I'm a Yorkshire lass, and immensely proud of my roots. My husband Mr G and I have one Son; our Ch, he's our absolute everything and was diagnosed with autism just after 2 years old. I'm honoured and proud to be a Charity Champion for autism charity annakennedyonline.com and also love my job working for ISS Front of House at BMW i Park Lane. My aim is to always make people smile, and to spread happiness and motivation wherever I can, with a sprinkle of magic and love thrown in.
Welcome to my World xx
As a Charity Champion, I first came across this book some time ago at one of our annakennedyonline.com Autism Charity Expos at Brunel University. I LOVE the Expos as there’s always something new to learn, and this years was no exception; check our autism charity dedicated Expo website akoautismexpo.co.uk for details. I actually wrote notes for this article before listening to Joely on our first ever online Expo some time ago …. and let me tell you, this lady is fabulous and is super interesting to listen to, and the same goes for her written work.
I had always heard great things about this book, and about the amazing author Joely.
Joely is an amazing young lady, a World and National Award winning autism activist who has Asperger’s syndrome. If I hadn’t read her book before, then after listening to her inspirational presentation at our Expo, I most definitely wanted to! Joely held the audience captive, she was a truly positive and motivational speaker, and I thoroughly enjoyed her presentation, as did the audience – you could of heard a pin drop whilst she spoke, amazing.
So, I immediately put Joelys book title on my ‘to read’ list. And.. I think it was meant to be, that I got to meet and chat to Joely at our Charity disability fun day – she had set up a welcoming stall at our event encouraging viewer interaction and thoughts. I was really impressed with this, and saw the opportunity to grab my copy of her book without fail this time. As luck would have it, I was able to pose for a photo with Joely on receipt of a copy of her book.
This book is fabulously fantastic, there’s no other way to describe it. Joely has written the most incredible words, with such an in depth first hand knowledge and experience of aspergers on the autism spectrum. Packed full of information, guidelines, help, suggestions and the most stunning illustrations which goes to show that Joely is not only a talented writer, she is also an amazing artist. The various drawings in the book are all by Joely hereself and are incredibly beautiful, intricate pieces of art. Fabulous!
This is an immense resource of a true honest insight into her World. I would implore everyone who is connected with autism in some way to spend time reading this book; it not only explains first hand how Joely experiences life, but how she has come to embrace the beautiful person she is. She takes you on a journey of understanding, acceptance and awareness, with reams of enlightenment to help, guide and inspire you.
Whether you are autistic yourself, or if you know of someone on the spectrum, this book with help you in so many different ways. It’s an invaluable resource for anyone within the SEN (special educational needs) world, parents, families, teachers, SENCOs, teaching assistants, local authorities, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, cognitive behavioural therapists, doctors, lecturers, nurses, autism charities organisations, advocates, employers and more – ALL would truly benefit from studying this amazing piece of work by Joely.
This would be an amazing book to case study and feed back on for those intending to work within care professions that come into contact with those on the autism spectrum. A book which should be a MUST read for those going through a diagnosis for themselves, or in the process of this for a loved one, whether a child or adult.
This gives you tools, strategies and a true life account of someone who has overcome so much, someone who has explained how and why she has arrived at where she is now. Quite often you find there are many specialists accounts of what to / not to do, with few ‘real life’ accounts – this is therefore a unique opportunity to draw upon real life experiences and feelings of someone on the spectrum. As a female, I found myself seeing similarities along the way, it’s possible to identify with different areas; the book has the ability to make you do more than think outside the box. It makes you get rid of the box and puts yourself right front and centre of someone on the spectrum. It takes you on an emotional journey, through various different challenges from communication to sensory from childhood, with a true honest account of personal experiences which are quite often rare to read about when explained with such enthusiasm.
I particularly enjoyed a beautiful poem Joely herself wrote which features in the book entitled ‘Comfort in the Night Sky’ – When sensory overloads, drive me crazy, Looking up into space, is where you’ll find me.. A beautiful descriptive way of immersing yourself in a special interest whilst calming and relaxing you, in a creative way.
It is clear that Joely has admirably drawn on her own experiences and expertly used them to write this professional and motivational account, useful for absolutely everyone. If you have chance to, please grab yourself a copy of her book, take your time as I did, savour each section and immerse yourself in the most incredible World of autism. Joely has managed to successfully highlight the many positive aspects of autism – in a very personable way, so what’s not to like ?! Go buy it !!
Since completing this article, I discovered that Joely has written yet another book which sounds just as, if not more amazing entitled ‘Mindful Activity Book’ .. It’s on a whole new other level, and I think that it’s a new book on my list to get hold of .. sooner rather than later.. One things for certain, Joely is a talented author, illustrator and presenter. Checkout her books for yourself on her link above, you will love them!
Firstly before I write my review, there’s just one thing I want to say about this book; WOW WOW WOW !!
This is by far the BEST book I have ever read. It truly captured my attention from the very first page. It was the perfect book for me, it had everything in it you wanted and more. It was a true historical love story, set in one of my favourite ever decades I love to learn about. I have being studying my family tree for over 16 years and am enthralled with the past. This book took me on a journey to the past and the author was so clever enabling me to vividly picture the characters and places so clearly in my mind. A real gem!
Annalise Dubois is such an amazing character, she’s a strong thoughtful woman, and someone to admire. She’s joined the war effort and encounters Reuben who is a character with depth, courage, sensitivity and many layers. The two of them alongside all the other characters portray a story of love, history, danger, intrigue, excitement, and surviving adversity.
I simply can’t do this book the justice it deserves in my review. I couldn’t put it down, it’s by far the quickest I’ve ever read a book as I couldn’t wait to read what happened next. The plot lines are absolutely incredible, the historical facts and the way the author describes the times the story delves into is just magical. I was right there with the characters every step of the way. A very sad time in history, and a time where people have to overcome so many challenges.
You totally fall in love with Reuben and the characters and storyline leave you gasping and desperately turning the page over to learn more. War changes everything as the author cleverly and expertly writes about, and my goodness I really felt I had travelled back in time and was taking part in Ana and Reubens lives. Even towards the end of the book I gasped as I was desperate to find out what happens to them both, and the cliffhangers throughout really got me!
I couldn’t stop talking about this book for days after, it really embedded itself in my mind and heart, and I could truly stand up and talk about it all day long! It really captured everything I needed it to and more.
This is truly something so VERY close to my heart, ‘Say NO to bullying’ and ‘Give us A Break!’
It’s taken me a long long time to write this down, and I won’t deny it was difficult, but I felt I had to do this. I’ve only EVER shared this with some of my nearest and dearest. This is ME opening up about a small part of my personal experience of bullying.
