This blog, 'Meltdowns, Tantrums and a Puppy' has been following the story of William, my little boy with a complicated little mix of health challenges, mild cerebral palsy and asperger's syndrome, and his dog Oliver. Oliver has been helping Wills to interact and manage his world in all sorts of ways and I was planning to train Oliver to be his full time assist dog. However, Oliver has done so much for Wills just by being his pet and best friend. Since having Oliver, Wills has developed a level of social confidence I could only dream he would have and is coming along really well with physical skills, such as dressing and walking short distances without his wheelchair. It's amazing but, especially given my own physical limitations, it means that it is probably enough for William to have Oli as his special pet dog.
I've spent the last week thinking about what to do with my blogs and the kind of features I write for the national press. I've also spent the last week wondering around the many 'Christmas in July' shows where shops and companies present their Christmas collections to us journalists so we can write about them and present them to you. I love reading Christmas ideas features but, so often, the toys and games aren't relevant to William. The more I wondered around the shows, the more I found myself getting drawn to products that would be good for him, and then to products that would be good for some of the other children we know, those with more severe disabilities and those who rely on sensory stimulation for their entertainment and education...and there it was, my idea for developing this blog.
Inspired by my two 'boys,' 'Oliver and Wills' is now a new parenting blog for families who have a child with special needs - be it a physical disability, learning disability, sensory disability, autism, chronic illness... anything that adds an extra challenge to parenting and family life. Every day, I'll be sharing our stories and stories from other family blogs, I'll review products and services and I'll include features on things such as entertaining children in hospital, coping with sibling anxiety, coping with the stress. They'll be competitions and prizes too so please spread the word.
I'll also include features about our canine members of the family, particularly the friendships between dogs and all children of ages and abilities.
If there's anything you'd like to see addressed on here, please do get in touch and let me know. I'm also looking for families to test products and days out so please get in touch if you'd be willing to have some fun and try something new.