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DC131 or I am going to be a first year!

22 to years ago when the CAO results came out I was in town with the girls from my year with the new edition of tomorrow’s newspaper, trying to look up the sting of numbers which hopefully was printed with against the course code I wanted. I didn’t see the code and I went home on the last bus to double check again on the kitchen table, I didn’t get what I wanted that year but I did two years later.

But they say 3 times the charm and this morning so much has changed in those 22 years, including how I got my offer. It arrived by text message, saying I had an offer for course code DC 131 and to log in to the CAO site to accept it. DC131 is the Degree in Communication Studies in Dublin City University.

Today I am giddy with excitement, the details and concerns as to how I make it all happen, the grant applications, the child cared ect can all wait for 24 hours while I revel in the idea that I am going to college this Autumn and all going well in a few short years I will graduate.

Most people go to university as a teen, I am going as a mature student. I am really looking forward to it. Just hope I don’t give in the urge to straighten the collars and pull down the shirts of my fellow first years.

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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You better THINK!

IMAG2174

Wonderful to see these up in my kids school.
It’s a good quick guideline.

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The Universe, history, culture and everything.

Went for a walk with my son, as he’s not been out of the house from when he got home from school on Friday. Like me he prefers to go for a walk at night, when it’s quieter. We enjoy the dark and the cool. It was a perfect evening for star gazing, a clear sky, not to cold, so we could stand for a while and look up.

He’s now old enough that he’s pointing out to me the constellations he knows and the
many names and the tales associated with the names, which makes me proud he remembers and it’s strange to be standing beside him and have him as tall as me.
He is also at the stage were I can talk more about the Irish historical political and cultural meanings behind Ursa Major, esp as he will be doing Seán O’Casey in school.

I hope we never stop having discussions about the universe, history, culture and everything.

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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What it feels like for a girl.

So one of the things which happened over the last 6 weeks is that we finally got a Dx from Blanchardstown CAMHS in relation to my daughter. When the many, many pieces of diagnostic information and reports were put together is has been concluded by the team that she is on the Autism Spectrum and falls in to the criteria for ASD. ASD, Autism Spectrum Disorder is the new term being used as Aspergers is being retired as a clinical term but it to my mind Aspergers is useful but I can understand why it’s being no longer used.

Girls who are on the higher functioning end of the Autism Spectrum present differently and are judged differently due to how they are socialized and our expectations of how children should behave based on generalizations of binary gender. It is more acceptable for girls to be shy, to be quiet, to be obsessive about certain things like my little pony.

One of the sites I was given as a resource which I have found to be very helpful is
Women and Girls on the Autism Sepctrum.

The difficulties in the diagnosis of girls and women arise if clinicians continue to use the narrow definitions set out in the International Classification Systems. It cannot be stressed enough that diagnosis and full assessment of needs cannot be carried out by following a checklist. Proper assessment takes time and detailed evaluation is necessary to enable a clinician to systematically collect information which not only provides a diagnostic label, but more importantly, a detailed profile of the person.

So diagnosing girls is harder do to gender bias, I had been concerned that due to how we run the house hold and explain things to my son and there for to my daughter that she wasn’t on the spectrum but rather picking up on his behavior but it turns out in supporting them both in similar ways we had been helping her cope so that we didn’t see as many melt downs, so it took longer to even get her on the list to be seen by the team and then it took many many months for them to have enough to confirm the diagnoses.

The research into women and girls on the spectrum has really only happened over the last 5 years so very little of it was around when I was desperately trying to educate myself about Autism after my son’s diagnoses 7 years ago. What I have been reading over the last 3 weeks has brought into focus more for me certain behaviors which is a good thing as I can now work with my daughter on them, esp things like this.

In our society, girls are expected to be social in their communication. Girls on the spectrum do not ‘do social chit chat’ or make ‘meaningless’ comments in order to facilitate social communication. The idea of a social hierarchy and how one communicates with people of different status can be problematic and get girls into trouble with teachers.

Yep, hopefully the copy of the report which will be going to her school will also help teachers to adjust.

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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I am not an Athiest but….

I am not an Atheist but I am going to the Empowering Women Through Secularism conference being run by Atheist Ireland.

Why? because I believe in the separation of church and state and that Ireland should be a secular republic, which respects the rights of all and that we should have freedom of religion and freedom from religion. That our state run or state funded schools, hospitals ect should not be biased towards serving or promoting any religion but should respect the diversity of our nation and all those living here.

