Mum, I don’t want to be different!

Attending Secondary School

It was my sons first parents evening since starting his secondary school and, like all the other parents, I was looking forward to finding out how he was getting on with his studies but also how he had settled into year 7.

He doesn’t attend our local school, instead he travels to the next borough. His older brother had attended the same school and he wanted to follow in his footsteps and go to the same school. My son started school in year 7 whilst his older brother was in year 11 – his final year at school.

Dyslexia screening

Although, I had appointments with his subject teachers I really wanted to talk to the SENCO.

Back in junior school – year 4 – I had been told by his optician that he was showing signs of dyslexia after they had done an intensive eye test on him. I had mentioned it to his school, but nothing was done about it as his reading age was beyond his years.

In the first couple of months of starting secondary school they put the children through a few tests including dyscalculia and dyslexia screening. I was eager to know the scores because of the previous test he had done, but every time I called the school I was informed that the results wasn’t through yet. A few months had passed and I received a letter from the school regarding the results. It had come back that my son was showing signs of dyslexia and they wanted to put him into intervention groups to help him with it. Of coarse, I wanted all the help he could get so he started to attend a special programme called Alpha to Omega and had extra Literacy lessons.

The struggles

As I mentioned before, you couldn’t fault my sons reading. At the age of 11 he has a reading age of a 17 year old. You could have a very intelligent conversation with him and his choice of wording would be very detailed, he was articulate and detailed. He would use a wide range of vocabulary when explaining things to you but this was not evident in his writing.

He struggled with his handwriting, spellings, taking more than one order, tying his shoe-laces, confusing his direction, forgetfulness and mixing up letters and numbers, such as ‘b’ and ‘d’ and ‘9’ and ‘p’.

He found it hard to get to grips with the times tables, recalling the days of the week and months of the year in order and remembering mathematical facts.

Learning to adapt

As the years have gone on, my boy has learned to deal with it himself. He has been persistent and resilient in his learning. He would choose the easier way out when it came to writing – simplifying his sentences omitting difficult words with easy words.

He wears his watch on the left wrist so he knows which is left and right, without it he can be lost -literally!

We have spent years practicing his times tables and we spend at least an extra hour a week just going over sums. He has learned to love maths and this has helped him.

He is given chores around the house to do, telling him to do one thing and following it with another order. For example; asking him to go upstairs to find a book and to put it back in another place.

Back to Parents Evening

Even though we have always believed him to show signs of dyslexia we have never actually been told by someone in education that he does have it.

My son has been attending two sessions a weeks for the past 4 months in school, missing out on subjects that he really enjoys to get the extra support in specific areas of need.

As we sat down with the SENCO and she went through his scores from the tests taken earlier in the year.

Mild in Dyslexia

Scored very low in Dyscalculia

We sat and talked about his struggles or signs and she agreed that he needs extra support, but what has been given to him may need to be at the next level as he says he is finding it too easy within the group.

Dyscalculia test

We are not sure that the results reflect his ability. As part of the test he was asked to answer by pushing the right or left button for the correct answers but obviously not being able to identify his left and right didn’t reflect the true answers.

SENCO have agreed for him to sit the test again in October with the new year 7’s coming up into the senior school and this time they will label the buttons with L and R to help him.

I don’t want to be different

It was the first time that my son had been told he was dyslexic and had dyscalculia. We had discussed it before but it had never been confirmed by a test.

As we walked out of the school, my son turned to me and said

“I don’t want to be different!”

My heart broke.

I told him that he isn’t different. He is still him. Nothing has changed.

I reminded him that we are all different and that the world would be a boring place if we were all the same. We all have something that makes us different from one another, but now we can work on his as we now know what he is struggling with.

Nothing changes for us, we will keep encouraging him to achieve and we will keep on spending time with him going over his spellings and times tables.

I understand that he just wants to fit in with his friends, that he needs to feel secure and safe within his environment. He reassures me that no one is picking on him for attending interventions, but it’s just painful to him to finally hear that he has different educational needs to his peers.

It’s time now for him to shine as now he is receiving the support that he deserves. I have reminded him that he has already acquired and developed skills to get him to where he is now. He is already in top set for Maths and English. We just need to be positive about this, I want him to know that it’s Ok to be different!

Share

Support Save the Children this Christmas Jumper Day

This year, Save the Children’s annual Christmas Jumper Day is taking place on Friday 15th December ’17.  Millions of people up and down the country; colleagues, school children and friends will be adorning a festive knit so that they can help the charity do whatever it takes to make sure the world’s forgotten children get the chance to have a brighter future.

