Reading My Poems

So recently I took a course run by the fabulous SUNDOWN ARTS in Southend, on Performance Poetry. I absolutely loved it! I think the year or so I have been doing stand-up comedy has really helped give me the confidence to get up on stage and perform. It was the suggestion of my partner, Chris, to start adding in my humorous verses into my comedy routine, but I do think they deserve a place of their own. So I’m starting another journey. I really enjoy sharing my poems. And I love that people get to hear them how I want them to be heard in this way.

I am rehearsing for an open mic spot I have next week and so have been recording myself so that I can learn them, work on the actual performance of the poem etc. It’s very different though. I find myself far more self conscious than I would be on stage in front of an audience. It is a great way to learn and improve though.

This one is not one that I’ll be performing BUT I do want to share. It’s by no means how it will end up. When I performed it at the workshop it was far better but this is a recording – you get the general idea, but, like I said, it’s much better live.¬† This poem came about when someone saw me and Jamie out and about while he was having a meltdown. I give you Autism Mum:


Wordless Wednesday

Jamie's Best friend....

Jamie’s A STAR!

As you’ll know from the last post, Jamie likes to be in front of the camera. I wrote about his video here, over at facebook, in some of the groups I belong to over at facebook and I asked people to watch, share, comment. I also wrote to one of his review idols Pixel Dan and told him all about Jamie. It made my day when he got home from school and he saw just how many views he had (now up to 218!!) and mostly that Pixel Dan had left a comment! I just had to share this moment with you! (I’m not well, house is a mess blah blah – nevermind :D)

Thank you to everyone who made this little boys day. He was a bit distracted by the fact that he thought his package had arrived (ordering things from ebay is always a bit of a nightmare because he can’t deal with waiting). He also didn’t know this was being recorded and there is a difference between when he knows that camera is running, if you’ve seen any of the other videos he has done there you’d have already seen the change. He keeps telling me how he’s now buddies with Pixel Dan and it’s really made his year. I’m sure we’ll have another video of his to share soon!!


The Jamie Shave Show – New Video

My son is a MASSIVE fan of reviewers and collectors of action figures etc, found over at youtube. A long time ago I realised that Jamie had a gift for the camera. I started recording him when he was younger, like so many parents do, but when he realised I was recording he started to change and turn into a presenter. This is when “The Jamie Shave Show” began. It gives him such a boost when the kids at school tell him that they have watched his show, and some of them are just me recording him or him talking to his actual “fans”. He’s now becoming more aware of the number of views and I’m sure Pixel Dan gets them in the thousands… I’d like you to help build my sons confidence by watching this latest episode and perhaps adding a comment in Youtube. You don’t have to watch the whole thing – although he is hilarious so you might want to, but if you don’t have time don’t worry. I’d just like to try to get people to see his show, so he then wants to make more as it does wonders for his self-esteem. He is AWESOME! (does make me chuckle when he says “I am a bit forgetful because I have A.D.H.D. Some of you ladies watching might know what that is”.)

Do watch – I’m so proud and if you can comment and share too that would be AMAZING. THANK YOU! ūüėÄ

Holland or Mars? (Being “special”)

DSC_0202I read “Welcome to Holland” some time ago now, when¬†the Doctor told me that Jamie had ASD (2007)¬†he gave me lots of paperwork and information and this was one of the sheets among¬†them – and the one that made the most sense. It was written in 1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley, about having a child with a disability. In “Welcome To Holland” Emily uses the metaphor of excitement for a holiday to Italy that turns to huge disappointment as the plane lands in Holland and they have to take their holiday there instead.

“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

The metaphor is that the trip to Italy is a typical birth and child-raising experience, and that the trip to Holland is the experiencing of having and raising a child with special-needs.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

You can read the whole thing here:

Don’t We All?

It is strange really – I don’t think anyone really ends up where they thought they were going. When you find out you’re pregnant people talk about what it will be like, how will you cope etc with a baby. When I realised I’d be doing it all on my own my sister was shocked that I could even contemplate it “the first 4 months are the hardest – how will you get it’s feeds ready??” – that was obviously a job her husband did. “Who will buy you Mothers Day cards?” was another.

