Peel Zoo – fun for the whole family.

School holidays and weekends are always great for trying new experiences. We ventured out to Peel Zoo in Pinjarra which was about 30 minutes from where we live.

The staff were very friendly when we got there giving us a map and telling us about the day’s free activities they had on that day. They accept the NDS companion card so parents like me who have a special needs child and need an extra person, the extra person is covered for free on the companion card.

As you walk in you see the ferrets and several tanks on display with different reptiles. The front area when you walk in also has tables for public use to have your lunch or a rest.

As you walk round there are several areas you can go into and see the animals up close. We went and fed the kangaroos. Cuddled an alpaca or two. The dears, sheep and goats were pretty friendly too. The walk in Avery was a huge hit with the kids but I wasn’t to comfortable with the birds landing on me haha.

There are free activities held throughout the day. Abi’s favorite was getting to hold a snake. The staff member seen how much Abi loved holding the snake and when the line died down invited her to hold the snake again which made her day.

After exploring and seeing the animals we went for a short walk to the restaurant across the bridge and sat down and enjoyed a meal with the kids. The setting was beautiful with a big bridge and beautiful grassed area the kids loved exploring. It was a great way to end the day’s adventure.

We will be going back again for sure as it was a huge hit with everyone. Best of all I discovered on the website they do annual passes.

So when visiting Mandurah/Perth take a trip out the the friendly Peel zoo for some great animal encounters everyone will enjoy.

http://www.peelzoo.com.au

World Autism Awareness Day 2019

Today is world autism awareness day. A day to raise awareness and celebrate the awesomeness of people like my daughter Abigail who have autism. One thing I won’t be sharing is the blue puzzle piece. The puzzle piece and light it up blue were started by a company called Autism speaks. They started out wanting to “cure” autism or find a way to eradicate it by finding it in utero. They also originally claimed Autism was linked with vaccines which has been disproven time and time again there is no link. Autism isn’t something that needs cured. People with Autism aren’t a missing puzzle piece. It is a spectrum disorder they are all wonderfully unique in their own way.

(Link to article about autism speaks and why the autism community do not support this organization – https://theaspergian.com/2019/03/29/autism-speaks-just-no/ )

My daughter Abi (diagnoses ASD 1-2) is amazing I love her quirks ,her cheekiness everything that makes her her. I hate when people ask about her quirks and I explain she has Autism. The ignorance that radiates off them when they say oh sorry she has autism. Why do people say sorry. She is amazing she loves to sing and dance and has no care who sees. She has things she’s advanced in like puzzles and drawing. She has her challenges also with speech/comprehension/safety. We all have our strengths and weaknesses that doesn’t mean we should be singled out or made to feel less. Autism isn’t less it’s strengths and weakness’s that fit in a particular spectrum.

I love seeing the world through Abi’s eyes and carefree spirit. She teaches me about life just as much as I teach her. So for world autism day I ask please don’t ever say sorry to someone about them having Autism or to a parent of a child with Autism. Autism isn’t something to be sorry about it is something to embrace, love and learn about. It is appreciating everyone’s uniqueness. So take the time today to learn about Autism so we can be supportive and informed as a community and embrace everyone within our community.

Mummy Mondays

I have a little tradition with another mum called Mummy Mondays. I met my friend through our children. We are both single mum’s of special needs children. We met through a school program the kids were both attending. We discovered we had a lot in common with being first time Mum’s who are also single Parents of a child with Autism.

It is hard having your first child friendship circles change people you thought were friends drop off as you move in different circles and you have to find your feet as you adjust to a new part of your identity as a mother. Just as you are finding your feet from becoming a first time mum you end up a single parent. The same thing happens again friends drop off while friendships adjust to the separation. Being a woman you have to deal with the stigma of being a single Mum. Believe me this is very much still a thing. People assume being a single mum you are hungry for another man. Assumptions are made. Oh she must have chased him away. Oh she must have cheated, She must be after everyones husbands now as she wont want to raise a child alone. Oh she has a different last name from her child bet she has lots of kids with different surnames. Oh she must get another man so she is take care of. So many assumptions I wont even list them all. All I wanted to do was focus on my daughter 3 years later and I am still single and not interested in dating properly as my focus is my child and working on my writing. I’m not someone who needs a partner its nice if the right person comes along but that’s just not my focus or a priority im happy on my own.

It takes a while to adjust to becoming a first time mum and becoming a single parent. Just as you think ok ive got this you start noticing that your child isn’t hitting milestones the way they should be and there is unusual behaviors. I had a feeling she had autistic traits and made sure I spoke to the child health nurse and pediatrician. She was first diagnosed with borderline global developmental delay before later being diagnosed with Autism.

My friend went down a similar path and we got talking at school and become friends. Neither of us really got time to go do fun things just as adults. We were lacking much needed self care time. The kids both go to the same day care on a monday for socialization. So we made Mondays a self-care day where we would go do something fun. We generally go to the shops and/or go to the movies maybe grab a bite to eat. Just time to hang out and get some much-needed time out. Self care is so important and being a mum of a special needs child with multiple specialists, NDIS and all the stuff that needs to be done at home to help early intervention self care is needed to ensure I don’t burnout . It is exhausting. Dont get me wrong I am extremely proud of my daughter and how far she’s come she amazes me everyday but, I need time out to re energize so I can be the best mum I can be for her. It is so important for everyone to have some self care time. You can’t help fill everyone’s cup if your cup is empty. So make some time to smell some flowers or better yet get yourself some flowers and enjoy them brightening up your house. Make some time for you can be as simple as taking 5 and doing some mindfulness or taking a day like we do and just have some fun. Laughter and socializing is good for the soul. Make some time for you.

Nadia – xoxo