Sonny Blew a Kiss!

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Despite the weather, I wanted to take Sonny to South Bank, as there was some sort of children’s festival going on. Unfortunately, Sonny took zero interest in the festival. Literally none. There was a stage and someone doing some sort of show. Loads of kids all sitting down listening and laughing. Sonny took one look at all this organised fun and tried to drag me out. There were a few areas for children, and I took Sonny into one, where there was drawing and painting and making things. This is basically his worst nightmare, but also my idea of a dream. As soon as he saw children sitting down quietly he said, ‘no. I want this way’ and pointed to the door.

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So I was feeling kind of upset that my plan hadn’t worked. (This happens a lot, so I always have a plan B. I sometimes have to make use of plan C and plan D too. Not today though.) My plan B was not much of a plan at all, but just to cut about on South Bank and watch the street entertainment. We made friends with a woman in gold. Sonny stared at her for ages. Every time someone put money in her hat she moved. I gave him some money and he went up and she shook his hand. I ended up giving the woman about a fiver because he liked her so much. When we walked away he said ‘ok, bye’ and HE BLEW HER A KISS and I nearly nearly cried. Obvs because it was cute and I was proud but also because I was little bit jel.

We watched a band, and we went on the merry go round. We also spent a lot of time talking about boats and bridges. I say talking, I mean I spoke to him about boats and bridges. And he would nod every so often.

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Also I stole one of his crisps and he said, ‘hey! Spit it out!’ Which was MAD because I had never heard him say that.

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Sonny Knows The Alphabet!

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Sonny had one of his best days ever today! I think because we hadn’t seen each other for two weeks he was looking forward to going out more than usual!

He gave me loads of hugs and kisses all day, and even when I said, ‘Sonny we are just going to pop into the shop to get some water before we get on the train’ which usually would stress him out, he was so casual and calm about it, and helped me give the money to the man at the till.

Sonny played a game in the soft play centre, getting the balls from the ball pit up to the top of the slide, then watching the balls go down the slide and then repeating this process about 20 times. (A woman who worked there told him off for moving all the balls, but I spoke to her and said as he isn’t bothering anyone, and getting a huge amount of joy from his game, would it be ok if he carried on?! She was fine about it once she found out he has autism.) It was really funny watching him trying to climb up ladders with his hands full!

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Then he surprised me by showing me he could say the alphabet! (Click here to see.) Well, he needs a bit more practice, but it is a good start! My favourite bit is when he says ‘W’. He just bowled over to the alphabet puzzle and said it without being prompted or asked to…I was so chuffed that I had my phone on me to video it because I asked him to do it again afterwards and he straight up refused.

Anyway, I was really proud of him today. he played really nicely with the other children in the soft play centre too,  and considering it was really noisy and busy he did well not to get stressed.

YES SONNY.

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Don’t Touch The Pigeons!

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‘Don’t touch the pigeons Sonny, just say hello!’ That is what I spent most of yesterday saying.

He has a very strong desire to scare pigeons. Running through a crowd of pigeons and reaching out to touch them. Meanwhile I am trying not to scream, holding on to his hand with my vice-like grip with one hand, and with the other shielding my face from the birds that are now airborne trying to get away from Sonny (click here). However, bird dodging aside, we had a lovely day in Hyde park yesterday!

We did a lot of walking and talking. We talked about what colours we could see, how many birds there were, etc. I also did a lot of singing, which Sonny wasn’t too impressed by. I also got a bit carried away with the camera phone, and did a slow mo video. I think there may be many more of those to come!

Lovely Sunny Day with my Lovely Sonny Boy.

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Big Steps For Sonny At The Science Museum!

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Sonny and I went to the Science Museum this weekend, which was absolutely amazing! , and there was a massive place for water play too, it was quite busy, but Sonny didn’t seem to mind! We spent a long time looking at the aeroplanes, and we also watched a bubble show where they showed us loads of huge bubbles, Sonny got a bit annoyed though because there were lots of other children there, and it was too loud! He also loved all the things that lit up and flashed bright colours.

Sonny got a bit frustrated when we were queueing to watch the bubble show (his autism means he finds it difficult to wait for things that he wants.) He frequently gets cross when he has to wait for something, and if he doesn’t calm down quickly he gets more and more angry which can lead to him getting violent or running away.

I find it hard to know what to do when he gets frustrated: I don’t want him to think he shouldn’t ever get angry (because we all get angry sometimes!) but I also don’t want him to think he can get away with bad behaviour just because he is annoyed.

ANYWAY, a few weeks ago I tried something new when I could see he was on the edge…I said, ‘Sonny I know you are cross, and that’s ok, but lets do some deep breaths together and stay caaalllllm.’ The first few times I said all this he looked at me like I had totally lost the plot, and seemed really confused, but at the museum, when he started getting angry, I said, ‘Sonny I know you are cross, but…’

AND THEN he did some deep breaths and did the hand sign and said, ‘caaaallmmm.’ ALL BY HIMSELF!

