Second thoughts about school

Sophia has really been struggling this year with school. It really is amazing what a difference a teacher can make.

Last year her teacher was the first to actually take her Autism seriously, as he has relatives who are Autistic as well. Most teachers so far, just expect her to fit in and don’t check in with her to see how she is doing. She thrived last year.

She is bored at school. She has learned a lot of what they are just starting to learn in her class so she gets bored and then disconnects. She also has to take Woodworking every Wednesday which she hates and is extremely afraid she will cut off her finger.

Combine her fear with her sensitive hearing, and the fact that her anxiety about the class kicks in as soon as she wakes up, and her nervous system gets overwhelmed before she even goes there. She even spends some Tuesday nights awake, unable to sleep due to stressing about the next day.

She has been home a lot this year, for a few reasons. There have been some really terrible viruses going around this year and we seem to get every one!

She has been struggling with her menses as she has a heavy flow and there is no allowances made with regard to PE while she is dealing with that, and any woman who has worn pads can tell you, running or playing sports while bleeding heavy makes a real mess and you get worse cramping.

They worship sports and physical activity here and I just don’t get it. It seems like there is a running or biking competition every couple weeks and of course it is mandatory that you participate.

This angers me, because it strips our children’s right to consent about what happens with their bodies. This is a huge issue and not only for girl’s but also, the boys. They see and perpetuate that you can force people to do what they don’t want to do just by pressuring them and telling them they have to. Also, it takes away the child’s ability to be sensitive to what their bodies are telling them. It interferes with their Autonomy and individuality, which is sadly, what schools were originally designed to do. This all needs to change.

Another issue for her, is that she keeps getting sick, some off it is anxiety, which has always manifested as stomach issues for her.  Also, she is environmentally sensitive, so she feels seismic, barometric and electromagnetic variances, so any changes in those areas and she is affected physically and emotionally. She gets that from me, I have the same thing. This has been steadily increasing the past couple years.

Her psychic and empathic abilities are also harder to ignore at this age, so she feels other people and knows things about them. It can be confusing when someone’s words don’t match the energy they are sending out. This is such a tricky age with Extra-Sensory development (now called Sensory Processing Disorder.)

She has had some of her tics coming back which indicates stress. Her appetite has been all over the place and so have her moods. The rage that comes form her is quite overwhelming at times, and I know she needs help channeling that again.

I work with her of course, but catching it in the moment is crucial to helping her recognise the subtle changes before they get to that point.

This illness, anxiety and stress… is all from school. I am seriously considering taking her out and homeschooling her again.

I know she will have great opportunities for learning, and make friends within the homeschooling community. They have an amazing Network here locally and do some really great activities.

Her class is taking a trip to Wellington next week and she can’t go. Brent asked to be one of the parents, but he wasn’t chosen, so she won’t go. I know this is the best decision for her, but it still sucks that she missed out on the opportunity.

We sat down with her and explained the trip and what they would be doing. Just the thought of it made her anxious so we decided as a family we would keep her home due to health reasons.

I can’t have her so far away in that environment without one of us there if she needs help. If she had a full blown meltdown, they wouldn’t know how to handle her. Also, her classmates may not treat her the same once they witnessed a full meltdown and we can’t allow that to happen.

We will take her on a trip down there as a family and see some if the places she missed. She has been to some of it already, when we took our family holiday last year. Thanks to IHC and their Take A Trip Getaway package they so generously awarded us. You can read more about Day 1 here and day 2 here.

Brent and I will talk with her again and go over what her options are. If she is going to keep missing school, I would prefer that she is homeschooled. Right now, she is in a state of confusion and the anxiety and stress are affecting her physically and that is not good.

At least if she homeschooled, I know she is still meeting (and exceeding) her education requirements and can join in their activities and make some friends within the group. She gets along with everyone at school, but yet has no one she is really connecting with.

We will see what happens, but for now, she is in bed, and will stay home again with a slight fever. She has a head cold and a sore throat. She has also been very angry, sleepy and withdrawn for the past few days and her tics have increased. I know she wouldn’t be ok in her classroom in this shape.

We are having a lot of seismic unrest, and that always affects her, and myself. I think we will have a good quake soon to release some of the pressure. Hopefully it will be out to sea and not affect anyone directly, but I also know that God always has a plan.

Now to make a plan with my girl and see how she feels about trying to homeschool again, or even do Te Kura (homeschooling with a Teacher that visits once per week).

