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A Christmas Wish #1

This dog, this is what makes Christmas for Dylan.

He doesn’t care for the Christmas lights or decorations, he’s not a fan of the noise or change of routine, Okay he likes the food but apart from that even the presents Dylan would be happy without. But this singing dog is his companion between late November and early January until we have to pack him away until th next year.

When out Dylan will take the dog away, usually to sit in the stairway and play his merry little tune again and again and again and again and…. Yes, you get it ūüôā

I started an internet search for one and despite people’s best efforts to seek out alternatives I could not find where to buy a replacement. I contacted the shop we brought it from years ago; no longer stocking this item. I contacted the manufacturer; again no luck.

Then thanks to an international Facebook search one was found…. by my cousin who lives only 5 miles away from us!

Unbelievable, but he and his children kindly gave us their dog so that Dylan could have it and he is absolutely over the moon with it, Christmas has started!

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“It’ll be lonely this Christmas…”

‚ÄčDylans favourite  ever Christmas decoration. This bad boy plays from the moment it is brought out of the loft early December until its packed back away in the new year. Dylan adores it and this has been the case since we brought it at Christmas time about 6 years ago. 

It’s extremely overused, this poor pooch has needed new batteries and light repairs every year when brought out at Christmas time. As much is his constant uncheery tune of “It’ll be lonely this Christmas” by Mud (which I thought would never be missed) sadly this Christmas he has finally died a death and despite Dylans constant attempts there is no fixing this. 

Does anyone know where one of these can be brought as a replacement? 
Amazon and eBay are both out of stock. It was purchased in Homebase originally but was only used as one off stock on the particular year it was brought.

Any ideas?

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Three years on.

‚ÄčToday the top picture came up on my Facebook memories. A lovely reminder of how far Dylan has come in such a short space of time.

3 years ago Dylan independently asked for money using his iPad. Just money. You can see the simple layout of the screen and limited range of communication options.
Fast forward three years and the progress and complexity of Dylans communication is evident. He can exercise a range of options and is developing an understanding of various transactions to be able to purchase items he needs/wants.

The Proloquo2go has evolved with his growing needs and is being added to daily.
Having started this AAC journey independently as parents without professional support we have relied mainly on the Internet and seeing a small amount of YouTube videos on the subject to learn how to make communication a reality for Dylan.
Introducing AAC has by far been one of the most positive and life changing decisions we have ever made.
Communication is a fundamental right and one that I so wish we explored and exercised much, much earlier.

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Sugar rush

Dylan has been enjoying his daily opportunities to go to the cafe and practicing his purchases but there is a slight concern that the golden choice is always Coke. Full fat, full sugar Coke.

Working in health care I am incredibly aware about how choices we make now with our lifestyles, diet and hobbies can affect our health, wellbeing and develop our habits for life.

Dylan likes all fizzy drinks but he will always choose the unhealthiest option. With his new focus on independent purchases Dylan is ordering his drinks without support which gives a free reign to buy whichever drink he prefers… yep, more Coke!

In an effort to manage this we have made a social story much like the one used for not swimming straight after eating whilst on holiday seen here. When using pictello, the programme relays the story where Dylan is given information to explain why he needs to understand a certain situation. 

The pictello programme is easy to use and the story took only a couple of minutes to make. We’ll show Dylan the story on arriving at the cafe so it’s fresh in his mind and see if it influences his choice of drink. 

I know there’s artifical sweeteners in diet drinks and am not a fan of these either long term but we need to tackle this one little battle at a time. 

Hopefully the social story will be the first step in moving away from chemical filled fizzy drinks! ūüôā

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Supercut 

Haircut time again.

Another smashing performance with even less support and prompting.
For the first time both boys -and Dad- could have their haircuts at the same time instead of having to swap barbers or plan the best seat/barber/timing to enable Dylan to get through it. 

Although we visit the same same regular barbers we went to their newly relocated shop around the corner from their usual one. The men there recognise that Dylan is different and the gentleman who cut his hair today requested specifically for the job of cutting Dylans hair. An older man he is confident and unfazed by Dylans often jerky mannerisms and growing anxiety. 

Despite always giving Dylan the choice of whether he wants his hair cut or not he always confirms that he wants to have it done. I wouldn’t dream of forcing or encouraging him to do something so difficult for him publicly if he didn’t want to. Although Dylan asks for his hair to be cut he still finds it very difficult to tolerate and I think that he always will. Dylan vocally stims loudly throughout; the bright lights, the noise and the natural anxiety around haircuts is heightened but the staff there never make a big deal about it. They speak to Dylan directly and reassure him throughout whilst getting on with the job in hand swiftly and confidently. I’m sure this reassures Dylan and so when Dad and Josh were having their haircuts and the next barbers chair became free; 
Dylan just went for it.