I thought about how I could cope, how I could get his feeds done, etc. I had a plan. Once he went to school, I’d go back to work etc etc… you have an image of what it will be like and of course mostly – and I imagine for every family out there – the reality of having children is different once they arrive and turn your world upside down.

So now I’m in Holland. Things are very different here. My Baby is now 10 years old. I don’t think he is in Holland though. I think he is possibly in Mars. His world is very different to ours. So not only am I in Holland without a guide, I’m also working with someone who speaks a different language and sees things very differently.

Visiting Secondary Schools

When we are in our own little bubble it is easy to forget that we’re in different worlds. I’m okay with Holland. I’ve gotten used to it here and I love my son so much so of course I’m okay with it. You even tell yourself you wouldn’t have it any other way…

We went to visit a Mainstream secondary school Monday. Because Jamie has a Statement of Special¬†Educational Needs (and his is Complex Needs so he gets a lot of one to one time with Learning Support Assistants –¬†LSAs), this means that we have to start thinking about Secondary School Placements now. I have to decide if I want to try to get him a place in a Special School or whether Mainstream provision will be able to provide for his “complex needs”. I’ve been to our local special school¬†4 times over the years. Each time it had improved, each time I wanted him to go there but was told no – there just wasn’t room. Compromises were made; getting hours of 1:1 back in place, incorporating brain breaks, comfort breaks¬† (although I don’t think these have actually happened). Jamie HATES going to school. By thursday he is exhausted and he was getting so anxious about school that it was preventing him from sleeping so I’ve just had to start¬†giving him medication¬†with Melatonin (although it’s not natural because the doctor has to give us the ¬†pharmaceutical industry version – ripe with “possible” side effects. Ironically one of them was insomnia and irritability – like we need any more of that! but I digress…).

We went to the mainstream¬†secondary school – and on leaving I burst into tears. ¬†I do the same when I go to special schools. I guess sometimes it all gets a bit too much because these are the times you realise you are not in Italy, you are in Holland and you think that they will be missing out on everything Italy would’ve given them. They are in Mars so they don’t even care! You do though – and sometimes, just moments like these when you see the pictures of the kids on the walls, you see the PE production photos, the amazing art departments, the enormous Sports Hall, the experience of school and everything that comes with it and you realise that there is no way your child can go there, or can have those experiences. And YES – You want to jump on a plane!

Luckily you can’t. So you start looking at Holland again with fresh eyes. You see all of the experiences that he WILL have; experiences he would¬†never have had in Italy. And everything is okay again with Holland.. We can do this! He IS special, he IS different – and he needs to be somewhere where different is “normal”.

So – 2 mainstream schools down, 1 special needs school to see in March – then it’s our review in March! The fight is back on for special school¬† – with vengeance!

Tales from Another World

DSC_0202I’ve decided to add another category to my blog – “Tales From Another World”. Here I’m going to write more about Jamieness. Oh yes, I may live in the world of Traciness but within that world there is another planet called Jamieness. This is my sons world. He is 10 years old and was diagnosed with Attention Defecit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) when he was about 5 years old.

In “Tales From Another World” I’m going to write about what it is like to be visiting Jaminess as an outsider, how I have learned to speak the language there and I’d also like to share some of the amazing things that my son says, does and also the process we are going through at the moment: The Transition to Secondary Education.

So this section is where I’ll be talking about these things. I think I just need to write about it for me but I also hope that people will read and share their own experiences too in the comments below each blog.

No Vest

The hot weather is here,

And we all have a cheer,

well maybe for a few minutes at least.

then we start to complain,

cos it’s really a pain,

to have our bodies all slimey and greased.

For children like mine,

the weathers really not fine,

and it makes them a little more stressed.

cos they really do hate,

yes it’s a typical trait,

Being outside and wearing NO VEST!

It’s a sensory thing,

and the comfort they bring,

not to mention a change – they don’t like that.

and the school make it worse,

then I start to curse,

cos they have asked that he goes in a hat!

Oh yeah summer is good,

well that’s what it should,

if you’ve a child on the spectrum you’ll know.

cos there’ll be panic galore,

if we just sit on the floor,

But this is England – and tomorrow might snow!