Friday, 6 June 2014

#5ThingsFriday Link up: 5 things you shouldn't say to an Autism Parent

1. At least you have your son/daughter. It could be worse.

So this parent probably just confided in you about having a really hard day, week or month with their child due to his or her autism and you decided to add a guilt trip to their troubles! Way to kick ‘em when they’re down. We (autism parents) love our autistic children just as much parents of neuro-typical kids. But even those of you without a special needs child need to release your frustrations, tell someone about your struggles and just unburden yourself for five minutes so you can catch a five minute break. They’ll feel guilty about complaining later, just like you would, so don’t heap on an extra serving.

2. Everything happens for a reason!

Autism is a neurological condition, that makes it extremely difficult for those who have it to function in the world today. Everyday things like the arrangement of food on a plate, the type and texture of the food, the noises of traffic  and crowds of people, or simply things not happening exactly when and how they normally do can cause an Autistic child extreme distress. Not because they are naughty or spoiled, because they do not cope with change like most do. They explore and feel pain differently than neuro-typical children which, means they can frequently injure themselves. When they are anxious or distressed ASD kids can self-harm by banging their heads and/or scratching themselves. The everyday world that you and I live in is fraught with dangers and difficulties that you cannot understand until you’ve watched your child struggle simply getting from one end of the day to the next.
Whether someone’s child suffers from only one of these difficulties or all of the at once; they don’t want to hear that their child is struggling for a reason.

3. Well… He doesn’t look like he has special needs.

No, Autism on its own doesn’t shows itself physically, there are some who say autistic children tend to be smaller. My son is 5 and in age 3 clothing, but I also know a 6 year old autistic boy who is the size of an 8 year old. This just implies that it would be worse if the child “looked different” from everyone else, it’s insulting and degrading to children whose conditions or disabilities are physical.

4. Oh my sister’s hairdresser’s cousin has a friend who has an autistic child! I know how tough it is.

Unless this is followed by, “oh let me give you their number or email, it might be good to talk to someone who understands better” this is not helpful. It’s self-indulgent and attention seeking and that it.

5. It mustn’t be that severe, you can’t really tell he has it.

This is something that we hear a lot. Conor was very lucky that he got diagnosed so young and attended two years of early intervention in a special needs school. But at the time of his diagnosis he was in the midrange of spectrum, the reason why you “can’t tell” is because we have his routine down to tee. And we are lucky enough that we can bring him away for a day or even overnight if we prepare him enough beforehand. I don’t credit any of this to the “severity” of his autism, I credit it to the work of the teachers in his special needs school, Conor’s amazing coping skills and the work his other mother and I put into every single day to make sure that things run on what I call “Conor’s Time”. We approach our world through the eyes of autism.
Instead of saying “It must not be that bad” and trivialising the child’s condition try saying “Wow, you must be doing a brilliant job. He’s clearly doing very well.”

5 Things Friday photo 5ThingsFridaySM_zpsada583f1.png

5 Things Friday is just about anything you want it to be! IT can be about your 5 best buys this week, 5 beauty products you just can’t live without or 5 things your kids said that made you wish the ground would just open up and swallow you on the spot! It’s for Mommy, Beauty, Craft, Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger and everyone in between!

Link up your old or new "5 Things" post and come back next month for the next installment!!

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5 Things Friday

Guideline For the link up!

  1. Please follow you hosts and co-hosts.
  2. Link up your post (you can link more than one) 
  3. Share, share, share! the more you share they more attention there is for everyones posts.
  4. Posts with 'Pinable' images will be pinned here.
  5. Enjoy, and come back next month to see which of you will be featured! 
  6. You can link up until the end of the month!
#5ThingsFriday is the hashtag for the link up!



Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Do you share your Passcodes with your other half?



I suppose this is a popular topic, to share or not to share? That is the question!It’s a toss-up between your privacy and a certain level of trust in your relationship. Now, I’m not saying that by not sharing your passcode means you don’t trust your girlfriend/boyfriend/wife etc. Not at all, we all have that private little world inside our phones, especially for bloggers I think, and not wanting to share that isn’t exactly a cardinal sin. It’s more like those first few weeks of a relationship where you don’t want to let anybody else meet her (or him) because you just want to keep it for yourself. Or that certain handbag, CD or pair of shoes you’ll never lend to a friend because you have some unexplainable attachment to it or that pair of pants… you know the ones haven’t fit in years but you won’t throw away. It’s something that’s just yours.



