Shabby Miss Jenn

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

There's so much too say and so little time!

Well that's how I feel anyway and I still haven't had a chance to fully finish my blog but it will have to do till I have some much needed time to work on it a little more and finish it. Life is still a little chaotic at the moment although I somehow think that won't change too much in the near future and we just go with the flow of it all as only one can.

Good news...Tim is so much better, his depression is pretty much out of here and he is just dealing with his anxiety which is part and parcel of having a breakdown but we are working on it day by day and he is now able to do a little more then just stay within the walls of our home which is a huge step forward and I am feeling somewhat calmer myself because of it.

More good news...we had out very 1st meeting on Friday with Lance's school to deal with his autism. Attending the meeting was his school coordinator, his case manager, Lance, Tim and I. We talked with his coordinator on what autism is, Lance's own journey with autism, what was needed for Lance and what everyone who dealt with Lance needed to know to best implement the help Lance so desperately needs. What will be implemented is an integration aide, support aids (one in particular will be a laptop to help him with his writing skills because of the difficulties there) and we did try to enforce visual aids because Lance needs them but the school coordinator said because this was a senior school there was no way they would be implemented which I must say as much as I understand the reasoning behind it once again it also hit home that everything in life is orientated towards those of us who are neurotypical and not those of us with special needs and disabilities. Anyway he will undergo another IQ assessment this time with the school psychologist asap and reports will be sent to the school from the autism assessment center and CAMHS here in Bendigo to get this ball rolling as soon as possible. We will be changing his total school curriculum and with much thought and total cooperation with his school we have all decided that this will start as of next year when everyone else starts fresh as it would be too detrimental to Lance and his well being if we decided to do it now and we can prepare him for that over a longer period of time so it's much easier for him to manage the change. I'm sure there will be many steps backwards for Lance so he can move forward with a more positive outlook and approach with all the help he will need.

You know my husband read something from a book last night and I will quote it here.

Point to Ponder
I have heard that some folk have difficulty with the giving of a label. 'We are all different', they say. 'Labels separate and can make "difference" a noted factor that might mean "discrimination". Well. I must say that if the baked beans in my cupboard were not labelled differently to the tins of cat food, then I would not know how to encounter these foods appropriately! I think labels are useful.
(ref - Understanding and Working With the Spectrum of Autism. An Insider's View. Wendy Lawson, pg 64)

Wendy herself was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in adulthood.

Could you imagine going to the supermarket and every item there had no label?! Or even your own pantry or food cupboard?! How would you feel? You would become confused, frustrated, disorientated and possibly angry because you would not be able to make out the difference between the items and therefore you would not know what to buy.

Imagine the frustrations, confusion and anger Tim and I have felt over the years when the early intervention officer that took on Lance's case when he was just 3 yrs of age first mentioned it was possible that he was autistic but 2 years later with 2 years of speech therapy and other things put into place she decides the he was now fine and they would close his file and that was that. He starts school, is a mess and no-one could work out why. He continues on, suffers with depression and plenty of meltdowns, is labeled with ADHD sometime further on, then in yr 7 his teacher mentions to me that he thought Lance was autistic because there were just so many similarities in the autistic kids he worked with prior to working at the high school and he saw them in Lance.

We took that to his case manager back then and she refused to listen and said that there was no way Lance was autistic. Funny how things turn out hey because when Lance's diagnosis was made official a couple of weeks ago and that he indeed was autistic all you can think about was what you had been through all these years and that all these years we had been right. Indeed Lance did have autism and the so called "experts" got it so terribly wrong.

So having no label or indeed the wrong label can cause more harm then you could ever think possible. Imagine being told that your son was normal....there was nothing wrong with him despite the long list of difficulties he presented or how about this one.....we think the parents are too blame for their son and the way he all too familiar story yes? Oh how much Tim and I can relate to this because it has happened to us far too many times and all we could question was how is it possible when our other 3 children were not like Lance. Seems silly how they could never answer that one. Having the right diagnosis or the right "label" allows you to become fully educated and with that knowledge, understanding and power you can then help your child in every aspect of his/her life.

