I wanted to write this post for Logan, so he can see just how far he has come, I don't often call him by his first name on here, but thats who he is, Logan my first born son. He has taught me so much in his 11 years on this planet, he has taught me patience I didn't know I had, courage to stand up for what I believe in, strength to carry on no matter what is thrown at me or him, but must importantly he has given me a massive sense of pride.
Logan's Autism is complex, he has many issues, yet he doesn't let these things stop him. He has done things we have never thought possible. When he started school aged 4 he was still wearing nappies and didn't speak a word. He would scream and cry when we left him at school and had the complete inability to cope with a Nursery setting, This lead to us removing him from nursery and placing him in a smaller setting, this turned out to be a bad move. The setting was smaller and was easier for him to cope with, but they allowed him to just sit in front of a computer all day, he would have a meltdown if they tried to remove him, so rather than deal with a meltdown they let him have his own way. This made life difficult for us at home as he was so used ot getting his way at school he had masses of meltdowns at home.
We made the decision that he would go back to his previous school for Reception as the current school had no idea how to deal with him. We were only months away from diagnosis so knew he would get additional help along with a statement soon. I want to say Reception was easier for him, but it really wasn't, I spent most of Reception year stood in the corridor crying my eyes out as he just couldn't cope. He would scream, shout, attack other children, he had little or no interest in learning. I remember one day going to collect him and the teacher having to stifle her laughs as she told me what occurred during that days phonics lesson. She was teaching the children letter sounds, but Logan wasn't happy with the pace at which the lesson was taking, so was just removing letters from the box reading them out and throwing them. When she attempted to stop him he decided that the best course of action was to stand in the middle of the learning circle and take his clothes off. Another incident involved Logan not wanting to go into the busy classroom, he decided to roll around on the grass outside shouting fuck off to anyone who went by. It wasn't all bad though, Reception was when he spoke for the first time and his skills slowly started to develop, once he had his funding for his 1 to 1 he really started to fly.
It was Year One that the big turn around came, he seemed to cope better now that education was the main focus as opposed to free play. He got His Debbie and His Catherine, the 2 amazing teaching assistants that have become like his left and right arm. He started to shine, his speech came on leaps and bounds, we discovered that he had a reading level beyond his years. He now reads encyclopedias for fun and loves fact based books, he has a thirst for knowledge and there isn't any piece of technology he can't work out. For the first time in Year 3 he took part in a school play, having previously not even being able to go into the assembly hall. We couldn't go and watch, just the thought of us being there upset him, school and home are separate entities and that's how he liked it to remain, always. He wore his ear defenders all the way through and his stimming was off the chart, but he did it!
Thanks to a wonderful Teacher in year 4 & 5 he continued to bloom, the anxiety attacks were gone, as was the anger and the refusal to go to school. He was for once just like the rest of this class mates. Walking to school hearing him talk about what he would do that day was a breathe of fresh air. Listening to him speak of his friendships, friendships that had never before been possible. He has been incredibly lucky to be mainly with the same group of children through most of his school life, the patience and understanding they have shown him is remarkable and some adults could learn a lot from these amazing kids. They are non judgemental and take you on face value and I know he will terribly miss the ones that won't go with him to his new school and I can only hope that he meets similar set of friends in his new school.
Last year when he was in Year 5 we were able to go and watch his class sports day, this alone demonstrated how far he has come, just tolerating us during school time is massive for him. We honestly dreaded September, there were signs of his anxiety returning, the thought of SAT's and moving schools seemed to haunt him, add that to puberty and mood swings and you have a toxic mix. Its honestly not been easy for us and sometimes for school, but we got him through it. I say we as I can honestly say the school have bent over backwards to accomdate my boy and his needs. They have taught him that although he has a autism, autism isn't all that he is, he has to be accountable for his actions and actions have consequences. He is now at the stage where when he does do wrong he is already choosing his consequences before he has been reprimanded. He got through his SAT's like water off a ducks back, and we all wondered what all the previous fuss was about. He has had 1 blip during his high school transition settle sessions, but apart from that he has loved every second.
So in less than 1 week his new chapter begins, he's excited, I'm apprehensive, its just all a bit new and if I'm honest a bit scary. I know there will be bumps in the road, but I am ready with my paddle to ride the rapids. You always are as an autism parent. Before the new chapter begins I have to compose myself and get through his graduation assembly. I have to prepare to say thanks and goodbye to that amazing staff that have put so much into him and made him the amazing boy he is today. I don't think honestly saying Thank You is enough, I don't know how he will cope without His Debbie and His Catherine, and I'm sure they feel the same.
So Logan this is here for whenever you discover I have blogged parts of our lives, I am so so proud of you, keep on being you, don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something, always try your best and never stop being you, Here's To The Next Chapter xxx