Blocked Drains (by )

The windows have been being repainted and bits being repaired which is nice except the rotting frames are just being hardened and repainted again :/ Which is what was done to them two odd years ago and now I can't open my favourite window anymore (the one I broke before as it was so rotten and Barbara insisted only the broken part be replaced - well she is paying). The frame is so rotten now I risk breaking the glass and stuff :/

Anyway apart from not having been told the guy was coming - I am very happy with getting fresh paint on stuff especially as fixed the bent metal window in the front that was letting a whopping breeze into the house (the one that Barbara had decided to jimmy open whilst we where evacuated to London in 2007 so that the cats could roam the house why we weren't here).

But he did manage to get bits and bobs in our drain outside the kitchen window - this is where all the kitchen sink and stuff drains out of a pipe into a grated hole in the floor. Now I tend to clear this drain every few weeks anyway as it has a tendency to end up with plants growing in it and leaf litter from the garden but obviously this is a bit hard for me at the moment.

Looking at it I thought it looked a little blocked so mentioned it to Al in the hope he'd get it cleared later in the day - I then forgot about it and put the washing machine on. I then get an irate Barbara at the door because we've obviously blocked the drain (probably with baby wipes) and it's all coming up through the manhole cover. Alaric comes to look and starts going on about rods and things and I'm like 'no the drain's just got a bit clogged so the water from the washing machine can't drain.'

We go back inside to find stuff to sort it - Alaric is arguing with me about it needing rods whilst I'm collecting gloves and a black sack. I'd told Barbara we would sort it, hobble back outside to find she's got a crow bar and is about to prize the cover off the manhole - which both her and Al were insisting the water was coming up through. I think I shouted at everybody and went and cleared the grill of a broken bit of paint pot and lots of paint flecks plus some leaves. The water instantly starts draining into the drain :/

I then get told that me and Al are irresponsible as we didn't stop the water and now there was soapy water draining onto some plants on the quay. As Barbara brushed excess water back up the gully bit to go down the drain. I then pointed out it was soap nuts anyway so shouldn't be too harmful and she agreed.

I was so hacked off at both of them. Especially as it wasn't even because I haven't been clearing it as regularly as normal. Alaric said he thought the pipes drained in under the ground :/ so what I was saying hadn't made sense.

The main issue for me was that I then ended up shaking with pain and walking and even getting myself out of bed was a no go for the next few days 🙁 I get so sad that I can see what needs doing and not actually do it.

Food and Dyslexia et al (by )

Food would appear to play a large part in how bad things like Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and ADHA get, or how the symptoms show. It has been suggested that diary plays a large part in this and I have to say that I have personally noticed a coralation with this but I due have food intollerances. These may or may not be connected to the problems however excessive diary does seem to act things up as does general none home cooked food to be honest. Obviously there is the issue I have with food colourings, caffine and sugar combinations - I assume these are part of the ADHD but apart from caffine can find no mention of them.

The other one is that Omega-3 (I think) oil seems to play a huge part too - or at least it's absence. This is interesting as it plays straight into the joint issues and for me at least the pain management stuff. Add in collagen difficiences and the like and I came to a conclusion (this is mine there is no research on this - it's just something I have observed with me!). We basically need fish and shelf-fish type nutrition in our diet to remain healthy - this appears to be true of many people anyway but more so with those with Dyspraxia and stuff.

Of course this would be a situation that is getting worse as modern diets are down to a fraction of the amount of sea food it once had in it - on top of that we are killing the seas and they may not be able to provide for us 🙁 I think you can get the oils from things like flax seeds so there are veggi options though they may take more digesting.

I have noticed it is not just me with these conditions and either the chronic pain nor the food intollerences - they crop up in combinations startingly frequently on the forums and help sites I've seen - people asking are their intollerences/allergies part of the condition etc...

This is something I really feel would benieft from some more research done on it 🙂

Social Expectations (by )

Conditions like dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD are supposed to be more preverlant in males but even the NHS seem to think this could be biased. Why would it be biased?