The fundraising idea began back in 2012 and has since seen millions of people join in. It has since become a quintessential British Christmas time tradition. We will, as previous years, be donning our festive jumpers. The children will go to school and I to work in our tackiest jumper. But not forgetting to donate £2 each to the charity here

Not only will people be donating to make the world better with a sweater but they can also help raise even more money by buying products as gifts.

Companies such as; Selfish Mother, WHSmith, Ellas Kitchen, Arsenal FC, Kurt Geiger and Ikea have all jumped on board and are offering to give donations from the sales of certain products.

Save the Children do whatever it takes to save the lives of children. From the first moments of life, they work to get children the healthcare, food and water, safety and education they need to survive and thrive. Save the children’s pioneering helps give children, no matter where they’re born, the chance to fulfill their potential.

Selfish Mother have created a range of Christmas Jumpers, in their FMLY store, that no only look good but do good too. The designs feature unique and festive slogans. £50 adult and £25 child, each offering 50% donation to Save the children.

WHSmith will stock two Christmas Jumper day Bears called Bruno and Benji. The bears are sporting their own festive jumpers that were designed by competition winners Holly aged thirteen and Phoebe aged nine. Retailed at £4.99 with £1 being donated to Save the children

20171209_172401

Ella’s Kitchen are selling a Jungle Belly Christmas Dinner. This festive pouch is created for tiny taste buds and includes organic turkey, potatoes and all the trimmings, so little ones can enjoy Christmas dinner with the rest of the family. For every pouch that is sold Ella’s Kitchen will donate 30p to Save the Children.

This Christmas Ella’s Kitchen is selling a Jingle Belly Christmas Dinner.  This festive pouch is created for tiny taste buds and includes organic turkey, potatoes and all the trimmings (even brussels sprouts), so little ones can enjoy Christmas dinner together with the rest of the family. For every pouch purchased Ella’s Kitchen will donate 30p to Save the Children.
This Christmas Ella’s Kitchen is selling a Jingle Belly Christmas Dinner. This festive pouch is created for tiny taste buds and includes organic turkey, potatoes and all the trimmings (even brussels sprouts), so little ones can enjoy Christmas dinner together with the rest of the family. For every pouch purchased Ella’s Kitchen will donate 30p to Save the Children.

 

To help raise funds Arsenal Football Club have created a range of festive knits for all the family, which each carry 20% donation to Save the Children. Even pets and little ones can join in as they have Baby Christmas Sleepsuits and jumpers for dogs

Arsenal Players Swap Their Kit For A Knit In Support Of Save The Children’s Christmas Jumper Day.  Pictured Granit Xhaka
Arsenal Players Swap Their Kit For A Knit In Support Of Save The Children’s Christmas Jumper Day.
Pictured Granit Xhaka

Kurt Geiger will donate 10% of the purchase of any Kensington bag sold between 22 November and 24 December

This Christmas, Kurt Geiger will donate 10% of the purchase price of any leather Kensington bag sold in Kurt Geiger stores and kurtgeiger.com between 22 November and 24 December 2017 to Save the Children.
This Christmas, Kurt Geiger will donate 10% of the purchase price of any leather Kensington bag sold in Kurt Geiger stores and kurtgeiger.com between 22 November and 24 December 2017 to Save the Children.

Ikea have launched, third year running, a range of soft toys designed by children for children. The FULL purchase price from the sale of each toy will go to Save the Children.

Now in its third year, IKEA has launched a range of soft toys designed by children for children. The full purchase price from the sale of each toy will go to Save the Children UK, to support children to fulfil their potential through education and play.
Now in its third year, IKEA has launched a range of soft toys designed by children for children. The full purchase price from the sale of each toy will go to Save the Children UK, to support children to fulfil their potential through education and play.

Who doesn’t love a mince pie? To celebrate Christmas jumper day LEON will be selling mini mince pies in support of Save the Children. The mince pies will sell for £1 with a 20p donation.

image007

In support of Christmas Jumper day, Save the Children have created a range of kitsch tote bags. These feature tongue in cheek imagery of three festive cats and dogs; CHIBBY the Cat, DUCHES the bulldog and CHESTER the westie. Retailing at £6, all proceeds go directly to Save the Children.

