I cannot remember the last time I wrote a blog, wasn’t even sure I could still login.
The role of a parent is a hard role to bare at times even without additional needs thrown into the mix. For us to live a semi ”normal” life it revolves around routine and preparation. The second I get it wrong the glue that holds everything together unfolds and the shit really hits the fan. The need to please is as ever overwhelming, I don’t think I have it in me to say no! Last week I didn’t achieved much other than taxiing children to and from schools, cutting the grass and doing the odd bit of housework. Autopilot is most certainly on but for now, it’s what has to happen.
Teddie is as ever his happy self, I cannot recall the last time Teddie became overwhelmed (a meltdown, I don’t like to use the word meltdown) He, of course, gets extremely close to it but for now, we can stop it from escalating. We never use the fact Teddie has autism as an excuse for bad behaviour, we are EXTREMELY LUCKY that Teddie is very rarely naughty. He is aware of what’s right and wrong but his approach can come across as rude at times. We always pull him up on this and tell him the correct way to speak to someone, he always takes on board what we tell him Teddie has an amazing ability to self-regulate, over the years he has created his own movement breaks when he’s at home. For example, we’ll be eating dinner when he’ll ask to go outside, he’ll run to the back of the garden then come back to the dinner table. If he’s in the lounge on the laptop he’ll skip into the kitchen then go back to what he was doing. This has helped us over the years with his movement breaks for schools. When you ask him what’s the best part of the school he’ll say his movement breaks
Having two other (semi) neurotypical children it can be hard to find a balance, Harvey and Alfie will tell you Teddie rules the roost. This isn’t the case, we do not give in to Teddie at all, what we do do is a compromise. I think most people do this with younger children, I don’t necessarily think we do it because he has autism, we do it because the youngest. I often say I’ll have 3 of Teddie and I mean it, during the lockdown he was the one we didn’t have to worry about, he never moaned at all, not like the older 2 Life continues to test us, we learn from our mistakes and move forward knowing ourselves slightly better.
We love our Bear and wouldn’t have him any other way
It’s been forever since I have posted anything so with that in mind I thought I’d share some of my daily logs. I’ve been doing this for a while now it’s normally for a post but never get around to posting it or just to get something off my chest, however, these are my thoughts and feelings at the time. With it being mental health day last week, I thought this is a good time to share some of my logs, there’s no date to them as I generally write on one page of my notes on my phone, either the top end or the bottom. I haven’t edited them so some may not make sense to you but certainly do to me!
I very often feel lost, surrounded by people but feel alone if that makes sense. I constantly have the burden of everyone on my shoulder especially Teddie’s well-being and Alfie’s mental health, something that at times scares me what direction it may lead him in the future. This burden is physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting, some days I feel like I have been to the gym as my body hurts so much I can barely function, however, I have to. I can never switch off, I am constantly thinking ahead, hours, days and weeks ahead just so everything is in place for every eventuality. I’ve recently described my brain as a filing cabinet with a million sections in and that’s just for Teddie.
As said by Ronan Keating; ‘life is a roller coaster Just gotta ride it!
Nothing like walking back from the school run crying made worse that I didn’t have sunglasses wear to hide the fact. Teddie has had a particularly hard morning and it’s only 8.50! A mix up with 1:1, but what made me upset was Teddie’s reaction to the school head. He was very overwhelmed so he shut himself in the class toilet, which is fine as it’s his way of coping with things. when the head came in to see if he was ok Teddies persona completely changed and it looked like he was scared of her. Teddie then took himself to his desk while protesting he didn’t want anyone with him. I’m not sure if what happened was a good thing or a bad thing, I’d never seen him like this before. I think he knew she was of an authority figure and knew what she said goes but his reaction threw me.
I’ve called the school he’s ok!
