autismmumsdads

The skys the limit?

Posted on: February 15, 2012

Support from professionals is so important, I believe the more you put into a child the more you get out of them although I respect that this is not always the case.

This is how support has helped A.

Before A was awarded full time support in his nursery setting, it was upsetting & hard to send him to nursery.

He enjoyed it thankfully but he was always on his own – but that’s because he prefers solitary play, mainly due to the fact that playing with other children is to much for A, to deal with. He doesn’t understand or know how to play appropriately, he lacks ‘imaginative play’ and its all too much of a sensory overload.

I used to pick him up at the end of the day and most of the children in his group would be playing together whilst A, was in a corner somewhere. It used to make me feel so down and I prayed he would one day have a friend.

He wandered around the nursery all day, he’d flit from place to place – it was difficult to get him to focus on one activity for longer than 20 seconds, he wouldn’t sit with the other children at circle time or to listen to any stories.

He couldn’t even tolerate them working/playing alongside him, it was all too much – they where invading his space.

He is non-verbal and he couldn’t express his feelings to anyone or request anything that he wanted…

Autism is a triad of impairments

Which are;

Difficulty with Social communication

Difficulty with Social interaction

&

Difficulty with Social imagination

As well as other struggles which differs from person to person

From the triad you can see my concern for A in nursery.

Since A, has been awarded his support, we’ve seen a massive difference. He still prefers solitary play which is something we are working on, but now he has 1 to 1 support with him full time she has instilled more confidence in him to at least work/play alongside others. Although sharing & turn taking is still a big struggle for A, which can isolate him from the group.

The support has also allowed A to access parts of the nursery he never would.
His flitting has dramatically reduced as she is always keeping him occupied with different activities, he’s enjoying ‘playing’ & ‘exploring’ & now I know what he enjoys doing etc, its helped to do activities with A at home.

Because A, has a diagnosis & has recognised sensory issues he has an Occupational Therapist who has helped us with advice and materials to help control A’s sensory anxieties such as biting his fist/chewing his clothes/PICA – we were given a chewy tube & its worked really well and also the Occupational therapist was able to provide a heathfield chair at nursery & home which is a chair for those with special/additional needs which enables A to be able to sit still for small intervals and complete activities, because of this his non-verbal motor skills IQ is very high.
I’m hoping the use of this chair will help him when settling into the routine of school.

The support at nursery has also been invaluable for when A, has a meltdown, she’s been able to remove him from stressful/distressing situations and be taken outside for quiet time.

She’s also encouraged him to socialise and communicate and the children in the nursery have accepted A for who he is, he even has a girlfriend who mothers him – needless to say he couldn’t care less but its nice to see & know.

I do feel as though support has ‘gone down hill’ since A, was diagnosed we still aren’t in contact with a Speech Therapist after being on the waiting list for 8 months & that is a worry, especially since A starts school in september.

A, will always have social & communication difficulties, that’s just Autism. But with the right support & early intervention the foundations can be placed for A, to achieve his maximum potential – what that is we don’t know yet but I do know that since having the right support he’s developed in ways we couldve only dreamed of 12 months ago.

So the skys the limit!

Please share your comments/stories about valuable people/support that have made a difference to your childs life.

L x

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4 Responses to "The skys the limit?"

It makes a huge difference when they enjoy where they are and what they are doing! Some people who work with kids with special needs should find a new profession, but there are those few that treat your child as one of their own. One person who made a huge difference for K was his elementary school EA. She worked so hard with him and K adores her! She became a fast friend of the family and we still see her from time to time, even though K is now in high school. She can’t stay away from her “Baba”. 🙂

I am off to google ‘Heathfield Chair’ -another interesting blog thanks as always

M is now 11, he’s had 1:1 since nursery, for 8 years, the wonderful Julie, she’s been with him all that time, and knows him inside out. I would say without Julie and the wonderful inclusive school M wouldn’t be the boy he is today, I cannot praise them highly enough. Now he’s in his last year its really scarey the thought of leaving.

It is a hard fight to get that support, but well worth it. We are lucky our school is a small village school, very experienced with ASD, before Julie looked after M she looked after another little girl with ASD for 8 years through school.

When M was in nursery, the things your TA is doing for A sound very similar. Julie always tried to use things that he was interested in, for example M loved, and stil does, traffic lights, so Julie made a system with a picture of traffic lights, and set Red to stay on an activity, Amber to warn time to change soon, and Green to change activity, backed up with photos of each activity, so M would know what he would be doing next. I always find if we can find a way to warn M its much much better. Now he is verbal its easier, but still we all use warnings and revert back to the old systems when hes struggling.

So, we are at a new stage, M has just got a place in an Able Autism Base at a mainstream high school for September. I’m so nervous, its a massive change for all of us, moving from 1:1 at a little school, to a specialist unit in a huge High School, 10 miles away, so travelling in a taxi. We all agreed, and the specialists that 1:1 in a high school wouldn’t work for M, he would get lost, hence this unit. It is a fab place. We have to find a way to tell M about his ASD, which again, I’m nervous about, weve always told him he’s special. He’s never questioned it, or questioned why he has a “Julie”.

Through ASD we have met some amazing people both professionals and every day folk, they all do an amazing job and I can’t praise them highly enough.

Jo

I have a 12yr old son with autism who has had 1-1 support since nursery. He has made such huge progress since the non verbal child he was at 4. He can appear as any other child on the surface and is academically capable. Without 1-1, this would of been a very different story. To the person whose child is due to start at secondary, I know how scary this feels but my son actually really appreciates the structure and it’s been good for him to mix with more adults offering support. At 12, J still has no friends but he is such a happy boy we realise it’s us that want the friends, not him. I am a teacher and currently have 2 ASD children in my class. J has taught me to support and be patient but not to generalise or assume. Each child ASD or not has their own personality and own individual qualities and aspirations.

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