I cannot abide bullying. Infact I have an automatic aversion to insults, racism and prejudice against religion, LGBT community, disabilities, the list goes on and on. Anything that focuses in a negative hurtful way on someone is abhorrent to me. I know we say different not less, yet that could be about anyone as actually we are all different in our own way, who says what is the correct ‘benchmark’? Surely there is no benchmark ?! We are all different, end of!
I’ve wanted to write about this for many years, but it wasn’t that easy for me. Probably because if I was honest I’ve never really gotten over it totally, or at least I reside myself to the fact that ‘it’ will always be there in my mind, poking at my heart every now and then when memories rear their ugly head. I will never forget any of it.
Why was I bullied? WHY?! Was I different? Of course. EVERYONE is different, but shouldn’t we all be? It would be a boring World if we were all the same, every difference has something different to bring to the table. Isn’t that a good thing surely….
I was bullied for many years throughout the whole of my secondary school life. Yes. I think back now and I have no idea how I got through it all. It started with small digs, and jibes from a certain group of girls who saw something in me, a difference if you like to themselves. They absolutely ruined my whole experience of secondary school and affected my confidence. They probably thought it was nothing, a bit of fun to them, but it WASN’T fun at all. It was bullying plain and simple. Consistent put downs, name calling, nastiness, derogatory and mean hurtful comments day in day out.
My friends I had moved with from primary school seemed to also slowly distance themselves from me at times too, or maybe they didn’t it’s just how it felt to me back then. I felt totally alone. I would wake up every school morning feeling so sick to the pit of my stomach, nauseous and absolutely petrified at the thought of going to school. I didn’t want to go, every day became scary and a chore. Everyday I would have the same feelings as soon as it was time to get up, and when it was a Friday boy it was the best feeling, even better were school holidays ! I lived for them as it meant I wouldn’t have to hear or see those bullies anymore, I wouldn’t be subjected to daily comments, jibes, verbal abuse, call it whatever you wish.
They soon came up with a nickname for me, it wasn’t cute, it wasn’t meant to be a bit of fun, it wasn’t endearing or sweet, it was derogatory about me. I can’t even write it down as it takes me back to those days too much. I would walk into the mornings tutorial and they would shout it at me, they would pass me in the corridor and would shout it at me, in a lesson and they would say it slyly (sometimes out loud in lessons depending on which teacher we had). They didn’t care who heard them, who saw them. Nobody spoke up, I felt totally alone. It was like some big black hole swallowing me up and there was nothing I could do about it.
In my previous blog ‘Sticks and Stones’ I talked about how the phrase ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’ is NOT true. It so isn’t true at all.
The bullies progressed over those school years from not just words, but to physical things too. It was bad enough being told I was too this or too that, too small too skinny, quiet, shy or get lost go and die, and shouting the nickname they gave me in front of the whole class, I had it all. They became bolder.
Once they stole my new winter coat, and I never got it back. Then there was me having to run all the way home in the freezing cold to tell my parents my coat was stolen by the bullies and I broke down sat on the edge of my bed. ‘All I want is just one friend, just one!’ I cried to my Mum. I specifically remember saying those words to her. Mum spoke to the Deputy Head in person with me. He was about as much use as a chocolate teapot when I think back. He told my Mum the school does not encourage bullying and all he could do was to ask in assembly if anyone had seen my coat. Great.
Imagine this; I now had in my head that during the next assembly the Deputy Head was going to announce my coat was missing and did anyone know anything about it ?! Of course nobody would own up .. BUT what was guaranteed from that was that I would be targeted again by the bullies for speaking out. It would cause more stress for me. Mum was fuming with the school. My parents quickly bought me a new coat as the old one was never to be seen again.
I would go into a lesson and when the teacher wasn’t present the bullies would sneak under the desks and remove one of my shoes and throw it across the room or out the window. They would write comments about me on the blackboard, or surround me when I came out of the toilet cubicle to wash my hands. I became scared to even visit the toilet for fear of someone waiting for me.
They locked me in the school classroom hut, they stole from me, copied my work, and kept telling me how I was worth nothing, ‘Get lost and die!’ they said. There were no mobile phones back then, so instead of horrible texts I would get horrible notes shoved in my bag or locker, odd phone calls for me at home outside of school hours in the evening, and constant stares from people following me around school.
I could go on, there was so much more, it went on for YEARS. I wanted so much to feel comfortable to go to school and to feel welcome, happy and valued there. I didn’t feel like that. I felt worthless, useless, like nobody liked me, nobody wanted to sit with me. I would worry about everything and anything, the largest AND the smallest things – infact EVERYTHING to me was a LARGE thing affecting every second of my life. I worried about how I would look when getting ready for school, my feet were small so did those new shoes I have look too childish or unfashionable as they weren’t ‘cool’ in the bullies eyes? I worried about who and where I would sit in every single classroom, I worried if I had the right school bag, did I talk funny, would they be waiting for me round every corner? Who would I stand with or where would I go at break time, or in PE. I hated PE as those girls could be so cruel when we got changed. Would I EVER be happy?
One day was particularly bad, I decided no more and answered the bullies back. I was surrounded pushed and nudged and shoved and called nasty names. I shouted at them and felt horrible, I ran all the way home as a couple of them chased me but they stopped short of coming straight to my house of course. I told my Mum. Back then you could look peoples home telephone numbers up in the telephone directory – Mum said enough is enough and she called the parents of 4 of the worst bullies. They weren’t that empathetic to be honest, it was hard for them to believe their own child was a bully, yet each parent told my Mum they would speak to their child about it. The next day at school was HORRIBLE. I truly thank my Mum for trying to do something as the school had not cared before, yet in actual fact it just made things worse. It wasn’t her fault. The bullies were the ones at fault, I know that.
The truth is those bullies might look back or read this and think, ‘no way it wasn’t meant to be that bad it was only a bit of fun’ Well it wasn’t fun at all. Not to me. It wasn’t nice. It broke my heart; it’s an actually hurtful physical feeling, it crushed me. If someone tells you to go die, I mean come on.. honestly I can’t begin to put into words how it made me feel.
Even now, if I ever see anyone who I think is the underdog or not included, I make a point of including them. I vowed NEVER to make anyone feel like I did, ever. EVER.
I had dreams and aspirations. Back then, I wanted to be either a nursery nurse or air hostess. My school careers advisor missed that years deadline to put me forward for the nursery nurse course, then the airline I tried to ask about joining told me ‘You are not tall enough we have a minimum height to enrol’. It’s different now of course re height restrictions, but imagine back then being told I wasn’t tall enough to be an air hostess after all those years of being bullied when one of the things I was bullied about was because ‘you’re too short’ ! I was even more so heartbroken. I resided to the fact that I would leave at the end of secondary school, go to a college where nobody knew me and try start my life again.
