The diaries of a retiree LSW 2021 (plus quick update)

The diaries of a retiree LSW 2021 (plus quick update)

Yesterday I took part in The louise Smalley Walk or as I called it the LSW 2. The Louise Smalley Walk is a 40 mile walk in Whitwell in Derbyshire, it is done in the memory of a little girl called Louise, she died young. They named the walk after her. This year I was both on walking and then I was checkpoint. This year the walk was for Neuro-care and it was different this year. Normally it would either be a round robin where it would start at one place and you’d have 8 checkpoints between the start and the end which would be the same place the Royal Oak in Whitwell. Or they get mini-buses to drop you off in the middle of the peak district or at a location and you use a route description to get you to the finish line again which is the Royal Oak. Yesterday however it was the shape of a flower with one base which was the community centre. So everything was looped back to the community centre. Due to the restrictions we had different start times based on our pace and past timings. Ruth and I were on the 4am start.

The day before we went shopping and got ourselves ready with an early night. The next day we woke up at 2:30am to get ourselves awake. We got our feet blister plastered up and we vaselined up to avoid rubbing. This was the first year we did it and we were living in Whitwell and it was amazing to get up and walk down. It exactly the reason why I moved back to Whitwell. Anyway we got down to the centre and we waited outside and got chatting to every single person in our start group. We were going to sixes and I knew 5 out of the 6 of them so I was excited all round to get started. I started to feel the adrenaline build up which was good and bad because if it went bad I would end up throwing up in a bush fortunately that didn’t happen. We all signed in and we went outside to set off. Before we set off we did the usual 1 minute silence we usually have for Louise Smalley and for absent friends. It felt like a moment in time as if time stood still even though it was a minute and medical teams were still talking, it felt like such a moment.

It was a lovely morning, it wasn’t raining or it wasn’t too sunny. I had been worrying it was going to be the same heat as the Summer Walk in London. So we set off and I knew from the moment we started I knew something wasn’t right. To start of with my legs weren’t moving fast enough, it was like one of those nightmares where you try to run and you can’t run you can only walk. But obviously I wasn’t trying to run. Local people will know Mallet and Chisel hill is a monster of hill, only a mad man would run up it. So, I decided early on I decided I was going to pull out at checkpoint 1. I wasn’t keeping to pace and I was struggling so early on. I blame the fact that I have gained a few pounds over the few lockdowns and I haven’t been training as much. I was walking behind the group and one of the more seasoned walkers Howard walked with me while Ruth went off ahead. We were overtaken by the fast walkers in the group behind. I found this interesting because we mainly see them at the start so to see them walking/running was interesting. We did the first section and then I transferred onto checkpoint support. This walk was different to the Summer Walk (video linked below) I didn’t feel like I had failed because I had got out of bed and got the start line. I would have failed if I had of not even tried to start and 10 miles is a lot considering the lack of practise. I was worried about letting Ruth down but she understood. She continued for the rest of the walk.

After getting changed, a bacon sandwich, a couple of cups of coffee and sitting under a blanket for half an hour I started to do checkpoint stuff. I was doing a lot of cheering and a lot whooping because my legs ached from the mileage I did. I did a little bit of drink making. I mainly chilled though and did some cheering. Ruth walked with Howard and she would get back into the checkpoint and would have water and food before going off again. I am glad that I could support her through the challenge on the checkpoint obviously I wished I was walking but I didn’t want to cause more grief by causing other people to walk slowly with me. Being on checkpoint and not moving much I did a lot of people watching and I found it fascinating. The checkpoint layout this year was four Gazebos with food, drinks and other miscellaneous items with chairs in a circle around the areas for the participants to sit. The idea was to avoid mass gatherings so having the different stations would mean it would even out a lot more. It was interesting seeing all the people come in and do normal walk activities like using talc or having a chat. It was nice to be back to normal or have a sense of normality. It was also nice to be apart of a community again and not have to worry about lockdown madness. The first walkers to finish finished at around 4pm which I thought was interesting. It was a very different year with the one checkpoint. It was hard to tell sometimes if they were finishing the walk or just walking through. I loved the community feeling of it all. Ruth and Howard were the last walkers in and they got in at about 11:30 and they were fantastic.

So, two walks in the space of a month that I retired from, is it time to decide that I should give up with walking. Well absolutely not, I have decided though I am not going to do anymore organized walks this year except the Halloween walk in October but that’s a nice little 10km. Ruth will be doing Chiltern 50 in September and I am going to support either working the checkpoint or as a spectator. I am going to do some walks of my own practising the potential route for next year and due to the fact I want to be a 100% ready to Louise Smalley Walk next year I have decided to do Thames Path Challenge instead of London to Brighton because I want to be fit and ready to do the LSW. I am going to build myself back up again stamina wise and make sure I improve. I am going to get myself back to my pre-pandemic fitness.

To finish off this blog well done to all the finishers, the volunteers and the retirees. Retiring isn’t easy but it has to be done sometimes. Anyway want to see more walking content like and follow. If you have anything to say leave a comment.

Walking updates 2021/2022

Walking updates 2021/2022

Good morning, good evening or whatever time of day it is when you are reading this. To be fair my walking updates are my least read blogs usually so if you have yourself on here well done for making it this far :). In the early days of my blog I was walking a lot and I would review the walks I did. Then due to life events, lockdown, having Covid and the pesky global pandemic I had to hang the walking boots up and the blog became an advice and musical reviewing blog. At the beginning of April I thought the only walk I thought I was doing this year was the Louise Smalley Walk. Now things are easing and the Jurassic coast last weekend making me want to get back into the Ultra’s and with the death of my god father I wanted to raise money for a transplant charity in his memory. I will structure this with what we are planning on doing this year, next year and then a simple round of what that means for the blog and the vlog.