In support of Christmas Jumper Day, Save the Children have created a range of kitsch tote bags. These feature tongue in cheek imagery of three festive cats and dogs; CHIBBY the cat, DUCHESS the bulldog and CHESTER the westie. Retailing at £6, all money goes directly to Save the Children.
In support of Christmas Jumper Day, Save the Children have created a range of kitsch tote bags. These feature tongue in cheek imagery of three festive cats and dogs; CHIBBY the cat, DUCHESS the bulldog and CHESTER the westie. Retailing at £6, all money goes directly to Save the Children.

How will you be supporting Save the Children this Friday?

No payment has been received for this post.

 

Share

Olympic Mens Triathlon at Hyde Park

For the past year i have tried and tried to buy tickets to the Olympics, we live not far away from the Olympic Park and seeing as the Olympics is being held practically on our doorstep I thought it would be an amazing experience for us a family to watch. I managed to buy daddy some boxing tickets for Daddy as a birthday present and i made the mistake of not purchasing the boys tickets too, I thought that i would be able to buy more tickets for them but when i tried again I wasn’t allowed any more under my name. In the past two weeks much to my disappointment i have failed to buy tickets to the olympics so I took to London yesterday so the boys could experience some olympic fever in Hyde Park. We went to watch the mens triathlon and what a day it was! The boys got to see so much and really enjoyed themselves, we found a spot just near the serpentine where we saw the swimming and then walked just a short distance to S Carriage Drive where the triathletes were going to be cycling down. Jak and Joseph stood on top of a rubbish bin where they got a great view of the triathletes as they passed us. The boys waved their olympic foam hands that they made from some yellow moon craft packs, they cheered until they got sore throats and they jumped up and down when they caught a glimpse of Team GB go by. Once the triathletes had passed us cycling on their last lap we made our way to the huge live screen to watch the triathletes transition from their cycles to the last leg of the race into the running stage. The boys then wanted to see if they could watch some of the running so we found a great spot on a hill just near the serpentine where we got a fabulous view of the main stand where the triathletes would finish, AND what a view it was, we saw Alistair Brownlee grab a union jack from someone near the stand and run towards the finish line waving it where he walked over the line to win Gold.

Waving their Hands

Alistair Brownlee looking back at the pack

We all had a glorious day and can’t believe we got to see an olympic ev

The hyge live screen

ent, we had magnificent views all day, the sun made an appearance too. We made the most of being in London too, we visited the serpentine gallery, the boys had a splash in the Diana’s memorial fountain and to finish our day off we walked to Covent Garden for something to eat passing some iconic places on the way like Buckingham Palace, Downing Street and The Horse Guards.

What an amazing day we all had, the atmosphere was electric and we even got to see many of the athletes up close including Alistair and Jonathon Brownlee who went on to win Gold and Bronze Olympic medals. We are now looking forward to watching the Paralympic athletics in the Olympic park, which i have managed to get tickets for us for YIPPEE!

Thank you for reading my post:-)

Share

Swimming for the baby, Freds SWIMTRAINER CLASSIC Red Review

Swimming is a fun activity for the whole family but it can also play a huge part of a baby’s development. Being in the water gives the baby independence, they can learn balance and awareness, it gives them confidence and can help them with their social skills. Having fun in the water whilst swimming can help children develop a positive relationship with the water and can give them a sense of achievement.

As a family we have always been keen on swimming, the boys love to splash about all day long and enjoy the freedom they get when in the water, Daddy is a good swimmer too and has taught the two eldest to swim and both of them were confident swimmers by the time they were 4 years old. I am not too keen on swimming, i’m not very confident in the water but do still enjoy the sense freedom and like to play with the boys in the pool so i don’t want the boys to be like me I want them to have confidence and to be able to swim themselves to safety if they ever get into trouble in the water. Every year come May time we always get our pool, Daddy sets it up with the pump and heater, chlorinates it and cleans the filters, he puts a lot of work into the pool so that the boys can enjoy their swimming at any time of the day. This year is the first year that Oliver has been able to enjoy the pool too, he loves to splash his big brothers and likes to move about in the water. He has a baby ring that he sits in but he doesn’t like to feel restricted and is always trying to get out of it, he gets his little legs out of the seat within seconds so he isn’t very safe in it and as our pool is 4ft deep swimming with him isn’t very comfortable I am always worrying about him falling out.