For Tim and I (and the rest of the family) we have started a new journey. We now have a diagnosis and because of that we have researched, read many books, watched DVDs and asked many questions about all things concerning autism and Lance fits into the spectrum perfectly. We have started to understand our son and who he is. We are no experts in autism, but we are experts in our son and our mission (for want of a better word) is to continue on this journey and learn as much as we can about autism and to be our son's advocate in every way we can. We will continue to learn and by thus doing so we hope that we can make some small difference in this neurotypical world of ours for those that are on the Spectrum of Autism which now includes our son Lance.

So what's new well seeing as I have been pretty sick for thepast 3 weeks and have only just come good this past day or so I am desperately trying to catch up with so much including my scrapping forums and sites. Check this awesome collab kit out by Tara and Ann-Marie pretty darn funky I say but then hey I'm also bias. Funky Chickadee is available at Tara Dunstan Designs and Pickleberrypop.
And here is my CT LO for Tara using this fabulicious kit. Gorgeous ha!!!! Well I think so anyway!

Ok well I think that about suns it up for today so until next blogging, stay safe, take care and tell someone how much you love them. Hugs Chris xoxo

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Pardon me while I redecorate, renovate and overhaul my blog!

Yes I decided it was time to do a little redecorating of my blog and I am having so much fun doing! You never know what I'll end up with and in fact neither will I but it's fun sussing out some great headers and seeing what works for my blog. No I haven't been too adventurous by creating my own header but you never know I must just do that if I can't find anything to work! So a quick post today just to let you're not going mad but indeed I am doing a major blog overhaul (so much needed) and to pardon all the construction work while I set it up just perfect!

Till next time....I'm still getting over this flu/virus thingy and I hope you are all well and healthy! Stay safe, keep well and hugs to all! Hugs Chris xoxo

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

And you all thought I was hiding!!!

I had forgotten all about this LO when I had finished it.......a big oooops on my behalf and so managed to throw it into my galleries last week just before I got sick and buried myself in bed for days. Oh and it also got picked over in the standout gallery at DST (thanks Biancka) much to my surprise last week so that has popped a smile on my dial! Isn't DD Grace looking very cool and groovy with her new glasses? Although she doesn't have to wear them full time she does need them for a lot of things and they really really suit her don't you think?!

Oh my what a week!!! Just when I thought I had a small grip on things in life I get sick (no I haven't been hiding this past week) and I don't mean just a little but I have spent everyday in bed since last Wednesday (9th July) and today is the first day I have managed to get out of bed and stay out of bed for a time. I don't recall the last time I came down with a virus as bad as the one I have now. I usually don't even pick up a cold let alone anything worse but I did and boy have I been sick and unable to function in any manner till now. But that was then and this is now and although I am far from being 100% fit and healthy I am improving and the coughing or should I say barking has almost ceased, the fevers and dilirious state have finally finished as of last night and I slept, although only a few hours, better then I have slept since I got sick so things are improving and all I need now is for the pressure in my head to disappear and I think I will be back to some sort of normality.

I feel I have missed out on a whole week.......oh yeh I have and trying to catch up is going to be impossible so I am not even going to try this time round. Tim is now sick not as bad as me thank goodness but he now has a heavy cold and trying to shake it and thankfully the kids have not got sick yet either and I hope it stays that way as they just started back at school this week for term 3. Yep the school holidays are officially over and a new term and semester have begun!

So today I am just pottering about the place. A little blogging, a little housework, a little catching up here and there, a little more housework, a little trip to the shops and fill the car up with gas and that's about it. Anyway just a quick post today to let you all know I'm still alive and that I've only been sick, not hiding. Until next blogging take care stay safe and stay well! Hugs Chris xoxo

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

My sincerest apologies!

It has been so long since my last post, life has a funny way of throwing the odd curve ball your way no matter how well you may be prepared for it. I do apologise to all my readers for not blogging as often as I could be but here I am with an now stay calm...rofl!