Finnic for Ace

Art by 8yellowcats for +Ace (The Parademic)

On a lighter note, you can check out some of her latest works of art here, and some of her older work. This is how she copes, doing art. She is really pushing her boundaries and trying new things and I love watching her artwork blossom. She is so talented and I would love to get her into some art classes. Maybe we can take them together. 😀

This post was read and approved by Sophia. 😉 Thanks for stopping by and have a great day. Feel free to leave a comment.

 

 

 

Sick days, Art and Reading

Sophia is home sick today, she was home yesterday as well.

She seems to have caught a bug. She has gone through 2 boxes of tissue in the past two days and developed a slight fever last night so we decided to keep her home again.

Yesterday after breakfast, she finished up her OC Good Shadow, a Kivat (an original character which is a mix of a cat and a bat.) and posted it on her 8yellowcats Google+ page.

Good Shadow Kivat

Good Shadow Kivat

After lunch she  came along and did the mosaic tree class with me, but got frustrated and tired after about 30 minutes, so we left it for later.

Her perfectionist was in overdrive yesterday and she spent a lot of time cutting, then re-cutting the paper to fit just perfectly.

It will look great when finished. I will finish mine when she does hers, as I too, was getting tired and had not thought to bring my glasses.

I tucked her into a corner with her own table and supplies, away from the other kids near a trash can for her used tissues just in case she was contagious. None of us have it so that is good.

I took her to the park on the way home to get some fresh air. After 15 minutes she was wiped out which worked well as it started pouring down rain not long after we left.

park 6 sept 2017

She has not been eating as much, and is very cuddly and just wants to read and watch movies and do digital art which is fine.

In the past two days, while doing her art, she has read two Warriors cats books and is reading the third one.

The first was ‘The Sight’ –  Warriors: The Power of Three Series, Book 1, which has 417 pages.

510UrbRXRUL._AC_UL320_SR216,320_

Next, she read ‘Dark River’ –  Warriors: The Power of Three Series, Book 2, which has 368 pages.

51pdQZ9FonL._SX334_BO1,204,203,200_

There are 352 Pages in ‘The Apprentice’s Quest’ –  Warriors: A Vision of Shadows Series, Book 1, which she is currently reading.

VOS-1 The Apprentice's Quest

I can’t believe how fast this kid can read! Last week she read four of these Warrior books all averaging 300-500 pages.

The Warrior Cats books have been amazing for her. They have taught her so much about community, friendships, hierarchies within the clans, betrayal and lying, spirituality and even herbology (Which I have actually checked, and it is fairly accurate.)

The best part is that she loves to reread them. Eventually we will own all of them. We have several now, but one day we plan to get all the boxed sets for her. I will likely read them too as she has asked me to.

Later in the afternoon, she finished her second entry of Queequeg for KoalaAJ’s art contest. It turned out cute.

Queequeg 2

Queequeg 2

This morning after her shower, she wanted to finish an art request she had promised to her friend Kola AJ and posted it on her Google+.

Custom Turkish Angora for Koala AJ

Turkish Angora for Kola AJ

Our little artist is now happily reading in her room with her water, colloidal silver, tissue box and trash can nearby.

I will do some more baking, then some reading while finishing the laundry and maybe if she is up to it we can do some artwork, a craft or finish our trees this afternoon.

Hopefully she is well enough tomorrow to head back to school as she has really been enjoying it.

 

 

Trialing School Day 1

Sophia is off to school today for a 20 day trial with the expectation to have her enrolled if all goes well.

This was her idea, she has been talking about it for a month, but last week she said she was ready for me to make an appointment so we did.

This past week we have been meeting with the new (to us) Principal and the Teacher of her school to set it all up.

She got the news on Friday that she would be going back, so she had time to process over the weekend. She was very excited that she was going to start today.

She has been practicing getting up with her alarm for the past couple weeks, and getting herself ready so that she would be all good to go this morning.

She showered last night so she would have less to this morning. She got up on her own to her alarm, got dressed, ate breakfast and did her hygiene routine before getting her bag ready and helping me pack her lunch.

Her Teacher is the same one who taught our son Max in year 6. He also worked with Sophia when she was there before so she is also familiar with him. He has also known Brent since they were in school together.

He is a lovely man who has extensive first hand ASD knowledge as a co-carer for his adult autistic brother-in-law.

This Teacher and the new Principal are why we decided to trial her this year when Sophia asked if she could go back to school. She knows she is ready and we are pretty confident that she is right.

