Start all over again.

11390106_10203838056424198_7069121018371944982_n
It has been a long time since I last posted, over a year has gone by since I last opened a new document with the intent of writing for this space that I once considered to be “a place where I can be me!”

I don’t know why so much time went by without me blogging. I thought that I might have just lost interest in expressing myself. But if I’m totally honest that’s not possible. I believe I allowed fear to creep in and there were also times I just didn’t want to share anymore. I didn’t want to find the time to do something I once loved because I felt afraid to even try. But in saying that… my blog has been in my thoughts and on my heart each and every day but the confidence to write and truly be me again had dwindled. Not a day has gone by where I haven’t thought about writing, but then I let it slip away. I didn’t push through, I found excuses and I found other things to do instead. Days rolled into weeks, months, a year it just got to the point where I felt so disconnected from blogging, and the whole blogging scene, that I didn’t know where to start.

I still don’t actually know where to start but I know that when I write – I feel connected and grounded, and when I feel this I am able to release, and through releasing I don’t feel alone in my journey and I don’t have a head full of looping thoughts. Writing helps me to be accountable for my plans and dreams, to make happen the creativity I hold inside.

So I’m starting again. I don’t know where Alienhippy is heading, I don’t know what direction to write in anymore. But that’s kind of exciting. One thing I do know is I’m going to just stick to what I know best…and what I know best is how to just keep being me.

So let’s go back to how I started this blog and why I started this blog.

Alienhippy’s Blog, “a place where I can be me!”

If you would like to catch up on our last 12 months of home education, family fun, our day trips and a whole heap of creativity you are welcome to come follow me on instagram.

Today in our home education journey we sat on a hillside and *CAL sketched the landscape while I crocheted and attempted to write a poem. My poetry will come back, I have faith in that.
Love and hugs. Lisa. x

10881682_10203841843198865_3669258058876063159_n
My inspiration this week is to be still and let God dig out my weeds of insecurity, doubt and distraction. Knowing He will plant and nurture gifts of insight, inspiration and discernment.

Advertisements

My daughter loves to draw

Some of *CAL's stories

Some of *CAL’s stories

*CAL has always loved drawing.

As a small child she would make her own story books. She would draw all the pictures and tell me what words she wanted to write. Then we’d sit and write out her stories together. I still have all those little books; they hold such wonderful memories for me.

Art has always been something she loves to do. So learning art doesn’t mean sitting still and being told about it, for *CAL it means doing it. It’s about her living it, feeling it, seeing it, molding it, shaping it, mixing it, finding it, creating it, imagining it.

For me it’s about capturing it and being present in that moment when she calls out…”MOM!!! Do you want to see what I’ve made?”

One thing that my *CAL is able to do more of now (because of home education) is focus on what she enjoys doing. Focus on her talents, her gifts, her special interests. She is enjoying the journey of everyday in this amazing adventure of learning.

While she was attending mainstream school she was unable to tap into this gift. Even in her art lessons she found it hard because of the noise and movement of the other children. Also the demand to produce work that she wasn’t always interested in, or she felt totally uninspired by, didn’t stimulate her joy for art. Meeting targets, ticking boxes and the overwhelming sensory experience she went through daily was actually switching off her love for art and switching off my little girl. However, she does have a few fond memories of her art lessons at school. Art was the only lesson she looked forward to, it’s a shame it was only an hour a week.

I’m not going to blog anymore on this post about the damage done. It’s in the past, it’s behind us now. This post is about the success we are having. You can read my previous post if you need to fill in any of the background.

In our short time of de-schooling, unschooling/autonomous learning *CAL is really flourishing. Her confidence is coming back along with her words, she’s communicating again now. She has a gallery of over fifty 3D compositions. She attends pottery classes and has created amazing sculptures. We have recently found a home education group for structured and unstructured art where she is able to work with a small group of home educated children in a professional art studio.

salad spinnerShe also has a little friend (4 years of age) who she enjoys creating art with on a regular basis. This is a piece of art they did together with poster paint and a salad spinner. I love this painting and have it hanging in my living room.

This week *CAL has started to research, learn and apply her knowledge to computer animation. There is no stopping her, she just loves to learn. My child who just a few months ago told me that reading is boring is now constantly reading because she WANTS to learn.

I’m so excited today because my *CAL has given me permission to share one of her wonderful new drawings. It has taken a while for her to want to share her work and that is totally fine. I understand her need to have her own special place and I will always support her with this and respect her wishes.

This drawing of Amy Rose is a redesign and *CAL created it on her 3DS using colors 3D. To some people my child may look like she is playing on a gamer gadget, but what she can create freehand on that gadget blows my mind. Did I mention that on the 3DS it can actually be seen in three dimensions, she built it up in layers…it really has the WOW factor!

