Monday, 27 March 2017

Finally A Good Day For #PurpleDay

Not only was yesterday Mother's Day it was also #PurpleDay. A worldwide day to raise awareness and money for people with Epilepsy.

Since Grayson overcame the death sentence he was given last year he has been trying his absolute hardest to come back from living with so many seizures. It has not been easy as some of the damage will never correct itself.

Up until now when we leave the house at weekends or in the holidays he is barely ever awake, his sleep at night is massively lacking and unfortunately his Sensory Processing Disorder has only been heightened by the Epilepsy drug that saved his life.

So to deal with that he goes to sleep when out and about, a coping mechanism his brain has decided works best.

But yesterday for Mothers Day and Purple day he stayed awake, for nearly the whole time we were out, he sat and ate lunch with us in the cafe and then after some iPad whilst his brother and sister played in a local gardens he decided to even take a short walk out of his wheels.

I do panic the whole time he is out, especially after another head injury at school last week, but Daddy held on tight and he did brilliantly, even letting go to go and feel the leaves, something I have not seen him do for over 18 months.

It may have only lasted minutes but that was his way of making my day special and for him to say once again to Epilepsy - YOU WILL NOT WIN NOW!

Photo Taken By Ash @ The Ideal Scenario

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Saving The Day And Money, Asda Day And Night Pants

I can not believe I have been changing nappies for over 8 years. In that time I have changed in excess of 18000 nappies for Grayson alone. 

I have come to think of myself as a little of a nappy expert. 

We have used nearly every brand on the market at one time or another. Plus some which aren't. I've used everything from newborn to pull-ups and all in between.  

What I have learnt over that time is 

1. They cost a small fortune, we all can't wait for that saving on our food shopping bill each week once they are potty trained. 
2. The cheapest nappies are not always too good but at the same time the most expensive are not always the best. 
3. Do buy what works for each child individually. No matter the cost. 
4. Buy in bulk, it does save money. 
5. You will at one point always run out of nappies and have to use a towel, tissue, something that works whilst you get to a shop.

Grayson thankfully is funded 70% of his daily nappy usage from the NHS. But that means the other 30% is funded by us, now considering he uses roughly 2500 nappies a year, that is a lot of nappies we have to buy. When we never thought we would be. 

Up until a year ago it was not too much of a problem, Grayson is quite tiny compared to an average 8 year old so I would head and buy 6+ Little Angels nappies (by far my favourite brand). But then as he grew and gained weight that was no longer an option. 

So I headed to an incontinence website and found the nappies Grayson has from the NHS. It all was very easy until I saw the cost and worked out how much that extra 30% would be, over £400 a year. 

There had to be an alternative!

That's when Asda kindly agreed to send me some of their new Day & Night Pants
Aimed at children who still need something to help build their confidence as they learn to stay dry, actually quite a normal occurrence in children going into to school age. 

Asda Day and Night Pants Review for Special Needs Children

They wondered if the Day and Night pants could work for children like Grayson. 

What a lot of people don't realise is not all disabled children are funded nappies from the NHS, so not only was I happy to test them for Grayson, but I wanted to see how they would for children in our network who are trying to make the transition to potty training just at an older age. 

The first thing I noticed was how the Pants had the usual Little Angels quality I have come to love. Some cheaper nappies can feel quite harsh on children's skin, these feel just as their younger nappies do, nice and soft. The elasticity is in all the right places. I have found some pull ups in the past are not very snug around the legs and this can cause them to leak, this is not the case, the Day and Night Pants come with the double flap system. 

A review of Asda Day and Night Pants for use with Special Needs Children

So quality wise they were good, but what about cost ? Would they show me a saving from Grayson's special needs nappies ?

Well for the same 30% of nappies  I would pay around £290. That's over £100 saving and trust me for us every penny is really needed. 

I also like the fact I do not have to worry about remembering to order them online, I just have to head to my local Asda. 

