Our special needs interview is with a dad who has two children with additional needs. For the purpose of this interview, he has elected to focus his replies and relate them to his 17 years old daughter. She is entering the phase of adulthood which brings about its own set of worries for a parent who is bringing up a child with special needs.
Early on, we knew that our son was behaving differently than other children, which we started noticing when he was about a year old. We fought to get him referred to a health professional, with the help of his preschool after several incidents. However, when attending appointments, we were told that there was nothing wrong and were asked to go home. Many people, such as friends and family members, started to say to us ‘why do you want to go and see someone, they might label your child’. We were always confused by such statements from people close to us, but we decided to just ignore it.
Do you think of yourself as resilient? If something doesn’t go your way do you bounce like a ball or do you curl up into a ball and curse the world?
The way in which you deal with the stress caused by unexpected events has a major influence on how you approach life. If you are the ‘curl up into a ball’ type, you will go to great lengths to avoid stressful situations and cut yourself off from experiences that you might otherwise enjoy.
A Boy Made of Blocks
There you are, feeling freaked out and unsure of where to go next. Your child has been diagnosed as having autistic traits, and though you may have had your suspicions, it can still be a ‘tough pill’ to swallow. To start with, it may be a scary and lonely journey when you discover that your child has additional needs. Initially, you may spend time understanding the implications of the diagnosis but you may also be trying to get to terms with the whole situation on an emotional level. You may even feel that the future for your child can, at times, appear bleak.
As you know, I usually focus on providing tips and solutions for parents who have slightly older children i.e. from about 6 years but I believe that developing a good sleep routine early on is beneficial to both parents and babies. Investing time in solving your child’s sleep issues right now is worth it because all acquired sleep skills will last forever, meaning that a healthy sleep habit will set your child up for life. Your child will be grateful for good sleeping abilities well into their adulthood. But most importantly, as a new parent, you will be able to get some much-needed shut eye!
I have been watching how the concept of Hygge has become a more used and recognised term in the UK and US over the past 18 months. This is largely based on a few savvy people who have published a range of hygge books, marketing campaigns that are tapping into the term as well as newspaper and magazine articles which have brought the phrase hygge into people’s awareness. Being Danish, I thought it was about time for me to explore this trend, since I was born and bred in Denmark. After all, over the years, I have been exposed to hygge on a regular basis. Despite having lived in the UK for 25 years, I still like to say that we offer a lot of hygge in our pre-predominately English household! To help me write this article and crystalise my thoughts, I asked a few fellow Danes to support me by providing their views on hygge, and what makes something hyggeligt.
My son has never slept (he is now 14) and he was recently referred to a sleep centre. Over the years, we have tried everything to help getting him to sleep. He has been diagnosed with ADHD, ASD and is very sensory which all contribute to his sleep problems. He would often fall asleep in his morning classes, then to be wide awake at bedtime. The anxiety faced at bedtime by a child who has sleep problems, as they know that they will not sleep, causes sleep anxiety problems in itself.
Constant bickering between siblings can cause most parents to lose their ‘love of parenting’. It sure isn’t fun when your kids are at war with each other most of the time. When emotions run high, it can be difficult to appreciate that squabbling is part of childhood development but full-blown sibling rivalry is not inevitable.
For any organisation that works within the field of children and teenagers, we believe it is important to show an interest in local activities which are being organised for young people. Naturally, our field of expertise is centred around boosting mental health, however, we always advise young people to increase their physical activities to encourage the feel-good hormones. The combination of physical exercise and practising therapeutic techniques is a winning formula to improve your well-being. Therefore, in line with our philosophy, we are proud to announce our sponsorship of a local football club, Widmer End United. In our humble opinion, we think the team is looking super cool in their new kit! To give you a real feel of the team and their activities, here, we are sharing the great feedback and updates from those involved with the team on a weekly basis.
Let’s put our heads together and tackle mental health
Are you ready to look inside a teenager’s mind, if even just for a few minutes?
“Alarm clock goes off, I am lying in bed, my head feels fuzzy and my body is heavy. All I can think about is ‘how will I manage to pull the covers back’ and actually get out of bed to face yet another day filled with worries, sadness and what feels like utter despair. I am dreading getting out of bed, I know the day will be spent on trying to avoid people and the demands they put on me. Let alone trying to avoid the ever returning question from every one ‘how are you today?’ when it is so clear that no one could cope with an honest answer. I have come to realise a very simple fact, no one wants to know the truth, people just expect the standard reply of ‘I’m fine, how are you?’ I wonder how they would react if I told them that I am not coping!