The day of enrolling at college I met a lovely lady in the queue to hand in our O level grades results. I never looked back – she became a dear college friend, we became friends with a lovely group and together they made me happier than I’d ever been. They probably don’t know that, but if they’re reading this they will now!
So please don’t get me wrong. I’m not wallowing in self pity. I just wanted to share some of my story, particularly as it’s anti bullying week and after all these years I thought come on Bev you CAN do this and you will! Our Charity really have made me feel valued and comfortable about coming forward to share some of my story with you. You see, the point is, although there were times I really wanted to give up, I didn’t. I can only say that I thought about my family and how much I loved them, how much they loved me .. AND as I had seen bits of bullying begin towards my brother, there was NO WAY I was going to let him or anyone else I knew go through what I did if I could help it.
Sadly, I experienced bullying again in a different form in a past previous relationship I had many years ago. Long before I met my husband aka Daddy Cool and we had our Son CH. That story is a blog for another time.
I now worry about our son CH. His conditions mean he has challenges already, and the whole World still doesn’t all yet fully understand autism, so I will be there to educate, and to empower him, giving him the confidence and knowledge to understand he is an EQUAL and has the right to be himself and happy with it. He recently said people keep saying to him ‘why are you so small CH?’ We have already spoken to him about bullying of course….
The affects of bullying can truly be all consuming, and not just for the person being bullied, but their families and loved ones too. Don’t be that person who lowers themselves to be a bully, it’s NOT a nice quality to have, it’s wrong. It’s NOT a bit of fun, it’s NOT ‘banter’. It can break hearts, break lives, and sometimes forever.
So I say..
be a friend
Don’t make someone cry – Make someone smile. Speak up! Listen and help xx
Schools, the Government, workplaces, so many more could and SHOULD step up to realise bullying is wrong, it needs to STOP now!
As someone who has been bullied, and not just as a Charity Champion, I stand with AnnaKennedyOnline.com and say NO TO BULLYING. #GiveUsABreak!
Be more US instead of singling out differences and excluding people, Be more US! Give Us A Break.
I’ve always loved reading, there’s many different styles and genres of books I am interested in. Biographies, autobiographies, fiction, non fiction, you name it. I love a good book!
I might be old school, yes I have a kindle, but I must be totally honest; I truly love a real actual book. I love to hold a book in my hands, I like look of it, the smell of it – and for ME the front cover is a MUST to attract my attention, the very next thing is the back outer cover with brief synopsis giving you a small insight into the book, dipping your toe so to speak into the story.
So when I first saw the cover reveal of ‘Where the Heart Is’ I was immediately interested.. it grabbed my attention straight away.. then when I read the back cover I KNEW it was a book for me! When I managed to grab myself a copy of this debut novel I truly wasn’t disappointed at all.
The book had me on a rollercoaster of emotions from start to finish, and even now I must admit I find myself missing all the characters in the book. The magic of parts of the story link very cleverly with the cover, and how it features in some of those beautiful memories you will discover. You will resonate with parts of the book, as the characters are both strong yet vulnerable, you will come to love Nate and care about Flick.
The book delves into the lives, friendships and love between two central characters Nate and Flick. I love how it enables the reader to experience each step of the way from the perspective of both characters, a truly clever and enlightening journey for all. You begin wanting to know more about why the characters are the way they are, ‘the secret’, and how they come to open their hearts and move forward from some devastating past experiences.
Along the way, the author cleverly invites you to learn more about related characters to Nate and Flick, as you start to feel a part of their extended family, literally willing them all to move in certain directions. I became sad in some parts as the descriptive style was so authentic and true to life, to angry with characters when they reacted in a certain way, then to jubilation at great sensitive endearing moments. You may also find yourself as I did; smiling and relating to parts of the book as it pulls on your heart strings and jolts your own memories of things gone by. I have never before read a book with such brilliantly written cliff hangers, and I have been on the edge of my seat so many times from start to finish, so much so, I could barely put it down.
I felt my heart emphatically moving along with the story, a journey of true love over adversity, of friendship, hardship and an insight into the lives of two soulmates you find yourself becoming attached to. The style of writing is all enveloping, it catches your breath one moment with a sensitive personal moment, then awakens your senses as you begin to feel the emotions. True bliss.
As a debut novel this is an amazing and expertly written book, it’s authenticity fills you with a sense of true integrity. So much so you would think the author has penned a hundred or more books already at the very least. I am now eagerly awaiting further novels from this author. I had so many questions along the way, and I loved the way the author walked you through every step of the way to discover the answers, through every key stage of their lives as they learn to accept and love themselves again .. and more. I finished the book with a smile, feeling hopeful and happy for their future.
And .. what of the other characters .. well I understand this is not the last we have heard of them. I was excited and inspired to read in the ‘Letter to the Reader’ that there are two more novels on the horizon. YES! All three books are described as being stand alone, and promise to help you understand and link together as you will how each character and story has developed.
L.S. Pullen has such a true precious talent to be admired, embraced, encouraged and to be inspired by. Talent proving they have many years ahead of writing, pleasing and delighting readers. Thank you for sharing your creativity with us all, I am an instant fan and can’t wait for more.
See below website links on the author, and where to obtain the book / kindle edition. What are you waiting for – Go meet Nate and Flick.. and Enjoy!
So this is a true story about the Bogeyman…. very apt for Halloween …. but not as you would expect 😜 When you think of the Bogeyman you get a picture in your mind right? For us, in our house the Bogeyman has a different meaning😄Read on ..
Ok. I’m not gonna lie, it’s taken my husband and I years to get our Son CH to blow his nose. Honestly. I believe it can be common with all kids, more so than I thought.
It made for an interesting time over the years, when our son used to have a runny nose, very warm knees / joints and so on with colds and countless bouts of tonsillitis almost every month (until he had an operation to remove them). After that he still got ill only with ear or chest infections.. ALL of these of course dictate you will have a runny nose for sure, or at least our CH did.
He didn’t like the sensation of blowing his nose, the noise and all the feelings and senses that it affected during the process. We tried all sorts. Yet his autism and sensory challenges affected his recovery process, meaning he would be under the weather for longer than expected.