Amy Redesign

Amy Redesign

NOTE: *CAL is only just 13 years old, she is diagnosed with ASD/Dyspraxia/SPD she has fine and gross motor delay. None of this will stop her from achieving her full potential. The diagnoses were needed while she was in mainstream school to try to get her extra support. The confusion of too many people and too much change on a daily basis was causing her sensory overload and constant shutdowns. I’m not at all against the education system in my country; I just understand that the structure and environment of school isn’t always beneficial for everyone, especially a person with sensory processing disorder.

It is time….

Ross MountneyI want to thank all my readers, all who leave me comments or send me emails. I’m sorry that I haven’t been writing much lately. I’ve wanted to. I’ve really, REALLY wanted to. To be honest, I haven’t known where to start. I’ve sat many times with a blank document trying to find the words and then switched off the pc and blocked out what I was feeling.

I made a start today

“I want to encourage you to keep going on your path. You have amazing gifts to reach people with ASD, like me, like the children of those parents in the group you have come to dread. We need people who understand us, and you are one of them. May God reward your faith and perseverance!!!” (Sent to me by a reader)

I made a start by going through the emails that had accumulated for my blog. The words above are from one of those emails and it was those words that helped me to decide that “It is time.”

Time to tell where I’ve been hiding. Time to tell why I’ve been so quiet. Time to tell what’s been going on and why I couldn’t write. Time to tell a bit of our story.

We started homeschooling *CAL

You may remember a post I wrote back in March. It was called, 7 packs of hardwood. It was during this time that I had come to realise I had no choice but to find alternative education for my daughter. I was hoping and praying that she would settle and she would thrive in the mainstream school, as my *AJ had. But her transition to secondary school had not gone well and I could see that it just wasn’t happening. The environment was not kind to her sensory system, it did not suit her at all. In desperation I wrote the following lines in my post.

I am more than Autism, I’m an encyclopaedia of my own Aspie traits. I don’t need lessons on how to parent my Aspie kids, I love them more than life itself. I will always find what is best for them.

What is best for them

*CAL had been at her new secondary school for six months and in that time she had become a selective mute. Just simple decision making had become too much and her shutdowns were constant. Our only reprieve was weekends and even then Sunday afternoons she became so quiet as her anxiety took control. It was agonising to watch as my little girl disappeared into her shutdown Aspergic shell that I know the depths of all too well. Sunday nights she couldn’t sleep and Monday mornings she would wake up limp and unresponsive. By the time we were at the school gates she would be rocking backwards and forwards in the front seat of the car trying to regulate her overload of emotion and fear. I can’t even say that I saw her moods changing; it was like she just switched herself off. At only 12 years of age she stopped smiling, stopped chatting, stopped doing the things she loved and just went through the motions. On her really bad days she couldn’t even do that.

It became my routine to walk her into SEN

Each day I would sit with her and wait for a teaching assistant to walk her to her first lesson. I would collect her after school and by the time the school day had finished *CAL was so drained from the constant over stimulation and rush of lessons, the bombardment to her sensory system (of over a thousand pupils) not to mention the demands on her for tasks, performance, assignments, tests, time management and socialising with no aid and only minimal support. When she got home all she had energy to do was sit staring at repetitive DVD’s or non-stop children’s programs. They say welcome to high functioning autism; I say it was the hardest 8 months of my life watching my daughter being chipped away.

We started home education in May

We saw the difference in a matter of weeks. Within a month of *CAL being de-registered from mainstream schooling her clinical psychologist was happy to discharge her from CAMHS. After two months of homeschooling, Elective Home Education paid us a home visit (optional) but they were happy with the education we are providing and they are happy that *CAL is happy and thriving.

Now I’m not saying this is the answer to all ASD related problems. *CAL still has difficulties with many things. Her sensory processing disorder, Aspie traits and her difficulties from dyspraxia are all still very real. Just that now we can help her find her own way of coping. She gets one to one tutoring and her “curriculum” is set around her interests. She’s not constantly drained and switched off anymore. She’s not just the invisible child in a mass of a thousand. She is the center piece, the hero and the gift of my new full time job that I totally love. She is my focus and I want what is best for her which means I have to do a lot more reading than I used to do.

Home education is our answer

We are constantly researching and finding ways to help our daughter to reach her full potential. And she will reach her full potential because I believe in her, love her unconditionally and accept all her ways. I love her in all her colours, all her moods, all her achievements and all her failures.

Alienhippy’s blog is no-longer just a place where I can be me.

It’s a place where I will share our journey in home education.

Love and hugs. xx 🙂

(If you are considering home education and live in the UK this link is a good place to start)

Educate Otherwise…. education is compulsory school is optional

CAL BKGW

Out for the day on a home ed meet up. Happy and smiling again.