We had excellent meetings and discussed her diagnosis and all of her possible triggers and preferences. I went prepared with a printout and he was happy to have it. Here is the link Diagnosis and Triggers for Teacher. We also discussed her strengths and methods for success.

He said most of the triggers and allowances are similar to those of his Brother-in-law so it was easy for him. What surprised and delighted me, is that he even knows the intuitive nature of the sensory issues with regard to feeling others emotions.

He also knows how sensitive the girls are at menses and said staying home is not an issue and of he knows when it is, he knows to be more sensitive with the girls.

We are really looking forward to seeing how well she transitions back into school. She has grown so much in the past couple of years, especially with regard to her self-confidence and knowing who she is.

I took this photo this morning of her first ‘school’ day of year 6.

WP_20170828_001.jpg

“I am nervcited Mom”

We went in early, and it was nice seeing the teacher and some of her old friends waiting for her when she arrived.

He assigned her a desk next to her BFF when she was there last, so she was even more excited. When I left, another of her old friends was showing her around and she was settling in.

She knows her ‘safe space’ and that she is allowed to go there when she gets overwhelmed. She also knows the school well and the staff and that she can ring me.

I am sure she will have a fabulous day and I am very happy for her. We are confident she will breeze past her 20 day trial and want to continue.

I will write more after school, now I am going to bake a cake for the family as they are all awesome and deserve to be spoiled.

 

 

 

Menarche or First Moon

Today my sweet little 10 year old started her period!

I am still in shock, but knew it was coming. She is so young still. I asked her if I should write in the blog about her Menarche, or post it to Facebook, and she said, “Of course mum, do both, it is exciting! I am glad I got it.”

We have had a great outlook on periods in our house. I never complain about getting it and I am happy each time. When I get cramps, I can feel them coming and usually can take my medication before they get too bad. Some days I miss that window and I have to lay down as I get really ill, but I never complain just state what is happening.

She has seen how the process goes through me, we are all very open about it as it is a natural body process. This was all modelling as I wanted her to be excited about getting it as it really is a miracle how our bodies work. I pray she does not get the pain, cold sweats, nausea and sickness like I use to as a teen. My early period days were horrible. Endometriosis is common in my family.

We have had some great conversations about menstruation and the body so it is no wonder that she was looking forward to getting her first moon. I am due tomorrow, so we are in sync as well, which does help.

Brent is amazingly supportive, and always buys my menstrual products and never makes a fuss. He even brings a big block of dark chocolate whenever I ask him to buy them. He also spoils me rotten and sometimes he brings me Baileys ice cream too. I am sure he will spoil Soph as well.

Sophia’s moods lately have been all over the show, but the past two days, she has been super sweet and cuddly and having food cravings like pancakes, so I made them for breakfast. She was stoked when she woke up because of the smell of them cooking.

InstagramCapture_dfa4c8dc-e334-44ef-9813-75abd6d12e3c

I had spoken to her Aunties and cousin in the states, about getting her gifts and a card for her first moon celebration and they mailed them this week, so that is perfect timing. I have told her Nana here in NZ as well, so she will be at the party.

I had a very old Capricorn necklace that was her great grandmother’s that I have been keeping for her for this day, so I gave that to her today, rather than waiting for the party. I know she won’t wear it, she does not like anything around her neck but she tried it on and has put it in her special box for keepsakes. I wanted her to have something today from her Ancestors.

WP_20170817_010

Brent will take her to lunch this weekend and get her something special, a bracelet or something from him. This is a tradition in my family. My Papa took me to buy a dress when I started, and my step-dad and mother took me for pizza and dancing to the jukebox to celebrate. Both are lovely memories that I cherish.

We will wrap all the gifts when they arrive as well as ours and get or bake a cake, and she wants pizza, so that is very cool. It will just be a small gathering for family.

I will also have a ceremony for her in our Red & Magenta Tent to celebrate her Menarche and welcome her to the Women’s circle.

I will also be letting her join me in the Womb Blessing ceremonies and give her this card. She has been wanting to do them with me for over a year.

First Womb Blessing 2

We have been preparing for a while for this day as I started mine at age 11, and her aunties and cousins were all about a similar age or younger, so we knew it could come at a young age for her as well.

She rang daddy and told him and he congratulated her and teased her a bit. Then she told Max when he got home and he ran in his room, then came back out and congratulated her. He had brought her home a slice of apple crumble from cooking class he had made so that was a nice synchronicity. She loved their reactions and giggled at their antics.

