Raising little Westies, and life as parent of a special needs son

Category Archives: Uncategorized

Waving the white flag

One of those posts where there is no sense “liking” it.

Autism is hard, parenting is hard, and parenting alongside a partner who is also struggling to cope is extremely hard. If any of us only ever keep looking at how far there is left to go rather than how far we’ve come, we will be forever overwhelmed.

Reaching out is the right thing to do. What would it take for a parent to be able to actually have “time off” though?


Quick blog post on Westiefit about my (lack of?) progress since January 14.

Some goals have been set, and some tools are in place.

Westie Fitness

I managed to find my wife an exercise bike, make myself feel like I was about to become a cripple, and take up swimming.

What have I achieved?

I have, for the first time ever, set myself up to run more than 5km. I did this in a way that was not sustainable.

I worked myself up to swimming freestyle for over 1km, which is a first ever for me.

I have returned to work (in Canberra), where I have joined Golds Gym – even though it is not quite open yet – as a foundation member. My coming fitness goals, will be achieved both in and out of the gym – with in-gym work, a program to follow at home, and some attention to food. No doubt, as has happened with me in the past, the harder that my alcohol consumption makes my fitness work at the…

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My fitness routine has taken a bit of a blow, but I’m heading back on track now. Check out my latest blog on WestieFitness.

Westie Fitness

Like many people, I started my exercise kick powered by guilt, a burst of enthusiasm, and the inherent knowledge we all share of our own indestructible nature.

That was short lived.

I have not run since January 3. And for most of the time since then I have been quite limited in my ability to even walk, with pain in my ankles, knees, and particularly my Achilles’ tendon.

So … What have I been doing about it?

I have preserved through my pain and walked anyway – although the distances have been reduced.

I have been swimming quite a bit. 10 laps “most days” only counting my overran laps – I have swum breast stroke as well but not kept count of those laps.

I have been doing quite a bit of body weight work in the form of push-ups, kettle bell exercises, and elements of body pump fitness. I’m…

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New Years Eve – in pictures

It seems I missed actually presenting any kind of record of the New Year at Westy Central.


I hope the coming of the new year was a time of happiness and togetherness for all of you.

End of the world

My message to you is from the Prime Minister of Australia, letting you all know about the End of the World.
Which coincides with the end of my current contract.

There has to be some higher power at play there, surely?

Success for 2012

It’s fast approaching.

The end of the year. Time to review where we are at.

How does a family, a parent, measure success? They look to the children.

My wife has advised that in the next couple of weeks our youngest gets a citizenship badge (not bad for a seldomly verbal boy with autism), his brother gets an academic achievement award, and their sister will hopefully be provided a Student Leader role of one form or another.

On her own front, my wonderful wife has managed to continually improve the state of our home, in the same year as she has returned to work on a rather chaotic basis, in the same year as she has continued to lose weight, while becoming fitter, and dealing with a husband (ME!) who is now only home a couple of days a week.

I have managed my transition from public servant, to casual phone monkey, to contracting ICT professional, travelling away from home. The team I am working in, has been doing OK in changing an organisation from a mish mash of obsolete crap, to a modern computer system. It is a big job and our part is a small but important one, we have done it well with sketchy support and at time poor tools, using in the main people who came to work to do quite a different task to the ones they find themself doing.

So far, so good, and tomorrow it’s the last day of Spring.

I hope your year has been as good as mine, so far!

Just Tripping

Our trip from Westy Central to the North Coast, along with all the other Cashed Up Bogans, was chaotic. But we did arrive!


Just Tripping

Yesterday it was our turn to go on a road trip, so after much excitement and activity (i finished packing at midnight and still forgot my bloody jeans!) we loaded the medium sized red car, with our excessively loaded bags, gasped at how small the boot the car is in comparison to my trusty old ute, and headed off to take the kids to visit my parents in Wauchope. Just in case you are ever filled with a burning desire to visit a small, country town, twenty minutes from the beaches, i have p0rovided  the above link.

As Chook Whisperer is still seven, and according to our laws, he is still required to sit on a booster seat. In other cars, no problem, yet our Space cadet, aged ten found issue with this seating arrangement, particularly with Chook Whisperer sitting in the middle seat next to her.Let us…

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It’s a battle that will outlive the strongest of us.


Wearily we tread, not knowing what challenges we will face and where the next assault will come from, and in what form. There will be brief, intermittent periods of respite, although often this respite will conclude with an ass-ailment on all fronts.

We must be vigilant, for we know our duty has no end, and our rewards are not immediate or apparent. We will shift from task to task, being harried into making mistakes. Sometimes,  if we are lucky, we can recover from our misstep, but in many cases we will fall, collapsing in a heap until we can recover. Or in other cases, we must ignore our own hurts, our own important tasks, to comfort the other fallen, who have not yet developed those skills to face the challenges that face us.

The toll is enormous. Some of us will take longer to recover. Many of us will fail…

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The honest list..

All parents find joy in shouting from the rooftops about all the things their children can do.

But none of that gets either you, or your child, any help at all in this needs focussed society we live in. Pointing out what our children cannot do is an anathema.

This is sure to be yet another absolutely fantastic post by Fi. Fi, who leaves no emotion unexposed, who tells us the bright and shiny, and the dark and scary.

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