For me Asda could market these to special needs families, I certainly know a few who are using them and are pleased that the option is there, but we have all agreed being in only packs of 10 is not ideal. 
I understand that this maybe enough for many families who are using them at the later stages of training but I am sure packs of say 30 with a slight bulk discount would still sell just as well and certainly would make it better for families like mine. 

But either way they will be going in my trolley each week.

Do let me know if you give them a try, I would love to know how you get on.

*PR Samples

Friday, 20 January 2017

Matchstick Monkey, Can It Work For Aggressive Chewers ??

So for those of you that don't have them, I should explain what an Aggressive Mouther/Chewer is ?

For many disabled children Mouthing/Chewing is just a form of stimming. They need the sensory feedback that comes from chewing non-edible objects.

It is not something they can control, for Grayson if he didn't have a toy or fabric to chew he will find something else, sometimes furniture, worst case he has bitten through his fingers.

Every year Ashley and I spend approximately £250/300 on toys for Grayson to chew, it is not something we can stop so we just like to give him the safest options. Over the years Grayson flits between wanting to chew fabrics or toys so we always have many on hand.

For years Sophie Le Giraffe was a favourite but he can chew through those within a week, it just isn't cost effective.

There are many Special Needs chew toys on the market, some he likes, some don't last and some are just too hard.

Like a baby wants, it needs to have a certain amount of flexibility for feedback but also not to break his teeth.

We have spent the past few months with him using swim toys, they work well but I wont lie they are not discreet and that is quite important for a lot of Special Needs families when out and about.

Matchstick Monkey 

So when I heard of a new British teething toy called Matchstick Monkey I had to give it a try.

Full review of Matchstick Monkey teething toy for special needs children

They kindly sent us a grey monkey out, although the product is designed with teething babies in mind they were very interested to hear how we would get on from different perspective.

Why a monkey?
My daughter has always been a little bit obsessed with monkeys. She is always carrying one around, small, tall, thin, fat - if it is a monkey she would love it. Having small hands it was very important to make something easy to hold. This is when the Matchstick (skinny) part of Matchstick Monkey was born. The perfect teething toy / applicator for pain relief products Made from soft, safe silicone with handles that are thin enough for your little ones to hold and use from a young age Perfect for small hands looking for something to hold with ease.

 Our Thoughts

When I first opened the packaging I loved the size, not too small that he could choke but not too big it was in your face. It is a modern looking toy, up with the times, designed perfectly for being held and not too soft.

I gave it to Grayson and initially he chucked it away. Then I left it by the TV (his favourite place to stand) and within 5 minutes it was in his mouth.

I have shared a few times over on his Instagram Stories just how much he loves it. He not only stims with it orally (he loves the bobbly bit designed for teething gel application best), but he also loves it for hand stims, constantly revolving it between his hands and because it is made of lovely soft silicone it doesn't rub on his skin.

Review of Matchstick Monkey teething toy at Raising a Superhero

Grayson has been mouthing the Matchstick Monkey now for over a month and not one bit of damage, honestly I am HUGELY shocked, I was worried it would not last with his grown up teeth but I was wrong. What I also love is that if he drops it just put in the dishwasher or give it a wash and good as new.

As a Mummy to a 8 year old I love the design for not only babies but also for grown Special Needs Children, it is very discreet and can come in muted tones or nice bright colours depending on your choice.We shall be buying the red as it will help with Grayson's vision problems.

Matchstick Monkey teething toys review from Innocent Charms Chats

No Worrying

There is no escaping the news at the moment if you are a parent with teething toys such as Sophie Le Giraffe holding mould. 
If you are worried then Matchstick Monkey is the way to go, the toy is solid silicone with no holes for dribble to get in, thus no risk of mould near your children, as I said it is also super easy to keep clean.

For £10 we love the Matchstick Monkey and I will be recommending them to Special Needs families as well as friends with young babies, it does everything and more in what you want from a teething toy.

*PR Sample