow ASD parents & carers.

Allison :-)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Our Children ARE Worth Celebrating

I want to introduce everyone to a very inspirational young lady from Scotland. I met Sam on Facebook and continue to be amazed by her positive outlook on life and how she so willingly advocates for other children with autism and promotes awareness to anyone who will listen. I see a lot of similarities between Sam and my daughter Kristie, who is just embarking on her journey to show people that just because you are on the autism spectrum, doesn't mean you aren't talented and can have a great life. :-)
Congratulations Sam. I look forward to hearing more of your music in the years to come and hope I have the great honor of getting the chance to meet you one day.
You can enjoy listening to Sam's music by going to her MySpace Page found at:
Sam's bio.....
Samantha is 15 years old and has Autism with a pervasive communication disorder. Sam started singing before she even learned to talk and though she still can't communicate very well using speech... she makes the effort even if it doesn't come out right. She says she is not the best singer in the world, but she loves to sing and believes she has been very lucky to have the chance to share the songs she likes to sing.

Sam credits her success to the love and support of her family and friends who wouldn't let the "Autistic" label limit her potential. Most of all what Sam believes would be great is if her music helps raise "Autism Awareness" and makes people think differently about children who have Autism.

Aint That The Truth!!

This is something a good friend of mine from our Rainbow Land Play Time Family Group in Adelaide, Australia wrote and shared with her friends on Facebook. She has given me permission to publish it here so I can share it with everyone. I love it and I hope you do to. Thanks Nell.....

This holiday I have put Jirah in OSCH (holiday care) to help Garth recover from his heart surgery. Something I found fascinating is that you MUST send your child to care with a drink, however it cannot be juice, energy drinks, milk products, or cordial. Frankly I have just ignored them sending her with lime cordial and weathered their disapproving stares of a morning. Jirah is apparently berated daily for this misdemenour.Its funny isn't it? When I grew up cordial was certainly the drink of choice. Sometime in the eighties cordial became discouraged and blamed for hyperactivity and became instead replaced with juice as the drink of choice. In the nineties some bright spark suddenly discovered juice was loaded with fruit sugars (along with lots of vitamins and good things) and energy drinks became the "healthy" drink of choice - loaded with salt these drinks help to rehydrate! But no - in the naughties our drink companies became a little over enthusiastic and started loading energy drinks with caffeine to...well... aid with the energy component. Rightly so, another bright spark (or perhaps the same one) decided that caffeine and salt probably werent a great component for a nation with the highest incidence of heart disease.

I believe we are currently waiting for the 'new' drink - green tea with its antioxidants made an attempt but people just couldnt quite be fooled into thinking that a nine year old would find it consumable.So what are we left with? Well...water...obviously. So tell me, when water is available from every tap and water fountain why I need to actually pack a drink for my child? Ahh yes - thats right... (I hear the whispers of the parenting auditors) I should actually pay someone to package up tap water for me, put pictures of some glorious mountain stream on the front and then send her to OSCH with that. Parenting is all about guilt. Well its not really. Or at least it shouldnt be. But from the moment that tiny spark of life begins within your womb you are bombarded with what you 'should' and 'shouldnt' do. If anything goes wrong, then it must have been your fault somehow rather than some cosmic roll of the dice. When Jirah was born the nurses would not let me bath her. Apparently some bright spark had discovered that it was good for their skin to be covered in bloody afterbirth for days and it was wrong, oh so wrong, to wash her in evil soap as soon as she got here! What was I thinking?. Yet only three years later, as soon as Zech was dutifully slapped and uttered his first surprised yelp of indignation he was immediately ushered off for his first bath. (Thank God!).I am getting old and cynical and I am reminded of the words of Solomon - "There is nothing new under the sun - all is folly". Aint it just? Life just keeps going round and round. What happens once happens again. What is trendy today will be oh so yesterday tomorrow. Its just so hard to enjoy parenting when you are feeling guilty all the time. So screw societies trends. Up yours to the parenting auditors. I prefer to enjoy my children and do what "I" think is right. Got a problem with that?

Lets face it... by the time they are sixteen (give or take a few years) they will hate us anyway and decide that we were evil and out to make their lives difficult. And by the time they are thirty and have their own bundle of joy they will have re-created history yet again as they struggle with what drink to give their children.Vanity...all is vanity... I finally get it. Its because... we care.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Kids Move to the Music

My good friend Grace organised this wonderful event through her inspiring organisation Autism Advisory & Support Services. I wanted to share it with everyone because it inspires me to do more for the kids, especially with music as my kids have achieved a lot through singing, dancing and playing musical instruments.

The article title is Kids Move to the Music: THE SOUNDS of Mozart delighted children and parents of the Autism Advisory Support Group recently.