The answer is social expectation of girls - something which with girls improving in leaps and bounds in exams now they are being allowed and ecouraged to do so - may become more evident. If a girl is uncoordinated it's ok she's a girl and they can't catch balls and things anyway can they? Less so now but spelling? Well girls don't need to do well at school unless they are going to be a secretary (this one is almost erradicated but it did exist and in some places still does - I am talking the UK here by the way before everybody gets confused!). If a girl has trouble concentrating well girls are quiet and dreamy anyway aren't they?

I think biased is probably very artificial and as our understanding of children's development increases so this biased will disappear!

However there is another issue with these disorders and society and that is the conclusion that most of the public are still drawing i.e. = lazy child, naughty child or thick child with parents who can't come to terms with it. Now These sorts of cases do exist but they are the minority not the majority.

And worse this is sort of a self fore filling prophesy - if you take an intelligent kid and tell them they are lazy, naughty, can't-do's - that is exactly what they will turn into. In a world where they are frustrated and no one will help them or are even hostile to them, they will be hostile back, they will stop going (playing truant and getting in with people they should be kept safe from). So instead of having a slightly kack-handed physist searching for exo-planets you get Mr 3 Kids in a council house by age 21. Instead of the deptudy manager you get Dude Is Run the Gangs Round 'Ere. Instead of the artist selling her pots and boosting our economy you get Miss Heart Attack Victim dead behind the flats from glue sniffing at seventeen. Instead of the teacher you get Miss Recluse scared of her own shadow and unable to get a job langishing. All this potential wasted.

And the thing is - it's not just people who don't know about the conditions - sometimes people who have struggled with them themselves and have put in coping techniques so well they now no longer believe they have anything wronge with them. Even when they can't sit still for more than 5 minutes even as a grown-up. This is akin to the business person who has made it by hard work and luck to drag themselves out of poverty - they can not see the luck aspect only the work - and yes they have achieved great things but they still would not have managed it without the luck and yet they exactly the people who point to themselves and say 'see I did it the rest of you are just being lazy'.

Don't get me wrong I think that things can be made worse by environment with these conditions and like it or not the parents are not always going to be able to help. They may just not know or they may not be capable of helping or sadly just not care. This is one of the reasons it is so important for there to be Social Peramitters to help these children and adults - and yes I count myself in there - I have been extrememly lucky and things could have been different. So this means educational help, medical help where needed and maybe social workers or the like for those adults who are server enough that they really are just going to be at loss in the world. And it's not that I'm saying people should be giving freedom passes - most want to be useful and helpful - to give something back or to support their families but they may need help in finding the sorts of things they can do.

Jean is in Business! (by )

Jean has repeatedly been coming up with business ideas which though sweet aren't really workable for a five year old. Like collecting stones to sell to concrete makers etc...

So when she asked about making candles and selling them we thought we'd encourage this business venture as she has agreed that they would also make nice presants for people (sorry guys!).

It turned out we had two candle making kits in the house already and we have been collecting candle ends and stuff for far too long meaning to turn them into candles!

Jean and Daddy made four candles and did a little prep for a future funky candle or three! In the process we found that two of the moulds do not work as they are too big to be made out of a flexible plastic and the wax stuck and collapsed the molds inward as the wax contracted on cooling.

Daddy has bought one candle from Jean already to be his office candle 🙂 He says he only did most of the work and it's only made out of his candle ends - I pointed out Jean designed it as she had decided what colour to use etc... The two smaller candles she's made she wants to use for halloween as they are black (made with candles ends again).

Anyway I have agreed she can sell her candles at the village craft fair and we took her £2 savings and the pound from her first sale and went to buy some more candle things today. Hobby Craft was a bit of a disappointment but we got a beeswax kit and two lots of dye to use on the candle ends etc... we already have. We were going to pick up a mold only but they where so expensive there it was unbelievable!

(I am wondering how this will work out tax wise - as Jean's too young to work isn't she? I suppose it will just get added to mine or Daddy's?).