What makes a person bad (rhetorical, I know the science behind it) what annoys me more than anything is a person who never congratulations another person, by that I don’t mean getting married or having a baby, I mean on a day to day stuff. I always say well done, text or call to follow up on how someone’s day has gone or if the person child has had a good day, however, we never seem to get it back. It’s something that weighs heavy on my heart and upset me! Gareth always tells me to do the same but I just can’t be that person, I like to wish people the best, text them to see how they are and generally interested in them. Rant over!
Had a meeting with the school Senco today for Alfie, he’s really struggling at school, finding his way around and all the changes that come with secondary school. Alfie is so frightened of getting into trouble, altho that would never happen. He’s worried about being asked a question in class and he won’t know the answer especially now he’s been moved into the top sets. He isn’t eaten or going to the toilet the whole time he’s at school which is another concern. During the meeting, Alfie came in but ended up getting extremely upset. I didn’t want him in the meeting if I’m honest as I don’t like talking about him in front of him. Alfie’s now been given a pass for pretty much everything, he can leave early for lunch to avoid the queues, leave the class whenever he needs to go to the toilet (without asking) and a teacher will not put him on the spot with questions. When all this was being put into place I thought it was completely unless as he’d never leave the class for a toilet or early for lunch but fantastic its there if he wants too.
Seriously, kill me now! I cannot cope with hearing about everyone’s uni experience anymore, although on the other hand, I am impressed with the level of 18-20 year old who have travelled from abroad- at the same time I’ve over hearing about it. In a recent seminar, one of the girls was asked her fears for this year, her response was:
‘Timekeeping and procrastination”
I honestly wanted to scream; What the FUCK!!! Who says procrastination! She’s a sweet girl though
Sonnie has real issues!! To add to my forever growing list of things to do and remember Sonnie has decided he cannot eat from his bowel. He now wants to be hand feed, WTF!!!!! Of course, I do it, he’s certainly his mother’s boy that’s for sure, I swear he’s like the 4th child! He’s completely obsessive, always on edge and needs to be hand feed- I think the dogs on the spectrum!
I’m not sure where I begin with my manic day, all I can say is it feels hell at times. I’m up at 6.20 altho Teddie is up at 6 am, he’s said his good mornings then we send him back into his room for 20 minutes but i should have just got up all I can hear is him moaning.
I do lunches for everyone, I could do them the night before, however, everyone prefers them made fresh on the day! Toast for Teddie and a round of hazelnut pancakes. 8 am walk the dog for a half-hour, come home to take Teddie to a school than race back to get Harvey up, make him breakfast (sausage bap) then head to uni for 5 hours of lectures & seminars.
Get home to start dinner, force the boys to do their homework then to be called and asked if I’d do a segment for BBC London, as I’m listening I’m telling myself to say no, but of course I don’t! End up doing Alfie’s homework as he doesn’t know what to do but have a feeling he does but knows I’ll do it, then I cruel into bed at a ridiculous time, I seriously need to start saying No!
Harvey pretty much put every item of clothing I’ve recently washed and folded in the wash, by that I mean on the bathroom floor, all needs washing apparently!! I may kill him.
Today is mental health day and I feel terrible I haven’t posted anything on it! My back is playing me up again (dehydration of the discs, apparently) I feel awful we have had to let our friend down and not attend her wedding down south- right down south in Devon, however, I can’t cope in the car for half-hour let alone 5 hours with my back.
Although my back is sore my arms and legs have taken the strain at times I’m in agony and need to keep moving. I’m irritable, moody and have a million things I want to do but can’t. I want my mirror put up in the hallway but need to repaint it. I want the massive box with the hot tub parts moved from the hallway as It’s been sitting there for over a week and no one has moved to into the garage I’m tempted to don’t myself even though I know it will only make my back worse but needs must!
The only silver lining is my parent are having Teddie and Alfie till Sunday although Harvey has now asked for his mates to all come over so not quite the lone time Gareth and I were hoping for!
Today is a struggle, it’s only 11 am, one bonus is the hot tub box is now in the garage. The hot water bottle is still attached to my back, it does help but you would think it may give the boys an indication that I’m still hurting! A round of pancakes made for Lord Harvey, then Alfie and Teddie got Amongst it!
