So, if you've been reading many of the posts over the past year or so, you will know we've been preparing little Mr for his first trip abroad since he was 18 months old.
He was diagnosed with ASD when he was 2.5 years and we've shied away from going for some time now. We did plan a trip 2 years ago but cancelled it at the time as we thought he wasn't ready to fly.
So, for the past 10 months or so we have been preparing him.
So, our main concern was the space. He's not great with smaller spaces and sitting for some time when there is nothing to do. He can get distressed.
So, we've been preparing him using an air museum near us. When we first started to go he hated the seating area, but over time he got used to it. Though at most we stayed for around 15 minutes which is a little short compared to the 2:30 hours flight time.
So, we were getting him used to
The next thing we tried to do was prepare him by letting him know what to expect and backed up with visual cards. We wanted to let him know about the routine of what to expect.
Now, as he is non-verbal it was difficult for us to know if he really did understand everything we explained, but we wanted to try at least get this in place.
We decided to fly from Gatwick as it had a great deal and they did have some support for disabilities. So, as we live on the south coast we drove up to a hotel near Gatwick the night before.
We had an early flight, just before
I have to say that when at Gatwick, on the way out, the special needs service did seem a little lacking. They basically didn't offer to help us through, rather seemed to be to early for them 🙂
Anyhow, after we had dropped off the bags we joined the queue for security. There was a little hiccup at this point, getting through with a young child with autism who needs to be searched is a little touchy. We managed our
The amazing thing is, time slipped by very quickly. We had very little time from when we got into the main part of Gatwick to when we needed to walk to our gate. We barely had enough time to pick up some sandwiches.
So, we we're one of the last through the gate, but because we had a bus to the plane, the bus was full. When I booked the seats, we were right at the back, 1 row off the back - so hoping not too many people. As it happened we boarded at the rear of the plane, so that was good.
The flight was around 2 hours and 20 minutes, the first 1 hour and 30 minutes little Mr did really well, however he did have a meltdown which lasted about 20 minutes towards the end. We were surprised he did so well for most of the journey.
Once we were descending and he could see land out of the window he cheered up again and the last 15 minutes or so of the flight he enjoyed again, including the landing.
Going through the securing and picking up the bags wasn't too bad. When we got out to the coach, we were the only ones on it, so that was brilliant, and it was only 10 minutes to the resort.
We got in early, around 10am, but our room wouldn't be ready till between 12 and 1pm they told us. We put the bags into the room and changed into
One thing little Mr loved while we were there
So, we went swimming and hung out around the pool. We could still get drinks and the snack bar opened at 12. I checked at 12:30pm and our room was ready so we went and got into our room.
Phew, long story...
So, to go through it quicker. The resort was a little out of the way, that did mean there was some great photo ops, and there were things around there to do (even through reviews said there wasn't???).
Nearest shop was a around a mile away, didn't need it too much.
The room was brilliant, it was big and we had a sea view. The resort was lovely. However, negatives were that the food was not to our liking, and little Mr really struggled to eat - even the chips he didn't like. We really did struggle all week with the food which did damper the holiday.
Snacks and sugary drinks did give him some energy - and toast in the morning. We even bought some cereals that he liked.
The entertainment also was not so great. But we enjoyed the walks on an evening, so that was great. In fact, here is an image I took of my daughter on one of those walks.
Truly was a lovely place to walk and capture some images.
It was also a little hot during the
Over all though, it was fun. The ice slush drinks, snacks and so on gave them enough liquids through the hot days. We spent some times in the room and little Mr loved his 2-3 walks a day.
Today it was time to come home. This meant an early start again, though not as early as when we went. Up at 6:30am for a quick breakfast. Coast at 7:50am and a 10:05am flight.
Little Mr kind of had the same flight again. He was happy at the beginning. Then around the 1 hour and 30 mins mark he had his little sensory meltdown. Once through that, the last 15-20 minutes he was fine again.
