Blog

Welcome to the Journey Skills Blog. This is a space for telling stories about the journey we are all on with our children. We are all in the same position with our children, only their needs and our locations are different.

Why I’m Just A Parent And Proud Of It Nov 9, 2018 - I’m writing this whilst sat on a sun-kissed beach watching my children swim in a crystal blue sea. Tomorrow we are off to Disneyland for a private dinner with Cinderella. Not really…. but just for a moment, you might have believed my highlights reel. Actually, I’m sitting at the kitchen Continue reading…
What’s In A Job? Oct 26, 2018 - What’s in a job? An awful lot, I believe, if you’re a young person with additional needs. I should qualify that by acknowledging that for some young people there will be restrictions on the kind of jobs they can hold down because of the nature of their needs. I know certain Continue reading…
Get The Basics Right Oct 12, 2018 - My oldest daughter has just moved out of home to go to university. My dream is that one day my youngest daughter will also move out, maybe not to go to university but to at least live in a place of her own. So as my oldest headed towards an Continue reading…
Tell Me A Story Sep 28, 2018 - Do you have a favorite story? Mine is The Magic Pudding, an Australian tale of … you guessed it … a magic pudding that no matter how much someone eats of him, he simply grows back again. I'm sure there are many of us who would love a Magic Cake on Continue reading…
Creating Job Options Sep 14, 2018 - The world of work has changed, in part because of new technology but also in expectations of us as employees. Jobs have become more generalized. Retailers, in particular, want flexible employees who can perform multiple tasks. Why is this? Well, as my guest on the latest podcast Yes She Can Inc, Marjorie Continue reading…
Guilt Trip – No Postcards Please Aug 31, 2018 - Guilt! More Guilt! Lots of Guilt! That’s one of the things that I really got from the latest podcast, Wake Up To Sleep, even though it was about sleep. But guilt does surround us if our child is not sleeping. In fact, so many things we do as parents and Continue reading…
Who Needs Friends? Aug 17, 2018 - If you listened to last weeks podcast you would have heard Christine Draper explain that her son Luke doesn’t have friends. This is due in part to his dyspraxia, which made it difficult for him to develop a network of friends when he was young and do the things boys his Continue reading…
Right In The Centre Aug 3, 2018 - I spend a lot of time thinking about how I can make sure my daughter has a happy life long after I’m gone. I can put in place a lot for her, like income and help her build the skills and resources she will need, but her happiness long term Continue reading…
Why Supported Internships Work Jul 20, 2018 - Let’s start with a bad then a good statistic. Somewhere between 50% to 70% is the unemployment rate among young people with additional needs, depending on which website you visit. A good employment statistic happens on a Project Search program at the Marriott (the topic of my latest podcast Project Continue reading…
The Model Friendship Jul 6, 2018 - How many friends do you have? Possibly not as many as you had before you had a child with additional needs. This is a harsh but true fact. Friends slowly disappear because they don’t understand or they’re afraid. I have both lost and gained friends because my daughter has additional Continue reading…
Why I Need to Stop Being The Problem Solver Jun 22, 2018 - It’s all about change in our house at the moment. It’s that time of the year, here in the UK, when both my daughters are about to finish their school years. The oldest is finishing her secondary education and will be moving away from home come September. The youngest is Continue reading…
SMART Planning Jun 8, 2018 - We all know planning ahead can help us reach our goals more easily, but when it comes to actually doing the planning well that’s not quite as easy. What got me thinking about planning was listening to the latest podcast Planning Ahead again where Laura shared the way she has helped Continue reading…
Working Together May 25, 2018 - We all have a group of people we feel most similar to, who we identify with. For many of us, it is a group of other parents on a similar journey to our own.  My daughter's group at the moment are her friends at her specialist school. Her friends are in Continue reading…
Letting Go Of My Expectations May 11, 2018 - What does letting go mean? Answer: it means a lot of different things to different people. We let go of things that have caused us emotional pain in the past and we can let go of relationships. As the parent of a young person with additional needs we also sometimes Continue reading…
One Year, Less Fear Apr 27, 2018 - Regular readers will know why we started Journey Skills. Fear of the future. Fear of what would happen to our daughter when she finishes full time education, which is coming towards us way too fast. So, one year on from when we launched Journey Skills, I am pleased to say Continue reading…
