Two years ago today my son was diagnosed with Autism. I wanted to share an update on what’s been going on this past year. So here it goes:
Early Bird Course
I enrolled onto the early bird course developed by the national autistic society. It was a 3 month long course where I attended 3 classes and one home visit each month. During the home visit we used video feedback to apply new skills/ techniques learnt. The videos were super useful as a way of seeing what was going well and areas I could improve in order to help my Little Nut to develop play skills, communicate etc. What I liked most about the course is that it was tailored to each parent/child’s needs for example they gave me practical advise to overcome certain challenging behaviours and provided me with visual aids to support communication. Best of all we now have a support group via Whatsapp with the parents from the course. Any issues we are facing we all share and try to suggest resolutions together.
Arghhhh! My year was spent living, eating and breathing EHCP. This process was very draining as once the LA decided to assess I found I was repeating myself over and over to 5/6 different professionals such as the educational psychologists , occupational therapists etc etc it was mentally draining.
The only upside was that my little nuts nursery were happy for me to take lead with writing the content of his EHCP application and were very supportive of my views. I was happy with that as after-all I know my son best. Then there was all the meetings , appointments and when the EHCP draft was finally issued I felt relieved (despite the errors in the draft) it felt like we won a battle.
Choosing a school
Before we even started the EHCP process I knew mainstream school was not for my Little Nut. Nonetheless I visited an ASD resource based setting but literally as soon as I stepped in I knew it wasn’t for him. We visited 2 special schools , the waiting list to visit one of them was over a 6 month wait! And yes we were torn between the two. I’m happy to say that thanks to Allah my Little Nut has started in reception this September at an ASD specialist school.
I don’t remember if I mentioned it but soon after Little Nut received his diagnosis I made the decision to quit my full time job in recruitment to focus on Little Nuts play and speech therapy at home. I later decided to increase my understanding of early years and childhood development by doing a qualification in childcare which Alhamdulilah (Praise Allah) I passed this year.
I’m currently working as an early years practitioner , honestly this career move was completely unplanned it just came naturally and I am able to share my knowledge skills to help other children which I’m loving. I am continuing to develop my skills whilst doing my early years educator course and all of this change happened thanks to my Little Nut. Although trying to juggle coursework between being a mum , practitioner and wife is crazy.
I think i’ll end this post the same as I did last year. On that note … I know we still have many more hurdles to face but I hope this post will help mummy’s like me or at least raise awareness . We are not alone ! Trust yourself nobody knows your child more than you , so be their advocate. Our children are a blessing! And please please remember DIFFERENT NOT LESS!