Loosen the reins…..

Teddie is off on a school trip today……..without me!

As much as I wanted to go with him today I have tried to take a step back and start to let him experience things without me even though my anxieties are getting the better of me at times. Teddie was under the impression I was going on the trip today, every time he mentioned me going I just tried to divert the conversation onto everything but me going. This morning Teddie burst into our bedroom and said;

“25th April, its the school trip today, Mummy you can do your work after lunch and come with Teddie on the school trip, deal? (puts out his hand for a handshake) A deal means yes”
Gareth and I burst out laughing as he was a very matter-of-a-fact about what was going to happen, I replied with; “Pancakes for breakfast?

Teddie was slightly upset as we walked to school, he thought he was getting the school bus from the village bus stop- always a logical a thinker this boy, once we got into class he was fine. I dent down to his level and told him to have an amazing day and to stay with Mrs Henderson at all times, Teddie had the most beautiful response, he put both hands on either side of my face and said;
“You have a lovely day mum, you need to look after the dogs and Doddie (Harvey, who’s at school lol) and do your jobs” Holding back the tears I kissed him goodbye. It’s hard to let go of the reins but I know he’ll be ok and if he isn’t it’s a learning curve for everyone.

During the Easter half term, Alfie and Teddie stayed at my sister’s for a sleepover, I wasn’t keen on Teddie going, however, he was sooooooo excited about it;
“On the 17th April sleepover at Aunty Em’s house”
Teddie was counting down till the sleepover so I couldn’t crush his little heart and tell him he’s not going. I had no issues with him being with my sister, my issue was their dynamics are completely different from our’s even though my family know our routine and how we do things they only know how we do it at our house. We live our life without even thinking about it whereas others do not see things as we do, for an example, my sister said she was planning on having a garden day with the boys, they can all play while she cuts the grass. What she had forgotten was, Teddie, cannot cope with the noise of a lawnmower had she put it on he would have made a frantic run for the house and possible not gone outside while he stayed over or ever again as he would have made an association of fear to her garden.

My sister had also mentioned taking the boys to the park the following morning, as she said it I felt physically sick with the idea he was out without me, again it’s not that I don’t trust my sister I’d be the same if Gareth took the boys to the park and he’s their dad! In that second every scenario went through my mind I had visually made a missing person’s poster for ITV news and knew who to call if he goes missing, I’d use my radio connection to get the word out there, I also ponded on what picture to use for the police as we have so many lovely ones of him………..This is all RIDICULOUS I know but it’s a process I need to go through in order to leave the house lol.

With all this worry Teddie had an amazing time at the sleepover and at the park, he didn’t want to come home he had so much fun. For such a long time I have been Teddie’s voice and made decisions for him when he couldn’t but Teddie has really changed these past few months, I cannot explain what’s happening before our eye’s. Teddie’s choice of vocabulary is astonishing at times I wonder where he’s heard the things he says. He is putting everything into context and choosing to use describing words during conversations. Teddie is a logical thinker, he takes after me for this, he also seems to have a reply for everything of late when I tell him to “Shush” his response is; “Do not shush me mummy no one is sleeping” Last week I told him he could wear his superman socks, I said “wow, Teddie, you’re Superman now”, his reply was;
Get serious mum” Have we got a teenager already??

All we have ever wanted was for Teddie to experience life as Harvey and Alfie have, now Teddie is communicating better I honestly think this will all be possible. Although we are not naive to think that things do not constantly change, what works today is not the same for tomorrow or next week, however, for now we are heading down a path that couldn’t be brighter.

We love our Bear and wouldn’t have him anyone way!

Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month, although we are an advocate for autism every single day there are still many people who do not fully understand what Autism entails or do not want to know. As a family, we threw ourselves into everything that surrounds autism, we changed every aspect of our life in order to make it a better one for Teddie and us all.

Our journey started 3 years ago when Teddie was 2, although he hit his developmental milestones (early in fact) his speech was the one thing that was delayed. As Teddie got older his lack of communication started to hinder him more and more and I was at the end of my tether and could not take any more of him constantly pulling me towards everything he wanted so we decided to seek out professional help in the form of speech and language. 3 years later he has never had active speech and language due to the endless waiting list and lack of resources in our area, everything he has achieved has been on his own merit and the preservation to want more (an obsessive mum helped) Over the years I realised the issues Teddie was facing was more than speech and language, noise was the hardest thing for him to cope with he couldn’t be around anyone who cried, was loud or became over-excited. Noise looked to be like a pain shooting through him, he could not handle it and became very disorientated when subjected to it.

We decided to share our autism journey opening and publicly even before we received a diagnosis as we wanted others to see how we managed our life with a child on the spectrum as well as having two neurotypical children. I’d love to say it’s been easy but it hasn’t been, it has been hard and testing on everyone especially on Gareth and I but Teddie is not to blame for this, it’s children as a whole (If you didn’t already know they are hard work!) Lately, I have really been seeing things through a different perspective- a lot of what Teddie is experiencing has nothing to do with his disability it is “normal” behaviour for a 5-year-old. It is very easy to think everything he does is due to his diagnosis but I am finding he is doing more and more things as his brothers did which has been lovely to see. Teddie still struggles in certain situations more so when he doesn’t know what is happening or there’s a long wait for an activity to start but he is participating more and more in class which is amazing.
Sharing our journey is also awareness for autism in our local community when Teddie started school we asked parents whom we knew to share a post I had written about being kind and teaching your child that all children are different, I was so worried the children in his class would have an opinion on him especially as at the time he was completely nonverbal but they were all amazing and still are.

There many small minded people in this world who choose not to understand the complexity of autism, we have family members who have never asked about Teddie’s autism, never encouraged him or rewarded him for his brilliance. The first thought would be to react with anger and annoyance however, I feel sorry for them and at times think they are jealous of Teddie especially his academic achievements. It’s these people whom I want Teddie to have an understanding of, these people will never give you the accreditation you deserve now or in the future, have them in your life but keep them at a distance.

Life on the spectrum has it’s up’s and downs but we are at a place in our lives when we really don’t have to think about it we just know what to do or how to approach a certain situation without worrying too much about it.

Teddie is a kind-hearted lad with a massive personality who we couldn’t be prouder of if we tried.

We love our Bear and wouldn’t have him any other way.