There had been some concerns about his behaviour and inability to concentrate at school since Reception, but it was always put down to settling into a new class and just being a young boy. Things came to a head in year 2 when he was point blank refusing to go to school, do work when in school and general inability to cope with the simplest things. It was decided to do a referral to CAHM's and get him assessed, at this time school were making noise about him having ADHD and to be honest I kind of agreed with them. I have a few good friends who's children have ADHD and Mr D is a lot like them in some ways.
So on December 19th after a lots of assessments and appointments I went along to his diagnosis appointment. I had to go alone as Miss S was poorly that day and Dave had to stay at home with her. I had convinced myself on the way to the appointment that they would say there was nothing wrong and we just needed an alternative way to parent him. Fortunately the Psychologist was the same one who diagnosed Mr L and Miss S so there was no beating around the bush. He just came right out and told me following all the appointments and assessments that Mr D had Aspergers. I was utterly stunned into silence. I don't remember much of the rest of the appointment as I was a little dazed, I was handed a pack containing lots of leaflets and that was that, I was sent home to deal with this diagnosis.
That was 3 months ago and we are still finding ways to deal with Mr D's unpredictable behaviour. He seems to test us in ways that the others don't, silly things can seem to set him off into a rage. After the diagnosis appointment I jumped at the chance to attend the 10 week Riding The Rapids course. We are at week 8 this week and I can honestly say the course is amazing. I would recommend anybody to attend if they can. It teaches you to be a behaviour detective and try to get to the bottom of why the behaviour is happening. It has been a really useful tool in working out certain things that set Mr D off. He likes things to be just so and one thing falling out of place sets him off for the day. We have realised he is over sensitive to noise and smell. The strange thing is all these things were there before diagnosis but we just couldn't see them, or didn't want to see them. We have informed the school of his diagnosis as getting it in writing takes months! He has been getting extra help in school and in general is doing well. HE has bad days, like we all do, but now they understand why he does certain things and reacts in certain ways its made things much easier. Gone are the days when I would be called over for a chat by the teacher to be told he has done something wrong. I am now being told how well he is doing, how he did an amazing piece of writing about the stone age, how creative he is with poems & stories and how he picked up a new dance after only being shown it once!
In the grand scheme of things his diagnosis has been a positive experience, its made his life easier and that's all that matters to us. We don't want him to have to worry about a thing, that's our jobs as adults and his parents. Now we understand him a bit better our lives are a little easier, its no bed of roses but who's life is. I'm sure there will be bumps in the road with all the change heading our way over the next 6 months, but we will deal with it they way we always do and continue Raising The Rainbows the best way we know how.
Thanks For Reading