It seems that an hour and a
When we landed we still had quite a bit of a journey to get back. He was quite happy I think to be back in the car he knew. He really lit up when we finally got home though, I think we all did. It's lovely to go away, see new places, but there's nothing like coming home to your own creature comforts.
We've been thinking about next year for a little while now. We kind of thought there would be an issue or two with some of this holiday - though I have to say that little Mr did so well.
We've been thinking on a couple of options. One of them being a cruise and another being something like a Euro Camp or Isle Of Wight... We're not set in stone yet. What ever it is though, I am sure we will all enjoy it and I will share the experience with you all.
I will be putting up a post soon with more pictures from this break, I just have to sort through them all first...
Also, if you have any suggestions of holidays then please do share them in the comments.
For as long as I can remember I've always told people, and always believed, that everyone is an expert at something. Everyone in the world is an expert.
This may sound strange, people try to pick out flaws in the comment by referencing academia and other certificate related stuff, but I then point out that it's not all about passing exams.
So what do I mean by that comment? What am I trying to say? People always think of subject like maths, English, computing and so on. It goes a little deeper though, not everything in the world is academia based.
So, for example, someone may be an expert in 'Eastenders' (a British TV soap in case you wondered). Someone may be an expert in the different types of road tarmac. Someone may be an expert in spotting different types of stones. One of my friends was an expert in making models.
There are unlimited subjects out there, things that people can be experts in. This is what I always mean by everyone is an expert in something. I'm sure you can take a second, think and come up with 1 thing you're an expert in - mine used to be PacMan 🙂
So, this leads me to the other part of this conversation. So, as I was saying, I believe everyone is an expert in something - but something else I always talk about, and again some people sometimes can't get their head around, is to not bother trying to become good at the things you're not good at, spend that time to improve your strengths.
Now, a bit of a caveat to that statement. The first being, the subject that you're not good at, but want to learn maybe something you're interested in and want to learn. If that is the case, then it's worth your time learning it.
The second caveat is, it may be a subject you have to learn. A good example is when we found out little Mr had ASD. We had no idea on parenting a child with Autism - but its something we needed to learn, so we did.
For all other subjects though, unless there is a good reason I never spend time on subjects I'm no good at. A lot of people will say, spend the time learning, you'll get it. I look at it this way, let's break it down to time so to make it a little more emphasised.
So, I need to spend 20 hours (for example) learning a subject I am no good at, just to be OK at it and use it occasionally. On the other hand, I could spend that 20 hours improving my skills in something I am good at it and then at the end be great or an expert at it.
What I have done is work to my strengths, I've improved something I am good at and something I will be using a lot. I've not wasted time learning something that is not a strength.
So, what I am suggesting is work to your strengths. Remember, we're all an expert in something - and working with your strengths you could become a thought leader in that subjects - or maybe an expert in 2 subjects.
Always work to your strengths and don't worry too much if you're not good at everything.
I know, bad pun for the weather at the moment. I’m sitting here on a Saturday morning, just having had my porridge (has to be done on a cold morning) and sipping my cup of coffee - having just done all breakfasts. The house is warm, and I can see a little melting and defrosting outside.
As I think, everyone in the UK knows at the moment, we’ve had this bad weather front in (was it something like The Beast From The East or some name like that given), and even though we usually get very little snow down here, we too have been hit by it. One of the reasons for living down here is the fact that it’s usually nice and mild. But this time we got hit by the snow.
When it started to snow, not so little Miss was loving it. She was laughing and thinking all about what she could do. The thing is, both our kid's schools closed on the Thursday, the day it started to come down bad here, so she had all this time to watch it fall and wonder at the snow fun she could have,
Little Mr though, well, he was a different story. The thing is, it’s all change. One minute he could see the pavement, the grass in the garden and the next all he saw was this white stuff covering everything. For children that have issues with change, well, this can be a worrying time. Everything has changed.
Now, little Mr is often OK with some changes, but his whole outside environment had changed. Thursday late morning my wife decided to take the kids out, get them out of the house. This was before the worst of the weather came in. She took them first down the local recreation ground, though there was no snow at that time there so not so little Miss didn’t want to stay.
