Never has a title felt so good to write!
13th December 2017 was a perfect day for diagnosis. That day drew a marker in the sand. Our two year struggle understood and validated by professionals. No one can take that away from us, we fought hard to get here and finally we can move forward.
I gathered up all the stress and anxiety from that time, all the tears and tantrums and packaged them neatly in a little box. I sealed it shut, labelled it ‘Chapter 1’ and put it away with all the other things that belonged in 2017.
So far it’s been a good start to the year for Sonny. He did well to overcome his back to school nerves and has settled in okay. He’s had to deal with a few changes in his school routine and has coped considerably well. His 1:1 tells me he has done more work during his first full week than he did during the whole 4 months of September through to December.
We have made the switch to packed lunches which Sonny is doing much better with. Towards the end of last year he went on a hunger strike and refused to eat the school dinners. That hangryness (yes I did just make that up) I believe played a huge part in the school exclusions. Sonny uses food as a means of control when he feels overwhelmed and when there are changes to his routine. He purposefully picked dinners he didn’t like so he wouldn’t eat them despite being hungry. He feels comfortable taking in his favourite food in a bag that’s his, skipping out the stress of queuing and deciding what it is he would like to eat.
Sonny is still on a reduced timetable finishing school just after lunch time each day. I don’t see this changing quite so early on this term. We did well to build him up for full time school from March through to October last year and I’m hopeful we can achieve this again when all settles down.
The outcome from our diagnosis was that the SENCO can apply to CAT’s (Communication Autism Team) for further support at school. We will be referred to CAMHS (children and adolescent mental health service) and although the wait is long again I hope that maybe we can access some support and guidance to help Sonny at home. We will see his paediatrician once more and complete a sleep study.
There’s this lull that comes after Christmas and New Year and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. Sonny is in a much better spirits, sleeping a little better, eating more and his relationship with his brothers has improved a great deal. He’s tired as you would expect him to be after a first full two weeks back this but otherwise all is good!
Onwards and upwards!