It got to the stage where I actually welcomed getting a cold myself so I could sit with him and casually blow my nose nearby, trying to engage him enough and in such a way that he could see what and how I was doing it. ‘Look at Mumble ! If Mumble does it like that maybe I can’ was the response I was hoping for. The problem with that was the issue of me being asthmatic and more often than not, a cold would lead to a chest infection which would not shift at all unless I obtained medication from the GP. Daddy cool tried by trying to use you tube videos as CH loves an iPad .. we tried our own social stories, got the teacher and GP on board to incorporate it appropriately too, in a not so obvious way of course. The GP even prescribed nose spray to prompt the process – we still often have to use that now.
** Advanced Warning if you’re of a queasy disposition 😜 **
Bedtime was interesting. At some point we would be tidying CHs bed area and we’d notice ‘items’ stuck on the wall .. or under the pillow .. on the side of the bed frame .. you name it .. bless him we laugh about it now lol lol. We would find loads of them. You know what I mean of course . bogeys (eeeek). Bless him, in his own way he was getting rid instead of blowing his nose. It went on for years lol lol. We’d leave tissues under the pillow, put them next to his bed, you name it we tried it!
I can’t even remember how it all came about, but one day a year or so ago, I got home and there was CH sat with Daddy Cool watching film ‘Despicable Me’ (again), and guess what? they were both blowing their noses, covering one nostril and blowing down the other, then repeat for the other side. Somehow Daddy cool had managed to succeed, had got CH to use tissues, he just couldn’t remember how they’d got to that moment. It doesn’t matter. Those of you who are connected in some way with autism will ‘know’, quite often you have to pick (forgive the pun here) your moments whenever you can, and sometimes you get real pockets of magic happen when you least expect it. Daddy cool was now officially affectionately known as the bogeyman.
So from here on, the blowing of his nose was much much easier. We incorporated it into CHs daily routine at certain times of the day, and most of the time he would follow this daily routine and sometimes realise at ‘blowing nose time’ that there wasn’t much need for it today, and that was still ok. Sometimes. But this actually got him into a routine so he wouldn’t forget to check. So, forgive the pun again, but like I say; pick your moments !
The next thing was to prevent the bedtime bogeys being stuck everywhere. To get him to use a tissue instead, or at least to request one if needed. We kind of got round to that eventually, instead of thinking outside the box we got rid of the box. We had bought CH a new bed, to make his room and him feel more grown up. We got rid of his car bed and bought a strong metal bed frame where the bed was at the top, accessed by a ladder, and underneath was a desk area which we could make into an ‘office’ and games area for him. He loved it! We bought a bright green ‘pocket’ to hang over the side of the upper bed frame – so he had pockets next to him to put tissues, or any items he chose to take with him to bed. For example, he used to take a model Titanic ship with him, his favourite Christmas bauble, you name it, he once even took an unpeeled potato to bed with him for a few days! The pocket as we call it, has 3 sections, so we used to put a few tissues in one of them for CHs easy reach.
It does work .. ok .. it works ‘sometimes’ so long as we remember to put tissues in there for him. I will be honest sometimes we forget. In those instances, I often get called at any time of the night depending on his sleep .. ‘Mumble!!!!!!!! Mumble!!!!!!!!!’ Of course I go running in, and guess what?! CH will be sat up in bed, right arm and hand stretched out with two fingers clamped together. ‘Bogey for you Mumble, here you go!’ he says lol lol. We’ve clearly forgotten to put tissues in ‘the pocket’ again, typical Mumble and Daddy Cool. Oh dear oh dear. In these situations I seem to be THE ONE that CH likes to call. He won’t give his bogeys when sat up in bed to anyone but me. Such joy, bless his cotton socks, love him to bits of course.
I’m therefore honoured to be ‘the one’ chosen as the bogey collector. And actually, if you think about it then, we don’t just have a bogeyman anymore, we now have the ‘bogeylady’ too.
I told you at the start didn’t I.. it was about the bogeyman and now bogeylady ….just not in the way you initially thought! Happy Halloween xx
I was told something the other day which made me feel very uncomfortable, initially I felt furious, and now, still furious, but also incredibly sad.
Someone had said the ‘r word’ and they had said it in a way they thought was funny. It’s something which sadly is still all too common in this day and age.
Derogatory comments about other people; people you might think you know, but don’t actually know too well eg outside the workplace, and those you instantly judge and make assumptions of even though you don’t know them at all are WRONG. People that may have challenges going on in their lives that they may not have shared. Why should they though, after all everyone’s business is their own. Yet, when moaning about someone and then sarcastically you say ‘Erm yes I think they’re definitely a bit special needs’ is WRONG. Then to use the next word, which I hate even writing let alone hearing someone say .. ‘retard’. The R word. It’s WRONG. It’s disrespectful. And tell me this; at what point does it constitute or justify being used in a way to make sarcastic fun of someone?
When you say those things you are insulting so many people and families who have had to struggle and had to overcome many challenges and hurdles to just even ‘be themselves’. It’s widely known what people mean, who they are talking about, who / what they are insinuating when they say the R word. And when you make fun of someone saying someone is a bit special needs, WHY would you say that? You’re not saying it in a nice context, so imagine all those wonderful people that actually fall into that category, imagine how they would feel. Think about the people in the vicinity who can hear you say those things, they might have family or friends that would fall into those categories. Imagine if someone said the R word about your Mum, sister, brother, auntie, cousin, Nan, friend and so on …. imagine how it would feel to you; now imagine if you said that word to someone you were talking to in passing – is it really the right thing to do? NO. A cruel sharp tongue is not a good quality to have, trust me. Some of you misguidedly appear to think it’s cool ?! it’s so NOT cool, so not cool in any way shape or form.
There are always going to be people in this World like this. I have no idea why they’d think it’s cool to talk like that. It’s disgusting, rude, derogatory and hate. No other way to put it. I don’t know about anyone else, but I love and embrace peoples differences .. and what is a difference anyway ?! Different to what ?! Who says what’s right or wrong, or what society keeps calling ‘normal’ ? I don’t like to use that word either as whether we have a ‘difference’ or not, what actually IS ‘normal’ ?!
Most people will choose to stay quiet and not say anything, it’s a touchy emotive subject. But I believe we all have something to give, something to contribute – give people a chance. Don’t right them off too quickly. I know alot of this stems from my own feelings of being bullied every single day throughout the whole of my secondary school life, those feelings although you may think they go …. I will be honest, they absolutely do not. I can remember everything like it happened a second ago. It’s almost 40 years ago, yet it’s clear in my mind. It still makes me feel sad to think about it. And I remember my Mums face when I finally plucked up courage to tell her. She tried to hide her sadness well from me, she tried to liften my spirits, and I remember her warrior princess mode immediately sprung into action. When you call someone names, it is actually bullying – one of the most hurtful and damaging forms of bullying and is extremely painful. As I said, I still have those memories as fresh as anything in my mind, those negative messages are literally engrained in your mind always, and impact on your self worth. (My own Bullying experience is definitely a blog for another time – I am extremely passionate about this subject).