So lets start with the plan this year, next weekend I am doing the summer walk with Ultra challenge that’s a leg stretcher as a 20km walk. Fun fact the code for this walk is LSW and it make me laugh because the walk we are doing at the end of June which is the 40 miler is called the Louise Smalley Walk but most people shorten it to LSW so Ruth and I are doing 2 LSW’s in June. The Louise Smalley walk in aid of Neuro-care. Then after that we are going to do our own walks until September, then in September we are planning on doing the Thames bridge trek which is 25km and at the end of September we are doing Chiltern 50. Then at the end of October we are doing the Halloween walk which we have picked 40km. The 2021 walks are to ease us back into walking properly only one is for charity which is the Louise Smalley Walk. The 2022 walks are going to be charity based which I’ll be launching in January 2022.

The 2022 walks will be self funded, we plan to do the winter walk full marathon 40km to get us stared for the year, the next walk we plan to do is the Easter walk 50km, then London 2 Brighton which will be done differently this time we’ll be walking continuously throughout the night to avoid us seizing up and sleeping in the tents, after that its the Louise Smalley Walk 40 miles, then we will do our own walks in the summer to prepare us for September for the Thames bridges and Chiltern 50. In January 2022 I am going to launch the fundraise page for London to Brighton but like I did for the National Autistic Society in 2018 I will have the page open for all the walks so I’ll post and be like we are practicing for London to Brighton and here is why. Like I said at the beginning of the blog I am looking at doing a transplant charity but I am unsure which one at the moment I am looking at the Oxford Transplant Trust because doing my research into it and it looks like it does a lot of good but I have until December/January to decide so if you have a Transplant Charity that you can recommend post in the comments below. It has to be a transplant charity and it has to be a registered charity.

So over the rest 2021 added together we are doing 199km or 125 miles that is get ourselves trained up for 2022. Over the whole of 2022 we are 329km or 232 miles and that is for charity one charity over the whole year which is going to be an organ transplant in memory of John Reynor. He was such a big part of my life and childhood it made sense to do it in his memory.

Wait what does that mean for the blog, well it means there will be some walking blogs and I will go back to vlogging the walks again but they’ll be longer and have more content. I will also be reviewing the walks on the blog and talking what how the day went and what to expect. This doesn’t mean that this blog will go become a walking blog, I will still do the autistic guide stuff and I’ll still do the musical stuff.

If you want to see more content like this then follow the blog, if you have something to say or a transplant charity to recommend comment below or give a like if you like it. See you all in a few weeks where I will be reviewing the summer walk.

The autistic guide to funerals

The autistic guide to funerals

Hello, so I had to cut World Autism Awareness Week due to a death of a family friend and my god father, John Reynor. So everything sorta stopped because it was a sudden death to us because to be honest I didn’t know he was even in hospital. Let alone knew he was that close to death, he had a kidney and pancreas transplant about ten years again and he ended up in hospital due to potential rejection and then it turned out the kidney he was given had cancerous cells or something so he died of Sepsis (the explanation will come apparent in later blogs and in the future walking plans). Anyway he died at the beginning of April and his funeral was at the beginning of May. It made me think there isn’t much out there about how to deal with funerals as an autistic individual its a acted like a part of life so they are like get on with it, and I am sure John would love me to use this as a educational thing. He liked of my blog in his life and I can imagine being the same in his death, after life or in heaven. House keeping I use autistic not person with autism and I use functioning levels because it’s how I describe stuff, don’t like it don’t read. Also this blog is more based for autistic individuals not parents but you can also read if you want and you can get ideas from it.

So, what is it about funerals that aren’t autism friendly. Well it can be the emotion aspect of it, the fact everyone is crying around you and if you weren’t particularly with person its like how am I meant to respond. Even if you are close to the person it can sometimes be a minefield of how to deal with people crying. In certain funerals they play the music excessively loud or in the case of my granny Nina’s funeral wave around incense like its running out of fashion. So how are we meant to deal with all of this and stay sensitive. Well I have a few tips for autistic individuals on how to deal with funerals and all the madness that is to do with them going from the decision making, the actual funeral day, the wake and the days afterwards. I will basing this on both pre and post Covid Guidelines.

Before the funeral: Think ahead about it, if this funeral is for someone that you care about then go obviously but its for some like a distant relative and you struggle with aspects of funerals don’t go. If you are going to the funeral, find out as much information as you can, what domination is it what I mean by this for example is it Christian, Catholic or non religious. This will give you an idea of what expect and if it doesn’t then do some googling we are now at the time where we can google a lot so prepare yourself as much as possible but unfortunately know that as much googling won’t prepare you for the actual day. Googling the church as well will help. What helped me recently was googling the funeral guidelines for Covid-19 because at the beginning of knowing I was going to be present at post Covid-19 funeral I was having dreams about being arrested by armed police and being shot. Which I assumed was my brain trying to process the grief and the nervous of the unknown of Covid-19 funeral. Also find out if you have option to watch over video link, which I did for one funeral, it’s easier because you can do your own thing you can sing, cry and reflect in your own way which I did with this (RIP Bex Judge).

