Ice, Ice Baby!

Would you like to know what the highest frequency word in our house is? It’s ice! Would you like to know the definition of a complete household disaster in my home? Running out of ice! It’s all about ice at our house with the degree of fervour that only someone with an ASD mind could commit to.

Ever since J was a tiny boy he was obsessed with ice. In the car before school every day you will hear – “Icy drink after school, Mum?” Via iMessage during the day – “Fro-co (frozen coke for you iced drinks amateurs!) after school, Mum?” Just before lights out every night – “Ice when you come in? Pretty please with a cherry on top?” I even send ice to school with him in a double insulated thermos!

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Of all the iMessages I’ve received from J, I can honestly say that at least 90% of them are ice themed. Recently J and I discussed how I would love it if he sent me some iMessages that enquired about how my day was going rather than just asking about when his next ice fix might be. He seemed to take this on board. The next iMessage he sent said – “Hi Mum. Sorry you’re working today. When you get home I’m going to give you a big cuddle”. I was so delighted with this text that I immediately began to message him back to thank him. Just as I pressed “send”, another message arrived from him – “Fro-co Mum? Pretty please with a cherry on top?” Well … it was a start!

We have tried a myriad of approaches to help J to achieve ice-finding independence. He lacks the motor skills to twist the ice out of ice trays and if we take them out of the trays and put them in a bucket in the freezer, they tend to stick together which is an issue for J. A lovely friend gifted us with an ice making machine which is fabulous, but again J is unable to use it independently (he hates the noise of it!) and it does require a degree of organisation which is problematic in the context of a work day.

So really, there’s only one solution as I see it. Whilst other girls dream of things like handbags, perfume and pretty frocks, I’m dreaming about a big arse 680L French Door fridge WITH a built in ice dispenser capable of storing up to 1.3kg of ice at a time! Oh glorious, non-stop ice that J can source independently whenever he likes. It will eventually be mine and it will be “freezing” awesome!

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Inclusion and Diversity.

In years past, I have extensively blogged through the month of April (Autism awareness month) in the hope that sharing our journey would encourage understanding and acceptance of Autism beyond our family unit.  As I read over my posts from the last few years, the journey we have been on takes shape.

I started blogging with a genuine need to want to educate those around us about Autism.  Over time, this then evolved into a want to promote acceptance and understanding.  Today, I am at yet another stage of the journey.  Now my focus is on celebrating diversity – celebrating all of our spectacular differences.   It is not just about Autism now – it’s about creating a culture of inclusion in all contexts, in all age groups, for everyone.

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Our differences are the one thing we all have in common. It is not our differences that divide us or make others feel excluded – it’s our failure to accept, encourage and celebrate diversity that causes division.  We all have vulnerabilities and each of us will experience feeling different, separate, not a part of things at same stage or another.  It all depends on the context – the people, the situation, the environment.  We need to draw on these experiences and use them to ensure that we live inclusion every day, in every context and that we model this for others, especially for our children.

“Always remember that you are absolutely unique.  Just like everyone else!” (Margaret Mead)

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