Holidays Coping with Change

Disney World diaries 185 A change is as good as a rest! 200 Travel tips 201 Disney advice 203

11. Put Safety First 205

Autism nightmares 205 A tribute to Emma-Jane 207 AD/HD hazards 211 Anxieties of Asperger Syndrome 213 Dangers of dyspraxia 217 Safety suggestions 220

12. The Parents' Survival Guide 223

A time for everything 225 Count your blessings 226 Maintaining your own identity 227 Sleeping sickness 228 Survival skills 232

13. A Conclusion to the Chaos 237

Appendix: Diagnostic Criteria (With apologies to those of you like Luke who feel that either you or your children are actually not 'disordered' at all!) 239

DSM-IV 315.4 - Diagnostic criteria for Developmental Coordination Disorder (Dyspraxia) 239 DSM-IV 299.00 - Diagnostic criteria for Autistic Disorder 239 DSM-IV and DSM-IV 315.00 - Diagnostic criteria for Reading Disorder (Dyslexia) 241 DSM-IV 299.80 -Diagnostic criteria for Asperger's Disorder 241 Gillbergs criteria for Asperger's Disorder 242

DSM-IV 314.00 - Diagnostic criteria for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder 243

USEFUL WEBSITES 246 RECOMMENDED READING 249 REFERENCES 250 INDEX 251

Thank you to all my family and friends for all your patience and support whilst I have buried myself in work and neglected you all!

A butterfly lights besides us like a sunbeam and for a brief moment its glory and beauty belong to our world but then it flies on again, and though we wish it could have stayed, we feel lucky to have seen it.

Acknowledgements

I really must say thank you to some people because without them this book would just not have been possible.

The most obvious, biggest and resounding THANK YOU goes to all of the children. Remember all of you - you can do great things and be whatever you want to be. I love you all:

• Matthew. Thank you for helping me with the little ones, for being my friend, for being a caring big brother and for making us all laugh. Be kind to yourself and remember that you CAN do whatever you want to do.

• Rachel. Thank you for your love, sunshine, care and support. Let your inner beauty shine as much as your outer, have confidence in yourself and may all your dreams come true.

• Sarah. Thank you for your honesty and integrity. Many could learn a lot from it. You are truly beautiful in every way. Keep hold of your ideals and don't ever be swayed by the ways of the world (somehow I think that is unlikely).

• Luke. Thank you for being my soul mate, my friend and a light in the world. Always remember that 'different is cool' and the world is your oyster (figure that one out!).

• Anna. Thank you for helping, caring, supporting and loving. Your smile lights up the day and your love, beauty and zest for life are an inspiration. Hold on to your dreams (even the chocolate testing!) and enjoy life to the full.

• Joseph. Thank you Joe for being so much fun and bringing laughter to our world. Thank you for showing us all that there is a different way of looking at things. By letting us into your world, you have helped so many. Keep on dancing Joe and light up the world.

• Ben. Thank you Ben for lighting up our lives. A ray of sunshine and a spark of hope, you are teaching so many and we have so much to learn. I am looking forward to the day when you can tell all. Until then keep on fighting.

• Thank you to Dr Stevens for your support and for giving me the chance to do my utmost to help the children in any way I can.

• Thank you Dr Boissier for listening, caring and acknowledging that parents know their children best.

• Thank you Mick Connelly for making a difference to many. Though I seem to 'go it alone' your presence behind me is my security.

• Thank you Sam for being my 'bestest friend'. Your strength, courage, fun (and tidiness!) are an inspiration to us all. Here's looking to a brighter future babe.

• Last but definitely not least - a big thank you to the chatters gang. No one can ever understand the depth of support, advice and friendship you have all given me. I can never thank you all enough!

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