During the funeral: Bring fidget toys that are small enough to fit in your pocket, this means you can fidget during the funeral and with it in your pocket, you can do it subtly if your a masker. Also in particular churches you can subtly stim with the stain glass windows. Due to Covid-19 regulations masks are mandatory for you to mask when you are at a funeral in person, you can either wear a mask and stim subtly or you can wear a sunflower lanyard which means you can go without mask without being questioned. I personally used the first option because I had prepared myself for it. It’s important to prepare. So with certain funerals you’ll go in then the coffin goes in, or in other funerals you’ll go in after the coffin. Sometimes you’ll get a random gut feeling that says NO. Ignore it if it is someone’s funeral you actually want to attend then go in, you’ll feel better for it. With John’s funeral I had the nerves when I saw the coffin and the amusement, the man had motorbike Herse so he was basically on a side car. When the funeral man said it’s time to go in I was like nope I don’t want to but then I ignored that thought in my head and went in. But I can imagine him also not minding if it was too much for me either. Point being I went in and was able to sit myself down. I would recommend sitting on the aisle seat so that if you do need to leave or if it does get too much for you. If your with people that know you they’ll understand.

The wake: Aka the after party. This is where you can relax slightly, the crying bit is pretty much over and it’s time for you to sit and chill briefly. Before Covid-19 this was in a function room and would be inside usually with a bar. With the restrictions it’s in a beer garden near the crematorium or church and you are sat at different tables but in your bubble which I think is great because it means you can stick to people that you know and it’s people you probably arrived with so you can share stories together without being too close too everyone else.

I hope this helps, unfortunately funerals are apart of life but if you know how to deal with them better it means you can deal with things better and be able to get through a funeral without feeling too overloaded or deciding funerals aren’t for you.

My next blog will be on a lighter note as I talk about my updated walking plan for 2021/2022.

Autism representation or misrepresentation in media

Autism representation or misrepresentation in media

Hello welcome to day three of Autism Awareness Week. Today I am going to be looking at the good, the bad and the complete messed up of autism being representation in the media. I did do a similar blog in the early days of the blog but that was back when I had no idea what I was doing. Since the late 60s there have been a range of autistic characters in comic books, film and literature. It has been since the late 70s with TV representation and since the early 00s with video games so I won’t be able to cover every single case of autism representation. Autism representation is important because we are apart of the world and when it is done right it can be amazing. When it is done wrong it can degrade us, stereotype us or even put us in danger more of that to follow. I am now going to list my favourite representation of autism, what’s good about it, what can be improved and does it have potential to be harmful. Then I’ll be listing my least favourite representation, what’s bad about it and does it have to be harmful. For this blog I will be focussing on people that are diagnosed autistic not have traits of autism so eating gilbert grape is out of the running. Also there are more least favourites than favourites.

Favourites

  1. Jane from Jane wants a boyfriend: This one because it is very authentic to adult females on the spectrum, we aren’t all rocking in a corner or doing maths equations. We all have wants, hopes and dreams. Sometimes its wanting to find true love and the way that she portrays that is done really well. The actress is neurotypical but she acts it really well. I also like the fact its also about a sister learning to let the autistic sister make her own mistakes and stop coddling her. So in a sense it isn’t just a coming age story for the autistic woman but it is also a coming of age story for the sister. It’s a lovely mix of romcom and drama so a dra-rom-com. From what I watch from it I can’t see where it can be potentially harmful. It portrays an autistic woman as a woman that has wants and needs and flaws so a real person.
  2. Wendy from Please stand by: This one because it shows a coming of age story for an autistic woman with a few twists. Basically she has a fixation with Star Trek and when her sister doesn’t believe in her and she doesn’t get her story in time for a writing competition. As someone that loves to write I can completely relate to her struggles and the fact people sometimes find it weird I can also relate to. The portrayal is done by a neurotypical person. The potential harm it could cause is give people the idea to run away from group homes and everything will be okay in the end.
  3. Sean from the good doctor: What is there to say about Sean from the good doctor, he is amazing and he is a doctor. It shows how an autistic individual can be anything they want to be. The savant syndrome adds to his character and it isn’t to Rain man standards of offensive. He is played by an non autistic actor but he is such a good actor that it doesn’t really matter. The program it’s self is a bit too gory for my liking but the portrayal of Sean is great.

Least favourite

  1. Sam from Atypical: This reason is plain and simple he’s an awful person. He gets really creepy which is put on for laughs, he acts like he has a free pass at being a twat because he is autistic which just isn’t good enough. I have done a whole blog about how this program is problematic will link below. It gives people a reason not to like us and trust me we have enough of that. Its not exactly harmful just an awfully offensive. It could have done with less creepy scenes.
  2. Raymond (Ray) Babbitt from Rainman: Well this character is the reason there is a crap ton of stereotypes about autistic people us being amazing at maths and lots of other things that we are now stuck with forever. The portrayal of an autistic person is very stereotypical and that’s just rubbish.
  3. Brooke Hathaway from Hollyoaks: This one I feel bad about saying but I can’t stand her. I feel like she puts autism in a really bad light. When she first came to the village I thought yay an autistic actress playing an autistic character but then I realised I couldn’t stand her. She was too honest and stuff which she would have been taught at an early age not to be so honest. Then when she had a pregnancy storyline and it was rubbish and she was selfish throughout making out that autistic woman couldn’t be mother which was disgusting and just plain horrible. The way she treated her boyfriend and the father of the child no wonder he went of the rails. It gives out bad autism stereotypes and tells the world that autistic woman or girls can’t be parents.
  4. Last and definitely least is Music from…. Sai’s Movie Music. So where to begin, it can be the fact that her behaviours are literally every single trait of autism ever, it could be that she portrayed more like a puppet than a living breathing person or it could be because they treat restraint like it is the first thing to do when you are dealing with an autistic person putting us at more risk because people are going to assume now that to help someone having a meltdown you pin them down until they stop moving. Even though that is probably them stopping moving because they are dead or just unconscious. It also poor sister has to go and look after autistic sister and oh woe is me which adds to the stereotype that autistic people are a burden and with the statistics recently of autistic children being murdered by their care givers it isn’t the impression we want out there that autism is a burden.

