All this week MacKenzie has come home from school quite a happy little boy but when I have asked him about who has played with him at playtimes he has replied “nobody”, “nobody likes me”. It’s very sad to here that has a parent and especially when you know that social skills are one of your child’s weaknesses. The only problem is that he doesn’t express theses problems and you wouldn’t know by looking at him that anything is bothering him…..or is it?. If I hadn’t asked him then he wouldn’t have shared the concern with me. Or the other question is, is he bothered that nobody is playing with him? (I think it does really deep down). When I ask him he answers me in quite a factual manner unlike a neurotypical child who would show upset and want help to solve the problem.
When does a child realise they are different or is it that others start to realise that the child is not quite like them.
Help and Awareness is so important because a lot of these children do want to mix and socialise, its just that others make it difficult for them and a lot of it is due to a lack of understanding of them. With the increasing number of ASD diagnoses ………. Something needs to change.
Hope MacKenzie has had a better day today and that he has been able to play with someone. I know some people may say that all children go through this at some point and that its only been a week upto now that nobody has played with him but this is where it can start. A tiny crack can turn into a large social gap very quick in a child’s life. Through play children learn social skills such as sharing, cooperation and turn taking. Social language is also learnt, self-esteem is built and friendships are formed, all of which are just as important as the educational part of school life.
Early intervention is everything!
Every school morning can be quite an emotional struggle for my little boy and with it being a half term its always a harder one to go back. MacKenzie has had all his visual preps and had fully understood when he was going back to school, but Monday morning as soon as he awoke the upset began. Begging not to go, crying and saying he was poorly. Even though his speech is really good now people don’t understand that he doesn’t take in some of the information you verbally give him. When it comes to talking about feelings and emotions he just doesn’t relate, therefore it makes it so much harder to go through things with him like other parents will do naturally.
I felt like my insides had broken into a million pieces on Monday morning but i knew i had to send him to school no matter how upset he was. A few days ago when MacKenzie knew that going back to school was not too far away, i started trying to encourage him by asking him if he wanted me to print a map of where we had been on holiday (he likes maps and fact based things) to show his teacher or class mates…..but no. I cant even get him to relate to that he will see his friends or even if he has missed them, sometimes children want to go back to school to see their friends if they haven’t seen them over the holidays.
I am very aware that all children at some point go through the stage where they don’t want to go to school and they all `try it on` with their parents feelings but this has been ongoing since day one. The only problem we come up against is that that school report he is a happy child there (which don’t get me wrong is great to here) so then it looks like he is playing us. I do believe he is very good at hiding his problems and anxieties especially in structure environments and this can end up being a much larger problem. Also from a selfish point of view it leaves us with no help on this matter as nobody else sees it.
I would love to hear from people who can relate to this, because feeling alone and dealing with your child is really very hard. I found hope and strength thorough reading and realising that i am not on my own, there are too others out there with the same problems.
Many parents are still out there dealing with their undiagnosed autistic children alone, worried and confused. I understand that paediatricians don’t like ‘labelling’ children early because its quite a strong thing for the child to then carry for the rest of their life’s, so they do need to make sure that its something they have got 100% correct and that its not something that the child’s not just going to grow out of. But on the other hand the time from when a parent or other health professional realises there is a problem with the child which could be around 2 years (was in our case) to the time the paediatrician can confidently diagnose which could easily be anything from 5-12 years old a lot of time is in the middle. Within that time a lot of damage can be done by parents left struggling wondering what is really wrong with their child or even worst of all giving up the fight ( and it is a fight) and just put themselves down as a bad parent and the child as being naughty.
A diagnose does give the parent and the child a stronger focus and strength, yes of course it must be a devastating shock at first but then gives the family a clear route of what help they can access. Also when their child is struggling (and they do from time to time) outside publicly instead of being quickly judged by outsiders parents can confidently tell others their child suffers from Autism or ASD and it’s not their fault. Being in that situation where you are trying to sort your child out is upsetting enough and then on top of it knowing what others are thinking…….I have been there many times.
I clearly understand that getting a diagnoses doesn’t make autism go away like many other things, normally we go to the doctors for them to tell us what is wrong with us then we have treatment or further tests and then the problem is sorted. With an autism diagnoses there is no medicine or operation it just gives the family and others around the chance of learning about their child and changing/learning how to bring their child up because treating and understand these children differently from has early as possible really does improve their life……I am talking from experience.
If you are awaiting a diagnoses for your child don’t be scared, look at it has being the best tool you will be given to help your child mentally, emotionally, socially and educationally.
We are a family without a diagnose of autism for our child but strongly beleive in what we know, don’t get me wrong we do go through times of questioning ourselves and giving up but it’s what you believe in the majority of the time that really matters but unfortunatly I think there is only a small percentage of us out there and I would like to empower others be advocates for their children. Just keep Remembering you know your child better than anybody and you wouldn’t want to put in place such a strong label on them for nothing.