topbella

23 February 2013

early signs of autism


Salam Alaikum

Early signs of autism are quite difficult to spot. Some won't start showing signs until they reach 1 years old, some even older. The most common signs are speech and development delays. I won't go into full details of all the signs, as i think this website is really good MashaAllah http://www.autism.org.uk/ I will however tell my story and bear in mind every case is different :)
During my son's first 3 years of life, I had my concerns that everything wasn't how it should be. Unlike my girls, when he was fed, he never fell asleep and he wouldn't sleep if I held him closely. I would either have to sit back and lay him across my legs or in his cot. I found this quite bizarre and brought it up with my health visitor. Her response was, "he's a boy, they're different from girls, besides every child has different likes and dislikes". I accepted her answer, although i did feel a bit uneasy, but who was i to challenge her? She's the one with the know how, right?
Another issue I had with him and wish also made me quite concerned was that by the age of 6 months, he couldn't turn from back to stomach! He didn't manage to do it until he was 7 months old. Again I approach the health visitor, who again brushed me off by saying "he's a boy, they tend to be lazy, don't worry he will catch up later on".. He didn't sit until he was about 10 months, hardly crawled, but walked by the age of 13 months..
He was a very quiet boy, he hardly cried. The first year of his life was so easy in that sense MashaAllah. He loved his cars and trains, actually anything with wheels on that he could spin. He would push his push-along-car on the side and just sit and spin the wheels. He would do line ups of cars, trains and bricks, usually he would climb up on the sofa and line them up on the radiator behind it (it was never switched on). When I tried to play with him and his trains, he would just give me his back and keep playing on his own.. Now I didn't see this as a sign of anything at the time. I just saw it as a boy thing and his personality.
He had delayed speech.. He didn't really say much, he never said mama or dada, like most babies do.. The first time he said any proper word, was when I dropped off my girls at nursery. We walked pass the trolley with lunch bags and he pointed and said "Mickey Mouse!" he was about 1 1/2 years then, if i remember correctly.. Then a few weeks later, whilst i was preparing lunch, he sat on the floor in the livingroom and counted from 1-10 and 10-1! I was absolutely amazed by this! Ran over to him and asked him several times  to do it a again, nope! I was totally ignored.. But Alhamdulillah shortly after he started talking like other toddlers do, but was a bit delayed. The health visitor assured me that this delay was due to him hearing 3 languages at home, Khair InshaAllah
Just before he was 2 years old, I gave birth to my youngest girl. When we came home from the hospital, he didn't show any interest in the baby at all! The girls were so excited and couldn't wait to sit with her in their lap. After they both had sat with her for a while, I put the baby down on a blanket on the floor. I told my son to come over and say hi.. He came over looked at her for a bit, then he grabbed her arm, she startled and cried and he slapped her on her chest! I was shocked and as a reaction i shouted "No!" at him and grabbed the baby to comfort her.. After that he couldn't stand the sight of her. I couldn't put her down on the floor at all and had to supervise him constantly, as he would hurt her otherwise. I used to have the baby in the car seat whenever i had to do chores or cook, so i could have her next to me at all times. That was quite hard at times to be honest.
It was also around this time when he started to have uncontrollable tantrums. He would scream for long periods at times and would lash out at anyone nearby, sometimes I had to put him in lock-down just to calm him down, it was horrible at times, it was as if he was out of his own body, you couldn't get contact with him at all SubhanAllah. A friend of mine, who was on a visit one day, when he had one of his uncontrollable tantrums, asked me if I had any thoughts of him having autism. I swear I got really offended! What I knew of autism at that time, was that they were mentally retarded, AstaghfirAllah. I told her exactly what the health visitor told me, that there was no concerns there at all.
Not long after that episode, we went to her house. She lives up on the Moors, so it's quite open and always a breeze.. That day when we left her house and got outside, he started screaming like mad! He put his hands over his ears and bounced around, I had never seen anything like it! I grabbed him and carried him to the car, got him to calm down and tried to ask what was the matter, but no response at all. My friend suggested that i took him to my GP and got him checked out, she then told me a story of her friend, who's daugther had reacted like that once and she had autism. I rolled my eyes and took off.. I took him to the GP the next day, but he found nothing wrong with his ears.  From this day, if it was windy or cold he would do the same! he wouldn't leave the house without a hat, regardless the temperature and when the winter arrived he used to lock his body and wouldn't even move. So I would have to carry him to and from the car, whenever we had to go somewhere.
When he started nursery, in April 2010, he had his elder sister with him (my second daughter was attending the nursery at that time). He did really well and thoroughly enjoyed it. But I think it was because he had been coming to that nursery since he was born and therefore knew all members of staff. Whenever he got upset, his sister would comfort him and the drama was soon over. But as we got closer to end of term, the head of the nursery, pulled me aside and we discussed some of the issues with him. She told me that he seemed too excited about the smallest things, at story telling he would him up and down and really get into the story. Aswell as he would remember the story almost word by word, just by hearing it once or twice and would interrupt the session. Lol this really made me laugh, because to me that just indicates he has great memory skills, although I know it must have been rather annoying for the teacher telling the story.. Also he had some issues with sharing toys and he would get completely thrown off, if he didn’t get to play with the trains every morning. It was as if he had created his own routine. He would get in to the nursery, straight to the trains, then when the door opened, he’d go outside to play, then back inside for a snack , play with the trains and outside again, until it was tidy up time and they finished off the day with a song and a story.. After telling me all this, she then went on and say she though he might be slightly autistic. Not that he was, but if he was, then it was a mild version of it. Again I got annoyed and offended and explained to her, just as I did to my friend , that there was nothing wrong. And we left it at that.
Just as we finished that school term, the kids’ father became very ill. He was in hospital for several weeks and there was a period of time, where the doctors gave him 50/50 chance of survival. This had a huge impact on the kids. I could not get myself to tell them the reality of the situation, they were told he was very ill, but would be back soon, InshaAllah. It was probably the most difficult time for all of us and it was then I noticed how my son would withdraw himself completely and he became very clingy aswell. He has always had difficulties in attaching himself to people and this got worse during this time. In the end I had to inform the nursery of what was going on, as he was becoming more and more frustrated at home. He would attack his sisters without reasons and it was a constant battle everytime he came home. The nursery were absolutely amazing! They offered me transport for the kids and offered them fulltime sessions, without extra costs. They even offered to take them out and babysit! They were such a great support for both me and my kids, that I’ll never be able to thank them enough! As the summer holiday approached, their father started to recover, Alhamdulillah and was finally discharged. I knew that this would be a long holiday and right I was. My son totally rejected his father, he refused to even be in the same room as him and it took us weeks for him to get used to seeing his dad in this fragile state.
In September 2010, my 2nd daugther joined her eldest sister in primary school, which meant he would be in nursery on his own. This was in particular hard for him to accept and he would absolutely kick off every morning, after Dina and Maria had been dropped off. And as we approached the nursery, he would refuse to get out of the car and sometimes he would try to hurt his baby sister aswell. But when we finally got out of the car he’d be fine. Then when I picked him up from nursery, he’d start all over again, screaming, throwing himself down on the road and God knows what! This would start as soon as we came out of the nursery until we came home. Then he would start attacking his baby sister and would do anything to make her upset. This in particular was very hard to deal with. She was defenceless and I would be locked into sitting with her in my lap constantly, so he wouldn’t touch her and this would carry on for at least an hour or so. Then it started all over again when we picked up the girls from school. He would attack them, but especially my 2nd daugther, who had just left nursery. It got to a point where I actually starting thinking there must be something wrong with him. I spoke to the head of the nursery again and she said they’d keep an eye out for the different aspects which would indicate there was something wrong and by them collecting information, they’d be able to refer us to the childrens mental health unit (who will be able to get the right people in and a diagnosis).
As time went by, he started to settle in a bit more, as he got used to his routine, but he’d still be lashing out after his baby sister whenever possible. During that academic year I spoke to the nursery several times and every time they would give me a different answer. He’d have autistic tendancies, then he’d be fine and then again autistic tendancies and this circle kept going until I actually asked them to help me to get hold of the people who deal with autism, so at least we’d get a professional in to look at him and get a diagnosis once and for all. All this run around made me more confused than anything, aswell as frustrated. They contacted camhs, who told them to send me on a parenting course! Ehm hello?? What was that all about?? The head of the nursery also got offended by their suggestion, as she knew there was absolutely NOTHING wrong with my parenting skills and she actually hung up on them lol! She then told me to go to my GP, who would be able to get a referral through for me. So I did, but the outcome was nothing like I had expected. I told him about all my worries and what the nursery had told me, in hope he’d say I wasn’t going insane and there was something! But nope, he turned around saying if my son was autistic, then all his kids were autistic! SubhanAllah what an unprofessional and arrogant statement to make. He then went on to say I had to contact my health visitor with my concerns as he’d only deal with 5 year + children with mental health issues.. I was NOT impressed! But I did contact my health visitor who gave me a similar answer as previously, “he’s a boy, he develops slower then girls” bla bla bla.. Then she wanted the nursery to write a report on his behaviour, so she could take that into consideration and take it from there. I honestly felt they were kicking me whilst I was down. Wouldn’t a good GP or health visitor take a mother seriously if she has concerns?? I went back to the nursery, feeling totally defeated and explained what had happen.. They then turned around and said “oh well we’ve tried, there might not be anything wrong afterall” and no paperwork would be done.. Talking about feeling let down, I was devastated..
But Alhamdulillah for my good friends both in real life and online. Without them, I doubt I would have been able to fight back at them. As one dear friend said to me “you won’t get anything done in this country unless you hassle the system, keep going and you’ll get results!” and so I did. I went back to the nursery and demanded that they’d do something to help me out, especially since he’d start in primary school after the summer holiday, which I was dreading as he doesn’t handle changes very well. And Lo and Behold! They FINALLY got the ball rolling! They sent a referral through to a speech and language therapist and the journey towards a diangosis started!
I will be making another post on the process of getting the diagnosis InshaAllah

20 February 2013

Autism

Salam Alaikum

I've been in two minds if I should bring this topic up on the blog. My son is at the final stages of the process of getting diagnosed.. I had another blog prior to this one, where I tried to blog whilst we were going through the process, but it was just too negative. I was going through a really hard time, both with my son and the system, so I decided to remove it and start this one. However, autism is a huge part of my life, it's there every single day Alhamdulillah, there is no running away from that.
I'm thinking of making a few posts on autism in a positive light InshaAllah. And I will try to throw in a bit of advice here and there, I'm no expert, just a mum, has embraced autism with open arms :) But if you're going through the same or know someone who does, then perhaps you might find some of the post useful InshaAllah

Stay fat and die young

Well that's reality.. If you're obese and you're not doing anything about it, you're killing yourself! By being obese your more likely to get diabetes, strokes, high blood pressure, arthritis etc just to mention a few!
You can come up with every excuse in the world, but nothing can justify obesity! You are the one who's eating piles of junk food, you're the one who's not exercising.. You can blame the food industry for your eating habits, you have the choice to cook a healthy meal yourself, so why binge on junk? Beside junk doesn't fill you, it might satisfy your tummy and taste buds for an hour or so, but then you'll get hungry and take another binge..
Seriously aren't you worth more than that? You want to be your own death trap? You don't want to see your kids or grandkids grow up, get married etc? You don't have any dreams of your own? Aren't you tired of buying overpriced plus size clothes?
Yeah you might think I'm rude and obnoxious, but I've been there myself! Done all that binge eating, or as I used to call it "emotional" eating, as it didn't sound as bad.. I've been obese, I ended up developing fibromyalgia, which almost crippled me.. I had severe pain and swelling in feet and hands, my back was killing me, running around with the kids was so hard and I was out of breath in no time.. I let myself go, I set up my own death trap, I was told there was nothing I could do about my pains and aches as there is no cure for fibromyalgia..
I went home and to be honest I was devistated! A woman in her early 30's being in this state?? Dreams and hopes for the future were demolished!
As the shock had sunk in and I had come to terms with my "illness" I found the fighter within me.. I was like "heck, no!" I'm going to prove these doctors wrong, I am going to get my body back to normal.. After much research, I started to change my lifestyle. No crash diet, no yo-yo diet, no fast solution.. One step at the time, that way it wasn't overwhelming and I wouldn't fall back into old habits! When I had manage to get my diet on track, a set sleep pattern, I started exercising..
Lol now that was a challenge which is still a challenge now.. It's all about finding something YOU enjoy doing, that way you are more likely to stick with it and succeed!
I've managed to shed 25 kgs over the last year, i feel and look much healthier, im able to run around with the kids again, heck i can even run without getting out of breath within a few secs! I'm able to do moderate cardio, fibromyalgia sneaks in if I do intensive training, but I'm ok with that, I will get to that stage one day :)
So you see? if I can do it, so can you! Do it for yourself, first and foremost, but also for your family!
Where to start? Well I'm no coach of any sort.. But set yourself a goal weight and a date when you want to achieve it by..

• Drink water! Plenty of it, drink a glass of water before each meal, it will help you not to overeat :)

• get enough sleep! Also very important!

• get your meals right, make sure you get a healthy balanced diet. Eat breakfast, it's the most important meal of the day.. We often tend to skip breakfast, especially if you have busy mornings, don't! At least do a smoothie and add müsli to it, a great meal on the go :) also we often tend to have our biggest meal at dinner time, change that meal to lunch time, that eat you'll have better chances of burning it off :)

•start exercising! Walk instead of using transport whenever you can.. Find a walking buddy, gym buddy, DVD workouts, there are so many options out there! And DON'T STOP, as soon as you start to feel it, dig deeper! The deeper you dig, the better results!

• get organised and prioritise! Plan ahead, get your calendar out, write down your appointments etc, then add your meal planner, create a workout schedule

• get motivated! My motivation has been the biggest loser (Australian Version has been the best in my opinion, love it!) aswell as educate yourself about the food and health risks.. Also read/watch success stories..

• take a picture of yourself in your underwear! Lol weird I know! BUT keep it as a reminder of what and why you're trying to change! Get a clothing item, in a size you want to slim into, hang it in a visible place. I had a dress, which I had Infront of me whenever I exercised, lol it helped me dig deeper in every move, despite the pain!

• change one thing at the time. What I did was to focus one one thing at the time.. Ie with water, made sure I had plenty of water each day, kept a record of it.. The. When I felt I was ready to move to the next I took sleep, made sure I got enough sleep every night, when that had become a routine, I focused on food and so on

Good luck and stay strong, you can do it, you're the one in control x

1 February 2013

Make Me A Muslim

Salam Alaikum

This was the title of a BBC3 programme which was aired on Wednesday evening on 30th January.
The reaction spread via friends and friends of friends on Facebook was rather negative, so I decided to watch it tonight.
Alot of people turn around and judged these sisters, like the fact that the sister who wore nail vanish whilst praying.. Did it ever occur to them, that this sister might not be aware of that because the water doesn't go through the nail vanish, wudhu and salah not being valid? Nope! It's easier to jump on the judging wagon, point the fingers, even being nasty in the way they choose their words..
One of the comment which really hit home was the lack of support reverts have after reverting to Islam. This is actually something most of us feel. At first it's all iiihh, ooohh and aaahh but like a marriage that's only the honeymoon period.. When we get back to reality and go about our daily lives, we often get forgotten by the Muslim community.
It's not an easy decision to make, when you take your shahada.. You're boun to put a strain on the ties you've had with your family and friends.. Some even lose their family and friends when taking this step. As if that wasn't enough, we also get met with hostility on the street, by the British society, who sees us as traitors and think its their rights to abuse us, whenever and wherever, both physically and verbally.. Then we have the born Muslims, who think we either reverted to Islam for a man, attention or whatever else. Seriously? Would we really put ourselves through all this hassle, if we didn't believe in Allah?
But then we also have the cultural issues.. In many cases the reverts will only be let into certain communities/circles if you are either married to one of their men (from their culture) or you're single and you are a potential marriage material for one if their single relatives..
Gosh I could write a book on all these issues that pop in my mind..
Of course it's not everyone who's like this Alhamdulillah, I've met some amazing sisters (aswell as non-Muslims), but sadly hardly any of them are locals.. I've never had a circle of sisters around until recently.. My first 6-7 years have been online communication only :/ although I've tried to get involved in the community a few times, I soon realised that these people aren't what I look for in friends and therefore keep contact to the bare minimal, it's better that way, as it would lead to too much fitnah..
Anyway so what were my thoughts on the documentary? Well to be honest, I don't think it was that bad, not as bad as many other documentaries floating around.. This was made by non-Muslims, so I wouldn't expect Islam to be shown, as it would if it was made by Muslims..
I won't be sitting and pin pointing the sisters errors, who am I to do that? First and foremost I will have to improve myself before I can even judge them. But even then I can't even judge them, as I'm a human being, full of faults..
There was one sister who noone really talked about, the only born Muslim on the show, the host (if you can call it like that) she was actually the one I felt most for.. Her reactions towards the end, her admitting she was lost and her even stating she would slowly change her ways back to Islam. MashaAllah that was huge! I felt really proud on her behalf and I pray she will become closer to the Deen InshaAllah may Allah give her hidayah Ameen!
That also goes to show that if we could all give each other a helping hand, born Muslim or a revert, we could all be helping one another, guiding and supporting one another, we would be a much stronger Ummah, SubhanAllah!

May Allah guide us all Ameen!

26 January 2013

LMP week 2

Salam Alaikum

I've now reached the end of week 2 of my LMP schedule. It's great to be back to strength training MashaAllah just love it! There hasn't been a day where I haven't been sore all over lol, although its a good soreness :) last night I decided to use more weight and SubhanAllah was shaking for hours after my workout!
As with every workout there are some parts you love and some you hate. My absolute favourite is the combination of clean and press with dead lift :) it takes your heart rate up and you feel strong
Another part which I also enjoy is chest and arms, it's definitely a weak point for me. But as the days go by, not only do I feel I'm getting stronger, but my arms are definitely toning up! Which is much needed after I've shed all that weight, too much loose skin everywhere :/
The the hardcore abs workout is definitely challenging and the first few times I did struggle quite alot, but again I'm getting stronger and InshaAllah I will soon be able to get the full satisfaction from this
Now there are a couple of things I dislike about this workout, it's lunges!! Can't stick them! My leg muscles are and have always been rock hard, especially on the back of my leg, which gives me muscle cramps when going lunges :( that also means I can't get the full workout as I will have to stop quite a few times during the track.
And then there is the flow workout, or actually stretch programme. It's a yoga style stretch programme and I really dislike this one, so I've replaced that with Pilates. I've got 2 Pilates DVDs with Lara Hudson, they've got really good stretch programmes MashaAllah
Today is the last day of week 2 and a rest day. Lol doubt I would be able to do any workout today due to soreness! I'm planning to get some cardio in at some point, but for now I really want to finish these 13 weeks and I can always add on the further into the programme I get

Kia Kaha - stay strong :)



22 January 2013

homemade sugar scrub!

Salam Alaikum

Has anyone tried sugar scrubs to exfoliate your skin? they're lush! they make your skin supersoft MashaAllah.
Well I've not been into town for a while, so hadn't been able to get any in stock.. So looked online and saw LOADS of sites who had LOADS of recipes.. Most of them had 1 cup sugar, 1/2 oil and a few drops of essential oil.. I used what I had at home, used 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 coconut oil and lavender oil.
Mix it all together and store in a pot with lid. When you want to use it, scrub it all over your body, leave for a a few mins and rinse with warm water. Your skin will feel so smooth! I always use a good moisturizer after showers and it leaves the skin so so soft, love it!
 will definitely continue to use this and will experience with other combinations aswell. Might look into more products me thinks :) will post here as i try and test some other stuff InshaAllah, but for now, this sugar scrub is a winner and will be done on a regular basis :)




20 January 2013

headlice/nits!

Salam Alaikum

If there is anything I hate about school terms it's nits! argh they make my skin crawl! And if you've got kids in school age, you're most likely getting those much hated letters every now and then. I've got 3 girls with long hair and OMG it's a never ending story here. It doesn't matter how i tie their hair, they still get them! I've even cut my eldest 2 hair short, big mistake! it was even worse!

using chemicals every time, it's really not good for their scalp. The schools recommend to use plenty of conditioner with tea tree oil. These can be found in most supermarkets at a very reasonable price. However if you miss 1 of those buggers, the child will soon be covered all over again :/

something I've found very effective is vinegar and olive oil. I use a spray bottle and soak their hair with vinegar. This is suppose to suffocate the nits. then i apply olive oil, which is suppose to losen the eggs from the hair. Then wrap their hair with cling film and then cover it with a shower hat. I leave it to work for 30-45 mins and then comb their hair with a nitty gritty comb. I love these combs as they've got long teeth and make it easier to get through my eldest thick hair MashaAllah

Then i wash their hair with regular shampoo, you need to wash and rinse a couple of times to get all the oil out..

I've also tried tea tree oil. Although effective, it's not as effective as the above method. My opinion anyway.. If you want to use tea tree oil, then make sure to mix it with a base, either olive oil or conditioner. If you add pure tea tree oil directly to the scalp it can irritate the skin and cause allergic reaction.

after getting rid of the nits, it's important to keep checking for a week or two, to make sure they're all gone.
Also you can mix water with approx 10 drops of tea tree oil and spray your child's hair every morning before going to school. this is suppose to keep the nits away, i've not tried that yet, but will be as soon as i get hold of some tea tree oil.


About Me

aisha Lips
I'm a busy mum of 4, trying to make the most out of our lives. As much as i enjoy parenthood, i too need to escape from the real world sometimes. So this will be the place where I will explore random things, share hobbies etc, hope you'll enjoy
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