Secularism is not just a cause for atheists, I know that being of a minority religious group which the State barely recognizes my rights and the rights of my children are effected by Ireland being purported to be a ‘catholic’ country.

http://ewts2013.com/2013/04/19/topics-at-empowering-women-through-secularism-2013/

Secularism protects freedom of conscience, and advances equal rights for women. And, whether you are a woman or a man, you can help to shape the future of secular activism and women’s rights around the world by coming to Dublin this June.

You will hear and meet and socialise with inspiring speakers and panelists and conference participants from around the world. You will help to shape strategies for positive change, and vote on an international Declaration on Empowering Women Through Secularism.

We will discuss how religion and religiously-influenced laws discriminate against women in areas from healthcare, sexuality and reproductive rights to education, careers and social policy, as well as how to combat violence against women and the history and future of women in atheist and secular activism.
Topics will include

How religiously-inspired laws discriminate against women
How secularism protects freedom of conscience
How secularism advances equal rights for women
Healthcare, sexuality and reproductive rights
Education, careers, and social policy
Combatting violence against women
History and future of women in secular activism
Political strategies, media and building coalitions
Declaration on Empowering Women Through Secularism

I will be doing some tweet coverage of the event and will do write ups on the bits with interested me. I am lucky to be able to attend as I have been given a sponsored ticket via the lovely Geoff Lillis who for an Atheist is a fun person :D I believe he may have some more sponsored tickets for activists who want to attend and you can find his blog about the event here: http://geoffsshorts.blogspot.ie/2013/05/free-ticket-to-empowering-women-through.html

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Taking a time out.

I’m taking a break for a while, we’re are into jr cert exam crunch time and with a kid who’s on the autism spectrum, so stress levels are a bit on the high side for both of us. Hopefully once the exams themselves kick off things will settle down. Often the before is worse then the thing it’s self.

In the mean time is eyes thrown to heaven, remembering to take deep breaths and taking a time out even for 5 mins and then starting again.

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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IMO branded ‘out of step’ on abortion

IMO branded ‘out of step’ on abortion.

IMO branded ‘out of step’ on abortion
April 19, 2013 By Lloyd Mudiwa Leave a Comment
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Photo by Voisin/Phanie / Rex Features

By Lloyd Mudiwa.

The IMO is ‘out of step’ with the majority in Ireland on abortion rights, a campaign group has claimed.

The Abortion Rights Campaign said it was dismayed at the rejection by the Organisation of general motions at its recent AGM in Killarney supporting the regulation of abortion in line with the X Case, or in the case of fatal foetal abnormalities.

Citing a Paddy Power/Red C opinion poll in January 2013, Sarah Malone of the Abortion Rights Campaign said: “In rejecting motions 38, 39 and 40, the IMO illustrates how far out of step it is with the majority of Irish people, who believe pregnant people should have the right to an abortion in Ireland in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities or in cases of rape or incest.”

Motion 38 called on the IMO to support regulation in relation to the provision of abortion services where there was a “real and substantial risk” to the life of the mother, while motions 39 and 40 sought for the union to call on the Government to legislate for women who become pregnant as a result of a criminal act, that they would be allowed access to legal termination within Ireland.

These motions also called for the provision of abortion services for women who were pregnant with non-viable foetal anomalies who chose to proceed with an abortion.

Janet O’Sullivan, a spokesperson for the Campaign, added: “We commend the work Dr Mary Favier and Dr Mark Murphy of Doctors for Choice are courageously doing, and are disappointed that women living in Ireland who have travelled for an abortion, or who are currently planning to travel, may now feel they cannot be open with their doctors and other healthcare professionals about their reproductive health choices.”

While the IMO declined to respond to the group’s claims, its President Dr Matt Sadlier told RTÉ’s This Week programme after the AGM that the motions passed were just a continuation of the Organisation’s policies passed a number of years ago.

When asked what practical implications passing the motions would have, Dr Sadlier replied: “If we are asked by Government to advise on legislation, then that will inform our position.”

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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New Secular Parents Group

One of the hard things about bring up your children with no religion or leaving them to figure it out for themselves as they got older, is that it can leave them with out a sense of community which other children may experience.