In some relationships this can a huge bone of contention and it causes a lot of tension and suspicion. In many cases the paranoia turns out to be completely justified. It seems these days people will share their ATM pin faster than their phone code. I’ve known couples to break up over such arguments. It may a Facebook password or a phone PIN but it all boils down to the same basic issue:
Nikki knows my phone code and most of my passwords, not because she asked… mainly it’s because it makes my life easier. It means that when I’m driving I can tell her to text or call someone for me, she also tends to download games on my phone a lot -I have an 16GB iPhone and hers is 8GB so she doesn’t like to clog up hers- and if I had to unlock it every time she wanted to play something I may just embed it in her cranium (just kidding baby). I never really flinched about sharing mine at all, at the beginning of our relationship when she had a game on my phone she’d hand it to me to unlock and I did, but now she knows my ATM codes, my phone and iPod (which is more communal property these days! I haven’t even seen it in weeks) passcode. I’m fairly certain she knows my Facebook and email passwords. She never once asked for these, in fact, normally she would hand me the computer to type it in but I just started calling it out if I was busy especially if it was iTunes password, because she’s constantly downloading new games! And eventually she learned them all.

I know her Facebook password and her email I also set up her own iTunes account and I almost certain she doesn’t even know that one! I don’t know her phone code despite her telling me several times; in fact I don’t even know her phone number by heart! I just don’t have a head for numbers, passwords I can remember. I barely remember my own PIN codes!

Do you share your passcode with you partner? Please comment and us why you do or don’t share your passcode!

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Sweet treats delivered straight to your door! And Paris Trip for 2 Giveaway

*Disclaimer*This is a sponsored post.

Taste for Sweets is a really unique company that ships sweet treats from all around the world right to your door! You can subscribe for a monthly fee of $16, which is just under €12 euro (depending on the exchange rate). They offer a monthly, 6 monthly and yearly payment plan, you can cancel any of these plans at any time. They also have gift boxes which are one off purchases and don’t require a subscription at all, they would make get presents for your friends with a sweet tooth. Unfortunately right now they only ship within the US but they are working on expanding their service to other countries. 

Currently Taste For Sweets is offering a discount of 25% off both their subscriptions and gift boxes with these codes:


TASTEFORSWEETS25 : 
Receive 25% OFF when signing up for one of their monthly subscription plans.

GIFTOFSNACKS25 : 
Receive 25% OFF when placing an order for one of their gift box options.

**Please make sure to use all CAPS when entering the code**

You can sign up here.

But wait there's more!!!!!

Need a vacation? Taste For Sweets is giving you a  3 chances to win a trip to Paris!!

Each of the winners of this exciting Paris vacation will enjoy a four-night stay at Hotel Chambiges Elysees, Paris; and spectacular relaxation, entertainment, art, restaurants, and gracious amenities. This exciting Paris package will surely be unforgettable.

- Round-trip airfare for up to two (2) people to Paris, France
- Four-night stay at Hotel Chambiges Elysees, Paris
- One $500 dining credit to use at Philippe et Jean-Pierre Restaurant, Paris 
- Round-trip airport/hotel transportation in Paris, France
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Enjoy your treats each month!!!


Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Twitter hop #56

Dawn’s Disaster
Welcome to Twitter Hop #56!

Come on my lovelies, let's make this the biggest hop yet!

Dawn is taking a break from blogging, so it's just me and Cathy for a while.
but if you would like to be a co-host please email me at serenityyou@hotmail.co.uk

The only "rule" here is to follow as many people on the hop as possible!  I'd love it if you would grab a button and put it on your sidebar or "where hop/party" page.  Alright, let's get this party started!
Your Hosts:
Natasha ~ from Serenity You
Cathy ~ from A Peek Into My Paradise

Your Co Host
Louise ~ from Inked Pixie

Don't forget to share and Tweet about this link up!


Join our mailing list to receive email reminders about our hop!



Saturday, 24 May 2014

Customising Add This "Smart Layers" on Blogger!


Add This Smart Layers is a brilliant free service. It places Follow and share Buttons that “float” over your site so even when your visitors scroll down they are always on screen. When you first install the add this smart layers on your Blogger site the original share buttons are Facebook, Twitter, Email, Print.


But I think that most of us would prefer Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest. These are the greatest tools that a blogger has for content sharing and driving traffic. It is possible to customise these buttons but the instructions on the Add This site confused the hell out of me. But I figured it out and I wanted to share the way I did it with you in plain English! This should work on most sites as you're just customising the code a little bit, but I can only tell you that it works on Blogger as it’s the only place I’ve used it.