It’s dawned on me more than once but being a parent to children makes no difference when you are hurting or ill but throw in a child with autism you have no hope in hell resting or taking time for yourself.
Taking on other peoples anxieties, worries and fears are completely consuming and draining. I’m in a constant whirlwind of worry myself because I’m constantly worried about the boys. Gareth would say I give in, however, I chose my battles and know-how to win a battle without Teddie even realising I’ve won.
For us, it comes down to patients, something I have a lot of when it’s comes to Teddie. I constantly think ahead and know how things r gonna play out but Gareth hasn’t quite mastered this yet. For me, from the hours of 7 am to 7.30 pm I am constantly playing out scenarios of what might happen in my head which is mentally exhausting let me tell you. I also know between these hours I need to be ready at the waiting for Teddie to need me for something whether it be to read a book, play a game or to just sit with him. Weekends we tell Teddie he has to stay in his room and play till 8 am, Friday night I forgot to remind him which means it’s business as normal and we r up at 7 am.
My point with my daily logs are to get things off my chest, I very rarely talk about my worries, however, its important to express how you feel with either talking to people or writing down your worries and fears. There are many agencies you can get in contact with if you are unable to speak to friends or family members.
Mental health helplines:
Charity providing support if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety condition.
Phone: 03444 775 774 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5.30pm)
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!
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.
This photo just melts my heart, I know I say it all the time but I couldn’t be prouder of Teddie if I tried. This was Teddie’s first nativity as last year he couldn’t handle it- so much so he still struggles with the school hall even now. Teddie had a slight blip at the beginning of the play as something wasn’t where it normally was but it was sorted in no time.
Seeing Teddie centre stage singing and dancing was like a dream come true for me. My face was hurting so much from smiling, he only did one song but he bloody smashed it!
School plays are always a bit bitter-sweet, as much as we want Teddie to be involved in them at the same time I’m filled with dread he’ll have a meltdown in front of everyone while it’s being recorded for all to purchase. As, much as I really do not care what people think I don’t want to put Teddie through it.
I honestly was dreading the last few weeks of school for Teddie but he handled it so much better than last year. The end of the term can be a struggle for all children let alone Teddie, it’s been a long-term and everyone is exhausted from the constant change to the daily routine.
The boys have all finished school for Christmas, the first day of the school holiday’s has begun and we are staying in PJ’s all day. Teddie has been on Christmas countdown for weeks, but the last few days he’s been super excited as the days get fewer. We decided against getting chocolate advent calendars this year for the boys instead we opted for a wooden countdown wheel, I think it’s this that has got Teddie so excited. I cannot wait to see his little face Christmas morning.
On Friday we are seeing Teddie’s paediatrician for the last time, we were due to see her 2 months after receiving his diagnosis but in fact its 2 weeks short of a year due to the ridiculously long waiting list. It annoys me slightly that we will be discharged as if we ever need to see a paediatrician we will need to be referred to again. Although we have waited forever for an appointment I cannot wait for the doctor to see how much Teddie has changed since she last saw him, to think a year ago he was non-verbal now we can’t keep him quiet. It’s amazing what difference a year can make.
Every day Teddie faces a new challenge, we don’t always know how to deal with them all but we always get there in the end!
We love our Bear and wouldn’t have him any other way
If there’s any advice I would give to parents who are just starting their journey with or towards a diagnosis it would be this: The diagnosis at this stage isn’t for your child it’s for you as parents, your child is who he/she is and a diagnosis isn’t going to change that or help them in any way (other than school) it’s down to you as parents to make that change. The dynamics of your lifestyle need to change, not solely around your child but adaptions need to be made so everyone can live in peace.
