Me and my girl and boy, raising awareness and acceptance of autism

Archive for the ‘Ranty moment’ Category

Ranty Friday – why don’t people FLUSH

It’s not difficult is it? Finish whatever you’ve just been doing…and flush. “Leave as you’d wish to find” as my Grandma would say.

If we’re out in town or at the local shops, D will usually “hold on” until we get home – and I’ve started to notice T does that too – the public toilets are “too noisy” – with their hand dryers – and “too smelly” – I think with the air fresheners and products they use.

It is a rarity for D to use a public toilet, or even one at school. Does that make me feel good, knowing that it must be hurting her? No. Does it speed up the process at which we whizz around places, not wanting to have an “accident” as soon as we’re through the door? Of course.

She wanted to “go” earlier, decided she couldn’t wait until we got home. Very rare. We went in a public toilet…and whoever had been in there before hadn’t flushed.

The sight, the smells…all too much.

That took a lot for her to decide to brave it, now put off completely.

Thank you so much whoever that was.

MummyBarrow

Linking up with Mummy Barrow for Ranty Friday.

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Ranty Friday – Dear Mr Osborne

Dear Mr Osborne

Oh I do hope I’ve spelt your name correctly (excuse the sarcasm) because I know you’re sensitive about it.

You won’t know me – or care to be honest. I’m a parent to those disabled children who seem invisible to you, who will grow up to be invisible adults. As far as you’re concerned they are a drain on society, part of the welfare drain. What have they done to you?

We are not a Philpott family, my husband is self-employed and has been all his working life. I worked too, until I choose to stay at home at look after our children because we felt it was the best thing to do. If you can find me a job that fits in with school hours, less than half an hour away from my daughter’s SN school – in case she has a convulsion – with the school holidays off and flexibility for when school is unable to be attended to due anxieties, then go ahead.

We pay our flipping high taxes. Work is hard to come by for my husband at times, people will push and push the price down (knowing that work is scarce), try and pay less when it’s completed or cancel – by bloody text – the night before. He’s a proud man, who wants to care for his family.

We’ve never signed on, some weeks it is a choice between new school shoes or paying the gas bill. I bet you don’t worry about turning your heating above 15c, do you?

Even if we applied for a blue badge, we wouldn’t get one. Autism doesn’t seem to be recognised as a criteria. If my daughter bolted in a busy car park, which she would do to her stranger anxieties and heightened sensory awareness, she’d more than likely be knocked down. She bolted into the path of a bus once, now you’re going to think I’m a bad parent.

You don’t understand disabilities you can’t see. When my children reach adulthood, you’re going to force them to ATOS interviews with people they don’t know, in unfamiliar places. I won’t be allowed to go with them and just because they’ll tell you their name and age, it will be assumed they understand and are fit for work. My daughter can tell you what date her birthday is but ask her her year of birth and she wouldn’t understand. She can tell you all about Bunny but ask her to do a two-staged request (go and fetch xxx and then do xxx) and she can’t, because her brain can only process one request at a time.

You don’t understand disability. You don’t understand how people in this country are suffering due to your cuts and yet you think it’s okay to park in a disabled parking space whilst you get your fast food fix.

Words fail me….

Ranty Friday – Pavements and Puddles!

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Soaked and furious, covered in dirty muddy puddle water. It’s all over my coat, trousers, the SN buggy, D’s snuggly cuddleuppet blanket and, as I found out when I got home, my face. I looked like I had freckles.

Why? Because some inconsiderate p*at decided to drive too fast through the puddle opposite the mainstream school I have to walk past.

I couldn’t walk on the other side because the council have dug up the pavement to extend a cycle lane (yes, half term would have been an ideal time to do this but no) so all the kids and parents are forced out into a busy road – which is also a bus route – until it’s done.

The other pavement, where I got soaked, has been wrecked by cars constantly parking there, dropping off and picking up their children. The school have tried having PCSO’s out there and sending letters home but they are still park there. Obstructing the access for the home owners, blocking the pavements and wrecking the verges. They’re a serious accident waiting to happen.

Just a thought, Mr Council person who makes decisions, why not get the blooming verges levelled and tarmaced, or even better, bollard them off but don’t waste what little money you have when there are so many other ways it could be better used.

I could rant on about the local schools that have buckets in their corridors when it rained as the roofs are leaking, the pot holes everywhere in the roads and the shopping centre which is turning into a no-go area at night because the teenagers congregate up there at night, bored out of their skulls so they run riot, but I’ll leave it there.

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Linking in with Mummy Barrow’s Ranty Friday, thanks for reading.

MummyBarrow

Ranty Friday – feeling unconnected

Why? Because I’m not on Facebook.

Want to enter a competition? Facebook. Want to increase your reach? Facebook. Etc.

But this annoyed me this week: my so-called economy-saving kettle has stopped being economic. It’s one of those one-cup jobbies, slightly anti-social in that it only boils (wait for it..) enough for one cup at a time, the idea being you don’t use as much water and electricity per cup. Well, it’s stopped filling up the cups and to get “one-cup” now means two or three attempts. Not very economical. I emailed and tweeted the company and got sent a Facebook link. Grrr! Replied and said I’m not in Facebook and got no further reply.

I did dabble once, signed up as me and deleted it as one of the people who connected was my first husband’s (good riddance btw) partner, ummm..why? I think we last spoke by phone when I was pregnant with D and that ended in an argument.

But I’m kind of relenting and feeling that my autism awareness persona needs to bob onto there.

Still not sure about the whole “like” business and how time-consuming it will be. I already know that someone else has claimed my twitter name so need to have a think.

