“I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends”

Picture shows a wooden plaque with the words "I get by with the help from my friends" on it

I bought the wooden plaque in the photo when I visited Liverpool a few years ago. The words, of course, come from a Beatles song, but how true is it? Do I really only get by with a little help from my friends? I hate to disagree with the Beatles, but I think that I do far more than just get by thanks to my friends. They really do bring out the best in me, but how?

Continue reading

When You Can’t Remember Your Childhood

If you have read my blog post “Childhood Bereavement – The Club I Didn’t Want To Join”, you’ll know that one effect that my Dad’s death had on me is that I have virtually no childhood memories before the age of 13. If I’m honest the memories for the rest of my childhood are fairly sketchy too! It feels like a shutter has come down on my childhood memories. This can be quite hard to live with, especially when others can seemingly talk quite freely about their childhood.

Continue reading

Left Behind – Children With Additional Needs As We Emerge From The COVID-19 Pandemic

As we start enjoying more freedoms as pandemic restrictions ease, this isn’t going to be true for many disabled children and their families. My good friend Mark shares the findings from a recent report and the action we can take to help these families

The Additional Needs Blogfather

As part of its ongoing research partnership with Pears Foundation, the Disabled Children’s Partnership (DCP) of which I’m a member, surveyed roughly 300 parents in June 2021 in our final survey as part of the series. I had the privilege of being one of those parents. The findings, released today, reveal that whilst the rest of the population has been able to enjoy additional freedoms as pandemic restrictions have eased, disabled children and their families are struggling to heal the pandemic and remain cut off from the rest of society. This blog post shares the report finding and action required to make a difference.

The findings:
· Three quarters (71%) of disabled children have seen their progress managing their conditions reverse or regress due to the pandemic.
· Disabled children, their parents and their siblings remain more isolated than the rest of the population, with 9 in 10 disabled children…

View original post 517 more words

Additional Needs Ministry – My Journey So Far

Have you ever felt led to change what you’re doing as a job, your role in church or something in your family life? These decisions aren’t always easy to make, especially if it’s something that you’ve done for many years. I believe, as a Christian, that if God has asked you to do it, he will be with you on the journey. About ten years ago God started me off on a change of course which would ultimately lead me to being an Inclusion Champion at the church we were at at the time. Here’s the story of those last ten years….

Continue reading

Could It Be A Meltdown?

As a Mum to someone on the autistic spectrum, I have witnessed several meltdowns over the years. To onlookers these often look like temper tantrums. However, anyone who has either experienced a meltdown or supported someone through one, will know that they have nothing to do with having a temper tantrum. With both a meltdown and a temper tantrum there may be crying, shouting, screaming, kicking, biting, hitting, etc. So what is the difference between them? Let’s look at just five areas where they differ.

Continue reading

When The Going Gets Tough…..

Today is the first day of Mental Health Awareness Week. As well as having physical health, we all have mental health too. Some people have good mental health, others have poor mental health and then there are people, like myself, who yo-yo between the two. My mental health is currently pretty good and I pray that it stays like that for the foreseeable future. It hasn’t always been like that though.

Continue reading

Accessible Church – More Than Just Ramps!

Anyone who has spoken to me for more than a few minutes will tell you that I’m pretty passionate about churches being accessible to disabled people and those with additional needs. But why do they need to be? Surely if they turn up each week, that’s enough, isn’t it? Personally, I don’t think it is. They may be turning up, but do they struggle to access the building and, once they’ve finally made it into the building are they able to access what is going on & understand it? Are they able to do more than just hand out the Bibles or make the drinks after the service? Are they talked to as friends or is it more of a case of being ignored? It’s estimated that 90% of disabled people don’t attend church and, to be fair, if I didn’t feel like I was being welcomed, I wouldn’t want to show up either.

Continue reading

Why I don’t celebrate Mother’s Day

Here in the UK, today is Mother’s Day – a fact I only became aware of just a few days ago! However, it will pass almost unnoticed in our house. Now, that isn’t down to my grown up children forgetting about it! Nor is it that I’m anti Mother’s Day – I have celebrated it in the past. However, in recent years I’ve preferred not to celebrate it. This post will hopefully explain why.

Continue reading

Aspergers – Just A Little Bit Autistic?

I was watching BBC Breakfast last week and they showed a report on difficulties getting employment at the moment due to the pandemic. They interviewed one lad who they described as having “ADHD and mild autism”. I have to admit that that description annoyed me…..a lot! Why? Well, you’re either autistic or you’re not! There’s not a mild version of autism, but each autistic person will have a variety of things that they struggle with. I assume that the lad probably has Aspergers, like my son. By saying that he had ‘mild autism’ it says that he doesn’t really have any struggles fitting into a neurotypical (non autistic) world, which I’m sure isn’t the case and that, like Kieran, he’s learnt strategies to cope.

Continue reading

When It’s Time to Get Out Of The Boat

One of my favourite characters in the Bible is Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples. Peter often did and said things before he’d properly thought about what might happen as a result. One of these times was just after Jesus had fed the 5,000 people. Jesus had sent the people away and had told the disciples to head over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee while he went off to pray. The Bible tells us that their boat was a long way from land and being pounded by the waves. The disciples then see a figure walking across the water and assume that it was a ghost. It was, of course, Jesus and he tells them that it’s him and not to be afraid. This is where Peter speaks, I assume without thinking too much. He says: “If it is you, tell me to come out to you on the water!”. When Jesus says “Come!”, I imagine Peter giving one almighty gulp, knowing that he’d have to do it or risk embarrassment in front of his friends. Peter does, of course, do it and, although he starts to sink when his attention is taken away from Jesus, I reckon he still felt pretty chuffed that he took the risk of getting out of the boat. Peter literally stepped out of his comfort zone!

Continue reading