70 years of Autism, and what’s changed?

When my mother left Dublin in 1946, just before her 18th birthday, to come to England to start her nursing training, the word “Autism” had only just been invented. Last week, 70 years later, I was delighted and honoured to

“Fantastic Workshop” about Special Needs

Up early, bleary eyed and barely able to speak in joined up words, Malcolm, Francesca and I set off at what felt like the crack of dawn to drive to Burgess Hill, a lovely town nestled in the West Sussex

Is it autism? Is it something else? Or is it all Mum’s fault?

What happens when you think your child might have a disability or a special need of some sort, and you approach the relevant professionals for help and support? It would be nice to think that families in that situation are

How to blog about your children whilst protecting their privacy

Blogging about my children is something I do all the time, and amazingly, they all still talk to me! If you read anything I’ve written about them, I hope you’d get the impression that I’m being completely open, honest and

Special Needs Parents Views on the NHS

Parents of children with disabilities see much more of the NHS than most people do, particularly if our children have associated medical conditions. We see it from lots of different angles too – frequent hospital in-patient care, repeated GP visits,

My Excellent Teacher

The day Toby was born, I knew very little about disability, apart from a vague notion that things like that only happened to other people. Suddenly, I was on a steep learning curve, and I needed an excellent teacher. Luckily

The darkest days of special needs parenting

Sometimes there are no answers, only a deep dark place of sadness, when we have to admit to ourselves that we just don’t have a clue where to go from here, what to do next, or how to get through

Top Tips – Special Needs Toilet Training

Toilet training a child is never going to be easy or straight-forward, and helping a child with special needs to gain the skills needed to gain bladder and bowel control can be very challenging for even the most patient parent. There are

Taking the stress out of cutting children’s fingernails

What do you do if your child can’t tolerate their finger or toenails being cut? It’s a very common problem in families where there are children with Sensory Processing Disorders or who are on the Autistic Spectrum. Parents try every

Recognising pain in the non-verbal child

Why my son can’t talk My son, Toby, is non-verbal. He is two days away from his 21st birthday and he has a handful of single words, mostly names of the people he loves or the activities he likes to

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