Hi, i apologise if this comes out like word vomit but im not sure where to turn as my sons teachers are not keen on giving me a straight answer.
Some background info, my little one is almost 4, the youngest of 3 and only boy. He didnt speak a word until about 2 years old. Health visitor said nursery might help, i put him in the nurseey for 2 year olds at my older kids school. He was 3.5years old when he moved up into thenext class in september 2017 and the month after we had a parents evening. They rasied a few things with him speech but i knew he was behind with that.
In december i was called in for a meeting on his development. They told me hes quite behind and asked me if theycan referr him for speech therapy. I said yes as even i was struggeling to understand him tho he has developed his own little sign language is the only way i can describe it, he does actions with sounds...so for example fried egg he will make the sound off the egg crack while doing the action of cracking a egg open. Scrambled egg he says mik mik mik (mix mix mkx) while doing a mixing action.
Just before his first school session with the speech and language lady i was called in again for a meeting after school one day. During the meeting the teachers started expressing some things with me about the way he is. Until that day id put no thought into it and just thought it was just the way he is, but the more things they brought up the more i started to wonder if they suspected something, their main issues was that he fixates on things, he has interests in most things boys his age do but he has periods of intense interest in certain things. The first one was motorbikes, then bintrucks, right now its dinosaurs. Another issues they raised was he cant count, he struggles with it. If you put 5 blocks infront of him he tries to count he says 1,2 and then will either say1,2,1,2,1,2 or 1,2 lots lots. They also said he has a one to one support teacher who has been helping him with sharing and interacting with the other kids inthe class as he struggles with interactingwith them. They said he prefers to play alongside them and is struggling to gage when other kids do or dont want to play ect. Another thingthey brought up was theway he gets really upset with his clothes, the first one was tags, the feel of them drove him mad. He no longer wears socks as the seam, he feels it and just freaked out when i put them on him, he did used to wear them but would complain while getting dressed, now he complains about the buttons on the shirt. They brought up other things like getting his hearing checked as that might be way hes struggeling with speech and communication.
His first speech session lasted a hour. When he went back to class we had a chat. She asked if she could referr him to a educational psychology peadictrican as she noticed that he made little eye contact with her and some things withhis attention, asked some questions about whats he like with routine change which hes not great with. She said she was going to observe him more and do a report.
We had parents evening again tonight, my little lads teacher told me the head teachers approved him to have a sen teaching assistant along side his regular one to one teacher, normally they wouldnt so youngbut they feel it coukd benefit him. Hes also having another speech person come in to work with him.they also brought up his motor skills, still struggles witn holding a pencil the correct way and writing, he recognises his name butcamt write it yet.
I came out and asked bluntly if they thought there could possibly be a underlying reason as ive never put any thought into it until recently with the meetings and questions im being asked. They said they arnt saying it is but they want to explore things to get him the support he needs
Im totally in the dark as to what to expect next when we meet the educational psychology peadictrican. All i know is that this person deals with children that possibly have sensory issues or other things like autism or those on the autistic spectrum. I feel well bad that i honestly didnt think anything of my little boys ways, i just thought it was just how he is but when i think about whathis teachers andspeech lady have been asking and raising to me has started making me wonder.
What happens next and what can i do to help him?
(Sorry for rambling xx)
You have no reason at all to feel bad! You're loving your little one exactly as he is and you see nothing 'wrong' with him - that's a very good thing indeed, not a failing! Don't beat yourself up for it!
As for his communication issues and possible sensory issues that have come to light, it sounds as if you have your son in a very clued-up and proactive nursery with access to specialist services that can help him should any of the assessments indicate that he has underlying issues. You're doing exactly the right thing in working with the teachers and these professionals to assess your son at exactly the right time. Should anything come of his assessments, he will have all the help he needs in place for him starting school - all thanks to you working with these people to get your son the help he needs!
If it does turn out that your son does have autism, that's still doesn't change the fact that he is still just himself. Exactly the same little boy he's always been with all of his little ways that you know and love. It just means that, with any new knowledge or diagnosis that these assessments bring, you will now know how to help him move forward as he grows up. Just like you've been doing already but with a bit more support from some professionals.
So everything you can do to help your son, you're already doing!
I can't tell you what happens next as far as the assessment procedures go. As far as I'm aware it varies a LOT from place to place but this website, and the helpline. are able to offer a lot of advice about how things might work in your local area. Give them a call!?
Many thanks for your post.
You may find it useful to have a look at our autism page on our website which has a vast amount of information. The page contains information on the basics of what the autism spectrum is, how it's defined in a clinical sense, and the characteristics of autism: http://www.autism.org.uk/about/what-is/asd.aspx.
In terms of what happens next, you may find it useful to have a look at the following link for further information about diagnosis and the benefits of getting one:http://www.autism.org.uk/about/diagnosis/children.aspx
If you are looking for a diagnosis for your son, it is very important that you see someone with experience of autism spectrum disorders. Details of diagnostic services can be found on our Autism Services Directory:
You may also want to look at our section that provides advice for parents, relatives and carers of people with autism.
It might also be useful to pass on information about autism to health professionals when seeking a diagnosis. The following page includes information for a range of health professionals:
You may like to have a read of the National Autism Plan for Children to see what you are likely to expect and what you can ask during the assessment . Please scroll down to the bottom of the page and go to page 3 on summary report, page 11 for full report for the Essential Components for a complete multi agency assessment:
Finally, if you would like to make use of our Helpline which Endymion mentioned then you can call the Helpline team on 0808 800 4104 (Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm, Friday 9am to 3pm).Please note that the Helpline is experiencing a high volume of calls and it may take a couple of attempts before you get through to speak to an advisor.
Please see the following link for further information:
I hope the above information is helpful to you.