Brent will bring home a box of chocolates for her. We already had her products and I have showed her what to do. He is also bring a booklet by Miranda Gray called Let’s Go Menstrual which is a great resource for her. You can get it here by signing up for her newsletter.

Let's Go Menstrual

I have also added Period Tracker App to her phone and will show her how to use it after it is finished charging up. This is a valuable tool in tracking your cycles, symptoms and moods. The logo is a pink flower if you decide to get it. I use it and it is very accurate for me.

So here we are in the next phase of her development already.

She sure is growing up quickly but she will always be my baby.

 

 

 

Save

Day one of our Adventure weekend

We all got up early, had breakfast and jumped in the car for our fabulous adventure weekend.

We left the house at 9:30 and knew it would be a long drive, but wanted to take our time and enjoy the sights along the way.

Our first official stop was in Taihape at 11:15 to see the giant gumboot.

WP_20170810_11_18_38_ProWP_20170810_004

This was pretty epic, but way to cold for a longer visit than eating our picnic lunch.

We carried on to Desert Road / State Hwy 1. At about 11:55, we had a great view of Mt Ruapehu.

WP_20170810_011

We then headed on to Turangi and stopped at 1:15 for a treat and to let the kids play a quick game of connect four at the Cadillac Cafe.

I had something new and different; it was called a Cruffin and was like a croissant but made in a muffin tin with filling. I had the chai tea one, and it was delicious!

Next we stopped off at 3:30 in Putaruru at the Over The Moon Artesan Cheese Deli. We had been told to check this store out on our trip, so we did. It is a lovely little shop with some great choices. I got some smoked Gouda and the kids grabbed some light snacks.

wp_20170810_017.jpg

Then we headed on towards Tirau to see the corrugated steel dog shed and other amazing works of art. Arriving at 3:55 we were pleasantly surprised that there are also sheep buildings! We spotted a few corrugated works, but didn’t remember to take pictures, they were a pukeko and poppies on some businesses, a good shepherd at the church and a bus full of animals on the school fence. This is pretty epic craftsmanship.

We then headed straight into Matamata and checked in to our hotel at 4:30. It was a nice place, old but clean. Pretty cool layout too.

By this time we were all pretty tired and the kids did some catching up on computers before we headed to look for a place for dinner.

A couple goes around town and we couldn’t decide on what to eat, so we just went to Subway. We don’t eat there very often and the kids love it so it was perfect.

When we got back to the room, Max and Sophia played on my computer a bit more, then Soph read before bed.

Brent and I watched Hitman. It was super cheeserrific and we turned in when it was over.

Even Lamby was tired from our long journey.

WP_20170810_19_17_02_Pro

Day one was amazing and we are all ready for sleep and tomorrow we to go to Hobbiton!! I may burst, I am so excited.

Chaotic but we love it

I know I have been slacking on writing here, but we are having so much fun. I will do some backdated posts to try and catch up.

We have been doing more things away from home, my client load has increased since my last event and I am back doing my advocacy work so we are just very busy.

We have started up our Red Tent & Magenta Tents again. This is an all day event once per month. I co-facilitate with my friend’s Joleen and Cheryl for the Women’s Circle. Sophia is the Facilitator for the Girls Circle which she really enjoys. It is amazing how she has blossomed and loves sharing that space and her feelings and thoughts with the other girls.

Sophia helped me design our logo, I absolutely love it.

Logo 3.jpgWP_20170624_009

I am also a co-facilitator for the Women’s Wisdom Circle, along with Cheryl and Emma one Sunday evening per month. This one is just for the adults and is much more personal and I just love holding space for these amazing women.

Women's Wisdom CircleWP_20170709_004

I have started Bellydance classes once per week, with my friend and fellow homeschool/spectrum mom Joleen. Our kids spend an hour with Aunty Jacinta together while we do our class. Joleen and I even bought our own hip scarves. I am also doing my workout video by Dolphina again, which I love. It has been too long. Sophia is not keen yet, but I think she will join me eventually as I keep at it.

I also am doing an early evening class called “Money Love Circle”, it is every two weeks to help work through any issues around money that stem from my past. This is taught by Joleen as well, so we go early so that Sophia can play with Joleen’s son until Daddy picks her up. They love having their time together.

We are also doing the planning for a family trip getaway that we were awarded  as carers, through the IHC Take a Break programme. I am dumbfounded by their generosity. I will do a post on that when we go.