We certainly found it hard adjusting our family dynamics, with two older boys and jobs we hoped Teddie would just slot into our routine but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. We cannot and may never be able to rely on Teddie to make sure he has everything he needs for his day as we would be setting him up for failure, although at 5 this would be an ask regardless of an additional need. As Teddie’s parents, it’s down to us to make sure he has everything he needs accessible for his day out readily and waiting for him so when I say Teddie go get bag and shoes he knows where they will be and he’ll feel he’s accomplished what was asked of him as the slightest thought of failure can result in a meltdown.
Fight, fight, fight for your child, I often say to parents you’d never let a person physically hurt your child, so don’t allow them to mentally hurt them. There is no difference between the two when it comes to neglecting your child due to their disability, the pain and hurt are just the same.
Stand proud and be present, show the person you’re meeting with you know what you’re talking about, they may well be qualified in their field but they are by no means as qualified as you are as you live this job day in and day out!
Even on the hardest of days never let your child see how you are feeling as they will only mirror your behaviour and make the situation worse. We have all been in the situations when at times the right thing to do would be to shout and tell your child off but you are just pouring more fuel onto the already out of control fire. I’ve perfected the inner scream down to a tea now, there are times when I’ve wanted to shout, scream and cry but as always I need to have a “happy face” as it’s my smile that clears the cloud over Teddie when he’s in crisis.
Talk about how you are feeling, everything you are feeling is completely normal and trust me we have all thought it! If you can try to attend parent workshops do, there honestly not there to tell you how to be a parent in-fact you can gain some insights on how other parents manage their routines and feel supported at the same time.
Love and support your child every day, always be their voice and never apologise for who they are.
We are 3 weeks into year 1, I’m still not sure how that’s even possible, feels like only yesterday Teddie was starting reception.
I had my doubts about year one, my gut told me we may possibly see some struggles but so far Teddie has yet again proven me wrong.
Teddie has settled in the class better then any of us could have expected, he now has his own desk and work area. This has made such a difference, Teddie needed that place within the classroom, somewhere he can call his own. Teddie is spending more and more time within the class something he didn’t do a lot of in reception.
Teddie loves to dip in and out of things, if the other children are doing an activity on the carpet Teddie will join in but if it all gets too much for him he will take himself to his table to do independent work with is 1:1.
One of Teddie’s many talents is he has an amazing ability to listen to what’s going on elsewhere in the classroom, even when he’s not be participating in it. To others, it may not look like he’s even listening but he would be able to repeat everything that has been said even though he’s not fully engaged and working on his own activity- this boy amazes me.
Last year Teddie found the beginning part of the day difficult so he always entered the school through the office and went straight into the sensory room completely avoiding the classroom, this was something I wanted to change this year. I hoped Teddie could go straight into his new classroom but still have access to the sensory room later on in the morning. So far Teddies has been able to avoid entering the school via the office & sensory room and has been eager to go straight into his classroom like all the other children do.
It took a good 2 weeks for Teddie to stop asking to go back into the reception classroom, he always said:
“this classroom finished (pointing with his middle finger) go back to Teddie’s class in reception”
At first, he didn’t fully understand why he couldn’t go back but after we told him he’s a big boy now and the smaller children needed the reception class Teddie completely understood and liked the idea that he’s a bigger boy now.
There’s still one major concern we just cannot overcome- the toilets!
Towards the end of the 2nd week, I spoke with Teddies 1:1 and assumed Teddie was using the toilets in his classroom only to find out he wasn’t. Teddie would go to the toilet in the morning once he woke up 6.30, 6.45am then again once he came home at 3.15pm, this is an incredibly long time not to go to the toilet! We decided the only option was for him to use the only toilet we know he’ll use and that’s in reception. There are 5 toilets to choose from in reception, Teddie will only use the 2nd toilet on the left.
Once we told Teddie he could use the reception toilets the following day he went twice!! Teddie was made clear that he is welcome to use this toilet but we go to the toilet say “hello” then go back to year 1, he was absolutely fine with this.
