One Year With Enid

Exactly a year ago today we brought our beloved therapy cat Enid home. Enid is a beautiful, gentle, caring and loyal Maine Coon cat. She really is Neiva’s best friend. We’ve had a wonderful first year with her, she’s grown so big!

I’ve previously written in more detail here just how special Enid is and how she came to be part of our little family. We cannot imagine life without her.

Enid is with us thanks to reading the amazing story of a talented little girl named Iris Grace who formed a beautiful friendship with her Maine Coon cat named Thula. Her story is wonderful and inspiring and a very emotional read. We are indebted to Iris Grace and her family for sharing their story. Without them, we would not have our beautiful Enid.

From the day we brought her home, Enid rarely leaves Neiva’s side and follows her around constantly. Neiva struggles with social conversation in every day life but when she is with Enid she talks non stop to her. Enid faithfully listens to her endless chatter and singing.

They both share a love of water and Enid is a regular bath companion to Neiva. She is totally unfazed by Neiva’s exuberant splashing and sits perched on the side of the bath watching and playing. In fact one of her favourite places to relax is our bathroom sink. The tap has a slight drip and she’ll position herself right under, letting the water run down her nose. She’ll happily sit there for hours.

Enid is extremely affectionate. She likes to be where people are. She has a beautiful chirp when she is happy and purrs readily. When Neiva is at school or if the house is empty, we’ll regularly come back to see she has picked up Neiva’s bedtime toy Foxy, dragged him downstairs and is laid asleep on him. I’m sure that’s her way of telling us she misses her friend.

Enid has an interesting fascination with bottle tops. Her favourite game is to play fetch (like a dog) drop the bottle top directly into our hand and make us throw it again. It has become her party piece, one she relishes in performing.

Neiva has this beautiful habit of tenderly holding my chin if she wants to get my attention and will gently hold it there whilst she tries to formulate her request into words. Enid too has a similar gentle habit. Every morning, she’ll come into our bedroom, hop onto the bedside table and gently tap my cheek with her paw to wake me for food. She really is a lovely natured little being.

In honour of our beloved Enid, I have put together a vlog of her first year with us. The song is very special and dear to my heart as it reminds me so much of Neiva. Whenever I’ve had a particularly stressful day I’ll play this song to remind me just how special she is and how I love to be her mummy.

I hope you enjoy it.

Notes:

  • For more on the story of Iris Grace please click here.
  • For more information on hyperlexia please click here.
  • The black and white featured picture of Enid was taken by Mark Kaye, a photographer and family friend.

 

Song: All About Your Heart – Mindy Gledhill

One Year With Enid…. from L E A N N E on Vimeo.

Five Days In Beautiful Anglesey…. (and a Vlog)

We first visited this beautiful island when Neiva had just turned two and fell in love instantly! We’ve holidayed here in full glorious sunshine and in the gloomy British rain and we’ve honestly loved both contrasts in equal measure. Anglesey is the perfect setting for our nature wandering, outdoor loving girl. We’ve been making regular visits ever since. I hope she looks back in years to come and remembers fondly her childhood holidays here.

For our adventures this time, we stayed slightly inland (although never more than a short drive away from a beach) in a beautiful unspoiled quirky two bedroomed cottage. It was absolutely perfect.

After a particularly heavy rainfall overnight, the weather had brightened up enough the following morning to venture out. We decided to take a trip to RSPB South Stack Lighthouse. The views are spectacular.


The coastal walk is not for the faint hearted and we held onto Neiva tightly as we walked the short distance to the look out. Once we had taken in the glorious scenery we headed back to the visitor centre for some lunch.


On the way back to the cottage we stopped at the beach at Red Wharf Bay. The tide was out and all that remained were large crater like puddles which suited Neiva perfectly. She leapt from pool to pool excitedly and we were happy to let her run around after keeping her on a tight leash earlier at the lighthouse. I don’t think I’ve ever held her hand so tightly!

After a quick change of clothes for Neiva who was absolutely soaking wet from her puddle jumping adventures, we stopped for tea and cake at the very charming Old Boat House Cafe nearby after Neiva had spotted the icecream cart outside. The sun was now shining brightly and it was a beautiful end to our day.

The next morning the sun was shining so we made the short drive to Traeth Bychan, a small secluded sandy bay a ten minute drive from our cottage. It was so quiet and peaceful. Neiva adores the sea, so she was in her absolute element chasing waves.


By lunchtime the warm sun had disappeared behind the clouds so we decided to head back. On the way home we stopped at Beaumaris.

Beau’s Tea Shop is a delightful tea room set in a 400 year old cottage with a choice of over 25 different types of tea! The room was filled with the most delicate China tea sets and the most beautiful and rather large cakes made by a local lady in the village. Paul took Neiva to the park overlooking the nearby castle whilst my mother in law and I (we have a shared love of tea rooms) enjoyed a rare afternoon treat.


The next day Paul had some work to catch up on so left in search of a coffee shop and wifi. We stayed behind and enjoyed a lazy morning at the cottage. He returned at lunchtime which gave us the afternoon to explore some more.

The weather had taken a slightly downward turn from the wonderful sunshine we’d enjoyed the day before. It was cloudy but dry so we headed back towards the Menai Bridge to Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens. This for me was the highlight of our holiday. It is breathtakingly beautiful.


We were totally captivated by the beauty and tranquillity of this place. From the cottage garden to the 39 steps, the beautiful waterfall to the lower valley gardens, it is such a wonderful hidden find and an amazing sensory experience for children.


​​We will be returning to Anglesey before the end of summer. We have so many plans for our next visit and so many more memories to make.

Highlights:

  • Our cottage and the beautiful secret garden door
  • The secluded beach at Traeth Bychan
  • Beau’s Tea Shop
  • The icecream hut at The Old Boat House Cafe
  • Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens

Vlog #1: Song: True North (Jillette Johnson)

​​

720p from leanne beardsley on Vimeo.

What Is Hyperlexia (video)

definition:

HYPER (hy-per) pref: over, beyond
LEXIA (lex-see-ah) suffix: Greek: “word” Latin: “to read”

We are excited to share a wonderful video all about hyperlexia featuring our very own fearless little girl. Given that the main characteristic of hyperlexia is an “above normal” ability to read, it seemed only fitting that the narrative is beautifully read by the children themselves.


For such a long time we felt lost. We watched how Neiva struggled to find her place amongst neurotypical children. On the other hand, the autism spectrum is a very broad place to inhabit and navigate through and she struggled to find her place there too.


However, within her hyperlexia community, Neiva has found a home and we have found a group of like minded parents who just “get” certain traits and quirks in behaviour unique to hyperlexia. Unique ways to communicate, to reach and to teach which only a child with this diagnosis can respond to and relate. We are forever grateful to have found this place. It provides an unending source of help, advice and mostly “wow my child does that too” moments!

Why this video? As previously mentioned children with hyperlexia are unique in that they can (and are) communicating through this incredible self taught reading ability.

Regular speech and language therapy does not include using the written word as a form of therapy and is discounted because typically a child of two years old cannot read. But as you will see, these children are not typical and therefore need a different approach to not only speech and language therapy but also with their educational needs.

The key is to base their therapies and learning around their incredble reading ability and intense interests; letters, numbers, maps and patterns and this is the message the video is highlighting.

So, for the answer to the question “what is hyperlexia?” please watch the video below and find out.
Credit: Video: “What Is Hyperlexia” by Jody Parmann/Hyperlexia Parents Network

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