So, they got in the car and went to a local country park, where there was snow. Little Mr normally loves a walk around this country park - however, he didn’t want to stay long - I think it was down to the change with the snow, and maybe a little cold.
Thursday evening, we staying in - other than me having to walk up to the shops.
Friday, yesterday, we decided we would get out the house, just to walk up the road. Kids were going cabin crazy (so to speak) so we had to get out. The shop we thought of is about 10 minutes walk.
We wrapped them up and went out. This time little Mr was having loads of fun, crunching in the frozen snow, zipping around on the pavement.
It was a bit of a transformation in his acceptance, but at this point, it had been a whole day with the snow down so it wasn’t something new or strange. It’s amazing to see the change when something of change is accepted. It’s quite similar to when we go to a new place, I’m thinking in August when we fly out (hopefully) o holiday.
It just shows, that, snow can supply a change that can be uncomfortable for some children. If that is the case, then don’t let your enthusiasm of building snowmen with you children rush you into taking them out in the environment they haven’t yet accepted. Give them time to adjust, which may include a meltdown because of the change. Let them look out the window, get used to the white covering, then when they are accepting and pulling you to the door - then take them out. They may or may not want to interact with the snow - but it has to be on their terms.
We learned this over the past few days - I say this as it looks like it’s slowly melting. Hopefully, it will go soon and we won’t see any more for a while. March and snow?
So, what have you all been up to through this snowy weather, that is if you live in the UK? Do you have any snowy tales to tell? Why not share them with us - I would love to hear yours.
Twitter strikes again 🙂 As if I were at the oscars
I'd like to thank Property Parent for this nomination - Damn, sarcasm doesn't work too well in a blog post...
So, this tag is basically 100 questions - Yes, 100 bloody hundred questions - that have no real baring on life as we know it... This should be the 100 things that do you really want to know about me 🙂
So, without boring you further (I'm sure the questions and answers will do that), here they are... My answers...
Q1: What’s your name?
A – Sean.
Q2: Any nicknames or aliases?
A – Oy you, old fart, git just to name a few that aren't swear words. O, and dad of course.
Q3: Your gender?
A – Male
Q4: Your star sign?
A – Cancer.
Q5: How old are you?
A – 47.
Q6: Your relationship status?
A – Married
Q7: Any children?
A – Two. 9 year old daughter and 5 year old son.
Q8: Any pets?
A – Nope
Q9: Any tattoos or piercings?
A – Couple of tattoos (last one done when was 18) and couple of ear piecings though not had earing in for 30 years or so?
Q10: What do you like about yourself?
A – I get Tech... Many would say I'm layed back but I know when I am not.
Q11: What do you dislike about yourself?
A – The aches and pains I now get as got older
Q12: Righty or lefty?
A – Right.
Q13: The last thing you drank?
A – Coffee - if booze it was a Majito
Q14: The last thing you ate?
A – Curry
Q15: Your last phone call?
A – To the missus
Q16: Your last text message?
A – "Put the eye drops in"
Q17: Your last email?
A – To Beaver Builder to see if any discounts codes going around
Q18: The last song you listened to?
A – The Sound If Silence - by Disturbed
Q19: The last book you read?
A – Currently reading one about WordPress Plugin Development
Q20: The last time you cried?
A – Can't remember, was about 30 years ago - I'm heartless I keep being told - I just don't get that way???
Q21: The last blog you read?
A – Property Parent 100 Tag... I've read a few blogs today so can't remember all of the others
Q22: The last person you spoke to?
A – Wife
Q23: The last place you visited?
A – The local shop (boring I know)
Q24: Your last holiday abroad?
A – Majorca about 3.5 years ago - mainly as been unable to get son back on a plane. This year we are fixing that.
HAVE YOU EVER?
Q25: Have you ever gotten back with an ex?
A – Nope.
Q26: Have you ever been cheated on?
A – Not that I know too...
Q27: Have you ever cheated on someone?
A – No.
Q28: Have you ever lost someone special to you?
