Thank you.

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There are two kinds of people in this world, those who have no impact on your life and those who change it, all the staff at Teddie’s school have most definitely changed his life.

Today we say farewell to the reception class, how is it possibly Teddies done a year at school already. We had no real expectations of what we wanted Teddie to achieve this year all we were worried about was Teddie liking school and Teddie being liked, We had nothing to worry about.

I am honestly lost for words (a rarity ) and finding it hard to write how I feel. Thinking about the effort and love Teddie has received this year brings me to tears just thinking about it.

How do you thank the people who have put their everything into ensuring your child gets everything they deserve & more, who go out of their way to just say hello or to check how Teddie is doing ok?

The teacher, Ta’s, office staff, head, senco, music teacher & Teddies 1:1 is more than just staff at a school they went above and beyond and cared for Teddie with love. They allowed him to be himself, they gave him the room to grow and become the amazing boy he is now.

We are forever grateful for everything you have all done for Teddie this year. As another chapter closes we await a new one to start, with your love and support, together Teddie can become whoever he wants to be.

 

 

 

Insights

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If there is one thing I struggle to get my head around is how autism can be seen as being “different” It’s so complex how can it not be seen as anything other than truly amazing.

For a 5-year-old to have a photographic memory, recognise complex shapes and love working with high digit numbers is nothing short of astonishing, If this is “different” then sign me the hell up as I would love to have these abilities! 

Autism comes in all shapes and sizes which is whats so amazing about it. The spectrum is so vast no two children are the same.

Autism normally presents itself by the age of 3, however, parents may notice signs as early as 12 months. For us, Teddie hit all his milestones when he was a baby, it wasn’t until he was over 1 we noticed a real change in how he saw the world. It honestly felt like one day he was ok then all of a sudden he wasn’t.

Teddie walked early, would high five his brothers, made eye contact with you, was so happy & even said a few words then it was like a switch had been flicked, he was a different boy.

Throughout my studies, I come across lots of theories on why children behave in certain ways (neurotypical and ASD children) Children all develop at different stages during pregnancy and after birth. As a parent of 3 boys, I’m still met with the need for my children to confirm but the fact is children will be who they want to be.

I’ve never felt the need to find out why Teddie has ASD. What we do know, however, is environmental factors & genetics strongly influence the risk for developing ASD. Do any of these apply to us? I’m not sure but I do ponder on a few questions.

One of the main issues Teddie faces now is recognising facial expressions and the emotions behind them. The question I always ask myself is what changed from when Teddie was a baby/toddler to now?

Studying and research have taught me infants regularly show facial expressions of sadness and happiness despite never being taught such emotions so this has to be something that is built into us.

A study I worked on a few years ago on how babies congenitally blind will smile when they are happy and cry when they are sad. These infants have never been taught or seen these facial expressions so it backs up the theory that these emotions are built into all of us. 

With this in mind, how is it possible for Teddie to be able to regulate all emotions at such a young age but find it all so hard now? Why does Teddie have empathy towards others but not towards himself?  

Did something happen for these changes to make such an impact on him? 

Even if my questions were answered it wouldn’t make a difference, in all honesty, I (we) would never want Teddie to be any different from the amazing kind-hearted boy we all love so much.

The mind works in mysterious ways & to complex for any of us to ever fully understand. No two people are the same which can only be a good thing. 

We love our Bear more than he could ever know.

 

 

 

Masking & triggers

Teddie has this ability to appear to not be listening or paying attention but in fact, he is taking it all in without us even knowing.

Teddie lost one of his front teeth last week, I hadn’t even realised it was wobbly.
We were playing in the pool when my hand slipped away from Ted’s and managed to flick his tooth with one of my fingers. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a small white object fly past me, yep, I had flicked his front tooth out!

After many failed attempts to put the tooth back into his gums, Teddie seemed ok with what had happened.

Teddie has already lost his 2 bottom teeth so we knew how to approach the situation. We knew there would be 1 issue we needed to avoid- The tooth fairy.

Whenever anyone mentioned the tooth fairy Teddie would just scream

No, No, No” loud!

We had never discussed what happens when the tooth fairy comes as Teddie never allows us to talk about it.

I’m not entirely sure as to why he has an issue with the Tooth fairy but when you break it down who would be excited about a strange person coming into your bedroom at night when your asleep and your parents aren’t there?

A few days later Alfie lost one of his teeth. Alfie showed Teddie his tooth and to our surprise, Teddie spoke as clear as day;

“Tooth under pillow, tooth fairy bring money”

Although Teddie cannot allow himself into certain situations he is more than happy to see others through it. Teddie was so happy at the thought the tooth fairy was coming for Alfie but couldn’t allow it for himself.

Teddie has an ability to mask a lot of his traits when he is in a good place but at times (of late) Teddie displays waves of different emotions (we call bubbling) which normally indicates something isn’t quite right for him. We can go from complete normality to back to square one where he needs to change his clothes every time the thinnest spec of water gets on him.

The last few days Teddie has come home from the school in a different T-shirt, although he is excepting of the change of T-shirt (progress) there’s a reason as to why he needs to constantly change his top. Although we may not find out whats bothering him we need to put things into place just in case the situation escalates.

Organisation is the key for Teddie, it’s hard to remember everything he needs but if we want the happy loving Teddie it’s our responsibility to ensure he has everything he needs to get through the day otherwise I feel I have failed him.

Teddie hasn’t needed his octopus or 3 minions at school for a few weeks now but when things do escalate he will revert back to them in order to bring him back up from his cloud of anxieties so I ensure he has everything in his bag just in case.

Teddie continues to push the boundaries with sensory play, you can see he wants to join in but sometimes the fear of it is too much for him to handle. He is given the time to make whatever decision he feels is in his best interest. As long as there is a towel available to wash his hands he normally gives it a go.

Teddies determination amazes me every day. We love our Bear and honestly wouldn’t want him any other way.