I was super chuffed. It shows he has an awareness of how to change his mood, and to self soothe when he is cross (which, to be honest, lots of adults struggle to do!)

When we left the museum he started to get upset and say, ‘goodbye, see you soon’ while crying and waving. I asked him if he was happy or sad and he said sad with the Makaton sign. Then later on the bus when I was tickling him and making him laugh I asked him the same  and he said happy. A few months ago when I asked him that question he would always say happy, regardless of whether he was crying his heart out or laughing his head off.

Understanding emotions is hard for children with autism, and they often feel very intense emotions, that are difficult to control, so I am thrilled that Sonny is starting to understand his feelings and how to manage them. I suppose what we all want for our children is to be happy, but I think happiness is about being able to freely express ourselves and our feelings at any given time. I think Sonny is on his way!

If someone had told me two and half years ago that Sonny would be able to tell me how he felt and then also calm himself down when he is stressed I would of not believed them, it has taken a long time to get to where he is today, but days like this make it all worth it.

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He Struggles With Words, But He Can Roar!

A video showing some of the best bits over the last few months on our days out together around London…What fun we have had!

I am running the marathon for the National Autistic Society, which is a charity that supports children like Sonny and their families. The link is below if you would like to help me raise some money for a brilliant cause:

https://www.justgiving.com/Melanthe-Grand1/

I am so grateful to have Sonny in my life. I learn from him every day. I have had many teachers, but Sonny is by far the best.

So thank you Sonny for all the great days I have had with you…I look forward to many more.

xxx

‘I’m Sorry!’ ‘No, I’m Sorry!’

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As it is half term I have been taking Sonny out during the week, so yesterday we went to a soft play centre in Kentish Town and then went for a (very long) walk up to Primrose Hill and through Camden Town.

He was being so chatty!

When we were walking up the hill (very slowly) he was saying ‘up, up, up!’ and when we were up on the top of the Hill Sonny said ‘cold’ and did the sign for it. And then when we were walking back down the hill he stopped to point and count 6 big buildings that he could see! (Click here to see a vid.)

In soft play we invented a new a game that involved me pretending to fall asleep and snore really loudly and then scare the living day lights out of him. (Click here to watch!) He then started to walk up to me (while I was fake sleeping) and shout ‘boo!’ in my ear! The game came to an abrupt end though when he took a running two-footed jump onto my tummy. I was pretty sure he cracked a rib, but I was just winded. Had to have 5 minutes break while I regained my breath and composure.

Apart from said injury and a minor fall out about which direction the bus stop was (turned out he was actually right. When I tried to apologise to him and say, ‘I’m sorry,’ he  kept on repeating it back to me saying, ‘I’m sorry.’ ‘No Sonny I am sorry, not you, I am sorry, I was wrong!’ I said. I am not sure he understood because he replied again with, ‘I’m sorry.’ And so on. If only all men were so quick to apologise!) we had  a lovely day and it didn’t rain! Win.

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A Fab Day To End A Great Year.

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Sonny and I went to an arcade place near the London Eye today.

Obviously before we got there we joined the hundreds of tourists and loved up couples in taking lots of selfies with Big Ben in the background.Big Ben

Not going to lie, it turned into a little photoshoot, Sonny is almost as good as me when it comes to posing for the camera!

So we went into the arcade and for a good 10 minutes we were on the 2p machines (those ones where you put the 2p in and it moves them all a tiny bit off the shelf). It was only when I ran out of 2ps that I realised how long we were standing there for and had basically become hypnotised by it. Dangerously addictive.

We went on the dodgems four times, once on our own, which was weird because I ended up just driving around in a circle, but I let Sonny steer for a bit, which he loved, but resulted in us both coming out of the car with mild whiplash.

Then we played some bowling for a little while. By which, I mean Sonny showed me his interesting technique of violently launching the bowling balls two at a time. It was surprisingly unsuccessful. He kept on trying to run down the alley after the balls, so due to the health and safety risks involved we made a swift exit!

Sonny was so happy all day today! Talking and pointing and dancing and generally just being really good and happy. It can get quite frustrating because sometimes I don’t know what he is saying but I try my best to work it out!

On the tube on the way back Sonny made a friend, a man who noticed his arsenal hoody! He looked confused when Sonny was ignoring him so I told him that Sonny has autism. Although when the man got off the tube he said bye to Sonny and Sonny waved and said, ‘bye! See you soon!’ CUTE.

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2013 has been such a good year for Sonny. There have been countless moments when he has done something/said something new, and I am so proud of him I could cry/faint. I am sure there will be many more, and I looking forward to sharing these moments with you in 2014! Happy New Year!