A – I've lost my grandparents and my dad was last one about 6 years ago
Q29: Have you ever been so drunk you threw up?
A – I can't remember as I passed out with my head down the toilet... To be honest, I lost count of how many times threw up over the years.
Q30: Have you ever fallen out of love with someone?
A – Not really as only really been in love the once. Other times was lust.
Q31: Have you ever met someone who changed you?
A – Wife then kids.
Q32: Have you ever been in a situation where you found out who your real friends are?
A – Yes in a fashion.
Q33: Have you ever kissed someone you probably shouldn’t have?
A – Definitely...
Q34: Have you ever found out people were talking about you behind your back?
A – Happens quite often. I believe if they aren't talking about you then you're not doing it right.
Q35: Have you ever broken someone’s heart?
A – I'm not sure
Q36: Have you ever kissed a stranger?
A – Yes, many times before met my wife
Q37: Have you ever had your own heart-broken?
A – No
Q38: Have you ever had sex on the first date?
A – I'm a gentleman and I would say yes... now would I
Q39: Have you ever been arrested?
A – No.
Q40: Have you ever been attracted to someone who isn’t the gender you usually find attractive?
A – No
Q41: Have you ever done something you regret?
A – Yep.
Q42: Have you ever had a threesome?
A – I reserve the right to not talk about the orgies...
Q43: Have you ever embarrassed yourself in public?
A – Doing it right now.
Q44: Have you ever misjudged someone?
A – Yes.
YOUR BELIEFS AND OPINIONS
Q45: Do you believe in God?
A – I believe that we're an alien race, the spirit is just us out of the body and we're on holiday here on earth - when we die we go to our normal state. To be honest, I'm more a believe it when see it...
Q46: Do you believe in yourself?
A – Often too much I am told. Though I don't believe them
Q47: Do you believe in Santa Claus?
A – I see him every year...
Q48: Do you believe in ghosts?
A – I believe I've seen some strange things...
Q49: Do you believe in aliens?
A – I think that we would be silly to think that we are the only living organisms in the universe. If you asked me 'Do I think they come to earth' Then I would say - would someone with that technology come to our planet just to shove an anal probe in some guy???
Q50: Do you believe in miracles?
A – I'm married - does that count???
Q51: Do you believe in the power of positive thinking?
A – Yes, I am positive I do believe in the power of positive thinking - I think
Q52: Do you believe in love at first sight?
A – I believe in lust at first sight...
Q53: Can money make you happy?
A – Ask me again if I had any
Q54: Would you describe yourself as a feminist?
A – I believe in equal rights for everyone... Not sure I'm a feminist
Q55: Are you pro-life or pro-choice?
A – Pro-choice.
Q56: Do you have strong political beliefs?
A – I believe they are all out for themselves
Q57: Do you have strong religious beliefs?
A – No.
Q58: What do you think the most important thing you can give a child is?
A – Love and Technology...
Q59: Are you eating anything right now?
A – No.
Q60: Are you drinking anything right now?
A – Coffee.
Q61: What are you listening to right now?
A – Disturbed - The sound of silence - and some Electro Shuffle Mix on YouTube
Q62: What are you thinking about right now?
A – Why am I typing and all about affiliate sites I am playing with
Q63: What are you waiting for right now?
A – For the wife and her sister and friend to come home so I can drop some off back to theirs
Q64: What are you most excited about right now?
A – Learning how to earn money with affiliate sites so that I can get out of the rat race and be a work from home dude on my own stuff
Q65: What’s your pet hate right now?
A – Not sure - that I have to work tomorrow (Sunday)
Q66: What’s your favourite thing right now?
A – Family time - and Learning.
Q67: If you weren’t answering these questions, what would you be doing right now?
A – Watching Youtube
Q68: Your first best friend?
A – I can't remember that long ago
Q69: Your first kiss?
A – I can't remember, was some girl back in infant school while playing kiss chase
Q70: Your first celebrity crush?
A – Not sure I have ever had one really
Q71: Your first holiday?