WP_20170710_047WP_20170710_049

We also are planning a family vacation that my husband’s work has offered us as appreciation for his hard work. They are so generous and we are so excited about where we are going. I will post about that closer to the time. A hint is, it is where small people with very big feet live.

hobbiton-movie-set-tour-new-zealand-11

We are hosting a Movie Screening and Fundraiser of “Things We Don’t Talk About: Stories from the Red Tent” in August so have been getting ready for that as well.

Movie

Planning for our annual One billion Rising event in February 2018 is also in full swing and we have an amazing committee this year. Joleen Scott, Author and Group Facilitator, myself, Carla Donson, Manager of Women’s Network Whanganui, and Kelly Scarrow from Mainstreet Wanganui (also The Inked Librarian) and of course Sophia will help coordinate the children’s area. This will be a great event.

Add to this an upswing in clients and we have been very busy. Hence the lack of keeping up this blog.

Sophia has really come out of her shell this year and is so confident  in herself that she is applying to be a toy tester for a store chain here in New Zealand. She will be doing her application this week along with an ‘unboxing video’ as her entry. This will be a year long commitment and she is really excited to give it a go. She has a really good chance of winning, of course having almost 500 subscribers is an added bonus.

We are planning on trialing school next term to see how she does and if it works out, then she will return full time. This is her choice and what she wants to do, I fully support her decision as she has definitely accomplished what we set out to do when we started home education.

That is a quick update and we will be adding back posts as time allows.

End of Term two

Today we had the End Of Term Skate party for the homeschoolers.

Sophia was really excited to go and try and skate again.

She has not liked it so far, but really wants to keep trying and that is fantastic.

We met our friends Joleen and Tommy there after we finished shopping and had a lovely lunch with Daddy. She had her favourite, sushi and we had Japanese salad bowls.

Sophia started off pretty well and some of the other girls were very helpful and stayed by her while she tried. They are such nice girls, just like their mothers, always so welcoming and helpful.

WP_20170707_013

She went all the way around a couple times by herself before I helped her around as her arms were getting sore from trying to hold the bar.

WP_20170707_014

Tommy wasn’t too keen to skate, or be around all those people. He tried to run out the door, but I was right behind him and grabbed the  door handle just as he reached it.

I squatted down to his level and asked if it was too much. He told me it was too loud and he had to leave. I had the handy dandy PSP in my bag so I told him I had brought it and Lego Batman as it is his favourite game we have.

He agreed to stay and play the game so he could shut it all out. So we walked back over to Joleen who was watching Soph while I retrieved Tommy. I love that we have each other’s backs in this regard and both of our kids trust us.

Sophia only had a couple of spills, the last one hurt her arm, so we stopped and returned the skates.

WP_20170707_016.jpg

She was starting to feel overwhelmed and slight anxiety, but she knew when to stop and how to cope by using her distraction; her game.

When she was finished skating, she sat and visited Tommy and they played their games for the last 10 minutes.

WP_20170707_018

She did pretty well for only her second try skating. She is keen for our friend Emma to help her learn. Emma is a derby skater and was also an artistic skater before that, so she is the one to teach her.

We will have to remember her pads next time too, as she thinks she would feel more comfortable if she has them on and I agree.

Tommy invited us to his house after the skate party, so we couldn’t say no as he asked so sweetly. this is a big deal for him too.

Sophia and I went to the library and returned our latest mountain of library books and got a few new ones. We didn’t want Daddy to miss out so we just grabbed a few, so we can go back tomorrow.

We grabbed a couple Garfield books as we love reading those. We were stoked to find this book as it was on our to read list.

33women

After the library, we went to Joleen’s house for a visit and Tommy’s cousin came by so she also got to visit with her for a bit.

Then we came home and made dinner and after dinner, she watched some Pokemon episodes and read, just as she does every night before bed.

It was a lovely day and we really enjoyed each other’s company. She was very cuddly and talkative today but in a relaxed way.

My little girl is growing into a lovely young woman.

Red Bikkie Day Fundraiser

Sophia signed up for Red Bikkie Day!

It is a fundraiser to help raise money for the Blind Foundation Guide Dogs.

We got a cookie cutter and some information in the mail and set up her fundraising page and did the baking.

We sold cookies shaped and frosted to look like guide dogs for $2.00 each with the help of our friend Emma and the Toyota crew. Thank you Emma!

With all her cookie sales and donations, she has raised $105.00 so far. We will give it until the 12th and may make another batch to sell.