People say things in the heat of the moment, flippantly, or they say later they don’t literally mean it, but let’s be honest here. When you’re calling someone a name or using the R word about them, I guarantee it will hurt someone. If your intention isn’t to hurt anyone, then DON’T do it. Why for the sake of whatever your reasons are, do that? If you’ve never been on the receiving end of derogatory, bullying, name calling, or a mean comment and phrase, then I’m glad, I’m pleased for you as you wouldn’t want to be. If you were though, however blasé you may think you’d be; that you’d brush it off, that you wouldn’t mind, trust me, at some point in your life these things will bother you…. or someone else that cares about you.
Everyone is different, and everyone knows I always say we all have our own pocket of greatness. There is beauty everywhere, have you really listened or looked at a person and noticed how amazing they are. How amazing human life is. Just look closer. That guy over there who’s quiet, isn’t being rude, he isn’t being unsociable .. he might just not feel comfortable talking in groups, he might have something on his mind, he might be hanging on to life by the tips of his finger nails, he may be hard of hearing, deaf, he may be non verbal, how would you know either way? So why would you dream of making a derogatory comment ?
I know a guy who’s extremely quiet, I’ve been told people say things about him, not to him or me, but behind his back. I see their faces, I see their expressions. Yet.. I know why he is quiet, why he hasn’t got time in his mind to chit chat – he has confided in me that his wife and he have adult children that were both brain damaged at birth. As a family they are making good lives for themselves with each others continued support and guidance. They’ve had to deal with looks, comments and literally become thick skinned as they know they are being talked about, and looked at. That could be any of us. There is another lady I know who struggles with her own anxieties and insecurities, and has spoken to me at length about it, but you wouldn’t know as she appears to you as the life and soul of the party. She doesn’t want anyone else to know about her struggles, so she puts on a brave face.
We’ve all heard this saying, but personally I don’t think it’s true; ‘Stick and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me’ I remember being told to say that to the bullies when they hurt me. As much as this was meant to help, it didn’t really, it made them say more nasty stuff back to me as they thought I was being ‘too clever’. Words definitely can harm, they really can. Trust me, I know. Those people that used to call me names at secondary school may think it was just back then as kids messing about, but no, it wasn’t to me, and those names still resonate with me, they often have a lasting affect.
The point is don’t judge people, don’t ever assume you know everything about everyone. Just cos you work with someone, share a flat with someone, or even if it’s your cousin for example, it doesn’t mean you know them inside and out. We should all be more mindful, be nice it costs nothing. And be thoughtful, be understanding. The moment that the ‘R word’, name calling or your categorising of people is used, you have disrespected a huge part of the Worlds community. A huge amount of talented people who have contributed so much more than you think to society as a whole. That someone one day could be someone in your family. Someone you would wish to protect and stand by with all of your being.
My Son has additional needs, being diagnosed with a few conditions, with autism being one of them. On a recent family trip, when building a bear he was asked to choose a word on a shape to put inside the bear before it was sealed. A word that was important to him, a quality he would like his bear to have. He chose ‘KINDNESS’ – to me that says everything. Above all the words on shapes available in the shop to chose from, he chose kindness, need I say more? – checkout his picture above.
So please THINK about your words. Remember, it costs absolutely nothing to be nice. It’s soon anti bullying week – don’t be one of those who inadvertently becomes a bully. Be nice, be kind, be more US and inclusive. You will be surprised if you open up your heart to try listen and understand people, at what you will actually find.
It was just like any other Saturday morning, in all but name only. In just a few hours there would be a strong community, a family coming together to share their stories, achievements, challenges and admiration for each other. There would be laughs, smiles, tears and an array of people, donning their favourite outfits to shine proud. Standing shoulder to shoulder. This was going to be a huge room literally full of Heroes💜
It was time for our Charity to recognise just some of the Worlds Autism Heroes as nominated by so many people – an exciting opportunity showcasing and celebrating some of the excellence taking place in the World of Autism. The Anna Kennedy Online Charity team would come together at the prestigious Radisson Blu Portman Hotel in Central London to make ready the stunning ballroom fit for Heroes. I love the feeling as you walk into the ballroom and feel the calm before everything gets going later in the evening. The room is being prepped for our Heroes, the tables are being set, the awards, certificates, raffle, auction and red carpet organised – we want our Heroes to have a night to remember. The crew are setting up the sound and lighting alongside us, they’re part of our family. It’s such a lovely feeling when you first arrive and you can literally feel the ballroom quiet, calm, everyone has a role, working with careful care and consideration for the night ahead. The room boasts the most amazing chandelier lighting, with wood panelled walls adorned with more huge crystal lights. Stunning and absolutely beautiful, perfect for our Heroes.
It’s during this time that you begin to feel the ballroom is literally oozing with anticipation for the evenings event. You can literally feel it. The ballroom feels like it’s about to come alive…..
We, the team, get ready as quick as we can with minutes to spare, red carpet ready for our first guests that have started to arrive. It’s time for our Heroes to be welcomed, greeted, treated to red carpet photos, and welcomed into our reception room with refreshments. You can feel the sheer excitement as people come together, recognise faces, meet old friends, and make new friends too! It’s an inclusive event, and we have a quiet room ready on standby for those that request it. It’s brilliant to see Pineapple Performing Arts as they open the event with some of our autism scholarship winners, as I said it’s all inclusive, and I really adore seeing the dancing it’s fantastic!
It’s difficult to put into words the feelings you have being a part of this. You’re literally on a rollercoaster of emotions from the calm at the start, to the anticipation, excitement, admiration, humbleness, happy, joyous, plus both happy and sad tears, as your emotions take over listening to stories of achievements, success, struggles, adversity and sadness. I literally can’t explain every emotion you feel. You have to be there to experience the night for yourself. The event came about 3 years ago as our Charity founder Dr Anna Kennedy OBE sought to host an evening of celebration of excellence for those in the World of Autism across the whole of the UK – Anna had previously presented awards for the event in Wales as founded by Jo Kirton Salmon. Every single person attending, everyone is a Hero, and the night is all about, and belongs to YOU. All are made to feel appreciated and valued.
Everyone there holds each other up, supports and builds each other up, as everyone deserves it. Yes we make it glamourous for you, yes we have gone above and beyond for you – why shouldn’t you enjoy a night treated with respect and admiration as we share in everything you have achieved and more? You deserve it.