Step 1

To start; Log In or create your Add This account and select Smart Layers. Select your platform, then configure your “Follow” section with your Social Media links etc.  and install the Blogger widget.


Select where in your layout you want the widget, I suggest placing it at the bottom. Leave the widget title blank or the title will show on your blog and the widget below it will be blank.

Step 2


Click “edit” on the widget you just installed and find:

'numPreferredServices' : 6


Replace this with

'services' : 'facebook,twitter,google_plusone_share,pinterest_share,more',


Click save and your site will look like this:




You can change the buttons to include several other buttons by looking up the third party service code here and adding them into the “services” line. For example say you want to add the option to share via buffer or save to pocket so your readers can read later, you'd use this code:

'services' : 'facebook,twitter,google_plusone_share,pinterest_share,buffer,pocket,more',


And then you get this!



I hope you found this helpful! This was my first ever tutorial, if you try this and it works please let me know!

And Share, Share, Share!!!


Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Twitter hop #55

Dawn’s Disaster
Welcome to Twitter Hop #55!

Come on my lovelies, let's make this the biggest hop yet!

Dawn is taking a break from blogging, so it's just me and Cathy for a while.
but if you would like to be a co-host please email me at serenityyou@hotmail.co.uk

The only "rule" here is to follow as many people on the hop as possible!  I'd love it if you would grab a button and put it on your sidebar or "where hop/party" page.  Alright, let's get this party started!
Your Hosts:
Natasha ~ from Serenity You
Cathy ~ from A Peek Into My Paradise

Your Co Host
Louise ~ from Inked Pixie

Don't forget to share and Tweet about this link up!

Join our mailing list to receive email reminders about our hop!



Saturday, 17 May 2014

10 Things I've Learned About Parenting an Autistic Child

I found this on a fellow Irish Mom’s blog and thought it was a great idea so I just had to take part! I wanted to share some the things I learned not just as a parent but as a parent of an autistic superhero, and a few general parenting lessons I've learned. 

And yes I used this post to show off so rocking family pics!




1.       Mom Knows Best: If you think at any stage that your child has specific learning or developmental differences then they most likely do. Don’t let a health nurse or GP tell you that “Boys don’t develop as fast as girls” etc. Push for referrals to have him/her assessed, it can never hurt. I first suspected Autism at 6 months and my son was diagnosed at 2 and a half.

2.       Breastfed babies can go a week or more without pooping!! As long they are having wet nappies and aren't distressed, don’t worry too much. Increase your calorie intake to boost milk production.

3.       ABA (Applied behavior analysis) works!! After six months of ABA Conor went from 5 words to full blown conversations.

4.       Siberian Huskies are an amazing pet for children! But they require the same level of care! Every kid needs to have a dog! (or cat, but dogs are better). Xena and Xander are a big part of our family and a huge influence on my little boy, but he has a very special connection with out husky. Just remember research a lot before adopting one!

5.       Disney Junior characters gain their peppiness by draining the souls of the parents whose kids that watch their show!

6.       If your child wears glasses ALWAYS go to Specsavers!

7.       The hardest part of potty training is teaching them to wipe! This learning curve costs a lot of underpants! And there will be pop smeared all over your toilet seat, walls and taps!!! Be Warned! Tip: Always train your Autistic child on the toilet not a potty, when you try to make the switch to the “big boy toilet” you might as well be starting all over again.

8.       Moving house with an autistic child is extremely traumatic. But once they hit 3 or 4 and can pick their own decorations like wall stickers and pictures they seem to cope with the stress much better, but expect bed-wetting and tantrums for a while after, until they adjust.

9.       Being an autism parent, isn’t all horror stories and struggling! If you’re new to the autism superheroes team then don’t be disheartened, value your hugs more than other parents do, celebrate the victories that seem tiny to everyone else with kitchen discos and texting all your friends when he finally learns to close a zipper without you starting it for him! You’ll have bad days, worse days and amazing days. But your Superhero will always save the day.




10.  If you’re a single mom; finding that person that fits exactly into your family so well that you find yourself inserting them into past memories, even though you didn’t know them then, means that they belong there. They were just a little bit late finding you! It is possible to find your soul-mate when you’re a single mom.


PS: Nikki's hair was so short because she shaved her head to fund raise
 for Irish Cancer Support about 2 weeks before this was taken.

Share your top ten parenting lessons or just stop by and read others! 
You might even learn something new!!


Learnermama