We went to the zoo today, and it was so busy, K lasted about 3 hours before he got to his limit.
We took his DLA letter and I took my Carer’s card so luckily we didn’t have to pay full price for what is essentially a couple of hours for us, but for most would be a full day out.
We didn’t see all the animals, we didn’t walk all of the way round, we didn’t go in the cafe’s and skipped through the shop at the end without stopping, but even so we did have a lovely day out.
The sun was shining, the animals we did see where amazing, K really really liked the baboons, he spent ages watching them, he laughed at them as they chased each other around. He loved seeing the meerkats and spent a lot of time watching them play and dig holes.
The tiger enclosure and the whole area around there was so busy he shut down, we had to lead him away quickly to avoid it escalating into a full meltdown. After that he just wanted to leave, we didn’t see anymore animals.
Then on the way out they had set up a sensory area with bells and things to hit and feel and make noise with, he spent a long time in this area, this was a really good addition to the park and for a little autistic boy who was struggling to process just how busy it was it was a welcome relief.
Next time we are going to go on a dull or rainy day when the crowds will be smaller and we will be able to get round without as much stress.
It was parents evening the other night at K’s school and there were lots of positives
- He has gone up 2 levels in his reading after been on the same level for the whole of last year, he is finally making progress, he is trying really hard with this, both at home and at school and we are hoping he will make further progress before the end of the year.
- His spellings are consistently 8 or 9 out of 10, not 100% but consistently good, he is practising these every day with his 1:1 and we are reading and sounding them out each night. This is obviously making a difference as we can see that he is really trying, and doing well.
- He has a really good social group set up and he is really making progress in this, he has started joining in the turn taking games and has been able to use cards to give his fellow pupils compliments. Considering he wouldn’t even look at the others when it started this is amazing, one day we are hoping he will start to talk to the others, but at the moment communication cards are doing the job.
- His Maths is really good, he has even been putting his hand up when other pupils have got something wrong on the white board and correcting them. He is working at close to the right level for Maths using visual aids to help him work things out, his science is also good, he really like the practical side of it.
- He completed a year 1 (a year behind where he is) phonics/ reading test on his own and got a lot of it right, showing that his comprehension is improving.
Some other things that came out of it is just how proud his 1:1 is of him and how hard she works with him. She helps him with everything but seems to know exactly when to stop and let him learn for himself, he is happy and confident around her.
The change in him over the last couple years is outstanding, he can now read (a little), he can hold a pen correctly, he can do sums, he is making friends and playing games with other children. I have to put that down to the extra support that he has at school without which I don’t think he would have been able to stay at a mainstream school.
This support is priceless, and getting rarer, its such a shame that people have to fight like they do to get their kids the support that they need, especially when you look at a child like K, who prior to having a 1:1 couldn’t cope at all with day to day school life, had no friends, had moments at school where he was very upset and unsettled, and even hit out at other children. Now he is happy, settled and doing really well, even if he is about 12 months behind his peers in most areas, looking at his work, his attitude towards it and the excellent support that he has:
I can hope that one day he will close that gap.
When we were on holiday last week we ate out a lot.
My son doesn’t like eating out, and doesn’t like trying new things.
So we knew, right from day one, well from before we got there really that he wouldn’t eat anything, other than maybe a little bit of garlic bread when we were out for tea.
No point in ordering a kids meal, it would have just caused stress and we were not there for that.
So we gave him something before we went out, took the essential kit of iPad and headphones and off we went.
So this is my son, in restaurants, while we were away, having a lovely time, but not eating anything. Well nothing more than a little garlic bread anyway.
Where it is really hot but he is loving it, he is eating his usual cheese spread sarnies for lunch and meatballs for tea.
Some people would say we are pandering to him but we are actually trying to keep things normal so that he will eat. He is having garlic bread every night when we go out for tea, this he loves, the people outside of restaurants trying to get us in, he hates, why do they all have to be so touchy feelie? We have one rule they touch him, we don’t eat there, it freaks him out.
On another note, He is loving the pool, and other than not sleeping amazingly he is enjoying been away.
Today I did something that I have only ever done twice, I took K to a friends house and I left him there for 2 hours.
It was his friends birthday and he was having a birthday lunch and then they were going to play Minecraft for a bit.
K was excited about going and we took a present for his friend, his friends mum asked what he would like to eat, I told her what he likes and not to worry if he didn’t eat as I can feed him when he gets home if necessary.
K was happy for me to leave him, didn’t even look up or say goodbye when I left, this is kind of what I expected him to do, he very rarely says goodbye.
I have to admit I was worried about him, I was worried he would get upset if something wasn’t right, that he wouldn’t be able to tell them what he needs/wants, that something would go wrong, but his friends Mum had my number and she promised to call if anything happened.
But it didn’t he was fine, he had lots of fun and when I picked him up he was playing minecraft on the computer and was very happy. He hadn’t eaten anything so I gave him lunch when he got home, I expected that this would be the case.
I’m pleased that it went well but I can’t imagine that I will ever be as relaxed about him playing at friends as I was about his sister doing it.