Life is still very busy for me and I am still pretty much flying solo with everything although Tim has improved, it is still a long and bumpy road for him with his deep depression but he is so much better then he has been in a long while and for those that know anything about mental breakdowns and deep depression it is so dibilatating for so long but I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel and eventually it will be bigger and brighter and closer then it is now.

Lance seems to be doing ok. Although we do have a diagnosis for him now (in part) it has been a long time coming and although it explains so much and is a relief to finally have an answer after all these years of incredible upheavel and difficulty, the family and I are still coming to terms with it all. Lance is autistic....he has autism.

For the past 3 months his case manager has been dealing with Lance and I, trying to figure out how to help Lance with his own breakdown and depression (although we now know it was a major meltdown) when something I mentioned to him made him click into thinking Lance had Asperger's Syndrome or Autism. A meeting was held with all the professionals including paediatricians dealing with Lance and he put forth the idea that his gut instinct was what we were dealing with was ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and had been all of Lance's life (he will be 17 in Sep). Everyone felt strongly that it had been missed and an assessment was carried out in May with everyone expecting it to be Asperger's Syndrome and we were lead to believe that it was looking more and more like it. So what does one do but as much research into Asperger's (which is on the autism spectrum) as much as possible until we were told it was not Asperger's but indeed autism and so it upped on the scale. As to exactly where on the spectrum it will be is still to come but we now have a diagnosis and we are now looking at all things remember both Asperger's Syndrome and Autism are on the same spectrum.

Because of the enormous difficulty Lance has in school we now need to look at pulling him out of where he is and putting him in another school (something that has been strongly encouraged by the experts) so he can manage and the teachers there are well equipped and able to handle someone with not only Autism but his severe anxiety levels (part of having autism) so we were strongly encouraged to learn as much as we could these school holidays on autism and when school starts back we can go in fully armed and ready to negotiate with the school Lance's situation. This is just in the short term as they team will be implementing plans but until we get the full scaled diagnosis this is something to be done just until then. We meet on the 18th of July and hopefully the team will have an answer but of course Lance starts back on the 14th and will have 5 days to manage as best as he can under the circumstances and trust me when I say the circumstances at his school are bad I really mean it. But I won't say anymore there because as much as it helps to vent and let it all out, it does no-one any good so I'll just leave it for now but they will be in for a shock when I tell them the reality and they will have to listen this time.

Anyway as you can well imagine there has been alot happening and blogging was not exactly on my priority list because I just had to take a step back and take everything in for awhile and after reading this I hope you will all understand and forgive me.

With all of this going on I have had to say goodbye to my CT committments with Pickleberrypop, something that did not come easy, a decision I did not make lightly and one that I mulled over for weeks before I decided that I could not keep up with the pressure of 1 LO a week.....4 LO's a month all the time. I felt it was not only unfair to the rest of the team that I may not be pulling my weight as usual but also the designers. Being on a store CT is a tad more difficult then that of a designer so I have now resigned but the good news is that the invitation is open if I want to go back on once things have settled down in my life.

The good news is that I am still on Tara Dunstan's and Bella Scraps MagazineTM as they are much more flexible and the requirements something I can manage. I couldn't give up all my CT's and besides Tara has become a great friend and has been there every step of the way for me with all Tim and Lance's stuff and I am not willing to give up BSM.

Scrapping is my passion, it is my "time out" in this crazy world of mine and it is something that I just love so you'll still see plenty of LO's and I hope you will still enjoy each and everyone of them.
Having said that here are a few recent ones for you to enjoy!

If you pop by and read this post please pop in and say hi.....I would really apreciate it. Anyway until next blogging, we are on the 2nd week of school holidays here so I'm not spending as much time on the pc, please take care and stay safe and don't forget to tell someone you love them cause we all need to hear that as often as we can.
To all you school holidayers out there.....we're past the half way mark now so stay sane....rofl! Hugs Chris xoxo