We are having a few teething issues with pick up, half the class go to the afterschool club Teddie is becoming very upset as his name isn’t being called out for it. He has no idea what afterschool club is, he’s just sad he isn’t being picked for it.
Everyday Teddie overcomes an obstacle without any issues or fuss at all, we are so proud of him we could burst!
We love our Bear and wouldn’t have him any other way.
I’ve been counting down the day till I can tell Teddie he has school tomorrow, he’s asked nearly every day if it’s a school day. 6 weeks off school is a looooonnnnnggggg time to be off when you have no real concept of why you aren’t at school.
There are a few things I’m really not going to miss when the boys (Teddie) are back at school. Like when you’re taking 5 minutes to yourself in the garden and u hear what every parent dreads……….the sound of the lego box being tipped over!!
Picking lego up should be used as state punishment or classed as a job as its a bloody pain in the arse & takes forever to pick up. There’s always one piece you’ll miss but you need not worry as you’ll find it when u stand on the bastard thing when u sneak into the bedroom check on the child!
Out of the 3 boys, Teddie is actually the only one we didn’t have to keep amused throughout the holiday. He makes his own games up, normally coping whatever he’s watching on YouTube. He loves nothing more than flitting between rooms like a Tasmania devil leaving wreckage as he goes. I often just sit and watch wondering what is going through his amazing little brain, he’s always so happy in whatever he’s doing.
Every day Teddie has turned the lounge into a soft play area with the cushions off the sofa. All 3 boys think they’re on an all-inclusive holiday & Harvey’s using the house like a hotel, the end is near!
Teddie is super excited about returning back to school. I think he will go straight in without any issues but think the 2nd week in we will see a slight change in him. The realization of school and the routines he has no control over.
Teddie has the same amazing 1:1’s, without them again this year I would be a nervous wreck, I think Teddie would be as well.
This time last year Teddie was about to start school, he could hardly say more than a handful of words fast forward a year & we cannot keep him quiet. He’s made so much progress it’s unreal but I still have the same worries and fears.
The children in his class & school are all so lovely but there is always the worry as the other children get older their understanding of being “different” grows. Teddie has never seen himself as any different from the other kids his age, I’d hate another child to change that.
Alfie said a while ago a new (year3) boy came through to the dining hall with his trousers round his ankles after finishing the toilet. Alfie said Everyone was laughing at him. I really hoped Alfie didn’t laugh as well, he said he didn’t but in the heat of the moment he probably copied everyone else and laughed. The first thing that crossed my mind when Alfie told me this was this will more than likely be Teddie in a few years.
This boy did what came naturally to him, he sought out help when he needed it, I’m sure it was more the situation and the surroundings that made the children laugh over his inabilities to pull his trousers up but it still must have been upsetting. If this was Teddie we would probably laugh with everyone else not fully understanding what they were laughing at.
Laughing and teasing is uncalled for, it can have a real effect on all involved but especially the ones being laughed at.
We all go through things as a child we’d like to forget. I remember one girl always reminding me I had bumps in my hair when it was up in a ponytail. She always had this perfect ponytail, something that I hadn’t ever noticed till she sought out to remind me how imperfect my hair was. It became a constant daily reminder of how awful my hair looked, after a while, I stopped wearing my hair in a ponytail as I began getting really annoyed with my mum for leaving bumps in my hair.
Although this never really had an adverse effect on my life, at the time it made me change how I thought others saw me and how I saw myself, I can only imagine how awful the poor boy felt when most of the dinner hall laughed at him.
If there’s one thing you can teach your children please encourage them to just be kind, let them know that the things they say and do can really hurt others even if they think they are only playing. Explain that all children come in all shapes and sizes & we are all different in our own way.
How much better would the world be if everyone was just that bit kinder to each other?”
– Holly Willoughby
As Teddie starts yet another chapter in his life, we continue to support him as he finds his way through this world.
We love our Bear and wouldn’t have him any other way.
