A rose by any other name…

I’m changing my name! Ok not me, literally but I’m changing the name of the blog. My wee blog and its name have served me well so far and I really appreciate all of the follows, likes and comments. Thanks everyone. I hope you will all continue to follow me under my new name. The content will be still be the same and the layout, at least for now, will still be similar. I have just been having a think about things lately. About our lives, our family, the purpose of the blog and what it means for us and says about us.

Follow or read my new blog here: Upside Mum

When I started blogging it was purely to share my thoughts and experiences of autism. I think as it has progressed, it has become a bit more than this. It’s more a story of our lives and my thoughts/feelings. My purpose has always been for me to try to find the positive in things and learn lessons from what has gone on. Where I am definitely in awe of my son and his personality and progress in spite of his difficulties, I don’t want autism to be what defines him, or us. Yes autism has a big impact on us and what we do, but it’s not what I want our whole lives to be about.

This is not because I have an issue with the label or that I am in some way ashamed of it. Anyone who knows me knows that I am extremely proud of my family and what they all achieve. I regularly highlight issues associated with autism and its effects. I celebrate the good and learn from the not so good. Life is full of ups and downs, it’s hard, but it’s also rewarding and full of moments that make it all worthwhile. Therefore I see myself as a person who prefers to try to look on the bright side, the upside, and that’s why I’ve chosen this as my new name.

Everyone needs a makeover or fresh start once in a while, this is mine. I really hope that you will all stick with me in my next chapter of my blogging life and continue to lend me the wonderful support you have shown so far. It really has helped me to pick myself up after the hard days and feel good about the better ones.

Thank you!

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Be kind, always

I have read so many sad and tragic stories in the news recently. There seems to be death and destruction everywhere. I have to admit it’s been getting me down lately.  There are some of the stories I just can’t seem to get out of my head though. Of course attacks like in Turkey, France, Germany, Belgium and across many countries throughout the world; the ongoing wars in many countries and the oppression of people is so terrible and hard to comprehend. I’ve come to the conclusion that there are some very bad people in the world. I also think there are some impressionable and sometimes vulnerable people, who are indoctrinated and brainwashed into thinking a certain way and some people who are most likely mentally ill. This doesn’t change what they’ve done or make the families feel any better though.

The stories I have found stuck with me most over the past few days, were the more local ones; related to the deaths of children in tragic circumstances while they were playing, going on holiday or enjoying days out with their families or friends. The circumstances themselves are upsetting and tragic enough; families shattered in an instant because of some unforeseen event or circumstance. I can’t (and don’t ever want to) begin to imagine how these families feel. What I find all the more heartbreaking is the reaction of certain other people. Continue reading

When the familiar becomes unfamiliar

Flashing back to my first blog post to celebrate 50 likes on Facebook, 100 followers on Twitter and 40 WordPress followers too. Thanks everyone!

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Upside Mum

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As a family we regularly visit our local Heritage museum. It’s a fantastic place in most types of weather. It has lots of outdoor space, a spacious indoor museum area, a playground (with the ever-important swings), a path through the woods, a tram, a canal and most importantly – trains! Our boys love it here. In fact, it’s probably one of J’s favourite places.

Our last visit started off as normal with a happy dash for the gates when we got out of the car. J then started off in the direction of the tram line, which he loves to walk alongside (and across/on). We began our usual circuit of the grounds with J happliy running on ahead of us and looking back with glee to check that we were following on behind. Little did we know of the drama that lay ahead. There was a special event on in…

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Having a bad day?

Mainly my posts are about J and how he’s doing; his progress, achievements and lessons we’ve learned along the way. I try to look for the positives, even amongst the bad experiences. I also thought it would be good to share today’s experience. I realised my posts highlight difficulties but mainly celebrate how we overcame it or what we learned from it. I decided it might also be good to admit that sometimes this is a very hard thing to do. Sometimes I have to try extremely hard to see the up side of some things and to feel good about any part of some days we’ve had. Sometimes I fail to see these positives at all. When this happens I don’t particularly like to talk about it; preferring to ignore it and try to just move on. Lately I’ve decided this isn’t healthy. I need to face the bad with the good and find a way to keep going in spite of these experiences. So, if the good stories are all you like to read please give up now, as this one is not only bad but it’s ugly! Continue reading

This guy


I know my blog is mostly about autism and so mainly J but this wee guy deserves a mention too. My wee B (sometimes in more ways than one 😜) Sometimes he’s my sanity and other times he drives me insane! He’s only four years old and already in his young life he’s had to come to terms with and understand more than some people will ever have to. He’s an autism sibling. If you read any articles, information or research they will tell you that this is hard. We try our best to limit this for him and to make his life as ‘normal’ as possible but he’s always going to be affected by it in some way. J is after all his big brother. Sometimes if I think about it too deeply it makes me really sad for B. As great as J is and as hard as he tries, he’s never really going to be what most people think of as a big brother. He doesn’t really know how to look after B or show him how to do new things. Of course, B is very capable and would probably just tell J that he knew how to do it anyway. This doesn’t mean he’s not missing out though. He’s never known any different and hasn’t seen what he’s missing, which is good I suppose, but I know and sometimes it hurts. Continue reading

Airport Awareness


As it’s holiday time many people will be jetting off to sunnier skies and new destinations. We have not yet been brave enough to venture onto a plane with J. There are just too many unknown variables. How will he react to waiting around in the airport? Will the small space in the seat in the plane be too restricting? Will the noises the plane makes be distressing for him? Will he have trouble with his ears? How will we keep him amused for the duration of the flight? I don’t think he would be allowed to run up and down the aisles for several hours and he certainly wouldn’t be allowed to open the door to go for a wee stroll. Maybe this is something we will consider when he’s a bit older and can perhaps be reasoned with in some manner.

For now Continue reading

When is it ok to lie?


Is it ever ok to tell lies to your child?

My answer to this would be that it very much depends on the child, the situation and the lie being told. When I’m talking to J I don’t really ever need to lie or make things up, most things need to be factual and instructional. B on the other hand, he’s a whole different entity. He asks so many questions, digs deep into the minutiae of things and relentlessly asks why to every explanation of an explanation of a reason. At times I try to explain and keep explaining. Other times I say ‘because it is’ or ‘because they do’ which I know is not an answer, but he drives me to it eventually and my patience just runs out. Anyone who knows B will understand where I’m coming from. Once you’ve heard why for the tenth time when explaining the same thing, you feel like tearing off your own ears and throwing them out of the window of the moving car!

Here are a few of the lies I have told to try to subvert the inevitable twenty questions or ongoing whining to get his way: Continue reading