Everyone has a story, everyone deserves for it to be heard. Holding back the tears is difficult, come armed with tissues for sure, as you cry both happy and sad tears. You can literally just ‘be you’ here.. you can be yourself without anyone judging or expecting anything of you. No one expects, no one judges you, no one makes you feel any less than you are; it’s all about recognising each other and sharing it with each other. The Charity as a whole to me feels just like that, you can just ‘be’. How refreshing and amazing is that.
If you have never been to one of our Heroes events, please mark it in your diary for next year – you would not be disappointed, it’s a Saturday experience you will talk about for long after. Infact all our Heroes are becoming used to the attention received from various media sources which ultimately serves to ensure that everyone gets the acknowledgement they so deserve. The buzz of the night goes viral online and we love to hear how everyones’ own stories are shared Worldwide. Over the course of the night there are cheers and excitement from everyone when their names are called out, it’s such a humbling experience to realise you are in the presence of Heroes as nominated by the public. The joy on everyones faces is infectious, it’s truly an amazing evening that fills your heart. For details of our winners this year see AKO Autism Hero Award Winners
We were also in for a treat, being entertained by the amazing talented singer Matthew Shelton, and a stunning duet by Calvin Glenn & Charlotte Fieldson; all autistic performers from our annual Autism’s Got Talent show! Let’s not also forget the judges and their difficult task; we receive hundreds of nominations, emails, videos, letters, all of which our judges spend hours deliberating over. It’s a very difficult and admirable role to have, and the true stories they get to hear stay with them forever. Forever friends are made, friendships, acquaintances, lessons learned, new beginnings and more, it’s truly an experience that will touch your heart and stay with you.
As a Charity we have so many thank yous, for example we are always proud to welcome sponsors of our Hero categories, as companies become a part of the special night. BUT ultimately the people this is all about are our Heroes. I for one join in and think of my Son CH, these events always remind me what is possible, what can really be achieved when you put your mind to it, everyone has their own pocket of greatness as I say, and to be present somewhere that you can just be yourself without anyone making you feel awkward or uncomfortable is truly amazing. Society does not always allow people to feel like that, whether autistic or not, so I can truly say come to our events, checkout our website, we really do care. It’s truly a humbling and proud feeling to be a part of hosting such an evening and event as this, it’s all about the Heroes. The room, full of Heroes💜
Everyone who knows me well knows how much I LOVE snow. We’d been talking about snow at work, and how this winters weather forecast had mentioned lots of it. It brought back many snow memories, such fun times, and then there was one which was, well, something I look back on and laugh. But not back then at the time, oh no. I wasn’t laughing back then..
It was back in the day, I was about 21 or so: picture this..
It’s freezing cold and thick of snow first thing on a Monday morning in lovely Leeds, Yorkshire. Beloved Yorkshire the home of my family roots. Although it’s ice cold, the sun is shining, and as a lover of snow I’m top banana happy it’s so thick. Anyway, the gritters have been out, so although the roads are a bit tricky, they’re driveable. Sounds for a pretty wintery scene to drive in doesn’t it ?!
I’m ready for work in the bank; as I’d recently passed their exams to sell life insurance and regulated products, I was feeling good about myself. Bag ready, pre packed sarnie ready, got my gloves, boots, and off I go.
So my 1.4L blue Ford Escort hatchback is parked on the driveway in front of my Dads garage. I was leaving for work before Dad today, I always like to set off early, and still do to this day 🙂 I’ve scraped the ice off the car windows, placed everything on the passengers seat (no mobile phones back then lol lol), heatings on full blast, I’m freezing, and I’ve reversed to part way down the driveway. Cars being cars back then, and me thinking I knew everything about cars, but actually being not so clued up, I didn’t think that the hot air inside the car might make the windows freeze up again so quickly…. but oh yes they had already fogged and frozen so badly that I couldn’t see through them. Oh sugar I’d have to get out again and sort the windows out. No problem, it won’t take me long.. Or so I thought.
Ok. So, I got out the car, left the engine running to keep the warm air ready for when I got back in. I do like it cosy, even now, I like it warm and Mr G likes it cooler, and cars nowadays you can control your own respective sides. Back then, back in the day, it was all or nothing lol lol. I made a better job of clearing the windows this time, waved at my parents who were at the front window and was good to go.
Or so I thought.
I tried to open the car door. No such luck. Unbeknown to me, when I’d got out the car, before closing the door I had knocked the knob down on the door, which meant as the door closed, it locked. The car was locked. Locked ?! The car was locked, the keys were in the ignition with the engine still running, and the heating was still on FULL blast. O M G.
Get your spare keys I hear you say. But oh no, I had no spare set of keys. No spare keys. My heart sank. I looked back at the living room window to see my parents still looking out. My Dad definitely wasn’t smiling anymore, he had a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp.. Mum had a face that said what’s the problem. My face looked a mixture of being cross, cheesed off, worried, upset and stressed all in one.
OMG what could I do now. Of course I had signed up ages ago with the AA, so a quick call to them would suffice. Or so I thought. First I had to go inside and explain to Dad. He took the news with about as much joy as you can imagine. Add into this, the fact that it had been the coldest thickest snowfall we’d had for ages, and as such one of the busiest times the AA had ever experienced with call outs. ‘Yes Miss of course we can come out. At the moment we have a backlog and are prioritising, so at present the estimated time we could be with you is in about 90 minutes’. NINETY MINUTES ?!
I was on the phone in the living room, my parents sat with faces looking like they were sucking lemons. I think you can guess my Dads reaction. You see, let me explain a bit more. My car was towards the end of the driveway. Our driveway was high up on a level raised separately to next doors. In other words, unless I moved my car, my Dad wasn’t getting his car out anytime soon either. He would be late for work too. His face was a picture.
Ok. Next to phone my boss, only don’t forget there are no mobile phones yet, so I have to call the works phone and they won’t be there yet. No way of me letting them know I would be late until it was almost opening time. I was going to be ‘Very late’ .. Colleagues would all still be travelling to work at present. Dad phoned his work and they were ok, I’m sure I heard them all have a giggle at the other end of the phone when my Dad explained what I had done ..
Back outside, I looked inside the car as best I could through the steamy windows. The pre packed sarnie packet looked like it was swelling up, it looked like it would be ready to explode with egg n cress splattering everywhere in the car. If it was much longer waiting for the AA it would. Then I realised I only had a small amount of petrol in there .. that would be slowly dwindling as the engine was still running.. Oh the joys of owning your own car as a young adult never seemed to run smooth for me. You should of seen me in the car before this one. Let’s just say it had it’s own in built air conditioning system by way of a huge hole under the car mat under the pedals..
