Saturday, 25 September 2010

Progress: Brilliant But a Little Sad Too

Forgive me for not writing more recently. Sam has been waking up in the middle of the night and not going back to sleep so we're all a bit tired and both boys have stonking colds at the moment so we have our hands full!

I know I mostly post when something good is going on and I'm in a happy mood but I need to share a bit of the rough times too I think. The stuff happening now is terrific in one respect but a bit sad for me too.

I think I knew these times would come, and it's great that they do, but there's a bit of sadness too in the progress that William is making. I suppose it's not progress really, but 'normal' development. And it's beginning to overtake Sam. Don't get me wrong. I'm so happy William is getting along so well but at the same time my heart is breaking.

It's the little things really. William does a little dance when music comes on (more of a head shake, arms waving about), he plays with toys the way they are meant to be played with, he claps, points, can stack stacking cups, tries to imitate you when you are sweeping, gives great big hugs and has now started to try and give great big kisses too. He acknowledges you when you call his name and his understanding is coming along nicely. Although Sam could do a couple of those things at William's age he lost those skills soon after and still can't do most of these things.

But Sam is showing some signs of progress as well, and he's been a lot more interactive with William and affectionate in general. I think he is really loving nursery and I'm sure it is bringing him on a lot, it just really brings his condition to light when you see the things his 1o month old brother can do. If William could just teach Sam now that would be wonderful!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Primary School Visit

So this morning we went and visited a primary school that we thought might be suitable for Sam starting in Sept 2011. It is about a 20 minute drive from here on Walney Island. We'd heard it might be suitable from various people as although it is a mainstream school, they have a huge focus on inclusion of those children with special needs. In fact, much like Sam's nursery has a special designation as an inclusion nursery, this school is the primary school equivalent if that makes sense!

So before we got there this morning I found myself having really high hopes for this place and I was not disappointed! A lovely senior teaching assistant gave us a tour and discussed the special needs side of things with us, answered all our questions and was very lovely towards Sam. It's a small school, under 200 pupils and about 30 of those have special needs of some description. So quite a high proportion really. They said that if we applied Sam would most definitely get in due to his needs. I came away feeling really positive about everything, seems like things are finally coming together!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

First Week of Nursery

So Sam started back at nursery on Monday after a 7 week break. The night before I was so nervous that I was feeling a little sick. We were really expecting him to be unsettled there this week, probably clingy and generally upset. He is going 4 mornings a week now instead of 2 afternoons and on two of those mornings he is staying and having his lunch there as well.

Well I dropped him off on Monday morning (after he'd been awake since 3am!!) and he walked into the room like he'd never been away! Had a look round, came back to me as I was updating his support worker but there was no screaming, clinging onto me etc. I left and went home all the while worrying about how he was getting on. When I went back a few hours later to pick him up they said he'd had a brilliant morning! Couldn't quite believe it! The following day was great too and then this morning we took him in with his little packed lunch. I really didn't expect him to eat anything as sometimes at home he doesn't like to eat if we are in the same room, let alone a room full of pre-schoolers! But his support worker managed to get him to eat his sandwich and treat at the table, woohoo!!

I am so pleased and proud of Sam this week. He has a day off tomorrow and then is back in for his last day this week on Friday. I'm hoping for another good one. I think a lot of the change in him is due to the fact he is a morning person and was usually worn out by the time he arrived in the afternoon last term. It's so nice that nursery can see the happy, fun side to him as he is in the morning.

I have signed up William to have one morning a week at the nursery too at the same time as Sam so that I get a bit of a regular break each week to catch up on housework or have a cuppa! They run a private daycare there too, so it made sense to do it and try and save some of my sanity. We took him for a little visit to the babies room today to see what it was like. He seemed to enjoy himself, taking it all in. We got there and sat on the floor with him and before we'd even been in 2 minutes Andy had a crowd of babies bringing him toys and hanging onto him. It was so funny, I wish I'd brought the camera especially when they started bringing hats over to try on his head! Andy seems to have this effect on babies and toddlers wherever we go!

Tomorrow we have made an appointment to look around a mainstream primary school that takes on children with ASD and have several staff members trained in it. Really hope we (and Sam) like it as he may end up going there next year.