Introducing….

Cameron, my 6 year old. My eldest baby boy, he is currently running up and down announcing with the greatest excitement, every little step he takes on his xbox game! He has been diagnosed with adhd and I am in the process of trying to get him reassessed for asperger syndrome. It’s a long process, especially when we don’t see the paediatrician half as often as we’re supposed to!
Cameron is a very bright young lad. He reached most of his milestones quite happily, up until about a year old. Cameron started showing signs that “something wasn’t right”…

He would fly off the handle, hit himself in the head, throw himself around with incredible force and completely meltdown at the slightest change in routine. By 18 months old, his favourite words were triangular, rectangular, rhinoceros and hippopotamus!

We trundled along through life, Cameron is high functioning, so we had very little problem potty training, although he was 3 when we managed it. He was fine getting rid of his bottle, and although we had to wait till he was 2 and a half, he understood when it was time to give his dummy up to the dummy fairy to give to the new babies.

When Cameron started nursery school I was well aware that he wasn’t neurotypical…however, the school that he was attending at the time felt it wasn’t worth talking to me about until the end of the school year. 3 days before the year was due to end I was handed a pink form, a questionnaire on how I felt the school had handled my child’s special needs. Needless to say I stormed into the office and demanded to speak to the head teacher as to why this had not been brought to my attention sooner. They believed it to be acceptable as I agreed that there were issues with camerons development. Cameron changed schools over the summer 😉

Cameron received a wealth of support in the foundation stage at his new school. He was assessed by the saint that is carol peters and she suggested asperger syndrome. When he started seeing the paediatrician and got diagnosed with adhd I found myself with yet more obstacles regarding his teaching. His year 2 teacher told me Cameron didn’t have special needs, he was just a naughty child and the battle still continues…

I’ve fought for this long and will continue to do so for him, autistic children need a voice and its our job as their parents/carers to provide it for them. Cameron, mummy is your voice and you can bet your bottom dollar I’m the loudest there is, I won’t stop fighting for you and I will not let you down, I love you my sunshine.

T x

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We went out for a meal last night…

And it actually went really well! My eldest had a mini meltdown when I ordered a fruit shoot instead of a lemonade for him but it was quickly rectified and he thoroughly enjoyed his burger, garlic bread and alphabet spaghetti. He was fascinated by the lady with blue hair who brought the food out and was well mannered, complimenting the man who cleared the table and saying thank you for the lovely food. Very proud mummy moment there!

Moving on to Daniel, who spent most of the meal banging an empty coke bottle on the tray of the tandem. However, we gave him a handful of peas which he put in his mouth before he threw them on the floor and a couple of chips which he inspected and then licked a few times! It might not seem like bloggable news, but Daniel spent a very long time eating nothing but biscuits. He now eats nutrigrain bars for breakfast, sometimes dry cereal, baby jar food with pasta for his dinner and rice crispie squares. So for him to lick a chip is a massive step in the right direction for us! Doubly proud mummy moment!

The baby, our neurotypical one was the pain in the bum for fighting his need to sleep lol. Overall its been the first meal out that hasn’t been more hassle than its worth and I’m looking forward to the next time! Well done boys!

T x

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The morning after the night before…

Jesus Christ I’m shattered! Last night my little man Daniel had another bout of night crying. Started at midnight ended at about 1am. There seems to be no obvious reason for it, it starts as a whimper and goes on to a full crying/screaming jag. I hold him as tight as I can to stop him from hurting himself and try to soothe him, but he only stops when he’s worn out.

On the positive, today my 6 year old finally did the buttons on his shirt without a complete breakdown! Progress feels good 😀

Short but sweet, I’ll be “introducing” my eldest to you later!

T x

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Early learning support team

I’ll be honest, when the health visitor first came round with a referral form for the early learning support team for my toddler, I nearly refused to with it. I had a horrific experience with a woman who was supposed to be supporting me with getting my eldest assessed yet spent more of her time bothering me about tidying my house, dealing with morning sickness and tiredness (pregnant with my now toddler at the time) than anything at all to do with my eldest.

The health visitor was probably far more patient with me than I deserved and explained to me what was involved in accepting their support. I have to say now that I think it was probably one of the best things I could ever have done for my little boy. As it turned out, the team consists of two women, highly experienced with autistic kids and due to the unforeseen ill health of one of the ladies, it has been a single handed effort from a saint by the name of Carol Peters.