A – Rhyl - North Wales. Abroad way Ayia Napa with the lads
Q72: Your first pet?
A – Dog
Q73: Your first regret?
A – I really don’t know!
Q74: Your first job?
A – Paper Boy
Q75: Your first childhood memory?
A – I lost some memory when I was 13 in an accident - I can remember when I was about 4 riding down the flat stairs on my go-kart
WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
Q76: Love or money?
A – Love (though lots of Money would be nice).
Q77: Twitter or Facebook?
A – Twitter.
Q78: Hook up or relationship?
A – Now Relationship - 15 years ago and before would have been Hook Up
Q:79: Dogs or cats?
A – Dogs.
Q80: Coffee or tea?
A – Coffee
Q81: Beer or wine?
A – Beer.
Q82: Sweet or savoury?
A – Savoury.
Q83: Introvert or extrovert?
A – Introvert - Though many would think and say Extrovert for me
Q84: Vampires or werewolves?
A – Werewolves?
Q85: Seaside or countryside?
A – Seaside - that's why we moved next to the sea... Well about 2 miles away
Q86: Summer or winter?
A – Summer.
Q87: Books or movies?
A – Movies.
Q88: Horror or comedy?
A – Comedy.
A FEW RANDOM QUESTIONS TO FINISH ON
Q89: Do you wish you could change your past?
A – There are things I always think I would like to change - but then if I did I wouldn't be where I am today with the kids I have, so probably not.
Q90: What’s your dream job?
A – Millionaire playboy... To be honest, I would love to make enough money from Blogging, video and affiliate shops so that I could do my own thing - like photography.
Q91: What’s your guilty pleasure?
A – A sausage sandwich in the morning at work
Q92: What are you afraid of?
A – High heights
Q93: What was the first thing you wanted to be when you grew up?
A – James Bond
Q94: If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
A – To be able to magically produce money
Q95: If you could change anything about your life what would it be?
A – Not having to go into work and be able to spend more family time
Q96: Would you want immortality?
A – Yes, as long as family has too
Q97: If you could interview anyone alive or dead who would you choose?
A – Bruce Lee
Q98: Would you say you are happy?
A – Yes.
Q99: What one piece of advice would you give to yourself at age eighteen?
A – Get out and experience life
Q100: Where would you like to be in five years’ time?
A – Working from home and spending more time with the family.
It's amazing how long that took... Not really that long to be honest. But now I am finished and i've bored you enough with the 100 things you REALLY didn't want to know about me. Its time to be annoying and nomination a couple of people to do this.
So, I nominate ... Drum roll please...
So, its that time of the week again. At the beginning of this week, I set myself 3 goals. 3 goals to achieve by the end of the week and today its time to evaluate how I did.
So, this week I set myself the following goals:
Let's take a look at this and see how I achieved against them
Well, all I can say for this one is that I completed it 🙂
So, I posted every day through the whole of November using this new schedule. What it has allowed me to do is run for 5 weeks using the schedule of posts, to see how it has performed - while also allowing me still to post my 1-2 usual posts each week on the subjects around life and autism.
So, it's great to see that the, potentially last, post of this schedule sees the first task a success.
So I've only just started to do this as the 5th week only ends with this post. I will be spending more time over this coming week evaluating and then writing a post on my findings.
What I did get to do was try some very diverse list of posts to see what people like and what they don't. So, look out for my findings in a post soon.
I'd love to turn round in this post and say that this one was a success. To be honest, I need to look more, mainly because I want to make sure I get the best one for what I want to talk about.
I also want to progress on an affiliate training course I am doing which needs me to figure out another domain... so that's two I need to find.
When I have one I will be dropping on this site.
I've enjoyed these last 5 weeks. I believe a schedule really helps but posting every day can be difficult.
I hope you've enjoyed me sharing my goals and it may be something I carry forward in the future? If you've like it too, why not drop me a chat below to let me know.