We are having to work a bit on costings with Jean as she wanted to sell the candles for 5p each 🙂 And maybe some customer care is needed as she is tending to insist that people buy the candles!

Jean has to pay back the £9 I have lent her and stall rental before she gets to keep any of the money, though we will probably 'buy' any we use for gifts. She is unbelievable excited about this whole thing :/

We will see how long it lasts!

Me And Dyspraxia (by )

Those of you who know me know I am as clumsy as a clumsy thing stuck together with inept glue :/

I even got an award named after me :/ The Spym Award for the Most Spectacular Injury in the Field :/ (Mainly due to things like falling into a prickly pear patches and little things like tearing all the ligaments in my ankle and leg and being sent home on crutches). Add in the old getting lost in Ingleton (something I will never live down! It is not exactly a big place but I got confused and walked the wrong way - away from the bus/coach waiting to take us home).

But the issue is that even by this point I was no where near as clumsy as I had been! And I am less clumsy now. I remember the pain of being a child and not being able to run without tripping over, of ending up in detention because I would manage to knock the chairs off the desk at home time :/ We had to put the chairs on the desk to finish the day off and somehow I always took about five of them out on route to the door. (The draconian teacher who shouted at me over this was a primary school teacher - something I would be horrified to find happening to Jean - as it was the woman insisted I needed to go to a 'special' school and it involved the head mistress, my parents and an educational psychologist before she agreed that I was not retarded - just lazy).

PE was more than a horror - oddly not so much in Junior School though I was more inept - because the kids just sort of accepted it. No, the horror of PE came later.

Now I remember getting a pink crystal ball that lit up and tinkled at Easter People (a religious camp held every Easter) and this ball became a sort of obsessive life line for me. I think I was, what, eight years old? I thought the ball was a space ship for fairies and that they would help me.

I decided the first thing that needed sorting was balance and catching a ball. Being hyper flexible and small had meant my aunt had taken me along to try and get me gymnastic classes a few years earlier but I was 'not suited' so that went down the drain but I took away the idea of what I suppose was circuit training.

So I set up an assault course in our garden - not the normal type which involve lots of running and things but ones with fence posts balanced on brieze blocks, and a 'saturn ball' (a ball with a disc round the middle that you stand on and balance). All these sorts of things and I attempted to do this course everyday at least once without falling off of anything.

Then there was my magic ball; not being able to throw or catch was something that the other kids always picked up on and no one wanted me in the team for those catching ball games and I always ended up being piggy in the middle - a game I grew to detest and associate with bullying behaviour.

The ball was made out of little fused plastic beads, slightly transparent and in multiple layers. It was a mish mash of white to dark fuscia pink. I started by dropping in on the floor and attempting to catch it on the up bounce. Initially I never caught it. But I would try and try and my memory of it is chasing this ball around the patio as the light faded but it lit up on bouncing so it was ok.

Then I began to catch it - first one in five bounces and then slowly more and more. The boy next door asked what I was doing and I explained. And so then we began a game of throwing balls to each other over the fence and playing badminton with the fence as the net and things like that. These were fun but they only happened if he didn't have his friends over 😉

He then moved away and I was back to it being just me and my bouncy ball. By this point the light had stopped working but it still tinkled.

At some point I began catching it most of the time - this was initially done with both hands as I didn't really have the concept of left and right and didn't get that until I started playing guitar during my A'levels and then I would have to pretend to play the guitar to work it out!

But I began to catch it a 100 times with one hand then 100 times with the other. I then added in things like throwing it up and catching it and bouncing it off of the wall. Things continued to improve until I was pushing myself to catch it one hundred times in a row without dropping it at all, in all the different combinations - even roping my brother in to play catch with!

Of course there were a few blips with this and I didn't do it every day - just most - depending on how much time I spent playing with the kids in the street. My next door neighbour Micheal showed me how to rid my bike - I was 10 by this point and it took a lot of him holding the bike for me. The issue I had was the same with the balancing on the beams - I got like vertigo :/ Sort of a dizzy spell. But the more I did things the easy it got.