And the kettle? Just bought a new, traditional one.

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Linking in with Mummy Barrow’s Ranty Friday, click on the link here to be taken to other rants!
MummyBarrow

Ranty Friday – First impressions and all that..

I went for a job interview on Monday and I’m going to use that term loosely because it was unlike any other interview I’ve ever been on (and believe me, I used to work in a company where restructuring was regular).

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression” is what I’ve always been told and it’s true, in those first few moments you take in all sorts of visual and auditory signals and immediately form an impression. This is one of the reasons that I blog, having children with an “invisible disability”.

Anyway…

I trotted along to the interview having pre-read the notes I’d been emailed. Very strict notes they were too:
No visible jewellery
No nail varnish
No visible make-up

Now the first two I could happily adhere to, but the third? The thought of going anywhere IN PUBLIC without a bit of mascara, eye liner and lipstick, umm no. So – not that I ever paste it on anyway – I toned it all down and hoped for the best.

I went up four flights of stairs to the training centre for the interview and walked into a room full of silent people, sitting around a table. Not looking at each other, avoiding eye contact if it was made, just sitting there. Occasionally (about every ten minutes) there would be a call from down two flights of stairs for the next person, but no-one came up with a smile and a “come this way”, just a shout up the stairs.

There was someone there who took proof of Id but otherwise, we all sat there. Moving along chair-by-chair until we all eventually (I timed it, 50 minutes from first sitting down to being called) we were in the “hot seat”.

And then, you go down two flights of stairs to be greeted – not with a smile or handshake – but “sit down” and bombarded with “where have you applied to/what post/what do you think it would entail”. All very regimented and then “we’ll let you know if you are through to the next stage”. Goodie.

I didn’t get through, I don’t know why. Maybe it was the minimal makeup, the fact that I’m a mum with SN children, that I’d rely on a bus to get there. Maybe…just maybe, it’s because I put one of my interests down as blogging and writing and perhaps they thought I was “undercover”.

Anyway, I got the email and then another one requesting feedback on the interview process and the welcome meeting. Excuse me, what meeting? We were treated like pieces of blooming meat.

And the company? Let’s just say, whilst the meals may be “happy”, I bet the staff aren’t.

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What’s the answer? More admin staff?

I cannot knock the good work that the front-line NHS staff do, under extreme budget constraints and they are life-savers basically.

What I am going to have a minor moment about today is the back room administration, or lack of it.

D was diagnosed at a paediatric centre some (blimey) 4 years ago. We had a doctor there, a point of contact, a name. She (the doctor) left a couple of years ago and since then D is a “floating patient”, “an ex-(area) patient”. No-one wants to take ownership for her.

This makes things difficult in terms of follow-up appointments (11 month wait last year), instances when there is a referral from GP and no-one responds and issues when it comes to medication requests (which are made every three months).

Take last week for example, I have learned not to request meds when we are nearly out, I phone when we have three weeks supply left.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday…left message on answer-phone. Thursday I got through to someone “oooh, you were next on my list”. Really? Request made and along with that, a request that I pick up the prescription and it not be sent to the hospital pharmacy. Even though the pharmacy is (literally) 5 minutes walk away, it takes up to FIVE working days for the pharmacy to receive the prescription in the internal mail.

I thought she’d agreed and taken this on board but….you’ve guessed it, when I got through to someone yesterday, it’s gone off in the internal post to the pharmacy.

So..I’m waiting and hoping that the prescription doesn’t get lost in the internal post (it has before) and that maybe I’ll be picking up her meds next week, or the week after.

Oh, I don’t know. I know it can’t be easy working under constraints and probably increasing patient numbers under decreasing staff but a) returning a call when there’s a message left and b) actually listening to a parents request which would potentially save time.

And yes, I did work in an office before (PA) so I know how busy life is but..lists! Lists were always the answer.

Rant over (I think), until I have to do it all again in another 3 months.

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For goodness sake and other thoughts…

I have a subscription to “My Animal Farm” for D, she loves receiving the books and, of course, the little farm animals. Generally she gets four issues every four weeks – which T will grump about, forgetting he has his Match magazine delivered every week.

The days and weeks merge together, don’t they and it’s easy to loose track of time, especially when there is so much else going on.

It was only when I saw a bank statement last week that I realised we hadn’t had any issues for a while and thought “I must phone them”.

Then, last Thursday, a lady knocked on the door with 12 issues! My issues! She subscribed to a cooking magazine, changed her delivery address to her mums in my road and basically her mum had been receiving my issues – addressed to me but to her address?!? She’d phoned them a few times but they kept arriving and it was only when she spoke to our postman – who’s a fab, friendly little chap – and he suggested they might be mine. Goodness knows where her cooking sub is going to.

My postman knocked the next day to check she’d been round etc. I phoned the company and they were adamant I’d moved (errrr no!) and that was why the address had changed. So, after a conversation where I quoted Data Protection etc, it should have been sorted.

Not so… I phoned them today to see if I could get a replacement scarecrow (the one that D dropped on the track on Saturday) and they couldn’t find me on their system. Not by name, address or email address. They then said “oh, we have your delivery address as xxxxx (correct) but your billing address is xxxxx (in the next blooming village!).

Virtual explosion down the phone and hopefully it’s now all sorted out but if four more issues don’t appear in four weeks, I’ll be on the phone again… but this can’t just be restricted to me surely. How many other people have “moved” according to their systems?

One good thing to come out of this, D’s being sent another scarecrow, shame it’s not “wine o’clock” yet, I’ll have a decaff instead.

Rant over, thanks for reading Jx 😘