Review of the year month by month

2013 has been a great year for us. It certainly surpassed my expectations, but considering that 2012 was so dire, my expectations were not high!

Sometimes it helps to look back and see how far you’ve come, what’s been achieved and what’s still to aim for. In preparing to write this post, I’ve re-read a lot of the posts I had written throughout 2013 and thought ‘was that just this year?’

There was something on Facebook this morning about writing down every good thing that happens to you or your family and popping it in a jar, and reading them all at the end of the year. This is kind of an electronic version of the jar, although I do think I may also do the jar as there are plenty of things that happen that I never get a chance to blog about!

So, 2014 is almost here and we are waving goodbye to 2013, here my highlights…

January – we had lots of snow in January and T loved it. He adored sledging on the hill at the back of his grandparents house. Although I don’t really like snow, seeing his face full of excitement and joy was a great start to the year. In this month I also took T on a train journey on my own. We’d had plenty of issues regarding travelling on trains that we’d stopped for over a year trying to travel anywhere on the train. But we made a new start and T and I travelled to Darlington and back together with no problems at all. It was the start of a great year of train travel for us.

Enjoying the snow

February – this month we set up a days of the week visual timetable which has worked to great effect in understanding when and in which order things happen. T was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and I took T away by myself for a love bombing trip.

In York on our love bombing trip

March – we booked another summer holiday and aimed to be better prepared and have a much better time than in 2012. This month I contacted Newcastle Airport and EasyJet for their support in making our holiday journey much easier, and with the help of Newcastle Airport produced a photo book outlining the step by step process of being in the airport. T’s Saturday club ended after it ran out of funding which was sad for all of us. I worked with my community nurse and the Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary to create a photo book about getting an X-ray on Ts back. And this worked a treat – we broke the X-ray anxiety and have had 2 successful X-rays since. No tears, no meltdowns, no problem!

Homework from school

Xray photo book

April – I enrolled T for swimming lessons for special needs children and realised he loved the water immensely. As part of this we developed a wonderful routine of eating our lunch after swimming and on the last day we had the cheese sandwichgate incident !

May – after 18 months away I rejoined Facebook with the sole intention of connecting with sotos families across the world. And it’s been wonderful. I couldn’t have connected with any nicer people and I truly feel part of a wonderful and niche community. This month we also took a trip to Thomas land with my family which turned into a debacle and T’s autism really came to the fore. This month I started a course run by the national autistic society and I really started to learn what it is like to be my son. This month my blog turned three and the number of visitors started going up and up. And at the end of this month T started half term a day early because of his reliance on routines!

The smiles at Thomasland

June – because of my blog I was offered tickets to attend the foghorn requiem on the Tyne which gave my husband and I a lovely day out. This month also saw T flood our home and we had our first ever visit to the dentist which was successful due to a little preparation.

Water feature

July – was holiday time and we had a brilliant family holiday together. T turned six and I ran the London 10k on one of the hottest days of the year!

Holiday drinks!

August – T started a summer play scheme which he loved, we went to hospital for T to be recast for new back brace, and we successfully went shoe shopping, had feet measured and bought new shoes! Another first!

September – T went back to school and settled in really well and I highlighted other sotos syndrome blogs that are out there.

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October – this month T and I took a day trip to Edinburgh and had a lovely day. He got to help the train conductor with stamping and checking tickets on the train. Daisy Duck visited home from school. T’s back brace caused some issues with his skin but we solved it with the help of friendly and helpful facebookers. At his next orthopaedic appointment we were told that T’s scoliosis was getting worse and it was very likely metal rods were the next step.

November – this month I focused on T’s abilities in writing and activities to help him improve. I blogged about his sleeping patterns and got a range of responses about how sotos children sleep. My husband and I had a respite weekend in London.

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December – We had the build up to Christmas and in order to contain the excitement we used a great app to highlight how long until Santa comes. We also did a Christmas Eve treasure hunt and received some fabulous school photos.

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All in all, a pretty positive year. Bring on 2014…. Let’s hope it’s as good and as fun. My wishes for this coming year are to keep moving forward and to have as just as good a time as 2013.

Thank you for reading and returning time and again to my blog. It’s lovely to read comments and see the number of people who have been here. It’s what keeps me blogging, knowing that you are reading and returning. Thank you.

Goodbye-2013-hello-2014-wallpaper

I wish you all a happy new year, and that all our children continue to go from strength to strength. See you on the other side.

Sarah x

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