Thanks for reading my blog, if you agree with me give me a like, if you have something to say give a comment and follow if you want to more see you all tomorrow for day four of autism awareness week which will potentially be a bit special because tomorrow is the beginning of autism awareness month.

The autistic guide to Pica

The autistic guide to Pica

Welcome to day two of World Autism Awareness Week. Today’s blog is going to be about PICA, what’s pica I hear you all ask. Well it is basically when you have an urge to eat something that isn’t food. This universal and isn’t just autistic individuals that deal with it. For the sake of this blog I will focussing on Pica in autism. Well from my experience I have known Pica to be mainly lower functioning autism but I also have experienced Pica throughout my life and I started of lower functioning and eventually developed to higher functioning with a lot of work, I still get Pica tendencies but now I just don’t eat the thing. The blog today will be aimed at parents and carers.

For you it will probably be for your child or young person with severe autism. With this one it is hard at times to handle because they don’t understand that the thing that they want to eat isn’t food or is raw and can’t be eaten if its not cooked. With this here are some ideas on how to deal with this in the best way without you tearing your hair out or potentially getting ready to murder your child (This is a joke, more on that in tomorrow).

First things first, avoid having things around that your child can accidentally class as food, it’ll probably make things easier. Keep an eye on your autistic child and make sure that they aren’t getting into things. Something that helps with Pica is sensory tasks because sometimes Pica can be because they are sensory seeking. A sensory activity for example get a pair of old sturdy tights clean obviously and cut them at the knee. Then put rice in the tights and tie a knot into the top. Then they can crunch it in their hands and they can put it against their mouths. They won’t be able to bite through it hopefully and it’ll help with the crunch sensory seeking. Get chewy toys, they help with mouthing issues and they also help with self injurious behaviour so it kills two birds with one stone. You can get them in different shapes in case they are likely to accidentally swallow them. They can also have a lanyard that you can put a chewy toy on so it is less likely to be eaten.

Second thing if your child has some understanding you can do a social story to hopefully teach them the importance of not eating things that aren’t food. Social stories have been proven to be useful however if that doesn’t work there are other ways to educate your child, teenager or young person for example power stories. Don’t give up hope because chances are they will grow out of Pica or if they don’t it will get easier with time.

thank you for taking the time to read this, if you like it give it a like and if you want to see more like it then follow. I am here all week doing weekly blogs.

The autistic guide to university online edition

The autistic guide to university online edition

Hello everyone and welcome to day one of World Autism Awareness Week. This week I am going to be doing a blog every single day this week and probably a ton of Tiktoks to spread awareness for autism because trust me there is a lot that needs awareness being raised. Today’s is a fun little blog to get us started for the week.

Last March we got put into the first lockdown and everything apart from hospitals, some teaching and other key jobs were put online including university. This was difficult to begin with to get your head around but since we have been at it a year and with it looking like we won’t be going back anytime soon unless your doing a health care degree or a teaching degree. It was a lot of changing and a lot of things to process. I feel sometimes doing online university has its strengths and its negatives. This semester in particular I have been struggling with motivation and staying on plan so here are some top tips on how to stay motivated and to navigate during online learning. This blog is for autistic individuals rather than parents, care givers or friends however you are still welcome to read along.

The first piece of advice is to set a routine on the days you have university. Get up around the same time and do things around similar times but give leeway for technical issues and cancelation. A routine will help to keep you grounded and also will be useful. I would also recommend having an end of week treat for example a drink, a piece of cake or just something nice that you like because it is something to look forward to at the end of the week. I would also recommend giving yourself some relaxation time set everyday so that your not getting bogged down with homework whether it is playing a few video games or doing something that you enjoy just do it.

The second piece of advice is to type up when everything is due and put it on a notice board in your house or flat. This is so that you can prepare yourself for when things are due in so that you can do them in advanced if you are able to. Also it means that if you are stressed and need an extension you know when to do it by. Keeping organised is really important the more organized you are the calmer you will feel in general. Avoid leaving your essay and assignments to the last minute. Keep yourself on top of your work no matter how pointless it seems at times. Being at home and doing work from home is weird and goes against most routines and planned schemas in your head which means it will be a struggle to feel motivated or it may feel like you are not a real student but don’t worry you are a real student its just the circumstances at the moment with the pandemic.

The last piece of advice is to write down your goals, the reason why you wanted to go university and why you are working so hard and put it on a notice board in your house. This will remind you why you doing university in the first place especially if you are struggling to find motivation, wanting to quit or just overall fed up with how university is going, you went to university for a reason. Whether it was for the experience, the knowledge, the qualification or a mix of all them you went to university for a reason don’t give up hope because university will go back to normal eventually probably by September so that good news for first and second years. It not so good for people in their third years but remember if things go to plan with the road map you’ll get a normal graduation.

Hope this was helpful or just fun to read. See you tomorrow for day two of WAAW. If you like this blog give it a like, if you want to add something give a comment bellow. If you want to see more about WAAW then follow.

The Autistic guide to moving house plus a quick update

The Autistic guide to moving house plus a quick update

Hello guess whose back, back again. Guess whose back tell a friend. I have just moved into a new house and hopefully it will be the last house in a while until we can save up till we buy a house. That’s the dream which I hope we will do in the next few years. So lets begin this blog will be advice for both autistic individuals and people dealing with autistic individuals so that moving that is a stressful time at the best of times can be made easier. House keeping yes I use phrases such as autistic and I use functioning levels don’t like it, don’t read. So here is some advice to help this time be easier.

Before the move

First piece of advice is give yourself time or give your family member time to process the fact that they are moving avoid dropping it on them at the last minute. Also gibe time for wobbles or meltdowns because it can get very stressful time for people because of the change in routine, the moving things and the atmosphere can cause a lot of problems in an autistic persons mind. To tell them they are moving house if they are lower functioning you can get a social story to tell them that they are moving house. It might also be useful to arrange for your family member to go somewhere else during the move so that they aren’t getting too stressed with the whole move depending on functioning levels. For an autistic person I would recommend preparing yourself whether it reading up on your new area or getting your fidgets toys together so that you have things that will help you get through the move. However don’t over read about the area otherwise you’ll freak yourself out about some kind of murder that happened in the area don’t be that person. Just keep it simple does it have a shop, where’s the nearest pub and where’s the nearest doctor/hospital.

During the move

Keep calm, this tip can be for both autistic people or the people looking after autistic people. Try and keep calm during the move because then it’ll make you feel stressed out. With autistic individuals remember the move isn’t going to last forever it may feel like it on the actual moving day but just remember that during all the lifting and putting things in the van it will end and you will have things settled soon. Its not instant but things will slowly come together. If you are a person dealing with an autistic individual whether your parent, carer, friend, family member, partner or pet donkey be patient with your autistic person because you may be stressed out with the move but trust me they are probably feeding of your stress and the stress of the unexpected change. Attempt to keep it calm but don’t beat yourself up too much if you get snappy because we are all human sometimes things do come out in the moment. Make sure you make time for breaks during the actual move whether it is stopping to eat lunch or just having a quick coffee between the houses that are being moved.

After the move

Everything has been moved from one house to the other house and the old house is clean and the keys are given back or given to the new owners depending on if your buying or renting. Its time to get your new house sorted at the moment the place is a mess and you don’t feel like your in control of the new house. Don’t panic and be like well I wish I had never moved. Arrange everything to how you want it and don’t focus on what has changed. Focus on the positives your in a new house which is hopefully in a lovely location and things will get back to a new normal and as human being we are good at adapting. Think about it like this, this time last year there was a time you could go into shops not wearing a mask and you could hug people and now look at the world. Humans adapted to that and you will adapt to this. For the people dealing with autistic individuals just give them time to adjust to the changes and don’t put too much on them too quickly. Keep positive the place will shape up and will become the new normal and a month or so in it’ll feel like you have been living there forever.

Walking Update

So before I finish of this blog I have some exciting news. At the beginning of the year I was having some health problems after having Covid-19 and then we got put into another national lockdown so I thought great I am going to have to hang my walking boots back up again and not walk this year. Then the Louise Smalley Walk the walk in my local village is on this year. So Ruth and I made the decision to cancel all our walks and focus on training for the Louise Smalley Walk and potential Halloween Walk dependant on guidelines and other rubbish like that.

Thank you for reading today the next blog will be the 29th March because…. its World Autism Awareness Week 2021 and I have things planned for it. If you liked the blog give it a like, if you have something to say then leave a comment be interesting to see how other people get through moving and if you want to see more or are excited to see what I have to say during World Autism Awareness Week 2021 then follow the blog.

Types of staff/volunteers you get at disabled youth groups

Types of staff/volunteers you get at disabled youth groups

So last week I did this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8zO1iR5hi4 about the types of young people you get at disabled youth groups. This blog is the follow on to that video talking about the volunteers and staff because they won’t be getting let of the hook. This all for fun and I don’t mean any offense

4. The jobsworth: lets start with the one of the ones that gets me the most annoyed. The jobsworth think everything has to be done by the book and if things aren’t to the schedule during a trip they flip their lids and they act like it all the fault of the young people and being a young person with understanding I used to find this really annoying how is that meant to help us feel any better about ourselves. On the way to the Xscape centre in Milton Keynes we were lets say 1 and a half away from it with minimal traffic. We got stuck in traffic and I can hear this volunteer chuntering about how the young people didn’t get on the bus straight away and how it wasn’t quick enough we needed to organise ourselves better. We are two groups together of varying needs and functioning levels. Cramming about 20 kids and about 10 staff members on to a coach and making sure everyone is sat in the perfect spot to avoid us sitting in the hard shoulder for the whole day because billy bob has stood up of the sixth time. So chill your beans. The jobsworth would be the volunteer and they weren’t even getting paid for the trip to go well and volunteers were given the easier kids. So sit down shut up and think calm thoughts.

3 . The challenging behaviour trained also known as the grumpiest person to walk the earth however on the flip side the challenging behaviour trained can also be a very muscled bloke. The grumpy one is something to behold she goes around with the challenging one and will be seen having her hair pulled or being scratched but to be honest thinking back I think she was expecting it all the time therefor she would have a self fulfilling prophecy. This staff member would usually quit after the summer holidays because they had enough for the next one to come in bouncy and bushy tail before they had the challenging summer then they’d quit in the summer. Their male counterpart seemed to have it more together thing is with the bloke he was a volunteer then he built himself to a staff member and then he had the training and he became challenging behaviour trained and was the coolest person ever and nothing ever phased him. He had a way of getting a rapport with the challenging one but would also venture out to the young people that weren’t challenging and work with them as well.

2 . The chocolate tea pots this one links sometimes with the jobsworth. They had no idea what on earth they were doing and 99% of time they were a volunteer that wanted work with the children/toddler group but for some reason had been put with the older group so they had no idea what to do with teenagers. They seem to have the idea that we still are children which we aren’t.

Again going back to the trip to Xscape, my boyfriend (now ex) was on the trip so I was sat with him. He had a coping mechanism which meant sometimes he’d act lower functioning than he was so people left him alone. Anyway we get to Xscape we all go to the loo because we’ve on a coach for about 2 hours. Then we all gather in the café because despite the traffic we were like 20 minutes early for snow fun thing, basically we were doing the activity of going up a hill and then sliding down it in a like sledge thing. Only if you called it sledging the instructor would be grumpy. Anyone back to the point we went into the Café and because I was at the back of the queue to the loo when I got to the café, we had a corner to ourselves but we had run out of seats and my boyfriend was sat in a seat so I sat down on his lap so I could have a seat and I wrapped my arm around his neck. A neurotypical teenager would do the same. The volunteer got up and was like you can’t sit on his knee its inappropriate. So I sat on the floor and then the volunteer was like you can’t sit on the floor your in the way. So I got up again and sat back down on my boyfriends knee. The volunteer opened her mouth again and was like you can’t sit on his lap. So asked her straight out do you have a boyfriend and she was like yes. I was like so if you in a situation where there were no seats and your boyfriends lap is free you’d sit on it. She ended up shutting up after that and the staff around me were looking impressed.

1. The mother hen this one can be either the overly patronizing Mother hen that would treat 15 year olds like babies or toddlers. Or you would get the mother hen that treated the teenagers like teenagers and always had the teenagers best interest at heart. They first one I had no time for I am 14 I don’t need help with toiletting or anything like that so if I say I am going to the toilet don’t try and drop everything to give me a hand I got this. Sit down and shut up. I got this covered. They would again be someone that applied to volunteer with the younger group and ended up being put with the older group. We would rarely get volunteers would apply to do teenagers groups because they thought the children would be easier. Guess again, the children were more hands on. Us teenagers apart from challenging ones and the ones that were picky would get on with things and were more regulated. The second mother hen is the best, she was usually a member of staff and she just would make an effort to get to know us all and how we ticked and how we would react to things. This one had techniques for calming and would listen to us which was important. they were usually a lot of fun to be around. They would go rogue during trips and would listen what we wanted to do which is important when working with different functioning levels.

Hope this blog is very informative or at least a fun read. I am moving at the beginning of February so I’ll be doing a vlog of our move and then do the Autistic guide to moving house. Comment below if you think I have missed anybody out or if you have any fun stories. To see more like this then follow the blog.

three tags mixed in one massive tag

three tags mixed in one massive tag

Hello today’s blog was meant to be an autistic guide but due to the Lockdown news I thought people might want to see something really light hearted rather than hospitals and madness so I have mixed up get to know me tag, the Disney tag and first tag with some stories added in for good measure. To start the year of blogs light hearted. Then next weeks video will be the types of young people you get at disabled youth groups.

What is my name and age? Rosemary Louise Barnes (Rosie) and 26 years old

Are you named after anyone? My dad’s favourite Aunty.

Who is your favourite actor? Kieran Richardson in the space of a year he went from a drug addict to a Nazi.

Who is your favourite actress? Emma Watson

Can you whistle? No

Do you have any pets? Yes a gorgeous short legged Jack Russell called Kammy

What’s on your bucket list? To visit New York at new year, to go to the grand canyon, use a tree house accommodation at Center Parcs and live a year in Brussels in Belgium.

What is your favourite Wetherspoons? The counting house in Glasgow. It has a lovely atmosphere and has awesome vibes from the staff. The first time we went it was really busy so I attempted to walk out but then we found a table on the way out an it was meant to be. Then we were like we are never leaving again because as we sat down the place got busier so we were like we are trapped here forever, but the second time we went it was close to the Christmas time and it had a lovely vibe to it.

What is your favourite book? A child called it.

First broken bone? I was what was called an unauthorised climber so I would climb on the barrier between the gate and the road. I was sat on that which was high up above the great. It was on the barrier minding my own business on my last day of half term and my last day in year 6 at primary school ever. I shuffled to climb down and xdown. I broke my elbow on my last day of Primary school ever.

first foreign country you visited? Lourdes.

Fist youtuber subscribed to? Jaackmaate, my first video I ever watched of him was 25 things everybody hates and 10 types of people everybody hates.

First alcoholic drink? Lambrini followed by Cider

Favourite alcoholic drink? Prosecco and Rose wine

Favourite place to visit? Dunstable downs and Willen lake

What is your favourite book? the Harry Potter franchise

What is your favourite musical? Jesus Christ Superstar

Favourite Disney movie? Frozen 2

Favourite Disney song? Tangled: I see the light

Favourite villain? Scar

Favourite villain song? The madness of king scar – West End Lion king.

Least favourite Disney song? Biddy boddy boo- Cinderella.

First computer game ever played? The sims

First podcast? RedHanded the pod until I get kicked out the facebook group for disagreeing with protest.

Best ways to pass the time? hamma beads and listening to JaackMaate happy hour podcast

Favourite Youtubers? JAACKMAATE because I have been watching his channel forever and he is always tells it how it is even if its to do with his friends, Emma Blackery been watching her channel for a while and her feel good one o one book is amazing and something I read a lot in stressful times and Steven Crowder because even though he’s a Trump Supporting conservative but he has good points and he does his research.

What is your favourite song? Sherrie Austin Streets of heaven

What is your favourite stim? Spinning lights, fidget spinner and off course kinetic sand.

Hope everyone enjoyed this and it wasn’t completely honest I am putting this out because I had writers block when it came to my autistic guide blog this week. The next blog will be more substantial.

2020 review and 2021 goals

2020 review and 2021 goals

What a year it has been there have been lows and there have been highs and many moments of me just saying out loud “I miss Glasgow” because I miss Glasgow and due to the pandemic Scotland shut the border. There have been good moments this year and some crazy moments. Lets recap the year looking at the highs and lows of the world from memory for a bit of fun and what I got up to.

January: Ruth and I completed that winter walk around London. We saw a lot of London Landmarks and we beat our time of the last time we did a half marathon by 30 minutes. I got a C in my first research methods report which was exciting because it was the first research report of my masters and I had lost all confidence in research methods a few years ago so to pass with a good mark was great. In the world Prince Harry left the royal family but still kept his title. Covid-19 was discovered in China and they were the first country to lock down and also I remember they tried to impeach Trump over something.

February: I went to Center Parcs twice once with Ruth at Woburn in a one bed apartment it was a good time and then the week after I went with the family at Sherwood for Hannah’s birthday. That was the time we tried a Cabana at the sub tropical for the first time. Ruth and Cathy attended a wound care course and Ruth decided to have a kidney stone without permission so ended up in hospital for the night. At this point COVID-19 was just something that was in China and the US. We got told by not to panic and that the virus would be under control if it hit the UK. Boris said some people would die but everything was going to be okay and just go to the pub and wait for it to pass over. The border stayed annoyingly open even though our tourism is usually from China because that’s a great idea.

March: The UK went into Lockdown at the end of March and guess what the rest of Europe was put into Lockdown at the beginning of March and Europe did a travel ban guess what the UK stayed open. The cases carried on rising and the Nightingale Hospital was set up to be a COVID hospital. As things got worse the universities and schools shut and everything was put online and luckily for me out the deadlines were extended as well. As things started changing I bought a lot of stims and fidgets to keep regulated. Also in March A woman in America called Breonna Taylor got killed either in a drug deal gone wrong or in her bed. This month people started clapping outside for the NHS.

April: I enjoyed the statistics in my report for the first time ever. I felt confident doing the statistics and it was good way to feel. People became rude in shops they would snap and be very sarcastic with people. I turned 26 in lockdown and had a pizza with a Harry Potter marathon. In April I got a cough so I had my first Covid test and had to be held in place during the nose swab because I didn’t like it and he did it wrong. With a covid test you have got to do the mouth first to wet the swab so when it goes in the nose it hurts less but he shoved it up my nose dry and it hurt so I moved away and I didn’t like it. Over Easter I did my Jesus Christ Superstar review and I really enjoyed doing it and I enjoyed the reaction. From what I remember from what happened in the real world in the news in April was Trump was accusing China of something.

May: Ruth and I completed the May Anyway Challenge which was 100km over May. So we walked around Willen lake, Furzton lake, Caldecott lake and local parks. I got accused of hate speech for not approving of protests in London over the death of George Floyd because we were still in a lockdown in the middle of global pandemic it was dangerous and there others ways to protest without breaking lock down and before you all come screaming at me I also disagreed with the end lockdown protests. We were told to stay at home so we should have stayed at home. Then a lot of riots happened and we had a rise is cases. Hmm wonder why.

June: I finished my IPA report and vowed to never do it again because it was very difficult. Ruth had a busy week telling me about AOS to prepare for a job interview while we walked around Willen lake I told her I was either going to chuck her in the lake or I am going to chuck myself in lake to get away from AOS. We decided to go to the park and have a Nandos after the interview to escape the AOS talk and on the way home we got the news that Ruth got a promotion so to celebrate we got drunk on Gin and watched JaackMaate. In the real world there were riots and statues taken down.

July: Hamilton was released on Disney plus and I watched it a lot. It was a lot of fun and every time I would watch it I would see something new. In July the pubs reopened and Ruth and I went to the pub to celebrate her promotion and saw some friends on the SOS bus and some friends on the ST John’s unit. Two first aid places were out as it was called crazy weekend or something so they were prepared. One was a van with a first aid kit and the other was a van and mobile unit and an ambulance with oxygen I wonder which one won ;). In July I got my results for my first year overall and I only had to do one resit which I was impressed with. The biggest thing I was ecstatic about was in both research methods units I got a C overall in both and that helped with my confidence when it comes to research methods.

August: Ruth and I went to see Jesus Christ Superstar at Regents park open air theatre we sat in the yard area and watched it on a screen with a lovely picnic. It was a great evening with hilarious moments of Jesus putting himself on the cross and putting a crown on his head. It was good and it my mind off how crazy 2020 was so far. We also moved to our new house which is an amazing flat. I also decided where I wanted to do my PHD starting in September 2022 I decided it was between three universities; University of Wolverhampton, Regents College in London and Glasgow Caledonian University that I am going to apply to all three and see who gets back to me. Joe Biden announced Kamala Harris was going to his Vice President and was going to be the first black and lady vice president if Joe Biden won which was lovely. Most people were like yay and some Trump supporters decided to call it a publicity stunt. Also we got told to eat out to help out in the UK to help the economy but we seemed to help the virus.

September: I went to Covid secure Center Parcs with my sisters. I did some videoing but one of the clips malfunctioned and it was legit the best clip it tied all the vlog together but it malfunctioned so I had to be like fine no vlog. During that Center Parcs I dropped my purse on the way home from the sports bar and the next day I went to the sports bar to see if I had left it and it was found and taken to the guest service . I went to guest services to get it but the person in charge of lost property was on lunch so to come back at 14:00 which I did. I went to guest services and asked for my purse and told them I got told to come back. The woman went on the phone “Hello did a man come in earlier because he lost his purse” as soon as I heard her say man I snapped “Woman” she then panicked and was like woman, woman. I got my purse back and all was well there but I got slightly annoyed that she thought I was man. I may have short hair and overweight but I also have breasts like surely that should count. While at Center Parcs we watched the first episode of Des and then when we went home I watched the whole series. I will be reviewing that over February this year on the blog which will be gushing over how amazing David Tennant is in it. We got our dog living with us again.

October: I started back at University and it as half online and half face to face teaching. Ruth turned 29 and we went to the pub with our other sister and then went home for a drink. Started at looking at house buying and how mortgages planned some life stuff. Trump and his wife developed Covid-19 and then had to go to hospital. People wished him death and destruction which seemed a bit harsh I know they don’t like Trump but if he dies then Mike Pence would be president and I’d rather not. Covid 2nd wave took us by storm and our fearless leader after a month of being like no lockdown no lockdown. Did an emergency briefing on a Saturday and we were put back into lockdown.

November: Biden won the presidency. The night of the election I checked my phone every time I woke up in the night because I had work the next day. It took us days to get the result so that gave Trump enough time to call fraud and trickier like a small child that didn’t win at food ball. In November Ruth started to get unwell one day and she had a Covid test before her symptoms started because she’s a nurse. Anyway she had a negative result so we assumed it was tonsillitis. Then the next day she was given a positive result. So we had to do another test to double check and it was positive. So we had to self isolate and give our dog to our parents to look after so that she can have more freedom and not be cooped up in the flat. Then Ruth started to get better we were at the end of isolation and guess what I got a cough and a temperature. My taste and smell went away and everything tasted horrible. I had a test and guess what I had caught Covid-19. It was horrible. I had the usual symptoms and I also had sinus pain. I was feeling very under the weather but once isolation ended I was feeling a lot better so I attempted to get back into routine. In November the sunflower lanyard came under fire literally and Sia’s movie music trailer premiered on twitter.

December: What a month December has been. I went back to work and then started to experience adverse health issues. My heart would race and my chest would hurt. When I got it checked out in hospital they told me it could be post Covid issues. I had a bad week of pain and stress because my essay was due in as I was suffering with heart palpitations and I was like I am over that week. After it was handed in. Then after all that my heart carried on racing and being a pain so I had to cancel my shifts in December and decided I was going to go to the doctors after New Year. Ruth has been feeling not herself since Covid either and its been the year as well so she is going to go to the doctor as well. I joked its because my heart missed Glasgow because my memories on fb a year ago we went to the Christmas markets in Glasgow. Poor Barbra Windsor died this month and I grew up on Carry on films so I was really gutted when I heard the news. After that we were told multiple time by our fearless leader Christmas was safe unfortunately days before Christmas he decided to put London and the South east in tier 4 out of his three tier system. I think our leader has forgotten how to count. So he did this on the Saturday evening at about 4pm for it be implemented at midnight. Then there was mass panic and the major train stations with trains out of London including Euston, Kings Cross and St Pancras was jam packed with people escaping the south before we were locked in. I can’t wait for tier 47 where we can’t even look out the window and we have a dome over the whole of England.

I don’t have any resolutions this year but I do have 2021 goals. By next December I want to have finished my masters with hopefully a good mark and a BPS accreditation. I want have applied for my PHDs and I also would like to be close to owning a house. For my blog I am going to be more organised with it and I will be doing a blog every Wednesday with a YouTube video every month if I can. Sometimes it’ll be more than one video and sometimes it’ll be more than one. I want to be more involved on the blog and online because I have a lot to say and I think that I can make things better with my humour and guides on how to help people. I will also be dabbling in true crime (no James Bulger I want to keep my online presence) and will be reviewing movies, musicals and life as we go through what ever 2021 has for us. I would love to go do Hogmanay in Edinburgh again however that completely depends on if Scotland has decided to reopen by next December.

So if you want to watch my blog and YouTube grow over the year like this blog and follow. Also subscribe to my YouTube channel which is https://www.youtube.com/user/RachelLittle2010/videos.

So my next blog will be 6th January which will be the autistic guide to hospitals.