A big blip in it was when I accidentaly miss judged a football, treading on it and twisting my knee by treading on the damn thing instead of kicking it :/ This wouldn't have been too bad but I was on a cinder path at the time - all those little sharp fragments of burnt wood and coal ground into my knee and it was a trip to casualty. Fortunately we were in Wales and I got seen really quickly.

This was my first stint on crutches. (The second occuring not that long afterwards when I fell over the wheel of my own bike gashing open my knee on the wheel nut and chipping the knee cap! Told you I was clumsy).

The improvements I made where staggering especially when I think of the struggle I was having with reading and writing at the time as well which I was working equally as hard on. I had also had the hearing problems which had resulted in my speech needing work.

But even though I could now catch a ball I was still a little erratic at it and then the hardest thing - Secondary / senior school - no glasses allowed during PE. Now it didn't matter how much work I had done - I couldn't see the balls :/

PE was still a nightmare and then they gave the bullies large wooden sticks to chase you with - this was known as Hockey. PE became a moot point as I ended up on crutches and then on a walking aid for a year (yes again I know!). This was another football related injury 😉 I was given a pair of little patent leather shoes with little heels on them - the sort of thing people buy just-pre-teens as they are becoming all feminine and growing up :/ I'd never worn heels so it didn't occur to me that playing football on a parque floor that had just been polished was a bad idea. (this incidentally was the same ankle I killed later on during school and then again at University - this time however - I had seriously mullered the achillies tendon 🙁 )

The injury wouldn't have been so bad if the PE teacher hadn't decided to make me run cross country on my first day back with out crutches :/ That's right five minutes in me and a tree root had an altercation and the ankle that was still under going treatment was wrenched and racked all over again :/

Anyway the injuries are only semi-relevent due to hypermobility possible being related to Dyspraxia.

The things that really helped with my co-ordination during secondary education was the fact that in year nine (so aged 13-14) the school gave us a list of activities to choose from at Stubbers Outdoors center. Horse Riding did not appeal and as my swimming still was... erm.... "lets panic if we're out of our depth and not wearing a life jacket", sailing and rafting where out. This left archery and climbing.

Initially climbing - I spent most of the time clinging to the wall- vertigo, feeling like I was falling, getting dizzy was there again. But climbing I found I could do, it was that much different from scrambling across welsh mountains and as long as I didn't look down it was fine. So after the first week I started to find I could get to the top of the wall - then however vertigo set in when absailing was to happen.

But then I was asked if I liked roller coasters - the answer to which was yes! 'Pretend that's what this is, your safe on the line.' So that's what I did - the vertigo thing also affects me in cars but I used to just think of that as a roller coaster!

And then... the I found falling off was mostly fun (as long as you didn't crash into the wall at right angles to you with all the jabby hand holds on it.) And then I loved abseiling and then I found that the floppy twistiness of me made climbing easier! I had found a sport that I could not only do but that I was good at!

And then archery - it turned out I was allowed to wear my glasses! I started to actually win things which was a shock - it was around this time me and my friends started going on lots of camps and things. We did lots of climbing and archery and it even got me into canoes and kayaks and making rafts. Of course then due to guiding stuff I ended up working at Thriftwood Campsite where I ended up instructing the climbing! and archery!

I believe the climbing and really helped with my co-ordination and balance but that wasn't the end of it. When I got to University I found something else that helped - took me another leap forward and that was Wu-Shu Kungfu (I don't have a clue how you spell it but it basically a Chinese mish-mash martial art). I didn't actually do it for very long - just over a year what with crutches, back problems coming to the fore and stomach problems. But it did help drastically. It was a combination of Wu-Shu, physio, yoga, pilates and Chi-Gong (which I took up when Wu-Shu was obviously a no go anymore) that got me walking again after I had Jean.

I just feel that mostly the dyspraxia doesn't affect me that much - other than being a scatterbrain and getting lost still 😉 But it was a long road - I have included here the things I think helped me the most - in the hope that they may help others.

WordPress Themes

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales