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Sunday, 30 September 2012

A review The Blossom Method

The Blossom Method- The Revolutionary Way to Communicate With Your Baby from Birth
By Vivien Sabel
ISBN: 9780091947538
Published on June 7 2012 by: Vermillion               RRP: £7.99

Vivien Sabel is a registered Psychotherapist. Her first book The Blossom Method™ - The Revolutionary Way To Communicate With Your Baby From Birth describes the communication method she has developed. For more information about The Blossom Method™ go to

Review by Sharon Trotter (Midwife and founder of TIPS Ltd)
The Blossom Method will become an international bestseller!
I have never made such a prediction about any book before but then this is no ordinary book. Its message is simple enough: observe, mirror and respond to your baby's non-verbal clues and you can learn to better understand their language.

Vivien Sabel was the third and last child of a non-signing deaf mother (an inspiration in her own right). This taught Vivien to recognise the subtleties of non-verbal communication instinctively. Vivien used these skills to communicate with her baby daughter Blossom who was born in 2004. Vivien went on to research this very topic for many years, observing many newborns' ways of communicating: tongue-talking, body-talk, eye gaze and simple signing.  When Vivien tried to discuss her findings with other new parents she was surprised to find out that they were not already using this simple system of communication to ‘talk’ to their babies. So she decided to share her tips with us all in a book. Professionals and parents were quick to praise Vivien’s book and after dozens of enthusiastic reviews from many parenting experts around the world a publishing deal soon followed (you can follow Vivien’s inspirational journey to publication in our latest ‘My Story’ feature).

Named after her daughter, The Blossom Method will help everyone to better understand baby language. Once you understand a baby, you can quickly learn to speak back and respond to their needs before they become distressed. What Vivien describes is so simple and so obvious that you may wonder why we have not heard about this before. In fact, this is nothing new. Babies have been ‘talking’ to us since time began but maybe we have lost the ability to fully tune into their language, especially in the fast-paced world we live in. The Blossom Method™ will help us all re-learn our babies' non-verbal signs. This is sure to greatly reduce stress for all parents!

A few years ago I was asked to review the Dunstan Baby Language DVD ( ). The concept is similar to The Blossom Method™ but the Dunstan Baby Language lists five common baby sounds as the basis of a communication system. The Blossom Method™ identifies many more communication clues for parents, including baby talk, leg kicking and even the smell of baby’s breath. Understanding and responding to these clues can greatly increase the bond with your baby who in turn will feel more secure and self-confident.

The Blossom Method™ clearly explains how to observe, mirror and respond to your baby. It also provides various testimonials from parents who have used The Blossom Method™ to deal with a number of parenting issues like constipation, early signs of illness and early potty training.
Where this book proves to be a real gem is in its relaxed tone and non-judgemental advice. Anyone who reads this book can become a better parent or carer – you can’t say fairer than that!
I am so impressed with The Blossom Method™ that I have decided to award it a TIPS Must-have

Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Blossom Method™ - A Review by Roxana Rudzik-Shaw

Book Review: "The Blossom MethodTM. Vivien Sabel writes from the heart in her baby-centred book, The Blossom Method™. Typically parents-to-be or new parents, as well as primary caregivers, devote much of their time attending to babies and young children, providing them with various experiences facilitating the development of their babies' senses, teaching them about the world and how to acquire new skills to aid their personal development, including personalities or identities.

However, whilst babies are not born with linguistic communication capabilities or coherent paralinguistic and non-verbal mediums of communication that would be recognised by the majority of adults, we may at times overlook babies' eagerness to communicate with us in their own way. The question we as adults need to consider is whether we are able to communicate effectively with babies? And if so, are we ready to accept that we need to learn about the new born individual from their unique perspective?
We are aware of the two-way process of communication whereby 'the message' is sent to an intended recipient and if it is heard and understood, the recipient strives to convey their understanding of this message back to the sender. This not only applies to young people and adults, but to newborns also. Babies are keen to be 'heard' and understood, otherwise they may begin to feel distressed and frustrated as may be the case for the majority adults.

On reading The Blossom Method™, it is very clear from Vivien's personal experiences as a mother and the experiences of her research participants, that each baby wishes to communicate with us in their unique way as well as being attended to, such as having their primary needs met and feeling safe, cared for and loved. The Blossom Method™ embraces this idea, educating us about the importance of non-verbal communication with babies, whilst also offering a simplistic and practical model of Observe-Mirror-Respond in which to use as a basis of being able to communicate more effectively with your baby, understanding your baby's needs and desires through their non-verbal behaviour and to more clearly understand what your baby is trying to communicate to you.
In The Blossom Method™ Vivien offers this three step model as an invitation to try to explore with your own baby with the aim being to connect with our babies, build a great foundation for a two-way relationship to flourish. This invitation is refreshing and unlike many 'How To' books I have come across that claim to have all the answers, and unfortunately, in doing so these books seem to put a lot of pressure on parents-to-be and new parents.

By comparison, Vivien's compassion and warmth shine through in The Blossom Method™. I would most definitely recommend this book to any expectant and new parents, as well as adults in the helping professions. I would also offer The Blossom Method™ as a resource to some of the clients I encounter whom at times struggle to be ‘perfect’ as parents or caregivers. I believe The Blossom Method™ would encourage more exploration and confidence-building in striving to be the best one can be." 

Roxana Rudzik-Shaw (MSc (Dist.), BSc (dual hons), MBACP, MBPsS, ACTO, TESOL, ACTDEC) Professional Counselling, Supervision, Training, Research and Support Services
Tel: 07754233093 Tw: @RRS_counselling
RRS Counselling Services © 2010 - 2012. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Saying Goodbye UK

Hello I am a former 'terp', British Sign Language interpreter(Deaf Studies & Sign language Interpreting University of Bristol, UK 1996) amongst other things I am a volunteer Media Advocate for @SayingGoodbyeUK an organisation working nationally to mark infant losses of UK parents.

 We at Saying Goodbye are running non-denominational services in memory of our ‘lost/angel’ babies. These services are going to allow parents to remember their lost babies. Their infants lost through miscarriage, stillbirth and early infant death.

 In support of the good work I am trying to find volunteer interpreters in order to include the deaf community in these services. As a mother who has suffered many infant losses and as deaf person I would love to see interpreter access being offered. Saying Goodbye are relying on many of us to volunteer and I am hopeful some of you may be able to offer your time voluntarily. 2012 locations & dates.

There are seven confirmed services in 2012 and we hope to have a minimum of fifteen services in 2013 Cardiff - 03/11/12 - 3pm South - TBC London SP - 24/11/12 - 5pm Bristol - 08/12/12 - 3.30pm Exeter - 15/09/12 - 3pm Edinburgh - 22/09/12 - 3pm York - 29/09/12 - 1.30pm Birmingham - 28/10/12 - 3.30pm If you think you have some spare time to offer to interpret at any of these services for this organisation please email me on My website address is A huge thank you to all of you who have taken the time to consider this. For further information about Saying Goodbye please see their site

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Happy Father's Day

Dad I wish you were here to share today. We miss you in so many ways. Even though you're not with us now. I talk to you up in the clouds. With love today and always your ever-loving daughter Vivi

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Review of The Blossom Method™

Book Review by Chris Bonsmann The best time to read 'The Blossom Method™' is before you have your baby. The techniques described will give you the insight and confidence to become a parent and to enjoy getting to know and love your baby. If your baby is already here, then you can still benefit from this book and appreciate the accessible way in which it is written. Becoming a parent can be a demanding and confusing experience. To be taking care of a small person and not understanding what to do or why your baby is crying is not only stressful but can make you feel not good enough. Vivien Sabel's book will help you to be so much more than 'good enough'. It will help you to be a great parent and to realise that parenting is about love and being open to the experience of finding out what your baby needs and how best to meet those needs. As a Psychological Therapist, every day I meet adults who never had their needs met. Don't let your baby grow up with such a poverty of experience. Christine Bonsmann MBACP (Accred), MBPsS, MSc, MBA, PG Dip.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Here's what someone had to say about The Blossom Method™

Vivien, just about to begin chapter two and already I am amazed. I feel almost embarrassed that I didn't think of it--I mean it's so simple, so natural, so obvious (now) that it's as if humanity has been living in a cave all this time. How could we have NOT recognized this before? One day, parents will look back on your book and say to themselves, "Really? There was a time when people didn't already know this? How could this be?" Congratulations on being the one to figure it out. Makes me wish I had a baby so I could use the Blossom Method right now. :D Hugs!

To Baby Sign or not to Baby Sign that is the question

Is Baby Signing a useful communication tool for you and your baby? Can your baby really communicate using Baby Signing and will you and your baby be able to pick it up easily? At what age do you think your baby will understand Baby Signing? What are the benefits and myths surrounding Baby Signing? Why not join us in this debate and come and discover all you need to know about Baby Signing. Read all about it here in our blog post and decide for yourself!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Dear reader....

Dear reader, you are about to embark on a life-changing journey. Seriously, this book will empower you to be able to make a significant positive difference in your own life and most importantly give your baby the best possible start in the world. I have written this brief introduction to explain why I am quoted on the front cover of this book as saying “Truly groundbreaking … a MUST read for every parent”. There are very few books that will make a profound difference in world, but I can say with confidence, and with delight, that this book is one of them. When I was invited to review the Blossom Method™, I had no idea I would be privy to one of the most ground breaking discoveries for parenting and child development of our time. Babies are born with an innate need to connect and communicate with their parents. We know this is true, when they stare deep into our eyes, move their tongues, cry, smile and reach out to touch, but until now it’s pretty much been a guessing game as to what it is our babies are really saying. How many times has a parent cried in desperation “if only you could tell me what you need I would take care of it”. Well, thanks to Vivien Sabel, now learning your baby’s language and communicating with her IS possible. Since reading this book, I’ve wondered why it has taken so long to discover the secret language of babies. My only explanation is that baby body language, like gravity was always there, but like Isaac Newton it took an amazing person with extraordinary talents to discover it and share it with the world. Vivien’s unique life circumstances of growing up with a deaf mother gave her a profound gift – the ability to notice and to read even the slightest body gesture. Thanks to Vivien, now every parent can practice and develop that same sensitivity using the easy-to-follow step-by-step guide provided in this book. I only wish I had the Blossom Method™ when I was a new mother and spent many sleepless nights trying to guess what my baby needed.
Not knowing, guessing and desperation can now be a thing of the past as you and your baby can learn to communicate from day one. Your baby can have her needs met once you know what to look for in order to understand her. Communication and understanding are the basis upon which a deep life-long bond between you and your child can be established. This will not only change your relationship with your baby, but your baby’s relationship with the world. So you can see why this groundbreaking book is a must read for any new parent! As an educator and advocate for the development of life skills in children, I am so pleased to be able to endorse this book and to witness the incredible difference this will make in the early days of family life for new parents. Most of all, I wait with baited breath to see the difference the Blossom Method™ will make in the world supporting the development a new generation of babies who can communicate, feel understood and form deep bonds with their parents. Dr Rosina McAlpine Associate Professor, Author of Inspired Children: How The Leading Minds of Today Raise Their Kids. Parenting Expert

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Why Does It Take So Long?

The first time we got asked to have our son assessed for autism was when he was 13 years old.

He had just moved up to secondary school.

His first day at school seemed to be fine.

Then his world came crashing down.

He was getting ready for school and as the time for him to leave got closer he became more anxious.

The moment drew closer and he just couldn't walk out of the door. Tears rolled down his face and panic appeared in his face.

On that day we spent hours trying to get him to school without any luck.

This carried on for months the tears, the panic and the anxiety.

We would take him to the school and as soon as we walked into the school gates the panic would start all over again.

We were meant to hand him over to one of the teachers there but he would work himself up and the teacher would just turn round and say,

"If you can't get him in school then we are going to send you to court."

We had done everything we could and the stress this was causing us was unbelievable.

The school even got a psychologist involved and he was the one who asked for him to be assessed.

We had no clue how to do this he told us to go to the doctor and they would get the ball rolling.

We saw the specialist once and he didn't say much. Our son was put on a list.

The school had to fill out forms that the specialist had sent them. There was a delay.

I was left to chase them up myself.

Even then the school continued to threaten us with court action.

Because our son still found it hard getting himself into school.

Last year we finally got our appointment for him to be tested.

The specialist sent out another form for the school to fill out and can you believe it when the time came for the specialist to come around and see us the school still hadn't fill out their part of the assessment.

Thankfully the assessment went ahead.

I was asked once again to chase up the form with the school and after numerous phone calls they eventually sent off the form.

And then we got the results. Our son has autism.

It total it has taken 3 years.

3 years of the school causing a lot of stress.

3 years of court threats.

My question is WHY DOES IT TAKE SO LONG?

And why is there no help for the children and parents who have to go through this slow and distressing process.

Here is a little more about Lisa this weeks guest post blogger

I'm a mum of 3 wonderful children

J is 18 this year and I can't believe how fast he's growing up.

S is 16 and has autism he's a great lad. He's the most kindest lad you will ever meet

H is 5 the only girl in the family she is also being home schooled.

My blog address is

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Dear Mum.......

Dear Mum.........

I wanted to say thank you to you for taking care of me, loving me and being there for me today and always.

Your love is so strong. You unwavering encouragement and support is amazing.

I also want to say thank you for all the things I have inherited from you...chubby knees and deafness included!!

Much love to you on this your special day.

These photographs were taken yesterday. We had our celebration for Mother's Day then. We went out for a wonderful lunch, we walked, laughed, tried on fascinators and enjoyed each other so very much. I love you Mum.

This post has been written in loving memory of my father who died 3 years ago. He would be very happy to read these wonderful words about my mum.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Dear reader ...

Dear ….

How is it because someone has a physical disability we are more sympathetic despite whatever it might be.

Now when it comes to mental disability why do people judge so quickly. How can they possibly know what is wrong with a person just by looking at him? I have heard this so many times regarding my children.

That’s a naughty child you’ve got there!

“Well no actually, they’re not naughty they are disabled”. Is my reply.

Then you get the absolute classic line…

“Well they look all right to me.”

Since when did you become a doctor?

I do wish I could pluck up the courage to say this.

There are actually different from you and me they see the world differently they are not naughty they have a hidden disability called Autism.

Let me show you a brief glimpse of life with Autism, in the form of a letter to show you what ignorance my children face day in day out.

Dear ...

When I go out why do you stare, am I not like you. I have 2 arms, 2 legs and most of all I have feelings but you don’t understand that. You look at me as if I am some sort of alien. Do you know your stares upset me? I ask my mummy what is wrong with me, why do they look? I can’t help the fact I scream, I do that because I am upset, scared and I don’t know what to do.

I can’t portray my feelings like you, it's the way my brain is wired. I see the world differently and sometimes I don’t understand it, it doesn’t make sense to me but somehow I cope in your world. In my world everyone is happy and no one is sad. Everything that people say I take literally, so if you say to me ”hold on a minute”, I think you have to hold a minute. When you talk to me I have all this noise going on around me, sometimes it sounds like so many people are talking to me at once. I can’t hear your voice, it gets lost in the sea of noise.

I flap and jump because I can’t control the way I am feeling its like a sensory high voltage overload it sends my body into doing things that I can’t help. I don’t know what excitement is so I portray this in different ways, I start spinning, jumping, etc. When I hit you , I don’t mean it I get an emotion that I can’t explain and the only way I can express it is by hitting out usually at you.
I don’t understand love but I know that you mean a lot to me, I give you cuddles to make it all better, it works when you do it for me, so it will work for me to make you happy. I don’t like when my world changes I like things to stay the same .
I do try to fit in your world but sometimes its not easy please understand that I am different.

My guest post blogger is Wendy. Wendy is the mum behind the Savette Gazette. Her aim is to share her experiences as a mum of 3 children who are autistic

The Savette Gazette allows you access to a personal insight of how this family deal with everyday problems and how they can overcome them.The Savette Gazette allows you to share in their battles and triumphs that they encounter along the way.

A bit about Wendy, she is married with 4 children.

Ely is 11 years old.

Luke is 7 years old and Autistic, global development delay hyper-mobility and a chromosome 16 abnormality and he attends a special school.

Jen is 5 years old and has Autistic traits , global development delay and a chromosome 16 abnormality she attends a main stream school.

Little Gnome is 2 years old and has just been recently diagnosed as autistic and is also disabled. He is unable to walk to talk lives very much in his world.

Wendy's aim is to make people more aware of additional needs and autism and to show that the condition is just part of the person. Through this process she make friends and share ideas along the way.

As well as a Blogger she is also a product reviewer.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

I've been shortlisted for an Award

Press Release

Issued on 27th February 2012

I've Been Nominated!

I'm delighted to announce that I've have been nominated for the 4th annual Mumsclub Business Mum's Awards as sponsored by MyFamilyClub.

This is a fantastic opportunity for The Blossom Method™ and for me personally and I wanted to share with you how thrilled and honoured I am to receive this nomination. It is an exceptional way to celebrate how far I have come.

The Business Mum Awards have recognised and rewarded those women who have started businesses and achieved success in a short space of time since 2008. Winners have gone on to great success including the ultimate goal for many of them having their products stocked in high street stores and even more exciting in overseas.

Jane Hopkins MBE, founder of MumsClub says, "The nominations this year have been of a very high standard and it has been my pleasure to personally go through them all to create a shortlist to pass to our esteemed judging panel. Starting a business is hard at the best of times, but to do so alongside a growing family makes it so much more demanding. Being nominated by a fellow mum in business is a huge accolade in itself and I hope all those nominated are incredibly proud of themselves."

The judging panel consist of previous Business Mum Award winners and industry professionals.

The 4th annual Mumsclub Business Mums Awards, headline sponsors MyFamilyClub, are being held on International Women's Day on the 8th March. The winners will be invited to an exclusive ceremony to celebrate.


Note to Editors
For more information on the nomination and outcome of the awards please contact (
For more information on the 2011 Business Mum awards see
For more information on Mumsclub and their group of events and campaigns visit
For more information on Headline Sponsor MyFamilyClub, a brand new website with the aim of saving all UK families money, see
For further details on The Business Mum Awards and for quotes and high res images email

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Baby Led Weaning

As babies grow from the newborn stage, through infancy, and into the toddler years, there is a natural and healthy progression toward independence that blossoms when a secure trust-foundation is in place. That trust-foundation is forged through the consistent meeting of a baby’s needs lovingly, gently, and empathetically by a primary caregiver.

When a baby is breastfed, his mother is naturally close and available and, when parenting by following her maternal instincts, tends to be in tune with her baby in a beautiful symbiosis of unspoken communication. At some point, a baby will begin to ‘taste-test’ foods, learning through oral exploration about the textures and tastes of foods other than breastmilk. This progresses to a decrease in need for mommy’s milk for nutritional purposes, but is often accompanied by an unexpected and dramatic increase in demand to nurse which can be quite disconcerting, not to mention annoying!

Parents have a tendency to assign motives to their children’s behavior, typically based on their own childhood experiences and/or their adult perception of the circumstances. In the case of the increased demand for nursing which seems inversely proportional to the need for nursing, the motives parents often assign to their toddlers are ‘testing’ or ‘pushing boundaries.’

But think of it from the toddler’s perspective. They have been gradually moving away from their ‘source’ of all things and exploring what can be a big, scary world for a little person. No longer are they completely helpless, entirely dependent on another person for everything, but, as their independence has increased, so has their awareness of the world around them and their smallness by comparison. It is at this point that the all-important source of nutrition shifts into a support role, becoming, literally, a touchstone of security. A toddler’s increased need to nurse is, in fact, a need for reconnection and reassurance, not discipline!

Obviously, nursing every five minutes isn’t practical and can be downright uncomfortable, especially with the accompanying toddler ‘gymnurstics’ (thanks for that fun term, twitter friend!). But this is an excellent time for a parent to learn how to remain in tune with their child as the ages and stages go by. Paying attention to the needs behind the behaviors is an essential element in a healthy parent/child relationship, and, once a little one progresses beyond the basic needs stage, that learning curve can get pretty steep. This is a time when parents can begin experimenting with new ways to engage with their children to meet those reconnection needs in age-appropriate and relationship-building ways, an important skill that will serve parents well in the teen years!

Here are some things to try when faced with a toddler insisting on nursing every few minutes:
Babywearing is one of my best tools, and I have a sling nearby for any time my toddler seems to need some closeness.
Reading picture books is also a daily (actually, multiple times a day!) standard at our house, and when my little one toddles up to me, book in hand, I’ll plop down on the floor in whatever room I’m in and take a few minutes to read a book and talk about the pretty pictures.
Sitting down together in the chair my toddler is used to nursing in and cuddling, reading, playing pat-a-cake, watching a DVD together, or even offering food or snacks to share, gives them a sense of sameness that is very reassuring.
Playing games, making silly faces in the mirror, playing dress up together, taking walks, going to the park, anything that assures my toddler that I'm still available to her and enjoy being with her helps to meet the underlying need driving the nursing demands.
Oddly enough, offering to nurse my toddler several times a day is very reassuring and actually decreases the frequency of the demands!

The main message here is to try different things until you find what works for you and your child, always focusing on staying connected and responsive to your little one's needs. Change can be difficult for both parents and children, but it can be an exciting time, too, as you get to grow with your child into the next stage of life!

L.R.Knost, author and homeschooling mother of six, is a Gentle Parenting advocate, writer, speaker, and founder of the advocacy and consulting group, Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources. The Wisdom For Little Hearts series by L.R.Knost is a tool for parents, teachers, and caregivers to use in implementing Gentle Parenting techniques in their homes and schools. Other works by this award-winning, Christian author include a devotional guide, numerous church plays and dramas, a children’s homeschool language arts curriculum, and children’s church curriculums.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

FACS - Educate yourself with the 'Fac(t)s' about FACS. Pregnancy & Medication

This is a guest post blog by Emma. She has a personal and difficult story to tell.

As my first blog to be honest I don’t no what I’m doing. As me and my family deal with the effects of FACS SYNDROME I’m taking you on my adventure. FACS is caused when an Epileptic mum to be is obviously taking her medication to control her seizures, being great for the mum but has a devastating effect on the foetus. I had never heard of this condition until I was pregnant with my 4th child Erin. Being a nursery nurse and now a mum I always knew something wasn’t right with my babies’ as they weren’t progressing the way they should have been, nor were they reaching milestones. My mum had died very suddenly whilst I was pregnant with my 1st baby. She was 40 and died of breast cancer. This was a complete and huge shock and to this day I will never get over losing her. I was diagnosed with depression as my world crumbled. As the kiddies were getting bigger there was always something niggling at me. As Id been diagnosed with depression everyone was always telling me "Emma, you’ve got depression stop being paranoid the Kids are fine." I knew they weren’t. I was adamant and banged on about this, causing many arguments with my fiancée, family and friends. I got a call one day from my sister urging me to turn on Granada Reports. There was a lady on the TV appealing for women who had taken "Sodium Valproate- Epilim” to come forward as this could cause FACS Syndrome, she listed the symptoms and seeing that article on the news was like a light switching on and to this day has saved our lives. At that point I turned to my fiancée saying, "The kids have this." That is where were up to now.

All 5 of my children have been diagnosed with FACS SYNDROME and the symptoms we as a family deal with every day are: -

Cerebral Palsy, Severe Laxed Ligaments (hypermobility) Valgus foot, Asthma, Incontinence, Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Noise Intolerance, Facial Dysmorphia and many other symptoms.
I no you’re asking yourself "WELL WHY DID SHE HAVE SO MANY CHILDREN????" Quite simply I was never told of this condition throughout my pregnancies. I attended all anti-natal appointments with my fiancée and Doctor appointments. Never once ever was this mentioned. I was always advised to continue with my medication as it was controlling seizures relatively well and to increase my Folic Acid. THIS IS WHY I AM SO KEEN TO RAISE AWARENESS OF FACS. WOMEN OUT THERE ARE IN THE SAME CONDITION. FACS SYNDROME is now on the rise as all Epileptic Medicines such as:

• Epilim (Sodium Valproate)
• Carbamazepine and
• Tegretol

are being prescribed for DEPRESSION, MOOD SWINGS, PAIN RELIEF, ADHD, BIPOLAR AND AMAZINGLY MIGRAINE. Should this be allowed to continue???? No it should NOT. The Government is fully aware of this. As Trustee for OACS Charity and FACT Trust, our aim is to provide as much help and support to children with this condition and to educate the public about this. We have already taken it to Downing Street, (See picture). If it takes me highlighting my families’ difficulties and struggles to get the condition recognised then as a mum this is what I have to do. This is the journey my family and I are on.

Twitter: Emma4oacs

x x x

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

All you need to know about communication and kids...

Guest blog post for Vivien Sabel on communication and relationships
Dr Rosina McAlpine, Founding Director of Inspired Children,

We are social beings and connecting with others is at the heart of living a successful, loving and happy life. Imagine what it would be like to not be understood, to not understand others and to have no deep bonds with special people in life. Being able to communicate effectively is a valuable skill for nurturing personal relationships with family and friends and for building professional relationships as well. So good communication skills and the ability to develop key relationships are extremely valuable life skills for any child to develop.

Vivien Sabel’s Blossom Method™ is all about communication. Vivien can help parents develop their own ability to understand and communicate with their baby from day 1. This helps a baby to communicate and connect with its parents providing a great foundation for learning and life. As children mature their vocabulary and their understanding of communication grows. However, as you well know in your own day-to-day activities – effective communication is not easy and having a good understanding of the complexity of social relationships is even more difficult.

Helping your children to develop strong communication skills and to be able to nurture relationships requires more than just trial and error and a simple understanding of the use of ‘manners’ and social ‘protocol’. Communication and social skills need to be continually practiced and developed over time. As is age appropriate, your child’s understanding and skills can become more sophisticated through continual modelling, interaction, experience and most importantly your prompts for reflection, your guidance and your child’s continual development through daily practice.

It is so heartbreaking for a parent to hear the words “I’ve got no friends, nobody wants to play with me” or “I’m sick of being bullied. I hate school”. Yet the reality is that these are daily life experiences for many children. Helping children understand the complexity of social relationships, manage conflict, knowing what it means to be a good friend and developing their communication skills will help them make and keep the right kind of friends and navigate life successfully.

Here are some ideas for how to support your child’s development. Help your child understand that:

• communication is about an exchange and so there are times when they need to listen and there are times when they can speak.

• relationships are complex and often people don’t actually say what they mean and their words don’t match their true feelings or thoughts. It’s helpful to give examples or to point out and reflect on real examples of the complexity of relationships and to invite your child to practice using more than just their ears when they communicate with others. For example, invite them to observe a person’s body language and to learn to trust their instincts when they feel a person is not being truthful with them.

• learning how to cooperate and work in a group as well as understanding when to lead and when to follow are valuable skills. Other social skills include understanding how to avoid unnecessary conflict and how to be a good negotiator.

• by identifying the qualities your children are looking for in a true friend - they are more likely to attract and nurture supportive friendships and avoid unhealthy relationships.

• feeling angry is a normal and natural part of life. Things can go wrong and people can get angry! However, some people take their anger out on others and this can destroy relationships. You can help your children manage and express their anger in a way that does not hurt others. For example, you can model or encourage your children to walk away from a situation when they feel angry and take time out to look at the situation calmly. Once they have some perspective they can discuss what has upset them with more clarity and less emotion.

Helping children develop effective communication skills is essential to help them attract and nurture personal and professional relationships and to live in a productive, harmonious and enjoyable lives.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Silent Sunday

A friend of mine sent me some amazing pictures of Mother Nature at Her Best....I just love the smiles on this shot..

The photographer is unknown to me and the shot was discovered on the internet.