I thought, at this rate I would be better setting off to work on my sledge; a favourite pastime of mine in the snow in my younger days – I was good at it too. Think of the scene in one of my favourite Christmas films ‘National Lampoons Christmas Vacation’ with Chevy Chase on a tin lid speed sledging down a hill – that was me 🙂
Whilst waiting neighbours were walking past waving at my Mum in the window pointing at my car with inquisitive looks saying ‘You know the engines left running on your daughters car?!’ My Mum to my Dad was like ‘Just nod and smile sweetly at them love, look busy!’. I had brought embarrassment to the street 😉 oh the shame lol lol.
Eventually the AA arrived. 3 HOURS it took them. Three whole hours. You see I wasn’t technically stranded I was safe at home so not a priority call out. When the guy arrived, within seconds he opened my car door. Job done. He tried so hard not to laugh but I could see his face. I never forget I thought I bet he goes back to his colleagues later and tells them all about it.
It was all just in time before the sarnie packet exploded. Warm egg n cress sarnies. The packet looked ready to literally burst. Not a nice thought, so they went in the bin, I called work and explained I was now on my way. I will never forget their faces when I arrived, they looked at me like I had made the whole sorry story up, but it was totally true, every word of it. The Manager wasn’t impressed she was convinced I had made it all up.
That was to be the first encounter with things going wrong with me in this car. But that’s a story for another time ….
The moral of this true story; where do I start, I think there’s a few. Needless to say I have a real good laugh about it now, hope you do too.
The other day something our CH said broke my heart. He laid faced down on my bed and said something that made me think. He said; ‘Why is life so hard Mumble?’ I wanted to cry but of course I couldn’t. I wanted to squeeze him so tight and stop all the difficulties he may face but of course I couldn’t. My heart was in my mouth, I’d never heard him talk like that before, but it made me think two things; one that yes he was right, and two that as his parents whatever life decided to throw at him we had his back.
So then I had to think how I would find out what it was that was bothering him. You see when you have autism thrown into the mix sometimes you can’t just ask a question and get an answer. Don’t get me wrong, if I was to ask him about the Titanic, or the latest level on minecraft, he would probably answer me 😉 And I’m sure we can all think of a time anyway autistic or not, when we’ve had something bothering us but we just didn’t wanna talk about it. So then add autism into that.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the name for a range of similar conditions, including Asperger syndrome, that affect a person’s social interaction, communication, interests and behaviour (NHS).
Of course I tried asking CH what was wrong. No answer, silence and then he began humming. Sometimes he would give an answer to a question days later, weeks later, months even, we’ve had a response to something over a year after. CH has a fab memory, his mind seems to have many different compartments like a filing system with literally EVERYTHING stored in its rightful place, according to him. He has the ability to pull something out of his mind at a moments notice…… so long as he is ready to. It all depends.
For example, CH has been asking us for years to go back to the place ‘with the brown floors and walls’, since he was about 6 years old. He’d not long been speaking then. Mr G & I have wracked our brains thinking of where this place may be, and we’ve suggested many different places all of which CH says ‘No it’s not there.’ But he won’t and literally can’t say where this place is. Yet Mr G and I have no clues! One day I’m hoping CH will pull the name of this place out of the right file in his mind and we’ll say ‘Oh yes that’s where you meant!’ But if not, that’s ok too. We may never get to know.
So anyway, I laid next to CH, mirroring his pose, quietly positioning myself. I used a calm tone of voice, not too many words, thought of what things he liked talking about, things that make him tick, and used all that to try discover what was bothering him. Only I didn’t make it sound too obviously ‘question like’ if you get me. Then I leave a quiet space of time, give him enough time to process what I’ve said, I won’t speak again too soon. It might take CH a few minutes to process my words. That’s ok. We’ve used different methods of communication over the years; PECS (picture exchange communication system), photos, symbols, makaton signing, music, and more. Done it all. CH had music therapy initially, then has had SLT (speech and language therapy) since he was first diagnosed, ongoing, it’s been a great help to him. The truth is that sometimes we’re just not gonna get a response. That’s ok though, we understand, that’s ‘our’ CH.
Eventually after being laid next to each other for a while, CH said ‘Where’s my drink! No more talking.’ Ok. That was my cue to leave it there for now, and get his drink of course. So that was it, there was no way I was going to get anything more out of him at this point. I had no clues or snippets of information to go on. There was nothing on his home school sheet to indicate anything either. What would you do? As an autism parent you become like the best ever detective, Cagney and Lacey, Miss Marple.. Columbo! Yet I’ve also been on the other side of the coin, on the receiving end of CHs daily question times where he interrogates me (which you will see on twitter if you follow me 😉 @yorkiepuddings).
I could’ve left it there, but I knew that something was clearly bothering him. CH doesn’t like too many questions, or demands which he struggles with at times, unless it’s in the right setting or phrased a certain way, or not at all. Different things can have an impact on CH, including tone of voice, other noises in the background, any smells, where we are, how his day at school has been, the list is endless. I’m not gonna lie it can be difficult of course, and no I’m not complaining, I’m just being honest, and I’ll never give up, you can’t, you’ve got to carry on and keep going, and why wouldn’t you?!
So here we are. Next Mr G tries to discover why CH said what he did. No joy. ‘No questions, no more talking. Get out of my room!’ That’s that then. Mr G and I sit down alone and try to ‘guess’ what we think has happened. It could be anything. We wrack our brains, did we miss something, we go over everything a million trillion times. We reside ourselves to so long as CH is safe and comfortable, he’s playing happily on his iPad now, then we will have to pick our moment carefully.
CHs dinner time comes and goes, excitement over progressing a level on his game passes by, lots of drink requests, and all so soon it’s time for his bedtime routine. It’s no different to any other day, yet we still don’t know why he said it ‘Why is life so hard Mumble?’
No more clues tonight. Is our CH struggling with something at school? what is it he’s found difficult? Is he being bullied? Is it school work? Teachers? Has he noticed differences and started to wonder? What? Mr G and I decided we had to accept this for today, and bank it for a different ‘moment’.
