Saturday, 3 October 2009

Coming Up Trumps

After recent shocking events it would be nice to have a bit of good news - and finally we have some and its all to do with the boys!

Liam applied for promotion and had an agonising wait for a week, but he got it. This is a massive confidence boost for him, especially after that awful business with his ex-girlfriend Rhino. His current girlfriend Abbi, is still on the scene and they seem to be getting on OK. She is really a nice girl. (Hurrah!).

Olly has surpassed all expectations and has even left me a bit gob-smacked.

He started at his new school (secondary) last month and has come on leaps and bounds.

I started driving Olly to and from school everyday, through despicable traffic, which just made my hair stand on end, it was that stressful.

After a couple of days he got fed up with this. He wanted to go by bus. There is a school bus that picks him up around the corner and drops him back after school. No general public use it and it is just for use by the kids that go to neighbouring schools.

However, Olly having Autism, Aspergers Syndrome, means that catching buses and fiddling around with bus passes and timetables and all those little, everyday things that we take for granted is quite difficult for him to negotiate. He has lots of social and behaviour problems, so the worry for me is about the other kids on the bus. Is it busy? Does he know anyone? Will he get into a fight and punch someones lights out?

(In parent meetings with the ASC Support group I have found it common for most kids like Olly, with some form of 'invisible' disability, to be bullied. But Olly just punches them and they leave him alone. Not ideal, I know, but it does stop the bullying in its tracks).

After chauffeuring him to and from school a few times, he started to get really agitated and kept asking continually to take the bus. After a few days I got really fed up with his badgering, so, once I had armed him with a mobile phone, I walked him to the bus stop one morning. As soon as the other kids started arriving he told me to 'Get lost'. (Charming! This is his way of saying goodbye and is not meant to be interpreted as offensive).

I hid around the corner and just made sure he got on the bus, which he did. I then spent the whole day worrying whether he had made it to school or not, then worrying if he would make it home again! It was agonising. (I know, I know, I'm a worry-wort). But, I reasoned that, at some stage in your child's life, you have to let go of the reigns and, regardless or not whether they have a disability, they do have to grow up and take responsibility. So this was a learning curve for me.

Later that afternoon, he came bounding through the back door like a huge excitable puppy, really pleased that he had made it to school and back on his own.

This is a major achievement as it now proves that he has advanced another step towards independence. I'm well chuffed!

A few weeks ago, the kids decided they wanted to attend an audition for Peter Pan, the Christmas pantomime, that is being held at our local theatre in December.

We attended the audition, but I did tell the kids that they probably wouldn't get a part, but it would be good experience for them. On that understanding, (which I think is very important in this particular industry), they were still happy to attend, so we went.

100 boys auditioned for 12 places and 300 girls auditioned for 10 places! It was like a mini X-factor with queues all the way down the street!

After hours of hanging around and seeing plenty of little kids in tears, I found Amber first. She didn't get a part, but she seemed OK with that. We had to wait for what seemed like an eternity for Olly to come out.

Eventually, he emerged. He'd got a part of a Lost Boy. It is his first professional role and he gets paid as well!

There is a long way to go before Christmas and there are lots of rehearsals to go through and lots of shows to do. They have five boys in reserve, just in case things do not go as planned. As we know, life is unpredictable!

But for the moment, I am so proud of my boys and especially Olly, who despite all odds keeps Coming Up Trumps.



  1. It is all these steps in life that are so exciting! Congratulations... mega ones. x

  2. Oh darling I'm so happy for you. Things seem to be moving in the right direction xxx

  3. I thought I heard the angels singing today-- They were for you and your boys! I totally understand what you're going through with Olly. YEAH for him and you!!!!!! And congrats to Liam on his promotion.

    I'm so happy for you all.

  4. That's great news about Olly. A step further towards independence and a paid part in a show. Wow!

  5. well done olly!!! i'm glad he is doing well at school, and well done to liam (job and nice girlfriend) You know it's all down to you and your wonderful mummy skills :) xxxx

  6. Hey, that's awesome news about both boys, but particularly for Olly, eh? Congrats, Mum! I'm sure the Christmas play will be the biggest event of the year in your world. :)

  7. Fab!!!! It's leaps and bounds all the way!! It sounds like Olly is really finding his feet. The Xmas play too! My kids would LOVE that! Would appreciate it if you could point me in the direction of any autism learning resources, looking for a few ideas for a child in my class. Thanks for the supportive comments on my blog. Stressful times at the mo, it's not so negative, I like my job but the planning and prep time is a bit out of hand!!! However, you can't teach half heartedly because the kids deserve more ( I guess I just wish I could do it 2 days instead of 4 so my kids aren't left with a part time mum :-( sorry to go on, you're very easy to talk to!

  8. Well done Olly! I travel home on the school bus every day with my 6 year old. At the moment she is too young to travel on her own, but that day will definately come. They are really quite noisy but she loves the atmosphere. Olly has done really well.

  9. This is such a positive post, especially for mum's with special needs kids. There is hope. Your lovely Olly has just proved it.

    CJ xx

  10. Hello Ladies!

    LWM - They are very exciting and I never thought Olly would do this. Thank you xx

    MT - yes, at long last! Three steps back and one forward - we're getting there. Hurrah! xx

    JJ - Ah! What a lovely thing to say - you are little star! xx

    Rosiero - Olly's been nagging me for ages about getting a job (!) He is an odd kid sometimes - but hopefully, if it all works out, he'll have one. I think he was more pleased about getting paid, than performing! xx

    Oh Amy - what a fab thing to say. I dont think the schools recognise my parenting skills! I'm always being dragged to the office for one thing or another - just like when I was in school actually. I guess some things never change!! XX

    FL - Ah thanks so much. He has been in so many plays before, so he is pleased this one is paid! That kid has no fear - good for being on stage, I guess! xx

    RR - ah, many thanks xx

    Katherine - I know where you are coming from. It is very difficult to be a mum and work - both have so much responsibility - but I guess we're just superwomen, each and everyone of us. Men will just have to accept it! xx

    Rosiescribble - thank you. I wondered what it was like on the bus - Olly wont let anywhere near it. I never thought he would get the bus, but so far he's doing ok. Your six year old should be fine when she starts taking it on her own, because she is already doing it. xx

    Hey CJ! Oh, thank you. To me, kids with special needs have a 'light'. It doesnt shine that often, but when it does its absolutely dazzling and a marvel to watch. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that Olly would take the bus on his own, let alone land a role in a big theatre production. Gob-smacked! They truly are inspirational. xx

    Many thanks for all your comments. Its always fab to hear from you.

    Much love RMxx



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