So I best make this a good one, mainly because this is the last week of my test schedule. See, I started this schedule to run over 4-5 weeks to see, firstly if I could run with a schedule, but secondly to try out some different posts to see what worked and what didn't.
Though, more on that in a post that's yet to come. I plan to give everyone the run down on my thoughts on this schedule and its results next week - so lets get back to today's post. 5 things I've enjoyed this week.
Christmas is always a trying time, well at least at the shops. Everyone shopping, crowded checkout and so on. It gets much worse as Christmas gets closer. So, one thing I enjoyed this week was finally getting the last of the presents bought. Now its just the food and we're all sorted.
So, last week we had Black Friday which then turned into Cyber Monday, on, well, Monday. The reason I enjoyed it though is I have bought a bargain. I bought some nice wireless computer gaming headphones which means I won't get tangled now when I'm moving backward and forwards from my chair to the bedroom to see if little Mr is going to sleep or not.
Gifts always make things enjoyable - though I can't have them till Christmas day as its supposed to be gift from the kids...
Now, I'm not talking about in the town, I've already talked about that. I mean, they are going up on the houses. People have started putting up their own Christmas lights, so you get all these fantastic shows when driving home from work.
Its also the time of year, well in a week or so, where we go for drives to see what lights we can see.
Now, I'm not going to bore you or sound like I am trying to sell something, so I won't mention the name. However, I am always learning, or always wanting to learn. Some may read into that more, its kind of like an addiction. Thing is, I'm like, learn it, do it - then that's it, I've done that so move onto the next thing. And yes, I know what kind of a trait that is - but its something I've always had and done.
Anyhow, this course that I found was cheap at $17. Its a few years old, so some of the stuff is a little dated - such as the named domain. However, I am really enjoying it and I have learned some new stuff. So it's in my top 5.
So, 1st of December. That means that the kids Christmas calendars are up. I really enjoy the excitement they get knowing its the 1st of December, its almost Christmas and they get a little chocolate each day. It feels like the beginning of Christmas already.
So, there you have them. My top 5 favorite things for this week. Now, this post may change the format, may go, maybe a top 3 or something else moving forward. To find out what, keep popping back.
Also, why not leave me a comment below with your top 5 for this week also.
As part of my new schedule, I want to start the week on a positive note. Each week, I have started by listing out a top 3 items, things I want to have achieved by the end of the week.
Then, at the end of each week, I will revisit this weekly post, and hold up accountability for the achievements. The goal is that I see what I accomplished, complete and what I learned.
So, this week I wanted to try and try to achieve the following goals:
A few months ago I did my first 30-day blog challenge. This was to write a post every day for 30 days. That was a great exercise, although it can be difficult thinking up a topic for every day over the full 30 days.
I completed it, but I did find towards the end that subjects were becoming more sparse. So, this time around I wanted to try setting up a schedule. I wanted to do 30 days of posts with a schedule of particular posts on particular days.
For example, Mondays are 3 things to achieve post day. As this 30-day challenge was for the 30 days of November, there are only 3 more days left - at the end of which I will have completed my 30-day challenge.
As I mentioned above, the 30-day challenge this time around was to a schedule. When this current weekends, and so too the challenge, it will have been 5 weeks of the schedule. At that point, it will be time to evaluate how it went.
This goal is to facilitate that, to review how the schedule has gone. Has it gone well? What posts performed best? Evaluate and change.
Ok, so I don't have enough on my hands 🙂
I have this blog (plus another one I update). I do have YouTube and I want to start a podcast. However, I want to create another blog.
Now, this will always be my main blog, comes first. This one is the one I want to use to talk about family. I know, of late, there are these other posts. I'm thinking that this other blog can take those posts. Move out the Tech Stuff. Move out all the other items and leave the family, and more important, the Autism based stuff for here.
I still need to do the task 2 first, evaluate what works here. What doesn't will be moving over. That said, I have a concept, I just need a name.
So, that's my set of 3 objectives to do this week. I think there are some interesting ones there, some that may even help push me forward. So, let's all see how well I can get on with them (as well as working full time). See you all next Sunday on the look back through.