Reality is that it’s now a week later and suddenly a gem of a clue was inadvertently given by CH …. ‘We’ve friend accepted each other again Mumble after school, so now I’m too busy to talk, bye!’ Ahaaaaa a light bulb moment! It turns out CH and a school friend had unfriended each other on a game, and had become friends again online. Ahaaaaaa!! ‘Is that why you felt life was too hard last week CH?’ I said. ‘Yes Mumble but you should know that!’ CH said, but of course! Of course I should 😉
There we had it. CH and his school friend had clearly got cheesed off with each other for whatever reason, but had made friends again. Reality is yes life is hard for many reasons. Being autistic doesn’t mean feelings don’t exist. CH still has feelings, in this case they were heightened for him, he couldn’t see the wood for the trees so to speak. Both he and his friend clearly worked it out, somehow, and it’s good that he experienced this and came away with a positive. For CH it wasn’t just a case of him not wanting to tell us what had happened, he literally couldn’t tell us, he had found it difficult to communicate, he had been unable to communicate it in the way some people would expect, at the time you wanted the information. Yet, if you think about it, he had being grown up to tally up what he was experiencing, realising and commenting on the fact that situations and life in general is hard. It’s just he couldn’t actually communicate what was bothering him to us, at least not in the way you probably think.
Life is hard. We all know that. Whether you’re autistic or neurotypical. Life doesn’t make any concessions for anyone, we’re all constantly evolving and learning, all of us in our own way – and who says which way is right or wrong? Everyone has their own ups and downs. We know that there will undoubtedly be many other situations and challenging times ahead, yet we also know there are going to be so many fabulous positive things on the horizon, some fantastic pockets of greatness for us all to cherish forever. Our CH has his whole life ahead of him, and one things for sure, whatever he comes across his Mumble & Daddy Cool have his back xx
‘Dabb is a popular dance where you bend your arm 90 degrees and bend your head into the bent arm’
In our house ‘Doing the Dabb’ isn’t just a dance move. Oh yes of course our son CH has showed us how to do the move, many times, putting a huge smile on our faces. He usually says ‘I’m an expert at it now Mumble, I think you guys need to practice more!’
Infact, we ‘Do the Dabbs’ every night.. every single night. It’s part of our routine. But not in the way that you probably think …. well not quite. It’s kinda cute really to us, a ‘family thing’ that makes us smile, it’s our thing. Yes. It’s now actually a serious part of CHs bedtime routine. An important part.
We don’t just ‘Do the Dabbs’.. We do; The ‘Margaret Dabbs’ 🙂 Curious? Well let me tell you more..
I first came across Margaret Dabbs one day whilst flicking through the tv, and it popped up on the QVC shopping Channel .. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, but don’t knock it til you’ve tried it! I was engrossed in the presentation, and haven’t looked back since. Margaret Dabbs is a popular foot and hand treatment brand, I’d never heard of it before.
I suffer with plantar fasciitis and suffered various challenges with my feet for the last few years, (nothing really yucky 😉 don’t worry) so I decided it was time to give this brand a go. Reaching another milestone in my life (think Hawaii five-O), I thought why not treat myself on my birthday to some ‘Dabbs’ as our family now calls it. I thought give it a go, nothing to lose.
Being on my feet a lot during the day, both at work as Front of House and as a busy autism Mum, I rarely get the chance to put my feet up, so the high hopes I had for this brand to deliver were pretty big. I initially went with the Foot Hygiene cream and Powder, and started using it immediately. WOW is all I can say. After forgetting I had used the cream the first night, when I got up I instantly felt a difference. What’s happened to my feet I thought?! I had become so used to suffering and ‘getting on with it’, I couldn’t believe the transformation. Dabbs had instantly made such a difference, so much so, that I felt lighter on my feet, the difference walking was huge. The appearance of my feet was smoother, they looked dare I say it.. healthier. Going to bed and waking up with a refurbished pair of feet was just what I needed.
The foot powder was next. It was fine and delicate, and oh my it smelt like lemon sherbet, taking me back to my youth; was there no end to the surprises with this brand already?! The next Dabbs step for our family was huge. Here’s where our CH got involved!
Let’s try it on CHs feet, I said:-) As you already know, our CH is autistic, has hypermobility, and always seemed to have problem feet. With autism, and sensory challenges he could be highly picky in so many areas, so I wasn’t sure what he would say. Would he even let me touch his feet? I literally have a battle on my hands to cut his toe nails even when he’s in the bath, or even helping him with his socks. So this was a BIG decision, no exaggeration….. but, success, I needn’t of worried. He loved the foot hygiene cream, he enjoyed the foot massage that he got in the process, and the results were fantastic. He actually said ‘Mumble my feet feel supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ WOW (he has practised saying that word for ages bless him). I felt like we’d hit the jackpot. The condition of his feet improved, including his nails! What a huge result and a major breakthrough for our autism family. Then one night he said ‘Let’s do the Dabbs Mumble’ as he did the dance move and said ‘Go on then where’s the cream?!’ So that’s what he called it, we all did, from that moment on!
That was it. ‘Doing the Dabbs’ nightly became routine. We were sold as a family on the brand, so we got the foot lotion, hand serum, and hygiene cream in supersize versions! We thought we’re onto a winner! Winner winner chicken dinner 😉 The foot lotion was another gorgeous product with lemon myrtle, so delicate it woke up your senses, and was silky smooth and fresh to apply. The smell sent me back in time to the sweet shop down the road as a kid buying a bag of sherbet lemon pips, and lots of memories came flooding back. The hand serum was so cooling, fresh, and was instantly absorbed into my hands, I’ve got a thing about hand creams, and this smelt divine.
So, I cannot praise and thank this brand and Margaret enough. It has made such a huge difference literally transforming our feet into refurbished versions. Everyones’ time is precious to them in their own way, and as the mother of a son on the autism spectrum, quite literally every second in your day counts. To find something like this to be accepted by CH and have a positive effect was literally a gem. It might not sound huge to you, but to us it was progress. It’s also allowed me to have that tiny bit of me time every night, whereby although I’m treating my feet, I’m pampering them too, and it makes me feel good, I look forward to it. You see I can justify spending the time using the products as they have a valid purpose, and our feet are transformed into ‘happy feet’.
So now every night, as part of bedtime, we announce ‘Let’s go CH are you ready to do the Dabbs?!’ and he loves it. It’s a key part of his night time routine and he accepts it. And yes, he does the Dabbs move each time, every night, just before I put the cream on his feet. Precious!
I would truly recommend it, it’s worth spending the time and money to try it. If you have fussy children, on the autism spectrum, or not, or anyone for that matter, wanting to treat your feet, then give it a try Margaret Dabbs – QVC
So, here’s to you Margaret Dabbs, praise from me, as an autism Mum, and especially our son CH, a huge thank you. He specifically wanted me to tell you, Margaret, about him doing the Dabbs nightly; recognition from him like this is gold dust! Doing the Dabbs in our family is more than a dance move 🙂
Well, it’s time to say goodnight for now, the usual bedtime routine is ahead, and of course with that it’s time for our CH to ‘Do the Dabbs’ 🙂