Saturday, 30 April 2011

Hobbies For Autistic Kids

I am trying to work with Owen to find a hobby (other than computers) that he enjoys and is good at and can meet new friends. We have tried a variety of hobbies but Owen hasn't taken to anything yet apart from swimming. The problem with swimming is he doesn't really meet new people as he doesn't want to take lessons or compete. He tolerates horse riding (on the condition I am teaching him) and Taekwondo but is not passionate about either. Other hobbies we have tried include football, ballet, karate. The problems he faces are:



  • Not being able to following instructions


  • Poor coordination


  • Not been able to work as a team


  • Not being able to cope with the noise and chaos of other kids


  • Getting upset when other kids discover he is autistic (usually as a result of Anya telling kids because Owen is being odd)
Next week we will be starting an Archery course with Surrey Bowmen. Owen liked the idea of archery. I thought it might be good as it is quite, not a team sport and doesn't require multi limb coordination.

If Archery does not suit him I also have the following ideas:


  • Snorkling/Diving


  • Warhammer


  • Darts

Friday, 29 April 2011

The Royal Wedding - A Day Unlike Any Other

I try to educate my children in a way that is broader than the national curriculum and not constrained by religion and tradition. I feel the BBC's bias coverage of the Royal Wedding does not give my children a balanced perspective of what the Royal Wedding and the Royal family represent in modern Britain. The Guardian editorial points out that no former labour politicians were invited to the Royal wedding. That spiteful symbolic snub, alongside invites to world tyrants speaks volumes about the British ruling class which is slipping quickly back into its old ways now that the natural order of things has been restored by the Tories. The wedding is not a fairytale moment. Modern Britain is not fairyland. These are tough times for millions of British people. This is not a day for demented princess worship or for in-your-face state extravagance.





In order not to deprive my children of watching the wedding we stayed at home during the morning so that they could watch the TV if they chose. However, to their credit that preferred to play in the garden. We decided to join like minded parents and their children at a republican picnic. Over 50 local people joined us in Brockwell Park.






Monday, 25 April 2011

Suma The Snail



The kids found a snail whilst hunting for their Easter eggs. Her name is Suma and she is Owen's new pet. How can a snail bring so much pleasure into a child life?

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Cosmetic Chemistry at the Royal Institute



Owen and Anya made their own fizzling bath bombs and luxurious lip balms at a days course at the Royal Institute. They learnt a bit about acids, bases and solubility and created colourful grenades that burst open in a fanfare of fragrance and fizz. The days course cost around £12.

Basic recipe in two parts.

Dry ingredients: (By Weight , as measured on a scale.)
Baking Soda - 8 ounces
Citric Acid - 4 ounces
Corn Starch - 4 ounces
Salts - 4 ounces

Wet Ingredients:
Water - .75 tbsp
Essential or Fragrance Oil - 2 tsp (for these I used a Ginger Peach.)
Oil - 2.5 tbsp (I used cherry kernel, but any light vegetable oil will work.)
Food coloring - 1 or 2 drops.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Our Chickens






I can see the attraction in keeping chickens as a pet, with the benefit of some eggs as well. They may not be as trainable as a dog but they are appealing creatures with their gentle clucking. We have four Sussex hens. They are 10 weeks old so won't start laying eggs for at east 2 months. Their names are Chickpea, Brussel Sprout, Angry Bird and Strummer Keet.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

British Wildlife Centre







A day at the British Wildlife Centre near East Grinstead to find out about all the wonderful British wildlife. We saw wildcats, owls, polecats, foxes, deer, otters, mice, hedgehogs and badgers.




I'm Not Naughty, I am Autisitc

Yesterday, a close family member made a comment to Anya that Owen is not autistic just naughty. Many people see autism as just another label that has been given to children who are "naughty", argumentative, aggressive or use foul language. Society is slow to accept that autism is a very real and valid diagnosis. Complete strangers often feel it is their right to approach me and comment on my child's bad behaviour. Although, people are starting to be more sympathetic and patient and often show a real interest in what I am doing to support Owen. From the outside looking in, it may seem as though autistic children are really "normal", as they do not tend to have any physical impairments that mark them as different to non- autistic children. But, their normal physical appearance is no reflection of their inner struggle with autism. Autism is a disabling brain disorder. It affects the way in which people understand and react to the world around them.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Owen Plants Garden Peas

Gardening

I find that encouraging the kids to do a little bit of gardening sparks a general interest in learning.

Conversations in the garden seems to result in a more inquisitive approach from the kids.



Our 30 min seed planting session included conversations about germination, insects and slugs, the weather, months of the year and Roblox (which features in almost every conversation).

Geraldine's 40th Birthday Lanterns