After diagnosis.

28879570_10160120198765607_1365200906_o

Yesterday Gareth and I were invited to an after diagnosis talk (forced selfie above) at the child assessment unit- CADU.

We were asked how Teddie was and if we had any questions- Of course, I had some questions.

  • Is a specialist school right for Teddie at this stage?
  • EHCP related issues
  • Anxiety related problems  

I would like to say our questions were answered but felt that we were slightly pushed towards other agencies rather than answering the questions herself.

In a nutshell, the meeting was to hand out leaflets and be told, Teddie is now getting discharged from the unit. It honestly felt like we’d waited for 17 months to be seen, get a diagnosis then handed some leaflet and wished good luck.

What we would have prefered was an honest talk where someone tells us they understand what we are going through. I wanted someone to say it’s bloody hard work and some days are going to be worse than others but we will get through it.

For us, we weren’t really after much help but it made me realise that other parents might need it so below is our honest parent ASD tips.

Parents top tips

The autism spectrum is a wide one, what works for one child may not work for another- in fact, what works for Teddie one day may be obsolete the next.

As autism parents, we needed to deal with Teddie diagnosis before we could help him, we needed to fully understand everything in order to make sure Teddie has everything the world has to offer.

Parenting an autistic child can be challenging at times but we honestly wouldn’t have our Bear any other way! 

What is ‘normal’

17349684_10158454140295607_5537818492648944447_o

Living with a Bear can only be described as unpredictable,  Bear is our 3-year-old son Teddie. 

Teddie is our 3rd son, he wasn’t planned but we were overjoyed when he came into the world. 

Having a 3rd child didn’t feel much different than having 2 children, what was hard was the age gap. There are 10 years from oldest to youngest and 6 years from middle to youngest. 

For about a year after we had Teddie my husband and I would find ourselves saying:

‘This time last year we would be chilling on the beach, (the older two would be kind of self-sufficient)

This time last year we were…….

you get the drift, we were still adjusting to life with a small boy. 

Teddie hit all his milestones apart from one. At 2 he still wasn’t saying anything, and I mean nothing. 

As the health visitor entered our house I knew I had a jobsworth here, she was an older health visitor and I knew then Teddie wouldn’t conform and tick all her boxes. 

We went through the motions, can he do this, can he do that, I brought up the fact that Teddie wasn’t saying anything first as It Is always easier hearing it from the parent rather than the professional. 

25 words are the baseline for toddler talkers but this is for late talkers, 75-225 words are the ‘normal’ range for a 2-year-old so Teddie showed signs of delays.

A referral was made and we waited a few weeks for an appointment to see speech and language, It was in October so Teddie would be 2 years 5 months. 

During Teddie’s speech and language appointment not much was done with Teddie, was more us (me) talking about our concerns. We were in a tiny room, with a small about of toys on a table for Teddie to play with,  all while he was being observed (apparently). 

I was very honest and wondered if we had left Teddie out of day to day things, Were we allowing him not to talk?? 

As parents we always question our decision making, did I do the right thing by him, did we leave him out, should I have taken him to more toddler groups or were the groups we went to the right ones for him??

We constantly beat ourselves up over everything when really kids are just kids and they are who they are.

Although children reach developmental milestones at different times, when does a child become not ‘normal” (hate that word)

We all get them weekly ‘Your child should be…’ emails from the minute we fall pregnant! Why do we do it to ourselves??? Our children are who they are why do they have to be like the child next to them.

A 3-4-year-old should be able to Correctly name familiar colours, Count, and understand the concept of counting, Sort objects by shape and colour, Complete age-appropriate puzzles and recognise and identify common objects and pictures. 

Teddie is advanced in all the above areas but he cannot verbalise any of it.

I’m sure this is just the beginning of Teddie’s journey, we will support him and will always be his voice!

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