Building Self Esteem Apr 11, 2018 - Sometimes the world doesn’t make sense.  Sometimes the world is illogical. Sometimes it's necessary to ignore logic and go with the flow – things are the way they are even if they don’t make sense. But sometimes our loved ones with additional needs cannot adapt quite so easily to the Continue reading…
Austen’s Autistic Adventures Mar 29, 2018 - School is a bit like a job - there's the getting up each morning, the travel there, the demanding  boss aka teacher, the work, the socialising and the travel home. School occupies our children's days. But what happens when your child comes to the end of school? What happens if Continue reading…
Brewing Up Employment Mar 16, 2018 - Unemployment levels for young people with additional needs are high across the world. But in Lewisham, South East London, Ignition Brewery is making a small dent in that statistic. It is staffed by people with additional needs.  And what’s more, the workers are paid the London living wage.  And even Continue reading…
Can You Relate? Mar 2, 2018 - Talking with Antonia Chitty in last week’s Podcast made me start to think about the impact having a child with additional needs has on our relationships.   As she said many parents feel they don’t have anyone or anywhere to go to discuss the pressures put upon their relationships. If you’re Continue reading…
Get That Eye Test Booked Feb 26, 2018 - Imagine how scary the world would be if you couldn’t see beyond the end of your nose! Anxious? – I would be. But this is how undiagnosed poor eyesight feels. That is why it’s so important to book that eye test if you think your son or daughter might need Continue reading…
Hollywood red carpet with stars Going To The Movies Jan 29, 2018 - Last weekend I went to the movies with my daughter. Some father and daughter bonding time made better by snacks during and dinner afterward of course. We saw The Greatest Showman – a film all about big dreams, financial risk, and belief.  Things I need to go with my big Continue reading…
strong man pushing a large stone ball Persistence Pays Off Eventually Nov 10, 2017 - Today I’m doing the proud Dad post. My daughter recently did extremely well in a maths exam. To be honest it was a bit of a surprise to us we hadn't seen her progress. I think that's the same for many of us we don't see our child's progress until someone Continue reading…
Embarassed, man in suit cutting text on paper with scissors How Embarrassing? Oct 27, 2017 - My family say I have a ‘high tolerance for embarrassment.’ I don’t. I’ve made a conscious decision to remember what’s important to me: my relationship with my daughter. When she does things that others might construe as a little bit odd, I pause for a moment to decide whether this Continue reading…
Looking Forward Oct 6, 2017 - This week for some reason I have been reflecting about blame. About fault. About guilt. I guess most of us have these feelings at some time. But what are their use if they are just negative emotions that hold us back? Looking back means we aren't looking forward, and to Continue reading…
Exercise Expectancy Sep 15, 2017 - I talked about the fact my older daughter worries I might actually live until I'm 105 in my latest  Additional Money Blog.   After the look of horror faded from her face – and my laughter at her dismay stopped – I then started to think about some of the Continue reading…
Subtle Help Is The Best Kind Sep 8, 2017 - Holidays are fun. Getting to those holidays is not much fun. Particularly getting through airports is often a nightmare. Long queues. Impatient children, not only those with additional needs. Tired and grumpy parents. One solution we recently used at Gatwick Airport, London, is a lanyard system for what they refer Continue reading…
Blue pie chart with eighty and twenty percent, 3d render 80/20 Thanks Mr Pareto Sep 1, 2017 - 80% of the time I remind my daughter about 20% of the things she does. 20% of her leisure activities take up 80% of her time. The 20% of things she does well are ignored 80% of the time. So where am I going with these observations? To the 80/20 Continue reading…
Photo of smiling face hands painting on sand surrounded human hands 4 Things I’ve Learned In 4 Months Aug 25, 2017 - We launched Journey Skills to the world just under four months ago. During this time we have been so lucky to find people willing to share their stories, achievements and challenges with us. The views and opinions of other parents who’ve contributed over this short period have inspired me to Continue reading…
Laughing Isn’t Always Funny Aug 18, 2017 - I am a quiet introvert. I like my own company. My daughter likes her own company, or rather she has grown to like it because her additional needs put some barriers between her and interaction with other people. She regresses in to the safety of her own world. But naturally Continue reading…
a feather and a stone equally balance Striking Balance Aug 11, 2017 - I like to hold books. I like simple, beautiful covers and plain, clear fonts. I like waxy heavy cardstock that sticks to my hands. I like pages that hold some weight. I like the way words scrape meat off bones. So I try, in the dark hours of mornings, to Continue reading…