Playgroup Insight

If I lived in Sydney this playgroup is where I would be every Thursday. Not only does this playgroup provide a culturally safe space for our future but it is a space that our kids will be able to interact in and learn our culture through the various resources. The I Am, Movement is providing a custom artwork for this space- which will fit perfectly in the room.

CHECK IT OUT- Welcome to Biddy’s Joy Playgroup a Free Aboriginal facilitated playgroup Session with Morning Tea Provided.  For children between the age of 0-6years at 18 George Street, Redfern.

Make sure you let the Sisters know if you want to attend.

Who else is a “Teacher” Mumma?

Sounds abit strange this topic hey? Are you a Mother or Teacher? Obviously both but I feel the urge to express how difficult it is for us ASD Mums and Dads. (This is my story and opinions only)*

I have been so caught up in being Slades “‘Teacher” of  talking, listening, feeding, time schedule… pretty much everything I forget that I am his Mum. By no means is that meant to mean that I don’t love and nurture him, its just I get so caught up trying to get him to talk or listen.

Why do I feel this way? I put way too much pressure on myself that’s for sure and as first time Mummas we all feel it. The pressure to do motherhood a certain way. To follow what is right? FACT IS, there is no right way. Every home life circumstance is totally different and we all do motherhood to suit what is right for us. The right way is a load of bullshit anyway- There was certainly no right way to my motherhood journey but this is what it is and I’m damn proud of that. I had a recent conversation with a long time family friend and she said ” Tanika you are still his mum, give your self a break. Your doing an amazing job doing the best you can. Try let the therapist be the Teachers and you be the Mum- otherwise you’ll make yourself go mad”.. LOL I already am half way to being mad but I truly took that conversation in and thought about it. Certainly playing both roles is the ultimate job of being a Mum but when you have any child with additional needs pressure becomes so much higher and so does societies view on the competency of being a “good mum”.

Between my days at work and my days at home we do so many activities to enhance Slades learning and help him to communicate better towards his family and also to cope better in wider community. This has made life so much easier with a Visual Board system in place- which 110% has improved his everyday tantrums, moods and learning ability. The functionally to go places now is so much more clear to him and he is fully aware of what is it. The visual board has not only helped him but its made my life all that more easier when we are forward planning to go somewhere new or seeing new people. These visuals have been around for soo long and I applaud families who do this very intensely. But for us.. this works with simple picture frames. (See picture below)

I am forever grateful for the ongoing support of our local Therapy Team, his daycare Educators who continue to implement the same strategies for him and the support of my family. You guys are unbelievable.

I hope my fellow ASD Mums and Dads are with me on this blog.

The I Am, Movement & Indigenous Medical Supplies Partnership

Indigenous Medical Supplies is a 100% Indigenous owned, commercial medical supply company, directly supplying products & services to the hospital aged care market in Australia.

As the companies Director, Mervyn aims to invest a portion of profits towards health literacy programs and other programs that can reduce the burden of diabetes in regional & rural communities across the country.

In addition, Merv hopes to inspire other Indigenous professionals to join IMS & assist him in building a successful Aboriginal owned & operated medical supply business.

Mervyn believes that more needs to be done in preventing premature death and disease as a result of diabetes. In 2012, Mervyn lost his father at the age of 50 to heart disease and as a result found himself committed to helping others.

Mervyn’s vision through IMS is to see health in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men, women and children reach a level that allows them to prosper through a healthy, happy and long life.

The partnership between IMS & TIM in the initial stages is to provide business mentoring, marketing & other resources & support to accelerate TIM as a business.

And this is life as we know it

My name is Tanika, a 26 year old mum of one amazing boy, Slade. I am a proud Worimi Woman from Forster NSW, where we now live. I have been away from country now for 10 years and its been so amazing to finally be back with my loved ones.

In October 2018, our than 2nd a half year old Son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder off the back of a 6 month formal assessment and appointments. These appointments included GP visits, informal Therapy assessments, Pediatrician appointments and a few hospital appointments in between. As a parent I just knew that our boy showed very “different” signs within interacts, social inclusiveness- or in Slades case not much at all, delays in communication, sensory processing & displayed a huge amount of fussy habits when he ate. I am in no means a medical professional but when your mum instinct kicks in, I mean you just know right?

It wasn’t until a “Formal” diagnosis that things really hit home. I knew it was coming and I just sat and cried- I cried because I didn’t know what was next.. Where to from now? What will our future look like? How will we cope? How will Slade cope?  The list goes on… We weren’t dying but our whole world as we knew it with our first born seemed like we failed him in someway. We know now this isn’t the case but it certainly felt like that.

 

At the time of his diagnoses we were living in Dubbo, NSW- far away from family and friends to call upon in times of need. We never relied on our family because we were away from them for a long time but we now feel that because we are home we have time to focus on life as we know it. We don’t actually have a typical day in the life of Slade… we wake up and see what type of day it is for him..

Wake up- get dressed- have breakfast- get outdoor- come home for sensory play or indoor play- more outdoor play and then inside from about 4:30pm onwards. Most days he will sleep but this isn’t the case everyday. We stay to this type of structure so he knows and he is definitely familiar with it.

Slade has many quirky behaviors that our close family and friends are now very aware of. Logos, car badges, coffee pods & footballs are just to name a few. We continue therapy with him 1-2 days a week depending on what appointments are available each month but we have seen a huge improvement in both his social interaction and communication skills.

Most of you are probably asking why would they share so much of their life right? The truth is we want people to be aware and understand that for many families that are living with Autism work solely around the child effected. We based every decision around our sons needs, possible social side- effects of what “if” we do this today… how will Slade react, we cancel plans suddenly if Slade is coping with leaving the house and sometimes we just don’t make plans.

And this is life as we know it…