Last updateMon, 28 Jan 2013 9pm

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What's normal for a Jelibean

Whatever 'normal' is.

The biggest buzz I get on a daily basis is seeing a worried face turn into a calm relaxed face. Many parents feel that it is JUST their child who is waking up every hour in the night and rooting through the cupboards for biscuits! Or perhaps it’s only their family who can’t book a holiday (many of us need a holiday like a hole in the head! It’s more trouble that it’s worth often!). Or maybe you can’t cope with any more calls from anxious teachers at school? Whatever the reason – its not just you and its not YOUR fault!

So when I nod my head, agree and look totally unsurprised at many of the stories I hear parents are naturally shocked but relieved at the same time! So this is where it’s at folks! Are you the proud parent of a jelibean who exhibits some or all of the differences beneath?

  • Challenging Behaviour?
  • Gets frustrated easily?
  • Food fads/ Food binge or food refusing?
  • Sensory differences/taste, touch, smells, sound, visual?
  • Sleep problems?
  • Need for routine/rituals?
  • Difficulties socialising?
  • YBN syndrome (Yeah But No syndrome)
  • Duvet divers – when the going gets tough – retreat to bedroom!
  • Stimming/picking skin, chewing jumpers, nail biting?
  • Anxiety/panic attacks leading to meltdowns?
  • Special Interests to the point of obsession? (I know someone who broke their bed with a massive rock collection!)
  • Collections (pebbles, tickets, stamps, cards, traffic cones!)
  • Thoroughly organised OR completely disorganised (no in-between!)
  • Interest in bodily functions to your embarrassment?
  • Few ‘friends’ and a bit of a loner?
  • Has a friend/s but not the right kind?
  • AIP syndrome = Ants In the Pants syndrome – are they ALWAYS on the go!
  • Speech and language differences! Either doesn’t stop talking or aren’t talking at all?
  • Balance and co-ordination problems - problems with holding a pen/cutlery/tying shoe laces/riding a bike/bumping into things?
  • Always out and about getting into mischief?
  • Staying at home holed up in their bedroom?
  • Differences in perception and context?
  • Logical literal thinkers?
  • Flits from activity to activity constantly?
  • Persevertative on certain activities.
  • No money sense, either saving/thrifty (some may say tight!) or totally the opposite, spend, spend, spend…regardless of consequences?
  • Fire lighters or fire fascinators?
  • Preference to animals?
  • Deep down, sensitive and lonely, desperate to be liked?
  • Exhibits special abilities and strengths in many areas, often leaving you speechless?
  • Loving and caring, just a bit of a handful?
  • Misunderstood and frightened?

Now many people could say, well all children exhibit some of those differences? Yes they would be correct, but probably not so frequently, not so extreme: marshmallow (neurotypical people) will not be nodding their heads quite so vehemently as perhaps you are! In fact they probably wouldn't even know this site existed as they would have no immediate concerns!

These are just a few of the characteristics that make a jelibean! Your jelibeans may not have ALL of the above but I am sure you will be able to recognise a few!  So congratulate yourself that actually you are not the only one out there, there actually are millions of jelibeans, all unique but the same! And if you weren’t nodding your head now, they wouldn’t be a jelibean! All these traits make us what we are!

One day maybe we will have tailored jelibean holidays, shops and activities so that all our differences can be taken into consideration. Nothing like a busy beach, social event to put most jelibeans into a spin! But rest assured we will deal with all the above topics and more in depth! For now rest assured you are not alone and welcome to the jelibean tribe!