The Swimtrainer Classic Red can be used with the baby from as early as 3 months old, it is designed to put the baby into the correct swimming position in the water by allowing the baby to lay forward instead of sitting upwards. The swimtrainer gives children the necessary sense of achievement and security in the water during every stage of their development. This forms the basis for being successful at learning how to swim. The specially designed swimtrainer aids are introduced according to the child’s age and learning ability (red, orange, yellow). The SWIMTRAINER “Classic” is used with babies to support their early development, it has inflatable straps and pads to prevent baby from slipping through and adjustable safety belt which also prevents the baby from tipping forward.

Classic Swim Trainer (Red)

We was sent a Swimtrainer classic from http://www,thethinkingbaby.com for Oliver to try out, it arrived a couple of days before we left for our holiday which was perfect and I couldn’t wait to see little Oliver in it. It took only a few minutes to blow up and was easy to get him in it, as i said before he doesn’t like to feel restricted and as soon as i put him in it he started to pull at it trying to get out of it. I adjusted the straps to fit him and clipped him in using the inflatable safety belt that is attached to the ring, the clip is extra safe as it has a safety piece of plastic that snaps on top of the clips ensuring that the clips do not come undone during use in the water. Once he stood up and started walking in it he started to become more comfortable and was getting used to having it around him, he could move around easily and the swimtrainer wasn’t stopping him.

20120806-142653.jpg

20120806-142730.jpg

We walked to the pool and in he went, straight away he leaned forward and i instantly grabbed out to him to steady him but i didn’t need to as the swimtrainer was supporting him under his belly. He looked very comfortable and was soon laying forward and kicking his little feet. The inflatable belly panel was supporting and hugging him making him feel comfortable, I let go of him and let him go of on his own, he was having lots of fun and was even moving in the water on his own, he had his arms laying forward over the ring and was moving his hands about in the water and generally enjoying himself splashing around. I felt at ease that he was safe and secure in the trainer and i was starting to enjoy being in the water with him, normally after about 5 minutes he is trying to climb out if his support ring to get into the water but with Oliver sitting in his swimtrainer and enjoying himself he just stayed put and carried on kicking his legs feeling completely free he went in any direction he wanted to.

I am very impressed with the swimtrainer classic and would definitely recommend it to other parents. It folds up into a nice and neat flat pile and is lightweight which is ideal for your luggage when packing a suitcase for a holiday. Not only does it give the baby freedom and confidence in the water but it also puts parents at ease knowing that your child will not tip over or slip through the ring. The swimtrainer classic red is suitable for babies of 13-40lbs/6-18kg.

The swimtrainer classic is available in three colours red, yellow and orange depending on age/weight of the child and can be bought here for £19.50.

Follow The Thinking Baby on twitter @TheThinkingBaby

unfortunately i have no photographs of Oliver in the water wearing the Swimtrainer as i was not allowed to take photos of him in the pool

I was sent a swimtrainer classic red for the purpose of this review and have not received any payment. All words and thoughts are my own.

update from 6/8/12. Oliver had a swim in the pool today in our garden (the water looks a bit green but it’s just where it’s not been used for a while and the algae has settled on the floor, 15 minutes of swimming around and the chlorine was doing it’s work again)

20120806-200158.jpg

Share

Trendy Toddler Tuesday TeamGB

I missed posting out my trendy toddler last week due to being on holiday, but we’re back now tired, exhausted and in the need for another week away to recoup after this one. I have many gorgeous pictures of the boys in some super stylish clobber but for this week I wanted to share with you all Oliver’s official TeamGB romper suit that I bought from Asda. It is slightly in the huge side for him and I did buy him a 6-9 month old but I think Oliver is small for his age, so although it bagged and gathered at the feet it didn’t effect him from running around in it and getting up to mischief. He did have a few miner slip ups on the dance floor but like chumba wumba said he gets knocked but he gets up again nothing is going to keep him down.
Now that Oliver walks every where I found it a struggle to get a decent photograph of him as he just doesn’t stand still so I apologise for the blurriness of the picture.

20120731-214313.jpg

He wore this suit for the olympics opening night in the club house on the holiday site that we staying at, this was the only night that we stayed out beyond 10 o clock lol.
He loved walking around and getting all the cuddles from the girls and the aaaaws from the ladies he just looked at everyone and beamed his cutest smile.
I love it when Oliver is wearing White, although he is fair skinned and re
Ally blonde the colour suits him and really shows off his gorgeous bright big blue eyes, also I like as he is my last baby I like to put him in romper suits as they make him still look like a little baby and not too grown up. I think he is very cute and very Olympic stylish.

The sleepsuit cost me £8

20120731-221932.jpg

Share