As I put Teddie to bed he made that pretend to cry noise as he wanted me to lay with him, something daddy does every other night but mummy doesn’t fall for the same tricks. I close the bedroom door and return to the garden where my parent’s, Gareth & Alfie is still sitting, we could all hear Teddie calling out for me still pretending to cry so we ignore him.
Out the corner of our eye, we see a big brown bear appear at the upstairs window, Teddie.
“Mommy (he’s American lately) It’s Teddie, I’m crying”
We all look at each other and bust out laughing, to which Teddie thought was highly amusing so then started to sing Tommy Thumb.
“Mommy finger, Daddy finger, brother finger from his window”.
He was about to go onto grandad finger but as I got up Teddie legged it back into bed like we hadn’t just seen him, the little shitbag
What made this situation so funny was this time last year Teddie could barely speak 2 words. I generally had worry and fear behind my eyes not knowing how he’d cope with what the world had to offer.
Fast forward a year we can now have a conversation with Teddie, although at times it’s limited its still a conversation he’s engaging in.
It’s the littlest comments that make us laugh out loud like;
“Cheers” whenever he has a drink with someone.
“That’s not right” when he sees something out of place.
“Fingers crossed mommy” when we are playing Mario on Ds
“Yes, I can” when we say no thank you.
“10 more minutes” for everything we tell him to stop doing.
“Good job” to almost everything you do.
This past year has taught me that even if you have an inability to do something it doesn’t have to change who you are. Teddie has always been confident, funny, loud & proud even when he didn’t say a word now put words into the mix he’s polite, kind, caring, loving and all the above.
Teddie receives limited speech therapy, once every few months at school his successes have come from a mixture of putting in lots of work at home & at school but it’s mainly come from Teddie wanting to learn.
Teddie has a photographic memory so 95% of his learning has to be learnt from visuals. Carpet time & speaking/learning in groups are areas Teddie struggles most with as he cannot process the information like he can if he was learning from visuals
Unfortunately, as Teddie goes through the years at school the learning is taught with a teacher at the front of the class and the children listening and taking notes, something Teddie may not be able to do.
Teddie has a revised curriculum ready for September, we are hoping he can spend more time in the classroom learning his way but also seeing how the other children learn. Teddie often likes to dip in & out of class learning if something takes his eye or if he knows whats being taught.
Teddie’s EHCP is now finalized ready for when he starts year one, although not much will change now the school will now receive a lot more money to help cover Teddie’s revised learning.
I read recently that schools are having their budgets cuts, a decision the government feel is a good move. The Guardian reported that 80% of schools are having to cut numbers of teaching assistants and support staff due to the new national funding formula for schools in England.
This is something that has affected our school resulting in only 1 teaching assistant per year rather than 1 per class. These changes open us up to comments such as;
“A teacher has 30 children to look after but special needs child has their own 1:1, how is that fair”
“My child needs help but he/she isn’t getting it but others are”
I completely agree there is not enough funding going into education, schools, especially our’s go above and beyond to make sure the children are not affected by these changes but the parents do not always see the bigger picture or help the situation by making comments although not always directed to us (Teddie)
What many parents do not always understand is for a child to receive a 1:1 procedures need to be met & put into place. Yes, Teddie has his own 1:1 that’s because I have fought tooth and nail for him to receive the funding he needs for him to attend school.
What many parents also do not understand is Teddie’s 1:1 will only be present in the classroom while Teddie is at the school, if Teddie leaves the school the funding leaves as well.
A special needs child does not start school and automatically have own LSA the parents needs to start the procedures months, years in advance, even then it’s down to the local authority to decide if a child warrants a 1:1.
Our school has bent over backwards for us, for that, I cannot thank them enough but I think that due to us having the respect for each other. We could have sent Teddie into school and moaned about what should & shouldn’t be in place for him instead, we
worked together a year before Teddie even started school to get him what he has today.
Before you make judgemental comments on what one child has but your child hasn’t stop and think about the lengthy process we have been through just to get our son through the school doors every single morning.
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.