Now I’ll explain that this wasn’t the first time I’ve been acquainted with Carol. Back when my eldest was in nursery, she did his original assessment, which led her to believe that he had asperger syndrome. He made that much of an impression on her that she still remembers him 3 years on. Coincidentally she’s also one of the main lines of support for getting him reassessed.

She started seeing my toddler about 6 weeks ago. The first appointment was a meet and greet to see how he interacted with me when playing and to see for herself what his “problems” are. After the initial meeting she felt confident enough to say that it is highly likely that he is autistic, a conclusion that she feels more strongly about after every meeting. She has given me a whole heap of information in small pieces which has been fantastic, with a 6 year old, toddler and newborn I’m quite easily swamped! And the progression I have seen in my toddler has by far surpassed my expectations.

So I suppose that’s a good starting point to describing my toddler in a bit more depth, to understand the progress you need to understand him. His name is Daniel, he arrived just after midnight, late June in 2010. It was almost immediately clear that Daniel was not “normal” (i hate that word) as he has a squint in both eyes turning out. His birth weight (compared to his brothers) was low at 5lb13oz. He was slow to smile, but when he started he never stopped! He didn’t laugh till around 4 months (but again, didn’t stop when he started, still hasnt lol) he was sitting up unaided at 10 months old, crawling just after a year old. He started walking at 18 months and at just over 2 has still yet to utter his first word.

Our first play session involved introducing Daniel to new colours, sounds and textures. We started with a snack and using a black and white picture of biscuits, getting Daniel to pick it up, hand it to Carol who would say biscuit as she gave him a piece of nutrigrain bar. He did this with a lot of help. He then got to play with toys whilst choosing to sit on my lap. He did this for roughly 45 minutes which was very impressive for a little boy who loves running up and down the room repeatedly!

The next session was much the same with a little less involvement needed to make Daniel play with the toys. By the third play session Carol introduced the table and chair for Daniel to sit on. It couldn’t have been at a better time, I don’t think my ankles could’ve taken another hour with a Daniel squishing them! He sat really well in the chair, although he will only sit there even now with mummy sitting at the side of him. This was the first day of playing with the form board. A wooden board with puzzle pieces. There is a red circle, blue triangle and yellow square. Daniel shows a clear preference for the red circle but takes great pleasure in banging 2 shapes together for his turn and handing them over for to.Carol for her turn.

We have just had the third session with the table today and unfortunately the last until the new school year starts. Carol brought a dvd over to show us the progression that can be made with the black and white cards which was incredibly insightful. She had also written a report to be sent to the various professionals involved with him. I have been left feeling much more positive about the future for Daniel and I feel one step closer to communicating with my special little guy…even if I do feel like a preschoolers sitting on the floor for story time at nursery 😉 I genuinely cannot wait for the next school year to see what progress he makes!

T x

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Introductions

Ok, so me…I’m currently 26 years old, full-time mum to 3 gorgeous boys and stepmum to a beautiful little girl who lives with her dad seperately until we find somewhere bigger. That’s enough about me for now!

So back to my boys, to date they are 6, 2 and 13 weeks. My 6 year old has a diagnosis of ADHD currently in the process of getting him rediagnosed as you will no doubt find out more as I do! My 2 year old is a charming little boy, a non verbal autistic child, but a genuine credit to all that I do.

My eldest currently sees a paediatrician (supposedly once every 4 months…LOL) and has an IEP in place at school, he is a bright and happy child (mostly!) but as I said, myself, several health professionals and the school are trying to get him reassessed for asperger syndrome.

My 2 year old currently sees a member from the early learning support team (an amazing woman), a speech and language therapist, a paediatrician and has been referred to an educational psychologist. I’ll be doing another post shortly as he had his last session until the next school term today and I have a lot to say about that!

My youngest so far seems to be happy and healthy with no known problems. Time will tell but my love for him, as the others, is unconditional and if I have to cross that bridge a third time, I shall do so with my head held high as any proud parent would.

I suppose in closing I want to say that this blog is going to be about my life with my boys, our battles, highs and lows. They may be the banes of my existence in one breath, but the lights of my life in so many more. For anyone thinking autism is a bad thing, its what makes them the characters they are, so through good times and bad I’ll never love them any less than with all of my heart.

T x

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