How time flies. It’s now been a whole year since my beautiful boy was diagnosed with autism and so I wanted to write about how his diagnosis has affected us, what’s changed and our plans going forward.
If you’re new to my blog and don’t know our story then you can head over and read my posts on autism here. Or watch my video….
School has been the biggest change for Max. When he was first diagnosed he was in reception class and the only changes that they made were little things like making him sit right at the front of the class so he was less likely to be distracted, doing role play with him and using visual aids. And as good as these things are I didn’t feel like it was enough.
Since he’s been in year one he has been getting much more help. At first I put it down to him having a better teacher but actually I think it’s just the fact that year one is so very different to reception, there is far less play and much more structure and learning. Thankfully he isn’t struggling academically and he is now getting one on one help when needed. His reading, writing and spelling is absolutely amazing and he continues to amaze me every day with how well he is doing.
He has a lovely teacher who seems to know him very well, which is great. He’s also made two really good friends this year which is so lovely because a big worry of mine has been that he wouldn’t have any proper friends, knowing that people on the spectrum often struggle socially.
In a stark contrast to school, at home Max can be like a different child. I have heard that this is often the case with children on the spectrum, or it can be the opposite way around where they are OK at home and difficult at school.
Max craves independence and doesn’t like being told what to do, ever. Which obviously can make things hard work at times. There can be a lot of shouting, crying and frustration in our house and this is the side of autism that I strongly dislike.
School mornings in particular are bad as of course he is being told what to do. He doesn’t like being rushed either so most mornings I end up shouting, he ends up shouting, crying and being extremely wound up. We’ve tried lots of different approaches but while something might work for a few days, it never lasts and I’m struggling to see a way to make school mornings any easier.
As difficult as we find Max’s behaviour at home sometimes, I am very grateful that this is the way that it is. I would hate for him to be struggling at school and getting in to trouble there. Hopefully he will continue to thrive at school, and that is all I wish for as a parent.
It’s taken us a while but I think that we are at a point now where we have accepted that as difficult as it is sometimes, this is just how it is and it isn’t going to change. I think that acceptance is a big part of moving forwards.
In the not so distant future we need to start thinking about telling him that he is different. I don’t want to get years down the line and have to ‘break’ it to him, I would rather that it’s just something he’s always grown up knowing. I have spoken about this in the past but I still feel like he’s a little bit too young to understand and to be honest, I struggle to put it into the right words. So, I’m not sure how to approach this and as always, any advice would be greatly appreciated.
If I’m being honest, at some points since Max’s diagnosis I have wondered what the point in it all was, it felt like nothing changed, we were getting no help, so why had we labelled him? But in the past few months the changes at school have really made me see the benefits of having this diagnosis. Whilst a diagnosis hasn’t made our lives easier, it has meant that everyone who is in Max’s life now understands the way he acts like he does sometimes. And we can all work together to help him as best we can, rather than fighting against what we once thought was just naughty behaviour.
Thanks for reading.