This was another great opportunity to be a part of something bigger.

So far this campaign has raised $53,213, and everyone has until the 14th to bank, so it will be even higher!

 

 

Nana’s Birthday Dinner – take 1

We had a good day, doing our normal Monday things.

I had two clients in the morning which was really great. Both sessions went really well and they were happy.

Sophia did some artwork. She is getting so good and does art almost daily, often two or three pieces. She made these two for a friend today.

Twitch for Koala AJ.pngCustom Hybrolf For Koala AJ.png

We met Joleen and Tommy at the Crystal shop to buy the kids a crystal and pick up my tarot deck they had ordered for me.

On the way in, Sophia noticed this cup in a puddle and started cracking up as it looked like someone had dropped their overfilled drink. She had to take a photo.

WP_20170703_008

I bought two decks, as they had one I really had been after for a while.

WP_20170703_013

I love both of these decks, they are very different but each is well done.  I love the illustrations and the explanations in the Earth Magic deck and the photos and lessons in the Past Life deck.

Sophia bought some yellow calcite. A very fitting choice for her at this time.

Yellow Calcite is often used to enhance one’s will and self-confidence. The sweet, subtle, and vibrant energy of Yellow Calcite can sometimes be felt when placed directly on the Solar Plexus Chakra and can infuse one with a sense of new hope and optimism to face the future.

When we left there, we took Daddy to lunch before heading home. Here is Soph being silly.

WP_20170703_012

Later in the evening, we celebrated Nana’s Birthday and it was great as we got to see the family.

Brent’s Step-sister, husband and kids also came and Devin joined us as well.

We all went out to eat at Caroline’s Boatshed and it was really nice.

 

The girls brought drawing and colouring pages to entertain themselves and shared with Sophia. She drew a really cute wolf and a donut with frosting, and her cousins loved it.

The boys, well, they did what teenage brothers do, and made each other the entertainment.

 

We also got to take turns holding baby Suri, their newest addition, who is five weeks old.

 

Dinner was amazing, very huge portions and the quality was just awesome.

Sophia had the child’s meal cheese burger, Max had the Chicken & Bacon burger, Dad had the Open Face burger and Devin had the Tai Beef Salad. I also had a chicken burger but gave Sophia the bacon.

We all had chocolate sundaes afterwards too, but they were gone before I could take a photo!

Nana opened her gift after dinner. it was a blue metal sunflower garden ornament that the kids picked out.

WP_20170702_001

We got pictures of the grand kids together (and Vicki, their exchange student from Germany.)

WP_20170703_20_10_15_Pro

We got some pictures with Nana as well. Unfortunately they weren’t looking at me.

WP_20170703_20_12_21_Pro.jpg

After tea we dropped Devin off at home and headed back to ours for a nice relaxing evening.

Sophia played with her toys and then read before bed. Max played a game and the went to bed. It was a nice night.

We will have her out on Wednesday as well as it is her real birthday. This was just the family get together. What a fun evening.

 

Two years of homeshooling!

It was exactly two years ago today that I got the call to say we had been approved to homeschool.

It was one of the best days ever and we were so excited.

So much has happened in the past two years and we have had some amazing adventures.

Sophia is back to herself, she is confident, happy and curious for knowledge.

She rarely has anxiety and her art has flourished along with her YouTube channel.

She is doing great with her studies and is happy to do the work as she knows it is work first and computer after.

She has discovered that she loves baking, swimming, reading, making art and videos and going on adventures. She has even discovered she enjoys listening to music!

She has learned how to self-regulate and does so well most of the time, it can be harder when it is sensory related. She has also learned to think of another’s point of view, and to be a good citizen and care about the community.

We are still working on dealing with disappointment and conversation cues, but there has been a huge improvement.

She is talking to people more, especially clerks in stores and she feels pride when she has spoken to them, always ending with “have a nice day.” which she says makes her feel good.

Overall, in the past two years we have achieved all that we have set out to do with her. We wanted to bring her back to knowing herself, and to be in control of herself through the confidence that knowing who she is allows.

She may do a school trial this year for 20 days, she has been talking about it but then decides she doesn’t want to. This is her decision and we will respect what she wants, as long as she is not in danger of receding in all the work we have accomplished.

A huge thank you to all of our friends and family for your support and to our local community of Homeschoolers for always being open, accepting and planning great adventures.

Especially I am grateful to my husband, our sons and Mam Bear for always being so supportive, you make everything so much more fun.

Love from Sophia and I.