Also due to how our communities are still often arranged around parish lines it can happen that children don’t meet and get to know other children who have no religion. Getting to be be around other kids for whom this is the norm is a good thing. It means they know they are not alone or that weird and there are other families like theirs who don’t go to church, temple, mosque or meeting hall.

My own kids have no religion, they both currently self ID as agnostic. They were the first children ever enrolled in their school with no stated religion. Back then over 10 years ago there were no Educate Together schools close enough to make it an option. There are still too few Educate Together schools but it’s changing, but there are still challenges esp as such children move into secondary school.

It is great to see more parents working for change and supporting each other.
One of these initiatives is the Secular Parents Group. They are aiming to connect families, so parents can share with each other and run events were kids can meet other kids like them.

Their first event is coming up shortly.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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3somes and Blowjobs and Liveline, Oh my!

This week flew in with the kids being on Easter break so I’ve not written about this yet, but sure hear goes.

Yes I was on national radio this week for the first time, such was my ire at at the attitude on Liveline that I emailed the show. The segment was about the fuss Michelle “Fornication” Mulherin TD raised over one of the many articles on http://spunout.ie/.

For those of ye who don’t know what spunout.ie is, it is a website aimed at 16 to 25 year olds.

SpunOut.ie is a website dedicated to helping you make informed decisions about things which may be happening in your life. It is also a place to have your voice heard about things which are bothering you or to provide solutions to some of the big, or small, problems facing Irish society.

SpunOut.ie provides young people between the ages of 16 and 25 with the information and skills to deal with the difficult things life throws at us and lends a megaphone for our voices to be heard to change our own lives and the world.

An important part of SpunOut.ie is to give a voice to those who wish to tell their story in order to demonstrate to others that they are not alone, and that we all experience similar difficulties through the course of our lives.

We publish articles on sex, mental health, alcohol + drugs, education, employment and much more.

They are a registered charity and get a funding grant from the HSE which contributes to covering some of their over all costs.One of the many articles on the site was about 3somes, the pros and cons and addressing the facts. The notion that any tax payers money was being used to ‘promote’ 3somes to teenagers had Mulherin outraged.

It seems to have outraged some of the listeners and callers to Liveline also. I had been following the story about Spunout.ie from the night before and while I am not a regular live line listener I did tune in and got so cross that I emailed the show stating I am a stay at home Mam in my late 30s, with two teenage kids and I support the work Spunout.ie do.

They emailed me back asking for my phone number and then one of the production staff rang me and I was asked would I go on the show. Here is the podcast, I am on the last 10 minutes.

http://podcast.rasset.ie/podcasts/audio/2013/0325/20130325_rteradio1-liveline-controvers_c20177046_20177056_232_.mp3

Yes I did say, anal sex, oral sex, 3some and the phrase ‘promoting blowjobs’ live on national radio to Joe Duffy, who doesn’t intimidate me at all, sure he grew up in the same part of Dublin as my Dad and is about the same age and all. I did ring and tell my parents afterwards, as a polite heads up and they laughed and said they were proud of me.

You see back in the mid 80s they ran parenting courses in primary schools for other parents, including the sex educational model and they have always been advocates of sex education, so I didn’t lick it off a stone.

When I listened to the podcast when it went up I was happy to have been able to plug some more helpful sites where people can get information. I mentioned the sex ed program the HSE put together but has a difficult time distrubting to parents the first section of it is Busy Bodies
aim at parents and children before puberty and I also mentioned The Facts and the other programs which can be gotten for free, which the HSE have spent money on.

I also mentioned that the NHS in the UK spends money on Sex Education websites http://www.respectyourself.info/ and I mentioned http://www.scarleteen.com/ as good resources for young people, so much better at them learning about sex and sexuality then just by looking at porn.

Looking back I am glad I took part on the program, as Amanda Palmer has said “We are the Media” and we do have to challenge the the notion that Ireland is still a very conservative catholic country and part of that is having our voices heard, even on Liveline.

And having had Joe Duffy say “That if you are asked to be in a 3some, just say no.” still makes me laugh.

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

13 - 1

This appeared in my social media feeds over the last week, I’ve tried to track down who’s work it is, as it is a wonderful piece. If you know, do let me know.

It succinctly makes the point about single mother’s which I mentioned in my piece about The Snapper and Ireland’s attitudes to “unmarried mothers” and unplanned pregnancy..

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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